Podcast – Spaying & Neutering with Dr. Christine Calder

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< Updated 15FEB20 >

< A short link for this page – http://bit.ly/WfMw-SpayNeuter2020 >

If you are wondering if you should spay or neuter your pet, and when to do so, may find this podcast helpful.

Not so many years ago, the consensus opinion was that spaying and neutering pets early was necessary to control pet overpopulation. Evidence also suggested spaying/neutering reduced the risk of various cancers and the development of certain behavioral problems such as aggression and marking. Today, the evidence is less clear. In fact, if you ask five different pet professionals if you should spay or neuter and when to do it, you may get multiple opinions even from the same individual.

Before you decide whether to spay or neuter your pet, the best thing you can do is take the responsibility to do some research and to consider the information that is available. Your decision may depend on many factors; species, breed, your individual pet, lifestyle/situation, and even where you live. Did you know that in some countries it is illegal to spay/neuter a pet, or that, in some of those same countries animal shelters and rescues are unnecessary because they do not have homeless pets? As for the health and behavioral pros and cons of spaying and neutering they can go both ways.

For this show, which first aired on February 15th, 2020, Kate and Don invited Dr. Christine Calder, a veterinary behaviorist, who also spent fifteen years as a general practice veterinarian, to help us sort through the latest information on spaying and neutering so that you will know what to ask and consider when you discuss whether to spay your pet with their veterinarian. Our podcast page will include links to several articles you may find helpful, but be advised they do not encompass all the information on the risks and benefits of spaying and neutering your pet.

Contact Info for Dr. Calder

Facility: Midcoast Humane
Address: 190 Pleasant Street, Brunswick, ME
Phone: (207) 449-1366
Website: https://midcoasthumane.org/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Christine-Calder-DVM-DACVB-Veterinary-Behaviorist-104864721012254/

More info on Dr. Calder

From the January 2020 issue of Downeast Dog Newshttps://downeastdognews.villagesoup.com/p/what-is-a-veterinary-behaviorist/1846547

Podcast – Introducing Dr. Christine Calder, Maine’s 1st Veterinary Behavioristhttp://bit.ly/WMw-DrCalderVetBhx

For Reference

Reexamining the early spay-neuter paradigm in dogs, dvm360, 2019, Dr. Mike Petty and  Dr. Mark Goldstein, – https://www.dvm360.com/view/reexamining-early-spay-neuter-paradigm-dogs

Are There Behavior Changes When Dogs Are Spayed or Neutered?, Stanley Coren, PhD., DSc, FRSC, Canine Corner, Psychology Today – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/canine-corner/201702/are-there-behavior-changes-when-dogs-are-spayed-or-neutered

Long-Term Health Risks and Benefits Associated with Spay/Neuter in Dogs, Laura J. Sanborn, M.S., dogs naturally blog, – https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/long-term-health-risks-benefits-spay-neuter-dogs/

Behavioral and Physical Effects of Spaying and Neutering Domestic Dogs (Canis familiaris), Summary of findings detailed in a Masters thesis submitted to and accepted by Hunter College by Parvene Farhoody in May 2010. – http://www.naiaonline.org/uploads/WhitePapers/SNBehaviorFarhoodyZink.pdf

Behavioural risks in male dogs with minimal lifetime exposure to gonadal hormones may complicate population-control benefits of desexing, McGreevy PD, Wilson B, Starling MJ, Serpell JA, 2018, PLoS ONE 13(5): e0196284, – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5931473/

Long-Term Health Effects of Neutering Dogs: Comparison of Labrador Retrievers with Golden Retrievers, Hart BL, Hart LA, Thigpen AP, Willits NH 2014, PLoS ONE 9(7): e102241. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102241 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4096726/

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on Z62 Retro Radio, AM620, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show. You can download this show and others at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/ , at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple iTunes store.

 

©15FEB20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved

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Book Review–What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage: Lessons for People from Animals and Their Trainers by Amy Sutherland

< A version of this article was published in the January 2020 issue of Downeast Dog News>

< Updated 29DEC19 >

< A short link for this page –  http://bit.ly/BookReviewShamu >

In my December column, I encouraged you to give your pet the gifts of patience, knowledge, and an attitude that emphasizes frequently rewarding behavior we like rather than fixating on our pets when they do something we do not like.

