Archives for August, 2009

Handling Dogs That Like to Fight Other Dogs

Ny Nancy Cope

Penny was a large dog part German Shepherd and part Collie. She was a gentle loving family pet. Five children would jostle her, dress her outrageously, harness her to their red wagon, and sometimes hurt her unintentionally; but, she never complained, never nipped, and never growled at any family member or guest. She took to visitors without exception, and simply loved our family cat. She worried over a squirrel that we found injured, sniffing and lapping it when she was allowed near it. As far as our family was concerned, this was the perfect dog. There could be no more well-mannered pet – until another dog came anywhere near our yard.

A passing dog, any dog, would move Penny into a rage. Her face would become contorted into viciousness. She would run and jump up against the fence and bark herself hoarse until the passing dog was gone. If she was being walked on her leash, it took superhuman effort for an adult to restrain her if another dog passed by. The children were not allowed to walk her on the leash because they would not be strong enough to overcome her all-consuming rage.

One day, she got out the door just as a smaller, older, and (this may be hard to believe, but it’s true) three-legged dog on a leash was being walked by the house by an older, thankfully rugged adult. She attacked the dog immediately. Fortunately the smaller dog became immediately submissive, but Penny stood over it raging with exposed teeth. The small dog’s owner and I managed to protect the smaller dog and separate the two. I wrestled Penny back into the house with profuse apologies to the other dog’s owner. Once Penny was in the house, she returned to her Dr.Jekyll personality as the contented family pet.

Despite Penny’s good qualities, her fighting problem with other dogs remained a concern of ours until she passed away some years later. Her behavior was unexplainable to us. Our veterinarian simply shrugged. Some experience early in her life must have affected her psychologically. Penny had been adopted by us when she was about one year old. The person from whom we adopted her had found her wandering in the woods behind their summer home. She was malnourished, but otherwise healthy, and was healthy and happy at the time we adopted her.

If Penny had been human, she would have no doubt benefited from psychiatric counseling; but, dogs can’t talk. Behavior is the only clue. When dogs fight it’s usually to establish dominance, to compete for a mate, to protect its territory, or a general need to survive. We began to believe that Penny had been mistreated by other dogs in her early year of abandonment. Perhaps her anger was a survival tool. We did have some success when an older son’s girlfriend brought over a newborn puppy, about four weeks old, to show us. Penny treated the puppy as she did the injured squirrel many years before. We never did determine how she might have reacted to the puppy when it matured, because Penny died shortly after.

Dogs, like people, have psychological problems. Unfortunately they cannot be expressed or “worked out” logically. Some owners, when they realize that their dog has a problem, consider the animal dangerous enough or annoying enough to have the animal euthanized. Sometimes this may be necessary, especially if the dog has caused serious injury to another dog or person, but it should not be an act of convenience.

There are ways to protect your dog and others from the danger of your dog’s rage. Muzzles can be used when the dog is on a leash in public. Other dog owners can be advised that your dog is not friendly with other dogs. Many times, by simply providing a protective environment and secure housing for the dog and dependable affection, the dog can lead a happy life with the family, despite its compulsion to fight other dogs.

Article by Nancy Cope of Pampered Dog Gifts – an online dog boutique, the place to shop for dog gifts and unique dog toys.


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Aug 31, 2009 | 0 | Tips, Training

Our Fund Raiser for the Stray Dogs and Cats of Thailand on Today

Wish us luck..

If you are interested in the after-life and have a love and concern for animal welfare – come along to this unique fundraising event in Darlinghurst (Sydney).

The psychic event

On Sunday, August 30, 2009 from 3-5pm, join two of Sydney’s top psychic mediums Imelda Penny ( and Marcia Quinton as they share messages between two worlds upstairs at the TAP Gallery, 278 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst.

Imelda and Marcia begin their spiritual mediumship demonstrations by explaining how they get messages from love ones that have passed on. They provide “evidential proof” of life after life during their “show”.

During the event, they will then do a number of readings for members of the audience as they pass on messages from the “other side”.

The TAP Gallery coffee shop will be open for coffee and cake.

