Archive for the ‘Dog Whisperer’ Category

$250. Poop Trap

Posted on: April 15th, 2013 by Asia No Comments

dogpoopingWhat’s a $250. Poop Trap?

No doubt you’ve heard of a “speed trap”, but for irresponsible dog owners who refuse to pick up after their dogs, what about a “$250. poop trap”? Sure everyone is more vigilant when they see the local enforcement authorities wandering about in their uniforms, but what if they were in plain clothes and just wandering about at the off leash park or beach?

It’s a $250. Fine

Perhaps you’re not aware that not picking up after your dog is a substantial $250. fine – that’s more than not having a current dog tag on your fur friend’s collar.

What’s worse is that dog poop is highly toxic and when you don’t pick up, this toxin finds it’s way into our water supplies, and into our homes.

Why might it be a good idea for control officers to blend into society so that they can catch irresponsible owners? Nobody wants to step in doggy do, and they sure don’t want to smell it when they’re taking a few hours to enjoy the sun and sea at the beach, and none of us conscientious dog owners want to keep on taking the rap for those who think it’s OK to operate outside of the rules of common decency.

I’m sure that all conscientious dog owners have many times seen a big pile of dog poo left on the side of the road in your neighbourhood, or at your local park, and I’m sure that being the conscientious dog owner that you are, you’ve picked up many loads that didn’t come out of your dog, while silently cursing the irresponsible dog owners who makes all the rest look bad.

Pick It Up – It’s the Law

Because there are so many more dogs in homes these days than ever before, this means that sadly there are many more piles of poop not being picked up.

Every time a dog owner does not pick up after their dog, this inaction creates a health hazard and puts all other dog owners in a bad light which broadens the wedge between those who love dogs and those who would rather see them banned from all public places.

As an example, just yesterday when we were pack waking with our clients as we do every Sunday, the weather was gorgeous and we decided to return along the beach. There were lots of dogs and humans enjoying the sunshine and ignoring their off leash dogs.

Within a space of just five minutes we saw two dog owners NOT pick up after their dogs. One young woman actually dug a hole in the beach and buried her dog’s poop under an inch or two of small rocks and when one of our group called her on it, her excuse was that it was better than filling landfills with plastic. When I replied that most doggy do do bags are biodegradable, she became belligerent and said, “you look after your dog and I’ll look after mine.”

A minute farther down the beach and we witnessed another dog squeezing out a fresh pile of poop while the two young guys who seemed to be associated were already too far down the beach to ever notice.

We live very near a beautiful little park where we often walk our dog, and inevitably we are picking up after a dog and owner that has long since left the vicinity. In fact, we seem to pick up far more dog poop from other dogs than from our own.

The Power of Peer Pressure

So what’s the solution to solving this problem before dogs are banned from all public areas? Conscientious dog owners need to voice their opinions loudly whenever they see someone not picking up, as sometimes it’s a legitimate mistake, but for those who are purposefully not picking up, perhaps a little peer pressure or embarrassment might do the trick. Of course, it might have the opposite effect and you will get a hail of four letter words back at you. No matter if this happens, as the person is really swearing at themselves because they know they are wrong and perhaps unbeknownst to you, they will change their errant ways somewhere down the road.

I say, why not set up poop traps and start making some serious money for the city? If every time a plain clothes enforcement officer catches someone not picking up and they fine the individual $250. wouldn’t you think that this considerable hit to the wallet would have a positive effect on teaching the irresponsible that the rules also apply to them.

If you have a good idea about how to get those dog owners to be more responsible, put it in play, and help all conscientious dog owners make our community a safer, cleaner and all round better place for everyone.

– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com [Since 2008]

Dogs Are…

Posted on: March 30th, 2013 by Asia No Comments

Even though, when you ask most humans why they have a dog, their spontaneous response is usually “for companionship”, there may actually be far more subtle reasons we humans aren’t even aware of that speak to the many human needs that might be left unfulfilled if we were unable to share our lives with a furry friend.

"Companionship and affection and they never get grumpy" "Because I've always had them and I love them and they're a calming effect in our lives. They comfort me and my wife."

“Companionship and affection and they never get grumpy.” “Because I’ve always had them and I love them and they’re a calming effect in our lives. They comfort me and my wife.”

We asked some of our clients and strangers, too: “What’s your number one reason for having a dog in your life?”

Here are some of the spontaneous comments we gathered…

Isn’t it so very interesting that many of us humans, even those who are married and have children in their families, and lots of friends, seem to have dogs in our lives for “companionship”, “love” and “affection”? Beyond these very important aspects of our human lives, perhaps our dogs are so much more than we even realize.

Dogs Are Our Helpers

We wouldn’t be where we are in society today without the help of many working breed dogs that helped us humans in so many ways. If us humans had a need, we could find (or create) a dog that would provide the answer.

We have working dogs for herding, hunting, guarding, rescuing, policing, bomb detection, drug sniffing, border patrol, emergency response, service for the handicapped, therapy for nursing homes, rehabilitation and detention centers.

Dogs Are Faithful Companions

"Companionship." "Because my husband wanted one. I grew up with cats and he wanted a dog."

“Companionship.”
“Because my husband wanted one. I grew up with cats and he wanted a dog.”

In today’s society, for the most part, while our dogs still play a vital role in many areas of our human lives, we don’t require our dogs to work the herds and guard our fields alongside of us like they used to, and thus our dogs are more often fulfilling the part of faithful companion for many of us humans.

Dogs Are Great Listeners

No matter how busy our spouses, children or friends may be and how crazy busy our daily lives, our dogs are always there, waiting to sit quietly and listen to anything we have to say, blindly accepting everything we are – whether good, bad, or otherwise, without passing judgment.

