October 28th, 2022



August 26th, 2020

The number of stolen dogs has been making the headlines recently. In some cases they are being stolen to breed – to make quick money.

Unfortunately, this is not something new. As far back as 2010 dog owners have been contacting www.lostdogs.ie letting us know that their dogs have been stolen.

The gardai have been doing a great job in recovering some stolen dogs. It is so important to have a dog microchipped as it makes the job easy for the gardai to return a recovered stolen dog.
Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Ber Leetch  on August 5th stated that if you buy a dog – the microchipped details of the previous owner should be updated to the new owner. He also suggests that the owner’s name and contact number should be put on the dog collar – in order to facilitate the quick return of the dog – if he has just wandered off. The whole world is a village when it comes to children and maybe we could also look out for neighbours dogs to ensure they are safe.


April 8th, 2020

It is good to see from an article by Fergus O’Sullivan April 6th 2020, that Scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LHTSM) are hoping to train dogs with a particularly keen sense of smell to diagnose people with the COVID 19, even if they are displaying no symptoms. They are hoping that it works and that dogs can be trained to detect the disease, as dogs are already widely used to detect the presence of cancers, bacterial superbugs and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s. Not all dogs are suitable for this training, but among the dogs they are using is a cocker spaniel and a Labrador retriever — who possess both an unusually acute sense of smell and the ability to be trained. Some already have experience with malaria screening.



July 12th, 2019

It was interesting to read Westgarth et al research on dog walking and physical activity. They mention walking a dog is the main reason for visiting natural environments. The exercise gained from walking a dog helps with keeping fit and keeping weight off. They found that dog walking
is used to meet the emotional needs of the owner as well as the physical needs of the dog.

Some people find they are unable to keep a dog due to being away at certain times and concerns around getting someone to mind the dog. In such cases fostering a dog might be the ideal solution. The dog is left with them until it is adopted.

 Westgarth, C, Christley, RM & Christian, HE (2014) How might we increase physical activity through dog walking?: a comprehensive review of dog walking correlates. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 11, 83.

Animal Assisted Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

April 25th, 2017

It is common now to hear of dogs been helpful with children on the autism spectrum.  Research has shown that outcomes included improvements for multiple areas of functioning known to be impaired in ASD, namely increased social interaction and communication as well as decreased problem behaviors, autistic severity, and stress.

(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23124442   M.E.O’Haire Author

On the other hand research by Davis et al 2015  advised that caregivers and practitioners are cautioned in selecting AAI as it is unclear the impact this may have in treating impairments in social communication and restricted, repetitive behaviours in children with ASD.   They also point out that not all animals may want to serve as a therapist and argues that animals should never be forced to work




Dogs – good for Depression

February 19th, 2016

Many people report that they find having a dog as a pet can help them with their depression.

It means they have to exercise the dog and there is much evidence that walking is helpful for depression (along with eating well).

It also means that they are connecting to someone by having a pet in their lives and it means they have to think about the dog and the dog’s needs.

Also when out walking there may be social interaction and contact with others.

Some people say having full responsibility for a dog is a bit too much for them, so they walk their neighbours’ dogs


August 26th, 2015

The social skills and attachment to dogs of children with autism spectrum disorder.

Carlisle GK.

J Autism Dev Disord. 2015 May;45(5):1137-45. doi: 10.1007/s10803-014-2267-7.T

It was good to read this research done with 70 parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)  which showed that they reported that children who owned dogs did better on tests for social skills.  

It was also good to note that children who had pets – including dogs -had “significantly greater skills for subscale item “assertion”. 

Their findings report that children with ASD who have dogs or pets may have better social skills



April 21st, 2015

Recently I watched the 2009 film  “My sister’s Keeper” for the second time and I was so impressed by the dog who was able to predict his owner’s epilepsy seizures.  I started to wonder were any dogs trained to do that here in Ireland but could not locate any – that does not mean it does not happen.

According to the Epilepsy website “Some people with epilepsy have found that trained seizure dogs help them with securing speedy assistance when a seizure occurs or alerting others for help”  http://www.epilepsy.com/get-help/staying-safe/seizure-dogs

I was delighted to see from the Service Dog Central website “that approximately fifteen percent of dogs are naturally able to predict seizures before they occur. On average, these predictions or alerts are made 10-20 minutes before the seizure, giving the person with the seizure disorder an opportunity to move to a safe place, take medication, call for help, or notify friends or family of the impending seizure so they can be checked later” http://www.servicedogcentral.org/content/node/491

One thing I was really surprised about was the concept of people saying their dogs were service dogs when, in fact, they were not.  In British Columbia their  “newly revised Guide Dog and Service Dog Act is set to take effect later this year and will be among the first in Canada to tackle the subject of service animal impersonation, an issue experts say has escalated sharply in recent years. While there are no available numbers documenting the problem, service dog trainers and owners alike say their circles are increasingly abuzz with anecdotes of people putting official-looking paraphernalia on pet dogs in the hopes that they could then enjoy the same broad access rights as certified service animals.”

In the US last year there was an informational hearing on the subject of fake service dogs – by individuals who are exploiting service dogs by faking their pets as working service dogs – in order to keep their dogs with them in housing accommodation which does not allow pets – or travel in the cabin with them when flying in the US and not in a container or cage-  http://sbp.senate.ca.gov/sites/sbp.senate.ca.gov/files/Background%20Paper%20for%20Fake%20Service%20Dog%20Hearing%20%282-14-14%29.pdf

Dogs assisting Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients

March 24th, 2015

I  heard about the good results achieved when pets visit nursing homes but I was glad to read this article


about dogs being trained to assist Alzheimer and dementia patients.  This was first piloted in Israel and now in Scotland.  Dogs have a 6 foot long leash and GPS navigation device in their collar.  The main task for the dog is to bring his charge home when the command Home is given.



Dog Microchipping to be made compulsory in Ireland

February 23rd, 2015

According to recent newspaper and radio reports, from September 2015 all puppies will require to be microchipped and from March 2016 all dogs will have to be microchipped.

See www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/dog-microchipping-to-be-compulsory-coveney-says-1.211133


It would be wonderful if this meant that all found dogs would be quickly re-united with their owners – we are all volunteers here on www.lostdogs.ie and we love to hear of dogs being reunited with their owners


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