amarantine: Hev (Default)

I found this article in my Sunday Springfield News-Leader & it struck a cord in me. So here is the article taken directly from the News-Leader site:

Trainers say treat dogs as dogs, not ‘babies’

Owners need to provide pets with structure, experts say.

Kathryn Wall
For The News-Leader

Everyone knows parents whose kids can do no wrong, and when it comes to pet owners, the same “perfect child” image persists for some.

But if the recent controversy in Springfield involving Barty the pit bull is an indication, there are dangers to looking past what others say is a problem.

It can be hard to look into the eyes of that cuddly companion and see anything but a loveable pet, but dog trainer Skye Poitras says that’s a deceiving mind-set.

“I think the problem is people think their dog will be good if they just love him enough,” Poitras said.

In the Springfield case, a pit bull named Barty allegedly terrorized his neighborhood last fall after escaping from his owner’s home. The dog attacked three neighborhood pets, killing one and injuring two others.

After charges and hearings in the case, a final determination to euthanize the animal was made by Kevin Gipson, the health department director.

Barty’s owner, who still maintains that her pet was not at fault, faces criminal animal abuse charges involving the animal. She’ll be in court on Jan. 14.

Trainer Rick Dillender said some problems he sees in pets stem from an idea that the animals are the owner’s “babies.”

“When people say their dogs are like their kids, what they really mean is that they want their dogs to be like their grandkids,” Dillender said. “Kids have rules and structure and chores and homework and those kinds of things. Grandkids get spoiled and then sent off to someone else.”

He said the key for an emotionally healthy pet is structure, and the problems arise when that dog is always treated like the grandkid and never gets the rules that the pet needs — and wants.

“A dog does not want to be loved first,” he said. “They don’t even want food first. What they want first and foremost is to know who’s in charge, because everything in a dog’s behavior is a reflection of where they see themselves in the pecking order in the home.”

Dillender, a trainer from New Mexico, said many pet behavior problems can be remedied by changing the owner’s behavior.

Poitras, of Salt Lake City, Utah, is part of a network of trainers across the country designed to address pet needs.

She recommends having the right balance between affection and structure.

“If you want to see it more, pay attention to it, if you want to see it less, make sure you let your dog know that there’s a consequence,” she said in regard to good and bad behavior.

Poitras is part of the Community Training Partners program, a project of Best Friends Animal Society. That group’s hotline gets more than 60,000 calls a year about pet issues, said program director Mike Harmon.

“Sometimes people are on the right track, but if you don’t have that kind of experience or they’re not necessarily dog-savvy, then it’s hard for you to give accurate information over the phone,” he said.

So the Community Partners Program was born to address more serious issues face to snout.

Currently pilot programs exist in Chicago, Salt Lake City, New Jersey, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Harmon said the program seeks to team owners with trainers to take care of behavioral problems and prevent the dog from being sent to a shelter.

He said the program also teams with local shelters to train dogs in their care to make them adoptable and decrease the euthanasia rate.

“Ultimately the community pays for euthanasia, so this really is a community problem,” he said.

Eliminating euthanasia is one of their top goals, so when Best Friends learned the pit bulls seized in quarterback Michael Vick’s illegal dog fighting case were set to be euthanized, the organization stepped in and took 22 of the dogs to their Dogtown facility in Utah.

“By nature pit bulls are very people-loving dogs,” Harmon said.

He said pit bulls are subject to unfair stereotypes and media messages.

“The problem is, every time there’s an incident with a pit, it makes the news, and that’s not the case with other breeds,” he said.

Harmon said it’s all about the environment the animal learns in, but that doesn’t mean it’s wired that way for life.

He said many of the animals they get calls about have issues with anxiety or fear, and many can be taken care of by training.

He did say, however, that sometimes there’s nothing that can be done.

“There’s a very small percentage of cases that we’ve seen where it is genetics — where the wiring is off,” he said. “But most of the time there are things you could do to work with the dog.”