Dogs Are Our Fitness Coaches

We humans go to great lengths buying memberships at our local gymnasiums, driving to the local fitness center, buying the latest exercise DVD’s and lugging home the best, new exercise devices, when our dogs are the very best fitness coaches, always waiting and willing to go for a walk, a hike in the park a swim in the lake, a run along the shoreline. If we humans would just listen to our dogs, who are all natural athletes, follow their example and get out there, we’d all be healthy and fit.

Dogs Are Giving Without Expectation

"I fostered her and my husband fell in love with her and I kept her for him.

“I fostered her and my husband fell in love with her and I kept her for him.”

Our dogs give so much of themselves to us every single day.

They wait patiently for us to be finally ready to take them for a walk.

They let us dress them up in silly clothes, and style their coats in ways pleasing to human fashion.

They learn how to do tricks because it makes us humans happy and they follow our commands the best they can because they always want to please us.

All of this and so much more, yet they don’t “expect” anything in return other than to be with us. Margery Facklam (award winning Children’s Science author) could not have been more correct when she said, “We give dogs time we can spare, and love we can spare. In return, dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made.”

Dogs Are Unconditional Love

"For affection - the dogs give me affection and I give them affection." "Because they make me laugh every day and remind me about the really important things in life."

“For affection – the dogs give me affection and I give them affection.” “Because they make me laugh every day and remind me about the really important things in life.”

If we’re lucky in our human relationships, we may find that elusive “unconditional love” and acceptance we’re all looking for, or we can simply share our lives with a dog and have a guaranteed endless supply.

The canine capacity for unconditional love is likely the biggest reason that dog has become man’s best friend.

Further, when it comes down to displaying unfettered love and affection, a dog can always outdo us humans without even working at it because he or she is born with it.

Think of all those times you’ve had a trying day, you’re a complete grouch, you ignore your dog, and show him no love or affection whatsoever. Does he hold this against you or ignore you back?

Of course not. He waits patiently for you to decide you’re ready to be social again, and then  is just happy that you are there. When it comes to unconditional love, our dogs win hands down.

Dogs Are Joy

"To rescue him from homelessness, or from being unwanted by his previous owner".

“To rescue him from homelessness, or from being unwanted by his previous owner”.

Dogs are always showing us the joy in everyday things that us busy humans often don’t take the time to even notice.  If we slow down just a bit and watch, we can enjoy vicarious, spontaneous joy through our dogs.

Dogs live for the moment, and when you have a dog in your life, you can learn this, too.

A dog appreciates every fine moment of each new day and doesn’t complain about it, and we can certainly follow their lead and learn to be grateful for all that we have.

When we learn to live our lives more fully in the present, we naturally have more enthusiasm, less worry and a more simplified joy for life, just like our dogs.

Dogs Are Keeping Us Young

Dogs are always ready and waiting to give us an opportunity to be silly and child-like any time we feel like it, which is a side of grown up and responsible adults that we most often don’t allow ourselves to experience with our peers.

Dogs Are Our Connection With Nature

"Because she's good company for me."

“Because taking care of them helps me enjoy a better quality of life.”

Dogs are always reminding us that there’s a whole great, big, wide, wonderful world of beautiful nature out there for us to explore that is so much more interesting, educational and spiritually uplifting than sitting in front of our TV’s watching the latest movie, playing the latest video game or chatting on our smart devices.

Dogs are always showing us that we need to take the time to notice all that is growing, living and breathing around us.

Dogs are telling us to pay attention and take the time to appreciate the flowers, smell the ocean breeze, wonder where that bald eagle builds its nest, marvel at how far that tiny hummingbird had to fly to get here.

Our dogs are encouraging us to pause for a moment and watch the most outstanding sunrise and enjoy these many free gifts from nature that expand our minds, bring peace to our souls, and are simply without compare.

Dogs Are Uninhibited

"Companionship - they're interesting - to have something to nurture and because they provide unconditional love."

“Companionship – they’re interesting – to have something to nurture and because they provide unconditional love.”

Perhaps our dogs remind us about how great it would be to be so uninhibited and not worry about how others think about our fun, crazy, playful moments, because it’s so much more important to really notice the day and laugh out loud than worry about how we look.

George Evans (Outdoor Essayist and Dog Breeder) captured the essence of the uninhibited dog quite perfectly when he said, “I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren’t certain we knew better.”

Dogs Are Holistic Medicine

Dogs are truly medicine without the side-effects.

So many of us humans lead very stressful lives, we’re overworked and underpaid, run ragged trying to keep up with our families and friends and because of our fast-paced lifestyles have little, if any, truly “me” time.

This leads us down a path that can cause ill health, which in turn sees us swallowing all sorts of drugs to try to find a way to cope or reach a balance or inner peace that will work for us.

Many times, instead of reaching for the medicine cabinet, what we really need is a peaceful walk with our fur friend, a moment to sit on a park bench or grassy knoll, and watch the clouds roll by, while stroking the soft, stress-reducing fur of our favourite canine.

Loving Companionship

"For love."

“For love.”

This loving companionship we receive from our dogs is obviously a very special type of companionship that we just don’t get from our human family members or significant others.

Perhaps it’s because humans can be judgmental, have expectations about how you should look and act, and usually have limiting boundaries, which means that no matter how special a relationship you might have with your human counterparts, there are still many social boundaries we feel we must adhere to.

Could it be that the only time we humans feel that we can escape from feeling overwhelmed with our daily lives, when we can experience moments of loving, unconditional companionship where we can totally relax, be 100% ourselves, carefree and connected with our inner child, enjoying the bliss of the simple things in life, where we give ourselves permission to be spontaneous and crazy loving, is not with our children, our friends or our life partners, but rather, it’s that precious time we spend time with our dog(s)?

"Because...

“Because…

Of course, what our dogs bring to our human lives will be special to every dog and personal to each and every one of us humans, as we and our dogs are all individuals with unique needs.

