Archive for the ‘Inspirational’ Category
Skidboot from Animal Planet.
A relatively simple routine but so well executed it becomes magical to watch. Get those creative juices flowing! If you’re in Swansea and you can do this with your dog, post a video and let me know!
Some well known (and lesser known) dog professionals would have us believe that dogs are wolves, share their instincts, and like wolves would kill or abandon their weak. I’ve been told that humans are the only animal who nurture their sick but this video should be enough to prove that domesticated dogs are as much wolves as we are monkeys.
This is in the aftermath of Japan’s Earthquake and tragic tsunami which followed. The earth is flattened, but there are survivors…
After surveying over 11,000 pet owners, the PDSA have compiled a report about pet health and welfare which gave dog owners a score of only 62/100 while our competitors (the cat owners) scored 65. Cat owners scored much higher on companionship despite dogs being ‘mans best friend’.
Some of their key findings are interesting, 37% of people transport their dog in the back seats or boots of their car without a safety harness, dog guard or similar safety device. In the event of an accident (or even an emergency stop) these animals would fly forward potentially injuring themselves or even hitting the driver and killing them both! A seatbelt harness is cheap, easy to install and will help to prevent such injuries. Dog guards are also inexpensive.
Only 75% of us walk our dogs daily, while a small proportion will have medical excuses, this is still far too low! Thankfully 58% of dog owners stated that 3 or more exercise activities (including walks) are available for our dogs each day. Lower than perfect, but meaning 58% of dogs have a wonderful time… is yours?
Dietwise, 29% of dogs are fed almost solely on food scraps and leftovers while only 16% feed quantities based on body weight or shape!
7% of dog owners give their dogs chocolate as a treat! Chocolate is highly toxic to dogs!
29% of dogs have never been given flea treatment. 14% have never been wormed and 10% aren’t even registered with a vet!
Anyway, the PDSA’s findings are interesting and it’s definitely worth a read. I can’t repost all the information or the pdf here for obvious reasons, so go to PDSA’s website and download from there.
Which dogs are most dangerous and which should you avoid? Some breeds are deemed excessively ‘dangerous’ and are illegal to own in the UK, so what is the escalating scale? The list below is in order of dangerous dogs on top with the least dangerous at the bottom.
- A beaten Labrador
- An unexercised Dalmation
- An untrained Jack Russell
- A neglected Cocker Spaniel
- An under fed German Shepherd
- A loved Basset hound
- A well groomed Cavalier
- A properly trained Doberman
- A well exercised, trained, loved Pitbull Terrier
Can you see the pattern? First of all this list is only a guide, it may not be statistically accurate but the point is that breed has little impact. Ok, let’s be fair, some breeds are more dangerous if they turn nasty purely due to their size. An aggressive Alsatian is going to do more damage than an aggressive Chihuahua, but neither is healthy and neither should be allowed off leash or near children.
Pick a banned breed say a Pit Bull Terrier (not to be confused with the Bull Terrier) has the ability to lock his jaws down on his subject inflicting a lot of damage, blood loss and distress. But if the animal treated properly, trained, exercised it has the potential to become a wonderful family pet. Why were they banned? Not because the breed is particularly dangerous but because the type of person looking for these dogs was one to mistreat or train them to attack.
Meanwhile, the loyal Labrador if not walked for long enough, not trained and socialised properly can become a dangerously aggressive child killer.
Which would you prefer?
I’m currently working with a Jack Russell – her owner’s fault is loving her too much. This little Jack Russell started life in a flat while her owner worked long hours. The owner already realises this mistake, has changed and is making a huge effort for the dog, but this dog is being loved and adored and treated like a spoilt princess… she’s picked up on her owners weakness, realised that nobody is in control and become not only the princess but the house protector and keeps everyone away. This dog will attack anyone who comes close to her pack and makes no distinction between human, dog or child. Worse of all she’s unpredictable, one minute she’s confidently walking by my side, the next she’s going full attack to my arms and hands. We’re slowly desensitizing her from strangers and handling and getting her used to the idea that (a) biting isn’t achieving anything and (b) letting strangers close is actually a good thing because you get given tasty treats and extra approval from your owner. We’re also working on the owner to put her back in charge so that the dog can follow and obey rather than feel insecure and try to lead.
As a child, I was bitten on two separate occasions by a German Shepherd and a chihuahua. The German shepherd can be forgiven as I was on a swing, his owner let him wander too close and I accidentally kicked the dog in the head on the way forward, he lashed out and got my leg on the way back requiring several stitches.
The Chihuahua was one of many well loved but badly trained pack members. Seeing my distress as these dogs were barking and snapping at me, my nan quickly picked me up to take me away just as one went for my face, instead he grabbed my foot.
Singling out ‘dangerous’ breeds gives the impression that there are ‘safe’ breed. Any dog has the potential to be safe or dangerous and it has very little to do with the breed. No dog breed was created to attack humans but with the wrong treatment any can become dangerous and risk being put to sleep simply because they weren’t looked after properly.
Exercise, lead, and train your dog, whatever the breed!
At the time of writing, banned dog breeds in the UK are:
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Japanese Tosa
- Dogo Argentino
- Fila Braziliero
The 10 dog commandments.
- My life is likely to last 10-15 years, any separation from you will be painful to me, remember that before you buy me.
- Give me the time and patience to understand what you want from me, I’m willing to learn but you must be a good teacher. If I don’t learn, it’s not my fault.
