Saturday, December 31, 2005

Last Minute Preparations For New Year's Eve...

I am going to assume that all of you are smart enough to know that dogs have a tendency to run away from home when they hear fireworks go off on New Year’s Eve (and the Fourth Of July)?

Make sure you know where your pets are.

I hope your pets have tags on their collars, and also are microchipped.

I hope you have taken current digital photos of your dogs, or at least recent pictures of your dogs, so in case they run away, you can make up Lost Dog fliers.

Your doors are locked and your gates are closed.

The dogs aren’t being left alone in the back yard.

If the dogs are known to freak out, someone is going to stay with your dogs tonight… and they know the phone number and address of your local emergency veterinarian... and you have written up a form, and signed it, including your credit card number and cell phone numbers, which gives whoever is supervising your dog the authority to have your dogs treated in case of emergency...

Right?

Anyway, Happy New Year!

This year is over, and it is time to look forward to 2006. Much has been lost. Much has been gained. Things have been learned and things have to be changed. Plans need to be made, and strategies need to be implemented. Friends and family need to be appreciated, dogs included, because one day, they will be gone, and you'll never see them again.

Resolve to be a better person in 2006.

Aflatoxin Taints Dog Food, 23 Dogs Dead

Contaminated dog food which was sold in 23 states killed nearly two dozen dogs and sickened 18 more, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday.

The deaths and illnesses sparked an FDA investigation into the pet food made by the Diamond Pet Food Company at its Gaston, S.C., manufacturing plant. The FDA said so far 23 animal deaths have been linked to the pet food.

The company, based in Meta, Mo., issued a recall of 19 varieties of dog and cat food on Dec. 21 because some of the pet food made at the Gaston facility was discovered to contain aflatoxin.

Aflatoxin, a naturally occurring chemical that comes from a fungus sometimes found on corn and other crops, can cause severe liver damage. Aflatoxin poisoning can cause sluggishness, a lack of appetite and in severe cases severe vomiting, fever and jaundice.

Woman Marries A Dolphin

British tourist Sharon Tendler has finally made her dream match - by "marrying" a dolphin she has been visiting for 15 years in the Israeli resort of Eilat, "I'm the happiest girl on earth," the bride was quoted as saying.

"I made a dream come true. And I am not a pervert."


Hey, you wacko, you are a pervert.


Bestiality is a threat to all animals. It is sick and perverted. There are people who actually seek this kind of thing out. I know it to be a fact. I monitor the traffic that comes to my web pages, and I can tell you that there are some seriously sick people out there. We are on that slippery slope, dumbing down social institutions that make for a civil society. This is a prime example. Another example was the guy in Seattle who was caught having sex with a horse. A local newspaper actually had a columnist who didn't see anything wrong with what he was doing. Sick. Twisted. Perverted. What is happening to our society?

Islamofascism And Dog Ownership

A bomb packed with ball bearings and nails went off as people were flocking to the market early Saturday to buy pork for the night's festivities.

“The explosion was so loud, I couldn't hear for a couple of seconds,” said Tega, a resident who lives nearby and uses only one name, like many Indonesians. “I ran out of my house and saw bodies lying around.”

Television footage showed police carrying bloodied bodies into ambulances. One man, apparently unhurt, was holding his head in his hands and screaming. Hospital workers and intelligence officials said at least eight people died and Brig. Gen. Oegroseno said another 45 were wounded.

The religious affiliations of the dead were not immediately released, but they were believed to be Christians. The market sold only pig and dog meat, both of which are forbidden under Islam.


Though I am against the eating of dog meat, since I believe it is wrong to eat companion animals, I would never condone the killing of people to enforce my belief. I would try to persuade, as I do every day on this blog, instead.

Islamofascism affects us all. Even in issues as small as dog ownership. There are some serious issues regarding dog ownership and the current practice of Islam. If enforced where you live, you would be prohibited, in many ways, from owning a dog as a pet.

I think when a religion gets to the point where it so completely over regulates your life, then the religion is doomed to fail. I don’t believe God expects us to be perfect, nor do I believe that we can ever earn our way into His grace or into heaven.

Because, WHO CAN EVER BE PERFECT ENOUGH? Who has not sinned? And who can not sin?

When you attempt to MAKE someone else be perfect, then you are being just as evil, or even more evil, than the person you are trying to change.

Here’s the lesson. Was this done by force or persuasion?

8:1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 8:2 Now very early in the morning, he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him. He sat down, and taught them. 8:3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman taken in adultery. Having set her in the midst, 8:4 they told him, "Teacher, we found this woman in adultery, in the very act. 8:5 Now in our law, Moses commanded us to stone such. What then do you say about her?" 8:6 They said this testing him, that they might have something to accuse him of. But Jesus stooped down, and wrote on the ground with his finger. 8:7 But when they continued asking him, he looked up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her." 8:8 Again he stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground. 8:9 They, when they heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning from the oldest, even to the last. Jesus was left alone with the woman where she was, in the middle. 8:10 Jesus, standing up, saw her and said, "Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?" 8:11 She said, "No one, Lord." Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more."

Hunters Should Be Able To Use Dogs

Did you know that in many locations it is illegal to use a dog when hunting for game?

Think how inhumane that is.

A good and humane hunter wants to not only kill the animal it is hunting instantly, they want to bring the game home in order to turn it into food.

Let’s say you are hunting deer. It doesn’t matter whether you are using a rifle or a bow. You find a deer you wish to have, you shoot, but at the last moment, the deer moves and the shot hits the deer in a spot that won’t be instantly lethal. Then, the deer starts to run away.

The ethical hunter wants to track down the deer as quickly as possible in order to prevent the animal from any further suffering, and to make sure that the game isn’t wasted.

If the deer runs fast and far, the hunter won’t find the animal at all.

If the hunter has a dog at his or her side, then a trained dog could then be sent on the deer’s trail, to not only locate the deer, but then to guard it from predators so the hunter can bring the meat home.

The animal rights wackos have successfully caused the enactment of legislation to prevent hunters from bringing a dog along to locate an animal injured in the hunt. This is cynical and mean spirited. These types of laws need to be repealed.

I am NOT against hunting, nor am I against the use of dogs for hunting purposes. Yes, the dogs could be used by an unscrupulous hunter or nutcase to harass and maul animals for no purpose. But, it isn’t right to penalize responsible hunters, or injured animals, just because of a few criminals.

Another Stupid Dog Law Proposed

If Boland gets his way, dog owners could face felony punishment if their animal becomes uncontrolled - whether running loose from their yard or from restraint - and seriously injures someone. A hook in the proposed law, however, is that the owner will face punishment only if the dog is not spayed or neutered.

Boland pointed to statistics, substantiated by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, that show 70 percent of dog bites are inflicted by animals that are not spayed or neutered.