About a week after I completed my column, Kate and I recorded a Woof Meow Show on the same topic. We discussed books I had recommended where people could acquire knowledge and help them understand the importance of patience and rewards. It was then that Kate reminded me of a book that we had both read that greatly influenced us, not only in the way we work with dogs but with the people in our lives. That book is What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage: Lessons for People from Animals and Their Trainers. By Amy Sutherland, the book is not a dog training book but is a reflection on how writing a book about exotic animal trainers (Kicked, Bitten, and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the World’s Premier School for Exotic Animal Trainers) dramatically changed the author’s life, for the better. The book eloquently presents the case for patience, knowledge, and a positive outlook.

In the books Introduction Sutherland notes:

I’m an altogether different person than I was three years ago. …My friends and family may not have noticed, but I am almost unrecognizable to myself at times. My outlook is more optimistic. I’m less judgmental. I have vastly more patience and self-control. I’m a better observer. I get along better with people, especially my husband. I have a peace of mind that comes from the world making so much more sense to me.”

Wow! To me, that is quite a life change and all from writing a book about animal trainers. The discussion Kate and I had about “Shamu” convinced me to reread the book and to give it a proper review.

In her book, Sutherland discusses how she applied what she learned about animal training to people in her life, such as her husband, mother, and friends. Below I have highlighted some of my favorite snippets from, hoping to entice you to borrow or buy a copy and read it in its entirety.

Based on her experiences while training her dog Dixie, Sutherland became increasingly interested in animal training and started researching a book on animal trainers and the Moorpark College’s Exotic Animal Training and Management Program. There she learned the following:

Training with force and coercion is unnecessary and counterproductive. – “Train every animal as if it’s a killer whale” meant to work with every animal as if you could neither forcibly move it nor dominate it.

We are the human with the allegedly more powerful brain, so we need to take reasonability for our dog’s success. – “It’s never the animal’s fault” is pretty much what it says: If an animal flounders in training, it’s the trainer’s fault.”

Both dog and human trainer must be one hundred percent engaged with one another while training. – “When they train, that is all they are doing. They aren’t answering the phone, looking for a yogurt in the fridge, or paying bills while checking to see if a dolphin correctly slapped the water with its pectoral flipper.”

Sutherland also learned that trainers must attend to their own behavior – “Students [Student Trainers] can’t lose their temper during a training session, ideally not even sigh, because that might undo all they have accomplished to that point…

Most importantly, Sutherland learned to resist the human instinct to focus on the negative and instead to focus on the behavior we want. – “Progressive animal trainers reward the behavior they want and, equally importantly, ignore the behavior they don’t.”

Progressive trainers want nothing less than zest, spark, joie de vivre.”

The trick is that ignoring unwanted behavior is only half the equation. The other half is noticing and rewarding what you want. The two go hand in hand.”

Every year I give each member of the Green Acres Kennel Shop team a book at Christmas time and often share the same title with the local veterinarians and their staff. This book was my gift choice for 2019.

If you are not a hermit living a solitary and isolated existence, but instead interact with other living things, I am confident that you will learn something from What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love, and Marriage: Lessons for People from Animals and Their Trainers. While not a classic “how to train your dog” book, I have added it to my recommended reading list for anyone with a pet or who works in the pet care service industry. The foundation it provides for changing your behavior, as well as the behavior of your dog, parent, friends, children, mother, or anyone, is invaluable.

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

A Recommended Reading and Listening List for Pet Care Professionals – http://bit.ly/ForPetCarePros

Recommended Resources for People with Pets http://bit.ly/KnowledgeforPetParents

________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( greenacreskennel.com ) in Bangor, ME, where he has been helping people with their pets since 1995. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC), and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). Don is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and is committed to PPG’s Guiding Principles and the Pain-Free, Force-Free, and Fear-Free training, management, and care of all pets. Don produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show, that airs on Z62 Retro Radio WZON (AM620) and WKIT 103.3-HD3 and is streamed at http://www.wzonam.com/ every Saturday at 9 AM. Podcasts of the show are available at http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts, the Apple Podcast app, and at Don’s blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.  The opinions in this post are those of Don Hanson.

