Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Puggle Training Tips

Buy the dog.

Take it to the vet.

Treat it like a dog.

Hire a good trainer.

Enjoy the dog.

It isn't rocket science folks. The problem is when people get a specialty breed, don't train it, treat it like a furry little person, and then start getting mad at the dog when it isn't living up to the fantasy that they envisioned before they got the dog. That's when reality overtakes the fantasy, the owners realize they never wanted a real dog, and then they often give the dog away or abuse it because they know nothing about how to fix the behavioral problems they instilled in the dog.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Dogs That Don't Bark A Lot

How do you find a dog that doesn't bark a lot? There are few things to consider.

Dogs that are more likely to bark will have one or more of the following traits:

a. Breeds. Most of the guarding and herding breeds are barkers. They were bred to be territorial and bark to warn off strangers. Herding breeds were also bred to bark to move herds of animals. Scent hounds were bred to bark and bay. Terriers were created to bark. Mastiffs were bred to bark. Most retrievers will bark. Pointers will bark. Almost all the little breeds bark... a lot. Spaniels bark. Setters bark. Bulldogs will bark. Nordic / spitz breeds will bark. In other words, dogs BARK!
b. Fearful: A fearful dog is much more likely to bark than a dog that isn't fearful. If you get a shy dog, then your dog is more likely to bark than if you had gotten a friendly dog.
c. High Drive: Dogs that have high desires for certain stimuli can more easily break out into barking when they are blocked from obtaining something they want, or when their particular drives are being stimulated. Thus, a dog that has a high desire to play fetch is more likely to bark than one that doesn't fetch. For example, a dog that likes to fetch will tend to bark if they can't get at the toy they have lost under the couch. Dogs that are more sociable are more likely to bark when you enter the door and they are seeking your greeting and attention and play. They will get excited about interacting with people. Dogs that have high prey drive, always on the hunt, are more likely to bark, whether they are baying hounds or barking terriers. Working dogs that want something to do are more likely to bark than couch potatoes. Dogs that are status seekers are also more likely to be barkers.
d. Talkative: Some dogs are just more noisy than other dogs. If you've ever owned a dog that tends to "talk", then you know what I mean.
e. Reactive: Dogs that have very low thresholds for being stimulated, and who have very little ability to inhibit their behaviors, are more likely to bark. This is the type of dog that might be used as a "hearing ear" dog, for example. They will bark at the smallest sounds, and never can be taught to not bark. They never get used to, or habituate, to normal sounds in their environment. They often have exaggerated temperament traits, too, making them more difficult to own as pets.

If you are so concerned about getting a dog that barks, then maybe you shouldn't get a dog at all. Most dogs bark, and in some circumstances are more likely to bark than in others. It really isn't fair to put a dog in an environment that they will get in trouble for being themselves, and the only way to manage them is to crush them with harsh training methods. It also isn't right for us to medicate them, or use vocal surgery, or social isolation, or to enforce ridiculously strict anti-barking legislation to make them quiet. It isn't right to make a dog have a miserable life so you can have a peaceful one.

So, what are your options if you still want a dog that doesn't bark much? Look for a lazy, friendly, couch potato dog. Otherwise, rule out most dogs, regardless of the breed. Or, it just isn't the right time to get a dog.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dog Bite Question

Q: Should I discipline my dog if it bites someone?

A: NO. It won't work, and you might just cause your dog to bite you, too. You will not prevent a future bite, either. Dog training, and behavior modification, is more complicated than this kind of simple, emotional reaction. You need to hire a good dog trainer.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cosmetic Surgery For Pets?

DOGS having liposuction? Pups with testicle implants? How about porcelain veneers for your canine companion? It may sound barking mad, but cosmetic surgery for dogs is a very real and lucrative business.

Ridiculous. This is part and parcel of what is happening when we start to imagine animals as little furry people

Why can't a dog be a dog? What's wrong with that? And why would you let your dog become Miss Piggy?

Take The Keys!

A teen who stole a car from a grocery store parking lot also took a pet pug that was in the vehicle. Police said a 30-year-old Fond du Lac woman left the dog in her car when she went in the store about 11 p.m. Thursday, and she also left the keys inside and a window rolled down. When she returned the car was gone.

I have no problem with leaving dogs in cars when the weather is appropriately safe and the dog is safe from escaping... but... TAKE THE KEYS BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE DOG ALONE!

Do people leave keys in their cars as a regular habit anymore?

In the old days, I remember being able to go and play with my best friend, Rusty, several houses away. I was 5 years old. Mom was out of sight. The neighborhood was safe. And that's the way we used to do things. Young adults today can't even imagine what it was like for me back then.

