- The length of retractable leashes, some of which can extend up to 26 feet, allows dogs to get far enough away from their humans that a situation can quickly turn dangerous. A dog on a retractable leash is often able to run into the middle of the street, for example, or make uninvited contact with other dogs or people.
- In the above scenario, or one in which your pet is being approached by an aggressive dog, it is nearly impossible to get control of the situation if the need arises. It's much easier to regain control of – or protect -- a dog at the end of a six-foot standard flat leash than it is if he's 20 or so feet away at the end of what amounts to a thin string.
- The thin cord of a retractable leash can break – especially when a powerful dog is on the other end of it. If a strong, good-sized dog takes off at full speed, the cord can snap. Not only can that put the dog and whatever he may be chasing in danger, but also the cord can snap back and injure the human at the other end.
- If a dog walker gets tangled up in the cord of a retractable leash, or grabs it in an attempt to reel in their dog, it can result in burns, cuts, and even amputation. In addition, many people have been pulled right off their feet by a dog that reaches the end of the leash and keeps going. This can result in bruises, "road rash," broken bones, and worse.
- Dogs have also received terrible injuries as a result of the sudden jerk on their neck that occurs when they run out the leash, including neck wounds, lacerated tracheas, and injuries to the spine.
- Retractable leashes allow dogs more freedom to pull at the end of them, which can look like aggression to another dog who may decide to "fight back."
- The handles of retractable leashes are bulky and can be easily pulled out of human hands, resulting in a runaway dog.
- Along those same lines, many dogs – especially fearful ones – are terrorised by the sound of a dropped retractable leash handle and may take off running, which is dangerous enough. To make matters worse, the object of the poor dog's fear is then "chasing" her, and if the leash is retracting as she runs, the handle is gaining ground on her – she can't escape it. Even if this scenario ultimately ends without physical harm to the dog (or anyone else), it can create lingering fear in the dog not only of leashes, but also of being walked.
- Retractable leashes, like most retractable devices, have a tendency to malfunction over time, either refusing to extend, refusing to retract, or unspooling at will.
- Retractable leashes are an especially bad idea for dogs that haven't been trained to walk politely on a regular leash. By their very nature, retractables train dogs to pull while on leash, because they learn that pulling extends the lead.
Wednesday, 31 December 2014
Tuesday, 30 December 2014
There are many reasons why a dog may not comply to a cue that he already knows. Stubbornness, Dominance, and wilfulness are rarely the reasons. Whilst it is clearly very frustrating when your dog “ignores” you, its worth the time, effort and saves your sanity to try and take a step back for a moment and work out what the cause might be. This is often easier said than done in the heat of the moment. Its worth remembering that even though your dog may have learned a behaviour and performed it solidly many times before it doesn’t mean that in certain situations it may not remember what the behaviour is to the cue that you give. Let me liken it to a human example. I walked into a shop last week and was greeted by a woman who smiled and began talking to me like we were old friends. she asked me had I had a good xmas and even asked how my wife was. I recognised her face but at that moment I could not remember her name. I knew that deep in the recesses of my mind her name was there but at that moment she had caught me off guard and I could not make the association of where I knew her from and her name. An hour after I met her and long after I had left the shop her name came back to me. And at that point I realised why I couldn’t make the connection. I normally see this woman in a working environment away from this social environment and because it was out of context I had at that moment not put two and two together. I am sure you have all done this at one time or another. Well your dogs are no different. Just because they can perform a solid ‘come when called’ in the house and even in the garden both on lead and off doesn’t mean they can do it outside when they are in a different environment. Another reason they may not respond immediately to a cue is that there may be more powerful distractors going on at the time. Again if I liken it to a human example. If you have kids and they are busy playing video games and you call them in to the dining room for dinner they may not hear you at first time of calling because they are so engrossed in the video game. Your dog may be just as engrossed in whatever he is doing when you give a cue. Like chasing a bunny or sniffing something really interesting. So when you give the come command he may be to distracted to respond. You owe it to yourself and the relationship you have with your dog to take a step back the next time he doesn’t respond right away, and think, what reason might there be for my dog not responding other than just plain ignoring me.
Wednesday, 10 December 2014
Wednesday, 5 November 2014
I recently read an interesting article in ‘Science Direct’ from Applied Animal Behaviour Science which discussed the impact attending training classes had on a companion dogs behaviour. The published report was based studies carried out in Australia in 2006. The report was written by Pauline Charmayane Bennet and Vanessa Ilse Rohlf.
