Thursday, 17 June 2010

That said

That said I do get very frustrated when people make out something is perfect when it isn't it.

I have noticed that shooting people blame the RSPB for pretty much everything and on the flip side The RSPB blame keepers and shoot managers for killing everything. What neither will admit is both do damage, both are wrong and both are right.

For example( eek I am sure I will go up in a blue flash for saying this) The RSPB blame all keepers for indiscriminately killing birds of prey. Without doubt keepers will manage( another word for killing) birds of prey that prey on their birds be it Grouse, Partridge, Pheasant or Duck just as they do with Magpies, Crows and all manner of predators. Unfortunately the RSPB won't admit that this has been going on for many years to a far greater degree and therefore is intrinsically linked with our countrysides balance. There is proof that Grouse moors also support many other important species as long as they are managed.

Why can't both parties say it as it is and accept that they are coming from different angles yet agree that there is some good to be gained from both parties.

Here I go again what has this got to do with dogs?

I will use Staffies as an example. Staffie lovers will extoll the virtues of Staffies and blame bad owners etc etc that all their staffies are the best dogs in the world. Then we have the Staffie haters, who will site many examples of maulings, dog attacks and how they have a killer bite. You know what, both are right. You get bad staffies despite having great owners, you get fantastic Staffs with bad owners.

When I take on a staffie I always take into account their previous experiences, their basic manners and my instinct with that individual. They are adrenalin junkies and if they have learnt to fight or bicker as a adrenalin kick you have to work extra hard to divert that adrenalin hit onto something more productive and healthy! This can be said with all terriers and guarding breeds.

A different example is the shih tzhus. If I were to take on a little Shih t I would take all the above into account and rather than treat then as adrenalin junkies I find they often lead sheltered, protected and indulged lives. So often toilet training is a little lapse 'after all they are only small and I can put a puppy pad down' and ' he doesn't like to go out in the rain'. Often they will be hand biters frustrated little people because they haven't learnt the word No. Nearly every one has been barky on the lead as people are scared to mix them with larger dogs.

You get the idea so here is a quick rundown on some breeds:

Labradors, you get the steady ones who tend to go with the flow, the manic ones who are libel to thieve, bowl into people, get bitten by other dogs as they have no social skills and if pushed will bite as their puppyish behaviour hasn't resulted in their usual reward. The the sensitive Labs who start of shy then become barky and reactive as they haven't learnt good affective coping strategies.

Westies, can be sweet generally opinionated and barky quite willing to have the odd nip at a dog for many reasons and occassionally out and out tantrums.

Whineramers( Weimerarners to the uninitiated)stressheads and thinkers they work best when tired and physically content, prone to hissy fits if not exercised enough.

German Shepherds can be fantastic in the right hands yet can be a big pain in the butt, often swinging from arrogance to insecurity. Often they have a look of an animal who doesn't know if the should be a pet or guard. Like Staffies they need to learn to enjoy playing for their kicks rather than wanting to pick on animals and people.

These are wildly generalisations at least it gives you an idea.

I love my sighthounds they have lived with all manner of small furries from rats to guinea pigs and currently a mad cat. Of course many can live with small furries yet there are some who definately can't. Despite what many greyhound rescues say( they need very little walking) many greyhounds need a good hard walk, a blast and mental stimulation so why not just say that?

So if you arenan owner of one of the much maligned breeds try your hardest to teach your dog and become a real living ambassador of the breed and for all of us who have been at the receiving end of a 'bad' dog learn what you can about many breeds and learn their weaknesses and traits. Make an informed decision and learn how to read the dogs language. This especially applies when you live near a dodgy dog.

Don't indulge little dogs, they are still dogs that need rules.
If you have a guarding breed teach it it's guarding instincts aren't required.
Teach your adrenalin junky dogs to love a hard ball game or play with a dog rather than fighting.

With a bit of luck I won't hear the saying ' there are no bad dogs just bad owners' anytime soon and I live in hope common sense will prevail.

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