Those of you who have read my missives will know that I encourage people to rescue dogs. However, many will still go to breeders for specific breeds. This is done for many reasons such as always having had a breed, liking the look of them or someone recommending them. Whatever the reason for choosing a particular breed of dog, it is important to understand what you are bringing into your home.
I have touched on the subject of seeking advice and distressed dogs on a number of occasions. A recent case prompted me to return to the topics.
One of the common fears of all dog people is that of losing their pup. This is one of the main reasons I ensure people understand that, probably, the most important thing to teach your dog is the recall. However, with the best will in the world, even the best-trained dog may get into a spot of bother occasionally.
Simply put, using a negative, and in my opinion, a cruel method such as spraying the dog will not change the dogs’ behaviour permanently.
What we should be doing is teaching our dogs alternative and appropriate behaviours that they may be rewarded for. For instance, with this GSD, teaching him to be calm and to sit when asked in the presence of other dogs is straightforward. It requires no aggression or dominance of the dog.
I am prompted to talk, a little, about how we deal with dogs who have experienced some traumatic event. There is an increasing trend to ‘help’ dogs who are maybe fearful or ‘reactive’ (a much-overused term in my opinion) to keep them away from situations that cause them problems. There are many people that only exercise their dogs in private fields, away from other dogs.
We must learn to take responsibility for our dogs. If there are any issues, we must accept them a do something to help our dogs. It is, simply, not good enough to say ‘he does that sometimes.’
Watching the Olympics over the past few weeks got me thinking about dogs and how we approach training them, or trying to change their behaviour. Let me explain.
If we consider two Olympic disciplines – diving and gymnastics. Competitors choose a level of difficulty for a vault or a dive for instance. Their resulting scores reflect their performance in relation the the degree of difficulty they faced. Of course, the judges take into consideration the level of difficulty and score accordingly. So, why is this relevant to our dogs?
He does that sometimes… Walking with Sue and Clint (my fostered and muzzled dog) in the woods today a, potentially, very dangerous situation quickly developed. We came across a woman with a couple of dogs, one an ageing German Shepherd cross and his offspring a young, around 18 months, cross, probably a Rottweiler cross. Both […]
I have touched upon training issues in the past. A meeting with a dog owner today prompted me to revisit this.
The level of really bad advice dispensed by ‘experts’ is a source of concern for me. The following example illustrates this all too well.
Who advocates for assistance dogs? Over the past few years there has been a significant growth in the use of ‘assistance dogs.’ Dogs are trained to help people with their physical and mental health problems. Although, fundamentally, this is a good thing for the humans being helped, I wonder about who advocates for the dogs? […]