 

©29DEC20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Podcast – The Benefits of Training Your Dog and 2020 Classes at Green Acres Kennel Shop

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< Updated 7DEC19 >

< A short link for this page – insert link >

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from December 7th, 2019, Kate and Don discuss the benefits of training a dog and why it’s so important. They explain how your learning about canine behavior and how your dog communicates is an essential part of your ability to successfully and efficiently teach them things like sit, down, and coming when called. They also review training classes offered at Green Acres Kennel Shop in 2020 and stress the benefits of working with an accredited professional and always making sure that the learning process is fun for both you and your dog!

You can find more resources on dog training and behavior at – Resources When Looking for A Dog Trainerhttp://bit.ly/DogTraining-Resources

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on Z62 Retro Radio, AM620, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show. You can download this show and others at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/ , at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple iTunes store.

< Click to Listen to Podcast >

Contact Info

Green Acres Kennel Shop
1653 Union Street
Bangor, ME 04401
207-945-6841

www.Greenacreskennel.com

https://www.facebook.com/GreenAcresKennelShop/

©06DEC19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Holiday Gift Ideas for Pets and Their People – 2019

< A version of this article was published in the December 2019 issue of Downeast Dog News >

< Updated 30NOV19 >

< A short link for this page – http://bit.ly/WWM-HolidayGifts2019 >

< A short link to a podcast on this topic – http://bit.ly/WfMw-HolidayGifts2019 >

The holidays are upon us, and I have some holiday gift suggestions that will be beneficial to both you and your dog.

The gift of patience –Teaching and learning are a process that will occur throughout your life and your dog’s life. Your dog is not going to learn everything you want them to know in seven days or even a couple of months, no matter what some book with a hyperbolic title “guarantees.” Give your dog the time to learn what they need to know, rewarding each tiny step in the right direction. Yes, teaching a dog can be frustrating, but your irritation with your dog works against the teaching process. When I find myself becoming impatient, I find it helpful to read The misunderstanding of time by dog trainer Nancy Tanner [ FMIhttp://bit.ly/Patience-Dogs ]. Your dog, you, and those around you will all enjoy and befit from the gift of patience.

The gift of knowledge – The best assurance that you and your dog will have a long and wonderful relationship is by equipping yourself with current and accurate knowledge about your dog and their physical, mental, and emotional needs.  In their 2015 Canine and Feline Behavior Management Guidelines, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) noted: “More dogs and cats are affected by behavioral problems than any other condition, often resulting in euthanasia, relinquishment of the patient, or chronic suffering.” The report explains that a major reason for behavioral problems is erroneous information about pets and what constitutes normal versus abnormal behavior and appropriate training methods. Misinformation often comes from family, friends, neighbors, rescues/shelters, and even pet care professionals such as veterinarians and trainers. Please do not assume that everything you think you know about pets is good advice based on science. Give yourself the gift of knowledge by seeking education from an accredited professional who is committed to remaining current on what is best for pets.  [ FMI –  http://bit.ly/MEPetPros ]. As a supplement to working with a professional, you may also want to review some of the recommended resources at this link. [ FMIhttp://bit.ly/KnowledgeforPetParents ].

The gift of rewarding behavior you like – It seems to be human nature to focus on others, whether people or dogs when they are doing something we dislike. When the dog jumps on someone, we explode with attention towards our dog, often yelling harshly, and perhaps grabbing at the dog to get them to stop and to demonstrate our displeasure. However, in those moments when the dog is perfectly calm, lying, or sitting at their side, many people ignore the dog. They are seemingly oblivious to their dog’s behavior when they are not annoying them. Failure to reward this behavior is a missed opportunity!

Dogs and people have simple rules that determine how they learn. When we reward a behavior, we make it more likely to be repeated. Giving a dog a treat every time they sit will create a dog who sits regularly. Most people understand how learning works when actively training their dog but do not always see how it can apply to everyday life.

If our dog lies quietly by our side, many people will not even notice because the dog is not disruptive. Whenever our dog exhibits behavior we like, whether we asked for it or not, it is beneficial to reward that behavior. Failure to do so is a missed opportunity.

