Animals & Their People

4:07 PM

I'm a pet owner.  I certainly don't claim to know everything that there is about animals, how to raise or how to train an animal, but I do have pets that are well trained.  I do have strong opinions about pet owners and their responsibilities to their pets.  There have been several stories in the news about abandoned animals.  Animals left out in the cold.  Animals being abused.  There was recently a story in the Upstate of SC of a dog being set on fire, just because.  This kind of behavior is despicable.  I don't condone cruelty to animals and I would like to "do unto others" in these situations.  I feel that if you choose bring an animal (or a child!) into the world that you have a responsibility to care for them in every sense of the word.

That being said, IMHO pet owners have a responsibility to train their pet and give them the boundaries that they need.  Yes, in case you were wondering, we are avid Dog Whisperer watchers in our house.  We have read his books.  We have tried his techniques.  They work.  But if, and only if, you take the time to work with your dog.    Chris has much more experience than I do training animals and as much as I bust on him for being "Mr. Animal Planet", I do appreciate and respect his opinions on behavioral training. Chris has worked long and hard with our two dogs to ensure that they are not dangerous to other people or to other animals.  He has also worked with Cameryn to be sure that she knows how to behave around our dogs and how to approach a strange animal. That being said, yes, we have had a previous incident with our Bull mastiff having aggression towards animals that come onto our property "uninvited", so we are definitely not perfect or strangers to dog aggression issues.  Since then, we have gone back to basics and worked to make sure that it does not happen again. 

My mother has two dogs, a Cocker Spaniel and an English Bulldog, both female.  They are her 'babies'.  Both have similar, minimal training which has resulted in bouts of chaos.  They have no boundaries, no rules, no limitations.  They get little exercise.  The Cocker Spaniel is seriously the most hyper dog I have ever seen.  She NEVER calms down.  Recently, they have been fighting.  The Cocker Spaniel instigates it and the Bulldog reacts.  The Bulldog, being the stronger of the two, actually tore tendons in the Cocker Spaniel's leg.  Naturally, my mother blamed all of the aggression the Bulldog because she is stronger.  Dogs don't bench press, they don't know their own strength- it's not the Bulldog's fault just because she's bigger and stronger!  We have encouraged my mom to get in home training because she may end up hurting herself when trying to break up their fights.  She instead chose to go to a Behavioral Specialist that took blood to see if either of them were hormonally imbalanced and GASP! both of them came back normal (DUH!)   Last night my mom was bit on the face.  Both dogs were on her bed and my mom was attempting to get into bed.  I don't know exactly what happened but the Bulldog bit her on the face.  After a late night trip to the ER and a few stitches later, my mom is okay.  For now.  What happens next time? 

I am tempted to hire an in-home dog trainer for my mom but know that she will be offended.  She has no control, but needs to gain some quickly before her house, literally, has gone to the the dogs.

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