29. August 2011 07:10
Puppy School is a great start in your puppy's life education but ideally it should be followed by a Level 1 Basic Manners, Obedience & Socialisation or a Juvenile dog course program. This would provide strategies, life skills and knowledge for dog owners to handle their dog in various daily situations in life that they may encounter. Owners would be able to learn about dog body language, how dogs should meet politely, loose lead walking, recall and so forth...Juvenile dogs can be very excitable and they have lots of energy. If that energy isn't properly channeled they could easily turn to destructive and nuisance behaviour. We can give you the right tools and dog training strategies to approach this period of your dog's life. So Puppy School and a Level 1 Basic Manners & Obedience course set the right foundation from the start.
4. March 2010 06:23
If ever considering employing the services of a dog walker please consider the level of experience and qualification of the person. There are a few dog walking/ pet sitting services out there but very few are run by capable knowledgeable people. Anyone can set up a service and start copying what a stablished business do but can you imagine a person that has never worked with dogs before and who doesn't understand how dogs learn and their body language around others dogs and people, how dogs should meet and greet politely - if they start taking 4 dogs out to off leash areas what could go wrong? Many things really, potential for disaster: dogs getting bitten and getting into fights, running off into the road, not coming back on recall, developing serious bad habits on lead and off leash like doing rough play with a more timid dog - if this timid dog is already at the dog park. And on lead walking - all people walk dogs but only a few know how to walk dogs properly, without dog pulling on lead, which type of equipment to fit dog properly so he doesn't pull, how to make dog to walk close to the person leg and not miles away in front, or stopping to sniff everywhere. So it's not anyone that would do to walk your dog. PET PALS has walked dogs for 9 years now and I had never had 1 dog getting bitten by another or have had a insurance claim ever. It's all been plain sailing and dogs have a lot of fun. I can read them like a book by now. I know when arousal escalates and it's time for a break during play, to give a bit more space to a particular dog or dogs that shouldn't be mixed together. They all learn good skills and their manners improve considerably overall, including lead walking and their off leash recall. So I provide much more than a simple walking service.
15. February 2010 12:45
Longer working hours, economic recession times, med and high density population in urban areas of Melbourne and houses been built with much smaller size backyards than before partially due to demand for smaller house blocks in residential housing development areas and popular trend for townhouses and units with small courtyards - have a huge impact on the way our pets live. Our dogs are getting less and less space for exercise in their own house backyards. And many people can't find the time to take them out on proper walks, to the dog park, the beach, the woods and to the bush for a run. So these dogs are getting terribly bored at home with nothing to do and nuisance behaviour like excessive barking, digging and destructive habits can be generated from lack of proper physical and mental stimulation in their lives. People should ideally research about which type of dog would be suitable for their lifestyle and family situation before they act on impulse and decide to buy a dog without much previous thought or consideration. We all love pets and dogs but responsible pet ownership is vital in todays' society. We have a duty of care with our pets. They have special needs and we need to learn and inform ourselves about them. I work as a dog walker and trainer and there are few areas in which if you walk a dog on the streeet path you'd have most of the dogs on that strip barking very loud at anyone passing by, not simply been territorial about their house but highly reactive to the sight of any dog going past, not friendly at all. It's getting much worse very quickly. I remember few years back when I'd go past many houses and the dog inside the front garden would come towards the front fence wagging its tail to say a friendly 'hi' to the dog passing by. This doesn't seem to occur very often anymore. Are these dogs meeting and greeting other dogs out there? Or are they only been lead walked on the streets and are not been given the chance to interact with other canines? Why is this happening?
10. January 2010 12:03
Every year the same: people going away on holidays, ones who cannot afford paying boarding for their pets or a pet sitter- dump their pets at the animal shelters
Pets as Xmas presents- kids think the novelty wore off, too hard to look after them, unwanted Xmas gifts - pets dumped at the shelter
Fireworks on New Years EVE- dogs and cats left without Council registration or other ID tags and not microchipped, left outside in the backyard, not confined indoors while fireworks are on- they spook and fret, running away in panic - some get killed by cars, others found by anyone, some returned to owners, others never to be seen again by their previous owners, some end up at the pounds, the animal shelters for adoption and get rehomed, the unlucky ones get put down. Most of it could have been easily prevented if the right thing done by their owners. Much more responsible pet ownership programs needed by the Council, vets, dog trainers, community at large, never enough... out there.
Larger animal numbers enter the shelters during January and February then any other time of the year...
4. December 2009 06:55
While searching for a new puppy or dog - if you ever encounter a situation that seems suspicious, like a backyard breeder that isn't looking after the dogs properly, breeder's place in appalling conditions, dogs underfed, poorly treated and kept in confined spaces please report it to the RSPCA asap. One of these places came to my attention recently and when I came to see the dog - that has been recently re-homed it was obvious that he had been seriously abused and neglected. By reporting it you'll be helping save other dogs from living in the same horrible situation. After you report it a RSPCA inspector is likely to go there, inspect the place and check it out. If they observe any acts of animal cruelty breeder will be charged and animals removed and re-homed. There are many backyard dog breeders out there, very ignorant of animal health standards and they just breed them in large scale to make quick money out of them without providing these dogs with not even the bare essentials for a good health and upbringing. They are born into traumatic environments and sometimes could carry genetically inherited problems. Some bitches become like breeding machines - having litter after litter all life long. That's why to choose a reputable dog breeder is so important. When looking for a new puppy to buy please check the Victoria Canine Association registered breeders list. Avoid the newspapers classified ads. You don't know where they come from.