Poitras said owners who feel their dog is becoming dangerous should consult a professional.

Dillender said many behaviors like aggression and extreme fear should be taken care of, but he warned not to automatically think the dog is troubled.

“Giving people a laundry list of signals that says, ‘this is a problem, this is a problem, this is a problem,’ is setting a lot of people up to get really paranoid about their dogs for no good reason,” he said.

He said owners should be aware of what is normal for their dog. He said dogs are complex creatures that cannot be easily put into categories.

“A dog’s behavior is always contextual,” Dillender said. “One behavior in one context can mean one thing and the exact same behavior in a different context can mean an entirely different issue.”

Harmon said any change in behavior should lead the owner to get a medical check. He said sometimes animals have increased anxiety when something is physically wrong.

He also recommended getting animals spayed or neutered. He said it tends to limit aggression and has health benefits, like preventing certain diseases.

He said the best way to tell if your dog is troubled is to look at how it interacts with its environment. If the dog is spooked by strangers, overly aggressive at times, nervous during walks or barks excessively, that dog is communicating that something is wrong — and eventually that dog will try to remedy the situation, dangerous or not.

Debra Horwitz, a veterinarian and veterinary behaviorist, said it’s all about communication.

She recommends thinking from the dog’s perspective.

“People have become less aware of what normal pet behavior is,” she said.

She said something like growling isn’t necessarily a red flag for a bad dog.

“What it means is that the dog is uncomfortable with the situation,” she said. “It doesn’t mean the dog is bad.”

One of Poitras’ latest cases involved a dog that was communicating anxiety, but was considered by others to just be a bad dog.

Poitras came in to the situation after the verdict had already been decided –Zero had to be taken to a rescue facility or be put down.

Zero had repeatedly gotten out of his 6-foot outdoor kennel and ran through the neighborhood. The last time he had, he chased after a boy on a bike.

The judge had decided Zero was a dangerous dog, but Zero’s family wasn’t willing to give up, so they called Best Friends.

After numerous letters from the organization, hiring a lawyer and getting a new judge, the family was eventually allowed to continue their work with Poitras to see if it would help.

Poitras recognized that Zero was so attached to his family that he had severe separation anxiety. After a few weeks of training, Zero was given another hearing.

On the condition that he and the family continue training sessions, Zero was deemed a safe dog.

For people looking for more information, Poitras recommended visiting the Association of Pet Dog Trainer’s Web site at www.apdt.com. She also recommends “Dog-Friendly Dog Training,” a book by Andrea Arden.

Additional Facts
Dog trainers in the area
- Cathy Hawkins, Certified Pet Dog Trainer, 862-3248
- All About Dawgs, 844-7506
- All Dogs and Company, 883-3485
- Springfield Side Kick Dog Training, 866-6490
- Carolyn Krause, 866-2088
- Paws Express Dog Training, 848-8863
Nixa
- Bark Busters, 724-0907
Ozark
- On The ‘Spot’ Dog Training, 581-2787

Hmm…it is interesting, but I disagree with some of it. My two inside dogs are my children, but they have to follow the rules of the house. I completely understand that dogs run in a pack & in order for them to be happy they have to know who is boss & where they stand in the “pack”. I teach all my dogs the same simple commands, & they all learn to follow them or there are consequences. Yes, there are some dog owners that believe that their dogs can do no wrong, but not every single owner that considers their dogs their children think that. I sure don’t I am actually stricter with my dogs then I am with my adopted daughter.

“When people say their dogs are like their kids, what they really mean is that they want their dogs to be like their grandkids,” Dillender said. “Kids have rules and structure and chores and homework and those kinds of things. Grandkids get spoiled and then sent off to someone else.”