Basically what they are saying is that a lot of companion dogs occupy a priviledged life style, living with owners who take care of their every needs and desires. Some going to great lengths to provide the very best for their canine companions. However others are not so fortunate and often find themselves abandoned, killed, given up for adoption, which most ultimately get put to sleep, and the main reason is that they are believed to exhibit behaviour problems. The aims of the study were to investigate the frequency of the problematic experienced by the owners sample and whether these behaviours were associated with demographic variables, involvement in dog training activities and participation in other dog - human interactions.
the problematic behaviours were split into five main categories;
The results of the questionnaires and interviews carried out by the researchers indicated that engagement in training activities showed lower scores for many of the behaviours described above. The studies also showed that the perceived friendliness of the dogs who took part in training activities with their owners was improved.
dogs who are given up for adoption or abandoned and end up in rescue centres is an ever increasing significant animal welfare issue. Our rescue centres are bulging to capacity right now. If these studies are to be believed then a lot of these dogs could have avoided ending up in rescue centres had they been taken to training classes. Its no secret that misbehaving dogs are responsible for road accidents, community disputes, property damage and unfortunately as we see all to often in the media personal injury and even death.
Another study in Australia conducted by Kobelt et al. (2003) found that overexcitement and jumping up on people were very common behaviours among dogs, as were rushing at people or other dogs and excessive barking. These behaviours were primarily associated with general disobedience, owner experience and THE AMOUNT OF TIME BY THE OWNER WITH HIS OR HER DOG, and that dogs that attended training classes were more likely to obey their owners commands. (Clark and Boyer, 1993), also produced a report that stated “that participation in obedience training is associated with a significantly reduced prevalence of canine behaviour problems, and an increased probability of a positive outcome following adoption of a dog from a welfare shelter”.
I hear you say ‘Well obviously’. And so you might. However the report also goes on to suggest that most surprisingly only 24% of the dog owners who took part in the survey attended any kind of dog training. Now I hear you say “yes but thats Australia”.
A PDSA report published in 2012 surveyed 3,956 pet owners in the UK. The report looked at five different categories.
In this report it showed that 53% of households own a pet.
23% of households own a dog. Thats at least 8.3 million dogs.
This report suggest that 5.3 million dogs never attend training classes in the UK.
25% of UK dog owners who had their dogs from pups did not adequately socialise them within the first 6 months of their lives.
In 2011 the PAW Report revealed that over one million dogs display aggressive behaviour towards people and pets on a weekly basis which includes growling, snarling, and biting.
“Good puppy socialisation and training classes undoubtedly help to reduce the initial development of dog aggression, but it is also essential to provide our pets with guidance in good behaviour, at home and elsewhere, throughout their lives. ‘Training’ should be synonymous with ‘living with’ and never stops”.
PG Dip (CABC) CCAB, Clinical Animal Behaviourist.
The PDSA report goes on to state that “Problem dog behaviour is most often due to lack of training and little or no socialisation”.
By encouraging more people to attend training classes with their new pups and or rescue dogs we can turn the tide on dogs developing problem behaviours and reduce the amount of dogs ending up in rescue centres with little or no hope of ever being rehomed and ultimately being put to sleep.
Wednesday, 4 June 2014
It was written by Stanley Coren PhD. called The human-animal bond.
Thursday, 17 April 2014
Monday, 14 April 2014
Wednesday, 2 April 2014
Thursday, 27 March 2014
Wednesday, 26 March 2014
- Causes injury to someone
- Makes someone worried that it might cause them injury
- Injures someone’s animal
- The owner of the animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop the dog attacking their animal
Sunday, 23 March 2014
By Jasper Copping
Monday, 10 March 2014
Choke chains damage dogs, cause pain and can cause behavioural problems. Choke chains have been directly linked to to the following;
Injured ocular blood vessels
Tracheal and oesophageal damage
Severely sprained necks
Cases of fainting
Transient foreleg paralysis
Laryngeal nerve paralysis
Hind leg ataxia
If you don’t use a choke chain to stop the pulling then what should you use?
You could use a flat collar, harness or head collar. There are many different types in the market and it is important that you choose the right one for your type of dog. You could also train your dog not to pull. By finding a qualified trainer in your area you could attend classes and learn how to train your dog positively without aversive methods how to teach your dog to walk without pulling.
There have been many studies onto the effects of correcting your dog using choke chains.
“In a retrospective study on spinal pain, injury or changes in dogs conducted in Sweden, Hallgreen (1992) found that 91% of dogs with cervical anomalies experienced harsh jerks on lead or had a long history of pulling on the lead. Use of chokers were also over expressed in this group. This strongly suggests that such corrections are potentially injurious”.