What do you get from YOUR dog that you may not be consciously aware of, because of course, our special dogs are all of the above, and so much more.

– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com [Since 2008]

Is Your Dog Collar Safe?

Posted on: March 13th, 2013 by Asia No Comments

Let’s face it, we humans are generally quite fashion conscious, and like to be well turned out and up to date with the latest, and because of this many of us also like our dog’s to be sporting the latest canine fashions when it comes to choosing a dog collar.

While our dogs really don’t give a fig about what colour their collar or coat may be, or whether it’s made out of the latest high tech fabric, sometimes us humans are guilty of sacrificing safety for the sake of fashion when it comes to choosing the right dog collar for their fur friend.

Many collars in the canine marketplace today can actually end up being dangerous and even lead to a situation that can put your best friend’s life in jeopardy.

Fashion Can Be Dangerous

Notably, the most dangerous dog collars are also the most prevalent. These are considered “flat collars”.

Flat dog collars come in many fancy materials, colours and styles, with all manner of decoration, including studs, spikes and rhinestones, which makes them highly desired by the fashion conscious humans who may be solely interested in the pattern and colour and whether the desired dog collar has the right look to convey the fashion message that speaks to us humans.

If the lure of the latest fashion is foremost in your mind when purchasing a collar for your dog, you may not be considering whether or not the dog collar you are about to purchase is actually safe for your beloved companion, and that attached to that collar will be a leash that is attached to a human who is ultimately responsible for the safety of their fur friend.

All flat collars, no matter how beautiful, expensive or fashionable, pose a problem for any dog owner who is concerned about the safety of their best friend simply because given the right incentive, most any dog can quite easily pull itself out of a flat collar and run across the street into oncoming traffic.

A dog can be afraid or startled or really want to get to another dog or desperate to chase a cheeky squirrel or taunting cat and can flip their heads around and back right out of a simple flat collar and off they go.

What IS a Flat Collar?

Quite simply a flat collar is a dog collar that can be constructed from any sort or combination of material, and is attached around the dog’s neck with a buckle or a snap closure. A flat dog collar usually fits loosely on the dog’s neck so that it’s comfortable for daily wearing.  Most all flat collars have a ring for attaching a leash and/or license and name tags. They look like this:

flat leather dog collar

pattern snap dog collarThe Martingale Collar

What kind of collar should you look for if you want your dog to always be safe and comfortable?

Martingale Leather Dog CollarWe always recommend a Martingale collar for all our clients because this collar is functional, and can be fashionable, too, however, by far the best attribute of the Martingale collar is that you will have peace of mind because you’ll never have to worry about your dog ever backing out of it and running into a dangerous situation.

The Martingale dog collar looks very similar to a flat dog collar, with one very distinctive difference being a piece of material or triangle of chain in the middle of the collar. This dog collar needs to fit over the widest part of the dog’s head and then adjusted so that the two outer rings on the chain never come completely together when you attach your leash and pull on the outer ring.Martingale Turquoise Dog Collar

When properly fitting a Martingale dog collar, make sure that you leave at least a thumb or a two finger width between these two inside rings when you pull on the leash as it’s attached to the outside ring.

We prefer the Martingale collar with the piece of chain in the middle because the sound of the chain gives valuable cues to your dog when you need him or her to pay attention.

Martingale Xmas Dog CollarWhen you want safety for your best friend, peace of mind for yourself, and functional fashion, the Martingale dog collar is the collar for you.

 

 

– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com [Since 2008]

Are You Making Your Dog Fat?

Posted on: February 26th, 2013 by Asia No Comments

dog fatIs your dog fat? Unfortunately, many of our beloved pets are, like their human counterparts, unhealthily overweight.

If your dog is fat, chances are that you could lose a few pounds yourself, because a fat dog doesn’t just happen from over-feeding – it’s also because of under-exercising.

Are You Making Your Dog Fat?

Chances are that if your dog is overweight, it means that you’re not giving your best friend enough daily exercise. Have you taken into consideration the real exercise needs of your dog? Is your best friend naturally energetic, are they a working class of dog, or a breed that requires little exercise to stay healthy?

All dogs are amazing athletes who need to move to be healthy. Interestingly enough, us humans also need to move to be healthy which means for all us dog lovers, that we already have everything we need to shed some excess poundage. Your dog is there, ready and waiting to go walking and help you both accomplish a healthy weight.

How Can You Tell if Fido is Fat?

There’s a simple test you can do to determine whether your dog is overweight and whether he or she needs to shed a few pounds. All you need to do is feel around their ribs and spine. If you are unable to easily locate both with only a thin layer of fat between the skin and bones, you  have an overweight dog.

Fat Like Us Humans

Sadly, our dogs are following in our footsteps as humanity rushes down that unhealthy path of being overweight or obese.

Make sure you know what your dogs optimal weight will be once he or she reaches maturity, and check their weight regularly, because for a dog, just 15% above that ideal weight means your dog is not just fat, it’s obese. Anything up to a 15% increase means your dog is overweight, and sadly,  according to a 2011 study, more than half of our best friends (53%) are overweight or obese.

Of course this is a direct reflection on how little we humans are getting out there to exercise with our dogs, because generally speaking, if Fido or Fifi is overweight, so are you.

Is It Genetic?

While some dog breeds do tend to gain weight more easily, this just means that these breeds require much more exercise in order maintain a healthy weight, and humans should take this into consideration when deciding to share their homes with these breeds. Simply because a certain breed may have tendencies to gain weight more quickly than others, is not a good excuse for allowing this to happen because you are ultimately responsible for making your dog fat.

Which Breeds Can Be Prone to Obesity?

While we know that some breeds are known for being typically slim, such as Yorkshire Terriers, Greyhounds, Whippets, and German Shepherds, there are other breeds that can be prone to obesity, including Cairn Terriers, Bulldogs, Dachshunds, Scottish Terriers, Spaniels, Beagles, Basset Hounds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Shar-Peis, Rottweilers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands and St. Bernards.

