Pet Advice - Pet News - Pet Information

Blastomycosis Checklist for Dogs
by Brent Goodman

Dog owners need to be alert to the possible existence of the fungal organism Blastomyces dermatitidis, which can be found in sandy, acidic soils close to water or in swampy, low-lying areas. It is especially prevalent in certain areas of Mississippi, Missouri, the Ohio River Valley, as well as the Mid-Atlantic States, but it can occur almost anywhere. The resulting systemic fungal disease, blastomycosis, is serious, affecting primarily dogs and humans. It creates a variety of symptoms. Early detection is critical to successful treatment and rate of survival.
Hunting dogs and those that love to take to the woods and swamps, or those living by water, are especially vulnerable. On a chase, with his nose to the ground, a dog can inhale spores that harbor in the soil. If the dog has a healthy immune system, there is likelihood that the disease will not develop. If, however, the spores are abundant, or if the dog's immune system is compromised, there is risk of infection. Spores travel down the airways of the lungs, and the disease begins. It then spreads throughout the body and can affect the skin, eyes, bones, lymph nodes, subcutaneous tissue, brain, and testes. Blastomycosis can wax and wane with symptoms improving, only to worsen later.

Refer to this checklist of symptoms if you suspect your dog has been exposed to this organism:

1. Lack of appetite
2. Weight loss
3. Cough
4. Eye problems
5. Lameness
6. Skin problems
7. Blood in urine
8. Shortness of breath
9. Exercise intolerance
10. Enlarged lymph glands
11. Persistent fever that does not respond to antibiotics

This important checklist can be printed and shared with your veterinarian. Arriving at a diagnosis can sometimes be difficult. Your veterinarian will consider the history and symptoms and seek to identify the organism under a microscope or through a blood test. Treatment is required in the case of a positive identification because dogs are not able to fight off this fungal disease without support.

Treatment options include the oral administration of Itaconazole. This is an expensive drug, and some dogs cannot tolerate it. Injectable Amphotericin B can also be used. It is administered intravenously and under close veterinary supervision. Ketoconazole (Nizoral) is another treatment option, especially helpful in mild cases of the disease and where cost is a factor. Please note that, with Blastomycosis, prevention is easier than the cure. Avoid taking dogs to regions of high risk or incidence and places with disturbed areas of moist soil. Awareness of the disease and its symptoms is the best defense against it.

Be sure to inform your veterinarian if your dog is taking other medications or supplements. These may interact in potentially harmful ways; your veterinarian can make the best recommendation for your dog.

About the Author
Brent Goodman holds degrees in English from Ripon College, a Masters of Fine Arts from Purdue University, and has extensive experience in research communications and educational publishing across various fields of study. He is currently the Senior Copywriter at Drs. Foster & Smith Pet Supplies, the nation's leading online and catalog pet supplier.

Chicago Restaurant Law Allows Outdoor Doggie Dining
By Serena Brahney - Zootoo

CHICAGO -- In Windy City eateries, doggie bags are a thing of the past ever since legislation passed last January that allows restaurants to welcome dogs to their establishments, provided they remain on the outdoor part of the premises.

Chicago’s dog dining law stipulates that pooches remain leashed, stay off the furniture and eat only pet-appropriate food.

The permit to allow the practice costs restaurants $250.

“We went out and bought it right away,” said Katelyn Lobascio, event coordinator at Joe’s, a Lincoln Park bar.

Some Chicago restaurants had allowed dog dining for years, but they risked a crackdown from the state Health Department. Since the new legislation, however, patrons like Jennifer Rodriguez are eating out with their pets.

“We love to bring him anywhere,” Rodriguez said, laughing, while seated in Joe’s outdoor cafĂ© with her pooch. “Especially to socialize with other people and other dogs.”

Some eateries are going beyond just allowing pets, with Joe’s even encouraging their presence. They hold a doggy happy hour every Wednesday, specifically aimed at bringing people and pups together.

“That’s the instinct of the animal, to find the nearest dog and attach, and as the owners you have to follow the leash, so people mingle,” Lobascio said.

Dog owner Marice Greenberg moved to Chicago before the new dog-friendly legislation was passed. A transplanted New Yorker, Greenberg came from one of the nation’s pet-friendliest cities.

