This post I am writing with a heavy heart and it is going to annoy a few people I am sure. This is about adopting dogs online, from rescue centers or even from private individuals. This week I saw two dogs who were ordered “online”. In the first case, a couple adopted a dog online to replace a dog who died. In the second case somebody adopted a dog online as companion. In one case it ended up in tears and heartache and in the other case it is quickly moving in the same direction. So what went wrong?
Many times we as humans think that hand rearing a puppy will ensure that the puppy grows up to be the perfect dog because you can shape his behavior from a very young age. In other cases we are so anxious to get a puppy that we tend to bully a breeder into giving him to us at a very young age. Does it really matter at what age you get a puppy?
What is Socialization?
Socialization is creating purposeful, positive experiences for your puppy, to prepare him for life in the human world. For the first few months of his live, a puppy will go through a developmental phase known as the critical socialization window. During this period, puppies learn about the word around them, and are usually curious and resilient. This is the time brain development happens very rapidly and all experiences (negative and positive) will be remembered.
A dog urinating on objects, usually vertical, is a normal, instinctive social behaviour. Dogs mark their territory by urinating on certain objects within their territory. The dog returns to these spots on occasion to renew this olfactory mark. Usually the amount of urine produced is a smaller amount than when the dog relieves himself. Marking often occurs in areas where other dogs have urine marked or left their odour. Although more commonly seen in intact males, neutered males and females also mark.
Raising a Puppy – The force free way to a happy, confident pup and a great relationship.My philosophy for raising a puppy. – Sally Bradbury
I had a rather unpleasant experience recently with a person who wanted help with a reactive dog, but wanted me to guarantee that I could “fix” the problem, before agreeing to book a consultation. When I tried to explain that I could not make such guarantees and sent the person details on how we would approach this type of problem, as well as factors that might influence the outcome, to help her make an informed decision as to whether she wanted to proceed,she refused to read the information (because, in her own words, it was too much effort) and insisted again that I guarantee a result. At that point I responded that I was obviously not what she was looking for.
Raising a puppy can be the best experience you can possibly have, or a bit of a nightmare. Most puppies are like little energizer bunnies, and they need to be taught in a way that they understand what is allowed and what not. Good habits gets learned very quickly but unfortunately, just like human kids, bad habits also gets learned quickly.
Trainers often hear clients referring to their dogs as “spiteful” or “stubborn”. And you often hear “but at home she does everything right, she is just being stubborn now!
Really? Let us have a look at how dogs learn things, then we decide if your dog is really “stubborn”.
” WHAT IS PUPPY SCHOOL?
Puppy school is a time and place where puppies and owners are educated. The aim is to produce a well-adjusted, socially acceptable, adult companion animal. All exercises are taught as fun games and learning methods are reward-based, using the concept of positive reinforcement!
Allowing dogs to continuously rehearse aroused behaviors can cause many problems. To get a better understanding of arousal in our dogs, we need to look at the definition of arousal.
BEWARE of the “trainer” who says they will train your dog without food or toys. There is no MAGIC WAND in dog training. Dogs work either to GAIN PLEASURE or AVOID FEAR/PAIN. There are a limited number of controllable resources that dogs will be reliably motivated by in order to work with us and learn behaviours which do not come naturally to them. Food and toys are the most practical, easily accessible and controllable of these motivators. A trainer who thinks they are not necessary is either stubborn or uneducated. If they refuse to use food or toys, they are without any doubt using force and intimidation. If you want happy, well-adjusted dogs, choose to train in a way that makes them feel good.
An assessment of the severity of biting problems based on an objective evaluation of wound pathology
The Pit Bull Terrier
This must be the most misunderstood breed ever. What is a Pit Bull Terrier, other than a dog that causes huge arguments all the time on social media? These are the facts regarding the breed and why things are going wrong.
Let me start by stating that dogs as pets is a relatively new concept.
The original Pit bull originated in Britain during the 1800’s. Old English Bulldogs were crossed with Terrier type dogs, and the Bull Terrier name was born. These dogs were selectively bred as fighting dogs. Initially they were bred for Bull Baiting, hence the “Bull” Terrier. When Bull Baiting was outlawed in 1835 these dogs were then used for Dog Fighting instead, although against the law even then. As these fights were held in pits, these dogs became known as Pit Bull Terriers.
Border Collies playing with Pit Bull puppy.
