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Messages - WhiteShepherdDog

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I decided to post this here since there was a discussion awhile back by a member who tied his dog in his front yard and got made at his neighbors who got bitten by his dog!
I think education is the only solution to people who think that big dogs as guard dogs can be tethered alone in yards and can be safe.
Many communities have to enact legislation because dog owners haven't a clue to what they are doing....
Please get the word out! Educate about cruel practices.
WASHINGTON (September 26, 2006) – The Humane Society of the United States today applauded the introduction by U.S. Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter (R-11th/ Mich.) of a resolution encouraging municipalities to adopt and enforce protections against dog bites. H. Res. 1013 addresses the serious issue of dangerous dogs and what can be done to prevent them from biting. The Centers for Disease Control concluded that 800,000 dog bites per year are serious enough to require medical attention.

“Millions of Americans share their homes with dogs and share a special bond with these animals, and the vast majority of interactions between people and dogs are happy and safe,” said Michael Markarian, executive vice president of The HSUS. “But there are two types of dogs with an increased likelihood to bite—chained dogs and male dogs who have not been neutered.”

The CDC has determined that over 70 percent of dogs involved in attacks are unneutered males. “The HSUS encourages all dog owners to have their pets sterilized,” said Markarian. “This important and routine procedure will reduce a dog’s desire to roam, fight with other dogs, or behave aggressively towards people.”

In addition, the CDC, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the American Veterinary Medical Association have all determined that chaining or tethering creates dogs who are at a significantly greater risk to bite. “The practice of chaining dogs for long periods of time is inhumane and poses a risk to the dogs involved, other animals, and the entire community,” said Markarian.

My two cents:
Allowing dog-to-dog 'play'using their bodies is encouraging 'fight behavior' two ways about it.
What we monkeys think of as dog-to-dog play is "play fighting" or brawling.
In the canine world, the purpose of D2D play is to hone fighting skills (up on back legs, vocalizations, etc).
I encourage my big dogs to use an "object" for play--not their bodies.....
You can create a tug toy with several ends and teach multiple dogs to play with it without encouraging sparring and brawling.
Honestly, if more people understood the body language of dog parks and body slamming/rough play, I doubt they would be surprised that so many "fights" break out among dogs.
You have a window of opportunity to have mother and siblings teach social behaviors and for other socialization experiences for a few months, but reality, is the puppy mills remove most dogs so young, they don't learn the important lessons of submission from mom.
If we want to have a healthy relationship with our canine companions, teach them to use objects to play with other dogs...
Also good way to test if you have a good relationship with dogs....can you get the object from them easily?
Do they guard the object?
Maybe need to do some basic training to assert yourself as leader of the pack, if so.
I do not encourage my dogs to run up to anyone or other dogs off leash...
Our dogs "play" with *us* on agility equipment; hide and seek (search and rescue); tracking (find the cheese in the grass!)for exercise and we walk them to form a special bond with us.
Given that there are so many puppy mill dogs loose at dog parks, not under off leash control I don't want my dogs subjected to 'bad manners'.
Our dogs have a few dog friends outside the family that we join (with owners) for walks off and on leash...
they don't body slam or run around, they act like we are the pack leaders and they are the pack....

Food Discussion & Information / Re: Fish Based Kibble.. Suggestions?
« on: April 24, 2006, 09:25:29 pm »
I feed Wellness Fish and Sweet potato---it is carried locally in my area only by pet stores--they don't sell to the big box pet store chains.
It is whitefish and all human grade ingredients.
Jasper loves it.
I alternate among all the different Wellness products.
For training we use the Natural Balance chubs.

Siberian Husky Discussions / successful champs
« on: November 28, 2005, 05:45:35 pm »
Taken from an agility board from those who successfully train off- leash control:

As one competitor who runs a Northern breed cross, I can attest
first hand to what happens with these comments. "Not the breed for
agility" type. So people with a hard to motivate dogs go to an over-
the-top dog, and have just as many problems, but in the opposite
direction. Now the instructor tells them to start learning to catch
up with their dog - again demotivating to the handler.
Have fun with your first agility dog - no matter what it may be.
Learn, learn, learn, what works for your dog.

