Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Future of the Wolf

The 'Wolf' by L.David Mech.

"The Wolf is a strong, sensitive, intelligent animal with a complex social behaviour and lasting family ties. It has a tendency to travel long distances and to seek out vulnerable big game animals that it can kill and eat with enough safety and efficiency to maintain its species. All the while the wolf is subject to any number of stresses from its environment, and must constantly contend with forces tending to suppress its numbers. With minor variations in this mode of living, the wolf has survived and evolved for millions of years in a variety of habitats throughout most of the northern hemisphere.
But a new force has now suddenly arisen on the earth, a force that could quickly snuff out the unique flame of life that is the wolf's. This is the expansive force of the human population, with its aggressive tendency to occupy all of the planet in high densities and to overcome and destroy anything that might stand in its way. At present it is not evident whether this force will continue relentlessly or whether reason will prevail in time to check it and to prevent the destruction of all areas that still remain unpopulated.
Whenever modern man has populated new regions in the northern hemisphere, one of the first actions has been to wipe out the wolf. In place of the real animal man has substituted myths, tales and legends. These might help him rationalise his actions, but they also symbolise his artificiality of his own life as opposed to the original life in the area. Thus the persistence of the wolf in certain regions today is a sensitive indicator of the naturalness of those areas.
Many people now believe it is time to halt the destruction of the remaining natural wilderness. They feel it is healthy for humanity to preserve certain sections of the earth just they evolved. To those of us that share this view, the continued existence of the wolf in the future will be a measure of mans rationality."





Thursday, 14 July 2016

LOOKING FOR A HARNESS

An interesting article on Harnesses I came across. Considering the Kennel Club have changed the rules about letting dogs wear harnesses during assessments these might be of interest.
Walking is a vital role of dog ownership. Depending on its breed, it might be important to walk your dog several miles regularly in order to give him or her appropriate exercise and stimulation to avoid boredom and undesired activities. Again, it is essential for their health. Some individuals needs dog particularly as a motivation to walk more. You may also want to have a car ride with your dog. 
However, let’s face it. Some dogs are really challenging to walk. Some pups, for instance, are quite strong and aggressive they may pull so hard and may drag through town. Others will wander all over, neither here nor there, while some may completely refuse to cooperate altogether. If walking your faithful friend is a challenge, doing it becomes discouraging. 
In such a case, then, you need a quality dog harness to succeed. Forget about just attaching to your pet’s collar, which provides only poor control and may also injure the dog, harnesses provide greater and safe body coverage, featuring more supportive contact points eliminates the risk of injury while allowing you to control an uncooperative walker in an easier, effortless way. Here are 10 harnesses currently on the market for you to consider.
10. Kurgo Crash-Tested Dog Harness


This is a crash-tested dog car harness for keeping you and your dog safe when driving. It is designed as a safety harness not a converted dog walking harness. Its all-steel Nesting Buckle System ensures safety and strength. Featuring five adjustment points, it allows for a custom fit for nearly any dog, no matter their size, proportions. It has chest pad for reduced stress on the sternum and trachea and for dispersing kinetic energy through the dog’s chest. Designed with comfort and convenience in mind, this harness is also ideal for use as an everyday walking harness. The D-ring on featured on the front chest plate makes it a great no-pull harness. 

Product Dimensions: 6 x 5 x 0.2 Inches
Weight: 12.8 ounces
Color: Black
Size: Medium


9. Arikon No-Pull Dog Leash Harness



This is one among the most beautiful models of dog harnesses today. Arikon No-Pull Dog Leash Harness has one side made of premium-grade denim cloth and the other of quality nylon fabric, which makes it quite durable. It is fully adjustable for perfect fits on dogs. It comes with a quality leash made of similar denim. The two accessories are connected with metal clipping points that are so strong they can withstand any tugging, pulling, or other unwelcome antics of your dog. The package is attractively priced, though. 
Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.6 x 3.6 inches
Weight: 6.6 Ounces
Color: Red
Size: Large


8. Ruffwear Web Master Harness 



The Web Master Harness by Ruffwear is an excellent quality accessory compatible with any medium-size dogs. It features an admirable red currant theme which is quite visible. It is awesomely designed to provide excellent control on the dog while ensuring it optimum comfort. It features 5-point adjustable system that provides a custom and comfortable fit easily. Moreover, it is water resistant, and its chest rest is padded sufficiently to provide evenly distributed pressure and reduced tagging. It is impressively durable. 
Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 11 x 0.5 inches
Weight: 7.2 Ounces
Color: Red Currant
Size: Medium


7. Sporn Mesh Anti Pull Harness




This is a high quality mesh non-pulling harness by Sporn that provides optimum control, comfort, and style for any dog. It features elastic webbing which stretches laterally with the natural movement of your dog, while its special mesh design offers maximum comfort. All its components are made of premium-grade nylon plus nickel-plated hardware that reduces weathering. It fits 9 to 12-inch small dog neck sizes. 
Product Dimensions: 8 x 4.8 x 2 Inches
Weight: 3.8 Ounces
Color: Black
Size: Small



6. Four Paws Comfort-Control Harness




It is a reasonably priced but highly comfortable and also durable model of dog harness from Four Paws which makes it a lot easier controlling your dog. Made of quality neoprene mesh, it is breathable, lightweight, and very comfortable. Moreover, it is a non-irritant material, while the fitted quality nylon strap is easy to adjust for a perfect custom fit for your faithful buddy. The harness further has a superbly built back hook harness for providing full control and safety. It is available in 6 sizes—small and extra-small, medium, large and extra-large, and double extra-large—and comes in 5 brilliant colors. 
Product Dimensions: 10 x 8.5 x 1.5 Inches
Weight: 1.6 Ounces
Color: Blue (4 others)
Size: Large (5 others)


5. Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Harness





Also by Kurgo, this is an incredibly effective dog walking harness that eliminates pulling and choking mostly experienced with a collar. Tru-Fit Smart Harness features 5-point adjustment system for a custom fit. It has a halt ring featured at the chest plate, which makes it a great no-pull harness. A chest pad offers awesome comfort by alleviating pressure on the sternum and trachea, while it disperses kinetic energy across the dog’s chest. It is also ideal for car use as a dog restraint to avoid distracted driving. An included 10-inch lead is attachable to any harness via carabineer for training, or to any car seat belt. 
Product Dimensions: 9 x 4.5 x 0.2 Inches
Weight: 8 Ounces
Color: Black
Size: medium




4. Ruffwear Front Range Everyday Harness 



This is a popular harness designed for excellence in heavy duty use. On the back, it features an aluminum V-ring and in the chest area, a reinforced webbing for hooking a leash. It is made of soft material and has thick padding. Actually, it tends to clam pet’s nerves while dampening their innate aggression. Its 4-point adjustment system ensures complete control. Moreover, it is a modern harness model that delivers quite a statement of style. It further features an ID pocket for reducing any chances of your dog getting lost. It is indeed a worthy pick. 
Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 11.4 x 0.2 Inches
Weight: 5.9 Ounces
Color: Campfire Orange
Size: Medium


3. OxGord Dog Collar Harness




This is a durable, number one pick among harnesses in control and comfort for dogs. The breathable, durable, lightweight, and well-padded material makes pets all happy whether  being walked down the street on a leash, or even running and playing round the pack. Adjustable straps ensure a comfortable and custom fit for the pet while allowing you greater control on them. Coming in a variety of color and size options, you will select the favorite style for your buddy that will make yours the envy of other pets and pet owners around. 
Product Dimensions: 8 x 8 Inches
Weight: 1.3 Ounces
Color: Black and Others
Size: Medium and Others


2. Puppia Soft Dog Harness




If affordability is an issue, the Puppia Soft Dog harness is an impressive option. It is, however, a model that delivers more than it promises. At the rear, it features a buckle for getting the harness firmly locked in its correct place. The front opening (neck size) is however not expandable, which is a non-issue as long as your dog has a smaller head than the neck. It is a strongly built harness with high quality materials, and has excellent stitching durable to last several years. 
Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 7.1 x 0.4 Inches
Weight: 1.4 Ounces
Color: 12, some
Size: 6



1. PetSafe Petite Easy Walk Harness




Topping the chart of the top 10 best dog harnesses in 2016 reviews, the Petite Easy Walk Harness from PetSafe gently and soothingly discourages your dear dog against pulling while on a walk on a leash. Comfortable to wear and simple to fit, this harness model makes dog walking absolutely enjoyable for both you and your dog. Its front-chest leash attachment allows you to effortlessly steer the dog to the side and easily redirect his or her attention toward you. It has a chest strap that rests comfortably across the pet’s chest instead of exerting pressure on their throat, ensuring no gagging or chocking. With petSafe’s Petite Easy Walk, you can comfortably take the lead and enjoy a free and hassle-free walk with your lovely dog. 
Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.1 x 9.5 Inches
Weight: 10.6 Ounces
Color: Black/Silver
Size: Large



Monday, 4 July 2016

"NO" IS NOT AN OPTION!

This article was written by Lonnie Olson for Dogs Naturally magazine in its July issue.
Lonnie has been teaching people to train their dogs for 30 years in her successful Dogs Choice Training Centres.Lonnie founded Dog Scouts of America, a non-pro t educational and charitable organization that promotes responsible dog ownership and educates people about the human/animal bond.

I was at my Freestyle class last night with my dog. I was attempting to do a remote figure eight, which is sending my dog away to do a figure eight around two objects which are about 20 feet apart, making theatrical arm movements that don’t look like signals to the dog, the instructor happened to notice my improvement and said, “Nice, Lonnie!”
About that time, Kozi was rounding her third orbit around the bar stools and ran to the other bar stool, only to decide to climb up the rungs of the stool rather than run around it. All I could do is laugh. I was embarrassed because that’s right when the whole class was probably looking at us, after the instructor’s comment. I just wondered what would possess her to throw that into the routine? While I’ve never asked her to climb a bar stool (I don’t think she’s ever even seen one), I must have confused her somehow. When dogs don’t perform as instructed, they either don’t understand what’s being asked of them yet or they’re confused. This is where a lot of trainers would have thrown out that doggie swear word, NO! I don’t use this word in my training, because it doesn’t convey any information to the dog.

NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION
As I was leaving class, I noticed a woman in the open obedience class trying to get her dog to do the broad jump. This is a jump consisting of four low boards spread out on the floor. The dog must execute the jump correctly to clear the span of the boards and not step between or even tick one of the boards with a toenail as he begins or finishes the jump.
I noticed that the dog cleared the jump but ticked the first board on his way up and over. When the dog landed, the owner showed him a rancorous frown and shouted, NO! at him. I felt bad for them. What was the dog supposed to learn from this? He probably learned he shouldn’t have jumped.
Training is a progression that should move you forward, perfecting what you’re trying to accomplish. Saying “no” doesn’t give any information to the dog about what he did wrong or what to do differently. Did “no” mean he didn’t jump high enough? Should he have tried to step on more boards? Should he have done a pirouette in mid air? I really hate the word “no” in dog training. It’s used as a punisher and it doesn’t help the dog know how to get it right.
THE CONFUSING NO
Think of all of the times you might say “no” to your dog. Usually it is screamed in a nasty tone. For example, if the dog starts to jump on grandma, you might be tempted to say, NO! “No” doesn’t tell the dog what not to do. He’s breathing, moving toward grand- ma, he’s happy... which of these things is causing his owner to use the doggie swear word at him? Is grandma dangerous? It’s so confusing for a dog to try to understand. Instead, tell the dog what you’d like him to do instead. The owner could say, “sit,” “off ” or “four on the floor, please,” and reward that when it happens instead of shouting a word that conveys no information. When teaching a complex behavior where there are a lot of things the dog must do right at the same time, you can see where the word “no” doesn’t clarify things for the dog. If you yell NO! because he got one part wrong how is he to know what part your happy with? How do we get the word “no” out of our vocabulary? Think about communication. Make every effort to convey true information to your dog. Let’s say you looked out of the offce window one morning and noticed that the new employee accidentally parked in the Employee of the Month parking spot. Then he got out of his car, used the side entrance to the building, came up the stairs, walked into the ffce, set down his briefcase, and said “Good morning” and you walk over and shout NO! at him! How’s he supposed to know that you’re admonishing him for using the parking spot reserved for Employee of the Month? You wouldn’t do this to a fellow human. You’d say, “Move your car.”
REWARD VS NO REWARD
Dogs live their lives deciding what to do by what has gone rewarded or unrewarded.
Let’s go back to the broad-jumping dog. When the dog completes the jump, all happy with himself, instead of bursting his bubble by letting him think you’re upset with him, just ignore that particular try. Don’t reward it. Keep quiet. Don’t show your disappointment. Don’t confuse him with vague words like "no." It's always better to use no response, rather than a NO! response! then, set your dog up for success and try again.
Maybe go back to standing at the end of the jump boards, instead of to the side, where you have to place yourself for a competition. Maybe place a target of some sort at the end of the jump boards, to get the dog jumping straight and true, and reward all of the jumps that don’t involve toenails ticking the jumps.
Work on one thing at a time. If you’re trying to communicate to the dog that you don’t want toenails to hit the jump boards, then don’t worry if he angles the jump a little and almost cuts the corner.
You’ll have to clean that up separately. Remember that complex behaviors have a lot of stuff  that can go wrong to botch up the complete performance. Just work on one of them at a time.
By rewarding the successful attempts and ignoring the mistakes, you are communicating to the dog exactly what you want his performance to look like.
AN INNOVATIVE MOVE
Let’s look at my dog’s attempt to insert her own innovative move into the figure eight around the bar stools. This is a complex behavior. She’s working away from me. She has to move herself from one side of the room to the other and back again, going around the bar stools while I’m off  to the side. If I’d said “no” to her, she might have thought I was negating her stellar performance on the other three-quarters of the behavior.
I simply went over to her and showed her that, just like all the other times, she needed to go around the barstool. I had been working on four consecutive trips around the bar stools with no reward except praise. Possibly she thought that I was having her repeat it until she “gets it right” so she assumed she needed to do something else to complete the picture. When you repeat a behavior over and over like that, sometimes the dog starts throwing in stuff because she thinks you want something she’s not giving you. The dog just has to learn that sometimes they must repeat a behavior and get a delayed reward at the end. At the end of the evening, I was so glad that I have a relationship with my dog that is based on communication and understanding rather than confusion and fear of admonishment.
I know that my dog will do everything in her power to do what I ask of her. If that isn’t happening, it’s due to a failing in my training or me not making things very clear to her. "Dogs Naturally: July 2016."