The proceeds

The entry to this event will cost $25 or more (we do not want to limit the amount people want to donate). The proceeds will go directly to the Soi Dog Foundation (SDF), Phuket,Thailand.

‘Soi’ is the Thai word for ‘street’, so in English, Soi Dog Foundation means Street Dog Foundation – see

Sydney resident Lynne Williams who volunteers her time in Phuket during her four-week annual holiday each year said “there are no government or charitable agencies to protect animals from abuse in Phuket – only a few local animal lovers who house large numbers of them, using their own funds and manpower and Soi Dog Foundation”.

I first visited SDF in early July 2007 and saw first-hand the work that SDF perform on a shoestring budget. They are 100% reliant on donations and sponsors. When I visited the Centre and saw the injuries that the animals had had inflicted upon them and the diseases they were suffering from, I was horrified”, said Lynne.

When Lynne is asked “why don’t you help the dogs in Australia who are homeless and in need of help? she answers “it’s bad enough being a homeless animal in Australia. In Thailand, it’s just that much worse being a stray, what with animals regularly being poisoned, intentionally hit with motorbikes, having acid thrown on them and basically being ignored even though they are literally starving to death in front of your eyes on the streets and the beaches. Lately, the dogs of Phuket have suffered a spate of machete attacks where their tails have been chopped off, or – even worse – some dogs have survived attempted beheadings and we have been treating neck and throat injuries where the beheadings were unsuccessful.”

“Laws governing responsible animal ownership or animal abuse don’t exist. The only humane shelters are those set up by concerned ex pats. Soi Dogs Phuket needs to raise 7.6M THB ($222,000 US) to give the strays a permanent home because their current shelter is on leased land”, said Lynne.

This event is brought to you by Dogs and Cats


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Aug 30, 2009 | 1 | News

Canine Lymphoma – What You Need to Know

By Rena Wong

Canine lymphoma is a cancer of lymphocytes in dogs. Lymphocytes are white blood cells that play a crucial role in defending the body against pathogens such as bacteria and virus. The tumor can develop in any part of the body where there is lymph tissue, such as lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, liver and other organs.

Canine lymphoma usually occurs in middle aged dogs, especially Golden Retrievers. The cause of this type of cancer is not known. It can be influenced by genetic or environmental factors, or both.

Canine Lymphoma Symptoms
The symptoms vary according to the type of canine lymphoma. There are several types of lymphoma, depending on which part of the body that the tumor develops.

1. Multicentric – Tumor develops in lymph nodes as painless lumps on the neck, behind the knees, under the front legs and in the groin. This is the most common type, accounting for at least 80% of all canine lymphoma. It can spread to other internal organs such as the spleen, liver and bone marrow. In the later stage of the disease, the tumor causes obstruction in the affected organ and symptoms such as weakness, tiredness, loss of appetite and fever can arise.

2. Alimentary – Tumor in the gastrointestinal tract that results in vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea and weight loss.

3. Mediastinal – Tumor of the thymus. In the advanced stage of the disease, dogs develop breathing difficulty, fluid accumulation in lungs and hypercalcemia.

4. Cutaneous – This affects the skin, causing lesions, itchiness, redness, nodules, plaques and hair loss.

Diagnosis Of Canine Lymphoma
Diagnostic tests may include a combination of needle aspirate of the affected lymph node, biopsy, blood test, ultrasound and x-rays.

Canine Lymphoma Treatment
Chemotherapy is the only treatment option. The treatment protocol and its effectiveness is determined by the stage of the disease and location of the tumor. A combination of chemotherapy drugs are administered orally and by injection.

Unlike human beings, most dogs experience no side effects from chemotherapy. Only less than 10% of dogs may suffer serious side effects that require hospitalisation. Possible side effects include hair loss, gastrointestinal problems, reduced appetite, tiredness, diarrhea, vomiting, blood in urine and low white blood cell count.

Although chemotherapy does not cure lymphoma, some dogs do go into remission for up to 1 year. However, if left untreated, most dogs will die within 4-6 weeks.

