Fireworks and Dogs Don’t Mix

The coming weekend happens to be a long one for us Canadians. Queen Victoria’s birthday. Our fabulous May 24 weekend.

Everyone heading for the cottage for the first time after a long winter. And of course, family fun with fireworks.

Now I am a huge advocate for taking your well mannered canine family member everywhere he would be welcome. However, to watch fireworks is NOT the place to take him.

Even if you have a dog that is very laid back and reacts to little, to have them endure the unpredictability of a fireworks show is bordering on cruelty. You also stand a high chance of your pup running off in fear.

The risk of a possible fear bite or your fur baby running off in fear is not worth your joy at having him with you for a couple of hours. Not to mention the anxiety and possible long term affects it may have.

Do everyone a favour and be that same responsible owner that had your pup socialized and trained, and leave your four legged family member peacefully at home.

Have a great long weekend. 🙂

One Person CAN Change the World…

….for at least one dog. Your dog. Your future dog and maybe even someone else’s dog. You know how?

Simple.

When you decide to pick up that gorgeous, irresistible, furry bundle of fur, remember that it is a long term commitment. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly.

YOU are the center of your dogs life. His life revolves within the four walls in which you live. Your world is so more than that. You are his source of food, exercise and happiness. Your dog is a huge responsibility.

That responsibility also includes to society.

This is two-fold, of course. As the owner, a part of your overall responsibilities is to ensure your dog is well socialized, and not just as a pup or young dog. With socialization is also manners and general obedience. We all dislike those owners that let their dogs off leash so they can run amok. Funny how screaming their names never seems to work on bringing them back and making them listen, isn’t it?

So yes, training is a significant part of the overall responsibilities that are required as an owner. With training comes reliability. Now please keep in mind that reliability is not perfection. They are animals first and our pets second.

So now that you have a socialized and well mannered canine family member that is welcome everywhere you go. Whether you recognize it or not, you have become a fantastic ambassador for all dogs, not just your breed.

With every ambassador comes good news. First, your dog stands a much lower chance of ever being at the mercy of a shelter or rescue facility. Second, you both inspire the same in other owners to create more canine ambassadors. Third, the dog world can do with all the positivity it can get, both locally and internationally.

With every ambassador in the canine world, we stand united against idiotic laws such as BSL.

 

 

Copyright © 2013 Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/FireAndIce Reg’d Doberman Pinschers & Alaskan Malamutes/Unleashthehounds blog/Shadowlands K9 Training. All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ~ UNLEASHTHEHOUNDS ~ ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/FireAndIce Reg’d Dobermans and Alaskan Malamutes/Shadowlands K9 Training, and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2013

 

Website updates

I have the website up and running again, thank goodness!

Have a couple new clients with two beautiful mals.  Come and check us out!  🙂

http://www.shadowlandsk9training.weebly.com

 

 

Copyright © 2013 Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/FireAndIce Reg’d Doberman Pinschers & Alaskan Malamutes/Unleashthehounds blog/Shadowlands K9 Training. All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ~ UNLEASHTHEHOUNDS ~ ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/FireAndIce Reg’d Dobermans and Alaskan Malamutes/Shadowlands K9 Training, and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2013

 

Canine Aggression at Home

In the dog world, it is unusual to encounter hostility between opposing sex dogs.  I will not say that it doesn’t happen but most fights are either between two males, or two females.  Rarely are they between a male and a female.  I only mention this as it has been a bone of contention for one particular family.  They only have the two dogs (will not mention any breed or family details) and things have become so hostile that they have literally split the house in two.  The male lives on one side and the female on the other.  They have two baby gates stacked on top of the other to separate them.

 

I am looking at my three asleep on the floor in front of me and I shake my head.  Age has no bearing on this behaviour I might add.  Mine range from 13 years(neutered), 7 years(spayed), to almost 2 years(intact).  Three different breeds with three different personalities.  They are all fed in the same room at the same time, they are given treats together and I always end training sessions with all three doing the same command at the same time.  They are all over 60lbs, the smallest just over and the biggest just under 100 lbs.  There is zero tolerance for resource guarding in this house and any signs are nipped in the bud the moment the first sign appears and are never seen again. 

 

I have to wonder how things can get to this point.  Did it just happen overnight?  Were there signs that these two animals detested each other?  Why was nothing seemingly done about it before it reached these proportions?  Which of the two are the problem or are they both the aggressor depending on circumstance?  Are they aggressive with any other dogs or, heaven forbid, any people?  Have they hurt anyone?  These are the first few questions that are going through my head.

 

The biggest question that is going through my head is “what did you do about it?”.  When there was the first sign of animosity, what did you do about it?  When the level of animosity escalated, what did you do about it?  When you realized you were in over your head with these two (yes, splitting your house in two is being in over your head), what did you do about it?