- Laura wrote...
I run Siberians in Agility, as a student my biggest issue was
having a challenging dog that was not food motivated, toy motivated and did
not care to be touched or petted and being told by 3 instructors to place, get
rid of or retire this dog because she would never do well in agility. Rather than
get a new dog I got a new instructor, and new methods to deal with my
personal challenge.
She, the dog, made me a better trainer and a better instructor by
forcing me to develop a larger, varied training "tool chest."
 I bred and showed Siberians for 18 years (Obedience -- titled 8 Sibes!),
Breed, tracking, sledding, weight pull), and at the end of that time
purchased a BC to do obedience with. Never made it to obedience, but stumbled
into agility.
 There are certainly instructors who get tunnel vision -- and seem
to focus on BCs, Corgis, Shelties... but sometimes the less seen breeds are
the most fun!
 And you are absolutely right, a Siberian will FORCE you to develop
lots of alternate training methods, and keep you on your toes.
As a student with an "off" breed it is my job to know what my dogs can or can't take-a Siberian will run for hours forward, but ask them to repeat the same sequence over and over again and you can forget it. I have to bewilling to tell an instructor that may be as good as I can get and I would like to stop while we are ahead, thanks.

Siberian Husky Discussions / Fact or Fiction?
« on: November 28, 2005, 09:47:07 am »
The fun thing about discussion boards is that we can share opinions, vent, rant and rave, and feel like part of the pack.
What I offer to the discussion is science or facts.
I know that there are some people who would like to learn from a diverse perspective and facts.
For over 30 years I have taught my students to distinguish between fact and opinion.
Behaviorism is based on years of scientific research.
Not that many people are interested in reading that research- but Karen Overall is very accessible to most people:

I have implemented behaviorist principles to modify human and canine behaviors for many years.
“Instinctual” behaviors can be modified through application of a behavior modification program that is based on positive reward or operant conditioning….there is more to it than that.
I would not expect anyone would be able to apply a successful behavior modification (training) program based on postings from a bulletin board!
I do suggest you find a behaviorist- not just a competition “obedience” instructor --or at least look for another trainer who has got experience in ethology.

I  reread my postings and I sure don’t see that I claimed a novice Husky owner would be able to train a 100% recall based on postings on a discussion board.
What I did do is reiterate what Karen Overall and other animal behaviorists have found in the science----myths about breeds are not productive to perpetuate.
I did give suggestions for first steps in basic training.
What canine behavior research has stated that dogs don't have a social structure based on rank?
If you can cite that research---please do-it must be very new. Ranking in canine social structure has been confirmed by the research.
What we understand is that leadership roles fluctuate and are flexible...but ranking still exists.

For to have any dog without spending the time and effort on establishing yourself as leader (training) is selling yourself short to having a lifelong companion.
I don’t know what you mean by training, but I mean developing a relationship so my dog seeks me out- not in a clingy, fearful way- but in a “Hey, let’s go have some fun” way.

A dog who is secure in its rank--is playful; thinks on its own, will engage with you in play;

To have a dog gaze in your eyes and ask, “What’s next?” is an  attainable for anyone who can devote the time to learn with the right teacher.

I have participated in this discussion to help educate one more dog lover…not based on a personal opinion or myth, but based on a body of knowledge that has been successful by many professionals and dog owners.
I don’t think the average dog owner will be able to modify many instinctual behaviors with out the help of a professional behaviorist!
Too many dog lovers fail to housebreak their dogs and leave them in the backyard their entire lives!

I would hope that what is important at BPO is education--- to protect all breeds and to help new dog owners to be successful in raising a dog that can keep for its entire life.
My point is that myths are counter productive to that end.
I don't care to argue each of the points that I feel are opinions - based on anecdotal evidence--
But I will continue to share what is fact.
Just trying to get my point across without diddling with details.