Boland, a former dog owner himself, argues his idea will be effective because it targets two of the key elements found in many attacks: owners who don't keep their dogs under control and hormonal dogs who haven't been fixed.

"Right now if a dog attacks someone, what happens is the dog is put down," he said during a Friday morning news conference at the Peoria Public Library. "That's not an answer, because those type of owners will go out and get another dog or go out and buy another breed.

"We want to send a strong message to dog owners who are not responsible."
But Lauren Malmberg, director of the Peoria Animal Welfare Shelter, said the legislation Boland is proposing is not going far enough.

Whether a dog that mauls somebody is neutered or not should have no bearing on whether the owner is punished, she said. "It's a silly restriction."

Boland said Friday he may be willing to "amend" the legislation by removing the restriction, but said he still wants to meet with animal experts.


Another stupid dog law.

By a FORMER dog owner. In other words, is this guy a dog hater? I have heard this garbage before, from people who said they USED to own dogs… as if that makes them an expert on the topic.

Chihuahuas Attack Police Officer

Mandatory Insurance For Dog Owners

VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- Authorities are putting the bite on the city's new dog owners starting next week.Under new city laws, liability insurance will be mandatory for Vienna dog owners who have canines born after Jan. 1.

Policies must have minimum coverage of $864,000. They are meant to pay for legal, hospital or other costs arising from any damage or injury caused by the dogs.Those caught without insurance could be forced to pay fines of more than $4,000.


More government meddling in the lives of innocent and good dog owners.

It is foolish governmental policy to always write and enforce laws that severely burden the majority to deal with the foolish actions of a small minority.

Legislation like this is too intrusive, and will amount to bans on hundreds of dog breeds over time. Insurers are risk averse, thus, they will more and more limit which dogs they won’t insure.

Further, look at how much insurance they are requiring of the average dog owner! That amount of insurance is INSANE. Most people don’t even have that much insurance on their vehicles in case of an auto accident!

This is dog hating at its worst. This IS the socialism I have been warning against since I started doing this dog blog.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Thank You

I want to thank all of you who wrote such kind words of condolence concerning the death of my dog, Dillon.

There is a grieving process we all go through when you lose a loved one, whether it is a pet or a human.

The hardest part for me has been the flashbacks of him dying. I kept seeing him collapsing, me catching him before he fell to the ground, me laying him down, touching his heart and feeling no beat at all, seeing his body quiver, him flexing hard and crying out once in pain, and then it being over, watching him go limp and lifeless.

I couldn’t sleep well the first night. It kept replaying over and over in my head. I kept feeling that same feeling of dread, the tightness in my chest would return, and I kept wondering what more I could have done over the past 7 1/2 months to keep him alive longer.

I had made a decision that once his heart did fail him, I would not try to revive him. I would let nature take its course and not put him through any extraordinary measures. I didn't want him living in a hospital, in pain and alone, without me there. That wouldn't have been right.


Yesterday, it was better. It was a new day, and life goes on, regardless of your personal tragedies.

Last night, I slept better, and today is a new day.

I don’t like being alone.

I want a new dog, but I’m going to wait a while an use this time to concentrate on my business, and figure out what kind of dog I want to get next. Oh, yes, I’m going to get a new dog. I can’t see my life without one.

For those of you who have also lost pets, or are concerned about the day it will happen, I do know this:

If you are a dog person, you should get another dog. The new dog won’t replace the old dog, but it will fill the hole that was left behind. The next dog won’t be your last dog, so you can’t try to replace the old dog. It will never be the same dog, with the same old games and tricks and silly ways. But, if you let it, the new dog will fill your heart and you’ll come to love that dog just as much as your past dogs.

Today, I’m going to pick up all Dillon’s old stuff and clean up. Some toys will be tossed, and some kept. The food bowls are old and they will go, along with the food and water supplies. No more need for all that medicine. I’ll keep that special foam filled Elizabethan collar I purchased, since it cost $100 and could be useful for some dog in the future. The crates will be broken down and put away. I’ll clean out my vehicle.

The most valuable possessions will be my memories, and all those pictures I took of him over the years. One day, I’ll blow some up and frame them for my walls.

I did a lot of things right with Dillon. I learned a lot. I still miss him, but those things he gave into my life will last and be giving to other dog owners over the years.

The greatest gift I received was his love and devotion. I will never forget that.

I do believe dogs go to Heaven. It makes me think that I need to make sure I have my life in order, so that some day I will see him again after I die.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

My Dog, Dillon, Died Today


Dillon died today at about 12:30 pm. He had a heart attack and was dead in less than a minute.

I had hoped he would make it through Christmas, and that I wouldn’t have to be the one to have to take him to the vet and ask them to put my friend to death. I got both those wishes.

It’s been a rough 7 ½ months since he was diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy. He was only 6 years old. It has taken a huge toll on me, and I have grieved every day since the diagnosis for my dog. He had a good life, and I did all I knew to make him happy. He was a good friend, and I loved him very much.

I don’t know what I’m going to do from here regarding another dog. I just need some rest time.

Dog Abuser Gets Face Bitten

Here is a real life story of a dog abuser:

Here’s the set up.

The family has 3 dogs. A timid Jack Russell Terrier, a Labrador Retriever, and a Border Collie. The mom also has 2 sons, 17 and 21 years old. The sons terrorize the dogs. They have “fun” doing things to cause the Jack Russell to run away in fear. They have played a game of “siccing” the Lab on the Jack Russell, and now the Lab has torn off part of that dog’s ears, and is now attacking other dogs. These two guys also think it funny to pin down the Border Collie, and rub their knuckles hard into its ribs until it growls and snaps at them. Oh, and they think the way the mom should discipline a dog is to beat it and leave it in the back yard for a week.

The mom plays with the Border Collie, using a laser pointer. A laser pointer shines a beam of light, like a flashlight. You can get a dog to chase the spot of light on the ground and make the dog run around to try and capture it. While she was doing this, the 17 year old son tried to grab the dog while it was chasing the spot of light. The dog turned around and attacked his face, causing him to be rushed to the hospital, where he required 25 stitches to his face.

(Good. The dog wasn’t a fault here. They should take a digital photo of his face, blow it up, and hang it on the living room wall with a caption: “Animal Abuser Gets What He Deserves”)

First, I DO NOT BELIEVE IN USING LASER POINTERS WITH DOGS. I have seen dogs get neurotic over chasing the spot of light, to the point that they can’t stop chasing lights and shadows even after the “game” is over. It is also highly frustrating for any human, or for any animal, to keep chasing after something it wants and never being able to obtain it. Frustration Aggression results.

Second, what kind of moron pins a dog down and hurts it, in the name of “fun”? That provokes Defensive Aggression. That’s not a game. You are training the dog to attack YOU!