If you share your home with one of the breeds that may have a tendency to be overweight or obese, you need to get out there and exercise with your best friend that much more often and/or strenuously. You’ll both be healthier for it.

Are You Overindulging Your Dog?

Many owners, for many reasons may be overindulging their dogs by over-feeding them at meal times, or more likely with treats, snacks or sharing unhealthy people food and these habits have created many a fat dog.

You’ve heard the saying, “Food is love” and many people over-feed their dogs because they believe that it makes them happy. Unfortunately, many of our fur friends just don’t have any natural portion control, are very practiced and fixated on food and appearing to be “starved” all the time, and will literally eat themselves to death if you let them.

Are You Feeding the Right Portions?

It’s important to make sure that you know the correct serving size of food for your dog so that he or she does not become overweight in the first place, or if this has already happened, to know how to exercise the right portion control to help your best friend shed the extra poundage. You need to take into consideration your dog’s age and metabolism, and how much your dog is exercising, not just what it says to feed on the label, because feeding the suggested amount when your dog doesn’t get proper or enough exercise will make your dog fat.

 Obesity Related Problems

Just as being obese can seriously affect our human health, obesity can seriously affect our dog’s health in much the same ways. When your dog is overweight, he or she could suffer from diabetes mellitus, joint damage, bone and ligament damage, heart disease, high blood pressure, eye problems, difficulty breathing, decreased stamina, decreased liver function, digestive disorders, skin and coat problems, increased risk of cancer, reproductive problems and surgical and anesthetic risk.

Just as being overweight and/or obese will shorten our human lives, there is absolutely no doubt that obesity can and will have adverse effects on your best friend’s quality and length of life.

What Causes Dog Obesity?

Of course, just like us humans, the primary causes of a fat dog is simply feeding them too much food and/or the wrong kind of food, combined with a sedentary lifestyle without the exercise they need to be healthy.

If your dog is taking in more calories than he or she are burning up through their daily exercise, they will be overweight.

Something we humans tend to forget as our dogs grow older is that, like us humans, they usually become less active, which means that we need to pay attention and adjust their food intake appropriately so that they can live out their more senior years not as a fat dog, but as a healthy older dog.

Also, when your dog is spayed or neutered, this will also affect their metabolism by slowing it down, which means that they then will require fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight.

Get Moving – Be Healthy

If you’ve been noticing that your best fur friend is getting a little chunky, take a good look at yourself and how sedentary your lifestyle may have become because a fat dog usually means a fat human.

Don’t be cruel to your best friend by shortening their life because you may have allowed him or her to be an unhealthy weight.

You have a dog, which means you have the perfect excuse for keeping both yourself and your dog healthy and fit. Get out there and get moving.

– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com [Since 2008]

Dog Walking or Human Walking?

Posted on: February 19th, 2013 by Asia No Comments

photo

So very often when you’re out and about and you see someone with their dog, it’s not the person walking the dog, but rather, the dog walking the person. In fact, you see this scenario so frequently that it’s become quite a common joke you’ll hear from passing observers who comment, “Who’s walking who?”

It seems that far too many humans are unaware that by allowing the dog to walk them, that they are actually setting themselves up for possible serious, and unwanted consequences.

Follow the Leader

The basis of a happy and stress-free relationship between dog and human starts with what dogs do most naturally, which is to walk or roam about their neighbourhood and to do this in a safe and respectful manner, they need to be following their human leader at all times when they’re out dog walking, not dragging the human behind them.

Dog Walking Protocol

If proper dog walking protocol is not established right at the very beginning which places the human as the leader of the dog walk, then the dog has no alternative but to believe that the role of leadership has defaulted to him or her. Couple this with the natural enthusiasm of most dogs who are most happy being outside sniffing, exploring, and moving at a pace usually much faster that the average human, and you’ve got the picture we so often see, which is the dog walking the human.

photo

So What’s the Problem?

This type of dog walking can and often does have the potential to become a problem for many different and sometimes surprising reasons.

First and foremost, every time you walk your dog you have an opportunity to re-establish that you are the leader, both inside and outside the home and if you are not making the effort to ensure that you dog follows you on the walk, you’re sending confusing messages to your fur friend. You cannot then blame your dog for “not listening” to you at other times, when sometimes you’re the leader and sometimes your dog is the leader.

Dogs in Charge

Secondly, there are many different dogs of varying breeds, sizes and temperaments and you will not know whether all of them or any of them are actually under the control of their owners or whether they may pose a risk to your dog. When you allow your dog to be in front of you on the walk, your dog has no choice but to have to figure this out for themselves and if an unknown dog in charge comes rushing in, this could frighten your dog, who may react aggressively because he or she feels threatened and the need to protect themselves.

No dog should be put in the position of feeling that they need to protect themselves, and any human who puts this type of stress onto the shoulders of their fur friends needs to be prepared for what could become an inevitable consequence that they may not be very happy with.

Dog in ChargeDog Fights

Because our dogs have become so humanized, and thus many have forgotten how to properly greet one another, or they’re feeling your uncertain emotions, when you allow them to make human decisions and be in charge when you’re out dog walking, it’s almost inevitable that the outcome, somewhere down the road, may be a dog fight.

Nobody wants to see their dog in a fight with another dog. Nobody wants to see their dog, or someone else’s dog become injured and certainly nobody wants to be the cause of being blamed by a distraught human or suffering the consequences of what has become far too prevalent in today’s unforgiving society – a potential lawsuit.

What’s the Answer?

Being in charge when you’re out dog walking means that your dog always walks beside you when on leash, not in front of you, not twenty feet behind you, so that your dog always understands the chain of command and looks to you for answers when he or she feels uncertain.