My point is that myths are counter productive to that end.

Siberian Husky Discussions / Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« on: November 27, 2005, 04:46:58 pm »
Most people believe myths like pitbulls are dog aggressive... and huskies run away.
Pit bulls are bred to kill other dogs. It's in their genes.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks kill cats (Bred to hunt lions)

Get it?
These are genetic traits- but of course these traits are modified by your actions/environment.

The point that I am making is that as humans, we can use our knowledge to modify behavior that is instinctual. Many people do.
Let me use this other analogy of training versus instinct.
A dog's instinct is to pee where it smells pee.
Yet, amazingly we can housetrain dogs after they have pee'd on our carpet.
(oh, no- is pee a verboten word?)
Does it make it harder to teach your dog to pee outside when they smell it in the carpet?

I've had this discussion with leading behaviorists---- so that is my background.

I'm not trying to change what anyone believes---I am trying to point out that breed myths are not accurate.
What are some breed myths you would dispute?

Believe what you want.

I want Santa to bring me good cheer.

Check this link out.

BTW- just because a dog earns titles does not mean it has a relationship with the owner like I define it!
I have worked with handlers that can get dogs to perform in a ring, but that dog has no relationship with that human like I mean.
Any dog owner should examine- Why doesn't my dog want to be with me?
All breeds are pack animals and have the instinct to follow the lead dog.
(Especially huskies!!!)
Dog social structure is very clear.
If your dog does not pay attention to you, you are not the pack leader.

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / Re: Dog owner statistics
« on: November 27, 2005, 04:20:42 pm »
I agree---I don't know the context.
I am trying to find more details, which is why I posted this statistic.
I read 2 books- I think it came from one of these books:
The Rosetta Bone : The Key to Communication between Canines and Humans (eBook) 
by Smith, Cheryl S
Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training. Vol. 1, Adaptation and Learning (eBook)
by Lindsay, Steve.
There is actually a book I found:
US pet ownership and Demographic sourcebook

I just can't find the study again.

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / Re: Beware of "greenies"
« on: November 27, 2005, 04:01:18 pm »
I think I have bought my last Greenie. They were expensive, too.
Plus he still got tartar on his teeth!
Jasper loved them though.
Fortunately no problems as my boy is a very neat and tidy chewer---he creates pieces about the size of my finger nail.
I know this because he chewed an entire multicolored rubber wobbler type toy (looks like an atom); and I found little colorful bits all around my yard.
I felt so bad for not selecting a better toy for him.
I'll stick to stuffed Kongs--they can be so much fun!
What else I can use to plug the ends? I won't buy the Kong stuff...too much $
He gets his kibble in it-
I use cheese; PB; or stick mini Old Mother Hubbard biscuits in the ends.

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / Re: Dog owner statistics
« on: November 27, 2005, 03:53:21 pm »
Does that take into consideration dogs adopted from rescues?  I mean they don't have the dog it's whole life, even if they keep it till it dies.  Just wondering...
Right- I think that the statistic is pointing to why rescues get so many dogs.
The original owners aren't keeping them...whether they are 2 yrs or 8 yrs old.
I would have to find the original data (which is why I am asking if anyone else has seen this before).
I imagine it does apply to people who adopt rescue dogs too.
Even with the written adopton agreements, we are so overwhelmed to know for sure if the dog is given away or even taken to another shelter.
The point is- the majority of pet owners look at their dogs as disposable for any number reasons.
I was surprised at the high amount of people who disposed of their dogs.
Because I hang out mostly with people who workship their dogs---I thought that maybe it would be 30% of dog owners out there that were dropping dogs at shelters and rescues.
I didn't realize how bad (70%) the problem is.

General Board for Big Dogs with Big Paws / Dog owner statistics
« on: November 27, 2005, 03:15:47 pm »
Can't recall where I read this last week....but it stuck in my head.
Has anyone else seen this?
Only 38% of the people who have dogs will have that dog its entire life.
The majority of people will surrender the dog to shelter, sell/give it away or (horror) drop it in the country!

