Humanizing our dogs?

Dogs are wonderful, they are loyal companions that bring us great comfort. My own dogs make me laugh and enrich my life in many ways. As humans we tend to label what we know and understand by attaching human emotions to our dogs. I hear it all the time, an owner will say to me “my dog is jealous” because that’s how the human would feel, not the dog. What humans call jealousy is one of two things in dogs, either competition or straightening out the pack order. The dominate dog will push the more submissive dog out of the way to get attention and this is pack order not jealousy. Dogs also do not feel hate, spite or guilt, this is placing human emotions to explain their behavior. Dogs simply do not have complex thinking or feel emotion in this way. Dogs will display unwanted behaviors because they are bored, lacking in exercise, or just having fun. While making a mess of the garbage may not seem like fun to a human it can be a great source of fun and food for a dog. It’s all about resources dogs constantly look for opportunities to take/guard and/or possess resources. Dogs don’t hate either. A dog will react to other dogs if the sense an imbalance, over dominance, or they may sense unstable emotions from the human around the other dog. Dogs will also react because they have temperament issues such as fear or anxiety.

Dogs have an innate ability to read body language that as humans we don’t. Trainers and behaviorists spend countless hours learning and developing their own skills to read body language so they can communicate with dogs and understand the meaning of the of the body language displayed by the animal.

Dogs do posses emotion but they are not as complex as humans. Dogs sense our emotions, but do not read the negative energy in the true meaning of emotion. A dog will read negative energy (emotions) as a weakness and react accordingly. Dogs rely on their instincts, they will be happy when their instincts are fulfilled and sad when their needs (instincts) are not being met, or if they are ill. Dog’s respond to the moment they don’t sit and worry about the past nor have complex thinking for the future. A dog will not sit at home when the owner is away planning revenge that the owner has left them their alone, but a dog will take the opportunity to get into mischief and have some fun. Dogs are opportunists and just reacting in the moment.

Often I hear people say I love my dogs more than humans, and this is because our dogs don’t think or feel as humans do. Dogs don’t hold grudges or get caught up in emotions like we do and it is for that reason they are so lovable. As humans we should love and honour our dogs because they are dogs and enjoy them for all they bring into our lives!

Should I get one pup or two?

I love living with multiple dogs, I find it interesting and a learning experience, BUT, I will never recommend getting two pups especially from the same litter to my clients. I strongly believe you need to have the right dogs living together with the right owner. As a trainer I have seen how strongly dogs bond together making it difficult or impossible to build a strong bond with the handler or owner. A dog that is indifferent or is not bonded to its owner will be difficult to train and live with.

Dogs are pack animals, and in the pack there is rank order. Dogs will always bond strongly with each other, after all they speak the same language and are of the same species. Every dog that comes into your life needs time to build a relationship with you, and bond with you. Every addition to the pack will increase the pack instinct, and make no mistake these dogs will work, play and fight as a pack. Owning a pack of dogs is a responsibility that should never be taken lightly. Often owners don’t realize how dangerous a pack can be regardless of how sweet they may seem. Owning two or more dogs is considered a pack!

Living with multiple dogs in harmony can be accomplished when done right, usually by experienced owners or trainers. I understand the joy in owning more than one dog but time needs to be given to each dog to train, bond, build a strong relationship and establish leadership. Two puppies from the same litter creates an even more difficult situation as these pups are already bonded prior to entering your family, and trying to break that bond can be challenging if not impossible for most owners.

I have seen where raising two pup’s together results in violence and where it becomes necessary to re-home one of the dogs. Rarely people have the time to separate and spend time with each pup individually. It is a challenge and time consuming and does not fit with most people’s hectic lifestyles. This is not to say that I advocate against owning more than one dog, but that I believe raising two puppies together should only be done by experienced dog trainers or owners. Adding an existing dog to your family should also be well thought out and time given to each dog separately. When done properly owning multiple dogs is very rewarding!

Vaccinations – Are our pets being over-vaccinated?

Please know these are my personal opinions I am expressing based on research and seeing first hand the affects of vaccinations in animals. I feel every pet owner should make their own informed choice. Many pet owners are unaware of the latest standards and don’t question their vets on practices that may be causing their pets harm. It is time consuming doing your own research but it is my passion to give my animals the best affordable care I can, so they can live long healthy lives!

