Sunday, December 27, 2009

Nanny State Strikes Back

Dogs that "without provocation" chase any animal — be it a rat, squirrel, seagull, bear or cougar — would violate a dog licensing and control amendment bylaw that passed three readings at the Dec. 16 council meeting.

Isn't this absolutely RIDICULOUS? This is why I'm for limited government and citizen legislators. Government has NO BUSINESS meddling in our lives to this degree.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everyone (including your dogs)! Please, have a ton of fun today, be careful with your pets, and get ready for the coming New Year!

Dogs are going to become more politicized in the future. Dogs are now targets of the socialists. Dogs are targets of the Nanny State because they seem to represent the "rich", they represent "carbon pollution"... since they eat and they have gas and they poop, and everyone needs to be protected from being a human being and from nature. But, let's not sweat that stuff today. We'll fight that after the holidays, OK?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Adopt A Dog For Christmas

The shelters are full of adoptable dogs this Christmas season. I have recently reversed my position on getting a dog for Christmas... I now believe it is better to get a dog and save a life, and enrich your home, than to be overly concerned about yourself. In fact, get 2 dogs. Dogs are happiest in groups, and even though it is a bit more work owning 2 dogs vs. 1, your dogs will appreciate the fun and companionship.

So, you don't know what to get the family for Christmas? Get a dog.

Here are some things to consider regarding what to look for in the dog, purebred or mixed, you are considering.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Pet Friendly Landlords Make More Money!

How to attract good tenants?

Allow pets. Many property management companies will no longer permit pets. Being pet-friendly can set you apart and attract more potential tenants to you. (Hat Tip: Trump Blog).

I'm surprised at the number of landlords that refuse pets. It's stupid. Pet owners will pay extra to have a place that is pet friendly. Pet owners typically average higher incomes than those without pets. Pet owners have more of a stake in where they live than those who don't (and can therefore more easily pack up and leave). The same is true for hotels, by the way. Hotels could make a lot more money if they allowed pets. Many hotels have become pet friendly, but many are not. In this economy, I can't imagine turning away good money.
Dogs & Fitness

Dog owners get more exercise walking their pet than someone with a gym membership, researchers have found. On average they exercise the animal twice a day for 24 minutes each time - a total of five hours and 38 minutes a week, a study for the pet healthcare experts Bob Martin found. On top of that, the average owner takes their dog out on three long walks each week, adding a further two hours and 33 minutes to the total. Those without a dog spend an average of just one hour and 20 minutes a week exercising by going to the gym or heading out for a stroll or jog. Worse still, almost half - 47 per cent - of non-pet owners admit they do absolutely no exercise whatsoever.

One of the original reasons I got my first dog was the idea that having a dog would keep me in shape. With my first dog, I walked at least a mile a day for nearly 10 years, most of that on some pretty steep hills in the suburbs of Seattle, WA. I never wanted to be out of shape. I have worked hard to stay fit. Blame it on the dogs!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Be CAREFUL with your guests & pets today!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Save Two Dogs

I am reversing my previous stance on adopting pets for holidays. With the economy being wrecked by government bungling, a lot of people have lost their homes and jobs. Dogs have filled the shelters, and are being killed in unbelievable numbers. Normally, I have been against people adopting dogs for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, as birthday presents, Easter, etc. I have mainly been against it because so many dogs are purchased from breeders as impulse purchases, and then 90 days after the holiday, the dogs are dropped off at the shelters. This time, the situation is reversed. There are too many dogs dying in shelters, and I'm encouraging people to adopt 2 dogs for the holidays. Most people will keep the dogs they adopt, and thus it is more humane to save these dogs than let so many die as a result of this terrible economy.

So, this year... please, adopt a dog for the holidays. Save a dog. Better yet, save two. Dogs are pack animals, and they do better in groups than alone. I have other tips here and at my web page, www.SamTheDogTrainer.com, on how to select the right dog for your home.

Save a dog. Save two.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Would It Be Right To Kill A Dog Hater?

Is it right to kill people who hate dogs? I was asked this question recently, and of course, my answer is "NO". Killing people, outside the legal justice system, or unless in self defense, or unless in defending someone else from unjustified death, or unless in the event of war, is and always has been considered murder. The prohibitions against murder go back to the earliest times. "Thou shall not kill" means you must not, are not morally justified in, murdering ANYONE.

Would it be right to kill someone who killed an animal, even if it was your own dog? The same answer: NO. Even police officers are not allowed to kill someone just because a criminal has killed their K9. Human life is not the equivalent of animal life. Animal rights nuts say that a bug is the same as a dog is the same as a horse is the same as a human. That's garbage. Even if it was made legal in your area for someone to kill a human if they killed an animal, it would still be murder regardless of what the law said. Morals are not based upon what is legal, instead what is legal should be based upon what is moral. Yes, it was a hanging offense to kill someone's horse in the Old West. A person's horse was something that people relied upon for survival. Stealing that horse was pretty much the same as killing you. It would be the same if somehow the nation was in a famine after a nuclear or biological or chemical attack, and someone tried to steal away the food you had to survive, or tried to kill your dog to get to you or your basic survival resources... I think it would be morally right to defend your life by defending your animals... but that is a very extreme example that none of us faces. However, you still need the law to deal with the situation, clear permission in the law and clear permission by the police.

Animal rights wackos think they have the right to kill humans for the sake of animals, outside the boundaries of the law. That's why they are considered domestic terrorists and are put in prison for their crimes.

There are some justifiable reasons for killing a human being. But not because someone hates dogs or even kills dogs. The only justification for you, personally, killing a person is to defend your own life, or the lives of others... and in a free country, doing it according to the law. The way to deal with dog haters is to win them over to your cause by persuasion, and to prevent them from harming dogs using legal means.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Want A Confident Puppy?