There was a Leave It To Beaver / Andy Griffith type of world back then for a lot of people. Nowadays, it is about bicycle helmets, not letting kids play with toy guns, not taking sugary snacks to school, no hugging your best friend, never letting your kids out of your sight, and on and on. Dogs have gotten the shaft, too. Leashes all the time, ridiculous barking laws, breed bans, height and weight restrictions in apartments, and on and on.

There was a better way back then, and a lot of people lived that way. Some didn't have it so easy, especially blacks and other minorities.

We just have to figure out how to get back to that place, but next time including everyone... and their dogs.

Friday, May 23, 2008

How Goofy Are You?

Want to know how goofy people are?

I received a recent inquiry from someone wanting to know if their dog was vicious. Their dog bit them after they hit their dog. Duh. It's an ANIMAL. It's not going to let you just hurt it and take it.

Then I get the people coming to my blog trying to find pit fighting dogs. Unfortunately, my blog doesn't encourage barbarism, and I hope they get a good slap upside the head when they find out I hate dog fighting, and think those that do it are morons.

Or the people who are too cheap to go to the vet, so they are surfing the internet for answers instead. Some stuff you need a doctor. Got it? You can't wait. You can't treat it yourself. Your dog is suffering or dying. Get to the vet NOW!

Or the lazy, but well meaning, people that believe all the hype some dog trainers tell them, without getting references to check out the claims. There are abusive trainers out there. I know of a couple of liars and nutcases that I wish would just go out of business today. There are so-called trainers out there that will fry dogs with electric collars. But, it's not my job to go after them. Let the law do it. Let the media do it. Let them hang themselves. I know this: what comes around, goes around. I have a number of past customers who have told me stories that I won't print here about trainers that charged them huge fees and got nothing meaningful in return. I know of one customer who spent $3,000 to have her dogs house trained. The trainer came for 2 hours and left them with a pamphet. It didn't work. Check out what I charge to house train your dog. Any trainer that claims they can give a complete and permanent solution to any and every dog problem, and train any dog to do anything, without you doing anything, is a liar. And any person who hires such a liar will come to regret what happens to their dog. Why, there are guys out there that will claim they can protection train any dog. Sorry, if it was that easy, then the police wouldn't have to spend tens of thousands of dollars to obtain specially bred dogs.

And on and on.

Common sense isn't so common, I guess.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dogs Do Prevent Crime

A family dog is being hailed a hero after it stopped an intruder from breaking into their Madison Heights home while two teenagers were home alone. Her dog ran to the intruder and cornered him behind the back door, preventing him from leaving.

There are legitimate reasons for a dog to attack. We should remember that when enacting laws. And we should ignore the dog haters who would ban dogs from our communities, parks, neighborhoods, apartment complexes, and so forth. And we should remember that when passing barking laws. Those barking dogs drive criminals away. I'd rather have some false alarms, hearing some neighborhood dogs bark from time to time, than have my home broken into, or a family member harmed, by some nutcase.
Slippery Slope

Another council has been caught using surveillance laws designed to combat organised criminals - this time to catch dog owners whose pets foul the grass. One MP accused the council of playing at "Dick Tracy" detectives. Brian Binley, Conservative MP for Northampton South, condemned his local borough council for employing the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa), which is intended for use "in the interests of national security", saying "some semblance of sanity" needed to be restored.

We trust public officials to maintain public order. We also pass laws for specific purposes. Laws, however, can be abused by overzealous prosecutors. Here's a good example of that. If anyone thinks that prosecutors don't have too much power, all you have to do is look at the Duke lacrosse players incident. When you abuse the law as a public official, you cause people to lose respect for authority. Do you really think that the people in North Korea respect the leaders? Or are they just intimidated by them? What comes around, goes around in this world. Elliot Spitzer comes to mind.

We pass anti-terror laws to protect us against terrorists. Do this kind of thing with the law, the public will demand the law be repealed, and then the real criminals will eventually kill someone.

All this, just to clean up some dog poop?

Reminds me of this...

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Pet Insurance

Mike Pickard, head of pet insurance at esure, which commissioned the research, said: "Today's household pets are treated more like members of the family and this new attitude is reflected in the amount owners spend on their pet's lifestyle. "Despite this, many pets remain uninsured. Vets' fees can be very expensive and owners should bear in mind that, ultimately, their pet's health is more important than the latest dog accessories or expensive treats."

I used to be a skeptic of pet insurance, but no longer. I'm going to buy it for my next dog. I used to think that dogs were pretty healthy. Many people think that mixed bred dogs are healthier than purebred dogs. Wrong. Sorry. I've watched my customers have to spend just as much on their mutts as their prized show dogs. There is no documented study, to my knowledge, that proves that mutts are any healthier than pure breds. Thus, I'm sure this is another urban legend promoted by the animal rights wackos to destroy dog breeders.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

OH, Canada! What Is Wrong With You?!