Discover natural and holistic treatment for canine lymphoma in the “Natural Help For Pet Cancer” ebook. Get your FREE copy now at

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Aug 29, 2009 | 0 | Dog health

Prevent Dog Hair Loss by Knowing the 3 Common Causes

By Debra Procter

Dog hair loss can be troublesome for both the dog and the owner. This situation is not only very irritating to the dog, but is unsightly, and carries with it the worry of spreading disease to the human members of the family.

If you’ve noticed bald patches on your dog, it’s important to diagnose them as soon as possible to prevent the spread of infection and for the relief of your pet. Here are the most common causes of dog hair loss, how to recognize them, and how to treat them.

Dog Mites

Mites cause itchy, patches with hair loss on your dog. Most dogs become susceptible to mites due to poor health which can be caused by poor nutrition, an illness, age, or stress.

There are two types of mites: Sarcoptic and Demodectic. Demodectic mites live deep in the skin layers of your pet while the Sarcoptic do not but are contagious to humans.

For a sure diagnoses of mites, take your dog to the vet. Dog mites can easily be seen under a microscope and your vet can give you medication to treat the condition.

To prevent dog mites, feed your dog a quality dog food that ensures he is getting all of the nutrients he needs. Give him good care, shelter and love.

Dog Fleas

In addition to infesting your entire home, dog fleas can cause a series of problems for your dog. Dogs can develop allergies to fleas which cause excessive itching in addition to the itching caused by the fleas. This will result in red sores and cause your dog to bite and scratch the sores incessantly causing dog hair loss.

Fleas are easy to identify. Run your hands through your dog’s coat exposing his skin. If he has fleas, you should be able to see them “running” on your dog. Even if you don’t see fleas, look for “flea dirt.” This is the waste of the fleas and shows up as black specks on their skin.

Treat your dog year round for dog fleas with drops and a good flea collar. Get medication that not only kills fleas but also their eggs.

Dog Ringworm

Dog ringworm is caused by a fungus and appears as an itchy lesion where there is hair loss. Sometimes it is red, scaly and has a raised appearance. Dogs get ringworm when their immune system is weak. Dog ringworm is very contagious and can live up in the soil for up to six months. Humans can get ringworm from animals so it is very important to treat this condition as soon as possible.

If you suspect your dog has ringworm, wash all of his bedding and clean his living area. Take your dog to the vet for proper medication to be sure he no longer has it.

To prevent all types of dog hair loss, keep your pet in good health. Make sure his immune system is strong with proper nutrition and he’s not under a lot of stress due to abuse or poor living conditions. When you see a bald patch on your dog, check to see if it’s from playing or having been in a fight. Also check for any of the symptoms above and treat them immediately to avoid dog skin problems and dog hair loss.

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Aug 28, 2009 | 0 | Dog health

Acute Collapse in Dogs

By Frank Will

Acute collapse in dogs is not just a fainting spell; it is a very sudden loss of strength. Collapses can occur in older dogs as they lose strength in their back legs, but this is still not an acute collapse. This is a situation where your dog has lost strength so suddenly that they will fall into a sitting position or may actually fall in a lying position.

Collapsing most often will involve an unconscious state where your dog dos not respond to either sound or touch and if this does happen, the underlying cause is very advanced and this may be the first warning sign that you are witnessing.

This condition can be life threatening to your dog and should be treated very seriously.

Acute collapse in dogs can affect any age group or any breed so suddenly that it will leave your dog in a stage of complete disarray for a short period of time. Some dogs will recover very quickly as if nothing serious has just happened, while others may not be able to get up at all without help.

There are several potential causes for this condition and if you do experience it with your dog remain calm but also be very cautious as you approach them. They may still be in a state of confusion and if is a respiratory problem and they are choking, their first natural instinct is to bite.

Acute collapse is usually caused by one of four potential disorders; the nervous system, the musculoskeletal system, the circulatory system, or the respiratory system. If this situation lasts for more than a few minutes and your dog cannot get up on their own, it has now become a medical emergency. In severe cases, it may be several hours before your pet can move and get up without help.


Diseases of the nervous system that involve you dog’s spinal cord, nerves, and the brain are the most common cause for an acute collapse. The first possible situation may be a form of emboli. Emboli is the plural form of an embolism which is an obstruction in a blood vessel caused by a blood clot or some other type of foreign matter that is stuck in the bloodstream and affects the spinal cord in your pet.