Compared to dogs, us humans don’t move very quickly, which means that it’s doubly important to always keep your dog close enough to you so that you know what’s going on, can quickly correct any unwanted behavior and can react in time to take care of any situation that may come flying toward you.

So ditch the retractable leash, get yourself a four or six foot leash, learn how to have a comfortable (no pulling) walk with your dog at your side when out dog walking and have a happy, stress-free relationship with your dog who will love you all the more for being in charge.

– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com [Since 2008]

Pets Outnumber Children 4 to 1

Posted on: February 14th, 2013 by Asia No Comments

9RottiPupsinTrunkYou might have been recently noticing that there seems to be increasingly more and more dogs, cats and other pet owners, and you’d be right because according to new statistics that are about to be released in a book written by Jonathan V. Last, pets now outnumber children 4 to 1 in America.

Fur Friend Explosion

I think most of us would agree that there certainly seems to be an explosion of pet ownership and all the subsequent businesses that go hand in hand with the age of fur friends.

Do we get pets for our children or for something we’re missing in our own lives?

Is this because our aging population has now seen their children become adults and now the many empty nesters are feeling lonely, like they’re something missing in their lives, and because of this they are turning to pets as human replacements….the need for a replacement that can in some ways satisfy their need to nurture and care for someone?

Perhaps the huge increase in pet ownership can be attributed to young adults being too busy or unable to consider today’s high cost involved in raising a human family, so therefore lower cost pets are filling the family “need”.

According to an article written by Daniel Halper, and published by the Weekly Standard, he quotes Last as saying, “The pet market has been steadily increasing in America since the 1980s, with people not only acquiring more furry little dependents, but spending more on them, too.”

Booming Pet Industries

Certainly this is true anywhere pets ownership is prevalent, as we’ve all noticed the increase in number of veterinary clinics, pet stores and boutiques, grooming salons, training services, pet walking services, pet magazines, pet TV shows, pet paraphernalia, and doggy daycare businesses springing up across the city to meet the demands of a busy working population that doesn’t have the time to devote to their dogs during the day, yet wants to have it all when they get home.

According to statistics in Jonathan Lasts new book, What to Expect When No Ones Expecting, “In 1994 Americans spent $17 billion on pets; …even in the face of a massive recession, it had climbed over $4.8 billion.”

Cost Increases of 100% or More

According to statistics, over a span of just eight short years, the cost of medical care for the average American dog-owning household (with Canadians following closely behind) has increased more than 100%, from $383. in 1998 to $672. in 2006, and dog grooming costs have increased more than 100% during this same time, too, increasing from $59. to $127.

Of course, we dog lovers have known for a very long time that there is much evidence to support the reality that over the years our beloved pets have indeed been elevated to the level of full blown family members, and that our furry family members deserve the latest fashions, food and services we would give ourselves.

Certainly the marketplace has taken full advantage of our pet crazy society, leading us humans down an ever manic path, which has created a humanizing hailstorm of our doggy friends, which in turn has caused a great deal of unsettling behavioral issues to arise in our dog population who continues to do their best to fulfill the desires of humans who disregard the real needs of the dog.

Travel Policies for Fido

For instance, did you know that there are now companies offering policies for pets traveling in cars? And did you know that the more affluent dog owners have been able to successfully lobby for changes in estate law that permits pets to be the legal recipients of inheritances and trust funds?

Tax Breaks?

You may not have heard that a bill was recently put forth in Congress asking for a $3,500. tax break for pet care expenses, which is apparently more than a family would receive for a human child. This bill was called the HAPPY Act (Humanity and Pets Partnered through the Years). Although this bill failed to reach a vote, if the population continues to choose pets over procreation, perhaps the time is not too far off when it will.

The Growth of Pet Owners

How has all of this coincided with the growth of pet owners? To say it has been anything less than explosive, would be an understatement as surveys indicate, during the last 38 years (from 1947 to 1985), while fewer than half of American reported that they owned a pet, today American pets outnumber American children by more than four to one, and statistics indicate nearly 3/4 of all households have pets.

According to the 2012 National Pet Owners Survey, the statistics of which were compiled from the American Pet Products Association, there are approximately 78.2 million dogs in the U.S. with 60% of the dog owning population owning one dog, 28% owning two and 12% owning three or more.

And don’t forget the cats, of which there are approximately 86.4 million in the U.S. with 33% of the cat owning households owning at least one cat, 52% owning more than one cat.

According to Last, “Educated, middle-class people have all but stopped having babies,” as “Pets have become fuzzy, low-maintenance replacements for children.”

– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com [Since 2008]

 

Is Walking Your Dog a Real Drag?

Posted on: January 29th, 2013 by Asia No Comments

Couple Dragged by DogDo you enjoy walking your dog, or does this picture remind you of how taking your dog out for a walk has literally become a painful drag because your dog is pulling your arm out of it’s socket?

Don’t worry, because the above picture is more common than you might imagine as easily 90% or more of all dogs (from Chihuahuas to Great Danes) are not enjoying their walk, either, and many humans with larger breeds avoid the activity altogether because it’s just too embarrassing or too painful.

Walking the dog sounds simple enough – everyone knows how to do that, or do they really?

Most humans think that they just put a collar on the dog, snap on a leash and away you go for a wonderfully relaxing walk, when in fact, many humans and their dogs are suffering every time they go out the door.

Unfortunately, whether you’re walking a small dog, a large dog, or walking many different dogs at a boarding kennel, pet care service or your local SPCA, not mastering the walk is painful, and it can and does lead to many other behavioral issues that can endanger you, those around you and the life of your canine companion.

Why is Walking Your Dog So Important?

It’s important that you are walking your dog correctly because this is the time when you will have an opportunity to bond and help your dog to realize that you are the leader and they are the follower.

An uncomfortable, unproductive and/or out of control walk with your best friend very often leads down the sad and lonely road to the local shelter because the human element can’t handle it anymore and feels forced into making the difficult decision to put their canine companion up for adoption.