So, now when you combine the fact that this dog was in a state of frustration, and then the dog perceived it was going to not only be prevented from obtaining the prey object (the spot of light), and the dog was perceiving another round of physical pain, the dog did what the owners set up. It attacked the 17 year old.

The sons now think the dog should be beaten for what it did, and be banished to the back yard for a week, as punishment. The mom isn't going to do that, and wants training advice.

Here is my professional opinion:

a.) What the sons have been doing is animal abuse, it is a crime, and could land them in jail

b.) She can’t allow the sons to continue their abuse of the dogs

c.) Her dogs have become trained to be dangerous, and might not only seriously hurt someone else, she might even go to jail if one of her dogs mauls someone

d.) She has a family problem, that goes way beyond dog training

The 17 year old got what he deserved. The dog should get a medal for standing up for itself.

The dogs should probably be removed from the home, and the sons should be told to move out and go find something useful to do with their lives, instead of picking on helpless animals.

And if it keeps up, the police should be called, and they should be charged with a crime and ultimately serve time in jail.

There is no way that any kind of dog training can prevent this. This is a people problem, not a dog problem.

Note, too, that you can make any dog vicious through abuse, regardless of the breed.

She Gets The Point

I found this post at Who Moved My Truth

I couldn’t have said it better:

Pit bulls are unfairly blamed. Here is a courageous, intelligent dog, known for its loyalty and good-nature. They will do anything to please their master. But they are not re-homed easily….no dog really is. You cannot take an intelligent animal, and put it in home after home, shelter after shelter, with no way to reason with it, and think that it is going to become a great dog. If you did the same thing with a person, would you be surprised if they were mean, violent individuals? Somehow we think the dog, with no ability to verbalize their feelings and fears, is going to fare better? Any dog who is neglected and/or abused runs the risk of turning on humans. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who is at fault, and dogs aren’t stupid. There are amazing stories of Pits who manage to beat the odds. Those that don’t end up dead. And there is nothing else but ourselves to blame.

Dog Guards Owner After Plunge Down A Ravine

A WALKER stuck on a mountain overnight after falling down a gully has told how his faithful dog did not leave his side.

Jonathon Harrington was walking on Cadair Idris, in Snowdonia, on Christmas Day when he fell down the 30ft gully.

A search was launched but rescuers did not find Mr Harrington for more than 20 hours, and he spent Christmas night in agony.

His only company was Prince, a 15-year-old sheepdog, who cuddled up to his owner and guarded him.

Mr Harrington, of Brecon, Wales, said: "Prince wasn't injured but he was very cold.

"He was beside me when the rescuers arrived and he growled at them - he was obviously trying to protect me."

The experienced climber suffered head and spinal injuries which could stop him walking.


Have you ever experienced a situation where you knew your dog was in “protection” mode like this?

I have, several times.

The most recent example happened about 4 months ago. I was traveling with my dog, between Seattle and Phoenix, and had to pull over at a rest stop at about 2 am, just north of Redding, CA to sleep. As I slept in the back of my vehicle, my dog stayed awake all night, watching out the windows for strangers who approached near my vehicle. In normal circumstances, he NEVER does this kind of thing. He is with me all the time, and we have traveled a couple of hundred thousand miles together. But, when I lay down to sleep on a long trip, or if I pull over to take a nap, then he’s alert and watching over me while I sleep.

Interesting, huh?

How does he know? Why does he go into this protective mode when I’m asleep, but I don’t hardly ever see it when I’m awake in the vehicle?

Now, I’d call that a serious case of bonding, wouldn’t you?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Dingo Hybrid, Tied Out On A Chain, Kills Child

A two-year-old girl has died after being bitten on the neck by a dingo crossbreed in the backyard of her home. Police said her family was in shock yesterday after their working dog attacked the girl, who had approached it in the yard of their home at Nullica, near Eden, on the far South Coast. A report is being prepared for the coroner, although her death is not being treated as suspicious.

The dog was chained up in its kennel area, police said.

Ambulance officers found the toddler unconscious when they arrived. She was taken to Pambula Hospital but was declared dead on arrival. The dog has been destroyed. Detectives from the Far South Coast Local Area Command are still investigating. Duty officer Greg Flood, of Batemans Bay police, said the dog was not a pet.

"The girl walked up to the dog, which was chained up in the backyard, and the dog has mauled the girl," Inspector Flood said.

He was unable to say how old the dog was or what its role on the property was. The chief executive of RSPCA NSW, Bernie Murphy, said yesterday the incident was unusual and probably the result of a "territorial animal" asserting itself over an inquisitive toddler.

"A dingo is a very territorial dog. It tends to be very snappy and rather snarly," he said.

"In fact, you should never allow a toddler to be near any dog unaccompanied because toddlers are curious and they poke and prod."
The dingo may have mistaken the child for a small dog, he said.

"It's an absolute tragedy and our heart goes out to that family … but people have just got to take responsibility for their animals," he said. The Companion Animals Amendment Act, which was passed by State Parliament last month, penalises owners of vicious dogs that attack people with a $55,000 fine and a two-year jail sentence.
Owners of such animals would also be disqualified from ever owning another dog. Under the new laws, five breeds of dogs - including American pit bull terriers, Japanese tosas and Argentinian and Brazilian fighting dogs - are banned. The Local Government Minister, Kerry Hickey, said the Government recently passed the "toughest and strictest laws possible" to ensure responsible dog ownership.


Lessons to be learned:

1.) Wild/ Domestic hybrids are not pets. You shouldn’t own them, and they are especially dangerous around kids. If you do own such a hybrid, then you must be especially diligent in your supervision.

2.) You don’t let a 2 year old kid out of your sight. Where were the parents? Why aren’t they charged with a crime for child neglect?

3.) You don’t tie any dog out and leave it unsupervised in a yard. The dog feels cornered, and is more likely to attack. If you are present, then it might be OK to tie a dog out, provided you know the temperament of the dog and you can supervise who interacts with your dog. This is one reason I don’t believe it is a good idea to tie a dog outside a coffee shop, restaurant or store while you are inside eating or shopping. Your dog might bite someone.

4.) NOTE: The article talks about this great dog law they have in Australia... but it didn't protect this kid. None of the banned breeds were responsible for this attack. That is why experts say breed bans don't work. People will switch to owning other breeds, or creating new breeds (such as this dingo hybrid), to do the same work the other breeds did. In this case, I blame the "dog" owner 50% for leaving a canine tied out and unsupervised in their yard, and I blame the parents of the deceased kid 50% for not supervising their child. You can't legislate away stupidity.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Wolf Hybrids Don't Make Good Pets

Wolf-dogs have a reputation of being difficult to housebreak, and can range in size from a petite 35 pounds to a hefty 130 pounds. Because they are extraordinarily strong, an uneducated wolf-dog owner may realize too late that they are in over their heads.