Having their dog lie quietly by their side while at an outdoor café was the primary goal for a recent student. We taught them how to reward this behavior when the dog did this in class. They continued to reward this behavior at home, and anywhere else, the dog would lie quietly. Within a few weeks, they had a young, exuberant puppy lying at their side in outdoor cafes.

The gift of choice – Our dogs are living, sentient beings with emotions very similar to our own. Some are extroverts, and many are introverts that do not enjoy every one. One of the greatest gifts we can give our dogs is a choice as to whether or not they want to interact. If your dog is not harming anyone or anything, and they choose NOT to interact with a person or another dog, please accept their decision. Interactions between a dog and others need to be consensual. This important concept of consent was written about by Jenny Efimova in a blog article entitled What My Dog Taught Me About Consent. Please read the article and learn the importance of giving your dog the gift of choice. [ FMIhttp://bit.ly/Dog-Consent]

Have a happy holiday season, and please celebrate by giving the gifts of; patience, knowledge, rewards, and choice.

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

Shared Blog Post from Nancy Tanner – The misunderstanding of time by Nancy Tanner – http://bit.ly/Patience-Dogs

Maine Pet Care Professionals That We Recommend  http://bit.ly/MEPetPros

Recommended Resources for People with Petshttp://bit.ly/KnowledgeforPetParents

Shared Blog Post from Jenny Efimova What My Dog Taught Me About Consent http://bit.ly/Dog-Consent

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://www.woofmeowshow.com )

Podcast – Holiday Gift Ideas for Pets and Their Peoplehttp://bit.ly/WfMw-HolidayGifts2019

 

________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( greenacreskennel.com ) in Bangor, ME where he has been helping people with their pets since 1995. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). Don is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and is committed to PPG’s Guiding Principles and the Pain-Free, Force-Free, and Fear-Free training, management, and care of all pets. Don produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show, that airs on Z62 Retro Radio WZON (AM620) and WKIT 103.3-HD3 and is streamed at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON every Saturday at 9 AM. Podcasts of the show are available at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/, the Apple Podcast app, and at Don’s blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.  The opinions in this post are those of Don Hanson.

©30NOV19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Podcast – Pet Photography with Deb Bell & Holiday Pet Portraits- A 10th Anniversary Celebration

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In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from October 5th, 2019, Don and Debra Bell, from Bell’s Furry Friends Photography, talk about pet photography and the 10th anniversary of Holiday Pet Portraits at Green Acres Kennel Shop. We’ll discuss how we are marking this anniversary with some special events. Tune and learn how you can capture your pet in a photo you will treasure forever, by the Bangor Regions Best Pet Photographer, Debra Bell.

Deb has been taking photos of Don, Paula, and their pets for years. In the following link, Don has shared an album of photos taken by Deb that mean the most to him. Take a look, and you will see why Deb has been voted the Bangor Region’s Best Pet Photographer year after year.

Favorite Photos of Our Pets by Deb Bellhttp://bit.ly/FavPhotosByDebBell

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on Z62 Retro Radio, AM620, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show. You can download this show and others at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/ , at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple iTunes store.

< Click to Listen to Podcast >

Contact Info for Green Acres Kennel Shop
and Holiday Pet Portraits

Address: 1653 Union Street, Bangor, ME 04401
Phone: 945-6841

Webpage for Event: http://bit.ly/HolidayPetPortraits

Website: https://www.greenacreskennel.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/GreenAcresKennelShop/

Contact Info for Deb Bell and Bell’s Furry Friends Photography

Website: http://www.bffpetphotos.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/BellsFurryFriends/

 

©05OCT19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Podcast – Meet Green Acres New Operations Manager – Nicole Crocker

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In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from July 13, 2019, Kate and Don interview Nicole Crocker, Green Acres Kennel Shops new operations manager. We discuss Nicole’s pets as a child, how she became a pet care professional, and why she came to Maine. Join us and learn about the newest member of the Green Acres Kennel Shop team.

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on Z62 Retro Radio, AM620, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show. You can download this show and others at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/ , at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple iTunes store.

