Sunday, August 30, 2009

time for dogs to go back to school

Today, I visited my sister and got to walk one of her dogs, Aries. Aries is a pit bull mix who reminds me of Ferdinand the Bull. During a walk, Aries has this tendency to flop down wherever he chooses and stay down for a good ten minutes or more. He cannot be budged until he is good and ready to get up and get moving.

I had no choice but to let him relax there on someone's lawn. My sister said to leave him alone and let him sit there if he chose to. Of course, I didn't think that was right. To me, this was a prime example of a dog running the show. And Aries had everyone trained instead of the other way around.

In the meantime, my sister walked Chloe, a white Siberian husky mix with blue eyes. Chloe loves to go out on long walks, but she always tugs. She also gets easily distracted. She always gets her own way and is now at the point at which she controls her humans.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Possible way to distract a dog

Yelling and pleading with dogs to stop doing this or that never works. Found that out from experience and research.

I've recently thought of an idea to distract a dog that just might work.

And the idea is, get him to do a trick that he already knows how to do. What kind of trick? Well, something that the dog enjoys doing anyway and does it on command, immediately. How neat is that?

Next time I have to walk my sister's dogs, I'm going to try it. First, I'll teach them a new trick, such as playing dead or holding up a front paw to "shake hands." This will take some time, but it will be worth a shot. Then once the dog in qusstion has mastered this trick, and he's out on a walk and becomes distracted, I'll test the magical command and see if that works.

Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do when you deal with wayward dogs, so long as what you do is humane.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Another dog gets a loving home

A few weeks ago, one of my neighbors was given or adopted a dog, an all-white little poodle. It's a cute little thing that barks on the slightest provocation and would rather sniff grass than do what its owner wants it to do.

I mention this neighbor because I know that she loves animals, especially dogs. The other thing about her is that she always said that she'd never own any pet because she couldn't stand losing it someday. I understand completely. I can't even imagine losing any of my four cats.

So what amazes me is that this woman finally decided to own a dog again. (She's owned dogs before, but had that thing about coping with their deaths.) And the other thing is that this woman treats her dog with respect and kindness, and puts up with his barking and refusals to poop outside. I have a high regard for her because the dog she adopted was probably homeless and/or unwanted to begin with.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

So close to adopting another dog, yet so far.....

My sister loves dogs so much that if she did not adopt Chloe or Aries, she would have gone to one of the local shelters and adopted one there. One time, she wanted to replace a dog who passed away with a dog that looked similar. The deceased dog was a gentle, sweet Rottie named Roxie. And the amazing part was that my sister got this close to finding what she was looking for at the local shelter.

What happened was that she told them about the type of dog she was looking to adopt and the people at the shelter let her look through a thick looseleaf binder just filled with photos and brief descriptions of available dogs at that shelter.

Now you would think that my sister would have found at least one dog that way. But she didn't.

And she isn't likely to be adopting another dog anytime soon, as she's got her hands full with Aries and Chloe.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Training for dog owners too?

In some books that I have read, the authors suggest that dog owners should receive training as well. Reading that shocked me at first.

But those authors, who happen to be veterinarians, may have a point. There are probably a lot of owners who are inexperienced in handling and caring for their pets, and may be in need of some orientation. Basics, such as how to walk a dog, might be covered as well. Even more important, owners and dogs should be trained together. That way, mistakes can be corrected immediately. The owner would be happy. The dog would be happy.

Having been around dogs, I know that I would have benefited from such training. Then I would not be likely to allow a dog to pull me during a walk. I would likely overcome a tendency to feel that a dog will always be a dog, and should therefore be indulged whenever possible.