What gets the wolf-dogs the most negative attention is attacks on children, which Leshick said is a natural reaction to a negative action by a child.

Wolf-dogs, when they are in a home, view their family as a pack and treat the children as their own puppies, Leshick said. And what wolves may do to a misbehaving puppy -- a nip on the nose -- can have tragic consequences for a child.

"It's not the breed for everyone," Noetzel said. "Some of the hybrids I've seen are downright frightening, very wolfy. But they are wild animals."


This article is worth reading in its entirety.

I really don’t think it is a good idea to adopt wild animals as pets. Yes, there are some exceptions, since we can “tame” some animals like birds, and reasonably care for some animals such as lizards. However, many wild animals, and their hybrids, aren’t suitable as pets. Some can be downright dangerous.

There are plenty of good, domesticated animals that make fine pets. Dogs were domesticated thousands of years ago, and most of the rough edges have been smoothed off. Wolves, and wolf hybrids, are too wild for the typical home.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Did You Get A Christmas Puppy?

I have a close-knit, large extended family. Every Christmas Eve, we get together, have dinner, visit and open our Christmas presents (we can’t wait until Christmas morning).

I fondly remember the Christmas Eve that I brought Benny home. I had been shopping for a new dog for nearly a year. My dog Kate was getting very old, and I knew that she wouldn’t be around much longer. So, when I picked up my new puppy, Benny, from the breeder’s earlier that day, I was so excited I could hardly stand it. Part of the thrill was that my secret hadn’t been revealed (except to my Mom and brother): that I had purchased a puppy.

Normally, we would have met at my sister’s house, but we had arranged that everyone come over to Mom’s house that night. We had everyone sit down in the living room and told them to close their eyes. I then carried Benny in my arms into the room, sat down in a chair across the room, and told them that they could open their eyes.

I’ll never forget my brother-in-law’s reaction. His eyes brightened up, and in a state of pleasant astonishment and surprise, said “Ooh, it’s a puppy!”

It was a wonderful night. We visited, opened presents, and spent time getting to know Benny. He was our new family member.

You are going to have fun getting your new puppy.

When I was a young man, I was into fast cars, stereos, and other types of entertainment. But, after I got a dog of my own, when I was 25 years old, I came to realize that a dog is the ultimate “toy.” They are more fun, involving and interesting than any other thing that you might own. They are almost like having a good human friend. In fact, I’ve known many dogs that were better friends than some people that I have known.

My one hope for this blog is that it helps you and your dog enjoy one another. For that’s what this is all about. I’ve done a lot of right things with my dogs over the years. I’ve also made many mistakes over the years with my dogs. I want to teach you what I’ve learned so you don’t make the same mistakes that I’ve made, and to help you not make the same mistakes that I’ve seen others make. My goal is to make fewer and fewer mistakes with each dog, knowing that I will still err from time to time. My goal for you is that this blog helps you have a dog you will enjoy.

There is an abundance of information on how to train an older puppy or adult dog, but not much has been written on how to get the right start with choosing and raising a puppy that’s under 4 months of age. That’s what this blog article is all about. People make more errors in raising a young puppy than they do when raising an older puppy or adult dog. Most people don’t know what is involved in choosing the right puppy or raising a young puppy properly. And, most people don’t know how to put all the small details together in order to train up a super adult dog.

Millions upon millions of normal and healthy dogs are put to death every year. Most of those dogs end up in shelters because of behavioral problems that could be easily solved by a competent dog trainer. You don’t want your dog to be one of those dogs that will be eventually put to death. Every dog deserves a good home and good training. Every dog owner deserves a good, healthy, trainable dog.

People have a tendency to expect untrained dogs to behave like trained dogs. They also have a tendency to expect immature dogs (puppies) to behave like adult dogs. It just doesn’t work that way. EXPECT YOUR DOG TO MATURE VERY SLOWLY, AND DON’T RUSH THINGS. In addition, you are going to have to make a decision that you will never get angry at your dog. EVER. Dog’s can’t handle rough treatment. It wrecks them, and it wrecks your judgment. You must always approach every situation as an opportunity to teach your puppy the correct way of doing things. Whatever your puppy does, it’s a direct reflection of what YOU have taught your puppy up to that moment, and an indication of your puppy’s level of training and natural development. If your dog isn’t doing it right, it’s because your dog isn’t fully trained and/or mature.

Most of our dog problems are really people problems. It’s going to be harder to train yourself than it will be to train your dog. I can train many dogs every day. But, I’ve found it’s a lot harder to train a lot of owners every day. People have a lot of misconceptions about behavior modification. And some people have emotional baggage that interferes with how they relate to their dogs. It’s my job, as a trainer and behaviorist, to lead them out of their psychological jungle into a new way of treating their dogs in a modern and civilized manner.

There are three things that you must do right in order to have a well-behaved dog. First, you must be very consistent in what you do and what you teach. The rules for everything must be the same. It can’t be a guessing game for the dog. You can’t just tell a dog what not to do and expect the dog to figure out what to do. In addition, the family must be consistent in what they do and what they teach the puppy. The rules can’t change from day to day or from person to person. That’s unfair. YOUR DOG HAS TO BE ABLE TO BE SUCCESSFUL. The second thing your dog needs is love. This can’t be overemphasized. Dogs can’t handle rough treatment, lack of companionship, lack of leadership, impatience, or a lack of love. It will wreck them. Third, dogs need Positive Reinforcement. If your boss stops paying you, you will find another job. If you stop paying your dog, in the form of praise, treats and activities, then you dog will stop working for you.

A lot of what good trainers learn about dogs doesn’t come from blogs, videos, or from listening to other people. It comes from listening to the dogs they work with, and realizing that they are just dogs. You are going to have to learn to listen to your dog if you are going to do a good job raising your dog. You are going to have to learn to think and talk like a dog. You are going to have to learn to love like a dog. You are going to have to learn to play like a dog. And, you are going to have to learn to forgive like a dog. This will come through sharing your life with your dog, and allowing your dog to share itself with you.

WHAT IS A PUPPY?

Every dog matures at a different rate. Some breeds of dog are adults at 1 year of age. Other breeds aren’t adults until 4 to 6 years of age. In early development, a dog is called a puppy. A puppy is a developing dog. It is being built into an adult dog by its experiences and genetics.

You have to treat a puppy like a puppy. You can’t train a puppy with the same intensity as an adult. They can’t take the pressure without permanently losing confidence and attitude. They also can’t take the physical stress like an adult dog without getting injured.

When a dog is an adult, it should be well adjusted mentally and ready for Advanced training. At that point, you can finish the training and work towards reliable off leash obedience.