Karen Overall MA, VMD, PhD, DACVB Clinical behavioural medicine for small animals.
In 30 years of practise Including 22 years as a veterinary advisor to a police dog section) I have seen numerous severely strained necks, cases of fainting, transient foreleg paresis and hind leg ataxia after robust use of the choke chain.
When the practise of slamming the dog sideways with a jerk that brought the foreparts clear of the ground and two or three feet towards the handler, became popular in the 1970’s the resulting painful condition was known as Woodhouse neck in this practise. Some of these cases exhibited misalignment of cervical vertebrae on radiographs. It is suggested that an existing spondylopathy renders these dogs more vulnerable to injury. Robin Walker BVetMed MRCVS.
Two authoritative references which should put you in no doubt that you should never use a choke chain or slip lead for correcting a dog that pulls on the lead. You should seriously consider any advice given to you to put a check chain on your dog as a means to correct lead pulling.
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
So what went wrong? Reading more into the story it turns out this particular dog was ‘acquired’ by it’s owner from someone in a pub. The previous owner was going to have it put down, and the new owner was a dog lover and no doubt thought he was doing the right thing by saving it from being put to sleep. There is no information on why the previous owner was considering having it put down. Was it being ill-treated ? Had it already bitten? Did the new owner get a full history of the animal before he decided to take it? All of these questions are being asked in the various papers that you read. But I don’t see any of the papers asking what in my mind is the most important question. What was the dog doing in the room with the baby on its own? Where were the mother and father when the attack happened? No matter how well you think your dog behaves, under no circumstances should ANY dog be left in the presence of children without adequate adult supervision. ANY dog is capable of biting, they all have teeth, if pushed to their limit. I am becoming more and more worried that these ‘attacks’ are now a popular news worthy item. Is the underlying trend that the amount of attacks are on the increase? Or are they just being reported more? I don’t know the answer to that I would love to find out. One attack is too many, but I am concerned that with all the media attention these incidents are being given, we might see a knee jerk reaction which affects all dogs and their owners. Up in Scotland we have the countries leading newspaper embarking on a media campaign called ‘dangerous dogs’. Politicians read these papers and assume that this is what the voters want. Newspapers are very influential in getting people to change their attitudes to things. I fear what these politicians are talking about right now, about how to deal with this issue which is on the front pages out our newspapers.
Lets not forget we domesticated these animals decades ago. They are an integral part of our society. They not only provide companionship to many millions of people throughout the land but they provide many functions to professional people also.
Professionals whose job could not be done without dogs. Search and rescue, helping the disabled, working in the forces home and abroad. Putting their lives on the line for their human counter parts. Lets not forget also the contribution dogs are making in health care where they are being trained to identify early signs of seizures and the like. We cannot exist without dogs nor should we. But we have to start learning to understand them more. Understand basic things like their needs. If we continue to ignore a dogs basic needs and not understand what motivates and drives them we will continue to run into conflict. Only through proper socialisation at the earliest age and proper training throughout its life can we hope to coexist without future incidents like the latest tragedy which occurred this week. Its up to us, the dogs can’t do it for us. We need to take the initiative here. We owe to them to try.
Monday, 17 February 2014
Thursday, 30 January 2014
These are some of the highlights:
Dogs have five basic welfare needs;
Now some interesting stats;
53% of UK households have pets
23% of UK households have dogs (thats 8.5 million dogs)
27% of UK households have cats
Obesity is a major concern in canines and the problem is pardon the pun growing. When surveyed, owners revealed that the reasons why they feed their pets treats are as follows;
1% as a result of a TV advertisement
8% said their pet ‘looked’ hungry
9% were guilty of leaving them on their own
14% were because the pet was begging
13% gave their dog a treat because they were having a treat themselves
29% said it made the owner happy to give them a treat
34% admitted treats were part of the daily diet
48% said it made this pet happy
16% never gave their dogs any treats.
As for training;
5.3 million dogs have never attended formal obedience training
25% of puppies have never been properly socialised
1 in 3 owners have been bitten or attacked
The cost of owning a dog was a bit of a shock;
Lifetime costs of owning a dog were between £16’000 and £31’000 depending upon size per dog.
Surprisingly 59% of pet owners don’t take out insurance.
Information courtesy of PDSA www.pdsa.or.uk/petcheck.
How much of a surprise is any of this to you??
Monday, 13 January 2014
Dr Sophia Yin is a renowned Veterinarian and Animal Behaviourist
Adopting a Dog: Some Dogs are Easier Than Others
Posted On: Sunday, May 19th, 2013
By Dr. Sophia Yin