Hmm…not my two. They know when I say sit, they sit. When I say bedtime, they go to their room. When I say no or drop it, they will either stop what they are doing or drop what they have in their mouth. I taught them this from the very beginning. Along with taking things from my hand with a soft mouth. Also they learned that no matter what they had I would & could take it away from them. It doesn’t matter if they had a piece of raw meat, if I wanted it back, I could reach down & take it from them & put my hand right next to their mouth without saying a word & they wouldn’t do a thing except let me have it. The same goes for my 70lb. Siberian Husky/German Shepard mix outside. All you have to do is show them who is the pack leader & where they stand in the pack. I never had to have a dog trainer for that. My dogs do it because they choose to do it because they want to. I am a mistress not a owner. There is a difference.

Mirrored from Amarantine.

amarantine: Hev (Default)

I found this article in my Sunday Springfield News-Leader & it struck a cord in me. So here is the article taken directly from the News-Leader site:

Trainers say treat dogs as dogs, not ‘babies’

Owners need to provide pets with structure, experts say.

Kathryn Wall
For The News-Leader

Everyone knows parents whose kids can do no wrong, and when it comes to pet owners, the same “perfect child” image persists for some.

But if the recent controversy in Springfield involving Barty the pit bull is an indication, there are dangers to looking past what others say is a problem.

It can be hard to look into the eyes of that cuddly companion and see anything but a loveable pet, but dog trainer Skye Poitras says that’s a deceiving mind-set.

“I think the problem is people think their dog will be good if they just love him enough,” Poitras said.

In the Springfield case, a pit bull named Barty allegedly terrorized his neighborhood last fall after escaping from his owner’s home. The dog attacked three neighborhood pets, killing one and injuring two others.

After charges and hearings in the case, a final determination to euthanize the animal was made by Kevin Gipson, the health department director.

Barty’s owner, who still maintains that her pet was not at fault, faces criminal animal abuse charges involving the animal. She’ll be in court on Jan. 14.

Trainer Rick Dillender said some problems he sees in pets stem from an idea that the animals are the owner’s “babies.”

“When people say their dogs are like their kids, what they really mean is that they want their dogs to be like their grandkids,” Dillender said. “Kids have rules and structure and chores and homework and those kinds of things. Grandkids get spoiled and then sent off to someone else.”

He said the key for an emotionally healthy pet is structure, and the problems arise when that dog is always treated like the grandkid and never gets the rules that the pet needs — and wants.

“A dog does not want to be loved first,” he said. “They don’t even want food first. What they want first and foremost is to know who’s in charge, because everything in a dog’s behavior is a reflection of where they see themselves in the pecking order in the home.”

Dillender, a trainer from New Mexico, said many pet behavior problems can be remedied by changing the owner’s behavior.

Poitras, of Salt Lake City, Utah, is part of a network of trainers across the country designed to address pet needs.

She recommends having the right balance between affection and structure.

“If you want to see it more, pay attention to it, if you want to see it less, make sure you let your dog know that there’s a consequence,” she said in regard to good and bad behavior.

Poitras is part of the Community Training Partners program, a project of Best Friends Animal Society. That group’s hotline gets more than 60,000 calls a year about pet issues, said program director Mike Harmon.

“Sometimes people are on the right track, but if you don’t have that kind of experience or they’re not necessarily dog-savvy, then it’s hard for you to give accurate information over the phone,” he said.

So the Community Partners Program was born to address more serious issues face to snout.

Currently pilot programs exist in Chicago, Salt Lake City, New Jersey, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Harmon said the program seeks to team owners with trainers to take care of behavioral problems and prevent the dog from being sent to a shelter.

He said the program also teams with local shelters to train dogs in their care to make them adoptable and decrease the euthanasia rate.

“Ultimately the community pays for euthanasia, so this really is a community problem,” he said.

Eliminating euthanasia is one of their top goals, so when Best Friends learned the pit bulls seized in quarterback Michael Vick’s illegal dog fighting case were set to be euthanized, the organization stepped in and took 22 of the dogs to their Dogtown facility in Utah.