Choose your breeder wisely. All else being equal, it is better to get a puppy from someone with an active household and regular contact / handling of the puppies, than from someone who lives in an isolated area with no visitors and living alone.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Interesting Behavior Factoid

Shepherd breeds are more attuned to sheep & deer scent than other breeds, bird dogs more attuned to birds, & thus each breed type will have a greater propensity to attack & kill these types of prey. What is a trait used for hunting will, when unchecked, also become a propensity to finish the job. Terriers, on the other hand, aren't as attuned to scent as they are to sounds.

What we breed for will sometimes get us unintended consequences. That's why I recommend that people try to read between the lines when studying which breed to buy, looking at the original purpose of the breed they are considering. What might be normal for that breed might be a hassle in your home.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Type of Question That A Dog Behaviorist Considers

A dog behavior puzzle for you: When a dog plays fetch, is the object of the game the toy or the game itself?

(The answer might surprise you... however it is for you to come up with the answer yourself. It's stuff like this that I puzzle over, and it's stuff like this that I get paid to know.)

Calm Submissive?

Cesar Milan and his followers all talk about making your dogs "calm submissive". There are many situations where a dog won't be that way, and most of them are the ones where you must have control over the dog. In these circumstances, "Cesar's way" will fail. I know the answer, do you?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Owning Multiple Dogs

I believe it is better for a dog to have a companion dog than to be an only dog. Dogs are pack oriented, social animals, and it is more natural for them to have a companion. You will find it is enjoyable to handle and own multiple dogs if you do it right. I also believe your dog will be happier and more well adjusted.

The trick is selecting the proper combination of dogs. A few tips:

a. Always do opposite sex. Same sex is more likely to fight than opposite sex.
b. Don't get puppies from the same litter
c. Get dogs of the same approximate size and energy level
d. Don't get the dogs at the same time. Start with one. Socialize and train it. Once that dog is working well, then introduce the second dog. Socialize and train it, and make sure it has separate time with you every day for the first few months, otherwise the new dog is more likely to bond to the other dog than to you.
e. Don't get a second dog if the first one is not house trained. Adding a second dog will just make the situation worse. Once you get the second dog, don't assume it will "learn" from the first dog... it won't. You will have to do just as much, or more, work on the second dog to ensure it is fully house trained.
f. Hire a professional dog trainer throughout the process. Train the dogs to the point where you can get each dog to obey individually around the other dog, in public, with distractions.
g. Expect that multiple dogs will cause more commotion in your home.
h. Don't introduce a new dog into the home if your current dog isn't good with other dogs, untrained, poorly mannered, or if the new dog combination is a mismatch. Hire a professional to help you sort the issues out before you get the second dog.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Do We Really Need A Law For EVERYTHING?

San Jose to tackle issue of bicyclists with leashed dogs. They are talking about regulating or banning dogs pulling people on bikes.

This is the Age Of Obama... The One is just a sign of the times we are in. The public has stopped believing in freedom, and started believing the seductions of state control of everything. I have heard that in Soviet Russia if the law didn't specifically say something was LEGAL, it was ILLEGAL... the opposite of what we've had here in the US. Socialism isn't freedom, it's slavery.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dog Guardian?

There is a move by animal rights wackos to define dog owner into dog guardian. So, what's the big deal? The big deal is that the change means the dog belongs to the state not to you. That is a HUGE change in the law and affects your ability to do just about anything with your dog. Imagine if your kid became a ward of the state, and you were no longer considered their parent but just a guardian. That would be huge, and a total change in the line of authority regarding your home and your relationship with everyone in your family. And if the kid is the ward of the state, then the state has the right to ultimately take that kid from you AT A MUCH LOWER THRESHOLD than exists today. Citing a couple of extreme examples, Hitler took kids from their parents, Mao took kids from their parents, and so forth. That's too much power to give to a government. And the same is true regarding your pet, and it will have far reaching consequences.

Why would animal rights wackos not want you to be the owner of your dog? Because they don't believe in animal ownership at all. They are against domestication of all animals, including dogs, cats, horses, cattle, sheep and so forth. The ultimate goal would be to let all domesticated animals go extinct, which is why they viciously attack the breeding of dogs, and why they put so much emphasis on spaying and neutering animals.... even animals that deserve to be bred. Also, have you noticed that the animal rights wackos are also usually committed Leftists? They line up this way, politically, because leftists are against private property rights of any kind, thus they tend to vote socialist / communist. Our Constitution protects private property rights. Redefining a dog as being something other than property means those provisions of the Constitution can't be used when fighting to defend yourself in court against another person, animal control, or the government. Animal "guardianship" adds a lot more angle to the slippery slope we are already on, and it is important to fight against these types of laws.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Do It Yourself Dog Euthanasia?

I have read a number of stories over the years where people have attempted to kill their own dogs. I think it is a HUGE ERROR OF JUDGMENT to do this yourself. First, you must make sure that the killing of your dog is medically justified. Are you a veterinarian? If not, then you are opening yourself up to going to PRISON for killing a dog that isn't terminally ill. Also, some methods of killing a dog are extremely inhumane. So, (I have to say this because some people are dumb enough to try this on their own) it would be cruel to use the drugs or poisons to kill your dog..., or to drown , hang, suffocate, beat your dog, etc to death... your dog would die a miserable, probably prolonged and painful death. The public isn't going to look kindly on your case while you are sitting in jail for torturing your dog to death. The drugs a vet uses are painless and humane. Second, if the dog is being put to death for behavioral reasons... are you a professional dog trainer? If not, then again, you are opening yourself up to going to jail for killing your dog. Third, all the laws require you to do it quickly, painlessly and according to certain criteria and procedure. Have you consulted an attorney before putting your dog to death? If not, again... you risk incarceration. If you don't have the money, then contact your local humane society or animal control for assistance. There's no excuse for not doing this properly and humanely.

Quit being a cheapskate. Quit this idea that you can do this on your own. Do it the normal way... starting with a talk with your veterinarian. If you aren't willing to do this, then you are a nutcase.



UPDATE: Here is an article I wrote about when it is OK to humanely kill a dog for medical or behavioral reasons.