Mastering the walk with your dog is the number one, most important primal activity that you will do with your canine friend, therefore getting it right is paramount.

Mastering the walk helps to create that all important respect, build on trust and fulfill your dog’s needs in such a way as to create a deep, lasting bond, easy communication and a happy, relaxed relationship between you and your best friend where there’s never any question about who is the boss.

Dog Out Front Creates Many Problems

When you allow your dog to take the lead, you are “telling” him or her that they are the leader, instead of you. This can be very confusing for your dog, especially if you expect them to listen to you at other times and in other circumstances. When the dog is out front you are putting a great deal of stress onto the shoulders of your fur friend, which means that you are ultimately helping to shorten their lives, because stress doesn’t just shorten human lives.

When you are not walking your dog, and instead permit your dog to walk you, you are putting your dog in the position of  having to make humans decisions about what to do whenever you meet another dog or person, or encounter unknown circumstances, which means that you’re asking them to do your job for you. As smart as your dog probably is and as much as they really want to please you, asking them to think, act and respond as a human is simply unrealistic.

If your dog is taking the lead by walking in front of you when you go out for your walk, and straining and pulling you on the leash, you both can benefit greatly from a little dog psychology so that you can learn what you need to do to correct this situation and instead work toward creating that special bond that all dog lovers seek to have with their best friend.

The good news is that even if your dog has been taking the lead and walking you for years, after just a few minutes of learning dog whispering techniques, you will soon understand how to easily become the master at walking your dog and Fido or Fifi will love you all the more for it.

A dog is not just for Christmas – a dog is for a lifetime. Walking your dog is the most important time you will spend with your fur friend, so why not make the all too short lifetime you have with your canine companion a pleasant, loving experience for both of you?

Call K-9 Super Heroes Dog Whispering today and we’ll help you learn, among other things, how to walk your dog properly, because if you’re not being the pack leader in all circumstances, you’re sending confusing messages to your dog, who then has to figure out when the leadership role has defaulted to them.

Never forget that if you force your dog into the role of leadership and they make the wrong choice, it’s not their fault because they’re a dog with limited brain power and zero reasoning skills, therefore, it’s you who will literally pay the price of your dog having made an incorrect decision about how to deal with what may be coming along down the road.

Walking your dog should be a pleasurable experience, so keep yourself and your dog safe at all times by learning how to keep them walking comfortably at your side so that you can both look forward to your daily walks together.

– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com [Since 2008]

The Flexi-Leash Fiasco

Posted on: January 29th, 2013 by Asia No Comments

Many people are huge advocates of the cumbersome flexi, retractable, extendable or cord leash concept and have happily laid out anywhere from $15. to $50. or more, depending on the size they required, to purchase one of these dog walking devices for their favourite canine counterpart, and why not, after all they seem to be just the thing for a great walk, or are they?

What the flexi-leash offers is (on average) a free range of 16 to 26 feet for the fur friend so that they can get plenty of exercise sniffing about and exploring while remaining safely attached to their human. Isn’t this great – or is it?

Unfortunately, while many people have been lulled into believing that they are doing a great service to their dog by purchasing one of these leads, exactly the opposite is actually true.

How can this be, you ask because this leash comes highly recommended at so many pet stores and all my friends use one. While it’s certainly true that the flexi-leash can be purchased at just about every pet store outlet known to man and dog, and yes, they appear to be enormously popular because you see a lot of them around, the fact remains that the use of these devices are causing far more harm than the perceived good they offer to the dog at the other end.

Teaches Bad Manners

For starters, a well behaved dog must be a follower, which means that at no time during the walk should your dog be romping 20 feet ahead of you, or lagging 20 feet behind you. The walk is the time when your dog needs to be concentrating on following it’s leader and this is impossible with a flexi-leash arrangement.

Teaches Your Dog Not to Listen

Secondly, every dog must be safe and listening to it’s leader (you) so that they don’t find themselves suddenly in trouble, and this just can’t happen when the dog is so far away. When you allow your dog to reel out on the flexi-leash, he or she is no longer paying attention to the leader, but instead may be so totally engrossed in smells, sights and sounds that they might even forget you’re there at all.

Dogs can move at a speed much faster than the average human has adequate time to react to. I’ve seen it happen many times when a dog who is 20 feet or more in front of it’s owner is suddenly startled by another dog, becomes nervous or afraid and before you’re able to reel them back, a fight has already broken out.

Hazardous to Humans

Thirdly, the flexi-leash is a hazard to humans, both small and tall because often they are not seen and because of this they create dangerous tripping hazards, and if you’ve ever been wearing shorts and run into a flexi-leash, you will know the pain of that nasty rope burn. I know someone whose daughter was tripped by the flexi-leash, fell down the stairs and broke her toe and this is mild compared to other more serious accidents that have been caused by these devices.

Teaches Pulling

Fourthly, putting a flexi-leash on your dog encourages the dog to pull and be in charge of the walk, which is both painful for the human as well as potentially dangerous if your dog feels that it needs to protect the follower and decides to attack another dog, person or animal.

Dangerous for Dogs

Fifthly, there are many sights and sounds outside and when your dog is so far away you might be distracted and not notice quickly enough that he or she has just spied a squirrel crossing the road and chased it out into traffic until it’s too late and your beloved best friend has just been struck by a vehicle.

False Sense of Security

Sixthly, the flexi-leash provides the human a false sense of security that can quickly create an embarrassing situation as simply being attached to their dog becomes a substitute for not paying attention to what their dog is doing. If you’re not watching, you can be certain that most dogs will be engaging in self-rewarding behavior which can then lead to the dog teaching itself to act inappropriately in most public situations.

Leash Laws

Seventh, we have leash laws which require that we have our dogs under control, which is just not possible when the dog is already 20 feet or more in front of you.

