Betty and Babies!

August 30, 2012

See Betty’s babies the day they were born here:
Many thanks to Jo at Jobo design for filming! The clip is from day one, nearly one week on and the babies are all as fat as butter and Betty still loves her new job!
And again thanks to Jo for the new brochure design, see it here:
What Betty is teaching me:
Dogs never forget to treat other dogs as just that a dog!
Betty won’t take any chances with her babies! Pie would like to have a little nose at the new babies, at least that is how I see his behaviour. Betty instinctively knows that looking is how trouble could start. Pie has never hurt another animal in his life, but does Betty know that or care? Most likely not, and in any case the pups are so small it would only take one snap to do fatal damage. So Betty doesn’t want to know what Pie thinks of her babies, he is not allowed near them, that way we are all confidant the pups are safe! Good for you Betty for reminding me we are not in a Disney film!

Wouldn’t it be great if our dogs could talk english, be the sort of characters that appear in the Disney films? 🙂 I know these stories influenced me as a child! I also remember the day I became disillusioned by my dog when I was about 20, it was a horrible shock to realise my dear little dog had not only killed but eaten one of my cats new-born kittens! That doesn’t happen in Disney films nor in the romantic world I had created for my pets. The experience did not stop me from idealizing my dogs completely, but now I have a more realistic view, shaped by even more life

Tallulah (Shar pei)

experience of reality.

The problem is not the Disney films, it is when we forget to remember that our dogs are real life animals.

When we leave  the dog to decide, yes they do that in Disney movies, and guess what, the dog makes the best decision ever! What happens in real life if we leave it to the dog to decide:

  • where and when we walk?
  • when we feed?
  • when we stroke?
  • where they sleep?

we make the dog leader! And what do we get when the dog is in charge?

I await your answers on that:)?

The reality is though that most dogs do not want to be leader, they may want to be a Prefect, even head girl or boy but few are born to be headmaster/mistress and they really do not want that job! which is why dogs that are given too many choices are not happy!

Disney dogs are happy, at least they are by the end of the film, and live happy ever after too!

In real life we must be clear and make the important decisions for our dogs, to ensure our dogs live happy ever after lives!


Roy and Sasha

I love Walt Disney films, the more fantastic the better and always a happy ending, so I can relax and enjoy the film knowing everything will turn out okay! My first dog knowledge came from Disney, unconsciously my love of animals must have been fueled by the wonderful portrayal of talking (and much more!) animals! Dogs that rescued their owners or each other, travelled vast journeys to get to their masters side! Who wouldn’t want a dog after watching a Disney film? Disney has sold more puppies than I can begin to count!

Today I know that it is partly because of Disney that I have so much work to do with pet owners, unconsciously they too have been given this magical image of dogs. Just think about this for a few moments and tell me you haven’t been affected?

I think there is a huge amount we can all learn about our dog behaviour, through becoming aware of the influence of Disney and other media, maybe not in the way we would like :)! I am going to do a series of blogs from this perspective, starting today, I would be most grateful for your feedback?!

Take titbit training, I spend a lot of training time convincing owners that the use of food for dog training is a good thing and makes training fun. Why would anyone believe that a young puppy or dog would not respond better if there is a treat involved? Well Disney is the answer! Owners want dogs to do stuff for love! In the film love between the human and the animal is instant, even if time passing is implied, it isn’t always apparent because of the limitations of the media.

I am not immune to believing my dogs love me, but I am realistic, the love only comes over time, the bond deepens and grows, it takes 2 years to have a good bond with any dog. There may well be an instant bond of sorts at the start of a relationship, all dogs want to be in a pack, but it is only over time that trust and true partnership can develop. Feeding a dog treats as rewards for correct behaviour will encourage a feel good factor around dog and human and therefore increase the bond. Plus when we successfully communicate with our dogs in positive way we are deepening the understanding and therefore the love and bond between us, I know this through some wonderful experiences, both with my dogs and by watching my clients!

In time as the dog truly understands our commands, viewing our commands as a fun way of communicating (not being bossed around) the training becomes less dependant on food. But I have never out grown enjoying a treat, from a friend or stranger:) and my dog won’t either! The problems come if we expect this from our dogs before we have earnt” it” over time!

Even Nessa can't get this ball in her mouth!