“By nature pit bulls are very people-loving dogs,” Harmon said.

He said pit bulls are subject to unfair stereotypes and media messages.

“The problem is, every time there’s an incident with a pit, it makes the news, and that’s not the case with other breeds,” he said.

Harmon said it’s all about the environment the animal learns in, but that doesn’t mean it’s wired that way for life.

He said many of the animals they get calls about have issues with anxiety or fear, and many can be taken care of by training.

He did say, however, that sometimes there’s nothing that can be done.

“There’s a very small percentage of cases that we’ve seen where it is genetics — where the wiring is off,” he said. “But most of the time there are things you could do to work with the dog.”

Poitras said owners who feel their dog is becoming dangerous should consult a professional.

Dillender said many behaviors like aggression and extreme fear should be taken care of, but he warned not to automatically think the dog is troubled.

“Giving people a laundry list of signals that says, ‘this is a problem, this is a problem, this is a problem,’ is setting a lot of people up to get really paranoid about their dogs for no good reason,” he said.

He said owners should be aware of what is normal for their dog. He said dogs are complex creatures that cannot be easily put into categories.

“A dog’s behavior is always contextual,” Dillender said. “One behavior in one context can mean one thing and the exact same behavior in a different context can mean an entirely different issue.”

Harmon said any change in behavior should lead the owner to get a medical check. He said sometimes animals have increased anxiety when something is physically wrong.

He also recommended getting animals spayed or neutered. He said it tends to limit aggression and has health benefits, like preventing certain diseases.

He said the best way to tell if your dog is troubled is to look at how it interacts with its environment. If the dog is spooked by strangers, overly aggressive at times, nervous during walks or barks excessively, that dog is communicating that something is wrong — and eventually that dog will try to remedy the situation, dangerous or not.

Debra Horwitz, a veterinarian and veterinary behaviorist, said it’s all about communication.

She recommends thinking from the dog’s perspective.

“People have become less aware of what normal pet behavior is,” she said.

She said something like growling isn’t necessarily a red flag for a bad dog.

“What it means is that the dog is uncomfortable with the situation,” she said. “It doesn’t mean the dog is bad.”

One of Poitras’ latest cases involved a dog that was communicating anxiety, but was considered by others to just be a bad dog.

Poitras came in to the situation after the verdict had already been decided –Zero had to be taken to a rescue facility or be put down.

Zero had repeatedly gotten out of his 6-foot outdoor kennel and ran through the neighborhood. The last time he had, he chased after a boy on a bike.

The judge had decided Zero was a dangerous dog, but Zero’s family wasn’t willing to give up, so they called Best Friends.

After numerous letters from the organization, hiring a lawyer and getting a new judge, the family was eventually allowed to continue their work with Poitras to see if it would help.

Poitras recognized that Zero was so attached to his family that he had severe separation anxiety. After a few weeks of training, Zero was given another hearing.

On the condition that he and the family continue training sessions, Zero was deemed a safe dog.

For people looking for more information, Poitras recommended visiting the Association of Pet Dog Trainer’s Web site at www.apdt.com. She also recommends “Dog-Friendly Dog Training,” a book by Andrea Arden.

Additional Facts
Dog trainers in the area
- Cathy Hawkins, Certified Pet Dog Trainer, 862-3248
- All About Dawgs, 844-7506
- All Dogs and Company, 883-3485
- Springfield Side Kick Dog Training, 866-6490
- Carolyn Krause, 866-2088
- Paws Express Dog Training, 848-8863
Nixa
- Bark Busters, 724-0907
Ozark
- On The ‘Spot’ Dog Training, 581-2787

Hmm…it is interesting, but I disagree with some of it. My two inside dogs are my children, but they have to follow the rules of the house. I completely understand that dogs run in a pack & in order for them to be happy they have to know who is boss & where they stand in the “pack”. I teach all my dogs the same simple commands, & they all learn to follow them or there are consequences. Yes, there are some dog owners that believe that their dogs can do no wrong, but not every single owner that considers their dogs their children think that. I sure don’t I am actually stricter with my dogs then I am with my adopted daughter.

