Such tools are often sold as harmless devices, and they’re proliferating. Don’t play along.
I’m amazed how many tools you can buy that cause dogs pain and fear. There’s the SimpleLeash, a leash and shock collar combo that automatically shocks your dog every time the leash goes tight — that is, every time she wants to smell something, investigate a new person, or lift a leg on a tree out of leash range. Which is to say, every time she wants to be a dog.
There are now collars that shock your dog when he barks, collars that shock your dog at the press of a button for any reason you like, and mats that shock your dog when they place their paws on them. You can even get a handy-dandy Stay! Mat Wireless Crate, which shocks your dog if he gets up from the mat until he returns to it and lies down. Yeesh! If I am reincarnated as a dog, please don’t let it be to a home where I have to use one of those.
These tools are often sold to well-intentioned pet owners swayed by a variety of euphemisms — a shock is referred to as a “sensation,” a “tickle,” a “tap,” a “stimulation.” They would probably be a pretty hard sell if “shock” were used, or if you were told this tool would hurt your dog. If a dog is “man’s best friend,” we sure have a funny way of showing it.
For some dogs, these tools seem to create few unwanted side effects. Like with people, tolerance for pain varies widely among dogs, and for dogs that have a higher pain tolerance and a strong prey drive, a shock of a few seconds is easily trumped by the joy of chasing a deer — in other words, it’s worth the trouble.
For others, the side effects may be more subtle and only readily apparent to someone well-versed in reading dog body language: a succession of lip licks, yawns, and head turns, which are saying, “Please make it stop.”
Shock collars can create anxiety, stress, fear and unwanted aggression in dogs. They can make a dog skittish, nervous and create an array of new problems.
Pet owners purchase shock tools in desperation, not knowing how to improve their dogs’ quality of life. Some are hoping for a quick fix to long-standing behavior problems. Instead, they end up having to address the original problem and also repair the damage done by inappropriate training tools and techniques. Dog owners, don’t be fooled. There are other training techniques that will be far more effective with far less damaging results on your dogs.
Would you want to walk around with a shock collar on all day not knowing when that moment will come and you’ll be zapped by an electrical jolt!
I was going to write a Thanksgiving blog all about the pros and cons of feeding our pets table scraps but something happened on my morning walk that’s irritated me so much, I decided to voice my very opinionated opinion on what it means to be a responsible pet owner instead!
I’ve owned pets all my life and now run a successful pet sitting company. I consider myself a loving, caring, responsible pet owner. I believe in keeping pets safe, feeding them healthy food, making sure they’re physically healthy, exercised, socialized and loved. But, apparently nowadays, it means something entirely different. When was this new rule book written because I must have missed the issue! And, who wrote it? Since when, in this politically correct world we live in, do we have to follow someone else’s rules because they think it’s the politically correct thing to do in order to be a responsible pet owner.
What happened to the days where you could walk your dog without a leash, go to a school yard and have the dogs play with the kids, go to a park and have the dogs running and playing alongside the people, letting them swim in the ocean and sun themselves on the sand. What happened to having your neighbor call and say your dog was visiting them at their house and they just gave them a sandwich. What happened to letting your dog pee and poo on a walk and not panic because you forgot a bag for cleanup and it might cost you a hefty fine.
I was at a park with my dog a few weeks ago playing catch with a ball when a police car came blazing across the park and stopped in front of me and my dog. The two officers proceeded to tell me I was breaking a law! Yes, breaking a law playing fetch with my dog in a park! They then proceeded to tell me they were going to write a ticket and if I resisted giving them my name and information, they would tasser me and my dog with their tasser guns! Yes, this is all true, as unbelievable as it may sound. This can’t be what it means to be a responsible pet owner, because quite honestly, it scares me to death if that’s what it means.
What I love about dogs, is they have no agenda’s and they live by their instincts. They don’t stop and think, can I, should I, could I, dare I, what if I….. But people nowadays seem to think they should.
I’m really tired of people going out of their way to stop their car or come out of their home to take the time to lecture and scream about your dog walking on their grass, peeing in their yard, pooping and making sure you have a bag to clean it up. Really? Really?? When did we make everyone a dog deputy!!
And, those signs people buy and stick in their lawns, warning you about the code violation your dog is committing if he poops on their grass. Really? Really??? I walk around stressed and full of panic if I forgot a bag. Are they going to call the cops, have me arrested? It’s become so coo coo crazy. And, we just seem to let it continue.
I miss the good old days. I really do. When dogs could be dogs. People were kind and everyone lived in harmony, not fear because you forgot your poop bags on the morning walk or you took your dog off leash to fetch a ball.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Lets give thanks for the pets and focus on the joy that they can bring if you let them!! And, give serious thought to how far we’re letting this politically correct world take over what we already know. How to be a responsible pet owner!
Many pet owners have adopted or rescued their dog and may wonder, how old is this dog, really? Others pet owners may think they know it’s age by applying the old 7 to 1 ratio. For every year of a dogs life add 7 years. Which, by the way, is not exactly accurate either.
