Cat games and playing with cats might be one answer to getting more cats adopted. It was more than a decade ago when I first heard Steve Dale say “maybe if people treated cats like they treat dogs…” the implication being we’d have more in homes and not so many in shelters. I was so impressed — the concept at the time was jarring in its departure from the norm, radical and deeply caring of the quality of life of cats and our connection to them.
I had cats growing up, and we played with them with catnip toys and balls — not really like you would play with a dog, although I would not learn of all the differences until I found my first dog as an adult. Steve’s assertion rang true, that if people would engage with cats the way they do with dogs how many more would be in homes because of that change in mindset? Continue reading
Dominance dog training may seem like a “been there, done that” issue, but while the science has moved beyond that concept, many people haven’t. Physical punishment may provide an immediate response, but does it teach a dog anything, really, except to avoid the punishment? Just as with the practice of hanging dogs up by their leashes was once used as a corrective “training” tool, we now must deal with the legacy of dominance training, its array of bad ideas for dog training and how they impact development of the bond of trust we should have with our dogs. That’s really a major talking point in the video below: what kind of relationship do you want with your dog? Continue reading
I recently wrote about playing with dogs and its role in communicating and bonding with my dog, and have used play after a dog training session to reinforce the idea that it’s all fun. It was great to see this video with Steve Dale talking about this topic to the always impressive Patricia McConnell, author, certified applied animal behaviorist, international speaker, and adjunct professor in Zoology at University of Wisconsin, Madison. Continue reading
Puppy training done well is going to keep you sane during a period when life has been rearranged to make room for puppy needs — and puppies need a lot: Time, attention, play, socialization, lessons are learned at each step! You want to be sure your pet is learning the lessons you are teaching. Now is the time to help your pet do their best, forming a strong bond between you as you lead him to success.
A very important lesson in puppy training is housetraining. One of the top reasons people give up their pets to shelters is eliminating in the house. Continue reading
Therapy dogs provide comfort and affection for people in a variety of stressful situations, from disaster afflicted areas, the recent Connecticut shootings, to children testifying in court, and for those in long-term health care and other facilities.
One group, Angel on a Leash, enhances quality of life and human health through the work of therapy dogs in hospice, rehab and other health care facilities, schools and other venues. David Frei, yes the voice of Westminister Kennel Club, is founder of this organization and has authored a book by the same name filled with the wonderful stories of all the lives Continue reading
As Americans get bigger each year with no appreciable shift away from obesity, is it possible we are passing this problem on to our pets? Steve Dale explores the topic, connecting the emotional components often involved with over-eating: depression, loneliness, and boredom. He asks if our pets might be more like us that we realize. From the Pet Obesity Prevention site:
- Approximately 62% of US households own at least one pet = 71.4 million homes
- US Population (Source: 2009 US Census Bureau) = 305 million
- 68% of adult Americans are overweight or obese = approximately 148 million (Source: 2010 CDC) Continue reading