“When people say their dogs are like their kids, what they really mean is that they want their dogs to be like their grandkids,” Dillender said. “Kids have rules and structure and chores and homework and those kinds of things. Grandkids get spoiled and then sent off to someone else.”

Hmm…not my two. They know when I say sit, they sit. When I say bedtime, they go to their room. When I say no or drop it, they will either stop what they are doing or drop what they have in their mouth. I taught them this from the very beginning. Along with taking things from my hand with a soft mouth. Also they learned that no matter what they had I would & could take it away from them. It doesn’t matter if they had a piece of raw meat, if I wanted it back, I could reach down & take it from them & put my hand right next to their mouth without saying a word & they wouldn’t do a thing except let me have it. The same goes for my 70lb. Siberian Husky/German Shepard mix outside. All you have to do is show them who is the pack leader & where they stand in the pack. I never had to have a dog trainer for that. My dogs do it because they choose to do it because they want to. I am a mistress not a owner. There is a difference.

Mirrored from Amarantine.

amarantine: Hev (Default)

Well, it is finally 2010. I don’t really know if I am happy about it or not. On one hand I am happy that 2009 is over, but yet, 2010 is not looking to be such a wonderful year. But it is my lot in life & I have to make the most of it. But that is fine, I have survived worst.

I thought I needed a new theme to go with the new year. I went for a purple & turquoise theme this time. I love the colors but hate the design, so don’t expect it to stay online for long. I know, I never leave my designs up. The dogs in the title are for my Candy-girl & Mac Baby. Other then that there isn’t much to this design. So go & explore (not much has changed this time) & see if I changed anything.

I am going to do my best to use tags in 2010, but I am not promising anything.

EDIT: 01-06-10 :: I just can’t stand this design. I am going to re-work it & make it anew. I think I will keep the colors though cause I really like them. But this design has to go. I just can’t stand it. I thought I would like it, but it is driving me bananas. I shudder every time I see it.

Mirrored from Amarantine.

amarantine: Hev (Default)

Well, it is finally 2010. I don’t really know if I am happy about it or not. On one hand I am happy that 2009 is over, but yet, 2010 is not looking to be such a wonderful year. But it is my lot in life & I have to make the most of it. But that is fine, I have survived worst.

I thought I needed a new theme to go with the new year. I went for a purple & turquoise theme this time. I love the colors but hate the design, so don’t expect it to stay online for long. I know, I never leave my designs up. The dogs in the title are for my Candy-girl & Mac Baby. Other then that there isn’t much to this design. So go & explore (not much has changed this time) & see if I changed anything.

I am going to do my best to use tags in 2010, but I am not promising anything.

EDIT: 01-06-10 :: I just can’t stand this design. I am going to re-work it & make it anew. I think I will keep the colors though cause I really like them. But this design has to go. I just can’t stand it. I thought I would like it, but it is driving me bananas. I shudder every time I see it.

Mirrored from Amarantine.

amarantine: Hev (Default)

My mother’s infection has gone to the bone. They will do a MRI on the toe & on the sore that is on the other foot tomorrow. So now the only thing left to do is wait until it heals up enough for the surgeon to remove the toe. With her diabetes & her weight they are saying that it is a dangerous surgery & that she could be in the hospital for a while. They say she has a good chance of making it through the surgery, but like with all surgery there is a chance. This is not good. My mother is the one that holds this family (even if the family argues & sounds like we all hate each other) together. We honestly don’t know what to do without her. So if she is in the hospital I have no idea what is going to happen at home. Father & I will either try to kill each other or the house may explode, lol.

The two dogs are the other thing. Their world revolves around Mom. That is going to be interesting. Shiloh will not know what to do without seeing Mom everyday. He is going to be very vocal about his unhappiness also. I wonder if we could sneak a 15lb. Schnauzer & a 10lb. Bichon Frise into the hospital to see her? Hmm…I’ll have to think about that.