Mental Maturity: With some breeds, they go through very predictable stages of mental development after 16 weeks of age. Other breeds seem to just grow up without any noticeable changes in mental development after 16 weeks of age. You have to ask your breeder when your breed of dog is an adult, and then adjust your expectations and training program to fit its genetically pre-programmed schedule.

Some puppies go through one or more stages when they are very unsure of how to deal with new situations. It might occur at around 8 months of age. At these times, they might not be sure whether to approach strangers or run away or to bite. They might also demonstrate other confidence problems. It’s your job to see them through this stage, with their confidence and good attitude intact, and make sure they learn the right way to handle new situations.

Every puppy goes through a period of adolescence. Some breeds get extremely aggressive and pushy during adolescence, and then calm down as well-adjusted adults. Just like human teenagers, adolescent dogs can act like you never taught them a thing and resist everything you are trying to teach them. They will also try to chew up your house and all of your belongings. They are under pressure because of all the hormones racing in their veins and all of the changes happening in their brains. You are going to have to know how to get through adolescence without harming your dog, and without your dog hurting someone or hurting another dog. For the most part, you will do a lot of food training to Reinforce good behavior, and you will crate or kennel them when you can’t supervise them.

Physical Maturity: With some breeds, they are very susceptible to injuries during certain periods prior to being an adult. This is especially true of your larger breeds. Before you start working with your puppy, you should talk to the breeder and a knowledgeable trainer to understand what your dog will go through. When will the dog be a physical adult? When will the dog be a mental adult? Are there any stages at which the dog is most prone to injury? Are there any periods in which the dog is especially vulnerable to emotional damage?

IMPRINTING

I learned a very important lesson with my dog Kate. We had decided that Kate could go anywhere except downstairs into the lower level of our house. The first day I brought her home, she was exploring the inside of the house and approached the stairs that led to the downstairs. As soon as she tried to put a paw down the stairs, I told her “No” in a firm voice. She stopped and looked at me, and then walked away. For the next 12 years, she never went downstairs. I made a strong first impression on her. I never had to supervise her with respect to going downstairs. I had Imprinted in her mind that going downstairs was impossible. I also learned a very young puppy is extremely malleable to first impressions. Kate never forgot the first things we taught her during the first month that she was ours. That’s something I have never forgotten.

Prior to adulthood, a dog will pass through many critical periods “when a very small amount of experience will produce a great effect on later behavior” (Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog, by Scott & Fuller). It is during these critical periods that a dog is most likely to acquire permanent psychological damage. It is also the time when dog trainers purposefully attempt to influence these early experiences in order to maximize the trainability of their dogs. We all know that dogs can make connections between events and their outcomes. This is called conditioning or learning. The early conditioning of a young dog is called IMPRINTING. Imprinting is the process by which a young dog is “programmed” by many first impressions during these critical periods.

I liken Imprinting to pressing your hand into wet clay. You make an impression in the clay. Once the clay is fired in a kiln, the impression becomes permanent. Imprinting with a dog is a similar process. The young puppy is the wet clay. What the puppy first perceives and experiences is like your hand pressing into the wet clay. As the puppy matures into an adult, the clay hardens. Proper and complete obedience training of the adult then almost permanently hardens the mind clay of the dog. If you want to turn a piece of wet clay into a Masterpiece, you have to start out with the right kind of clay, you need to know what you want the final artwork to look like, you need a Master craftsperson, and the proper tools. Raising a puppy into a great dog is a similar process. Imprinting and training a dog are both an art and a science, just like clay sculpturing.

It’s these first impressions that lay the foundation a dog relies upon to make decisions. They Shape how the dog thinks the world works. Knowledgeable dog trainers attempt to control the Imprinting process in order to influence future behavior. trainers are especially interested in building confidence (approach/Avoid potential) and Bonding (Dominance/submission and Master image. When we combine purposeful learning with purposeful breeding, we get better working dogs). The following are some examples of Imprinting:

At 19 ½ days old, puppies become aware of sounds and will startle at new noises. If the noises are associated with positive outcomes, such as being fed, then the noises will come to mean something good. If the noises are continuous and not overly harsh, then the puppies will begin to ignore them. We can purposefully implement a puppy noise-Imprinting program so the adult dog will perceive doorbells or thunder as normal and non-threatening.

Starting at 5 to 6 weeks of age, a puppy begins to rank itself in relation to adult dogs and littermates. Once learned, this ranking impression will then influence, but not solely determine, how dominant the adult dog will be with humans and which species of animal the dog will be attracted to when it seeks to mate. For breeds that tend to be dominant towards people or dogs, we can influence the degree to which a puppy perceives itself to be a leader, or “alpha” dog,

A puppy has the ability to transfer its loyalty from its dog family to a human being. From that point forward, the dog will offer to the human all the same behavior patterns it would have to members of its own species. This is the Bonding process. We can best influence this process by adopting a puppy at an age of approximately 7 to 8 weeks of age, right in the middle of the dominance ranking process. Many people damage the bond with their dogs and then never understand why the dog doesn’t relate to them properly and is not as obedient as it should be.

A protection dog trainer will stimulate a 3 month old puppy to chase and bite an erratically wiggling piece of cloth. The purpose of this kind of work is to influence the dog’s desire to chase a moving object, and is then eventually channeled into teaching the dog to locate, chase and bite a fleeing criminal. Many novice dog owners don’t realize the impact they are having when improperly playing rough tug, wrestling or chase games with their puppies, and then are surprised later when the dog shows aggressive tendencies towards family members.

A hunting dog trainer will play fetch with an 8 week old puppy using a bird wing. This kind of work is used to develop a strong desire for the puppy to later retrieve real birds when the puppy is 8 to 9 months of age. Many dogs won’t retrieve because they weren’t properly Imprinted to retrieve when very young.

Finally, most good dog trainers like a dog that is food motivated because food is such a great reward for proper behavior. Smart trainers don’t let young puppies free feed, so that they build a desire and programmed hunger into the dog for later training purposes.

Many dogs that we train have been improperly Imprinted. Much of Imprinting takes place as part of your puppy’s Socialization program.

The most important first impression you want to make on your young puppy is that you are the one to Bond with, no one else and not another animal. You need to be seen, by your dog, as its best friend, but not its only friend. This requires that you try to spend all of your time, for the first 14 days home, with your young puppy. Other people can and should visit with the puppy every day, but you are there all of the time.

Now, of course, there will be some times during that first 14 days when you must leave the house or take a bath or do house chores. During these times, put the puppy in a safe place to rest (its crate). DO NOT leave a young puppy unattended with another dog for long periods. The puppy will bond to the other dog, instead of you. When a puppy bonds to another dog, the puppy will then look to that other dog for leadership instead of you for the rest of its life. For some dogs, if they bond to another dog instead of a human, they become much harder to teach or train, or they can eventually form a dangerous dog pack mentality that’s not responsive to your control.