 

Yes, we all hate to admit defeat or admit that something is bigger than we are and help is needed, but to have your house split in two because your dogs will not, and do not get along, is no way to live.   At what point should we say to be damned with pride and seek help from those with the experience and know-how to so?  For me, that would have been the moment one or both stopped listening to me when I corrected the slightest hint of resource guarding or aggression VERY early on.

 

Would your opinion change if one of these dogs assaulted an adult in the face that was completely unprovoked?  By unprovoked, I really do mean unprovoked.  The two adults were standing, talking for about 10-15 minutes before the bitch decided that she wanted to help rearrange the woman’s face.  Would you have admitted defeat then?  Or would you have said she (the bitch) must be coming into heat and is a little grumpy?  Would you have stuck around after that incident happened or made your sincere apologies and got the hell out of there? 

 

If that had been me, and I will state clearly that never would be, I would have been absolutely mortified.  I have to say that without a doubt, this bitch would have been corrected equal to her actions, and that correction would have been immediate and to the point.  And I honestly wouldn’t be able to apologize enough to the woman.  Now I will state right now that the bitch “tagged” the woman’s face so injuries were only very minor.  I only say this to clarify that it was not a mauling, no stitches were required etc.  Regardless, it was a bite and is still very serious in nature.  Continuing on, I would have ensured she was indeed alright, still apologizing and I would have left.  You couldn’t have paid me to stay.  What I would then have done was get on the phone and start making inquiries into getting some help with her.  And I would make damn sure that she gets the training, socialization, discipline that she needed before I ever took her into the public again.  Even if that meant she must wear a muzzle.  That is what I would do before ever letting something like that happen again.

 

I don’t care what kind of excuses you want to come up with.  There are NO excuses for a dog putting their teeth on a person, especially unprovoked.  WE are the ones that are responsible for the rearing, training and socialization of our dogs.  WE are the ones that need to ensure the safety of the public AND of our fur-babies.  To not take both into consideration is irresponsible and you bring down all dog owners by doing so. 

 

And quite frankly, to those that choose to continue with the excuses, I ask this:  Is your arrogance/ignorance over your own dog’s behaviour, worth the life of an innocent bystander, family member or even the death of your dog?

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2012 Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/FireAndIce Reg’d Doberman Pinschers & Alaskan Malamutes/Unleashthehounds blog/Unleash the Hounds Grooming Spa & Training Center/ Sandysvoicebox blog.   All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ~ UNLEASHTHEHOUNDS/SANDYSVOICEBOX ~ ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/FireAndIce Reg’d Dobermans and Alaskan Malamutes/Unleash the Hounds Grooming Spa & Training Center/Sandysvoicebox, and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2012

 

Being an Ambassador

Regardless of what breed or mix you may own, when in public, you represent all of those with that breed.  Good training is essential for a well socialized and calm member of society.  It is not a dog friendly world out there, what with all the BSL and bad press.  We should all take a conscious stand and represent ourselves and our breed in the best possible light, especially while out  in public.
 
Good training not  only makes the dog easier to handle, but also makes your life with your dog much more enjoyable too.  🙂
 
Copyright © 2011 Sandy Allen/Shadowlands.  All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Allen/Shadowlands K9 Training/FireAndIce Dobermans & Alaskan Malamutes and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2011
 
 
 

How Do We Keep Our Dogs Safe, as Well as the Public?

I’d like to think that all dog owners out there think about others as well as themselves each time they go out in public, but frankly the news tells us otherwise.  So how do we, the responsible dog owner, fight the reputation those irresponsible dog owners have given us?
 
Those that know me and my dogs, know that I am a responsible dog owner but is that enough?  Unfortunately, the answer to that is no.  In this case it has only taken a few to give the many a bad reputation, but it will take the many to fix what the few have done. 
 
So where do we start?  Well obviously the answer is to spread the word that there are good dogs as well as good dog owners out there.  Sound simple enough but the public and the media only care for those dramatic stories that increase their popularity and sales.  So what now?
 
I have often thought that part of a breeders’ contract should state reaching a certain point or certification (CGN or CGC) of obedience with each of their puppies/available young dogs or adults.  The same goes for shelters.  They should partner up with an organization that does training.  PetsMart works with the Humane Society here and it would make sense to me for them to help those dogs from not being returned yet again, by ensuring they are signed up for training before they leave for their new homes.
 
With training comes socialization and to a certain degree, some predictability.  A well trained and socialized dog goes everywhere and is exposed to all types of people, environments and situations.  With more exposure to different stimuli, the more likely your dog will react in a predictable manner in any given situation.
 
