Sunday, November 15, 2009

Early Socialization is Key to Avoiding Aggression Later

One of the best gifts you can give to your dog (and to yourself and your family) is early socialization. This will help minimize the chances of many behavioral problems, including aggression, later on in his life. Dogs that are not socialized are the ones who are much more likely to develop behavioral problems later, and working on it early with your puppy can save you headaches down the road.

The most effective age to socialize your puppy is between the ages of 3 and 14 weeks old, the age when a puppy is most accepting of all kinds of people and situations. If puppies are not exposed to children, the elderly, different races, etc. or any particular group of people while young, they can be fearful of these groups later in life and aggression can be the reaction to them. It is important to expose the puppy to as many different people as early as possible. This will build his confidence, and make him better able to cope with new situations as he matures.

Socialization may start when the puppy is young, but it is truly a lifelong effort on the part of the owner, in making a great dog! Good owners should encourage and reinforce social skills and maintain training exercises throughout the life of the dog.

Participating in a puppy training class by the time your puppy is 4 months old will go a long way in helping your puppy gain confidence and being able to deal with many situations later in an acceptable way. The puppy's training, however, should not stop there. Dogs need continuous training and socialization throughout their whole lives to keep them in good practice with their good behaviors you've taught.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Should Vick play pro football again?

Absolutely not. He is the poster boy for the moral failure that has become so widespread in our modern society. He is the type of person that has no regard for any value for life and he infects those around him with that mentality. It's who he is, it's how he grew up, and it is so ingrained in him, it cannot be undone. Football stars are heroes that mainstream America puts on a pedestal. Little kids want to be like them. Do we really want the majority of our society, the ones who are largely unable to think for themselves, to see that as an example? To think that fighting dogs is cool? What a terrifying thought. No matter if he apologizes, and shows remorse for what he's done, which he has not done as of yet, after serving 2 years in prison for the crimes. No matter how well his PR team and law team groom and train him to act and coach him on what to say so that he may gain sympathy and possibly trust again from some. No way. No how. No football deal.

M. Burris
Raleigh, NC

(sent in to Sports Illustrated question)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

"It's Just A Dog"

Sorry I've been gone for awhile, been dealing with some health issues, but I'm Back!! Back in action to help all the animals I can!

Ran across this cool piece by a girl named Brandy Henderson on the web and she gave me permission to run it here. It speaks to those who might look at animals as "less than". They just don't understand.

“It’s Just a Dog” 

If you read the title and are still reading this, I hope it is out of anger or morbid curiosity, wondering, “How could anyone say such a thing?” If not, this piece is for you.

To anyone who says, “It’s just a dog:”

You are the reason rescues exist, why thousands of dogs die everyday in shelters, homeless and unwanted.

You are the backyard breeder or puppy miller, who looks at a dog and sees dollar signs, who cares nothing for the inevitable decline in the dog’s health after having litter upon litter of puppies, nor for the countless dogs who will now die in shelters because the puppies you breed have taken up their homes.

You are the supporter of these backyard breeders and puppy mills, willing to pay $500 or more for a puppy rather than $90 for a rescued dog, because having a pedigree to show off to friends is more important than saving the life of a true and loyal companion.

You are the one who trains dogs to fight, whether for sport or protection, thus abusing your dog and bringing the call for the extermination of an entire breed of perfectly wonderful dogs.

You are the one who thinks nothing of putting your dog to sleep because it doesn’t go with the furniture, or it urinates on the carpet, while at the same time balking at the thought of spanking an unruly child.

You are the one who dumps your dog at the shelter when you move, because you’re too lazy to find pet-friendly housing.

You are the one who keeps your dog tied up outside, only bothering to provide the occasional bowls of food and water and possibly a tree for shade, because after all, it is just a dog, right?

To the 90 year old woman in the nursing home, abandoned by her family, yearning for companionship, stroking the fur of a new friend with the words “Therapy Dog” on its side, it’s not just a dog.

To the young child who has become literate by reading aloud to a dog in the classroom, it’s not just a dog.

To the person with skin cancer who had it detected by a dog when the doctors couldn’t, it’s not just a dog.

To the blind man who now can see through his companion, it’s not just a dog.

To anyone who has been in bed, sick with the flu, and has felt the warmth of that cold nose as he curls up between your legs to give you comfort, it’s not just a dog.

To anyone who comes home from a hard day of work to be greeted by someone who’s so happy to see you they can’t stop wiggling, it’s not just a dog.

To anyone who has cried at Old Yeller, because they know what it’s like to lose their best friend, to know that their friend is suffering and though it may be hard, the best thing to do is to help them go peacefully, it’s not just a dog.

When you say, “It’s just a dog,” you really mean, “Why should I care about it? Dogs aren’t important. They’re useless. They don’t give anything to us, so why should I give them anything in return? Why do I have to care about their feelings? They don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It’s just a dog.”

To everyone who says, “It’s just a dog,” I just have this to say to you:

“You’re just a human.”


Posted with permission

Copyright 2006 Brandy Henderson