As for me, I haven’t been more then a week without seeing her every day. Though I imagine I will handle it a lot better then father. They haven’t been apart for the last 32 years longer then three days, lol. Daddy is going to go crazy. But if he thinks that he isn’t going to be taking me to see her most every day he is full of it. I am not going to leave my mother in a hospital (the same bloody hospital that let my beloved Grandmother die) he is full of it.

So for the next month or so I will be online every day like normal, but I will not be active like I usually am. This came at a good & bad time. With the drama that is going on (things need to cool down) & with my mother I need some time just to relax. Since I refuse to take the blame for something I didn’t do or start, I would also like to say that this in no states that I am wrong in any way. I refuse to get stressed out over people acting like five year olds & can not get over something. I also refuse to justify every little thing I type on Twitter or Facebook. I live in a free country that allows me to type & say what I choose to. If you don’t like then that is your problem. You have just the same right as I do so stop trying to infringe on my rights.

The bad timing is that it is the beginning of Tax Season & Dad needs her at the office since I can’t work because of my seizures. If she is in the hospital then Dad has to handle the tax work & the bookkeeping all by himself. We handle over 800 tax returns every year. That is a lot of return for a single person to handle along with all the clients that he does the book work for. But if there is one thing that we do very well is that we survive everything that life throws at us. Though I have to admit that I wish it wouldn’t so hard all the time.

Mirrored from Amarantine.

amarantine: Hev (Default)

My mother’s infection has gone to the bone. They will do a MRI on the toe & on the sore that is on the other foot tomorrow. So now the only thing left to do is wait until it heals up enough for the surgeon to remove the toe. With her diabetes & her weight they are saying that it is a dangerous surgery & that she could be in the hospital for a while. They say she has a good chance of making it through the surgery, but like with all surgery there is a chance. This is not good. My mother is the one that holds this family (even if the family argues & sounds like we all hate each other) together. We honestly don’t know what to do without her. So if she is in the hospital I have no idea what is going to happen at home. Father & I will either try to kill each other or the house may explode, lol.

The two dogs are the other thing. Their world revolves around Mom. That is going to be interesting. Shiloh will not know what to do without seeing Mom everyday. He is going to be very vocal about his unhappiness also. I wonder if we could sneak a 15lb. Schnauzer & a 10lb. Bichon Frise into the hospital to see her? Hmm…I’ll have to think about that.

As for me, I haven’t been more then a week without seeing her every day. Though I imagine I will handle it a lot better then father. They haven’t been apart for the last 32 years longer then three days, lol. Daddy is going to go crazy. But if he thinks that he isn’t going to be taking me to see her most every day he is full of it. I am not going to leave my mother in a hospital (the same bloody hospital that let my beloved Grandmother die) he is full of it.

So for the next month or so I will be online every day like normal, but I will not be active like I usually am. This came at a good & bad time. With the drama that is going on (things need to cool down) & with my mother I need some time just to relax. Since I refuse to take the blame for something I didn’t do or start, I would also like to say that this in no states that I am wrong in any way. I refuse to get stressed out over people acting like five year olds & can not get over something. I also refuse to justify every little thing I type on Twitter or Facebook. I live in a free country that allows me to type & say what I choose to. If you don’t like then that is your problem. You have just the same right as I do so stop trying to infringe on my rights.

The bad timing is that it is the beginning of Tax Season & Dad needs her at the office since I can’t work because of my seizures. If she is in the hospital then Dad has to handle the tax work & the bookkeeping all by himself. We handle over 800 tax returns every year. That is a lot of return for a single person to handle along with all the clients that he does the book work for. But if there is one thing that we do very well is that we survive everything that life throws at us. Though I have to admit that I wish it wouldn’t so hard all the time.

Mirrored from Amarantine.