Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Truth About Dogs

One of the truths about dogs that some people prefer not to hear is that they are animals, and they think and behave like animals.

Dogs have instinctive behaviors that some of us do not like. For example, eating poop is often a way that dogs hide themselves from predators. Or sometimes they will kick lots of dirt and debris over it.

Chasing is an instinct to bring down prey. My Border Collie has a strong desire for this. But because I am his leader, when I direct him to leave something be, he will.

People need to understand that you can control an instinct, but you cannot take it away. You cannot make a dog into a human.

Rena Murray

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dog Walk Courtesy - Pick Up Poop!

It goes without saying that you should always pick up your dog's poop when he goes on other people's grass or around sidewalks and roads, and certainly anywhere people might walk. If you own the dog, you are responsible for the dog, and that includes his dog poop!

Be courteous. Be respectful of others.

But there needs to be some balance in all this. Cities add waste receptacles for trash that might otherwise be dropped on the road or in a park. Those can be used for smelly food scraps. Well, those should be available for bagged poop, too!

Rules are important, because some self-absorbed people don't tend to think of others and must be "reminded" to be courteous. But for those who are trying, there should also be some grace when there are extenuating circumstances - such as a thunderstorm, injury, or dog diarrhea and you're out of bags for the last droplets.

We need to face a couple of realities here:

(1) There are millions of dog owners around the world. People who don't like them need to learn to live with having them around, because they aren't going away.

(2) People get stuck in these stupid squabbles that don't mean anything... such as your neighbor's dog going to the bathroom in your yard. Don't call the police or Animal Control! Talk to your neighbor and try to resolve it.

(3) For anyone starting to post something reminding me to pick up my dog's mess, no matter how many I am walking... know that I pick it up every time they go. If you find it, it doesn't belong to my dog!

The point of writing this is asking all people to work together and be in balance.

Rena Murray

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Frequent Dog Bathing?

In my opinion, bathing a dog weekly is a must.

Of course, you should use an oatmeal based shampoo if possible. Otherwise a NEEM shampoo with coconut oil does a good job. These are good for the skin and keep it from drying out. Not to mention the shiny coat.

This helps reduce pet allergies and misery, pet dander, rainy day dog odor, and general pet stink.

I tried following the once-a-month rule in bathing my dog. She was very dirty by the end of the month, and her odor was still bad despite the scrubbing. Sometimes it seemed worse, sort of like wet wool. But now when we went to weekly bathing.

Rena Murray

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Do You Have a Jake?

If I were given a choice, I would say the hyper and excited dogs are the hardest to change. These are often dogs who seem to be nonstop 24/7. Once I worked with one who nearly tested my patience to the limit. It seemed like he had eaten jet fuel!

"Frustration does not work," I told myself, correcting the Jack Russell yet again. I had run him thirty minutes on the bike behind me. Then just as suddenly as Jake had been having his resistances, he relaxed completely. I asked many more things of Jake, from mental challenge to basic commands. He was eager to please, and did so without hesitation.

Not giving up and pressing on brings the results you want. The best thing to remember is that a dog has to change what he is doing at some point. And, stay there until you accomplish 100%, no less. If you stop at less, you keep less.

Rena Murray

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Best Pet Health Information
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Rena Murray
Dog Whisper Woman

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Animal Shelter Over-Population: What's the Truth?

Letting dogs who are not fixed run free and mate as they please contributes to some of our over-population in animal shelters.

Do you know what adds even more dogs to those dog kennels than that?

People see a movie or someone walking a dog that they feel is beautiful. Then without researching the dog breed, they go and pick one up ... only to become overwhelmed by tendencies the animal naturally has.

If you want a dog, please do your homework. Know the dog breed, know its tendencies, health risks, temperament, and exercise requirements. For example, most working dog breeds, such as my Border Collie, need runs twice daily. They need it! It's not optional.

If you have an active lifestyle and want your dog to be part of that, get a dog breed who loves to work. If you are laid back, get a laid back breed.

If you do not know what signs to look for, take a qualified evaluator with you to select the right dog for you.

Common sense will cause the most dramatic drop ever in the animal shelter's dog population. It is up to each and every one of us to do our part!

