Archive for the ‘Rose’s Reflections’ Category

Reflections   Leave a comment

Just counting up puppies for the year and it’s close to 100!  I’ve never kept tabs before so I’ll have to go back and check previous records to see if this is more or less than previous years.  As usual there was a quiet patch or two, quite nice if one can relax and not stress about the lack of income!  As I trust in God to keep me on the right path, so I trust He’ll make it clear when this line of work and passion is done.  For now I’m grateful to the owners who entrusted themselves and their pups to me, and to ThinkingPets for their support and information.

In the new year I’ll be tidying up the

Our 15 yr old Jack Russell, Kirsty's pal, now slowly fading.

The last stage – it’s also important that we take care of our faithful companions when they’re old and tired, not just when they’re bright and new.

‘stuff’ that accumulates, getting shelves put up and buying containers.  I never stop keeping my eyes open for new ideas for the ground course so all suggestions welcome!  There are already 5 or so pups waiting to start class next week but for now I’m enjoying time with my family and a chance to catch up with friends, and the overflowing inbox!

The people who come to class are generally enthusiastic and keen to learn, but they’re the tip of the iceberg. For every pup that gets into a puppy class in South Africa there are millions more who don’t, some of them because the owner is comfortable with doing their own thing, but so many because they know no better or couldn’t care less.  I wish there was some way to take this concept into the places that need it most.  Having been involved in animal welfare/rescue work years ago, it’s just depressing that we are still not really making an impact for the better.  The welfare organisations are mostly involved in ‘after the fact’ kind of help, not able somehow to do meaningful teaching to change mindsets.  At the vet we still see so much ignorance that borders on cruelty, selfishness and stupidity too – and not just among the poor.  How I wish there was a law that checked your income before you were allowed a pet at all – don’t go moaning about cost of food, training and vet expenses after you make the choice, first count the potential cost then decide.  Being the guardian of a pet is a privilege, not a right.  But here I am preaching to the converted again!  This is one of my pet ‘themes’ so please bear with me.

Hopefully in the new year I’ll have a chance to figure out more about blogging methods to improve what I do here.  For now I muddle along, but it could be better!

Posted 27/12/2011 by Rose's Puppy School in Rose's Reflections

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Person – dog: spot the difference!   Leave a comment

I’m a person  – it’s a dog – so why would I expect the dog to do human?  We humans are so arrogant in our ‘master of the universe’ attitude that we choose to bring another species into our homes and then expect it/them to change to suit us.  We shout and moan, smack and punish, teach it “I’m the boss”…yeah, right!  We expect the animal to know what we want without teaching what that means, then feel justified in dishing out punishment because our wishes are not obeyed.   We know that keeping a pet is expensive, but we moan about vet fees, training fees, food prices, and ask for discount or head off for the animal welfare to help us out.  I despair for the human race when we cannot even get the pet thing right, never mind bringing up our kids, or world peace!

Ok, rant over for now…but did you know that the majority of puppies don’t get to see their 2nd birthday?  That’s why I do puppy classes, and love my clients who bring their babies while they’re still cute to begin on the right path so that their dogs will become truly part of the family, a joy and not a burden.  They’re the good guys and I respect them for trying to do things the right way.

Another book I’ve downloaded is by Ian Dunbar, vet and behaviourist extraordinaire:  “Before You Get Your Puppy“.  Here’s his take on what needs to be taught asap, preferably pre 16 weeks:

The Most Important Things To Teach Your Puppy

1. Bite Inhibition

2. Socialization with People

3. Household Etiquette

4. Home Alone

5. Sit and Settle Down Commands

6. Dog-Dog Socialization

The Most Urgent Things To Teach Your Puppy

1. Household Etiquette

2. Home Alone

3. Socialization with People

4. Dog-Dog Socialization

5. Sit and Settle Down Commands

6. Bite Inhibition

If these basics are instilled then the next steps are easier, and having a fluffy companion becomes a pleasure, not a stress.