Victory! Dog Owner Successfully Challenges Denver's Pit Bull Law

Lawyers with the Animal Law Center say a ruling today could challenge the way Denver enforces its pit bull ban. Dogs that are deemed to be predominantly "pit bull" are banned in Denver, and can be seized and put down. They say as many as four thousand dogs have been euthanized under this ban, but today's ruling raises the question that many of them might have been by mistake.

4,000 dogs is a lot of "mistakes". These weren't "mistakes" at all. This was done PURPOSELY by dog haters, and publicity seeking politicians. They wanted these dogs dead. They wanted to make a public spectacle. I hope the city is successfully sued for hundreds of millions of dollars.

I keep warning about the abuse of the powers of the state. This is one more glaring example. Fight back, or you'll lose the right to own a dog.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

When Does An Affair Begin?

I have watched how people's dog hobby can develop into something destructive to their marriage. People with dogs gravitate to people with dogs. Just like people who find hobbies online will gravitate to others also online. If you are into dogs, then get your spouse involved, too. But, beyond that, it is important to keep your relationship healthy. Don't let problems fester. Be responsible. Put in effort. Learn to listen and love. Don't escape into the arms of another, but learn to focus that energy into your marriage. Practice love... don't betray your partner and cheapen yourself and your relationship by cheating.

Affairs not only kill relationships, they eat away at your soul and destroy you and your partner and your kids over time. And it affects your dogs, too.

Those fights you have over the dog aren't really about the dog.

How do you know trouble is brewing? Often it comes as people start asking, "what 'technically' is cheating?" The answer is:

The first moment you're doing something you don't want your partner to see. "In the last three years, we've seen an astronomical increase in Internet-related affairs," said Sharpe, with the Life Connection Counseling Center. "This whole affairs thing is just off the charts." Sharpe said these illicit relationships usually start slowly and innocently, develop over time, and last a year or more before they are discovered. He said that 95 percent of the time, the spouses will never admit to the affair until they are caught, usually by their partners finding e-mails or phone bills.

What to do?

1.) Stop trying to escape the real world. Put effort into your relationship, including acting like an adult and solving the problems you face, and accepting that life is a series of struggles. The struggles of life never end... that is the way the real world works. Love only ends when you allow it to end. Learn to work through the problems of life, instead of using them as an excuse for escape, or as a club of revenge against your spouse. Don't let your dog hobby become an escape from your marriage. It is all too easy to think that other people, of the opposite sex, who share your interests somehow "understand" you better... that's just self deception. If you were with them, you'd have a whole new set of life challenges, maybe even more difficult than the ones you are facing right now.
2.) Talk with your spouse about your interests and hobbies and activities, your concerns and temptations, the challenges of life and the plans you both have to work through them, what boundaries you are going to set, and be completely transparent about your time and intent. Share passwords, phone numbers, calendars, and account information. Invite your spouse to accompany you to your hobby events, and if you are the one invited be sure to show interest and attend yourself. And get involved in those things that interest your spouse, too.
3.) Recognize the signs of infidelity: "When one or both partners get involved in Internet relationships with the opposite sex, it causes tremendous damage to the relationship. It can take a long time to rebuild trust," she said. After helping people with what he calls addictive behavior related to the new media — pornography, video games, cell phone texting, affairs and other abuses of Twitter and Facebook — he is ready to see people unplug.
4.) Set consequences. Make it clear up front that if there is infidelity or hiding / secrecy, that the relationship is over. If the other person thinks they can get away with it, they will be more tempted to cross the line and cheat the first time, and treat you like a doormat, then they will do it again and again.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Be Careful With Your Dog Around People Who Are Afraid Of Dogs

Man gets 7 years in Calcasieu Parish prison for killing dog with a samurai sword: A public defender said Simoneaux had an irrational fear of dogs and killed an acquaintance's chow last New Year's Eve because he had been attacked at age 13 by another chow. But a prosecutor said Simoneaux "carved up" the dog in an unprovoked attack.

Was this guy afraid of dogs, as his attorney claimed? Or just a dog hater? Either way, what he did was wrong, and illegal, and look where it got him. If you are that worked up about dogs, it's a heck of a lot better to get counseling than to end up in prison.
Breed Prejudice On Display?

Officer Shoots Woman, Pit Bull Playing: "The young lady started hollering and just at that time a police officer was coming down and thought the dog was attacking the lady"
More Toxic Foods For Dogs

It is always good to know what foods NOT to feed your dog

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

How Do Cities Ban Dog Breeds?

What might a new ordinance require from the owners of targeted breeds? Lamb and others talked about registering certain dogs as dangerous and making that information available to the public, even providing maps of the locations of where certain breeds of animals are kept. Officials discussed a mandate that certain breeds of dog be kept leashed at all times. Other possibilities include imposing strict rules on housing certain breeds, such as requiring enforced fencing around the dogs. City Attorney Joe Beck said he helped create breed specific vicious-dog legislation for other cities. He said in order to make such legislation stand up to court challenges, Bothell needs to provide substantial evidence that a breed deserves special treatment, as well as hold a number of public hearings, providing plenty of time for comment on the issue. But while he said the city needs to proceed carefully, he said breed specific ordinances are possible and can be enforced.

Hey, dog advocates. Read this carefully, and fight back.
Social Networking & Adultery Can Kill Your Dog

Transparency is good for your relationship, experts say. If you are in touch with an old lover online, tell your current partner, advises Karen Gail Lewis, a marriage and family therapist in Cincinnati. You should explain why you want to touch base with your ex, she says, listen to your partner's concerns, and share any correspondence. "It should be the two together talking about the one over there," says Dr. Lewis... You can look, but don't make contact. Strike an agreement with your current partner that you will each disclose any Facebook friends you have slept with. Or, like Katie Robinson, limit your online "friends" to people of the same sex. "It is hard enough to have a relationship without the intrusion of people from your past." Some couples share their passwords. "If your bank accounts are common, why not your Twitter and Facebook accounts?"