I knew it was bad....the rescues I work with hear the dogs have to be surrendered cuz they are moving; or "allergies".
The average household has more dogs than children now in the US, I read, too.

I think we got a big problem.

Rottweiler Discussions / Re: Very sad news
« on: November 27, 2005, 03:09:26 pm »
You let 6 dogs run together loose I don't care what breed they are, they are going to get in trouble.  Be it either livestock or people, they'll end up attacking something.
So true!
This so much an owner issue....I live in a rural area, too. I put up my fence to keep neighbor dogs out of under my house-chasing my cat. The trend is that people think there are no leash laws in the country and decide the easiest way to protect their house is to bring out scarey breeds of dogs and tie them up or let them run loose. These backyard dogs get no positive attention.
 The funny thing is I always know when my neighbors aren't home- cuz their 5 large dogs are barking constantly. If they were home, I would hear them yelling at the dogs to shut up!

There is a country saying that I am likely to misquote:
You got one boy- you got a boy;
You got two boys- you got half a boy;
You got three boys-you aint got no boys at all.
Sorta the same thing....the bigger the mix, the more trouble you have.

 He will now sit and stay while the door is open, but if he gets out of his collar while I'm running with him

You are right on target with the training....yo u are establishing your leadership by controlling the resources: the door! Higher rank dogs go first!
I suggest a martingale collar that prevents the dog from slipping out--if that is the problem---it is just a nylon flat collar that snugs to prevent 'dog-on-the-loose -it is the least restrictive training aid> less restrictive than a halter---
no, I don't do clicker training, per se, because I actually use a smile as my marker for correct behavior!
Really, don't laugh---I train using emotion as the marker (smile) and reward is emotion in my voice (good boy!)
I actually have seen a Husky on the agility field with me who are trained using John Rogerson emotional training.... under complete off -leash control.

Yes, Huskies are distractable.. ...but you can train them...don't fall for the myth that Huskies run off anymore than Pitbulls have to be dog aggressive biters!!!!
These are behavior issues that can be addressed if you understand canine psychology.... .
A Siberian, for his own protection, should be kept confined or under control at all times.
It is difficult to train off-leash control, but not impossible even for Huskies. I would wager that a regular "Obedience" class would not be a good fit. Somebody already said the training method is only as good as the teacher and the owner implementing the program.

The key issue is: does your dog want to be with you more than anything else.....under any circumstance.
It is really just training.
Step 1- Perfect the recall. (I posted somewhere else on tips for this- can one search --I think so)
oh, I guess that is the only step.... ;)
The idea is that you are the most interesting thing to your dog---under all distractions.
It really seems to work. My 2 yr old intact male is always  sniffing everything else....his favorite pasttime, really.
But after about 9 mos training where I set him up for success on Come! and trained with tasty treats (chicken to liver to cheese, lamb, etc) in many situations... it works.
He comes even if I don't have food- cuz I always "praise my heart out" when he comes!
I smile and wave my arms and excitely tell him GOOD BOY.

