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?