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Advice: Section #2 – AMBER

Max-Banner01Please make sure you continue your journey on the site by reading the article “Emotions”

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At the bottom of each page, there’s a link to the next recommended article, “Emotions” which leads to the next article “Relax!” and so on with these articles; “Be Equipped”, “Gadgets & Gizmos”, and then an overview of these articles.

ScruffyCute02All of these articles are an important stage on your journey, so please do not skip any of these articles. They’re designed to give you a little background and context before you start trying to solve problems. Rather like building a house, if you don’t have solid foundations, then the whole thing will fall down around your ears.

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Continue your journey here >  "Emotions"

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Dog Bites

“Killing the dog does not cure the bite.”

- Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States

ToothInspection01There are occasions when you, or someone your are with may get bitten. Sometimes this can be by accident, and other times it can seem like something much more sinister has happened.

There’s no sense in trying to figure out what happened in the immediate aftermath of a bite; emotions are running high, and the situation can just get worse if it isn’t handled correctly.

First, is to determine whether the person who has been bitten requires medical attention. This is different from a case to case basis, but the likelihood is that the person will be experiencing shock. Let them sit down, and get them to concentrate on someone or something. If necessary make them some sweet tea, or another sugary drink to help with their blood sugar levels.

Has the bite broken the skin? If the bite has broken the skin, then it’s important that the wound is kept clean. Take them to the local A&E so they can get the bite checked out, and stitches or dressing applied if necessary.

It is important to visit A&E if the skin is broken (even if it does not look serious) because you may need a tetanus booster. It is much better to be safe than sorry.  The tetanus booster is sometimes administered by your GP, so you could call your local surgery and take their advice.  In any case, seek medical advice.

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Gadgets and Gizmos

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

- George Bernard Shaw

 AncientLeads01For many thousands of years, man and his dog worked quite happily with just a normal flat collar and a lead. It was simple, but effective. In the last 20 or 30 years, more and more products have come on the market to help dog owners.

And whilst some of them are amusing, (like the Japanese phone App which is supposed to translate dog barks), others are just deathtraps...

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Be Equipped

“I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.”

- John Steinbeck

It’s true. Humans are nuts. Goodness knows what our dogs must think of us when we use the most complicated gizmos and gadgets just to achieve some of the simplest tasks with our dog!

The first thing to do is make sure all the equipment and accessories you use are appropriate for your dog. From dog walking equipment to other gadgets and gizmos, you need to make sure you’re not making things worse by using products designed by using negative reinforcement. A mantra we will keep using is that you need to work with your dog, and not against them. You’ll get fed up of reading it, but it’s a very important part of getting it right.

Walkies02On a basic level, but the leads, collars and harnesses you use on a day to day basis are vital to make your dog feel comfortable and secure. They should not bind or truss up your dog, they are there to keep your dog under control and secure – they should never distress them or worry them in any way. Inappropriate leads, collars or other accessories will make trying to give your dog a nice relaxing walk a complete nightmare. Some ‘training aids’ can cause serious damage to you, your dog and others around you, so be careful.

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Relax!

“In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag.”

- W.H. Auden

Before we work on your dog’s behaviour, we have to work on yours!

To work with your dog, the first thing you must do is relax. Sometimes, behaviours are exacerbated by the body language and your mood. If you’re stressed, wound up or angry, your dog will pick up on this.

ItWasntMe02Quite often, this is the most difficult stage of the process. If you’ve had problems for a long time, you’re probably very stressed and wound up when the behaviour you’re trying to solve appear. If you are getting aggressive, frustrated and cross, your dog won’t want to respond to you in case they get into trouble!

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Emotions

“I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source.”

- Doris Day

We’ve gone through a lot of things so far to try and help you and your dog, but we haven’t really tackled the emotional journey you will undertake with your dog.

It seems like an odd thing to say, but loving your dog can get in the way of what you need to do. We’re not saying you shouldn’t love them – loving your dog should be the top of your priorities! If you don’t love them, you shouldn’t be sharing your life with them. What we’re saying is that in tackling the issues you face, you may have to make some difficult choices. Those difficult choices and techniques may make you feel like you’re being mean to your dog.

As you’ve read so far, nothing in this site is about forcing your dog, or being physical with them. We only want you to work with your dog and their instincts.

Max01People can find it really difficult to ignore their dog in certain situations – and this can mean they don’t follow the advice they’re given.

Our desire to love and nurture our dogs is perfectly natural, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. However, we can’t confuse human body language with the doggy body language.

It goes against all our instincts to ignore a dog who is scared of something; we want to hold them, stroke them and tell them it will all be okay. But that isn’t the way they learn or understand our behaviour.

It can take tremendous willpower and strength to be able to stand firm. It can be emotionally draining; it can be frustrating: AND IT SHOULD BE.

If it wasn’t difficult, and it wasn’t draining, then it would mean that you don’t care. The reason you’re reading this is because you care and you want to change the situation you’re in (or you just learn more about your dog – you wouldn’t do that if you didn’t care).

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