Identification Clinics (Tattoo & Microchip)

Each year, millions of pets are lost or stolen never to be seen from again. These pets end up sold
to research laboratories, puppy mills or to dog fighters.  How can you provide your pet a permanent
and traceable identification so your pet can be returned to you or prevent it being stolen in the first
place?  Tattoo and Microchip.
Tattoo - To visibly, permanently, identify your dog, consider a tattoo. A tattoo may be applied (to
dogs as young as 5 weeks) in only a few minutes, is completely painless and requires no
anesthesia.  Tactile sensory nerves within the epidermis allows the dog to feel surface contact, but
not pain...just tickling sensation from the vibration of the marker. The tattoo needle never reaches
the pain sensory nerve endings.

Once your dog is tattooed, you need to register the tattoo. An unregistered tattoo will not allow
most times for the return of your dog. The tattoo needs to be associated to it's owner. This is where
The National Dog Registry (1-800-637-3647) will register your dog's tattoo number for a small
one-time fee. That way, if a tattoo is found on a lost dog, the Registry can be called and the owner
So why microchip too? Because Tattoos can fade, can be cleverly altered or if not placed correctly
can be removed.  Tattoos are a deterrent to thieves stealing your dog because they are visible.  
Microchips are not.
Microchip - are tiny metal transponders about the size of an uncooked grain of rice.  The chips
carry a unique identification number.  They are implanted normally between the shoulder blades
just underneath the skin.
Microchips are registered with local or national databases and many city pounds.  Veterinarians
and shelters have their own scanners to read the chips of stray animals. Once the microchip is
read, the staff can call the 24-hour regional or national hotline and get your contact information.

Having your pet micro-chipped is as quick and uncomfortable as a vaccination. Microchips are also
more convenient then tattoos because a frightened dog doesn't need to be shaved to locate it.

Microchip systems include the chip and the fee for life time registration, the insertion and the
paperwork. Vets charge about $25 to $60 and shelters for as little as $15 for micro-chipping.
The disadvantage with micro-chipping is that the microchip is invisible.  This is why you should also
have your dog wear a tag on his collar, mentioning that he has been micro-chipped, and containing
backup identification information.  Another aspect is the cost.  Micro chipping can be done for as
cheaply as $5.00 per dog at a clinic, to $40.00 or more per dog at your veterinarian's office.  The
registration of the chip is included in the fee.  If you move, you must send your change of address
information to the registering company.  The final drawback is that, unfortunately, not all humane
societies and shelters have one of the scanners to identify the chips.  And, the fact that most of
these chip manufacturers are not working together on this, and require their own separate reader,
makes it necessary to keep several brands on hand. The readers are usually donated FREE OF
CHARGE to shelters.  Breeders and kennel owners with large numbers of dogs can buy them at a
low cost.
The advantages of the microchip are that it is a permanent identification system.  It can't fade out,
like a tattoo, or fall off, like an I.D. tag. It doesn't have a power source which will wear out.  The chip
is detected by passing the scanner over the dog's body (usually the neck area).  If a chip is
identified, the number will show on the scanner.  This registration number is on file with the
company, with all of the important identification information about your dog.  The chips are easy to
implant.  They are about the size of a grain of rice, and they go under the skin with a large
hypodermic needle.  The needle is made so that it slices the skin and injects the chip, rather than
boring a hole in the skin surface.  A slit is made by the needle, which flaps back down after the
procedure, and heals very quickly.  The needle is so sharp, the dogs barely feel it.
Dog ID Tags and Microchips at Top Selling Pet Supplies

The Greater Monroe Kennel Club occasionally offers a low-cost tattoo or microchip clinic in
conjunction with its annual dog show and obedience/agility/rally trials held in November of each


From the American Kennel Club - Obedience website.
Obedience Trials test a dog's ability to perform a prescribed set of exercises on which it is scored. In
each exercise, you must score more than 50 percent of the possible points and get a total score of at
least 170 out of a possible 200. Each time your dog gets at least a 170 qualifying score, he's earned
a "leg" toward his title. Earn three legs and your dog has just earned an obedience title! There are 3
levels at which your dog can earn a title and each is more difficult than the one before it. The
classes are divided into "A" and "B" at an obedience trial; "A" classes are for beginners whose dogs
have never received a title and "B" classes are for more experienced handlers.

The best part of watching a trial is to see the close bond that has developed between the dog and
handler. Their total concentration on the task at hand gives way to the sheer delight of
accomplishment that can be seen on the faces of both - and in the wag of a tail.
Experience the ultimate in companionship and teamwork.  Taste the thrill of competition.  Join a
training class and participate in obedience trials.  It s lots of fun, and your dog will love you more for


From the American Kennel Club - Rally website.
Rally is a sport in which the dog and handler complete a course that has been designed by the rally
judge. The judge tells the handler to begin, and the dog and handler proceed at their own pace
through a course of designated stations (10 - 20, depending on the level). Each of these stations
has a sign providing instructions regarding the next skill that is to be performed. Scoring is not as
rigorous as traditional obedience.

The team of dog and handler moves continuously at a brisk, but normal, pace with the dog under
control at the handler's left side. There should be a sense of teamwork between the dog and
handler both during the numbered exercises and between the exercise signs; however, perfect
"heel position" is not required. Any faults in traditional obedience that would be evaluated and
scored as a one-point deduction or more should be scored the same in Rally, unless otherwise
mentioned in the Rally Regulations. After the judge's "Forward" order, the team is on its own to
complete the entire sequence of numbered signs correctly.

Unlimited communication from the handler to the dog is to be encouraged and not penalized.
Unless otherwise specified in these Regulations, handlers are permitted to talk, praise, encourage,
clap their hands, pat their legs, or use any verbal means of encouragement. Multiple commands
and/or signals using one or both arms and hands are allowed; the handler's arms need not be
maintained in any particular position at any time. The handler may not touch the dog or make
physical corrections. At any time during the performance, loud or harsh commands or intimidating
signals will be penalized.

Rally provides a link from the Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) program to obedience or agility
competition, both for dogs and handlers. In addition, rally promotes fun and enjoyment for dogs at
all levels of competition.