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©13JUL19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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PET FOOD RECALL – Steve’s Real Food for Pets

Steve’s Real Food of Salt Lake City, Utah voluntarily recalls one lot of Turducken Recipe, one lot of Quest Emu, and one lot of Quest Beef due to possible Salmonella and L. Mono Contamination.

Green Acres Kennel Shop sells Steve’s Real Food for Pets but has NOT sold or stocked any of the reported SKU’s or Lot Numbers.

This recall is being initiated after the firm was notified by the Washington Department of Agriculture when a sample was collected and tested positive for Salmonella and/or L. mono. Steve’s Real Food for Pets did conduct their own test which resulted in a negative result for both Salmonella and L. mono. However, because of their commitment to overall safety and quality, Steve’s Real Food is conducting a voluntary recall of this product.

Consumers should also follow the safe handling tips published on the Steve’s Real Food packaging, when disposing of the affected product.

No pet or human illnesses from this product have been reported to date.

Salmonella and L. mono can affect animals eating the products, and there is a risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products. Symptoms of infection in people include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella and/or L. mono infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected, but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The affected products were nationally distributed and are identified with the following UPC codes and the “Best by” date located on the front of the bag.

Product Name/SizeLOT #UPCBest By Date
Steve’s Real Food Turducken Recipe/5#J1556-91730-15304-56/4/19
Quest Emu Diet/2#B1386-91730-17103-25/18/19
Quest Beef Diet/2#A1386-91730-17101-85/18/19

This recall is being made with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Consumers are encouraged to check the lot code and best buy date of any 5lb frozen Turducken, 2lb Quest Emu or 2lb Quest Beef. Any product with the noted lot code and best buy date should be returned to the specialty retailer where product was purchased for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Steve’s Real Food at 888-526-1900, Monday – Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm MTN.

This voluntary action is listed on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website – https://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm619888.htm

©9SEP18, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Selected My First Dog – Gus, the Dominance Myth, An Alpha Roll, and a Damaged Relationship

< Updated 2JAN19 >

< A version of this article was published in the September 2018  issue of Downeast Dog News >

< A short link to this article on my blog – http://bit.ly/Things-Gus-Dominance >

In a recent interview, I was asked a series of questions about how to choose a dog trainer. One of the questions was “What would you like to have known when you started training dogs?” This post will be the first of a series of article inspired by that question.

This series of articles has since been renamed Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Selected My First Dog, and you can find a complete list of posts in the series at < http://bit.ly/ThingsIWishIHadKnown >

Don & Gus in 1991, Before the Alpha Roll

In the spring of 1991, I had a new 12-week old Cairn Terrier puppy named Gus. I had no knowledge of dog training, but a desire to learn. I started to learn by reading two of the most popular dog training books at the time; How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend and Mother Knows Best. The basic premise of both books was that a dog is a wolf and the best way to train and care for a dog is to dominate it like an Alpha wolf would dominate a wolf pup. My wife and I also enrolled ourselves and Gus in a puppy kindergarten class offered by the local dog club.

Our first night in puppy class was a complete disaster. I was told to command Gus to sit, and Gus failed to comply. Now, this was not a big deal to us nor a surprise, as we were well aware that Gus had no clue what we wanted him to do when we said the word “Sit.” However, Gus’ failure to comply was a massive deal to the two instructors. They told me, in no uncertain terms, that Gus was exerting his dominance and that I had to alpha roll him to show him that I was the Alpha. The alpha roll was precisely what the books we were reading recommended, so not knowing any better I did as I was told. As I grabbed Gus by the scruff and pinned him, he immediately began thrashing around underneath me, growling and snapping, and trying to connect his teeth with me, so that I would let him go. I know now that Gus was terrified but at the time believed I was doing the right thing.

The instructor now became even more adamant: “We can’t have that! Grab his muzzle and clamp it shut!” My instincts said “Whoa! That’s not safe!” but these people were the “experts” so I tried grabbing Gus’ muzzle in my hand. Instantly, I felt his canines puncture my palm. As my blood started dripping on the floor, Gus broke free and moved as far away from me as he could. There is something to be said for listening to your gut instincts. Gus followed his; I failed to pay attention to mine.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, everything that I had read and been taught about the alpha wolf rollover was based upon flawed knowledge. My puppy was afraid for his life, and it was my fault.