I like social networking. I do it myself: LinkedIn, Twitter, & Facebook. But, I have always been cautious regarding who I let into my circle and how I correspond with them. It's just common sense. It is especially important to do this when you are married. "Mate-poaching" (women try to lure men who are already "taken," either for a short-term sexual liaison or a longer-term relationship) is a serious threat to a marriage.

Marriage relationship break ups affect pets, too. A good number of dogs end up in shelters after a divorce. Either the couple can't agree on who gets the dogs, so they give them away, or they go broke in the divorce and are forced to give the dogs away. And in today's economy, a drop off at a shelter might likely mean a death sentence for the dog.

So, think twice about what you are doing when social networking. Not only are you risking your marriage, you are possibly going to be responsible for the death of your dogs. Go get marriage counseling. Grow up. Be responsible, even when no one is looking.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dogs Better Exercise Companions Than Humans

“The older people who walked their dogs improved their walking capabilities by 28 percent,” Johnson said. “They had more confidence walking on the trail, and they increased their speed. The older people who walked with humans only had a 4 percent increase in their walking capabilities. The human walking buddies tended to discourage each other and used excuses such as the weather being too hot.”

One of the primary reasons I got my first dog out of college was to stay in shape. I figured that the dog would need at least a mile of walking a day for about 10 years... and that is exactly what happened. So, we walked over 3,500 miles a year for nearly a decade! Amazing.
Hiking Danger for Dogs: Metal Animal Traps

A pet owner's warning to parents. A simple walk in the desert almost cost her dog its foot after it got caught in an animal trap.

It is very important to know where you are hiking, and what that property is being used for. I was watching Man vs Wild the other day, and he was crossing the desert in Northern Mexico. He ran across an animal trap. It made me think that when I hike I need to be more careful, and when I hike with my dog, I need to consider potential animal traps in the area.
Rescue giving second chances to huge dog breeds

“We have owner surrenders, people the cute puppy and 18 months later they are an un-socialized 150 pound St. Bernard or Great Dane that are jumping over their furniture. Animal shelters across the country are full of regular sized animals just waiting to find a home, when it comes to the super sized ones like Theo, 190 pounds of Great Dane, well that takes a little more creativity. So the folks at Big Dogs, Huge Paws are reaching out on the social networks like Facebook to find the big guys a home.

It is very important when getting a dog that you think ahead. Larger dogs don't get adopted as easily as smaller dogs. If your larger dog is a purebred dog, then it will be easier to place the dog since you can work with a purebred rescue organization. Large breeds cost more all around, and unless you are sure you are going to be financially stable for the next 10 years, then don't get one.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Anti-Social Dogs?

Are there some dogs that are antisocial? Yes, there are. I heard of a breeding where one of the puppies would not bond to the master (who was also the breeder, not a novice; someone who knew the dog, knew the genetics, and knew the aggressive potential of the dog). The pup was indifferent to being in the home, being near the master, or relating much to anyone. This dog was bred to be a police dog, so it had the potential to be quite aggressive as an adult, and such a dog must bond to the master, and must be able to discern between friend and foe, master and stranger, threat and no threat. After the owner tried a number of times, over a period of months, to see if the dog would bond to the family, even by isolating the pup and then seeing if the puppy "cared", he got concerned. For example, at 4 months of age, the pup started growling when his pre-teen daughter approached. None of the other pups in the litter were this way, and this was not typical for the breed, and this was not the way the dam or sire had behaved. This dog was born this way, and things kept getting worse. In the end, the owner had the dog "put to sleep", in other words, killed the dog on purpose. I know it isn't politically correct, but some dogs are born dangerous. It is genetic. This is an example of a vicious dog. A vicious dog has a screw loose. This dog had the potential to kill a human, so culling this puppy was the right thing to do.
Do Dogs Grieve To Death?

Do dogs grieve the loss of a family member, or other dog in the home, to the point that they die? Yes. I know of a handful of cases where a dog died, and then a second dog in the home died within 2 weeks after the first dog died. So, if you are a dog person, and one of your dogs just died (whether from natural causes or euthanasia), and you know you are going to get another dog... why not go and adopt a dog from a shelter now? Might save the life of your other dog.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mastiff Needs Rescue Help

Please forward this to your mastiff rescue contacts. This dog needs help.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dogs Need Dental Care Like People

Almost all dogs over 2 years of age have periodontal disease

Isn't that amazing? Educate yourself, and start taking care of your dog's teeth now, or you could be spending a lot of money on medical bills in the not too distant future.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Why I Don't Believe In Clicker Training (Updated)

Clicker Training is based upon an OBSOLETE theory of behavior called "operant conditioning". This might sound controversial, since clicker training is promoted as a "new" way to train dogs.

Friday, September 18, 2009

GRRRRR... Democrats Plan to tax DOGS!!!!

State Republicans are howling mad over yet another tax hike being slipped through the Legislature that would slap an annual $3 state surcharge on municipal licensing fees canine owners pay for their pet pooches.

Philosophically, being a left wing liberal is being against responsible dog ownership. In the left wing, you have nanny state types who want to control everything you do including what you do with your dog; animal rights advocates (Obama supports animal rights and so does his "czar" Cass Susstein) who oppose domestic animal breeding and ownership; those who are against self defense so they will write laws to ban guard dogs and protecting yourself with a dog; those who are environmental wackos who will ban dogs from natural areas and for hunting purposes; and those who are anti-capitalist so they will tax everything to death including those who own dogs. This article is more proof.

