FAIRFIELD — Whenever Francis “Earl” Staples spotted someone having trouble with their dog while walking past his Rolling Hills home, he would get up from his chair and give them pointers on how better train their canine companions.

Staples, 94, who passed away March 16, should know.

He was one of the first Army dog trainers of World War II, part of a team that trained more than 5,000 dogs for sentry duty, to sniff out mines and carry messages across the battlefields of the Pacific.

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Published: Monday, 4/6/2015 - Updated: 24 minutes ago

BY ALEXANDRA MESTER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Three years after Ohio law became breed-neutral, some dog owners still face sizable hurdles because of their pets’ breeds.

One of the largest obstacles is insurance. It is common practice in Ohio for insurance companies to maintain a list of breeds they consider high-risk and handle differently from others.

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Cocker spaniels were ranked second in the list of runaway dogs (Sara Bevan/Alamy)

Sarah Bussell, rehoming supervisor at Blue Cross, said: "Many dogs just want to play and explore, but it was interesting to see labradors came on top for being the most likely breed to run away.

"While they don't mean to become lost, if they catch a smell or see something exciting in the distance it can be hard to get their attention and call them back to you.

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Restless retrievers are the breed of dog most likely to go walkabout, according to new research.

They emerged at the top of a list of runaway pups compiled from a survey of 2,000 dog owners in Britain.

The breed to land in the 'runner-up' spot was the Cocker Spaniel which was followed by the Jack Russell.

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Saying goodbye is one of the hardest things an inmate has to endure as a participant in the America's VetDogs program at Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown.

Inmate Terry Dorsey said his assigned dog, a Labrador retriever named Mo, is the second animal he has trained in the program, which places dogs with disabled veterans to help perform everyday tasks, such as turning on the lights and opening drawers.

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PROTECT AND SERVE

Rudy Drexler, proprietor of Rudy Drexler’s School for Dogs in Elkhart, has been working with dogs for over 50 years. For much of that time, he specialized in training dogs for perhaps the most disciplined canine calling of all: law enforcement.

Now, he uses that expertise to import and train protection dogs for private homes and businesses.

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A Des Moines nonprofit raises, trains and places service dogs typically with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

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A civilian is now getting the chance to work with a service dog through Paws and Effect.

Tom Bowen was a firefighter in West Virginia who went directly to Manhattan, New York to volunteer for two months after the World Trade Center towers collapsed.

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JACKSON SPRINGS — With the war in Afghanistan winding down and defense contracts drying up, K-2 Solutions is having to find other purposes for its canine training facility.

Rodger Moore, vice president of business development, said Thursday night during the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce’s business after hours event held at the Derby facility that K-2 has begun a new endeavor — training canines to help veterans with PTSD.

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For most of the 20th century, dog-training methods involved a dominance-oriented view that the dog must be responsive to our commands out of "respect" for the person giving them. Even today, many dog trainers reject using food rewards, and derisively refer to trainers who do as "cookie trainers." As a proud "cookie trainer," I wonder how we might determine that a dog is behaving out of "respect." Just as important, how does the trainer instill "respect" in a dog?

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There’s legislation (HB 5361) headed for a vote in the House, forcing insurance companies to cover people who choose to own dangerous dog breeds and prohibit higher premiums for owners of dangerous dog breeds. Insurance company representatives testified that rates will go up for all policy holders, regardless of whether they own a poodle, a pit bull or no dog at all, if this bill becomes law.

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