“I think it’s a great icebreaker if you want to meet someone new,” Greenberg said. “Because they’re not afraid,” she said, referring to the dogs. “They’re going to come right up and sniff and talk, and I think it’s fun.”

Greenberg says she became used to such pet-friendly access in the Big Apple.

“We took Stella, our dog, everywhere,” she said. “We walked -- of course everyone in New York walks -- and we took her pretty much with us all the time. So it’s great that we can bring her again. We can polish up her table manners and start bringing her out here in the city.

“Now that they can come in and actually sit under your feet and be a part of it. I think it will make a difference.”

There is no Federal law prohibiting pets being brought into restaurants, but it may be illegal in some states. In some states the law may vary by city. A number of American cities, including Austin, Texas and Alexandria, Virginia have both been granted variances to allowing pets in eateries.

Ultimately the final decision rests with each establishment, which can always deny entry of pets. Therefore it is best to ask a restaurant’s policy beforehand, to ensure you are not barking up the wrong tree.

“I think it’s becoming a really big adapting thing for bars and restaurants, to give people that are coming the opportunity to bring that pet,” Lobascio said.

The permit’s expense may discourage some restaurants, but not buying one could cost them more in the long run -- in lost business.

“We might skip a place even if it was something we’d really wanted to try if we couldn’t, in fact, sit down with the family,” Greenberg said.

Conversely, some may skip a restaurant that allows dogs, like people that fear them, or those with allergies.

Lobascio says she is just happy that Chicago provides such options.

“This is, like, the dog city to me,” she said.

Seconding that, Greenberg said, “I think Chicago has always been a big dog town. “But I think this adds kind of the cherry on top. Now everybody can go everywhere.”

A Place for the Homeless and Their Pets
Los Angeles Times

Many homeless people -- perhaps as many as 10% -- have pets. (The pets above are waiting with their owners, who are homeless, for veterinary care in Ventura County.) Loathe to abandon their companions, many often refuse housing services rather than go into them without their pets.

To address that problem, the nonprofit group PATH next month will open the PetCo Place in Hollywood, a shelter that will house both homeless people and their pets. People will sleep upstairs and their pets downstairs.

Both people and animals can stay as long as they need while they try to get back on their feet and find permanent housing. Advocates say it is the second such shelter in the U.S. The first is in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

-- Jessica Garrison

Photo: Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times

Cat Sisters Suddenly Hate Each Other
Houston Pets

My two cats are sisters from the same litter and are 3-1/2 years old. They have always slept together, played together, fought and groomed one another. Two months ago without warning, they began to hiss, growl and arch their backs whenever they're in the same room. They even hiss at each other through closed doors. What happened? I keep them separated and occasionally try to reconcile them but they still fight. I'm afraid one of them will kill the other. They have never been outdoors and visited the vet a few days before the fighting began. What can I do?

But they're still family...

Well, SOMETHING changed. Figuring it out is the hard part.

1) Keep their claws trimmed short. It can help minimize damage when they trade swats.

2) Watch carefully and see if one cat is starting it. It's doubly unusual for BOTH cats to have suddenly developed the problem at the same time. More likely, it's one cat who suddenly can't play nice, and the other is reacting.

3) If you can determine which cat is the primary instigator, take said culprit to the vet. When cats don't feel well (for a variety of reasons), their behavior can change drastically; a previously mellow cat suddenly acts out constantly because his ears or his belly or his bladder hurts.

4) If a medical cause has been ruled out, ask your vet about the possibility of trying one or both cats on anti-anxiety medication. There are also a variety of homeopathic and environmental anti-anxiety treatments available.

Good luck with your misbehavin' critters!

What Can a Dog with Pancreatitis Chew?

Q: My Chihuahua, Shasta, was diagnosed with pancreatitis in January and had another bout in March. She’s now on a special gastro diet. Can you suggest a type of treat or bone Shasta can either eat or chew on to clean her teeth? We’ve tried to brush her teeth but she gets very upset about that. Are there suitable items for dogs who’ve had pancreatitis to chew on?

