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MYTHS AND FACTS about dogs

January 6, 2012

thumbdog1Myth #1  Rubbing a dog’s nose in their mess, helps housebreak them.

Fact: When teaching a dog anything, your timing has to be spot on even if the dog’s name is Spot. Rubbing their nose in their mess is after the fact, and a big WASTE of time. The dog associates the smell with the correction and not the act of making the smell. The next time your dog sees you while the smell is in the air, your dog may give you an “I’m guilty look” or the “I’m sorry look”, but don’t be fooled! they’re only looking at you that way because that’s the look that will eventually get you to stop yelling at them, or possibly stop you from grabbing them.

Myth #2   kneeing a dog in the chest teaches them not to jump on you.

Fact:  That technique went out way before the 8-track tape player. Look you may get lucky and cause enough pain to get them to stop jumping, but does that sound fair? especially since you’re probably the one who taught them to jump in the first place?.  Maybe if you had groceries in your hand and you needed your knee to protect your body, But to teach them not to jump, there are much more effective and fair ways. I’ll be discussing better ways to teach this

Myth #3   Giving a puppy praise or treats after they go to the bathroom in the right place.

Fact:  Treats should not be used in potty training. It’s a self rewarding act. As long as the sky isn’t falling and the dog safely eliminates, don’t reward them. Especially when it’s after the fact.  If you tell a dog to sit, and when they get up you give them a treat and praise, are you rewarding the “sit”? Or them getting up? If you use any reinforcement, tell them in a soft voice “good doggy” or giving a quick pat on the head is ok, as long as it’s in the middle of the act. Another flaw in the treat theory is sometimes a dog isn’t 100% happy with the surface of the ground they are “eliminating” on such as, pea gravel, wet grass or one of those simulated grass loo’s, etc. So if you give  a treat or praise after, they may think your rewarding their desire to get away from that surface. It’s very similar to myth #1. rubbing a dogs nose is after the fact.

Myth #4   Dogs chew things in your house because they’re mad at you.

Fact:  Dogs chew for many reasons but being angry at you isn’t one of them. The list of why dogs chew is long. I will discuss them in another post or video.

Myth #5   Dogs eat their own or other animal’s stools because of nutrient imbalances.

Fact:  With 220 million scent receptors (as apposed to our 5 million) dogs can smell each separate ingredient in a pile of poop. Many low quality dog foods don’t digest in the body, so it comes out the other side, to a dog it smells good, that’s why some dogs will eat it.

Myth #6 You cant teach an old dog new tricks. Fact # 1 It’s easy to teach any age dog a trick its just hard to break bad habits
Myth #6 You cant teach an old dog new tricks.
Fact:     It’s easy to teach any age dog a trick its just hard to break old bad habits, for dog and owner.

Myth #7 Dogs scoot their rear end on the ground – because they have worms.

Fact:     It’s not worms, it a dog anal glands that are irritating them. Usually when this irritation occurs, a dog will scoot their rear on the ground for relief and to try and help the sacks empty. 95-98% of the time this condition is only temporary and will naturally works itself out. The owners tells the vet or the groomer about the scooting and they recommend having the glands squeezed on a regular basis. In my experience, because it’s usually a temporary thing or an occasional scooting problem if a dog gets help on a regular basis, now the dogs own natural secretion ability can be affected.

Myth #8. Dogs eat grass when they are sick.

Fact: Grass must have a nutritional value, or it must taste good or a high moisture value (or all three?) the problem is when the grass is cut, the dogs eat the lower parts of grass, which have the many hairs that irritate the stomach lining of the dog, causing them to regurgitate. SO, they didn’t even know the grass would cause that reaction.

Myth #9. Garlic prevents fleas.

Fact: Garlic Prevents Fleas

Fact: People have been giving their dogs garlic for as far back as I can remember,  it was about 10 years ago that the negativity started to surface. What probably happened was some dogs were allergic to garlic, or maybe they gave their dog way too much and they got sick or had a reaction? All of a sudden garlic is bad for dogs? Well, not to most dogs. Some dogs are allergic to all sorts of things, like chicken, fish, even human dander!

But is garlic effective at keeping fleas off a dog? well, there are always some who will say it works and others who will say it doesn’t. So if you give your dog a small amount of garlic and there is no negative reaction, then I hope this natural flea remedy works for you. Here is some more info on the subject :Fleas and Garlic

Fact:    In the U.S. Around 5 millions dogs and cats are euthanized each year. Leave breeding to professionals. Spay or neuter your pet. Please read my blog on this very important subject. FIXING YOUR MALE DOG

here is a link to a site that has 102 dog facts http://www.thefoundbin.com/lost-and-found-articles/102-weird-facts-you-never-knew-about-dogs

Warning: Don’t use Laser Pointers!

January 3, 2012

Using Laser pointers or flash-lights as a chase game for dogs (and some cats), can ‘literally’ drive them crazy, with lifelong consequences. Please don’t use them.

Sure, to us it looks like fun, like the dog is having a good time chasing the light, but just after only a few times exposed to this game, they can easily develop an obsessive-compulsive disorder to light or any shade or flicker of light. Trust me, you don’t want your dog, in every waking moment,  constantly staring, drooling and/or lunging at some flicker of light, reflection or shadow on the ground or wall. I’ve seen dogs like this and it’s very-very sad.

Dogs need to periodically “get paid” when they chase things, physically touching something with their body or mouth. If they don’t, they can become hypersensitive or obsessed over it. (like how they are with mail carriers or people walking on the other side of a fence) This is why this game is so damaging, no physical touch to light, along with a dogs natural ‘prey drive’ to chase moving things.

Some dogs are more susceptible to develop this disorder than others, but you don’t want to test your dog to find out. Having the light come across some treat or toy is not a good idea either because you’re still encouraging them to chase the light.

There is ‘light’ (excuse the pun) at the end of the tunnel for dogs with this obsession. Consult a reward/science based trainer to learn the counter-conditioning techniques.

Do you have a dog with this obsession?

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