Difficult to Hold Onto

And finally, my eighth peeve is the actual handle of the flexi-leash which is not only cumbersome to hold, but can also become a weapon in itself that has the potential to cause much harm and pain.

For instance, I was sitting on a grassy hill with my dog one summer afternoon when a couple of children came by with their little dog who was attached to a flexi-leash. They accidentally dropped the handle which snapped back while the dog ran and I received the full weight of the handle against the side of my head. Thank goodness it wasn’t my eye and I only had a headache for the rest of the day.

So let’s recap in bullet form what we’ve learned about the potential hazards of the flexi-leash.

  • it places your dog in the wrong walking position
  • it teaches your dog to pull and be in charge on the walk
  • it teaches your dog not to listen to you
  • it places your dog in danger from approaching dogs
  • it places your dog in danger from traffic
  • it’s a tripping hazard to humans
  • it provides a false sense of security
  • it doesn’t fully comply with leash laws
  • the handle is cumbersome and can be a weapon

Bottom line, if you truly care about the safety of yourself, your dog and those around you, dump the flexi-leash and get yourself a simple 4 or 6 foot leash that fits comfortably in your hand, keep your dog beside you when walking, and avoid all the potentially flexible problems.

Flexi® is a registered trademark with Flexi USA INC.

– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com [Since 2008]

 

 

Dog Poop Bombs

Posted on: January 28th, 2013 by Asia 3 Comments

dogpoopingNow that I’ve got your attention – don’t worry…I’m not about to tell you a story about some evil-intentioned human blowing up dogs, although what I am going to chat about in this article certainly could have it’s own devastating effects.

What I am going to talk about is a problem that is part of all dog ownership and depending on the size of your dog, can be a small, medium or large problem.

Yes, whether we’re talking about dog feces, doggy do-do, doggy poo, scumber (the fancier name), doggy 2’s, or just that plain, old four letter word – s-h-IT…whatever you call IT, if you have a dog, and you’re not out there picking IT up every day, you may be guilty of creating a problem far worse than you may be aware of.

Do You Pick Up?

As conscientious dog people, we’ve all seen the little or not so little dog poop bombs when out walking, and we’ve all most likely silently cursed those who just left it there for us to get all over our shoes.

However, for those of us who are lucky enough to have a lovely back yard for their favourite fur friend to romp about in, this is likely the first place that Fido or Fifi runs to every morning when first waking up, while we’re busy putting on the coffee pot or getting our kids ready for school, or ourselves together for the start of our day.

So, out runs our best friend(s) and what do they do when they get out in the yard and rip around for a few minutes? Yes, that’s right…they leave you a nice doggy poop bomb, water the grass or shrubs, etc., and back they race inside for their breakfast or hopefully a nice walk with you.

What a wonderful life and what could be easier…but wait…this wonderful and easy life is what could be creating a serious problem, because if you’re not being vigilant about taking the time to get out there and pick up the doggy poop bombs every single day, you ARE guilty of creating a health hazard in your own back yard that can eventually have far reaching hazardous consequences.

For instance, you might not be aware that over two decades ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated pet waste as a dangerous pollutant, right next to oil spills and toxic chemicals.

Why Are Dog Poop Bombs so Dangerous?

Even though you may not live near water, if you don’t pick up your yard every day, unscooped dog poop bombs from your yard will be carried by overland water flow which is then washed into storm drains, ending up in far away streams, rivers, oceans and ground water, and if you do live near a water source, this problem is far worse.

Parasitic Infection

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that pet waste can and does spread parasites including hookworm, ringworm, tapeworm and Salmonella.

For those of us living on Vancouver Island, where it rains a lot, the problem is even more quickly spread, because when infected dog poop comes into contact with your lawn, the dog poop will eventually seem to wash away or “disappear”, however, the hazardous parasite eggs can linger for years!

When a human or animal comes into contact with that soil through everyday activities like walking barefoot, gardening or playing, they risk infection from those eggs, even years after the dog poop bomb is no longer visible.

Do you think your dog cares about where it romps when it’s out in your back yard, or carefully makes sure that it doesn’t accidentally walk through some old dog poop bombs? Wishful thinking.

Consequences of Infection

You may not be aware that as much as we love our favourite fur friends, their waste is teaming with E. Coli and other harmful bacteria including fecal coliform bacteria, which causes serious kidney disorders, intestinal illness, cramps and diarrhea in humans and when you don’t religiously pick up, you subject your children and yourself to infection.

Just 1 Gram

A very shocking statistic you may not be aware of is that there are 23 million fecal coliform bacteria in a single gram of pet waste!

As well, dog poop bombs often contain roundworm larvae, which can cause blindness. If a human ingests a roundworm larva, it can migrate through the body causing disease to the brain, lungs, kidneys, liver, heart or eyes. This means that when us humans (especially children) touch soil, dog toys or anything that has been in contact with dog feces and then touch their mouths, they can become infected.

Consider that if your dog is running about in your yard that has many dog poop bombs that were just left to naturally dissolve, that they could be coming back into your home with this on their feet, then pawing you, your bed, their toys, your children’s toys and then you or your children touch your mouth and become infected.

Even a group of teens or adults playing Frisbee or touch football in an open area where someone hasn’t been picking up after their dogs could be putting themselves in danger. Parasitic infections can make humans extremely sick, and for pregnant women, can pose a serious harm to their unborn child.

Further, leaving a yard full of dog poop bombs will also attract rodents, such as rats and mice who can spread Salmonella through their droppings and bring with them other diseases, including murine typhus, infectious jaundice, Weil’s Disease and rat-bite fever.

What About the Condition of Your Lawn?

