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Roxy rests with benefit of Har-Vest

Rescue - Who rescues who?

A little more than a year into my relationship with 'rescue dog' Tommy the Wizard, the shih tzu I reluctantly took in and then fell in love with and fully adopted, I find myself once again fostering a dog who arrived with issues, uncertainly and no formal training. Roxy is a nearly 5 year old puggle (a cross between a pug and a beagle) whose owners found me agreeing to take custody of her for the express purpose of finding her a new and wonderful forever home during a narrow window of opportunity. How did they do it? First success -- I answered the phone and listened to the story.

 

Aggression and Emotions

Often one of the most common reasons why animals show aggression is due to fear, however there can be other reasons too such as frustration. Dogs do not show aggression because they are trying to be naughty or stubborn, they often have very good reasons. If your dog is showing aggression ask yourself why s/he maybe doing this in terms of emotions such as anxiety, fear, frustration, panic, play... Don't think in terms of labels such as naughty or dominant. Dogs that often growl when people try to remove bones or walk towards them when they are eating do so because they do not feel comfortable

 

Advocacy Overdrive – BSL in New Zealand - The Godzone is a Canine Warzone.

Breed Discrimination is a problem dog owners and dogs themselves face all over the world. As I have detailed in a blog about Australia and the recent call for “dangerous dog laws” in Victoria and else where in Australia, the problem is not simply a US issue.

New Zealand is also practicing dog breed discriminatory laws. They have been in place for almost 10 years. Now due to recent media frenzy over dog bite incidents the attitude towards dogs of a certain type are becoming increasingly hostile.

As with all lethal or fatal dog bite incidents there is a human behavior criteria that is always present. These factors cannot be discounted or over looked. Though as in the US, some media in New Zealand are not doing their journalisitc home work.

In New Zealand, just as in other parts of the world you will find the same sensationalistic journalism accompanied by opinions and feelings about dogs by people that have little or no legitimate education about canines.

 

Give Them What They Need

Everyone has a different definition of what constitutes a "good dog."  For trainers, it may mean a dog that can take home an OTCH, or a "bomb-proof" dog that can be used in behavioral consults with reactive dogs.  For an agility devotee, it would be a structurally sound dog that has the drive to compete.  Some people think a 300 yard stay and a bomb-proof recall makes a good dog.  For a hunter, the ability to work off leash in the fields and woods amidst extreme distractions constitutes a good dog.  Others think good dogs are those that will let children climb on and ride around on a dog with nary a calming signal.  Whether you want your dog to be a therapy dog, enjoy living happily in a home with many children, a multi-dog or multi-animal household, or whether you have competitive goals, whether you are a trainer or a devoted pet owner, we all get to define what a "good dog" is, and therefore, what level of investment we want to make in training a dog

 

Tommy The Wizard - A Rescue Gone Right

Time can be measured in many ways. the blink of an eye, seconds, moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, years, decades, lifetimes, centuries, millennium and yada yada yada. The benefit of such measure is often comparative -- to reflect on how things are the same, how things are different. Then getting subjective -- how things are better, or how things are worse. Living and working hands on with dogs full time for over the past 12 years has engendered a greater awareness of the value of living in the moment -- it is a testament to the power of the animals I share my life with how many perfect moments there are in life, even amid stress, sorrow, sadness, loss and pain. Yet at the same time, a wise man once told me (okay, so it was my father!), if you can look back at a year ago and say that today things are better or at least no worse, then you are doing well. Forward ho. Or something like that. So it is as an anniversary arrives I step back to become reflective.

 

Advocacy Overdrive: A teachable moment in our midst

The corresponding video to this blog is on You Tube http://youtu.be/fFR4xBhqrKU

In January of 2012 actor Nick Santino committed suicide after he euthanized his dog Rocco amid pressure from his condo board and harassment from his neighbors.

The NY Post reported that a Veterinarian had issued a warning that Rocco was “becoming aggressive” this has now been proven to be false.

Nick had Rocco euthanized at the ASPCA not at his regular vet. In NY State any pet owner can have his pet euthanized without too many obstacles.

By all accounts from people that knew Nick and Rocco, they all said Rocco was a sound, friendly dog and Nick was a great dog owner.

This film is not documenting any aspects surrounding this tragic event that deal with Mr. Santino’s personal life or the assumptions that have been made about his state of affairs.

We sincerely extend our condolences to his family and friends.

 

Rufo's Legacy For Shelter Dogs

Today I saw a lovely video that brought tears of joy to my eyes. It was about the story of Rufo, a shelter dog that spent six years waiting for a new home. The video is sweet and full of hope, however, even though Rufo has a happy ending, his story is both quite sad and unusual.

While I understand why the shelter and all of Rufo’s friends and supporters really wanted to celebrate his triumph, I also fear that Rufo’s story may send the wrong message. I fear more shelters will try to keep dogs languishing or suffering for too long because “they might be the next Rufo”. I fear that people

 
Moatie is the best dog Steve DeBono Dog Trainer Austin Texas has ever known

Hey You! Cue THIS!

I'm generally pretty quiet with my dogs, other than chatting with them about my day or maybe what I had for lunch.  I’ll praise them when they do something I like and direct them in some way if I need to alter their behavior.  If we're on an off-leash hike, there are days that they might never hear a word from me, yet I’m still constantly asking them for behaviors and responses. 

My silence gives me leverage.  I want the sound and tone of my voice to mean something... I couldn't give two craps whether they understand my words.  If I'm walking one way and they go the other, I'm not going to yell "COME!” at the top of my lungs.  What leverage would that give me when it's actually important for them to respond?  How is the dog supposed to know that "This time he really means it!" if my tone is always one of urgency?

 

Have Dog Trainers Failed?

“Blaming individual bite victims for this almost universal ignorance, however, just seems cruel. If we must assign blame for this kind of thing, perhaps we animal care professionals and enthusiasts should start by asking ourselves why we have failed to make what seems like common sense to us truly common. “

Jeff Silverman, The Blame Game: Who's at fault when dog bites Denver news anchor?

 

Hear!  Hear!  For a long time I’ve been frustrated with conversations among dog trainers about the lack of behavioral knowledge in the veterinary community, obnoxious behavior at dog parks, lack of puppies in puppy classes, owner non-compliance and the “stupid” things that dog owners do.

 
Normal dog behavior is messy and delightful, just like farm-fresh eggs.

Normal Dog Behavior Is Messy and Delightful, Just Like Farm-Fresh Eggs!

This weekend I was lucky enough to score some farm-fresh, organic eggs from pasture-raised chickens. They are delightful! For me, opening the egg carton to behold the soft palate of pastel-colored eggs of different shapes and sizes was akin to opening a treasure chest. Not to mention the thought of the rich, golden goodness that is waiting inside. Farm eggs look at taste nothing like store-bought factory eggs or even “free-range” eggs produced in giant industrial barns under deplorable conditions. They are more nutritious than industrially produced eggs too.

 

The woman who gave me the eggs mentioned that a visiting family member would not eat these fabulous gems. The colors and variety in size and shape freaked her out. The eggs were... dirty! They had just come out from underneath the chickens after all. This visitor went on to explain that she would only eat white eggs with an ink stamp of approval from whatever “farm”.

 

 

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