A: Nothing cleans teeth like old-fashioned brushing. Toothpaste for dogs is available in liver, beef and chicken flavors, so dogs generally like the stuff. Internal Veterinary specialist Dr. Louise Murray, director of medicine at the ASCPA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital,says, “Begin with a toothbrush for dogs, or for your small dog, a finger brush or even medical gauze rolled around your finger. Begin by simply allowing your dog to lick some of the toothpaste. Once she begins to like that, begin with one or two teeth, at first, without trying to brush them all. Follow up with praise, or perhaps offer Shasta’s meal after you brush. She’ll learn she gets a meal following brushing. Over time, work your way to brushing all the teeth.”

Murray says you can stuff the kibble your currently use or low fat treats (approved by your vet) into a sterilized bone (available at pet stores and online). Shasta can chomp on the bone in an attempt to get the kibble out. Another idea is to buy another brand of low-fat kibble appropriate for dogs with pancreatitis — one brand to be used for Shasta’s daily diet, and the second brand as a treat.

Q: I feed my cats a quality diet. However, after spending time in a kennel, crystals formed in my male cat’s urine. My vet suggested a prescription diet, but I prefer another diet. How can I prevent such urinary tract infections?

A: “Adult male cats don’t typically develop an infection per se; it’s more often that crystals occur — it’s not the same thing,” says Murray. “Aside from feeding a special diet, it will help to increase your cat’s water intake. I believe moist food is a better choice than dry food. If you do feed dry, consider adding just a bit of water to the kibble. Also, offer your cat choices of water dishes to drink fresh water from. Consider a water drinking fountain made for pets.”

As for your cat’s specific diet, that’s a decision between you and your veterinarian.

For some types of feline urinary problems, lessening stress and enhancing a cat’s environment can help. If there’s more than one pet, does this cat get along with everyone? Are there daily choices of toys, daily interactive play (with a fishing pole-type toy with feathers) and places to simply hang out to watch the world go by?

Q: My son-in-law has been feeding stray cats on his property for a few years. After he feeds them, they leave some food behind and flies start swarming. Now, he and his wife have a toddler and my daughter is afraid to let her go out in the yard. He and his wife have a toddler and my daughter is afraid to let her go out in the yard. Another problem is the feces the cats leave behind. I thought perhaps we could use mothballs to keep the cats away. Any other suggestions?

A: I applaud your son-in-law for caring for these strays. Here’s what does work to deal with stray/feral cats: Trap-Neuter-Return, or TNR. The cats are trapped, taken to a participating shelter where a veterinarian spays or neuters them and vaccinates for rabies. In this case, treating the cats for parasites would also be a good idea. Learn more at

“Mothballs are potentially toxic and really don’t do much to keep cats away except perhaps in a very confined space,” says Murray. “Besides, it seems clear your son-in-law doesn’t want to keep the cats away.” Also, a toddler could easily pick up a mothball and take a taste, which is dangerous.

It’s true that these cats and their droppings could potentially spread parasites, such as toxoplasmosis or roundworms. Small children, in particular, are at risk when it comes to roundworms. Learn more at

If any of the cats are tame, your son-in-law may consider adopting them as indoor pets. He could work with a local shelter to find homes for the rest. Another idea is to provide litter boxes; it’s possible the cats will use them, significantly lessening the risks of parasite transmission. Perhaps, your son-in-law could change the location where he feeds the cats. Also, he should consider feeding kibble to prevent the swarms of flies you describe.

Q: Two years ago, our 5-year-old Corgi consumed a vacation supply of cat food left out in a pet feeder. She got sick with bloody, loose stools but she got through it. However, her digestion has never been the same since. Even rawhide gives her diarrhea. Do you think the cat food incident caused permanent damage?

A: “For a dog, cat food is a diet rich in fat,” explains Murray. “Eating a lot of cat food in one meal may potentially cause mild, moderate or even severe pancreatitis. Based on the symptoms you describe, it’s possible eating the cat food did cause mild pancreatitits. Sometimes pancreatitis is acute; it happens, the veterinarian treats the problem and it goes away. Other times, once pancreatitis occurs, a dog may be left with a chronic sensitivity.

“It’s also possible that your dog’s bacterial flora is off-balance, and has been off-balance since the cat food eating incident,” adds Murray. “A bacterial overgrowth can occur in the gut. Also, sometimes this (bacterial overgrowth) problem just occurs in certain dogs and there is no apparent explanation. A blood test can determine if this is the case, and medication may then be prescribed to help.”