The purpose of the bond is to cause the puppy to look to you as the Alpha pack leader, to cause the puppy to become an individual instead of a member of a dog pack, and to cause the puppy to want to be near you. When the puppy recognizes you as the Alpha pack leader, it is easier to teach and train. When the puppy becomes an individual, it will be able to act and think independently of the other dogs around it. When the puppy sees you as Alpha pack leader and has become an individual, apart from the dog pack, the puppy will be able to be trained to a high level of obedience as an adult. Becoming your dog’s leader DOESN’T require you to boss your pup around! Just spend time with your pup, and the rest will fall in line as your pup matures and you start into formal lessons.

THE FEAR PERIOD

Fear is not a bad thing. It helps a dog to survive. Fear causes a dog to run away or fight. However, there are some things a dog shouldn’t be afraid of, such as being petted, going for a car ride, greeting a guest in your home, or meeting friendly dogs. There are lots of Fearful dogs out there. Don’t make your dog into one of them.

Between the 8th and 10th week of age, a puppy goes through a period when it is more likely to be afraid of persons, places, things and other animals. Fear/Avoidance responses are more easily Imprinted during this period of time than at any other in the rest of the life of the dog. In some dogs, the Fear Period is more obvious, in others, you won’t notice it at all. But, it is still going on. The puppy is more cautious and more easily stressed. You must make life easy for the puppy to deal with, yet continue the Socialization process. It’s a tricky balancing act. Introduce new things slowly. Don’t induce Fear, Avoidance or Aggression in the puppy. But, don’t isolate the puppy. Keep up the Socialization process.

Puppy Rules:

Eight Weeks Old

A new puppy that doesn’t know anything. It doesn’t know any commands, and it doesn’t know anybody. It’s somewhat afraid because it has just left its mamma and is now in a strange home. It needs your kindness and friendship to become a really good dog and to become your friend. Here are the basic rules for your pup for the first 2 weeks it is home. These first 2 weeks are the time when a puppy learns to bond with people. All it has known up to this point is other dogs. What it learns from you at this time will help determine what kind of dog it will grow up to be. Teach your puppy to like people. Make your puppy your friend.

Your pup is now going through the Fear/Avoidance Period of his life. This lasts between the 8th and 10th week of a dog’s life. During this period, a puppy will appear tentative and cautious. What the pup learns during this period, it will never forget! Therefore, be sure you become its friend, and don’t expose the pup to highly stressful experiences during this time. The pup needs to be introduced to new experiences and new people, however. The new experiences must be non-traumatic and easy for the pup to deal with. If your pup is chewing on something it isn’t supposed to, distract it with a toy, or by rubbing your hands on the floor nearby. When your pup looks at you, say its name in a cheerful, pleasant tone of voice that encourages your pup to make eye contact. Call your pup to come to you in a happy tone of voice, arms open wide, with you kneeling or sitting on the floor facing your puppy. The puppy should have a happy look and its tail held high and wagging. It must be a happy experience. If your puppy is growling at you or anyone else, the person is acting inappropriately, and in a way the pup sees as a threat. If that happens, back off and figure out what is being done to frighten your pup. Do not punish or yell at your pup for anything. Do not force or drag your pup around: it’s got to do things willingly and happily. We want your pup to become accustomed to the normal noise and movement around the house. Make sure your hands are clean when you are petting or handling your puppy (because it doesn’t have all his vaccinations yet). It will be good if we can teach your pup to chase a ball, so try to see if it will pick up a tennis ball that you roll in its direction. If you have questions on how to teach your pup to Fetch, then you should consider buying my article, called Fetch.

What your family must do:

1. Be sure to become a member of your pup’s family. The puppy needs to get to know you, your family and friends. Some breeds, as adults, don’t like strangers… so don’t let your friends and extended family become strangers. Your family and friends can do this by visiting your puppy many times over the next 3 months and spending about 5 minutes each visit giving your pup personal undivided attention. Your pup will get to know you and your circle of family and friends by your smell and looks and voice and how you behave. Your family will need to visit your pup on a regular basis, preferably petting and talking to him for at least 5 minutes, at least once every week, and preferably every day. Your pup is going to think your family and friends are great and will be much more affectionate over the years if they give your pup a little attention over the next few months! If any family member makes themselves a stranger to your pup, if your dog is a protection breed, your adult dog, some day, won’t let them in the house if you are gone, and will be unnecessarily suspicious of them when we they come to visit.

2. Gently pet the puppy. Don’t let people grab at the puppy. If your puppy wants to walk away, let it. Don’t grab the puppy by the paws, causing it to struggle, and making it worried about being handled.

3. Sit down to pet the puppy Let the puppy come to them. Encourage approach behaviors. You want to build your pup’s confidence in meeting people, so that your pup trusts your family and friends, and is not afraid of them.

Other Suggestions:

1. No smothering hugs, which cause the puppy to struggle to get away. Be careful about carrying the puppy around. It’s just like a little baby, and can be severely injured if the puppy is dropped on the floor.

2. Don’t force your puppy over onto its back, if you see that your pup is struggling to stay upright. If your pup trusts you, then it will allow you to do anything reasonable. Your pup isn’t some experiment, or a stuffed animal. This isn’t a game, and there is no need to force your dominance on this puppy. That kind of mentality will just scare your pup, not build the kind of bond and trust you will need and want.

3. No rough play. Some day, your dog will be an adult, and will resent rough play, or your dog will become too big to play rough with and it might, in fun, pin YOU or some kid to the ground! Some giant breeds are stronger, as adults, than their owners! Rough games aren’t perceived as fun by a young pup. They are scary.

4. Don’t scare your pup! Your pup won’t forget when it’s older and it won’t like those kinds of games… and you might just cause a future attack. Again, you wouldn’t purposely scare a human baby. Why would you want someone scaring your new puppy?

5. Don’t give your new pup any commands -- it doesn’t know anything! Puppy lessons will teach your pup what the words mean. Your pup didn’t come pre-programmed from its momma knowing what Sit, Down, Off, No Biting, etc. means. All of that has to be taught, step by step.

6. Don’t let anyone hit your puppy! If you hit a puppy, one day it is going to bite someone.

7. If your pup bites, say “OW”, then get up and walk away. This is the beginning step for teaching bite inhibition. Within 2 weeks, you can start a Puppy Manners lesson to teach your pup, in a more structured way, not to bite you. I have such a lesson available for sale, if you wish.

8. Don’t teach the pup to chase people by running at, or running away from, the pup. These aren’t good games to play.

9. No screaming or frightening movements. You want your puppy to trust people.

10. Don’t yell at your puppy for any reason. Your pup has no idea what it is doing.

11. Leave your puppy alone when it is eating. People who pester pups when they eat, cause the older dogs to become aggressive around the food bowl as adults.