An inter-vertebral disk disease may also be the cause and this is a slipped disk in the back or the neck of your dog. When this condition causes a collapse, it is in an advanced stage. Degenerative myelopathy, another potential cause, is a gradual loss of the nerve functions in your dogs spine caused by some type of a disorder or disease in the spine.

This condition may cause varying degrees of both reduced sensation and even paralysis as it advances.

There is another nervous system potential cause referred to as myasthenia gravis. This nervous system disease is characterized by both a weakness and a very rapid fatigue of any muscle that is under voluntary control. It is a breakdown of normal communication between your dog’s nerves and their muscles.

This is especially dangerous as it can also affect your dogs vision, chewing, swallowing, and breathing capabilities.

Respiratory diseases are the next most common cause of acute collapse in dogs. It is almost always brought on by the blockage of your pet’s throat by either a foreign object or a condition known as laryngeal paralysis. Laryngeal paralysis results when the abductor muscles of your dogs larynx does not function properly.

What has basically happened to your dog is that in trying to take a deep breath, they can’t, as this lack of function won’t allow it. After a couple of attempts your dog becomes extremely anxious which leads to more rapid breathing attempts and more anxiety. This is a condition that does not just happen suddenly.

It is caused by longs periods, perhaps even years, of heavy panting or loud breathing. These are warning signs that you can watch for and talk to your veterinarian about to help prevent. If it does become a serious situation and causes a collapse, it can also be fatal. Acute collapsing may also be caused by a collapsed trachea or by fluid on the lungs.

Musculoskeletal diseases are the most common cause of acute collapse in older dogs and are usually caused by hip dysplasia which is arthritis in the hip joints or by lumbo-sacral disease. This disease is the result of a compression in the root of your dog’s nerves and the spinal cord as they pass through your pet’s lower spine. Much like hip dysplasia, it affects large breeds of dogs especially German Shepherds.

However, there is still one system in your dog that may be the cause of acute collapse; the circulatory system. Heart diseases can very easily trigger these collapses and there are several different diseases that may be the underlying cause. Congenital heart disease is a defect in the heart from birth and as a result it becomes weaker over time. However, this is less than ten percent of heart problems in dogs.

Heart worm disease is still the number one threat to your dog’s heart and can very easily be the cause of the sudden collapse. If this is the cause, it is very serious as damage to the heart may be advanced. Heart worm disease can show a wide range of symptoms, or no symptoms at all until it is advanced and causes this collapse.

If your dog shows any signs of coughing, this is the first warning signal, as coughing in dogs is not normal. If they start to have difficulty in breathing and are unwilling to exercise, it will only be a matter of time before that have an acute collapse.


Acute collapse in dogs does not always mean that there is sinister underlying cause to this very painful situation for both you and your dog. The most important thing to do if your dog does experience a collapse is to not panic and try taking some very quick mental notes.

Did your dog loss consciousness, and if so, for how long? Was there anything that you witnessed that may have triggered the collapse? It will also be extremely important to check the left side of their chest to see if there is a heartbeat, as this may be the telling sign of heart worm infection as it affects the left side first.

I am an avid lover of pets and my wife and I have had several pets throughout our years. We are especially fond of dogs, and we have a 12 year old Dalmatian (our 3rd) and a “mutt” that we rescued when someone threw him away to die in a vacant field. He found us, nearly starved to death, and weighed about 2 pounds.

After severe bouts of mange and severe dehydration, and over 1,000.00 in veterinarian bills, we saved the little guys life, and he is one of the best, if not the best, dogs we have ever had and today is a muscular, fit, and firm 70 pound best friend.

After finishing my MBA, which at middle age was not easy, I decided to keep the research work ethics that I acquired, and devote about two hours each night in understanding the health benefits of supplementation for both humans and pets and how they might strengthen our, as well as our pets, immune system in a pre-emptive approach to health rather than a reactionary approach.

Both of my daughters are avid cat lovers, and asked me to help them with health concerns and challenges with their cats.