Rena Murray
Dog Whisper Woman

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Little Dog Bite

If a little dog becomes nasty and bites all members of the family but one, that one should be the person who removes the dog. The others might get bitten. If the dog is on a bed, couch, lap ... wherever, put him on the floor each time he becomes aggressive.

Then the dog should be put back where he was, such as in the person's lap. But he should be removed again if he becomes aggressive.

This should be repeated until every member of the family can touch the dog and the person without a problem.

My grandfather always said, "Be sure that you never disrespect a dog. And don't EVER let one disrespect you."

Rena Murray
Dog Whisper Woman

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dog Leash Problems - Who's In Control?

There are several different problems, or conflicts rather, that people can have between a leash and a dog.

The most common one is when the dog has learned how to use the leash better than his master...so well in fact, that it is indeed his master who goes walking or running down the street behind him! I think we know who's in control of that walk.

And of course there's the all-too-common problem of the dog being tangled up in the leash, so much so that he looks like he might have changed color.

And then there's the problem with a dog who has figured out how to chew through any leash within seconds...even those "impossible to penetrate" ones. Instead of "he shoots, he scores"...it's "he chews, he's loose, and he's off!" And so are you!

Believe it or not, there is yet another leash problem. That is the one I'm going to help you with today. This is the one where the dog firmly plants his rear and refuses to budge, or lies down and becomes a complete limp rag. It looks pathetic.

In most cases when the dog is behaving like that, you grab the leash and pull to the side. This throws her off balance, so she has to move. Normally, after about six tries the dog walks.

If that doesn't work, put a leash on while she's around the house, and under supervision only. If she was out in the yard with this on (even under supervision), it could catch on something.

So stick to this exercise only indoors and when you are watching her. Just let her walk around and drag the leash wherever. Then start picking it up and walking around with her. Walk her out the door, then down the driveway. Increase the distance a little bit each day.

If she shuts down, make her get up and walk for a minute before you turn around again. If you turn around when she shuts down, guess what? YOU just got trained. Not her.

The more you give in to that tantrum, the more determined she will become.

Never let the dog win the argument. Always end the exercise with YOU in control, not her. A pack leader always stays there until he wins. You cannot expect to solve your dog leash problems any other way.

Rena Murray
Dog Whisper Woman

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Cancer Sniffing Dogs

I'm always amazed at the incredible sensitivity of a dog's nose, aren't you? I've heard a Bloodhound's nose is 100 times as keen as a human's nose, and a German Shepherd's 40-50 times. No wonder they save so many lives by tracking missing persons or felons and by sniffing out bombs and drugs. Now in recent years, I've heard about still another use of their great natural talents – cancer detection!

I have heard about bladder, colon, and lung cancers and malignant melanoma being detected by a cancer sniffing dog. The last study I saw about dogs who had undergone intensive training to learn the special odors of some cancers reported an 85% success rate. Unlike machines, dogs can even sift through the BLENDS of odors to detect cancer!

And get this. Some untrained dogs have this keen talent naturally. I heard a story of a woman who had a gentle, mellow Labrador named Buddy. Then one day he suddenly started pushing her intensely in the breast. The more she pushed him away, the more intense and insistent he got. She wouldn't listen to this "bad dog behavior," so he bit hard. At the time it didn't strike her - but the spot he bit was the 4 o'clock position in her breast. When she had a screening less than a week later, they found a little malignant tumor at that precise spot!

So if your dog suddenly acts out of character, he might be trying to tell you something. Before you overreact, check it out!

The use of cancer sniffing dogs is very attractive to me. After all, it's a non-invasive form of screening which might find early-stage, pre-symptomatic cancers. Much safer and more comfortable than some machine-based procedures – as my friend would agree. The connective tissue in one breast was painfully ripped by a machine operated by a snippy technician during routine cancer screening!

How effective are cancer sniffing dogs?

It varies. Obviously, intensive, specialized dog training using the exact right method is key. And you must use certified utility dogs (highest AKC obedience rating) with keen noses who know at least 400 commands by the end of the training. We all know that there's no such thing as total accuracy with any screening method, either. That's why you shouldn't limit yourself to just one.

The greatest problem faced in getting this out to the community is the scarcity of funding for this life-saving research. And for this specialized dog training. There are phenomenal qualification requirements for the dog trainer, too.