When we got back home, it was evident that the relationship between Gus and I was severely damaged. I was no longer being asked to “throw the ball” by the puppy with the joyously vibrating tail. Gus did not trust me, and I did not trust him. Over many months Gus and I learned to trust one another again, and training and behavior became something we both enjoyed. We were fortunate to discover Dr. Patricia McConnell where we learned about the wonders of reward-based training. We had fun; our dogs had fun and that should be a primary focus of training.

So this is what I would have liked to have known before I started training Gus.

  • Just because something is in a book written by an alleged expert does not mean it is good advice or even factual.
  • The study of wolf packs in the wild has taught us that a wolf pack is a family working cooperatively to survive to pass on their genes. Their survival depends on cooperation, NOT competition to be the alpha within the pack.
  • The violent alpha roll described in the books I read has never been observed happening in a wolf pack. A wolf pup may voluntarily roll on its back and submit to an older wolf, but it is never physically forced to do so.
  • Karen Overall is a veterinarian who is also one of the few vets that is also a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behavior. She also has a PhD and is certified by the Animal Behavior Society as an Applied Animal Behaviorist. In other words, she is one of the leading experts on the planet on dog behavior. This is what she said about dominance at a PPG conference in 2016. “Dominance theory has shut off scientific research and has crept into medicine to the point where we think we can do things to animals whereby we are asking them to ‘submit’….dominance theory is insidious and has crept into everything we do with dogs and it’s wrong. It has gotten in the way of modern science and I’ve just about had it. Every single thing we do with dogs hurts them because we don’t see them as individuals or cognitive partners.” [ Emphasis Added ]
  • In the 2017 documentary, Dogs, Cats and Scapegoats Overall sums it up very well when she states: “In the evolutionary literature “alpha” was just a shorthand for breeding. I’m the alpha – that you feel that you have to compete with a dog in your household over some imaginary rank, what does that say for how you live with people?” [ Emphasis Added ]
  • The entire concept of dominance is not only an erroneous understanding of the dog-human relationship, but it is also counterproductive to a harmonious relationship with our dog and may cause aggression as it did with Gus.

Unfortunately the same bad advice I received in 1991 is still being promulgated today, in spite of the fact that major canine organizations such as the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB), the Pet Professional Guild (PPG), the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT),  all warn of the use of dominance-based training.

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog ( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Selected My First Dog Link Page http://bit.ly/ThingsIWishIHadKnown

Dog Behavior – Dominance: Reality or Mythhttp://bit.ly/Dominance-RealityorMyth

Thank You, PPG, and Gus Too! – from the May 2017 issue of the Pet Professional Guild journal, BARKS from the Guildhttp://bit.ly/ThanksPPG-Gus

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://www.woofmeowshow.com )

The Dominance and Alpha Myth –  http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2010-03-21-The_Dominance_Myth.mp3

Prof. Chad Montrie and the documentary Tough Love: A Meditation on Dominance and Dogshttp://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2013-01-26-Tough_Love_Chad_Montrie.mp3

Other Publications

BARKS from the Guild – May 2017 – Thank You,  PPG , and Gus Too! https://issuu.com/petprofessionalguild/docs/bftg_may_2017_online_edition_opt/58

Videos

Tough Love: A Meditation on Dominance and Dogs, Anchorhold Films, 2012https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIjMBfhyNDE

Dogs, Cats and Scapegoats – The Mind of Cesar Millanhttps://vimeo.com/236013182

Dr. L. David Mech talks about the terms “alpha” and “beta” wolves and why they are no longer scientifically accuratehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNtFgdwTsbU

Position Statements

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior AVSAB Position Statement on the Use of Dominance Theory in Behavior Modification of Animalshttps://avsab.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Dominance_Position_Statement_download-10-3-14.pdf

Association of Professional Dog Trainers –  APDT Position Statement on Dominance and Dog Traininghttps://apdt.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/dominance-and-dog-training.pdf

Green Acres Kennel Shop Position Statement on Pet Friendly, Force-Free Pet Carehttp://bit.ly/GAKS_Pet-Friendly

Green Acres Kennel Shop Position on the Use of Dominance and Punishment for the Training and Behavior Modification of Dogshttp://bit.ly/GAKS-Pos-NoPain-NoForceNoFear

The Pet Professional Guild – Position Statement – Dominance Theory in Animal Training – https://www.petprofessionalguild.com/DominanceTheoryPositionStatement

 

Books

Dog Smart: Evidence-based Training with The Science Dog, Linda P. Case, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018read a review at http://bit.ly/BkRvw-Case-DogSmart

Dogs: A New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior and Evolution, Raymond and Lorna Coppinger, University of Chicago Press, 2001.