These questions were answered by Internal Veterinary specialist Dr. Louise Murray, director of medicine at the ASCPA’s Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City and author of “VET Confidential: A Insider’s Guide to Protecting Your Pet’s Health” (Ballantine Books, New York, N.Y., 2008; $25). Steve Dale welcomes questions/comments from readers. Although he can't answer all of them individually, he will answer those of general interest in his column. Write to Steve at Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY 14207 or send an e-mail. Include your name, city and state. Listen to Steve Dale's WEEKLY RADIO SHOW, "Pet Central," on Saturdays at; or Steve's syndicated radio shows: "Steve Dale's Pet World" and "The Pet Minute." Learn more at Steve's personal website is

© 2008 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Save Up To 50% Everyday!

A Guide To Effective Dog Training
by Neil Bartlett

Because dogs have a natural pack mentality, they are much easier to train than other types of pets. However, it is important to make sure you practice effective training methods. While some dog training methods are highly effective, other methods are less than effective. Training your dog effectively can help you avoid a number of problems, and it can even prolong the life of a dog. For instance, if you don't teach your dog to come to you when you tell it to, it may go running off, and end up getting hit by a car.
We also live in a society which is highly litigious, which means that you can get sued easily. When you take this into consideration, it becomes easy to see why not training your dog can cause you to lose a lot of money, Additionally, if your dog seriously mauls or harms another, depending on the area you live in, you may find yourself behind bars. This is why it has become so important to make sure your dog is properly trained. Training your dog means more than showing off tricks to your family or guests. It also means being able to help the dog live an long and happy life, and bring you piece of mind as the owner.

There are a number of mistakes that owners will make when they're training a dog for the first time. One of the biggest mistakes that owners make is expecting too much from their dogs. While the person who makes this mistake is typically well meaning, they often make the mistake of believing that they can easily train their dog to carry out the tricks that they see in movies or sitcom. However, these tricks are not reality. The truth of the matter is that it takes great deal of time.

Other mistake that many dog owners make is not training their dog consistently. The one thing that you must remember is that training a dog properly will take time. In the best of cases, it will take from weeks to months in order for your dog to respond fluently to your commands. However, the dog will only do this if it is consistently given these commands. If you're the type of person who slacks offer or procrastinates, it is very likely that you won't be successful when it comes to training your dog.

You should always remember that you will never be able to train your dog properly if you don't reward it. Dogs respond to rewards, and once they begin to understand that positive behavior leads to rewards, they will be more likely to follow this behavior. However, once they learn that negative behavior leads to being ignored or corrected, they will begin to reduce this negative behavior as well. While you should give negative responses to poor behavior, don't do it too much.

About the Author
Now I would like to offer you two weeks free access to my Dog Training Membership site. You can get access immediately by going to:

Check out our dog training blog at:

Three Common Cat Litter Box Problems and Solutions
By Gail Jones

Cats are one of the most convenient pets. Unlike dog owners, cat owners can leave for up to 3 days at a time since most cats are trained to use a litter box. Dog owners must get a sitter or board their dogs in a kennel because 1) they eat all their food the first day and 2) they do their business all over the house.

Cats have their down-side, however. Cats can be unpredictable. They like to do their own thing. Litter boxes can be messy and are no fun to clean every day. Three common cat litter box problems are: 1) the cat stops using the litter box 2) the cat kicks litter out of the box or pees on walls and 3) foul litter-box odor.

The number one concern of all cat owners is the cat stops using the litter box. If the cat is not using the box, he/she is choosing to do business elsewhere in the house. There are many reasons a cat will stop using its litter box.

One of the top reasons this happens is the cat is unhappy with the cleanliness of the box. Perhaps you only scoop out your litter box every few days. Take notice if the accidents coincide with the times your litter box is very dirty. Now diligently clean it twice or more a day. Do the accidents decrease? If the answer is yes - you have your answer. Your cat hates a dirty litter box.

A second reason could be they type of litter you are using. There are scented litters, odor reducing litters, etc. Cats can be picky about foreign smells. Although a scented litter may smell nice to you when filling the box, it may be giving your cat a headache. Odor neutralizing litters or sprays may eliminate the natural scent the cat expects when approaching the box. If the box does not smell right to the cat, this could be the cause of your problem. Try changing litters to see if that solves the problem.