I keep repeating: read the Declaration of Independence. Look at the values there, and if you support them, how can you vote Democrat???!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dog Ownership & Relationship Deal Breakers

Have you ever defined your Relationship Deal Breakers? Have you ever tried to define those non-negotiable criteria you must have before entering into a marriage relationship? Life has its ups and downs. It’s easy to find “fair weather friends”, but it’s another to find good, loyal, loving, true friends. There are good and bad people. A bad act is harming someone else on purpose. A bad person is someone who makes a practice of harming others, having a track record of crossing forbidden boundaries and a genuine lack of feeling remorse, and little or no desire or commitment to change. If you own a dog, then it is important to evaluate the nature of the person you are going to marry, otherwise you are heading for a world of problems. I have my own list of these deal breakers. Mine is pretty much as follows

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Toxic Foods For Dogs

Here's a partial list:

1. Chocolate - deadly
2. Sugar Free Candy or Gum with Xylitol (even regular candy isn't good for your dog, but not deadly) - deadly
3. Walnuts & Macadamia Nuts - deadly
4. Avacados - deadly
5. Onions - deadly
6. Grapes and Raisins - deadly
7. Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen - deadly
8. Chicken or Pork Bones - deadly

For the complete article, go HERE

Coping With The Grief And Guilt Of Euthanasia

When a pet dies, it is often just as intense as if a friend or family member dies. But, yet, it is different because a lot of the time, we are putting our dogs to death at the veterinarian's office instead of letting the dog suffer and die a natural death.

A natural death would most likely either be one where the animal would suffer alone until it was over, or the sick animal would be attacked by a predator and killed instantly. Euthanasia requires us to play God and make the kill ourselves.

It is always hard to make that decision, and sometimes we end up prolonging the suffering of our dogs to avoid our own emotional suffering.

Read the rest of the article HERE

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dog Ownership & The Health Care Debate

Dog bites account for one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims. The average cost of dog bite claims was $24,461 in 2008. "The rise in dog bite claims over the course of the past five years can be attributable to the increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards which have risen well above inflation in recent years" More than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs annually, and nearly 900,000 of those--half of them children. The I.I.I. advises homeowners to consider purchasing a personal excess liability policy.

Whoa, that's a pretty big number. Notice that it is the cost of health care, and the cost of lawsuits, that is driving up the cost... not the breed of dog or anything to do with normal dog ownership or risks. So, this whole health care debate in the US affects dog owners, too. I have a lot to say about health care costs, but the bottom line is that if we socialize medicine, then these costs are NOT going to go down, but up. And if we don't reign in the cost of lawsuits, then it's going to get to the point where it is impossible to own a dog because of the liability. Freedom, competition, free markets are the answer. They always have been and always will be. And such freedom will preserve your right to responsibly own a dog of any breed. Think on that next time you hear some fancy speech from a politician. Vote Pro Dog. That means, vote for free market solutions.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Puggle Aggression?

If you are having aggression problems with your Puggle, I'll bet the causes are one or more of the following (based upon my experience with Puggles, Beagles and Pugs):

a.) Spoiling. Spoiling isn't the same thing as loving a dog, or taking extra good care of your dog. Spoiling is when you relate to your dog in such a way that you upset the desired leadership role you should be having with your dog, and your dog starts biting.
b.) Defensive / Fearful Biting. Have you been rough on your dog? If so, then your dog will bite you. How's the house training coming along? How is the destructive chewing coming along? How are the kids with your dog? If you've gotten rough on your dog regarding these matters, then it is no wonder that your dog is biting.
c.) Food Possession. Does your dog guard food or toys? Most likely with Puggles, it's going to be food.

What can you do about these behaviors? Hire a professional trainer to help you sort this stuff out. Stop trying to do it on your own. Stop trying to mimic Cesar Milan. Get professional help.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Cass Sustein... Will Your Dog Will Be Next On The Agenda?

The number of animals and plants protected by the federal Endangered Species Act is about to increase dramatically. For Cass Sunstein, radical animal-rights activist and nominee for the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Administrator job, that means he will be better positioned than ever to make livestock farming a thing of the past.

This is what animal rights nuts have wanted for years... legitimate power to impose their ridiculous morals on the rest of the world. Well... they've gotten their wish. What are YOU going to do about it? Animal rights nuts don't believe in pet ownership. Stop this stuff now, or it's going to get to be like China where they banned all dogs altogether.

See all those links on the sidebar of this blog? Not all have to do with dog ownership directly. But, those laws and regulations that affect other domesticated animals does affect dogs.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

This Isn't Right

A 32-year-old man in southern Sweden found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend has been granted a lower than usual sentence because of the suffering caused when he was bitten in the testicles by the woman's Rottweiler.

So, the guy attacks his girlfriend with a knife, the dog bites him to protect her, he gets sentenced by the court... but his sentence is reduced because the dog bit him? The dog did the right thing, period.

This shows how messed up society gets when it can't distinguish between right and wrong, between criminal actions and self defense. This is another example of the social rot in Europe, and why we don't want it here in the US.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Dog Haters - Another Attack On A Barking Dog

Incessant barking is being blamed for a dispute between neighbours which led to a vicious attack on a dog that knocked out at least four of the animal's teeth.

I have warned against this over and over again. Dog haters hate barking dogs.

I recommend the following to all dog owners: You must be very vigilant to protect your dog from psychopaths. They will take the law into their own hands. People who have no conscience will do whatever they want to get what they want. Dog haters are a danger to society, not just your dog.


If you are a dog hater, here's my advice: There is NO justification for busting up someone else's dog. If you hate the barking, then call the cops and let them handle it. That is what you do in a civilized society... you don't abuse or kill a dog. And... check yourself into a mental hospital if you have the urge to do this kind of thing to a dog. Better that than to end up in prison, wreck your life and your family and your finances over a barking dog.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

This Guy Deserves Prison... And A Long Stay In The Rubber Room

William Campbell set his fighting pit bull-cross on an old dog he snatched to use as bait while a friend videoed the mauling to put on the internet. Campbell, 25, of Porirua, said he knew his dog Dukes would savage 14-year-old Lincoln, who was found later injured, bleeding and hiding in a toilet block

Not only do I believe this guy deserves prison if convicted, I believe he is probably a psychopath who should be locked up for life. I'm big on giving people a second chance, but some folks are just plain nuts and we all deserve to be protected from them.
Smallest Dog Dies

A 14-ounce Maltese puppy who may have been the smallest dog in the world died this week after a tragic accident. The 6-month-old New Zealand pooch became seriously ill after jumping from the hands of his owners and breaking his leg,

Many people want a "teacup" dog, not knowing that they have very fragile health. Breeding a dog to have a freaky size or characteristic typically results in a dog that is unhealthy or has temperament problems. I think it is inhumane to breed a dog that has health problems just for the sake of appearance.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Definition Of A Vicious Dog

Murfreesboro police dog gets loose, bites girl.