Dominance: Fact or Fiction, Barry Eaton, 2002.

Dominance Theory and Dogs Version 1.0, James O’Heare, DogPsych Publishing, 2003.

Don’t Shoot the Dog – The New Art of Teaching and Training (2ndedition), Karen Pryor, Bantam Books, 1999.

On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals, Turid Rugaas, Dogwise Publishing, 2006.

Stress in Dogs, Martina Scholz and Clarissa von Reinhardt, Dogwise Publishing, 2007.

The Culture Clash, Jean Donaldson, James & Kenneth Publishers, 2005.

The Power of Positive Dog Training, Pat Miller, Howell Book House, 2001.

 

©2JAN19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs

< Updated 29SEP18 >

On July 22nd we informed you of a report issued by the FDA indicating an increase of dogs presenting with canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and a possible but unconfirmed link to specific ingredients in grain-free foods < click to review > Since then Tuffy’s Pet Food, manufacturers of NutriSource, Pure Vita and Natural Planet has issued an updated report on actions that they are taking. I have included that statement below, emphasizing what I believe to be the key points.

Tuffy’s Pet Foods is issuing this statement to update our position related to the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Statement regarding the potential link between Dilated Cardio Myopathy (DCM) and Grain Free dog foods.

Tuffy’s continues to research this matter and has gained a better understanding of the potential concerns raised by the FDA.  Today, to our knowledge, there simply is not a volume of research that allows for any statistically significant correlations or conclusions regarding any potential link between DCM in non-predisposed dog breeds and ingredients like peas, lentils, other legumes or potatoes.  The small amount of available data shows a lack of consistency at this time and more study is required to understand this issue.  Tuffy’s is aware that certain breeds, many large breed in nature may have a pre-disposition to DCM and that taurine levels in the food may play a role in helping these breeds avoid DCM.  Because of that understanding Tuffy’s already supplements taurine in our large breed diets and in our Adult diet.  

Given the uncertainty of the research surrounding the reported cases of DCM in breeds not genetically pre-disposed to DCM Tuffy’s is immediately supplementing taurine above the naturally occurring levels in all of our NutriSource and Pure Vita diets in the amount referenced by the FDA.  While the end results of studies into this issue are unknown, the responsible action is to err on the side of caution by delivering additional taurine as it will not have any adverse effect on pets to do so until such time as scientific study or regulatory agencies establish guidelines.

Tuffy’s offers diets that deliver healthy, effective solutions for pets.  As an industry leader in pet nutrition Tuffy’s grain and grain free NutriSource and Pure Vita diets all feature our exclusive Good 4 Life supplements and are ideally suited to rotational feeding or smooth introduction to pets.

Tuffy’s invites pet owners with concerns or questions to view a video statement from our family of ownership at www.nutrisourcepetfoods.com/fda-updates or to contact us directly at info@klnfamilybrands.com or toll free at 800-525-9155.

Tuffy’s remains committed in its support of any and all studies that promote the health and well-being of pets.

Podcast – Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous?, with Linda Case, MS – http://bit.ly/Podcast-FDA-Grain-Free-LindaCase-29SEP18

©27JUL18, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Shared Blog Post – You’ll Never Know What Your Cat Is Capable of if You Ignore This – Kitten Socialization

In this blog post from June 19th, 2018, veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker discusses the importance of socializing and habituating a kitten between 8 and 15 weeks of age, a critical developmental period. If you are adopting a kitten from an individual, shelter, or rescue, you want to make sure they have been doing this, and you should ask for detailed specifics on what they have done. If they are not socializing the kittens, you may want to look elsewhere. –

FMIhttps://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2018/06/19/kitten-socialization.aspx