Friday, 30 December 2011

Dog Ettiquette

I've had dogs all my life.  I've raised many puppies, participated in conformation dogs shows, agility and obedience.  So, yes, I'd call myself experienced.  Which is why I feel I can comment on all the stupid dog owners out there!
Dogs are a commitment.  For at minimum 8 years, but as Brandon's family knows it can go well into the teen years if you've got a robust dog.  People want to buy puppies, and forget that those puppies grow up into sometimes very large dogs which require a lot of time, attention, money and exercise.  The  people that don't think ahead annoy me.  Dogs don't get a voice, so its incredibly unfair to abuse your power as a human being to just take what you want and get rid of it when you don't.  An example of this is, someone who left a perfectly lovely Bichon Frise at a pet store a few weeks ago.  Brought the dog in for grooming and then just left it, never came back for it.  How confused and terrified do you think that poor dog was?  The pet store no longer sells dogs, so it's not like they could just turn around and sell it to someone.  And seriously- did these cowardly people really just leave the dog there so they didn't have to face the humane society?  So they didn't have to explain the situation?  Perhaps it could have been a valid reason, and maybe even what was best for the dog.  But you need to take ownership and responsibility for your actions.  Own up to your actions and decisions and face the music.

Dogs need discipline.  It doesn't matter how big or small they are.  They all need it.  Just like kids, dogs actually crave discipline.  It gives them clear boundaries and a better understanding of what is expected of them.  Living in an apartment building which allows dogs, (do you know how hard that is to find?) I see so many ill behaved dogs.  I'm not saying our dogs are perfect, but they know when they've done something wrong and they are disciplined for it.  The people in this place seem to all have a theme of just allowing their dogs to do whatever they please.  Our dogs don't like other dogs, so we take the necessary precautions to ensure we don't bring our dogs around other dogs when they are outdoors and we don't disrupt other people's time with their dogs.  However, I can't tell you how many times we've had people approach us (as our dogs are barking at their dogs).  They can clearly see we are trying to calm down our dogs and discipline them, yet they think bringing their dogs (the problem) closer will somehow calm our dogs down...?
The first situation that infuriates me, is a man who has 5 very well behaved medium-large "bull-type" dogs (Rottweilers, pit bulls, boxers).  He can take these dogs out all together and they walk nicely beside one another and he's got great control.  And I'm very happy for him (and proud that he's not ruining these breeds' reputations further than already has been done by the thousands of others).  However, when I have my 2 large dogs (a combined weight of 200lbs) that are clearly barking AT your dogs and wanting to essentially tear them from ear to ear... why, oh why do you continue to walk right at me?  I'm not asking you to go out of your way.  But when I try to leave the situation- and handle my dogs, don't follow me!  This man and I had a lovely dance around a set of trees for nearly 5 minutes because he thought it would be good for me and my dogs to just approach his dogs to "teach them a lesson".  NO!
Brandon also had a situation lately with stupid dog owners.  A woman was running her two small dogs (off leash) just above our parking lot- already not a wise decision.  Brandon took Sarah out and noticed these dogs and avoided their area.  But, the smart woman who was sadly in charge of these dogs not only allowed them to excessively bark at Sarah but also run up to her, bite on her tail and circle around her.  All the while, she is calmly calling for her (unresponsive) dogs to return to her.  Yet, not making any movements to collect them.  Brandon picked Sarah up and told them woman to come get her dogs.  It turned into more of a situation when the woman continued to make no attempts to get her dogs away from Sarah- who was definitely NOT impressed with their presence.  That situation nearly ended in a fist fight between Brandon and the woman's boyfriend.  But why can't people just take care of their dogs?!
On the note of dogs and their behaviour, I love Cesar Millan!  The Dog Whisperer is fantastic!  His methods work and he's so realistic with the people and their dogs.  I'd love to BE The Dog Whisperer... but since that clearly won't happen, if anyone knows him and could arrange for me to meet him somehow that would be my celebrity meet up of choice!

         Finally, just for fun- I saw this adorable dictator-inspired kitten on Conan O'Brien's show for being denied a home in Europe because of his...unfortunate markings...  I'll bring you home little Hitler Kitty!  But maybe you'd have better luck if you'd just put that paw down!

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