So, this dog got loose and bit someone. Many times, after a dog bites someone, the dog is put to death. Does this mean the dog is vicious? Is this dog vicious? No, probably not. Many times when a dog biting incident happens, we blame the dog, when in fact, the dog is perfectly normal, but put in a situation that we wished hadn't happened. This dog got loose and did what a protection dog does by nature... bites. All police dogs would do this... does that mean that all police dogs are vicious? Should the police officer go to prison for this? No. But, if it was OUR dog, in many cities... we might be facing killing our dog and going to prison. Is that just?

A vicious dog is one that is mentally unbalanced, unpredictable (this bite would be considered predictable... let the dog loose and it will bite what it sees as a trespasser... perfectly normal behavior for a protection dog), and one that can't be fixed or trusted.

Biting does not equal "vicious". We put down many dogs that don't deserve it.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Don’t Deceive Yourself About Your Dog’s Problems

Part of being a good dog trainer is being a good detective. I tell students that when I am working with them and their dogs, I put on my proverbial “Sherlock Holmes” hat, raise one eyebrow, and I then proceed to question everything everyone says and believes.

If your dog is having problems, then hire a professional. Don't let it go on and on.


Dogs Left Alone & Neglected for SEVEN months?!!!

Four dogs have been kept in a fenced kennel outside a foreclosed house in Monticello, Indiana for over seven months with no one to care for them.

A lot of people let these dogs down. There are numerous dog rescue groups out there, formal and informal, to help in situations like this. You can bet that criminal charges are going to be filed... but what about those neighbors, animal control officers, and others who knew what was going on and didn't do more? If the facts in this case prove this out to be what it appears, then there needs to be some consequences. Don't you hate it when people pass the buck?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Euthanasia?

Would it be ethical to euthanize an otherwise healthy dog for peeing or pooping in the home?

No.

This is a training issue. When dogs soil the home, it is a PEOPLE problem, not a dog problem. A good dog trainer can help you with this kind of thing. In fact, it isn't even right to get angry with such a dog or to punish them. They are doing what YOU have either taught them to do or not do. It is your fault.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Don't Leave Barking Dogs Unattended!

A company director battered his neighbour's dog to death with a garden hoe after repeatedly complaining about its 'yapping', a court heard today.

A barking dog doesn't deserve the death penalty. I've written numerous posts about this. Some people go absolutely nuts when hearing a barking dog. They will kill your dog. These people are mentally unbalanced. There's probably one of these in every neighborhood in the world. You are being foolish if you don't protect your dogs and keep them from barking.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Adding A New Dog To Your "Family"

There are ways for a man to evaluate a wife when deciding whether to marry. There is a lot to consider, not just physical attraction, or mutual interests, but the entire character and makeup of the person. If you make the wrong choice in picking a spouse, you'll pay for it for a very long time.

I thought of this topic today after considering the murder story of Jasmine Fiore by Ryan Jenkins. These two people were heading for a train wreck, if you look at what the accounts say of their personal lives. Maybe no one could have ever anticipated that murder / suicide would be the end result, but I see nothing in this story to indicate that either one was a person of good character.

I wrote an article, called "Buying A Dog / Choosing A Breeder", because I saw so many people adding the wrong dog to their families, and ending up with a lot of problems, and sometimes tragedy. You have to view adding a new dog to the family the same as if you were adding a new person to your family... and be just as picky. Getting a cute puppy from the window of the local pet store, or from some guy in a parking lot, is a formula for a lot of heartache. Now, of course, people aren't dogs and dogs aren't people... [though some men act like dogs, and some women act like bitches...] but when getting a dog, you ARE getting a new family member, and you should be very thoughtful about what you are about to do. Better to stay "single" (don't get a dog) than to get "married" (get a dog) to the wrong one.

A lot of people are too careless as to who they let be a part of their inner circle. Look, I can speak from personal experience. Been married and divorced before. And gotten the wrong dog for my home before. And I've learned some hard lessons along the way, and I'm passing this along to you so you don't experience the heartaches that I've experienced. When it comes to dogs, I find many people are too careless when getting a dog, not considering that a dog will pretty much be a part of their family and could cause them just as much trouble. If you don't get the right dog for your situation, then your dog could even hurt someone else. In fact, here's a story which says a dog got loose, attacked an elderly woman, the woman died, and now the owners could be charged with a crime that could land them in prison.

So, think carefully when choosing a new family member... human or dog. There's a lot more to it than just how you "feel" about them.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dog Aggression In The Red Zone

Cesar Milan has popularized a term he calls "the red zone", meaning when a dog is acting dangerously aggressive. I hate this term, because it is not quantifiable, doesn't conform to any known scientific definition of aggression that I have ever seen, and isn't really useful in terms of defining what is going on or what to do about it.

One of my problems with Cesar Milan is that you have to translate "Cesar" into English, taking terms he has invented or borrowed and then picking them apart to determine exactly what he's referring to. I see a lot of novices using Cesar's methods and terminology and getting themselves in trouble when trying to deal with biting in their own dogs.

If your dog is having biting, fear, or aggression issues, then you should hire a local expert to help you. In my opinion, Cesar's books and TV shows are going to be of little use to you. I've met people who were severely bitten by their own dogs when trying to implement solutions they've seen on his TV show.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Family Teamwork

"To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others." - Pope John Paul II

Many times, the reason a family is having problems with their dog is because the family is having problems with one another. Selfishness has no place in a family, and is detrimental to dog ownership.
Quote of the Day

"He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant
Thinking About Michael Vick Today

“The consequences of our crimes long survive their commission, and, like the ghosts of the murdered, forever haunt the steps of the malefactor” - Sir Walter Scott

Something to ponder when doing anything in life. Do it with integrity. That goes for life. That even goes for raising, training, and owning a dog. That goes for anything you're dealing with.