So if you know someone who has the ability and interest to fund some cancer research or training and maintenance of cancer sniffing dogs, contact them! And let me know (through the CONTACT page on PawPersuasion.com) so I can follow up and get them in touch with the right people.

I thank my friend, Karen Chrisman, for commenting on this issue yet again in Cancer Sniffing Canines, a recent blog post on her website - 4TheLuvOfDogs.com.

For more research highlights and commentary on cancer sniffing dogs, you will want to check out the November 15, 2007 article by freelance writer, Stephanie Fox, Paging Dr. Canine - StarTribune.com Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota.

I guess it's obvious that I am very interested in this subject. So if you have a personal story about cancer sniffing dogs to share, or access to research on cancer sniffing dogs, please CONTACT ME!

Rena Murray
Dog Whisper Woman

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Now This Is Really Mean

And people wonder why Rover is anxious and destructive ...

When was the last time you made him really focus?

After all, making your dog focus for 45 minutes twice a do is really very little to ask of him. If you think about it, forty five minutes of dog exercise takes only a very small part of his day.

Your dog needs to focus and have working time. It is not good for him to do as he pleases, and when he feels like it.

Lack of discipline and exercise are the main reasons for which a dog develops destructive habits or anxiety. And sometimes it even leads to dog aggression.

The cruel thing that a lot of humans do is to feed the dog twice a day and then let it run in the yard for activity. It's not loving freedom. It's not qualified exercise. It's denial of the dog's inborn need for purpose and focus - and it can destroy him!

Rena Murray
Dog Whisper Woman

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

NEW Inner Circle 2.0 Pet Health and Pet Care Membership Launched With Extensive New Benefits and Fast Action Bonuses

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Rena Murray
Dog Whisper Woman

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Treat Training - My Dog Won't Come Without It!

Several clients say to me: "My dog won't come to me when I call him, but when I get a hotdog for him, he's right there!"

What they don't realize is that they are teaching the dog two bad dog behaviors. Eventually, the dog will become bored with the hot dog. What do you do then?

You have to depend on your dog to come to you without a treat. That's why I have no use for "treat training." It can also turn some pets into aggressive dogs... They start nipping at their owners when they don't get the treat. Same with horses.

Have you been teaching a dog to come but with little or no success?

If you call your dog and he does not come, move toward him calmly and with authority. Take him by the scruff of the neck, and MAKE him come to you. Repeat your word-signal-sound as he moves, so that he puts two and two together. Whistle, "come," signal ... any of those that you use mean "come forward NOW, not when I feel like it!"

You should never grab your dog when you are angry. That can result in a dog bite, even from the most mild-mannered dog if he is startled.

That's why I press again. Your touch must be calm and with authority.

The reason it is so important to make the action happen right away is that dogs live in the moment. They remember what happened in that moment. Always keep that in mind.

Rena Murray

P.S. Have you visited my new Squidoo lens - Dog Whisper With Rena - Dog Behavior Training and Dog Obedience To Shout About?

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dog Dominance Behavior -
Dominant Dog in the House

There are some who say that it's wrong to allow one dog to be dominant over another in a household. The ones who say this need to consider something.

Yes, you the Owner need to be Pack Leader over your dogs.

However, one of your dogs will become dominant over the other(s) when you are gone - in order to keep structure in the dog pack.

There's nothing wrong with having a dog who calmly asserts himself and helps you, the Alpha Leader, keep the others in line... Especially handy when you have puppies!

You definitely want to exercise your dogs at least 45 minutes before leaving them alone throughout the day. Otherwise, they may choose to fight it out to see who's the dominant dog while you are gone.

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Don't Let the Fireworks Put You Out!

I hope everyone had a good 4th of July. I did, and like most people, I enjoy the fireworks.

But like most dogs, my dog does not!

Knowing that the fireworks would be coming later that evening, I proceeded with his usual 6 p.m. run. This allowed him to have a bowel movement so he wouldn't be uncomfortable during that time. I also had to take him out several times later that evening until he was relaxed enough to urinate.

Some would disagree with me and suggest that I should just leave the dog in the house overnight. That sure wouldn't feel very good to his bowels and bladders, poor thing!

Just remember - Fireworks or not, it's important to keep your pet on his or her routine as much as possible.

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