The Supreme Court of Canada on Friday ruled that random drug searches using police sniffer dogs are unlawful, citing constitutional protections from unreasonable search and seizure... a man was arrested at a Calgary bus depot in January 2002 by officers on the lookout for drug couriers after a black labrador named Chevy sniffed drugs in his luggage. A subsequent search of the man, who was approached at first because he stared suspiciously at police, found 17 ounces (482 grams) of cocaine in his bag and a small amount of heroine in his pocket. "The sniff in this case was an unreasonable search since the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) officer did not have grounds for reasonable suspicion at the time the dog was called."

Great. So, I assume, if the dog smelled bomb material instead of cocaine, and the man was at an airport instead of at the bus station, then the Canadian Supreme Court would have let the man onto the plane, let him blow himself up, and let possibly thousands of people die.

We are in a period not unlike that prior to WW II, where the people let themselves be led by pacifists in order to avoid the reality of the fact that the world was heading towards catastrophe. Leftists leaders have led nations like Canada into a moral paralysis not unlike what the world saw in the 1930's. People have forgotten history, and are therefore, doomed to repeat it. Look at the ignorant statements of Barack Obama, saying the US should talk to its enemies, in the same manner as FDR, Truman, and Kennedy did. HUH? Did FDR negotiate with Hitler? Did they sit down and have tea together to discuss how best to roast Jews in the Nazi ovens? Hmm... let's see. Nope. FDR went to war against those fanatics and sent 5 million of those arrogant, vicious, preening, goose stepping cultists to death. It was the only way. Didn't Truman drop 2 nuclear weapons on Japan because there was no way to negotiate with the fanatics in power there? Didn't Kennedy take the world to the brink of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile crisis? None of these three were pacifists, and none of them disarmed the Western world when facing down ruthless enemies. We are toying with the ideas of the past that led to calamity because we don't want to face the fact that this is a dangerous world.

If a police officer can identify something illegal going on in a public place using a dog, then the police officer should act. You don't have a reasonable right of privacy everywhere you go. In this case, it happened to be drugs that the dog smelled. Drugs are serious business. They KILL people. Ever read about what meth does to people's lives sometime? Or cocaine? It's not a game. It isn't like drinking a beer while you are barbecuing some hamburgers for the family picnic. And what if next time it was a bomb or a chemical weapon? Then whose civil rights are more important to everyone? The rights of the fanatic or the rights of the thousands of people the fanatic is intending on killing?

And so what if this is Canada, some might say. Let them do what they want there and we'll do what we want here. That's all fine and dandy until a group of these nutcases board planes in Canada and sets off bombs simultaneously in some other country and kills thousands of people. Don't think that is a reality? This same scenario was stopped last year, only the fanatics involved were going to come flying in from Europe into the US.

This ruling should be reversed by the Canadian legislature, and those judges should be chucked out of office, leaving with the same shame that will forever be attached to Neville Chamberlain. Good people should not sit idly by and let evil have it's way.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Dogs Are Not Playmates

“The grandmother said the teen was on the trampoline and could not get off because the dog was still trying to get him. Animal Control arrived and was able to subdue the dog,” he said.

“The teen told officers that he was playing with the dog when he decided to go inside the residence,” said Mitchell. “He ran toward the residence toward the back door when suddenly he was bitten on the leg by the dog and knocked to the ground. He had tried to get the dog off but that’s when the dog bit him on the head. He was finally able to break free but had to get on top of the trampoline where the dog couldn’t get to him.”

People just don't get the idea that dogs are not playmates. Dogs are dogs, and for some, if you treat them like playmates, you lose your authority with them and they will try to control you by force. There are ways to play with and enjoy dogs properly, and there are things that will get you in a heap of trouble with some dogs. I think the latter was going on here. Too bad the kid was bitten and too bad the dog will be put to death. That's why you should work with a dog trainer with every new dog you get. You'd be amazed at what stuff I see people do with their dogs that is unwise.

A woman locked a dog in a bedroom until it died of starvation because she was "too knackered" to care for it.

Negligence is defined as: failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances.

Some negligence is civil, some is criminal...

Carlisle told the court: "I just couldn't hack it. I didn't have the time. I had to go to YMCA for a training course and had to get up early and sometimes I was knackered when I came back.

She was ordered to complete 60 hours of unpaid work, pay £250 costs and was banned for life from keeping animals.

Look, this person has got to be a total nutcase to do this kind of thing. This should have been treated as a criminal matter. We should arrest and jail people for intentionally starving helpless animals to death.
Rent A Dog?

Animal welfare organisations expressed concern about a rent-a-dog service introduced in Britain which allows busy people to own part-time pets.

If I wouldn't let some stranger walk off with my dog, then why would I set up a business where strangers could walk off with my dog? Crazy. People don't take care of things to the same level of care that they do with things that are their own.