In a way, it is that the dog doesn't like you! Let's face it---you are not as interesting as the distraction... ..
there is an indication of a relationship issue if your dog does not come after training it properly.
I am only sharing this since this is what my behaviorist told me---and sure enough, the better my relationship developed (me as benevolent top dog and cueing him to positive behavior)
the better off leash control developed.
It does take a good training program (immediate positive attention/reward to desired behavior) and practice, but your husky doesn't have to fulfill the breed myth any more than the myths that rotties are mean and dobies are aggressive---or german shepherds are fear biters.
The day my dog stopped his squirrel chase in mid -run when I whistled, I knew my hours of training and investment in classes had paid off.
The last day of our agility class, we were on the field -with about 20 dogs and people watching--near the end of the course, he jumped up on the table/off the other side and ran directly towards a very interesting dog in the audience.....
I really didn't think he'd come back to me---we had run the course 3 times and he was getting a little bored with it.
So I just sat down on the table and gave my finger whistle...he stopped-looked at the inticing dog- looked at me and turned towards me and returned to me full speed!
He got some chicken for that to be sure.
I would never let my dog off-lead in a dangerous situation that I did not have 100% recall success.
When I first trained him on agility field and he did run off a few times, he was put in "timeout"-- he was tied to a tree and watched me work with other dogs. He watched that and was very eager to rejoin me in the fun stuff going on.
A dog that looks to you as the leader of the pack---because you are fun and always excited to see him, and gets surprised at unexpected special treats when he complies with your cues....will be your best friend and return to you regardless of the breed. You may need to work at it longer and practice harder, but the results can be the same.
I purposely am training an intact GSD in agility to dispell the myths associated with intact dogs....
-they roam (not if you keep them in a fence or on leash! :D)
-they are aggressive (not if they are desensitized, socialized, trained etc)
I know I am working against nature and bred in traits, but that is teaching me so much about behaviorial training.....
My point is that although breeds have certain inbred traits, the way you treat your dog by rewarding behaviors is by far more important.
Most people fail to teach recall because they repeat the command; yell at the dog; or commit equally dumb mistakes.
If you use a negative tone to say COME to your dog or use their name in a tone that is angry--you are not going to get your dog near you....
but what do most people do when their dog finally returns to them? BAD dog...or they use an angry tone to say the dog's name when it doesn't come immediately.
It is really funny how people usually train their dogs to run away! ???

Rottweiler Discussions / Very sad news
« on: November 27, 2005, 01:15:26 pm »
Here we go again with breed discrimination ...I am sure we will now ban breeds in Texas.
You and I know it is NOT the breed but the owner that should be banned!

You treat a dog like an animal and they will act like one.... ;)

Texas woman mauled to death by six dogs

11:58 PM CST on Sunday, November 27, 2005
Associated Press

THORNDALE, Texas - A pack of six dogs mauled a 76-year-old woman to death as she worked in her yard, authorities said.

Lillian Loraine Stiles was riding on a lawn mower in her front yard Saturday when she was confronted by the dogs, described as pit bull-rottweiler mixed breeds, said Milam County Sheriff Charlie West.

Investigators think Stiles was attacked when she got off the mower and headed into her house.Stiles had severe bites over her entire body, and a man who tried to help her was bitten on one leg, authorities said.

The dogs were found at the home of Stiles' neighbor, Jose Hernandez.

The sheriff's department will send the findings of its investigation to the Milam County District Attorney's Office, which will decide if any criminal charges will be filed against Hernandez.

Thorndale is located about 70 miles west of College Station.

Collars, crates, & other cool things / Re: Really Cool Portable Crate
« on: November 20, 2005, 05:39:40 pm »
That *is* cool! Darn it! I thought of inventing it this summer on a camping trip when 2 different people were silly enough to zip their dogs *inside* of their fancy human tent and both ripped through the screen door--one was a brand new expensive tent---golden retriever; the other was a cattle dog.
what were they thinking?
These dogs were not crate-trained either, not sure what they expected.
I could see it then....the doggie camper......
It will go on my Xmas list.
Since Jasper is crate trained, I wouldn't expect him to tear out of it.

Practice your long stays somewhere else besides meal time.
I disagree with this. (As do most behaviorists)
If you are showing your dog you control the resources, you should control the resources.
The true test if the human is the leader of the pack is this one:
Does your dog sit undemanding until you free him to get his food?
In the dog world, the leader does exactly that- a subordinate dog waits until it is his turn and is allowed by the lead dog.

This isn't about practicing "long stays", it is about establishing pack order.
A happy dog knows it rank in the pack.

If the dog is barking, then the food bowl goes away and I leave the room.
To me- that is noncompliance--
For tips on teaching a quiet sit with only PRAISE---see my other posting.

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