12. Don’t growl, bark, poke at, or act aggressively towards your puppy. Do Not Tease! Teasing is irritating, and can provoke later aggression in the adult dog.

13. Pups shouldn’t be allowed in any bathroom, the garage, a baby’s room, in any room where there isn’t an adult present to supervise, or in the back yard without an adult present to supervise. Young pups put things in their mouths, and those things can kill a young pup.

14. Do not come up suddenly from behind to scare the pup. Dogs don’t like surprises, and that isn’t going to help you when this pup is an adult.

15. Do not feed the pup any unhealthy treats. You’ll make your pup sick. At first, you will give small tidbits of treats to acclimate your pup’s stomach to new foods. If you start feeding quantities of new foods, you’ll cause your pup to have diarrhea, which can kill a young pup.

16. Unless you know what you are doing: No tug of war! Rough games of tug can easily injure a pup because its jaws aren’t fully formed and his teeth are still growing in. I am not one of those people who oppose the game of tug… but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.

17. Don’t “sic” the dog on anyone, even in play. He will remember this and might just knock this person down when he is an adult.

18. No tail yanking, ear pulling, or any rough handling.

A Training Plan for the second 2 Weeks: Young Puppy

1. House training. Teaching your puppy to potty outside and not in your home. A dog is not fully house trained until it is about 12 months old. If you don’t know how to do this, then purchase my House Training lesson online.

2. 3 to 5 minute lessons, 4 times a day. Puppies have very short attention spans. But, they can learn quite a bit if you know what you are doing.

3. Gentle tug of war, rag play, ball play, encouraging your pup to retrieve and carry things.

4. Introducing your pup to a wide variety of friendly people. I have a free article, at www.SamTheDogTrainer.com , which teaches you how to socialize your pup.

5. Play “Hide-and-Seek” and “Follow me”. I hide around a corner, and have a treat in my hand, calling the pup to find me. When the pup finds me, I give them a treat. I want to get the pup into watching me and looking to work with me, right from the very start.

6. Get him to bond with it’s adult masters, and to bond with the rest of the family. Bonding takes time, personal interaction, and good experiences. It takes most pups about a week to bond to a person.

7. Begin training journal.

A Training Plan Starting at 12 to 16 Weeks of Age:

1. Begin Basic Dog Obedience I: teaching all the basic commands: Heel, Sit, Stay, Down, Come, Up, Off, Leave It, Drop It, etc.

2. Begin Basic Tracking

3. Do exercises that build attentiveness, confidence, concentration, endurance, perseverance, initiative, and physical fitness.

4. Practice regular games of Fetch.

A Training Plan After Finishing Basic Dog Obedience I: Adolescence

1. Begin Basic Dog Obedience II: Intermediate lessons so your pup is obedient anywhere off leash.

2. Teach Agility Exercises

3. Finish Level I Tracking.

PUPPY AGGRESSION

Your puppy might growl, bite, or bark at people, animals, or objects. Aggression is a normal part of a dog’s being. The question arises as to when you have a puppy with an aggression problem that might make your adult dog unsafe to own.

I would get professional advice if my puppy (under 6 months of age) displayed any of the following

Guarding Territory Inside The House:

Guarding Objects From Family:

Growling When Being Picked Up:

Growling When Being Handled:

Hiding And Growling:

Refusal To Allow Handling By Strangers:

Animal Aggression:

SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED

  1. Get some good Chew Toys for your dog. There is a difference between a Chew Toy and a Play Toy. Chew Toys are for chewing, Play Toys are for playing with a person. Chew Toys are safe for the dog to chew when unsupervised. Play Toys are not safe for dogs to chew on when unsupervised.

Here’s how to use the toys. With Play Toys, you only put them out when you are directly playing and interacting with the dog using the toy. When you are finished, the toy is put away. Before you play with a Play Toy, you examine it for damage. If it is getting worn, or if a piece could break off and be swallowed, then you throw it away. With Chew Toys, you always have variety of 8 or 9 of them. You put one down today, and pick it up at the end of the day and put it away. You put a different one down the next day, and pick it up at the end of the day and put it away. You never put all of them on the floor at the same time, or the dog will find its favorite one and ignore the rest. Then, you will have wasted your money on all of the rest of the toys.

Play Toys: squeeky toys, tennis balls, stuffed animals, bird wings, retrieving bumpers, and tug toys.

Chew Toys: Nylabones, Booda Bones, tough and thick real beef shank bones, Kongs, and rope toys (used for chewing, not for tug of war). Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Terrier, and Bull Terrier owners report that these toys aren’t tough enough for their dogs. They have such powerful jaws, and need to chew regularly, or they will eat up your furniture. I can’t recommend the following toys, but I’ve heard of them using hockey pucks, bowling balls, and other very tough materials for their dogs to chew on. If you own a pit bull Terrier or bull Terrier, or another chewing breed with extremely strong jaws, then join one of their local breed clubs and ask them what they have found to be good Chew Toys. Breed clubs can be of great benefit to you.

KIDS, FAMILY, FRIENDS AND YOUR NEW PUPPY

I always assume that most people don’t know what they are doing when they interact with a dog. They have to be shown. Some people think they are experts at everything, and will harm your dog with their stupid tactics. Here are the main rules that you should enforce with a young puppy:

DO:

Pet, play, handle
Feed small bits of treats
Toss small retrieve toys and encourage pup to bring them back
Wash hands and remove street shoes in the house to prevent infections
Introduce your puppy to other pets in the family & let dogs form pack order
Spend lots of time with the puppy during the first two weeks
Ignore nipping, and give them a toy to play with instead… most pups will out grow this by 4 to 5 months of age, especially if you begin Puppy Lessons with your pup around the 12th week of age.
Let puppy eat and sleep in peace
Have puppy drag around a leash, which is attached to its buckle collar
Encourage puppy to chew on a Chew Toy
Encourage puppy to approach people
Supervise all children
Begin Housetraining
Begin crate training

DO NOT

Rough up, wrestle, hit, poke, play tug of war, growl, or hurt the puppy
Let puppy get injured
Make pup sick: Wash hands and keep shoes very clean
Let other dogs rough up your puppy
Leave your puppy with older dogs for more than 30 minutes a day
Exhaust the puppy
Irritate or tease puppy
Encourage barking or whining
Scare puppy
Expect obedient behavior

If you have any questions, or want lessons, I have quite a bit of information available for you. I have purposely developed e-Lessons that you can download, so you do things right from the very start.

Enjoy Your Puppy!

Merry Christmas!