Michael Vick will always have an asterisk after his name about his involvement in dog fighting.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Moving On

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” - Alexander Graham Bell

A family member of mine had a best friend who died of polio. It was her best friend, and she was truly a wonderful person. But, the tragedy was that the parents of this girl could never get past the passing of their only daughter. Whenever I would meet them... and this was 20 years after her death... the conversation would inevitably steer towards talking about her. Even as a kid, I could tell this was unhealthy.

As I get older, I know more, feel more, understand more. And with age comes an ever increasing ability to plumb the depths of the meaning of life. You also know that you can't let yourself get stuck in the past, or you'll die there, too. A self-inflicted mental kill.

I have had some great dogs, been around some great dogs. Some died. Some were dogs I knew and belonged to others, but now are not a part of my life any more. And I miss them all. But, I also know that when one dog leaves your life, it opens the door for a new dog. It's that way with people in your life, too. Mourning the loss or death of another person, a great love, a significant relationship, or pet is a necessary, yet tragic, part of life. I have some terrible regrets, things I wished had gone differently in my life and in the lives of others, and I have felt unbelievable pain at times when going through these times. Yet, there is also the new day approaching. And a choice to see the glass as half full or half empty. And having the will to survive and love again.

Life is that way. Nothing is static. At some point, you have to accept and go through the grieving, then put away the past, pick yourself up, and move on to a new future. Try looking up the phrase, "Remember Lot's wife." Sometimes what is behind can destroy you if you look back and long for it. But, you never really forget the past, if it was meaningful, you just try to remember the good, and try to learn life's lessons, too. If you lost a pet, get a new one. The new one won't replace the old dog, but it will fill the hole and you'll find new joys. The same thing will be true with all of these types of life changes that are thrust upon us... you'll get another chance in life.

I know it is painful to lose something or someone valuable in your life. I've been there. I understand.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dog Flu Vaccine?

Veterinarians are recommending a new vaccine for dog flu (H3N8). The vaccine is a series of two shots, two weeks apart, followed by a yearly booster. Statistics reveal about 80 percent of dogs that come in contact with the H3N8 virus will get sick, but only 10 to 20 percent will get seriously ill.

Hmmm... not sure how I feel about this new vaccine. On the one hand, no one wants their dog to get sick and die from dog flu. On the other hand, new vaccines can have unintended consequences. I had a customer who gave their dog the rattlesnake vaccine and the dog had an adverse reaction. I'd be asking a lot of questions before I agreed to have my dog vaccinated. I'd then weigh the risks vs. the benefits and make a reasoned decision.

If you have experience with this new vaccine, I'd appreciate your feedback.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Socialism And Your Dog

Raising dogs was banned under the rule of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong as a bourgeois pastime, but with China's growing affluence and pursuit of Western trends, greater numbers of middle-class families have become avid pet owners in a booming social trend. On July 1, city authorities implemented the "one-dog policy" seen as a crackdown on the estimated 100,000 unregistered dogs in Guangzhou ahead of the Asian Games in the city next year. But so far, many outraged pet owners in the sprawling metropolis have chosen to ignore, or dodge, the new laws. "I'll definitely not give up on my dogs because they're a part of my life," said an office worker surnamed Chen with six dogs in a leafy neighborhood in downtown Guangzhou.

You think this is just a problem in China? Think again. Laws are passed regularly in the US regulating how many dogs a person can own. Yes, anything can be abused. No one person can keep 600 dogs in a single family residence and ensure the health and welfare of the dogs. Then again, why should we be regulated as to how many dogs we can own? In some cities, you can only own 3 dogs. In some public housing, they ban dogs altogether. Breeders are told how many dogs they can own and breed at any one time. There has to be a balance. It's a shame that people are so willing to use the law to meddle with the lives of other people. And a shame that the few who do abuse dogs trigger politicians to implement draconian laws that impede on the freedoms of the rest of us. The scary thing is when an ideology is also attached to these laws, such as Mao's no dog policy. What reason do you use to justify all the regulations we have regarding dog ownership? Sometimes, it's good to step back and see if things are becoming ridiculous.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What Did This Accomplish?

A dogowner was fined for being too slow to pick up his pet's mess. Christopher Lindsay, 49, was stopped by 'over-zealous' dog wardens as he walked just five yards to his car to fetch a plastic bag to clean up after his dog, Bono. Although Mr Lindsay explained what he was doing, the officials ruled he spent too long and so handed him a £75 fine.

Seriously. When law enforcement does this kind of thing, it makes a mockery of the laws and causes people to disrespect and challenge authority. I'm all for law and order, but not this kind of thing. The power of the state must be used wisely. When they become busybodies, then it enslaves us all.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Vick on Dog Fighting

Here's the first interview of Michael Vick regarding his conviction regarding his involvement in pit fighting and the deaths and torture of dogs: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5240826n

Sorry, but I don't believe him. All the visual and verbal cues say the opposite of the words.

Do you believe he's turned his life around? Let's ask first, what is Repentance? "Almost all agree that repentance requires five elements: recognition of one's sins as sins, remorse, desisting from sin, restitution where possible, and confession." I'm not sure all elements are there in this case.

I've given this guy a lot of chance for repentance. I believe in that for everyone, because none of us is perfect. All of us are told to "go and sin no more" because good people, wise people, know their own secret sins. But, whatever my sins, it doesn't justify his.

Truly, now. I'm wary. I wanted to hear it from him. Forgiveness is my job. Repentance is his job. Forgiveness without repentance is worthless for everyone involved.