- Take me out every day, a couple of times per day for long walks and runs. My excess energy makes me tense, nervous and agitated and it becomes hard to control myself.
- Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t lock me up as punishment, You have your family, your entertainment and your friends, I have only you.
- Talk to me. Even though I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice when it’s speaking to me.
- Get me insured. You have the benefit of the NHS, I don’t. When I fracture my leg, I don’t want to be in pain until you’ve saved the money for vet bills. When I get diabetes, I don’t want to be discarded when it is a perfectly treatable illness.
- Remember before you hit me, I have sharp teeth that can easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite you.
- Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate or lazy, ask yourself if something may be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I’ve been out in the sun too long, my hair is tangled or my heart is getting old and weak.
- Take care of me when I get old, you too will get old and will need help. Treat me and my aches and pains the way you would want yours to be treated.
- Go with me on the difficult journeys. Never say “I can’t bear to watch it” or “Let it happen in my absence”. Everything is easier for me when you are there.
Swansea dog trainer will shortly be holding seminars in Swansea for the first time dog owner. It’s primarily aimed at people who are planning to get a dog but haven’t yet done so although most of the content will also suit owners who have recently obtained their four legged pal (and haven’t damaged it yet).
The seminar will cover:
- Your dog – My first carnivorous, predatory hunter…
- The pros and cons of choosing from breeders and rescue centres.
- How to recognise and avoid puppy mills and scams.
- Choosing a dog and tell tail signs of prior issues.
- Your promise to your new pal.
- What to buy before your dog.
- Bringing your new pooch home.
- Children and dogs!
- Pack leadership – Giving your dog the confidence to follow balanced, protective leaders.
- Home management – Rule by respect and admiration, not by fear.
- Socialisation – 100% ESSENTIAL for your puppy within the first few months of birth. How to do it.
- Crates, cages, beds and toilet training.
- Feeding, food, snacks and treats.
- Vets, insurance, vaccinations and pet passports.
- Neutering and spaying.
- The law and your dog – don’t get caught out!
- Training recall – THE most important ability.
- Walking politely and safe, off-leash fun.
- Continuing the training for fun, talent shows and assistance.
Attendance will cost just £25 and include refreshments a discounted one to one visit if required.
To be notified of the exact dates and times coming up, please enter your email address below.
I will send you an email about the upcoming events when we confirm dates and venues in Swansea.
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Not so much dog training as dog learning vs. well times photographer :) Enjoy!
Found this on YouTube. An absolutely fantastic mashup of dog heros, dog tricks and dogs just being dogs. It is 7 minutes long but if it doesn’t make you smile… you’re probably a cat.
Hands up who loves their dog! Everyone? I certainly hope so. So how do you show it?
Do you shower your dog in kisses and hugs? have him sit on your lap while watching TV? snuggle with him in bed? Carry him to the car? Cuddle him on the sofa? When he has a confrontation with another dog, do you crouch down and pet him? When he barks at a stranger and hides behind you, do you tell him it’s ok while smoothing his coat?
I’m not going to argue that dogs are Wolves because that’s like saying we’re monkeys. They’re certainly dogs and have their own place but they’re as near as damnit.
Dogs don’t reassure each other the way humans do; they don’t cuddle and hug, they certainly don’t kiss. But they do reassure each other. By seeing the other dogs calmly moving on, the would-be-fearful dog is calmed, gets up and moves on. If you as his owner does the same thing, your dog will see that and respond accordingly.
Compare that to the alternative where the owner starts making high pitched ‘Oh my poor baby’ noises, crouches down, cuddles the dog…
In human speak, you’re saying: “It’s ok, the other dog didn’t mean to hurt you, he’s gone now, stop shaking, don’t be scared”
The dog is hearing: “I’m afraid, you’re afraid, let’s be scared and huddle together, I’ll wait here until you’re confident enough to lead us forward”
Congratulations, you’ve just developed a phobia of other dogs!
When your dog is afraid of something unnecessarily, act normal, keep walking, keep doing whatever it is you’re doing. It may be fireworks, noises outside, electricians, window cleaners, the postman, strangers, hedge trimmers, park wardens, cyclists, cars, other dogs… if you don’t react to these (and the dog respects you as ‘in charge’) your dog will learn to be calm. If instead you make a big fuss, run round looking after the dog, you’re effectively confirming that fear is the correct response. As he starts barking at the poor washing machine installation guy, you’re there stroking and nurturing that fear, little fido thinks it’s ok, he thinks you approve. If you start shouting at him, well that’s even worse. A shout to a dog sounds like a bark, so he’s barking, you’re barking, everyone’s barking and your window cleaner isn’t sure whether to continue or run for cover.
If it’s no big deal, act like it’s no big deal, ignore the barks, whines and fear. When dog comes out of his shell and starts to behave normally, THEN you can show affection.
The thing is, a human is a human, a dog is a dog. You show your love to him by walking him twice a day, making regular trips to the vet, feeding him quality food, playing with him, training him to do tricks, walk properly and come when called. The hugs and kisses, lets face it, they’re for you. If all you give your dog is love and affection, it becomes a very one-sided relationship; what’s in it for him?
I hate to use another trainer’s motto but Cesar Milan is certainly right. Exercise x2, discipline x1 and affection x1 are all important but in that order for a balanced animal.