February 9th, 2012 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments
I’m sorry I’m going to have to have a rant again, this time about dogs and children, and old fashioned dog trainers.
Starting with the dogs and children subject, there is nothing better for both health and many other reasons than children growing up with a family dog. A dog can be a friend and a security blanket, a nanny and someone to cuddle at night, but they are also animals with their own needs and feelings. As much as you wouldn’t punish or smack a human baby for toilet accidents or scribbling on the wall with a crayon, much less put a metal choke chain round its neck and give it a yank to “train” it, please don’t do this to a puppy or dog. It is as mentally damaging to a four-legged baby as it is to a two-legged one, yet so many people still think it’s OK to treat a dog like this and then wonder why the dog ends up with behaviour problems.
It’s also very important that children are taught – or trained – to respect a dog and its private space, and to understand that they, dogs, have a tolerance level. It’s totally unfair to expect any animal to be poked, prodded, have its ears and tail pulled and be jumped on when asleep or trying to eat. Yet time and time again we get dogs being returned because of them growling, that is, giving a warning which is more often than not ignored, as a result of out-of-control children. If you have children and you think they have a right to torment a dog (resulting in the dog being thrown out), please don’t even think about having one. If a child repeatedly pesters a dog and gets nipped as a result, then whose fault is it? Happily many sensible parents see it as a good lesson for children who have failed to listen and carry on regardless.
The training issue is one that I know I keep repeating, but after having heard yet again about one of those choke chain cowboys working with one of our adopted chihuahua crosses it’s clear that there is still a long way to go on the education front. These bully boy trainers boast about having been in the business for decades, and that’s the problem. Times have changed and our understanding of dogs and their behaviour along with it, but not these idiots. Chains, prong collars, dominance and power are the tools of their trade, and I can guarantee at the end you’ll have a fearful dog that is far more likely to bite than one who learns because they enjoy it. I may be biased, but I happen to think that our two HKDR trainers, Foster Wong and Eddie Choi, are the best in Hong Kong, and believe me they are kept very busy trying to undo the damage done by ignorant (not necessarily cruel) owners, and the “trainers” who charge a fortune to turn a perfectly nice dog into a fear biter.
Puppy Seal had his MRI scan today and the results showed that there is no spinal damage so his paralysis can’t be helped by surgery. The only thing we can do now is to hope that the problem is an infection that will resolve itself in time, and of course Seal is on the appropriate antibiotics (not that they will help a viral infection). We’ll take it day by day and hope for signs of an improvement, and won’t think about other possibilities for at least a week.
Lamma’s month-long trial has ended after just two days with a confirmation of his adoption! He has surprised even me by his amazingly fast adjustment to a totally new life, and has gone from refusing to even stay in the garden to enjoying hours-long walks. His adopter says he has never had a dog that was so easy and was such a fast learner. Good boy Lamma, you’re not just a pretty (very handsome) face.
I interrupted my day off by going to a meeting early in the afternoon, and although I’m not going to give any secrets away I will say that we have something new and very different planned as a fundraising event and the date is Saturday 15th September (evening). And because I know Hong Kong folk have a busy schedule and need to plan ahead, please also mark in your calendars that Peak to Fong 2012 is happening on Sunday 25th November. We have already started our event planning for the year, and if you want to get involved as part of the team you are very welcome. We have an Open House meeting in Central on Wednesday 22nd February at 7.30pm, and you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for venue and details.