I am not a veterinarian nor claim to be, just a lover of pets that loves to research and pass on some knowledge that might be helpful, or at least stimulating to the thought process.

Several of the articles that I have written can be found on my website, Liquid Vitamins & Minerals for Humans & Pets –


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Aug 27, 2009 | 0 | Dog health

All Breed Dog Grooming

By Dani Waser

Only professional groomers can perform all breed dog grooming. Regular dog owners are interested mainly in the way to groom their pet’s breed, as it is natural. Classes and courses are necessary to get qualification for all breed dog grooming. Plenty of schools have appeared over the years, and presently there is even the possibility to take a certification online, through long distance courses. If you choose this alternative make sure that the trainer has authorization for organizing classes.

Once the all breed dog grooming training is complete you can move on to the next level: starting your own business. Vet centers, rescue centers, kennels and local groomers service local neighborhoods. A first difficulty with all breed dog grooming is equipment, because you’ll have to buy a fully equipped grooming table that comes with all the accessories, since only such a tool is designed for the needs of dogs of all sizes.

The rest of the equipment items are equally important. All breed dog grooming cannot be performed without a very large set of hair combs, brushes, clippers, grinders and the rest, so that you can handle any grooming task successfully. Skill and experience represent the advantages that will win you most customers. Be prepared to groom different types of dogs, but hairy ones in particular. The explanation is very simple: a pet owner cannot groom a thick-haired dog at home because of the very the nature of the dog’s coat. There is a lot of work for such cases, but there is more money too! It is neither easy nor cheap, hence, everybody has something to gain.

All breed dog grooming is also tackled with in lots of books written by expert groomers. Nevertheless, although such guides are practical and useful, they do not qualify one for a real dog grooming career. The part with the professional training we’ve mentioned above stays valid. There is no business without authorization, and that should be your main concern!

Tip: check out Dani’s dog grooming book and discover the secrets of master dog groomers and save hundreds of dollars on your dog grooming bills without even leaving your home!

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Aug 26, 2009 | 0 | Dog grooming

Controlling Your Mastiff’s Barking

By Tara Connors

Mastiffs while they rarely have any barking problems you will want to make sure that you are able to cure your Mastiff barking problem quickly. I know that for many owners they never have this problem unless something is wrong, but some people with their dog will have barking problems that they are going to need to solve and that can be where the fun and enjoyment comes in! Here though are a couple of ways that you can help your pet stop this problem.

The first way that you can help stop Mastiff barking problems is by taking them to obedience training. Now you might not consider that obedience training would be a good way to control this problem, but it is very effective. With the training you will be able to learn how to control them better which if you learn how to control them better you will be able to realize how you can prevent this behavior from recurring and how to better control it. The training is one of the key things that you have to do to prevent your problem from happening.

The second way that you can control this issue is by figuring out what is causing your dog to have this behavior. For instance since they can be a territorial pet then it could be something new or unusual encroaching on their territory which they can view as a threat. Which if they view something as a threat then this could be a reason why they start doing this. This is something that you will have more difficult controlling, but will be able to do this for the most part with training.

While many people will want to stop Mastiff barking problems you will want to try this with training that way you can learn how to control your Mastiff behavior more. For even more information you will want to click here.


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Aug 25, 2009 | 0 | Dog breed information

Some Common Foods You Should Avoid Giving Your Dog

By Sue Vinsant

Sometimes it seems like a dog will eat almost anything. It can be very tempting to share what you are eating because of those big eyes that follow every move that you make. You may find yourself tempted to slip your pal some scraps from the dinner table. Before you do, however, you should know that there are some foods you should never feed to your dog. Some of them may surprise you!

