< A version of this article was published in the April 2021 issue of Downeast Dog News>
< Updated ddMMMyy >
< A short link for this page – http://bit.ly/Pets-Nicotine-APR21 >
< Updated 09FEB21 >
< 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.
Business: Calder Veterinary Behavior Services
Phone: (207) 298-4375
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Christine-Calder-DVM-DACVB-Veterinary-Behaviorist-104864721012254/
From the January 2020 issue of Downeast Dog News – https://downeastdognews.villagesoup.com/p/what-is-a-veterinary-behaviorist/1846547
Podcast – Introducing Dr. Christine Calder, Maine’s 1st Veterinary Behaviorist – http://bit.ly/WMw-DrCalderVetBhx
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
< Updated 08JUN20 >
If you have a new puppy that is 8 to 16 weeks of age, this is the article you want. If you have a dog older than 12 weeks of age, you may also wish to check out this article – http://bit.ly/EspNewDogParents
A puppy does not come with a user’s manual; at least none that are complete and accurate. This article and series of links to other articles and podcasts are meant to get you started on learning what you need to know about caring for your puppy. However, it does not take the place of enrolling yourself, and your puppy in a puppy headstart or kindergarten class that is under the direction of a professional dog trainer, accredited by an independent certification body and that is committed to pain-free, force-free, and pain-free training. If you prefer to absorb information by listening, rather than reading, you may want to listen to these three podcasts.
Podcast – Especially for New Puppy Parents – Part 1 – http://bit.ly/WfMw-Esp_Pups1
Podcast – Especially for New Puppy Parents – Part 2 – http://bit.ly/WfMw-Esp_Pups2
Podcast – Especially for New Puppy Parents – Part 3 – http://bit.ly/WfMw-Esp_Pups3
A new puppy can be a great addition to your family, but they will also require some work on your part. You will very likely have questions about; housetraining, socialization, play biting and nipping, chewing, training methods, wellness exams, nutrition, vaccinations, babies and dogs, kids and dogs and more. This post includes links to articles and podcasts that address the most common questions people ask me when they are thinking of getting a new puppy or that have just added one to their home. While we strongly encourage everyone to attend a Puppy Headstart class while the puppy is between 8 and 16 weeks of age, these materials will provide you with some additional information. You can read or listen to them in any order you choose; however, I believe you will get the most benefit if you go through them in the order that they are listed.
My first word of advice; “patience.” It is very easy to want the ideal puppy immediately, but just as “Rome was not built in a day,” Your puppy will not be the perfect companion in a week, nor in all likelihood in a month. Training is a process, and as such it takes time. Yes, there will times you may become frustrated, but when you look back in a year you will realize it was a precious time for you and your pup, one filled with learning and fun!
I encourage you to read the following shared blog post, all about patience, by dog trainer Nancy Tanner. Read it, print it, and then post it on your refrigerator, or somewhere in your home where it is close at hand anytime you are feeling frustrated with your puppy. –
Shared Blog Post – the misunderstanding of time by Nancy Tanner – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/11/16/shared-blog-post-the-misunderstanding-of-time-by-nancy-tanner/ OR http://bit.ly/Patience-Dogs
Enrolling yourself and your puppy in a reward-based dog training class designed by a Certified Professional Dog Trainer is the best thing you can do for you and your dog. Not all trainers and dog training classes are equal. Because dog training is currently a non-regulated and non-licensed profession the quality of instruction and practices used can vary widely, sometimes into the inhumane. The following article will provide you with information on what to look for in a dog trainer and dog training facility.
FMI – How to Choose a Dog Trainer – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/01/08/how-to-choose-a-dog-trainer/ OR
What You Need to Know BEFORE You Start Training – https://bit.ly/BeforeYouTrainYourDog
Do not try to teach your puppy everything at once. In class, we will teach you certain behaviors, in a specific order, for a reason; to make training easier.
During the critical socialization period, between 8 and 16 weeks of age, it is far more important to work on planning and appropriately socializing and habituating your dog than it is to teach them to shake or any other behavior. This is a limited period, and you want to make the most of it. Inadequate or inappropriate socialization is a common reason dogs develop behavioral problems such as aggression and anxiety.
FMI – Puppy Socialization and Habituation – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/06/27/dog-behavior-puppy-socialization-and-habituation/
If you are already having problems with your dog guarding food and other items, stealing things, or growling, make an appointment with us for a Help Now! session as soon as possible. Punishment in any form will likely make these behaviors worse and could result in someone being bitten.
FMI – What Should I Dog When My Dog Does Not Let Me Take Something They Have Stolen and Snaps or Tries to Bite Me? – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/08/20/what-should-i-do-when-my-dog-does-not-let-me-take-something-they-have-stolen-and-snaps-or-tries-to-bite-me/
FMI – What Should I Do When My Dog Growls? – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/07/18/canine-behavior-what-should-i-do-when-my-dog-growls/
Dogs and children both need training and supervision to learn how to appropriately and safely interact with one another. Dogs and children will not automatically get along. If you do not have children, your dog will still need to be socialized with children and learn how to interact with them. If you have children and a dog, you will need to spend time working with both. I highly recommend the book A Kids’ Comprehensive Guide to Speaking Dog! by Niki Tudge. You will discover some things that you probably did not know about dogs while learning how to teach your children about interacting with your dog and any other dog they may meet.
