Dog Behaviour Advice - Dog Advice Articles
Hip Dysplasia articles – the feedback
Following on from the last few articles I have already recived some feed back from many owners. One very good question was what Hip Dysplasia has to do with training dogs for Socialbility. This appears valid but also what have the Processionary Caterpillars or Leishmaniosis, the Pets Passport, or even items on behaviourism have to do with it as well.
We have to look at the word Sociability. This is a very wide-ranging word because it is all about dogs in our real world. I am not writing about dogs just in the confines of a dog training class many still associate with the style of Barbara Woodhouse.
For instance, an owner cannot really work a dog that is suffering from some illness, as it cannot concentrate on what it should be learning to do. Owners must move their dogs around in the real world and as our world grows bigger, day-by-day our dogs travel further. All the topics on behaviourism are needed to solve the many and various problems that all owners regularly have with dogs because there is still a language problem between dogs and humans as well as the problem that all dogs and humans are different.
I also receive many requests for help and information from people concerned about mistreatment of animals and what they can do without having the RSPCA on our doorstep. Other information requested comes from cyclists, joggers, and walkers of how to solve problems of meetings with aggressive dogs. These too are all to do with dog socialbility.
These articles are for all people living with dogs not just those few who simply wish to train for fun or competition. The information provided here are for all dogs at all the stages of their life and how they relate as well as interact with all humans.
The other day I had an invitation to meet Louise Knuppel B.A. the well-known interior designer. She has two companion dogs called Bichon Frise. They are lovely looking dogs and appear like smaller versions of the Spanish Water dogs.
Louise was telling me that she had to wait seven years before she could obtain one from the breeder and the cost was well over £1000. Not only was her puppy expensive, the contract stipulated that only the breeder could decide whom she would breed with and when.
Looking back at last weeks article, such a policy does show the care some quality breeders go to in order to restrict problems of in breeding. Using such a method is increasing the choice of dogs used by the breeder who have years of experience similar to Irene Curtis. Using not only the breeder’s dogs but also the dogs they have bred previously with unrelated champions makes a much bigger breeding base than simply breeding from only their own dogs.
There was one problem though because Louise did not wish to have to worry about her dog’s seasons nor to breed puppies she had her spayed. Some years later, the breeders contacted her to say they had found the most suitable sire for her bitch. As you can appreciate, they were not very happy when they found out and even threatened court action but fortunately, they did not. It was only when Louise asked for another dog that they refused her.
She did eventually find another breeder and now has two. The new one which is smaller has a favourite game where it gives you its rope toy and for you to throw it over the balcony into the bushes one floor below. It first looks through the bars then shoots off in search. After only a few minuets, it returns with her toy and offers you to throw it again. If you throw it and she has not offered you her toy, she barks at you to say she did not like you throwing it again.
The reason I mention this now is that Kathryn Hollings B.A. will be appearing in a magazine with her dog Benson; a white Spanish Water dog. This is a lovely working breed with hair that when it becomes longer it forms into dreadlocks.
If ever one should starch a dog, attach a wheel to each foot and then having a push bar added will make it look like the toy dog most children love so much. They have beautiful deep dark eyes making them so appealing.
It is not often I mention breeds by name but I know that the Spanish breeders are very protective over this breed and are not keen to sell them as family pets. This is similar to the UK working dog breeders of boarder collies who do not believe they are suitable as family pets because they are so easily bored and need to work. From my limited experience in working trials breeding, I can understand their concerns and sympathise with them.
About six months ago, I had a request for help in finding a breeder who would sell this breed to the English. I did know of three people who had them and they all confirmed the reasoning behind the reluctance of breeders to sell them as family pets. When I contacted the prospective owners with this information, they had already found a breeder and purchased a puppy.
I often receive requests for what is the breed of dog used in the CBN weather picture or used on this page in last weeks issue. If you have never see this sort of dog and you see it a magazine then I know many people will fall in love with the breed. It is then a question is its appearance in any publication a good thing or not. I hope by my mentioning this that any one seeing this picture to just take some time in seeking more information to confirm the suitability of the breed for your family.
Reflecting on last weeks article about supply and demand for dogs that suddenly become popular is a worry to me. What if following the publication of their picture creates a surge in demand for Spanish Water Dogs then unscrupulous breeders could once again fill this must have necessity by bitches working overtime on puppy farms.
This week I had to go back to see the dog that was troublesome with pulling on the lead where I had given the owner a halti and halti training lead. I have seen it twice already and for us the dog is walking well. For the owner though with a weakened wrist the dog was playing up and stopping as if in pain and wanting the Halti off. Her dog walker was also having the same problem and actually taking it off the dog. Once the Halti was off then it went back to pulling on the lead. You have to admire the puppy dogs teaching ability towards humans.
I placed the Halti on the dog and clipped the lead to it and the other end of the lead to the collar. The owner thought that her dog must be fine with males but not so with women. I suggested then that Kathryn Hollings takes her dog for a walk. Apart from one attempt at stopping, which Kathryn ignored, it walked without any problem. The dog is not telling lies it just knows how much it can achieve with different people.
Whilst I was there, I learnt a little more about the dog and its enlarged heart. This is often common in puppies so it is necessary for the dog to be about 10 months before a vet can see if this is a permanent problem.
The owner was saying that she only wanted the puppy when it was about 10 weeks old but when Centracan found one for her they had it in the store at six weeks. This is for me is too early for a puppy to leave its mother and other pups. This would have meant that the pup would have to say in the store for a month so the owner collected once the in store vets had checked it over.
One other worrying point is the owner is concerned that the jaw structure seems inconsistent for this breed. This dog is a pedigree dog but the owner is still waiting for the Pedigree forms and registration. This could simply be normal Spanish bureaucracy but we will have to wait and see to check this when it eventually arrives.
Whilst we were down near Torrevieja, we took the opportunity to visit Centracan to see what it was like. For me it looks like a good quality Pets Our Us store back in the UK but complete with in house vets. I did like the bird’s freedom to fly round the store and interact with prospective owners. It did make me wonder how they go about catching your choice of flying bird.
The first thing I do not like is the stocking and selling of very young puppies and kittens in the store. The second worry is that shoppers can bring their own dogs into the store. Any older dog can carry a disease like distemper or Parvovirus that though it many not suffer from these it can easily pass this on to the susceptible puppies in the store through the air conditioning.
Seeing puppies and kittens sold this way for me is heartbreaking and the government should ban such shop trading. If they do not then owners who also feel the same as I can chose not to buy from them.
When you purchase your dog or kitten, you should see the mother and their siblings. If possible, you should ask to see the father too. It is very important to know more about their breeder than as much as its bar code. To say the store advertises many as pedigree they should certainly not sell them in such a manner.