  1. Almost everybody knows that chocolate can be harmful to dogs and is widely known as a food you should keep away from your dog. Chocolate can also cause increased urination as well as vomiting and diarrhea It can speed also up their heartbeat and in high enough concentration, lead to a heart attack and seizures. Chocolate + your dog = a medical emergency. As soon as you realize that your dog has gotten hold of chocolate you need to take it to the animal emergency center. Your vet will most probably induce vomiting and may even want to keep your pet for a short time for observation.
  2. Caffeine on any kind is not good for your dog. Anything containing caffeine, such as coffee or tea can negatively stimulate their system can have a bad effect. Your dog’s heart might race which can lead to seizures or heart attacks.
  3. Try to avoid grapes and raisins because they simply do not agree with a dog’s digestive system. There is no exact measurement of how much they can handle so it’s best to keep all grapes and raisins away. If you don’t, you may find yourself dealing with increased urination, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  4. Avocadoes may be great for humans to eat but they are toxins to dogs. They contain a chemical that can damage many of the body tissues in dogs. Don’t forget that guacamole dip is made from avocadoes, so avoid it also. Symptoms of toxicity include difficulty breathing, abdominal enlargement, abnormal fluid accumulations in the chest, abdomen and sac around the heart. The amount that needs to be ingested to cause signs is unknown.
  5. Be extremely careful with any food that has a pit. The pits have cyanide in them making them extremely dangerous. It has the potential of overtaking the bodies of smaller dogs and can lead to death. Signs of toxicity include apprehension, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, hyperventilation and shock. If the cyanide doesn’t harm your dog, there is still the danger of choking on the pit itself. .
  6. Macadamia nuts are another food to be avoided. There is a substance in the nuts that can result in a number of unpleasant effects. Dogs that have consumed as few as six to 40 nuts can show severe signs of toxicity. Dogs develop weakness, depression, vomiting, difficulty walking, tremors, abdominal pain, lameness, stiffness and/or pale gums.
  7. Onions, onion powder and garlic are some other foods that can wreak havoc. All forms of onion and garlic are a problem. This includes raw, dehydrated, cooked, powders or those in foods. They can break down a dog’s red blood cells and drastically decrease the oxygen that gets in to its blood. While the problems might not show up right away, they can accumulate over time. Keep an eye out for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and a general malaise.
  8. Never give your dog raw fish. When fish is not cooked it can contain parasites. When a dog swallows these parasites they will attach to the wall of the intestines. Unfortunately, this is something you probably wouldn’t notice right away. It is a tricky thing to catch when your dog has these parasites. If you must feed fish to your dog, you should make sure that it’s thoroughly cooked and be sure you have removed all bones.
  9. Avoid bread dough. Its soft consistency may cause the dog to think that it can swallow the dough whole. The dough can then rise in your pup’s stomach and cause bloating and nausea. Pets that’ve eaten bread dough may experience abdominal pain, bloat, vomiting, disorientation and depression. As the dough rises, it expands in the stomach making it almost impossible to “vomit”. Some dogs have to have the dough removed surgically in some unusual situations.
  10. Dogs and alcohol are a bad combination. Their bodies simply cannot handle it. Giving a dog alcohol can very easily lead to alcohol poisoning, Signs of alcohol poisoning may include odor of alcohol on the animal’s breath, staggering, behavioral changes, excitement, depression, increased urination, slowed respiratory rate or cardiac arrest and death.
  11. Beware of products containing xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar-alcohol sweetener found in sugar-free human food products such as chewing gum, candy and baked goods. If a dog eats significant amounts, it can develop a sudden drop in blood sugar, which can cause weakness, lethargy, loss of coordination, collapse and seizures.
  12. Avoid vitamin supplements containing iron. Toxic levels of iron cause damage to the stomach and intestinal lining. It can also cause severe liver damage and heart damage. Even small amounts of iron, given over time can be harmful as dogs do not have a way to excrete excessive iron from their bodies. The best preventative care is to give your dog supplements only if directed by your veterinarian. Medications and supplements that may be safe for people can be fatal to pets. Be sure to always store supplements and medications out of reach of children and pets.


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Aug 24, 2009 | 0 | Dog health

Handling Dogs That Hate One Sex Or the Other

By Nancy Cope

If you acquired the dog when it was older and it is possible to investigate his early history, do so. It may be that the dog was initially raised by a stern or abusive member of the sex for which he expresses hatred. If there is no evidence of such treatment, or if you’ve had the dog since it was a puppy, it might be a good idea to investigate your own behavior and your personal attitude toward the sex that is so disliked by your dog.