Another reason your cat stops using the litter box could be because it is having a medical problem. Urinary tract infections, digestive problems, even cancer are all things that could cause your cat pain. Your cat could be associating the pain to the litter box - that is, blaming the litter box as the cause of the pain. If you suspect a medical problem, have your cat checked by the vet to rule this possible cause out.

Maybe you have the second problem - your cat kicks litter out of the box. The obvious solution is to use a litter box that has a hood. Purchasing a Litter-Robot is another great solution. Litter-Robot is a self-cleaning cat litter box that holds litter in a globe. Similar to a hooded traditional litter box, there is a small opening for the cat to go through. Litter-kicking will not be eliminated with either of these options, but it will be greatly reduced.

Some cats will not go in an enclosed place, other cats enjoy the extra privacy. If you have the former type of cat, then you may have to put down a throw rug that is larger than your litter box. Each time you scoop, just shake out the rug.

A third common litter box problem is foul smells. Not only is it very unpleasant for you, a foul smelling litter box can be another cause your cat refuses to use the litter box. If you do not clean the box well enough, your cat could reject the box. If you use a scented cleaner, your cat may scoff.

Experts recommend washing the litter box once per month. This may be overkill for some people, but if you or your cat care about cleanliness, you may want to take this on. Start by washing your litter box with a mild unscented soap. Then disinfect your litter box with a solution of 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 1 part water. This kills germs that cause odors without introducing a new smell. For additional disinfecting and odor killing use one part vinegar to 50 parts water in a bucket water. This ratio is best to avoid adding the vinegar smell to the box. Finally, sprinkle some baking soda on a wet rag and wipe down your litter box, including the hood (if you have one). Baking soda also reduces/eliminates odors without adding a scent the cat may reject. Also use this procedure on the floor surrounding your box.

Certain essential oils are known to reduce or eliminate odors. If your cat can tolerate the scent, using them may be worth a try. There are also essential oil blends available specifically for the purpose of odor elimination. Test your cats' reaction to the oils before wiping them onto your litter box. Once you determine your cat will not likely reject its box, clean your box thoroughly using the procedure above. Then place a few drops of oil on a paper towel. Wipe the box surface and the hood (if you have one). Then refill with clean litter.

If the cleaning procedure does not work and you still have a traditional litter box, then consider pitching it or using it for something else, like changing the oil on your car. Cheap plastic litter pans can be replaced once every three months without a huge financial burden.

Another solution to the odor problem is to purchase a Litter-Robot 2. Litter-Robot 2 comes equipped with a replaceable odor neutralizing carbon filter. This greatly reduces litter box odor.

Gail Jones is a staff writer and expert in home automation products. She works for Paradise Robotics, a Chicago Area company that specializes in products that make life better. Gail may be reached at "".

22 Responses to “Has Your Pet Ever Bitten Someone?”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Behaviorist:
People should train their dogs by using positive reinforcement training. If you are not familiar with it, a good book to read is Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor. It’s a must for pet owners. Training is easy and fun for both you and your pet. Having an animal that bites is unacceptable.

My dog bit my live-in boyfriend in the face. Luckily the bite just barely broke skin and he had no scars from the bite. It was really an accident on her part. She was abused by a man and one night some friends and I came home. She was scared of men as it was, not of the ex just of other men in “her” house. One of my friends was antagonizing her a bit, which i should have never let happen. I told her to go lie on her bed around the corner where it was dark. She did. My ex went to calm her down but he walked around the corner and got in her face super quick. She doesn’t have the best sight and I know she thought it was the other guy. Still I always watch her when she is around people.. even though that happen 5 years ago.

A. Nony Mouse:
I have taken in a dog my son shared with his former girlfriend. He is a Shar pei mix named Bruce. When my son and the woman in question ended thier relationship she kept Bruce. He had serious aggression issues due to what I believe to be past abuse. He was just droped off at a nuetral location and abandoned. So I agreed to take him in. I have found him to be really smart and we are working on the aggression. He has snapped at my teenaged daughter in the past but he has mellowed a lot. I am firm but loving with him. Like I say he is really smart and very opinionated.