Anti-Oxidants, Exercise & Mental Stimulation Is Good For Your Dog

According to conventional wisdom, old dogs and new tricks aren't a good match. But a new study of beagles finds that regular physical activity, mental stimulation, and a diet rich in antioxidants can help keep aging canine—and perhaps human—brains in tip-top shape. The research, supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA ), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is among the first to examine the combined effects of these interventions and suggests that diet and mental exercise may work more effectively in combination than by themselves.

It is worth studying the beneficial effects of anti-oxidants. My dog has Cardiomyopathy, a fatal heart disease characterized by an enlarged, flabby heart, and oftentimes includes an irregular heart beat. My dog was diagnosed 7 months ago, and I was told he had only 3 to 6 weeks to live (his brother died of it last year, he has 3 other siblings that were diagnosed this year, and now his grandfather has been diagnosed with the same disease... so it has a genetic component). I put him on the normal medications (Lasix, Spironolactone, Digitek, and Enalapril), and after a month, he wouldn't eat, had become a bag of bones, had no energy, and I thought he had only a few days left to live.

Once I found out he had the disease, I started reading everything I could find. When he got to this low point, I started messing with giving him supplements, since I figured we had nothing to lose, and the doctors told me there wasn't much they could do. They told me he probably had an upset stomach from the medications, and I could try giving him some Pepcid AC... well, that didn't work, because he didn't have an upset stomach.

When I saw him lying on the floor, just looking emaciated and weak, I started to try to change things. I began by giving him Omega 3 Fatty Acids, in the form of fish oil capsules... which stimulated him to start eating again. My research indicated that this would work, and it did. I also started investigating anti-oxidants and other supplements. I now give him daily amounts of Alpha Lipoic Acid, L-Carnitine, Taurine, Acetyl L-Carnitine, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, CoEnzyme Q10, and Magnesium. Instead of living only 3 to 6 weeks, he is now eating normally and back up to his normal body weight, he's as active as he ever was, and he's now gone 7 1/2 months since the first symptoms appeared.

"Free radicals" (putting it in laymans' terms) are highly reactive molecules that damage the cells in the body.
Anti-oxidants neutralize the "free radicals" and help prevent this damage. That is why you see all that stuff about eating green leafy vegetables, drinking green tea or cranberry juice, or eating red tomatoes, or drinking red wine. Anti-oxidants have anti-aging properties, cancer prevention, etc. properties... and they can help a weakened heart muscle perform more efficiently and slow it's deterioration when afflicted with Cardiomyopathy.

One thing you have to be careful of regarding anti-oxidants... too much and they reverse their effect and act as oxidants, and do just the opposite of what you want. So, I stagger the dosages I give my dog. What I am doing is totally unscientific... no doctor has prescribed this for him... but the proof, to me, is that my contacts with the owners who have dogs related to him are also using some or all of these same supplements, and in fact, one has a cardiologist prescribing the same supplements I am using.

My dog is in no way cured. He is going to die sooner, rather than later. His arrythmias are worse than ever. But, he's happy and alive and that's all that matters to me. At some point... and who knows, that could happen today... his heart will give out. But, I believe I have enabled him to live a bit longer and happier than he would have if I had just gone with the doctor's recommendations.

In fact, after all that research, I'm now taking these same supplements... but that is another story...

In the meantime, you should read the article (above) and see what is going on regarding canine nutrition. Then, you have to ask yourself... should you be supplementing your dog even now, before something bad happens?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Make Preparations For Your New Puppy NOW!

Well, the time is near. Christmas and New Year's Eve is just a few days away.

For some people, they will be getting a new puppy for the family.

Here are some ideas for you, regardless of the breed: Puggle, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd Dog, pit bull or a mutt:

1.) Buy a crate. Don't just shove the pup in there to freak out. That is the worst way to introduce a pup to a crate.

2.) Buy a variety of safe toys, such as Kongs and Nylabones. The rest of the toys you get must be supervised when being chewed on.

3.) Buy stainless steel water water and food bowls

4.) Buy your puppy food, but be sure to also have whatever type of food the breeder was using to start out with. You can't switch dog foods immediately, or your pup will get sick.

5.) A young puppy shouldn’t be put in a kennel, laundry room, garage or kitchen from the very first day. That isn’t a wise or safe place at the start. You will force the puppy to potty in your home, whine and cry when it can't see you, and generally traumatize the pup. The pup should be with you, in your home, supervised or crated, until they are a bit older.

6.) Do you know how to house train a dog? If not, then you need professional help NOW before the puppy arrives. If you look at the sidebar here, you’ll see I sell a 95 page book on how to house train any dog. It also teaches you how to introduce a crate, how to socialize your puppy, how to teach your dog to play fetch, potty training, and a whole lot more. You MUST NOT spank, yell at, scruff shake, Alpha Roll, or rub your pup’s face in their urine or poop. That stuff is abusive, AND IT DOESN’T WORK.

7.) Be sure you know how to socialize a puppy. Your well-meaning relatives could do more harm than good to your pup over the next few days.

8.) Be careful how you introduce your pup to your other pets. Pups can be attacked by the family dog or cat and seriously injured.

9.) Do you have pet-safe clean up materials and solutions for any messes?

10.) Where is the pup to sleep at night?

11.) Who is supposed to be the primary trainer of the pup? It SHOULD NOT BE a young child or young teen. Who is going to supervise the pup when you leave the house?

12.) Do you know where your veterinarian is, and your emergency veterinarian? If your pup shows ANY kind of illness, you CAN'T wait until the next business day to get to the vet... your pup will be dead before you get there. If you have to go to the vet at 2 am, then you just do it!

13.) Do you have a first aid book and kit for the pup yet?

14.) Do you know how to deal with puppy chewing and biting? If not, then you should also consider buying my Puppy Lesson. Your pup DOES NOT KNOW what “No” means. You’re just going to scare your dog if you just start ordering it around and scolding it for things it knows nothing about.

15.) Have you a plan for discussing what can and shouldn’t be done with your new pup? Have you a plan on what you are going to do to supervise and educate your kids about how to treat the new pup? You’d better!

You might want to email me if you need lessons over the holidays. I have downloadable e-Lessons available to help you. You aren’t going to be able to line up a trainer over the holidays, and you could be doing a lot of harm to your pup in the meantime. My email address is Sam@SamTheDogTrainer.com

Protecting Your Dog In Cold Weather

Malamute Owner Surrenders Dog After 3 Dog Biting Incidents

A Garden City Beach woman surrendered her 10-month-old malamute dog to authorities Wednesday, two days after it bit three people and forced them to receive treatment for rabies.

Just remember: ANY breed has the potential to bite. We just don’t hear that in the news these days. I see dangerous dogs, pure breds of all the breeds, and mutts. And it isn't always the owner's fault.

BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR DOGS THIS COMING WEEK!

Gang Kidnaps Puppy

Veterinarian Says Breed Bans Aren't The Solution