With all my pets I always had them get their yearly vaccinations. When my own dog developed multiple illnesses and I switch to the raw diet, I started reading articles on the dangers and affects of vaccinations. I have seen in my own dog’s behavior changes and I believe health issues attributed to vaccinations as well as many of the dogs I have worked with soon after being vaccinated. Coincidence – it could be, if it only happened occasionally but the more often I see it, the more questions I have. With my own animals I used to stop the vaccinations as they became seniors. Now I questioned after reading many articles and seeing research and links to health issues whether the vaccinations are causing more harm then good. I still believe it is important to vaccinate to prevent diseases, but I question the way it is done and how often. I remember as a child our dogs would get a yearly rabies shot and that was the only vaccination provided. We rarely saw the vet and I rarely heard of dogs getting cancers and other immune diseases that are more prevalent nowadays. I have read many books and articles by vets that disagree with current practices based on research they have done on the increasing health issues they are seeing in the animals in their care.

I am not an extremist and believe looking into things thoroughly as I did before switching to raw diet, which I now believe is the best type of diet for our pets. I have been doing the same researching vaccinations, both the positive and negative affects they can have on our pets. I am now making changes in the way I vaccinate my pets and how often. I have spoken to breeders, trainers, vets discussing the affects of vaccines. I do not limit myself to researching the negative but also the positive as I believe it is important to be well informed and knowledgeable before making any decision. My goal is to have happy, healthy pets that live long lives.

It has been proven that the rabies vaccine often lasts 5-10 years after the vaccine is given and yet vets still give yearly or every three years this vaccine. Recently evidence has shown that poor diets and over-vaccinating are a major factor in the development of the epidemic increases in autoimmune diseases, seizures, hormonal disorders and cancer seen pets. Vaccinating pets with chronic immune mediated illnesses or cancer, or even a history of cancer, is contraindicated, as all vaccine inserts that come with the vaccinations say for “use in healthy animals only.” There’s even evidence that genetic changes have occurred due to over-vaccination over many generations. Most of these illnesses revolve around breakdown in our pets’ immune systems, and include chronic skin/ear allergies, digestive upset, thyroid, adrenal, and pancreatic disorders, seizures, gum/ teeth problems, degenerative arthritis, kidney/liver failure, and cancer across all ages and breeds. Research also shows a record number of behavioral and emotional disorders including alarming and unexplained fears/aggression. When I initially switched my dogs to the raw diet, and saw immediate health improvement I knew I needed to question/research what I could continue to do to offer my pets the best care. Since I have seen an alarming increase in immune disorders, chronic allergies etc. in many of the animals I work with plus my own I believe more research needs to be done.

Below are links to websites that I feel are informative.—The-Alternative-to-Over-Vaccinating&id=1652954


Gracie who recently was injured requiring stitches went back to the Vet to have her bandage changed which has to be done every 3 days. On this visit they noticed a small infection starting, so they changed her antibiotics giving her stronger medication.

When my husband brought her home he also brought home another vet bill. The first bill was very expensive as they sedated her to do the stitches and we were also charged for initial antibiotics they sent home with her. Now they are charging for the stronger medication and for every bandage change. I cannot believe that for 3 stitches it has cost us almost double the cost it did to get the same dog spayed which is major surgery. I could easily have done the bandaging myself had I known they were going to charge for this. I assumed all of this was included in the first bill. I also question why we are charged for the change in antibiotics when the vet did not give her strong enough antibiotics the first time. At this clinic where I have been going to for years I have always felt the charges were reasonable until lately. My vet recently returned home taking a year’s leave of absence and I chose to continue with the clinic for now. I know the clinic has gone through many changes in the last few years but I find the charges are quite higher than in the past.

I feel a many vets overcharge and because we love our pets we pay the price to keep them healthy. I know my vet was always reasonable and would allow me to provide care to my animals that she knew I was capable of. I can’t remember her ever prescribing a medication that did not work the first time and she always recommended the less expensive methods of treatment that would work for the animal.

I will continue to stay with the clinic especially because of Jasper’s history and medical issues and hoping that my vet returns. If my vet chooses not to return, than I will be looking for a vet who is open to using holistic methods with current practices and who charges reasonable prices for care.