Why do people keep repeating evil / bad things? "As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly." No true repentance... they really just don't care. Deep down, they either don't feel they did wrong, or they find a way to blame others so they don't have to take the blame, or they want the bad thing so much that they find ways to justify doing wrong. No real change. Yes, we can forgive, but that doesn't mean we have to trust or to continue to do business with them as usual. The prisons are full of people like that. We can and should love them, but sometimes we just have to separate ourselves from them. Truly a sad state of affairs.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"You Develop Only By Doing Your Best" - John Wooden

I work with a lot of people. I coach a lot of people to be successful with their dogs. Obviously, those who put in their best effort get the best behaved dogs.

Best Effort is a direct result of good character. Many people lack good character. No coach, parent, teacher, preacher, leader, or politician can make you into someone with the traits that will make you successful in life. You have to choose that path in order to benefit from good teaching and leadership.

When choosing members of a sports team, coaches will scour the land seeking not only talented players, but those with the character necessary to be good team players. If you read books on famous coaches... Lombardi, Wooden, etc., you'll note that they spent considerable time seeking the right kind of people before they invested time in teaching them how to be great players. Leaders in time of war have also had the same issues... Lincoln, Churchill, Roosevelt. Generals had to be replaced until those of the top caliber were found to do the job properly. If you have ever noticed, our top performing military generals are pretty amazing guys. A lot of people have talent. We see that in Hollywood all the time. Great talent, no character... and their lives become train wrecks. Too many people focus on developing their skills, and focusing on their talents, than on first becoming good and decent people.

Weak character choices in life result in self pity, lack of self control, excuses instead of excusable reasons, sloppiness, emotionalism, laziness, a tendency to quit in tough times, an eagerness to leave and betray others when a better offer comes along, disloyalty, cheating, lying, whining, complaining, and a Machiavellian outlook on life. Weak character is a lack of self respect, and a lack of respect for others.

I can't get very far when I'm coaching people that don't have good character. They don't do the lessons. Day after day, I show up and they haven't done their homework, gotten the necessary equipment, or put in any meaningful effort. They don't have compassion for others. Many people will say they love their dogs, but we all know that character is what you do, not just what you say. I've seen them blame others for not doing the work that they should be doing, including other family members, the dog, their boss, even me. I've seen them fight with their spouses, kids, parents, neighbors, and so forth. Look, I'm a pretty darned good teacher. I explain, demonstrate, give the student plenty of practice and time, and do good follow up to ensure that each detail is understood and working properly. I love teaching, and I love working with people and dogs. Yet, over and over again, when I'm working with people of good character, I see amazing results. And when I'm not, the results are always less than the dog's potential.

Do you have what it takes to make the best of your human - dog relationship? If you want the best, then you are going to have to develop your character. It's not just about operant conditioning, classical conditioning, leashes, collars, treats, timing, and practice. It's deeper than that. It's going to require you making changes in how you deal with other people, how you manage yourself, and how you deal with your dog. Top performance, leading to success (meaning here, to get your dog to behave and be enjoyable as possible), is going to involve making changes in who you are, meaning what things you value in life.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Pig Dog

What is a "pig dog?" A pig dog is a boar hunting dog, doing much the same work that bulldogs were originally created for. Here is a description:

1. Mixed Bred Dog: These dogs are usually a mix of greyhounds, wolfhounds, mastiffs, bulldogs (there are many bulldog breeds), Boxer, Great Dane, pointer, and/or Catahoula. They are used, and have behavioral traits and genetics, much like earlier versions of other breeds of dog we now know: Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino, etc. In fact, the Dogo Argentino is pretty much what a "pig dog" is today, we now just give it a breed name.

2. Working Hunting Dog: In the old days, these types of dogs have always been mixed bred dogs that have been created to capture wild boars. Different mixes are created for more specialized roles in the hunt. They hunt by scent (ground and air) and/or sight and/or on command. These dogs do very dangerous work, and you'll often seen them covered in scars. They typically are going to grab the boar about the head and pin it in a specific place for the hunter. They are taught to leave other game alone, such as deer or cattle or kangaroo.

3. They are hunting dogs. They are typically bred to be people-friendly and can be pets in the home. These are hunting dogs with a very strong desire to chase game. There are many wild boar around the world. These boars were let into the wild for the specific purpose of creating game for hunting. Hunters often don't even have limits on how many they can capture, and in many areas the boars are considered an environmental nuisance, and a danger to farmer's crops, and the governments want them either controlled or eradicated. The meat of the boar is then used for food, and the heads displayed as trophies.

4. What They Are Not: These are not guard dogs or personal protection dogs. These are also not pit fighting dogs. They are supposed to run in packs for hunting wild boar. In some parts of the world, dogs like this have also been used to hunt for bear and big cats. You don't want a dog like this to not be good with people, because they have to work around other hunters. You also don't want a dog like this to be a dog fighter, because that would defeat the purpose of them running in packs to find game. The dogs don't kill the game, just capture it for the hunter (who usually shoots the captured boar).

I've never had the chance to work with a "pig dog". The closest I've gotten is to obedience train a few Dogo Argentinos. Interesting breed, but not a breed for everyone. The dog really needs a job to do, like hunting for game. It is NOT a protection dog, or a pit fighting dog. Loud and annoying bark. Super strong prey drive, visual especially, for other animals, which makes the obedience training a challenge. There are restrictions on owning pig dogs in some countries, so you'd better do your homework before getting one. I really don't think these dogs would be any fun as urban pets... they are specialized hunters for a specific type of lifestyle, terrain and game.

As I have mentioned before, I am not against hunting, but I am against "trophy hunting". I believe that you should eat what you kill, not kill for no other purpose than looking at a stuffed animal on your wall. I believe hunting is a natural behavior, even for humans. Many animals eat other animals. People eat animals... go to McDonald's sometime. Wild boar were planted in many parts around the world over the centuries as a food source. They are there for the hunting, the captured boar are killed quickly and humanely, and people eat them as food. I'm also not opposed to using dogs for hunting. That's what they've been used for from the beginning of their domestication, and many of these wild boar are in remote areas where this kind of thing is a normal part of life. The work is dangerous, but that doesn't disqualify it from being an activity that should be done with dogs. A lot of work is dangerous for dogs: guide dogs, hunting, police work, home protection, etc.