Dogs age much more rapidly in the first two years of their lives but then it slows down to a 5 to 1, 6 to 1 or a 7 to 1 ratio, depending on the size of your dog.
Small little Chihuahua’s will be in the 5 to 1 ratio after the first two years while Labs and Chow’s may be a 6 to 1 ratio. If you have a St Bernard lounging around the house, then bump that up to an 8 to 1 ratio. Yes, 8!
So, just how old is your dog? Here’s some other signs that may help you figure it out.
Your dogs teeth will be a good give away for signs of aging. Dogs usually have a set of permanent teeth by their seventh month, so if you’ve come across a dog with clean pearly whites, he is likely a year old or thereabouts. Yellowing on a dog’s back teeth may put the dog between one to three years of age, while tartar build-up at a minimal level could mean you have a dog between 4 and 6. Missing teeth or severe wear usually means the dog is settling into senior aging.
Your dogs muscle tone is another clue. Younger dogs are more likely to have some muscle definition from their higher activity level. Older dogs are usually either a tad bonier or a little fatter from decreased activity.
Does your dog have a shiny coat of fur? A younger dog usually has a soft, fine coat, whereas an older dog tends to have thicker, coarser (and sometimes oilier) fur. A senior dog may display grays or patches of white, particularly around the snout.
Look into your dogs eyes. Bright, clear eyes without tearing or discharge are common in younger dogs. Cloudy or opaque eyes may can mean your dog is starting to age.
One of the best ways to prolong the life and improve the functions of your dog as it ages is to carefully regulate its fuel intake. Older dogs exercise less and thus need fewer calories. No matter what your dogs age, a healthy dog is a happy dog and needs lots of love from it’s owner at any age!
It’s 4am, your deep into REM sleep, when your 12 pound tabby jumps on your head and decides it’s time to play! Or meows incessantly until your eyelids are forced open and your wide awake. Sound familiar? This is a deciding moment for cat owners to seize the moment and do some training.
However, remember it’s 4am and most of us are not thinking clearly and just react instead! Ah, just what the cat was hoping would happen. Whether it’s positive or negative reactions at that point, doesn’t faze the cat at all. They have you up and paying attention to them. Mission accomplished!
Ok, cats are nocturnal by nature. I get it. When we’re at work, they spend the day sleeping. When we get home, they’re ready to roll. You feed them, play with them and then just when you turn out the lights for bed at night, they’ve hit their stride. But wait, there is hope. Here’s some ideas on how to get your cat to sleep at night.
Try increasing their activity during the day. Indoor cats, especially, need stimulation. Leave window blinds open and places for your cat to sit by a window to watch the outdoors. Put a birdfeeder by a window. Cats can entertain themselves for hours watching the action. Think about adding another pet companion to the house. Someone to play with during the day. Keep some music or tv going while your out. Cats will watch and listen. It’s great stimulation. Keep the house light and bright. If it’s dark all day, cats will sleep. And feed your cats closer to bedtime. When their bellies are full they tend to sleep for longer periods of time.
Most important, at 4am when the cat is sailing across your bed, nibbling at your feet and pouncing on your face, ignore them. Don’t react and they might just learn to sleep through the night!
These are the answers from dogs when asked “How many dogs does it take to put in a light bulb?”
Look at how the temperament of a dog affects how it might tackle a specific task.
Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, we’ve got our whole lives ahead of us, and you’re inside worrying about a stupid burned-out light bulb?
Border Collie: Just one. And I’ll replace any wiring that’s not up to code.
Dachshund: I can’t reach the stupid lamp!
Toy Poodle: I’ll just blow in the Border collie’s ear and he’ll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.
Rottweiler: Go Ahead! Make me!
Shi-tzu: Puh-leeze, dah-ling. Let the servants. . . .
Labrador: Oh, me, me!!! Pleeeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Can I?
Malamute: Let the Border collie do it. You can feed me while he’s busy.
Cocker Spaniel: Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark.
Doberman Pinscher: While it’s dark, I’m going to sleep on the couch.
Mastiff: Mastiffs are NOT afraid of the dark.
Hound Dog: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
Chihuahua: Yo quiero Taco Bulb.
Irish Wolfhound: Can somebody else do it? I’ve got a hangover.
Pointer: I see it, there it is, right there…
Greyhound: It isn’t moving. Who cares?
Australian Shepherd: Put all the light bulbs in a little circle…
Old English Sheep Dog: Light bulb? Light bulb? That thing I just ate was a light bulb?
I am lucky to work with so many wonderful clients in my business and hear stories everyday about another pet being rescued to a loving home.
Rescuing a dog or cat from a shelter is a big commitment but one of the best ways to save more lives. Shelters are filled with abandoned, abused and neglected pets. Many of the shelters are not structured to be no-kill organizations. Adoption is the only way these beautiful creatures can be saved.