Beside all the other toxic and smelly health issues dog poop left on lawns can create, dog feces release nitrogen into the soil and can literally ruin your nice, green lawn. While small amounts of feces and urine create dark green patches of grass and noticeably taller grass, large amounts of feces left on the lawn for a long period of time will kill the grass by smothering it as well as leaving “burn” marks on the grass that creates ugly brown spots.

Pick Up Every Day

I think by now you must be really starting to understand that dog poop bombs don’t just “wash away” or disappear and if you’re not disposing of your dog’s waste every day, whether your dog is leaving it’s smelly calling card out in a public park, on the side of a street, or in your own back yard, you’re putting yourself, your family, your dog, your water supply and your environment at risk.

– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com [Since 2008]

Are You Really a Rescued Dog?

Posted on: January 28th, 2013 by Asia No Comments

I was recently chatting with a local dog walker/sitter who told me the most shocking statistic about her business is that “…90% of the dogs I work with are rescued dogs with serious issues…many are aggressive…”

Curious, I asked why she didn’t suggest to the owners that they engage a professional for a dog whispering session so that they could learn through dog psychology all about how they can help their dogs regain balance and become the happy companions they were meant to be.

She replied, “I have suggested it to many, offered to take them myself but if they say no, that’s where it stops.”

Rescued Dogs Need to Regain Balance

Then I have to ask the question, “From the dog’s point of view, what’s the difference between living in a rescue facility or living in a home with a human who is just providing a different “kennel” when the human is not willing to address previous behavior issues?”

Rescuing a dog can present itself like a two-sided coin where one side or the other often lies hidden. Oftentimes the hidden side requires the assistance of a professional that can teach the humans how to understand the dog.

On the one side, the human feels good about providing a dog with a new home because this act of compassion imbues the human with improved self-worth, and a sense of righteousness from doing a good deed for a creature less fortunate. Indeed wonderful human characteristics, but does this help the dog regain balance?

Are the Dog’s Needs Really Being Met?

However, the other side of this coin, and the one that is often forgotten or not immediately recognized or acknowledged by the human, is whether rescuing the dog was more for addressing human needs, because if the rescued dog’s needs are not also being met, which includes being aware of and eliminating previous unstable behavior concerns so that the dog can become a stable, happy member of it’s new human pack, the “rescue” can be very one-sided.

Oftentimes a human will rescue a dog from the SPCA or local facility because they feel sorry for it being “locked up” and facing possible euthanasia or because of breed specific persecution or because it looked dejected and sad or because it was frightened, or perhaps it reminded the person of a childhood pet, or the human was feeling lonely or sad…or any number of other human emotions.

What Are Good Reasons?

Although all of these above reasons are what makes us caring humans, none of these are good reasons for rescuing a dog. Good reasons would be because the human is willing to really provide for all aspects of their new 4-legged companions’ needs, which are dependent upon firstly addressing any behavioral issues that are already present or may arise in their future.

Dogs live much more in the moment than us humans, and once the humans understand what their particular dog requires in order to get back in balance, they will both be on the road to recovery and a loving, fulfilling relationship.

Unfortunately, what awaits many rescued dogs in their new home can be even more heartbreaking when the human, although kind and well-meaning, is not capable (because of personal circumstances, work commitments, health, lifestyle, age, etc.), of giving the dog what it really needs to be happy and so, the newly “rescued” dog ends up being further frustrated and unfulfilled.

Is a dog really rescued when the only thing that’s changed for them is the size, shape or colour of their four walls?

A Kennel is a Kennel

A kennel is a kennel is a kennel in any dog’s mind. They don’t care how large or beautiful your home may be, because in their mind, it’s still their kennel when they’re left in it without you being there to provide the companionship and direction they need.

When you’re gone, they’re still locked up, they’re still left alone, they’re still frustrated, they’re still frightened, fearful, nervous, anxious or aggressive because they still aren’t having their needs fulfilled which means they’re still unbalanced and unhappy.

To really rescue and rehabilitate a dog takes time, never-ending patience and unwavering commitment.  Yes, it can be hard work because it demands firstly, an understanding of what’s required in a particular dog’s circumstances, and a skill set and understanding of dog psychology that most humans can learn, but don’t naturally come by.

Taking the time and effort to learn what your dog needs to be a well balanced member of your family is priceless because a happy relationship with your dog reaps untold positive rewards that many of us don’t even realize and that simply can never be measured.

The very definition of the word “rescue” tells us that to rescue means “to bring (someone or something) out of danger – to deliver or save.”

Understanding What’s Required

Therefore, when a human rescues a dog but doesn’t follow up with learning how to bring the dog back into balance and harmony with itself and its surroundings, they have not brought this dog out of danger or saved it from anything other than possible euthanasia.

It’s a very sad situation indeed when canine guardians (humans) are not willing to make the effort to learn what they need to do so that these rescued dogs can become well balanced and happy companions.

Are rescue facilities doing these dogs any favours if they are not following up and/or recommending professional help as a matter of course for humans who don’t yet understand what dogs really need in order to be happy and well-balanced members of their new human pack?

Do You Really Have the Time?

Unfortunately, many humans throughout their busy days just don’t have the time necessary or inclination required to invest in the consistent effort necessary to do what’s right for the dog and believe that a bowl of food with access to a yard will fulfill all of their dog’s needs. Our dogs require and deserve so much more from us humans.

Many a rescued dog doesn’t get their needs met, or their problems addressed, and as they pass from owner to owner, become even more unbalanced because the humans they happened to come into contact with, although well-meaning, didn’t understand what they needed to do to really help them.

Sadly, many rescued dogs, even after finding a new forever home, are still left to fend for themselves as best they can within an alien, human society that doesn’t truly understand what they need to be happy.

When these dogs are “rescued”, will their humans be doing all they can to ensure that the dog’s needs are being met, or will these dogs simply have to endure a life of instability?

Dear Dog – My wish for you is that you are, in every sense of the word, truly a rescued dog.

– Asia, 
Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com