Pet Peeve #2

It is 96 degrees and you left your dog in the car.
What were you thinking?
You said, “I left water in the car.”
I said, “It’s still too hot in the car for your dog, it can be 20-30 degrees hotter even with the windows down.”
You said, “I take care of my dog, my dog is my child, I love this dog.”
I said, “As one who trains, works and rescues dogs, you will kill this dog.”
You said, “Mind your own *%#! business.”
Next time… I think I will call animal control… this was animal cruelty.


Last Week of April – Update

This last week of April I begin some new Family 1 Dog Classes with Cari Bowe of Shasta Dog Training on Monday and a Rally Obedience Class on Wednesday.
This Saturday is the Love Your Pet Expo and I look forward to offering AKC Canine Good Citizen testing for the public as well as doing a few demos with my dogs and having a booth. So please stop by and visit – Tell your friends – Bring a friend. All donations at the Expo go to local Animal Rescue groups. Visit

February is Spay/Neuter Month… Be a Part of the Solution!

In many communities, pet overpopulation and euthanasia are a continuing problem. Be a part of the solution: spay or neuter your pets.
The perpetuation of myths about spaying and neutering and the high cost cause many people to avoid the procedures, but the fact is sterilization makes your dog a better behaved, healthier pet and will save you money in the long run.
Many people, particularly men, have a hard time sterilizing their pets, imposing upon their dogs their own feelings on losing reproductive abilities. A dog will not feel like less of a “man” or “woman” after being sterilized. It will not suffer an identity crisis or mourn the loss of its reproductive capability. Your dog will simply have one less need to fulfill. A dog’s basic personality is formed more by environment and genetics than by sex hormones, so sterilization will not change your dog’s basic personality, make your dog sluggish or affect its natural instinct to protect the pack. But it will give you a better behaved pet. Neutered dogs have less desire to roam, mark territory (like your couch!) and exert dominance over the pack. Spayed dogs no longer experience the hormonal changes during heat cycles that turn your pet into a nervous dog that cries incessantly and attracts unwanted male dogs. Sterilized dogs are more affectionate and less likely to bite, run away, become aggressive, or get into a fight.
Another myth is that spaying and neutering cause weight gain. Dogs do not get fat simply by being sterilized. Just like humans, dogs gain weight if they eat too much and exercise too little or if they are genetically programmed to be overweight. The weight gain that people may witness after sterilization is most likely caused by continuing to feed a high energy diet to a dog that is reducing its need for energy as it reaches adult size.
Dogs do not mourn their lost capability to reproduce. They reproduce solely to ensure the survival of their species. They do not raise a puppy for eighteen years. They do not dream of their puppy’s wedding. They do not hope for the comfort of grandchildren in their old age. Female dogs nurse for a few weeks, teach the puppies rules, boundaries, and limitations and send them off to join the pack. Male dogs are not “fathers” in the human sense of the word; they do not even recognize puppies as their own.
As for expense, today there are enough low cost and free spay and neuter programs that this can no longer be an excuse! Even if these programs are not available in your area, the emotional distress and money spent on medical treatments you will save down the line makes it an investment that will be worth every penny.
Spaying (for females) and neutering (for males) can have health and behavioral benefits. For females, the benefits of spaying include lowering the risk for uterine cancer and mammary tumors, no more messy heat cycles, and eliminating the chance of accidental breedings that result in unwanted puppies. Also, some females experience false pregnancies and uterine infections that can be fatal. With male dogs, neutering can decrease aggression and the tendency for the male dog who has females on his mind to want to get loose and wander. If it is done early enough, neutering helps do away with with scent marking, the tendency for the dog to lift his leg and leave his “signature” on your furniture. Neutering male dogs also reduces the risk for testicular cancer and prostate disease. Sterilization reduces the risk of incidence of a number of health problems that are difficult and expensive to treat. Your veterinarian can help you make decisions about the right time to spay/neuter your dog.  By sterilizing your pet, your dog will live a healthier and longer life.

No Such Thing as a Perfect Dog

I was recently reading some posts in response to a column written in the local newspaper. The column mentioned the joys and trials of bringing home an adopted dog and the opinions and posts of the readers showed a lack of awareness and education concerning dogs in general so these are my thoughts in response to that article and the subsequent posts of the readers.
According to most statistical research the #1 reason dogs are in shelters, rescues and euthanized is due to behavioral problems. However the belief that all shelter/rescue dogs have problems is erroneous thinking. Likewise thinking all dogs coming from breeders are without problems is also erroneous. Many dog behavior problems can be solved through positive reinforcement techniques, exercise, training and dog sport activities.
It is important to remember ALL dogs are unique individual beings with unique individual personalities, so one training method does not fit all dogs or all people. We would never suggest that all children, all ages, all circumstances should be educated and disciplined the same. It is also important to realize dominating, punishment techniques have been long out-dated with children and yet we still maintain some erroneous punishment techniques with dogs.
It is important for all of us to become educated and more informed. Having a dog is a responsibility and a privilege. Come. Sit. Stay. Learn about the wonderful world of dogs. Be a responsible dog owner. Your best friend is counting on you.