Archive for January, 2012

Puppy Play Date

Hi all,
I am planning a puppy play date for all the littermates for Sunday, January 29, at 1 pm at my house. Ya’ all come 🙂 Wives, especially, encourage your men to come too… Socialization of puppies with men is harder to come by and therefore extra valuable! 🙂 Maybe this says something about men’s needs for socialization as well 🙂

I’ll try to refresh my memory of some of Ian Dunbar’s puppy class activities (i.e. Round Robin Recalls and Puppy Push-ups, longest sit-stays, longest down-stays, etc.), and we’ll all have a good romp in the yard.

I’ve pasted in some excerpts from "After You Get Your Puppy":

By eight weeks of age, your puppy’s Critical Period of Socialization is already waning and within a month, his most impressionable learning period will start to close.

Young puppies tend to be universally accepting and tolerant of all people, but, unless taught otherwise, adolescent and adult
dogs predictably develop a natural wariness of people they do not know. Introducing your puppy to a hundred people before
he is three months old will help make him more accepting of strangers as an adolescent. To remain continually accepting of
strangers, however, your adult dog needs to continually meet strangers. Meeting the same people over and over just won’t do
it. Your adult dog needs to meet new people each day, so you must maintain your newly improved social life at home or walk
your dog regularly.

Moreover, regardless of breed or breeding, a dog’s temperament, especially his feelings toward people and other
dogs, is primarily the result of his level of socialization during puppyhood—the most important time in a dog’s life. Do not
waste this golden opportunity. Solid gold temperaments are forged during this period.

I am attaching the .pdf of the eBook again, in case anyone hasn’t seen or read it.

Dr Dunbar’s statement that young puppies are universally accepting and tolerant is key…. they grow out of that. That is why extra effort during this critical period of development is so very much more productive and therefore valuable. It is worthwhile to take maximum advantage of this window of opportunity for these puppies. BTW… Chance, and especially Tempie will be here too, for some adult dog socialization and supervision.

Hope to see you soon. Please RSVP…


AFTER You Get Your Puppy.pdf


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I really like Emily Larlham and her videos. If you watch enough of them, a point she makes clear, IMO, is that the relationship with the dog is everything…. . In most of her videos, she teaches a lot of fun tricks. Anyway, today she posted this message:


And she says this is the message explained in text:

The one thing I’d like to add to what she says, is that with the *right* relationship with your dog, some interactions… such as expressions of disapproval, are not so intimidating and not so aversive. But without having trust developed already, they may well be very intimidating or aversive… depending on the dog’s natural confidence level. Once a person has done solidly aversive things to a dog, anything which can be interpreted as a threat reinforces that already established distrust. The relationship is everything…. that point is the one she makes clear, IMO.

One other comment I often make is that corrections destroy initiative. If you want a passive dog, correct it a lot…. Depending upon how sensitive it is, you can potentially make it nearly catatonic. I’ve seen the dogs that lie down in the heeling exercises hoping that their handler won’t be aggressive if they are passive and submissive. (And if the dog is not sensitive, this can backfire into a dog that is proactively defensive… there’s the making of an aggressive dog .. per the aggression begets aggression statement made about issues with Cesar Milan’s methods.) The dog learns to hope that if it does nothing, it might not be punished for doing nothing. (Or to act out first thing to defend itself!) But if passivity is the goal, such as for a "stay", corrections for "trying" can be effective…. they teach the dog to stop trying, stop everything. It remains that corrections at a level that damages the relationship are too costly to use.

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Experts talk about the "training" techniques of Cesar Milan:


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more on spay/neuter


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Here is a more comprehensive discussion of dewclaws than what I cited earlier (same author?)

"Do the Dew(claws)?
M. Christine Zink DVM, PhD, DACVSMR
I work exclusively with canine athletes, developing rehabilitation programs for injured dogs or dogs that required
surgery as a result of performance-related injuries. I have seen many dogs now, especially field trial/hunt test and
agility dogs, that have had chronic carpal arthritis, frequently so severe that they have to be retired or at least
carefully managed for the rest of their careers. Of the over 30 dogs I have seen with carpal arthritis, only one has
had dewclaws."

Reference: http://www.caninesports.com/DewClawExplanation.pdf

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This is a must read. I have the summary here but the reference for the whole article is below it:

The above data is just a small sample of the significant data that were determined in this study. By
using large a sample of dogs than any used previously to examine behavior in dogs, we found
significant correlations between neutering dogs and increases in aggression, fear and anxiety, and
excitability, regardless of the age at which the dog was neutered. There were also significant
correlations between neutering and decreases in trainability and responsiveness to cues. The other
three behavioral categories examined (miscellaneous behavior problems, attachment and attention seeking
behavior, and separation-related behavior) showed some association with neutering, but
these differed more substantially depending on the age at which the dog was neutered. The overall
trend seen in all these behavioral data was that the earlier the dog was neutered, the more negative
the effect on the behavior. A difference in bone length was found between neutered and intact dogs,
suggesting that neutering has an effect on bone growth, which may be related to other orthopedic
effects documented in the literature. Examination of changes in bone length of gonadectomized dogs
is continuing.

Reference: http://www.caninesports.com/SNBehaviorBoneDataSnapShot.pdf

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Two new articles to read:
Another one on puppy development and fear periods:

Clinical observations about hip dysplasia referencing

  • Dietary considerations
  • Influence of injury and pain


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