Yesterday I let my dogs play with a Pit bull puppy. I got some reaction from different people regarding this. “Why would you want to do that, they are bred not to like dogs” to “I thought you don’t like Pit bulls”. Will I ever get a Pit bull myself? Probably not. And the reason is not that I do not like them, they are just not the right type of dog for my lifestyle. Is owning a Pit Bull any different from owning a Border Collie? Yes and no. Yes they are different in what they were selected for, but so are Border Collies. The difference is that every dog were bred for some kind of function and that is the main difference. Will a Pit Bull ever be able to do what a Border Collie does? Some of the things for sure, but will they ever be as good as a Border Collie in dog Agility for example? Definitely not.
It seems like there is some confusion regarding articles about trigger stacking in dogs. Let me try and simplify what it is all about and why every dog expert is so against small children playing roughly with dogs.
If a dog shows a behaviour which results in a perceived positive outcome, he or she is more likely to show the behaviour again on subsequent occasions – this is known as reinforcement. If a behaviour results in a perceived negative outcome, the dog is less likely to show the behaviour again – this is punishment. Simplistically, in order to change a behaviour, one could either punish an undesired behaviour or reinforce the desired one.
So you or someone you know is considering adding a pit bull to the family. Here is some guidelines from the PBFSA.
The Pit Bull Federation of South Africa reads with great sadness of the death of the little girl in KZN. As an organisation we extend our deepest sympathies to her family.
Over the last year I have sat and watched the ramblings of pit bull owners from all sides and my heart breaks. This breed is in trouble. And it is the actions of pit bull owners from all sides who are the problem.
A child gets mauled and everyone is up in arms. Blame the child! that stupid stupid mantra punish the deed not the breed. Insults fly, misinformation is spread, fur mommy nanny doggers rant, others owners swear and carry on aggressively and all that you are doing is damaging the breeds reputation even more. You are not advocating you are damaging. And so…
IT NEEDS TO BE SAID.
Why dogs escape
Your dog may be escaping because they are bored and lonely, especially if:
Title: Why a Dog would kill its owner
Author: Melvyn Greenberg
It is regarded as bizarre that man’s best friend for at least the last 12,000 years should turn on its owner and kill that person.
A dog does not suddenly develop this intention but rather the early warning signals given out by the dog are either ignored or not recognized by the family. Failure to detect warning signs of aggression is most likely to occur when people have never developed a rapport of communication with this type of pack animal.
For any dog to kill its owner or any other person there could never have been a meaningful and respectful bond.
Myths about dominance/wolf behaviour
And how it relates to dogs.
Taken from a statement by the American Society for Veterinary Behaviour
My dogs greets me by jumping up, steals food behind by back, tries to climb onto my lap to be petted and often ignores me when I call him to come to me. Are these signs of dominance?
Christmas is coming and Maggie, my 16 year old daughter always wanted a dog. She really likes Border Collies as she has seen them doing all sorts of tricks. They are also so cute when they are puppies. I will spoil my daughter and get her a purebred Border Collie puppy from a breeder I heard of on a farm. His Collies should be so clever as he uses his dogs for working his sheep and he is not charging a fortune. I will phone him and order her the puppy.
Toilet training is all about creating good habits. Young pups have very small bladders and very little bladder control so they need to be in the right place when nature calls.
I GOT A SHELTER/RESCUE DOG – NOW WHAT?
What to do when you get him/her home?
Coping with the first few weeks!
How to move forward from there!
Animals that live in groups, like dogs, establish relationships, through which the individuals involved interact and live together. The roles that the individuals play within the relationship can change with each new day or situation. These relationships also take time to build, so proper introductions are important to help the dogs adjust to one another and start to build on their relationship.
What is the most important thing to teach a new puppy?
When people bring a new puppy home many people immediately starts focusing on obedience training. While obedience training is great and starting at a young age will set the puppy up for success, it is NOT the most important part of raising a puppy. There is no time limit for obedience training. You can teach a dog obedience at 8 weeks or 8 years. Contrary to popular belief an old dog can learn new tricks. With a little bit of effort you can teach your older dog to do the same behaviors as your puppy.
Free feeding a dog means that a dog has access to food all day long. Now how can I say that I don’t like free feeding? The dog is eating so that must be a good thing right? That makes me a good dog owner right?
Wrong! There is a lot of controversy around the feeding of dogs, when to feed them, how much to feed them etc. Now let me explain some of the negatives of free feeding.
George van Huyssteen (DipCABT)
Practitioner Member CAPBT International
Garden Route, South Africa