FMI – Book Review – A Kids’ Comprehensive Guide to Speaking Dog! by Niki Tudge – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/01/10/book-review-a-kids-comprehensive-guide-to-speaking-dog-by-niki-tudge/
Think carefully about what you teach your puppy; intentionally or unintentionally. Un-training a behavior takes a whole lot more time and energy than training a behavior. A trick like “shake” is cute, but think long and hard if you want a dog that will always be trying to get every person they see to shake, even when they have muddy paws.
If there are multiple people that will be interacting with your dog, discuss what cues, visual and verbal, that you will use for specific behaviors so that you are all being consistent. Do not be in a hurry to add a visual (hand signal) or a verbal cue to a behavior. We do not start using a cue until we are confident that the dog understands the behavior in multiple contexts and environments. If you start using the cue to soon, you may need to change it. We will talk about that more in class.
If you have questions that just will not wait until class starts, contact us and make an appointment for a Help Now! session.
How to Choose a Dog Trainer – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/01/08/how-to-choose-a-dog-trainer/ OR http://bit.ly/HowToChooseADogTrainer
Themes in Puppy Training – What You Need to Know BEFORE You Start Training – https://bit.ly/BeforeYouTrainYourDog
Puppy Socialization and Habituation – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/06/27/dog-behavior-puppy-socialization-and-habituation/
Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Started Training Dogs – Gus, the Dominance Myth, An Alpha Roll, and a Damaged Relationship – http://bit.ly/Things-Gus-Dominance
Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Selected My First Dog – Aversives are Unnecessary and Counter-Productive When Training A Dog – Part 1 – WWM-JAN2019 – http://bit.ly/Things-Aversives-1
Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Selected My First Dog – Aversives are Unnecessary and Counter-Productive When Training A Dog – Part 2 – WWM-FEB2019 – http://bit.ly/Things-Aversives-2
Dog Behavior – Dominance: Reality or Myth – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/06/20/dog-behavior-dominance-reality-or-myth/ OR http://bit.ly/Dominance-RealityorMyth
The Unintended Consequences of Shock Collars – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/08/05/dogs-the-unintended-consequences-of-shock-collar/
Introduction to Canine Communication – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/01/16/dog-behavior-introduction-to-canine-communication/
Play Biting – Biting and Bite Thresholds – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2012/01/16/dog-training-biting-and-bite-thresholds/
Play Biting – Help! My Puppy’s A Land Shark! – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/03/01/canine-behavior-help-my-puppys-a-land-shark/
Alone Training – Preventing separation anxiety – Teaching your dog to cope with being alone – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/03/14/dog-training-preventing-separation-anxiety-teaching-your-dog-to-cope-with-being-alone/
Teaching the ATTENTION or LOOK Behavior – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/04/04/dog-training-teaching-the-attention-or-look-behavior/
Things I Wish I Had Known… The Importance of What I Feed My Pets – – WWM-MAR2019 – http://bit.ly/Things-Nutrition-1
GAKS Philosophy on Pet Nutrition – http://bit.ly/GAKS_Nut_Phil
Pet Foods We Offer At Green Acres Kennel Shop – http://bit.ly/GAKS_PetFood_Brands
Pet Nutrition – Which Companies Are Behind Your Pet’s Food? – http://bit.ly/PetFoodComp
Pet Nutrition: Some Myths and Facts – Part 1 – My story with Gus – Maine Dog Magazine – Winter 2017 – http://bit.ly/Gus-Nutrition
Pet Nutrition – What Should I Feed My Pet? – http://bit.ly/What-Should-I-Feed-My-Pet
Pet Nutrition – What Do You Feed Your Dog? – WWM-JUN2016 – http://bit.ly/WhatDoYouFeedYourDog
Pet Nutrition – Should I Feed My Pet A Raw Diet? – http://bit.ly/ShouldIFeedMyPetARawDiet
Pet Nutrition – The Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Patton with link to 1 hour video –http://bit.ly/Video-Dr-Richard-Patton
Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Patton – http://bit.ly/DrPatton-Podcast
Podcast – Pet Fooled – A Look Inside A Questionable Industry with Kohl Harrington – http://bit.ly/WfMw-Pet-Fooled
Pet Nutrition – Why Rotating Diets Makes Sense – http://bit.ly/DietRotation
Pet Nutrition – The Wisdom of Rotating Your Pets Diet – Part 1 – http://bit.ly/DietRotation1-30JUL19
Pet Nutrition – The Wisdom of Rotating Your Pets Diet – Part 2 – http://bit.ly/DietRotation2
Podcast – Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous?, with Linda Case, MS – http://bit.ly/Podcast-FDA-Grain-Free-LindaCase-29SEP18
Teaching Your Puppy to Come When Called – Starting Points – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/07/10/dog-training-teaching-your-puppy-to-come-when-called-starting-points/
How Do I Get My Dog to Walk Politely Instead of Pulling on the Leash? – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/04/27/dog-training-how-do-i-get-my-dog-to-walk-politely-instead-of-pulling-on-the-leash/
Recommended Resources on Kids & Dogs – http://bit.ly/GAKS_Kids_DogsResources
Book Review – A Kids’ Comprehensive Guide to Speaking Dog! by Niki Tudge – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/01/10/book-review-a-kids-comprehensive-guide-to-speaking-dog-by-niki-tudge/
Book Review – Living with Kids and Dogs…Without Losing Your Mind: A Parent’s Guide to Controlling the Chaos by Colleen Pelar – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/01/10/book-review-living-with-kids-and-dogswithout-losing-your-mind-a-parents-guide-to-controlling-the-chaos-by-colleen-pelar/
©08JUN20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>