Champ’s Mom:
I, like Beccalinda, have been known to go out of my way to walk one of my dogs to avoid other dogs, not people. One of my dogs is almost 10 years old and about 2 years ago he was attacked by one of my mother’s Jack Russell Terriers. The whole event terrified him and now he is very fearful of other dogs, so I try to avoid the areas where other people commonly walk their dogs to reduce the stress on my poor old friend.

I also agree with Beccalinda that it is really frustrating that people do not teach their children, even from an early age, what is the appropriate way to approach and meet an animal. One of my neighbors used to tell her children to leave my dogs alone or my dogs would bite them. This was the farthest thing from the truth, because both of my dogs love children, and all it did was instill a fear of dogs on those kids. My neighbors’ kids used to scream whenever they’d see my dogs as a result. I think that all parents should teach their children at a very early age what is and is not correct behavior around dogs, and it should be done in such a way as to not make their children scared of dogs, but make them aware and safe.

I agree with Beccalinda about people teaching their children how to approach a dog. I’ve been on walks with my 8 month old lab pup and had a little girl just come up and try to take the leash from me. My dog is pretty unfamiliar with very young children and she can get scared and overwhelmed. I understand most children see a puppy and come running over to pet but my first priority it to protect my dog and therefore protect the children. I make my pup sit and give her praise and treats. If the child actually asks to pet her I invite them to pet her under the chin so she can see their hands. The moment I sense my pup is at all uncomfortable I say thank you and excuse myself and my pup and continue on our way. Kids who are a little older (6 and up) she’s okay with but it’s the little kids that scare her. We haven’t had any previous bad experiences but she has had very limited contact with small kids.

No child gets to get close enough to my dog to pet it without my permission first. I will “Mama bear” in front of my dogs and politely but firmly tell the child to stop and wait. This is for everyone’s protection. When I see children approaching us, I step in front of her and protect her. She’s OK with calm children.

Some kids have been taught well, so they ask if they can touch her. I like to reward that behavior, so I tell them sure, and how to pet her so it’s less scary for her. I don’t let them jump up and race away when they are done, either. Gotta be calm and quiet, or no dice.

I’m not rude to kids, but if their parents won’t teach them, someone needs to. And my dog needs to know that I will protect her. This makes her more comfortable around kids.

My dogs are well-trained, and are not aggressive, so I don’t do the “walk of shame,” but I’m always vigilant. It’s my job.

A. Nony Mouse:
I know from Bruce’s past he has to be kept away from very young children. I have taught my kids to be very respectful of all animals, I wish every parent would.

One of my dogs hates all other dogs but likes people. I try to avoid other dogs when out walking (totally turning around and going the other direction), but people seem to not have a clue. Either their dog is not on a leash, or they feel the need to walk their dog over to my dog and say “my dog is friendly.” Well obviously mine is not when she is trying to pull my arm off, barking her head off at the same time and I’m trying to avoid you at all costs. I actually got in a fight with a lady in my neighborhood because she can’t keep her collies on a leash and my dog attacked when her dogs ran up to us. Hmmm isn’t there a leash law in Fulton County anyway? She told me to “stay on my side of the neighborhood.” Last time I checked the roads are public property.

Dog Whisperer:
Is my dog aggressive?

No, my little 11 pound white fluff ball is assertive but she has not picked up the aggressive manner of the character disordered people that populate Atlanta.

Her standards are too high.

Hey Dog whisperer….TSSSSST!

My dog is very friendly — he loves other dogs. Unfortunately, other dogs to always feel the same.

Last Friday, a neighbor’s unleashed dog charged across the street as we were out for our evening walk and attacked my dog. my dog was seriously injure, and it was very stressful.

My neighbor did reimburse me for the vet expenses for my dog, but I wish her family would have controlled their animal in the first place and my dog’s pain and suffering could have been avoided altogether.

I have a 15 pound Cairn terrier. I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t been the best owner, or at training him. He LOVES all people, but he hates all dogs. He gets a little jumpy, so I always warn the kids/parents that he may jump, but he is friendly.