Please always remember dogs are animals first and our pets second.  So although we may do everything right, we must always be aware of the body language they are displaying and at first signs of anxiety or stress, we must remove them from the scene.  Do NOT over react.  Calmly walk away and remove yourself and your dog from the situation.  Give your dog a chance to calm down and relax.
 
Hmmmmm…so now your dog is calm, well trained and socialized.  With your knowledge of his behaviour, his training and being exposed to different stimulis, you and he make a good and strong team and make great ambassadors for the dog world.  Congratulations!!!
 
That is the type of example we need out there.  When you are proud of your dog and how well behaved he is, you  cannot help but share what you know.  Not only by example but by talking to those that stop to say hello when you are out.  And children always love petting our dogs.  Tell them the rules once and they don’t forget.  It is great to hear them repeat it to their friends when they stop us in the street to come say hello.  If we can get our children to know better, to listen to the rules of not approaching strange dogs, or not petting unless given permission, of respecting dogs while sleeping or eating, we will have less and less cases of dog bites.  And just like that, we are spreading the word that good dogs and owners alike do exist!!
 
So with training and socialization comes a consequence of sorts.  The likelihood of a well trained animal being surrendered to a shelter is extremely low as there would be no reason to do so.  Now that is a consequence we should all be happy about.  🙂
 
Copyright © 2011 Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/Shadowlands Canine Training/FireAndIce Reg’d Doberman Pinschers & Alaskan Malamutes.  All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/FireAndIce Reg’d Dobermans and Alaskan Malamutes and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2011
 

The Basics of Dog Ownership

In some ways, I think I should have named this Responsibilities II but I hate sequels.  Lol!! 
 
The good weather finally being here is a chance to allow our canine kids to stretch their legs, not to mention our own.  Those dog parks are being used once again and even our seniors are acting like puppies once again.  Spring is in the air and everyone loves it.
 
Everyone wants to be out there in that sunshine and that is understandable.  Whenever I can there are a couple of us that head to the nearest park or conservation area with all of our dogs for an afternoon of fun in the sun.  Neither of these areas allow dogs to be off leash which is not a problem.  If we wanted them off leash, we would take them to an off-leash dog park.  All of our dogs are very well behaved and having them off- leash would not be an issue in regards to inappropriate behaviour.
 
The problem lies not in US having an issue with this episode of canine freedom, but those around us having an issue.  Public parks and conservation areas are frequented by families and other dogs, all of whom would like to enjoy their afternoon romp, unmolested by strange dogs running at large.
 
As dog owners, we must recognize and respect that not all people are comfortable or even like dogs(horrifying thought I know), regardless of the breed.  To see several all runing around free can be quite intimidating.  Although our group is excellent with the recall, all it takes is once to become a serious problem.  We must also remember that they are living breathing animals and there is always that chance they take that instantaneoud dislike to another dog or person for that matter.  And flash!!  Your life and that of your caninebaby has been changed forever.
 
So who are we to thumb our noses up at leash laws?  Who are we to decide that OUR dogs are the special exception to that law?  WE don’t get to decide that at all.  I honestly don’t believe the local “dog catcher” really cares whether I have my dogs on an e-collar which some mistakenly think of a “wireless leash”.  The only leash is a real leash which clips to your dogs’ collar and which you hold in your hand.  Not a difficult concept to grasp for most.
 
So why do some people insist on being the exceptions to this rule?  Who do they think that they have the right to put others at risk?  The answer to these questions I feel is fairly simple.  They are not responsible dog owners.  Harsh?  Maybe.  But then so is having a dog that “looks” like a pit bull ripped out of your house and euthanized for that reason and that reason alone.
 
A responsible dog owner recognizes that the world out there is notdog friendly.  That we are ambassadors for the dog world every time we are out in public.  We have to be responsible not only for our own dogs, but for how every specimen of our breed is seen by others.  We humans stereotype everything, which is why we have Breed Specific Legislation.
 
The basics should be, for everyone regardless of breed or mix: training, socialization, exercise, the best food you can afford, a big thick dog bed to cuddle in, proper vet care and of course lots of love.  That should also include keeping your fur-babies safe in every way possible.  That means now allowing them to be put in positions where they could make a wrong decision, especially when out in public.  If our dogs do something wrong, WE are the ones responsible, but it is THEMthat pays the price. 
 
For goodness sake, let’s not give the AR’s any more reason to push BSL,especially in our own areas or for our own breeds. 
 
Let’s stop putting our own Dogs Under Fire.
 
Copyright © 2011 Sandy Allen/Shadowlands/Shadowlands Canine Training/FireAndIce Reg’d Doberman Pinschers & Alaskan Malamutes.  All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Allen/Shadowlands  and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2011