Dogs are gifted at sensing the moods of their owners. Some say that we give off an aura that is visible to some animals. Maybe that’s true; maybe not. Regardless, dogs do have an uncanny ability not only to sense an owner’s mood, but to be affected by it enough to undergo a behavioral change in response.

Ask yourself, do you have an open hostility to members of one sex? Since you have owned your dog have you gone through a difficult relationship or divorce that exposed the dog to angry behavior between you and a member of the opposite sex? Did you express that general dislike in your moods, tone, and behavior around the dog? If this is the case, it really makes no difference what has caused your behavior. The dog cannot comprehend your history; it only senses your mood and reacts to it. His behavior is not so much to share your dislike, but to exhibit negative behavior in commiseration with your behavior.

The particular event or experience that caused this behavioral crisis in you, may no longer be a problem for you. You may have moved on, and once again are seeking out new relationships with the previously opposite sex. Your dog, however, has been acclimated to the mood you expressed as he was bonding with you. He continues to express the bias with which he matured. He learned to behave in that manner through your behavior. It is now your responsibility to do whatever is necessary to change his behavior. If not, you will have great difficulty in normal relationships with both sexes as long as the dog continues to reflect the previously acceptable hatred.

It took a long time for the dog to acquire and nurture this negative behavior. Your new accepting mood will have a positive effect, but it could take equally as long to alter the behavior by example only, as it took to develop the behavior in the first place. You’ll need to become pro-active.

Before you bring a new friend of the opposite sex into your home, explain that your dog, for some unknown reason, is uncomfortable around women or men as is the case. Introduce the person to the dog. Don’t force the person on the dog, but throughout the visit give the guest the opportunity to give the dog a special treat and to speak gently to the dog. After several of these visits, the dog will learn to accept this particular person. When this is done with a number of different guests, the dog will learn to accept members of that sex without his previous dislike.

If the dog’s dislike has been expressed with viciousness in the past, muzzling the dog during these visits would be prudent. One excellent way to change the dog’s behavior is to have the currently disliked guest take the muzzled dog for a short walk alone, followed by a special snack upon the return to the house. Very quickly the dog will learn to associate the guest with fun and food, and exhibit a positive behavioral change. When the day comes that the dog’s tail actually wags upon seeing the guest, you’ll know that his hatred of that sex is on the mend.

Article by Nancy Cope of Pampered Dog Gifts – the place to shop for dog gifts and unique dog toys.


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Aug 23, 2009 | 0 | dog behavior

Golden Retriever Training – The Chewing Question

By Michael S Dugan

Golden Retriever training would be incomplete without addressing the matter of chewing. Let’s start with the facts: all dogs chew. Golden Retrievers, as the name implies, are particularly adept at using their mouths — whether for retrieving, or for chewing on your favorite pair of shoes.

Goldens need to chew, so you don’t want to stop the behavior altogether, just redirect it. Puppies in particular will chew on most anything. With that said, first things first: it’s your responsibility as a loving pet owner to make your dog’s environment as “dog-friendly” as possible. That means keeping valuables (as in, anything you’d rather not have destroyed) out of your Golden Retriever’s reach. To replace the off limit items, be sure your pet has plenty of chew toys available.

Some people have used hot pepper or other commercially available spray deterrent to keep their pet from chewing. In my experience these are used with varying degrees of success, and rarely as a permanent solution. Consult your veterinarian and/or local pet store for possible solutions if you’d like to explore this option in more depth.

If and when you do catch your Golden chewing on something he shouldn’t be, it’s recommended to get the dog’s attention by making a loud noise. Then, immediately redirect the dog’s attention to one of his chew toys. Be sure to actually engage the dog with the toy, and praise him for this activity. The idea is to reinforce the notion that playing with the chew toy has rewarding consequences.

To reduce incidents of unwanted chewing, be sure your dog gets plenty of attention and exercise. Golden Retriever’s are sporting dogs, after all, and need daily exercise. And the attention of their owner is something that every Golden craves. Boredom, separation anxiety, and a lack of exercise are all things that can contribute to a chewing problem.

Michael S. Dugan is a Golden Retriever owner and enthusiast.


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Aug 22, 2009 | 0 | Dog breed information