But around other dogs, he pulls, screams, and yells at them. He doesn’t seem to want to attack them, but to be dominant. I always go out of my way to avoid the other dogs, or pick him up (which will make him stop). I think a lot of other dog owners think I do it because of their dog, but it’s quite the opposite. And sadly, the bigger the dog, the more he wants to start trouble. Supposedly, it’s verycommon in his breed.

I have 2 protection trained presa canario’s and I walk them at all times and around as many people as possible. I socialize them continously as a pup and that continues throughout their life, minus a brief period when we begin protection work.

Anyone owning a dog that can harm people has the responsibility of understanding that side of their dog.

Usually when I see aggressive dogs I look at the owner as not being the pack leader. If you’ve had a dog since it was a pup you had many opportunities to teach it basic manners. What you thought was cute as a pup has turned into that dog being a burden in the community.

I’ve had neighbors tell me that their dogs are mean and as soon as I grab the leash they become pups. It’s not the dog being mean but the owners not being pack leaders.

My black labador is more aggressive than suits me. She does not bite, but will begin to cry and whine if anyone comes into my front yard. She is very territorial in that aspect. I live alone so I guess that’s a good. But sometimes, the crying, whining, and running around the den when someone approaches can get tiresome. I asked my local vet about chaning this behavior, he told me that it was an intrinsic trait of this particular dog. I doubt she would ever bite but sometimes I wish she could settle down.

Hates Other Dogs:
My little Yorkie mix just hates other dogs. She is so sweet with children and all people, but will attack other dogs.
She nipped a big Rotweiller on the nose at the Petsmart. I am soooo glad the dog was not hurt and his/her owner thought it was hilarious. Needless to say, my doggie does not get to go to Petsmart anymore.
When we walk the neighborhood, I just pick her up when we encounter other dogs. Not sure how to curb this behavior.

The Behaviorist:
All the problems that are posted above can be corrected by using positive reinforcement training. There isn’t much you CAN’T train your dog to do, or not do. Go get your clickers and start training.

I think that alot of the problems with agressive dogs, I am talking about if you have them from the time they are a puppy is…not socializing them as puppies and as they are growing up. I took my puppy to obedience school at Pet Smart. The class was very small, and by the time my dog graduated I was the only person left……everyone dropped out. You need to make a committment as an owner of a dog to do everything you can to make that dog the kind of dog you would like to have living with your family and obedience is the best thing, it could also save the dogs life one day! The trainers will tell you, as they did with my little dog, to socialize, socialize, socialize. Take them in the car, walk them on a leash every day. Put them in as many situations as possible so that they are not tramatized when they are out and something happens or someone comes up to them. I also think that people do not excercise their dogs enough which tends to make them agressive! Please, please, excercise your dogs and teach them good manners. Personally I would not have a dog that would bite and if I thought they would bite, I would try very hard to figure out why they were acting that way and try to find out how to stop it! I believe that “Where there is a will, there is a Way”! If you will put the time in the reward is great! I truly love my dog and I want to do everything to make our lives with her and my family happy and harmonious together!

My ‘Baby’ is an 84 lb yellow lab. He has the sweetest personality and loves most dogs and all people. However, he is TERRIFIED of little dogs. He will literally hide behind me when we’re out walking and pass a small dog.

Some 15yrs ago I had a Maine Coon male cat that bit an old boyfriend of mine out of the blue! The guy was sitting on the sofa and my cat calmly jumped on his lap and bit him twice on the arm, hissed and walked away. I just stood there shocked because he’d never done anything like that before and never again after that! Up to the time he passed away he had never showned any aggression towards anyone, not even babies. He just didn’t like the fella and wanted him gone. Thankfully it worked because the man had the nerve to tell me, “either the cat goes or he would, so the guy had to go.

All the problems that are posted above can be corrected by using positive reinforcement training. There isn’t much you CAN’T train your dog to do, or not do. Go get your clickers and start training.

There are many tools and methods out there that will allow one to build a relationship with his or her dog effectively and curb some of these behaviors. Clickers are fine for some stuff, but are not magic. Some dogs do great with clicker training, and others do not.

Training that uses lots of positive reinforcement is a great path to a happy dog, but other factors are also important. Dogs need confinement, structure, impulse control, reliability, and consistency, too.

It is true that the majority of aggression stems from poor socialization.

No comments: