Purebred owners being bullied?

Mixes vs purebred dogs.  Buying from a ethical breeder or going to a shelter, does one make you a better person?


I tend to stay very far from this topic, as a lot of times it causes a heated debate between two sides.  First of all I have no issues with adopting mix breed dogs, matter of fact I have had many in my lifetime and plan on having many more.  I also enjoy my purebred goldens as well.  I don’t view myself as a evil person nor have ill will towards shelters.  I never buy from a pet store but research a great deal for a ethical breeder even if that means I have to drive to Canada even to find one.  Which I have done… A ethical breeder to me is one that:

1: Has a strong contract with the new pet parents

2:  IF the puppy at any age can not be kept the dog must be brought back to the breeder and no a shelter 

3: Both parents are health and behavior checked

4:  Female or Male parent isn’t bred every heat cycle. ( Once a year or once every other year would be best)

5:  The female is retired at a good age (breeding shouldn’t be happening at age 7 and above)

6: Breeder keeps in touch with the owners, this allows the breeder to check in on the health of the litter.  This gives the breeder an idea if there is a sickness being passed onto future generations and can stop breeding the pair if this comes up.

7: The breeder wants to better the breed of choice. 

8:  The breeder focuses on one breed

9:  The dogs are part of the home life.. not out in a kennel all day

To me when a owner decide they wish for a purebred dog this is them being responsible by following this list.   I understand there are dogs in shelters, and some shelters are kill zones.  However, everyone has the right to decide what kind of dog they want and what type of dog fits their needs.  It would be like telling humans, no one can breed unless all children are adopted.   And with this right a person should not be bullied on the internet or off the internet by people who view rescues is the only way to go. Screen-Shot-2012-10-08-at-2.24.54-PM

All dogs have a right to a home it doesn’t matter if they are purebred or mix dogs and owners should not be judged by who they decide to add to their family.   What made me surprised is how harsh some of the rescue people really are.  I was asking questions about a new law that was going into place  the discussion can be found here.

I was a little bit confused because how this shelter had posted it, made me worry if I had gone to get my Golden now from Canada I would not be able to bring her home, nor if I was to rescue say a potcake dog.  Others asked more into about the law as they were worried as well.   Then one person stated that you can still get a puppy if its six months old.  As a dog trainer, I know that is a lot of missed time, so I asked for more details again.  This law is supposed to stop puppy mills WHICH IS A GOOD THING..  With how they had posted it, at first it seemed to have a lot of holes, that could cause owners a lot of issues to work with a responsible breeder thus why I was worried. TippyKalik

The poster from the facebook got back to me to let me know as long as no one is reselling the dog you still can import dogs for your own family.  That is great news.  It was after they had gotten in touch with me when things went down hill the first post was:

Colleen  R Why would anyone need to go to Canada to get a dog? Millions upon millions need homes in the USA. I am proud to say I am the Mom of 2 rescues!”
Thats great, I am all for adopting.. I responded with a quick:
“That is great that you are a proud rescue mom but some families are looking for a certain breeds that you can not find in a shelter. That doesn’t make a dog who comes from a responsible breeder any less worthy of a home.”
The witch hunt has already started at this point… I was a evil person for wanting to work with a breeder, they had no clue I have adopted many dogs, cats, horses…. but the fact that maybe one  of my family members came from a breeder was unforgivable.  It didn’t matter that I help out local shelters to train their dogs so they do get adopted quickly, nor did it matter that I even give shelters some money as well.  Another person quickly jumped on the hate wagon
Ann  G I can’t understand why there is a need to breed animals. Other than money. And how many healthy dogs and cats are euthanized every day because they don’t have a home?!! Don’t breed, Adopt!!!!
Thats great, but I was looking for at a time for a certain dog with certain traits and in the future I highly doubt that I will find a Tama or even a Shikoku in a shelter when I come to that point in my life to look for another dog.
I tried to keep it relax and then another poster decided to degrade me even more so
Andre A J, get an education… We euthanize millions of dogs in the US, and many are purebred dogs. You have every right to buy anyAndre designer breed you want, but we have every right to think you are selfish, ignorant and ultimately part of the reason that dogs that come from breeders are often overbred and held in abusive conditions. 
Once again these flared up people tend to forget there are good breeders out there that do not over breed nor hold their dogs in abusive conditions.  All breeders who I network with are very protective of their dogs and their offspring and many even donate money to local shelters.    Yes there are crappy ones out there and yes puppy mills are bad.  But NOT all breeders are evil beings and its true not all owners who work with the good breeders are evil. 
I did respond 
“It drives me nuts, when other pet owners, want to judge and pass judgement on a family who may want to get a puppy from a responsible breeder. Yes there are dogs in shelters, and yes there are breeders out there aiming to do good for their breed of choice. It comes down to this.. even if we fixed ALL dogs in the USA or the world, within 15 -20 years all the shelter dogs that get adopted will die out (due to age) and in turn the population of dogs will be no more. There needs to be a healthy balanced between breeding and shelters plain and simple. Genocide, is not the fix all for the population issues in shelters. And its not right to make people feel like crap when they decide not to adopt. If you also want to see the results of humans stopping breeding of a species look of the population decline in humans in Japan. Both male and females are starting to move away from giving birth and their age rates have shifted. It is the same concept for dogs, if all of the sudden we stopped all breeding.”
It is true if we do fix every dog in the USA do not allow importing, under 20 years dogs would die off from age.  And even if everyone tries to adopt from a shelter there is no 100% chance the shelter will let you.  My sister and her room mate works full time 8-4:30 mon-fir, after their dog had past away they went back to a shelter that they had adopted from.   Due to the fact they worked a full time job they were NOT allow to adopt… mind you, you would think it was a good thing they had full time jobs…it means that their dogs were well taken care of, and never in need when it came to medical care.   I was shocked to say the least.   After that post I did I figured that would be it…after all the witch hunters were coming in for the kill no need to stick around and try to prove a point or give them anymore of my time.  
Here is some of the  documentaries about the Japanese population decrease due to lack of births. 
While I try to find the really good documentary on youtube you can search for more information about it.. It was called No Sex Please, We’re Japanese  was a BBC one
So why would I use this to make a point about dog population.   Well the Japanese have been decreasing their birth rates some stated it started in the 1970s, which leads them to the issues they are facing now which is a low population to the point they may run out of a population (they have even closed down thousands of schools).  If we were to fix all dogs and only have shelter dogs we would run out of dogs, we would see the same issues that the Japanese are seeing only at a faster rate as dogs do not live as long.   This tells us there needs to be a healthy balance in everything.  
It was then at this point:
Patricia E ^^ Justify it all you want with your weak points @J W- #BREEDINGSUCKS.#adoptdontshop
I rolled my eyes, after all if we stop all breeding there won’t be any dogs but whatever, I was going to let it pass clearly there is no talking to these people who only want to lash out and use me as a whipping boy.  Then all of the sudden I had gotten a nice comment….I was starting to think there was only trolls and bullies left on the internet. 
S K J Williams keep writing your reasonable position! I’m proud to be a dog breeder AND I rescue dogs AND run a State of Ohio charitable horse rescue. Yes it is time for education that breeding and rescue are not mutually exclusive and to support responsible breeders will decrease consumer purchasing from puppymills.
So thank you SK for also speaking out.
My last comment mind the mis-spells it was starting to get hard to read everything on the facebook chat as the posting became long:
I am starting to think the people who are lashing out and cyber bullying tend to forget there is a difference between puppy mills and ethical breeders… Bullying people for keeping their options open as to where they find their next family member is not going to help the cause of getting dogs out of shelters. I have adopted from shelters and I have gone through ethical breeders for some of my dogs. It doesn’t make me stupid, uneducated or unethical. It doesn’t make me a bad person, I’ve put time into shelters training dogs for free, I have supported my local shelters during their events by giving money. Puppy mills are bad, however if you are staying we should one fix all dogs or two run out all breeders even the ones who are trying to make their breed of choice a better one. Thats not right, often times these breeders who are ethical are even giving information about their dogs health and pups health to science to help find cures for different diseases in the k-9 community. Many breeders who i know also make sure their pups never see a shelter. And the dogs who they do retire they keep or find homes for them with the same written agreement that the puppies have gotten. There needs to be a healthy balance and a supportive community for breeders who are ethical. Most of all I think that the bulling from people need to stop, its not your right to judge someone, its not your right to damn their dogs and it doesn’t make their dogs any less special if they don’t come from a shelter. I support mix breeds or also know as all American breeds, however I also support ethical breeders who don’t over breed and who are trying to do good for their breed. So far all I have seen from just asking a simple question about a law is hate and that doesn’t make your cause look noble.
When it comes down to it, it doesn’t make you a great pet parent if you only get your pets from shelters, it doesn’t make you a great person specially if you spread hate for your cause.  There needs to be a healthy balance.  There needs to be a support for great breeders so we weed out the puppy mills,  the backyard breeders and there needs to be support for shelters dogs.
No one is righteous or better than another person just because you only adopt.  No dog is better than another dog because it pure bred or a mix.  When it comes down to it find a dog mix or purebred that fits into your family and most of all love that dog until the day they go over the rainbow bridge.
Do not forget… do not spread hate to others, it doesn’t help your cause it drives people away from it…

Breed Specific Legislation- A warning for all breeds.

First of all you will have to bare with me as I am posting this as is.

Over the years different countries and even different states have been hacking away at the rights of dog owners.  The worst of the attacks is Breed Specific Legislation.  While this tends to be aiming at the Pit Bull breed and ripping them away from their families to put them to death, it doesn’t mean it will stop there.

Many fears about the Pit Bull breed is unfounded and is due mainly from uneducated people(and in some cases even owners).  Yes there has been Pit Bull attacks however, there has also been: Lab, Goldens, Poodles, Corgi, as well as any other breed under the sun has bitten humans.  Any living thing here on earth can bite and cause some damage to the human body.  What it really comes down to is the education that is provided to the owners as well as the dogs themselves to make them socially accepted by society.

Education is the key:

With no laws needed for education most owners tend to grab the first dog they see.  And then many do not find the help thinking they know how to raise a dog.  Many owners may take outdated tips from T.V shows who hosts are not really educated with up to date information about dog behavior.  This can leave owners in believing that they must dominate and use force on breeds such as Pit Bulls.  Aggression and force only creates a ticking time bomb as the dog can become aggressive or even afraid due to the training methods used on a dog.  Using more up to date methods such as Positive Reinforcement correctly makes a stable dog who will respond to cues every time he or she is asked.  As there no fall-outs(other than the dogs loving all the positive attention) from this way of training the likely hood of an aggressive dog coming from a Positive Reinforcement home is highly unlikely.

Educating the breeders:

Ranging from Pit Bulls to even doodles- breeders need to understand that they must breed in care of the personality they wish to pass onto the puppies.  The likely hood if they breed two dogs who are highly aggressive to have some aggression in the later line of blood is most likely going to occur.  This has happened in cases of humans when two people have children who have anger issues.  While training can help curve and teach new behaviors we want the dog to perform the puppies will have a better chance if they come from a responsible breeder who takes in count the health of their breeding stock as well as the emotional state of the parent dogs.

Tough look is over rated:

Sadly there are some owners who should not own Pit Bulls as they use them as a status tough guy (or girl ) look.  A dog is not something to add to your looks a dog is a living breathing thing that becomes part of your family.  A large issue with the image of Pit Bulls is thanks to thugs who think the dog makes them look tough and in turn raises a dog who is not socially accepted.  Understand each time you own a Pit Bull YOU are responsible for the rep the breed gets and in turn are the reason of the high death rate in Pit Bulls (I understand there are families who raise Pit Bulls correctly I am talking about the other half who don’t).  Your Pit Bull doesn’t need spikes, chains, chokes, prong, shock, or anything else spiky to make them a Pit Bull or to make them look tough they do not need that image.  Pit Bulls need to be seen for what they really are which are loving caring family pets who more than once have saved their loving family.

Some maybe asking why would a Golden Retriever lover be so worried about a Legislation against Pit Bulls.  I love all breeds of dogs, Pits are no different… I plea with people to get education because if that is in place, bite rates for ALL breeds will go down.  Lets face it, this law should scare all dog owners as any one of our breeds could be next in this Holocaust against dogs.  Take a stand do not allow this to happen…Be an example for your breed, get the education from a force free trainer and understand that you and your dog can make a difference.   Vote those out of office who would tell you who can and can not be part of your family.  The Breed Specific Legislation is unethical and inhumane to put into practice… Punish the deed not the breed.

I hope the many dogs even those who were not Pit Bulls but were called one due to their looks made it safety over the rainbow bridge.  Lets stop this barbaric practice.  Killing breeds will not make a town, city or country safe… Education is the key.

Information for Pit Bulls:

The prototype of the breed originally sprang from crossing the old type of Bulldog with most likely

the English smooth Terrier.  Sadly the way they made it to America is due to their dog fighting skills in the 1800s.  During this time is how they gained their common name today “Pit Bull Terrier”.  Along with that name they were also know by: American Bull Terrier, and Yankee Terrier.  Americans focused more on a bigger size of the dog while the English version was smaller.  As time went on the two blood lines ended up diverging and in 1936 the ACK recognized the breed as Staffordshire Terrier.    As breeders where breeding the dog they were aiming for a loving trusting dog which at times was misused.

Temperament: Typically docile and playful with family, if socialized correctly they are also friendly with strangers.  While this dog breed is good around children NO dog should ever be left alone with a child.  Nor should a child be allowed to rough house with any breed.

Bullies come in all forms and all walks of life.

I’ve been called a fluffy, cookie pusher/treat dealer, briber, wimp, and the oddest of them all a hippie pot smoking trainer, among other terms, but those were the ones that stood out in my mind.  I have been told our methods (positive dog trainers) are CRAP right to my face (as well as had people laugh at me, and belittle me), or have people state my line of work is a wish wash of a method that only works if you have a treat in hand….I have been told that dogs forget our training methods after a short time and never remember the command. And also that our methods only works on certain dogs. I have been bullied around because I am a Positive Reinforcement trainer (Online and offline).  I have even had people try to claim I do not understand dog behavior due to the fact I use Positive Reinforcement, even though I have gone through school for it as well as working towards my PhD in animal behavior, not to mention years of hands-on experience.   Yet I for some reason do not know a thing because I decided to go with up to date science when it comes to dog behavior. But you know what? When it comes down to the truth, it’s about a lack of education for those who would call positive reinforcement any of the previously mentioned statements. But that can be remedied.

I would like to point out some quick facts/statements about Positive Reinforcement:

1: It DOES work with all dogs… if it did not work you are doing it wrong.  This even means aggressive, fearful, man eating dogs can be worked with and become a better member of society.

2: Dogs do NOT forget everything you train them with Positive Reinforcement.  There have been award winning dogs in competitions that are only trained with Positive Reinforcement.

3: No I do not need a treat every time I ask for a command.  Treats (could be a toy praise or yes even food) are weaned off from the dog over time and eventually the dog responds to the command without the treat.

4: When we compare dogs to humans we are not saying the dog is a human or should be treated as such.  We are referring to the fact that science has PROVEN dogs have the brain power of at least a child of 2-4 years of age.  We then ask owners/ trainers to ask themselves how do you educate a being with that kind of thought power and have the best results with no fallout issues. With dedication, that intelligence can get to that of an adolescent human.

5:  We are not telling owners to let their dogs walk all over them.  Positive Reinforcement doesn’t mean you be a push over.

6: Positive Reinforcement is working towards getting your dog to think on its own, to work out the issues and gain a reward for figuring it out.  Out in the wild dogs will avoid pain, and other harsh things that are used in pack theory/negative Reinforcement, but dogs will WORK HARDER and longer to gain something that increases something good such as a food reward… Think of it this way; you go to work to get paid so you can feed yourself, cloth yourself and so on. This same theory works for all dogs.

7:  There is a difference between a leader and a bully; a Leader shows and teaches a dog what to do, while a bully uses force and pain in many forms to get what they want.

8:  Your dog does NOT view you as another dog. Do you look like a dog? No, thus your dog will not be eyeing you as a “Pack leader”.  Dogs are also social groups, not pack groups. They have different learning styles and living styles than that of a wolf pack.  Your dog looks to you for guidance and to show them what behavior you want out of them. This is the leader they are eyeing you to be.

9:  Positive Reinforcement has been around for a while now, sadly there are some “celebrity” T.V trainers who are unable to get with the times and the science so they can spread the word worldwide of what truly is fact.  It is stated that it can take 10-20 years for newer theories to catch on with the general public, for that theory to be general knowledge.

10: Yes, science has backed us up and will keep on backing us up. Science is the mainstay of our modern world for finding out all the answers of the world and the lives in it, including behavior. There is no sense in denying it.

11: We are NOT saying negative training does not work (shock, prong, choke), it’s more so the execution of the method that matter’s most, as well as the outcome.  On the surface it works, but at what cost?  Health issues have been linked to these types of training methods as well as massive fall outs in behaviors leading to aggression, fearfulness and feelings of helplessness.   There is no real fall out if I miss a click with my dog clicker or miss a food treat, but giving a nice shock or “pop” will give a negative association to whatever you were trying to train the dog with in negative terms.  It is easier to retrain a behavior if a client or I messed up with positive methods rather than the opposite, where we could end up getting a dog that is willing to bite my face off for it.

12:  Have I been bitten? No, does that mean I must suck as a dog trainer?? NO, it means I do not push the dog over its limit when it comes to their flight or fight mode.  I have known trainers or even dog walkers to state they have gotten aggressive dogs to bloom and they have the “Bites” to prove it.  If they had updated their education they might have been able to get the same results if not better and without getting bitten.  Is there a chance I could get bit?  Yes, but most likely that will be because it was an off day and I was not paying attention to what the dog was trying to tell me.

13:  We understand your dog is a living breathing thing and as such you cannot find a quick cure/rout when it comes to educating your dog.  Yes, shock collar trainers can get your dog to stick around (though I have seen dogs run away from their owners … (wouldn’t you run away?)- But a lot of times when a shock collar trainer or owner removes the collar the dog couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the human, owner or otherwise.  However, with Positive Reinforcement we have dogs coming back to us because they want to.   Yes, we are able to train for snake avoidance and deer avoidance and that is not using slave like training methods.

14: Are our dogs perfect?  No, and nor are the negative trainers’ dogs… Once again they are living beings; they have their off days just like humans.  No human is perfect, but nor is any other dog. There will be those days where a behavior that needs changing keeps on happening, but then you just need to refresh the training of the behavior you want (and yes that happens with the negative training methods as well.. if you don’t use it you lose it).

As a trainer and as a human being I want people to know that yes we do keep up with the science that is WHY we are Positive Reinforcement trainers.  We believe the human race is or at least should be evolved enough to move pass using painful methods when there are OTHER methods out there in the world proven to work.  And most of all we are here because we care about animal behavior and want to encourage a healthy education for your dogs.  Positive Reinforcement does not mean passive.  We work hard and we get the results.

So please bullies, whether you are an owner or a negative trainer don’t waste your time on bullying me; go read a book that has updated education about dog training.  I don’t need to hear you yell or even type yell as you try to force your outdated methods down my throat.  This doesn’t mean you can bully the people who are trying to cross over, or has started off right away with Positive Reinforcement.  We are no less of a trainer because we may use clickers, toys, or some form of reward to initially mark a behavior we want.  And our results are no less than the results you are getting by kicking, hanging, popping, shocking, rolling and god knows what else you use in your “tool box”.  I am happy that Positive Reinforcement is getting more of the spot light and the more it does bullies/negative trainers will have to catch up with the times or be left out on the side lines.

Yes, I know it has been a while-updates

I am sorry for those who have been stopping in and not seeing a new  update.  During the winter, the pups and I kind of go into deep freeze.   My once hyper pups  slow down and hate going outside.  Aya will even roll on her back and cry or hold her paws up within five minutes of being outside for a walk.  I will have to find a new place to start my videos.  After this winter our fence was attack by the evil Ice doers taking down large parts of my fence.  So hopefully we will get that fixed or I will find a safe place to work videos.

On other news Concord New Hampshire dog owners, or towns nearby.  E-mail the head of the local dog park/ facebook them and let them know you would like group classes!! I am trying to work with the local dog park, and give 50% of my profits back to the park itself for repairs.  The more people who ask for it the faster it can come.  This is a great way to support your dog park and have affordable classes.  Classes will be once a week, unless we have large group then we will have to look into setting up a second day.  It will take place in the small dog park area and each class will be an hour long.  Feel free to check out and leave messages on their face book at:http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/group.php?gid=292039794761  If this link does not work look up Friends of the concord dog park!

Shortly I will be adding another toy review as well as talking about natural ways to keep the ticks and fleas away; I will also be adding some more blogs on training within the week as well as some hot topics for dog owners.  Hopefully the interview of “Tommy” will be added soon as I feel it is a story that should be told and hopefully open and change minds of some owners who is using outdated treatment towards dogs.

Social Time- Not just for humans

“Dogs should be left at home on the couch, not in public.” Too many times I have heard this or some other variation of this statement. We as dog owners are lazy at times, not willing to put the time in that our dogs need for socialization. In turn we have dogs that are not socialized, high strung, and unable to deal with changes in their settings, which leads to a very unhealthy dog. This leads to destruction of property, dog bites, higher vet bills, and a dog who doesn’t understand the world. Here are the top questions about socializing your dogs.

1: When should I start to socialize my dog?
A: The very first day you get your dog/puppy. If you are getting a puppy from a responsible breeder ask the breeder what type of training or socialization the puppies are getting during week 7 of it’s puppyhood, as this is when the first fear imprint period takes place. You want a breeder or foster home of the puppy to be working on positive environmental experiences. This is important as this can lead to how your dog reacts to everyday things in his or her life.

2:My dog meets people/dogs who come to my house and is fine. I don’t really need to do anything else do I?
YES! Dogs who may be fine with being in his or her own den (House) are most likely more confident, but as soon as your dog leaves your home, everything is brand new and that confidence will quickly turn into fear, which can lead to issues such as dog fights. This is also true about training; just because your dog is perfect at your home, as soon as the settings change it will feel as if he left his brain somewhere not understanding what you want from him/her. Dogs are contextual animals, meaning even though you were able to train the dog to sit perfect in your house or somewhere else as soon as you move him/her to a different surface, your dog will need to be retrained to sit, or any other command on that different surface or area.

3: What Social Activates can I do with my Dog?
A: There are many different things you can do to help socialize your dog, such as: Car rides, sitting outside of a store (training it as people come and go), puppy play groups, or professional canine sports such as Dock Dogs, Fly Ball, or Disc Dogs. There are also breed clubs (which do different activates for the breed of your dog), hunting (depending on breeds), walks, hiking, sniff and rescue, professional dog training classes, and much more! Check out Spirit of the Okami Blog “The Green Paw” for updates about different activities you can enjoy with your dog.

The main thing to always keep in mind is DO NOT rush your dog into something that he/she may be scared of. If the dog is showing fear, do not baby the dog, but instead slowly encourage the dog to make improvements, this means no yelling, hitting, or any negative actions from you as this will only imprint the fear even more so.
But most importantly, have FUN with your dog!

Responsible Dog Owners- We all need to play a part

Spirit of the Okami Responsible Dog Owners 101 – Out in Public


Often, I tell dog owners that we need to make sure we are responsible. As dog owner’s we have little rights, and pleasures we can take part in with our dogs are few for now. Here are some common things that all dog owners should go over and remember.

 Out for a walk: Do I have extra poop bags- It’s the law. If your dog poops on your walk clean it up and make sure you have extra bags, seeing some dogs poop multiple times in one walk. If you see someone else’s poop and have extra room in your poop bag, PICK IT UP. It may not be yours, but it will be you and the rest of us who lose rights to walk in that area with our dog if not maintained. Poop from a sick dog can and will pass onto a healthy dog, and the sickness can last up to 9 months! Keep your area clean and keep your dog’s healthy.. Give a woof and clean up after you and your dog!

Leashing your dog: Many things can happen with an off leash dog. Unwanted confrontations with pedestrians, children, other dogs, or other animals are on the list, and they may all not end that pleasant. In addition, if you have your dog off leash and he/she is running around, you may not see where he or she is pooping or control where they are peeing. Example of this: we as dog owners may not be welcome to walk through Concord cemetery’s due to owners letting their dogs off leash and letting them pee/poop on grave stones, and all the while not pick it up! This has already happened for beaches in N.H. We can’t even take our dogs to some of the best beaches! Keep an eye on your dog, and keep him or her leashed at ALL times.

Everyone loves your dog: This is not always the case. Having a leash will make sure your dog doesn’t jump up on people, but if your dog is in training you may want to ask people not to touch your dog! This will protect your dog if he/she is afraid of other humans and also train your dog that they don’t need attention from every human being. Some people also really don’t understand the dog language and your dog may not want to be touched at that time. Stick up for your dog, and do not worry what others may think when you ask them not to touch.

 My Dog loves every dog: Far from it, while your dog may get along with many others, there will be some dogs that yours just doesn’t feel right around. Learn your dog’s body language heck learn what they are trying to tell you dogs have their own language and many dog owners do not look into this.. This leads to fights that could have been avoided!

 Fix or not to Fix: It doesn’t hurt to fix your dog, for a variety of reasons. But if you’re a dog owner who wishes to keep your dog how he or she was born, you need to be responsible!! Your dog should never be left alone in public, and a female in heat should NEVER be off leash. You don’t want your dog coming home pregnant!

Dog park 101 what we all need to remember!

Spirit of the Okami

Dog Park’s 101 – Do’s and Don’ts

Yes, it is true! We have places that our furry family member can go off leash and play!  However, there are some tips and rules that should be followed at all times!  There is a reason that there are rules, and not paying attention to them can cause your dog, or yourself, potential harm. This is meant as a resourceful guide to protect you and your dog.

1:  Do not let your dog drink out of water bowls at a dog park!  There are sicknesses that can be spread through those bowls and you do not know when or how they were cleaned.

2:  Kennel cough:  It has been on the rise and this sickness can stay on a surface easily up to 6 months, and ANY surface can carry it (yes, especially a parks dog bowls).  Have your dog vaccinated every six months in order to stay safe.

3:  “My small dog loves big dogs” is a common statement among dog owners. A good number of big dogs may love small dogs, but quite a few may easily hate your little dog too.  Dog parks usually have large dog/small dog areas for a reason, and it’s just not out of preference!  Protect your animal and use the proper park for your sized pooch.

4:  While it’s great to chat with dog owners at a park, DO NOT take your eyes off your dog! While things may be going fine, just one wrong move can set off dog fights.  You’re there primarily for your dog!  People come second!

5: Smokers, please properly dispose of cigarettes. If you toss it anywhere, dogs WILL eat them, and potentially get sick.

6: Clean up after your dog. You need to know where it left its “present” in order to be a good, responsible dog owner! No one want’s a messy shoe (or paw).

7:  If it’s your first time at the park, do not rush your dog into it. He/she may be scared, whether you notice the signs or not. Be patient, and pay attention to your dog’s feelings. It can save stress down the road!

8: If you see a new dog trying to come in, remove your dog from the entry way as this can help the new owner and his/her dog enter without a hassle. It will take away any chance of a fight breaking out. Dog’s need their personal space.

9:  If your dog is hackling (hair standing up on back) do not take your dog into the park right away. This is a KEY sign that your dog is not feeling comfortable and is about to snap.  Give your dog a time out to relax him or her before entering the park.

10:  If your dog is starting to push other dogs around, your dog may need a time out, or it’s time to leave the park all together.  If your dog starts a dog fight, another dog could be hurt, which means you will be paying the vet bills (and no one want’s that!).  If a human gets bitten, your dog can get in serious trouble, and in extreme cases, be euthanized. No one want’s that to happen, so pay attention to your dog’s temperament, as well as the dog’s surrounding him/her.

Follow the rules at the dog park. They’re for your safety, and your dogs!

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