Sunday, 20 February 2011

This and That


I have discovered one interesting fact about the evolution of dogs from their original ancestors - the wolf. This is something you may be interested to know. However, firstly I would like tell you about a slightly disturbing incident that I came across recently.

I was invited by a group of people to accompany them on a country walk. The group included a man and woman both of about sixty-ish and they had with them their dog which was about 9 months old. The dog was a bright playful animal and was every thing you would expect from a young dog of that age. The owners were proud to tell everyone how they were training their dog properly and that they were attending dog training classes. On this occasion they were using a light steel choke chain but not very successfully. Unfortunately, it was a situation where the dog was constantly pulling ahead and was in danger of hurting it's throat.

Tactfully I tried to show them how to use a choke chain in that situation (short sharp checks and standing still until the dog settles down  - see our dog training book on the website:- ) They did listen and both of them tried, for a few minutes, to master the art of using a choke chain, but they did not try very hard.
The real problem came later as the couple became very argumentative with each other about how to control the dog, not just with the choke chain, but with every thing they were doing with the dog. This situation continued for most of the walk

Imagine how confusing and upsetting the situation was for the dog. It was a training disaster and it left me feeling that such arguments and tensions probably existed within their home. Because dogs are sensitive to mood in humans, I wonder how long it will take this couple to destroy the balance and good nature of their dog.

Fortunately most dog owners understand that a dog responds to quiet firm commands and only one person at a time should be giving the commands. (but of course you know this already don't you!)

Okay, what's the interesting fact about a dog's evolution from the wolf?

Well in the "Dog Training Tips" book, those of you that have read it, will recall that it is stated that your dog is 99% wolf even if it looks nothing like a wolf. So what makes up the 1%. Well one thing researchers have recently discovered is that the growl, whimper, bark and howl of a wolf has only two possible purposes. - to warn or to threaten.  Your dog, on the other hand, uses the vocals to warn, to threaten,  to command, to express need and as part of play.

In fact, beyond the range of human hearing your dog can make a bark mean different things to other dogs. the bark can impart any one of the five modes given above.

Clever isn't it!

I hope things go well for you in the coming week.



Friday, 11 February 2011

Dieting For Dogs

Currently, there are a lot of reports of how our nation is getting ever more obese and of the need to maintain a healthy balanced diet. The importance of a nutritionally balanced  diet  is just as important for  our dogs as it is for us.

It is hard for most dog owners to know what is good or bad to include in their dog's diet. However, today pet food manufacturers spend enormous sums of money on research so as to know exactly what is the best diet for all breeds of dog. Each major manufacturer is keen to win market share by supplying a good reliable product. In addition consumer laws now require a greater degree of integrity of all pet food manufactures.

As a result it is possible to buy good quality food for your dog if you stick with top branded products. Yes - this will be more expensive but it still costs less than the vet's bills you will have to pay if your dog becomes ill as a result of a poor diet.

Do not be tempted to feed your dog scraps of food to supplement their diet. you need to control what your dog eats and how much it eats. This means watching your dog's caloric intake carefully.

Your dog  should be fed good quality food in amounts just right to meet it's energy requirements and it's weight.  If you need to get some idea of how heavy your type of dog should be go to the website shown below an look on the right hand side for link to free information

Remember, in addition to a good diet your dog needs 24/7 access to plenty of fresh clean water.

Also remember that your dog has to rely on you for the proper nutritional management of it's diet.

If you can really get control of your dog's diet and see how it contributes to better health - you may think about applying some of the principles to your own diet (of course - not with dog food!)

Take care everyone,