24. November 2009 06:35
Xmas is a month away now. So have you made arrangements for your dog to be looked after during your holiday? Dog boarding kennels get very busy this time of the year and they get booked well ahead of time. If you haven't got a family member who can look after your dog during the holiday there's always the option of contracting the services of a pet sitter. If you do decide on a pet sitter make sure: person has public liability insurance, is police checked, do check references, meet person ahead of time so you know what she/ he is like and it gives you enough time to organise all the details. If you are away at New Years eve make sure your dog is safely confined during fireworks night. Many dogs get so scared with fireworks they can even jump fences. Preferably have someone to stay with them that night and keep them indoors. And don't forget: if you dog hasn't been microchipped please do it asap and put an ID on its collar as well. Its wise and if your dog ever gets out whoever finds him/her will have how to contact dog's owner. Have a safe Xmas.
10. November 2009 15:26
During February 2009 bushfires I came in close contact with the wonderful job organisations like the Animal Aid and Project Horse Hope did to help the hundreds of distressed, burnt, injured animals that came to their centres. And the immediate on site help they provided to the furry creatures in need. We all know of the wonderful job the RSPCA and The Lost Dogs Home do for the animal welfare. But I have to say the first 2 organisations above were superb considering they had less resources to manage very difficult circumstances. They were restless. Pet Pals helped with financial donations to Animal Aid, Project Horse Hope and Help for Widlife. We delivered van loads of goods to the Coldstream and Gippsland areas. I went shopping for the animals everywhere - pet shops- leads, bowls, collars, toys , saddleries - halters, fly veils, vet wraps, insect repellant and stockfood suppliers, vets - medicine, bandages, seringes, supermarket- parrot, wild birds seeds, possum and koala baby food- you name it. It was such a tragic loss of human and animal life. My horse agistment boarded 12 horses from affected bushfire areas. Beautiful animals! They stayed there until their owners could rebuild their fences and to have them back safely in their properties. I just hope this summer is a milder one. But it's getting hot too early in the year already.
10. November 2009 14:49
During summer try to exercise your dog during the coolest part of the day- early morning is the best or at dusk. Sprinkle some water on you dog after the walk so he cools down. Have 2 or 3 water bowls spread around the backyard so if sun rotates at least 1 of them is in a shady spot. You can put few ice cubes or an ice block inside your dog water bowl before you leave to work. They love it if on a hot day you put a filled kong in the freezer and you leave it out for them so they'll be busy licking it away and it'll be very refreshing for them, like an icy pole. In very intense heat - 36 C check if possible to leave your dog indoors in a cool area or to have someone to come to check him for you middle of the day and to cool him down.
Beach off leash areas summer regulations are now on. It started from 1 November. Please check you local Council website for permitted times and hours. Fines are expensive and council beach inspectors do patrol the beaches in summer in motorbikes. Have a happy summer!
10. November 2009 14:08
It would be a great idea for the first time puppy owners when they got the new puppy that they used the services of a dog trainer to help settling puppy in the new home and get things right from the start, specially if family has little kids at home. It would make life much easier and it would avoid problems and of puppy getting bad habits while young. Puppies learn very fast and the earlier you start training them the better. A private consultation to the family home would be strongly recommended followed by enrolling puppy in a puppy pre-school course by a qualified Delta Society dog trainer. So puppy would learn basic commands and he'd have the first contact with other puppies and start nice dog interaction through puppy play.
10. November 2009 13:38
I am not particularly found of the idea of giving pets to people and kids as Xmas gifts.
Pets are a long term commitment and people should buy them after giving the idea some serious thought and not to buy them on impulse. When someone buys a pet they need to consider not only the purchase cost but:
- DOGS: feeding cost, dogs need to be walked everyday otherwise they may show some nuisance behaviour issues like - excessive barking, digging the backyard, chewing things - cost of occasional visits to a vet, dogs need toys, a kennel, a bed, dog leads, worming and vaccinations, to be enrolled in a dog training school - so they can get trained before bad habits start, so owner sets them for success in life and an enjoyable lifelong partnership, when people go away on holidays they'll need someone to look after them or a place to be boarded at. Kids may like the idea of having pets but they need to learn to help looking after them as well, pets are not toys that can be put on a shelf at the end of the day, they have ongoing needs. Many people end up dumping Xmas pets at the local animal shelters when the novelty wears off or when reality kicks in - dogs start growing up and if not put early in some form of training few things are likely to start going wrong, or person realizes that she doesn't have time for them, that their life is too busy as it is, costs add. So please choose to have a pet when the time is right for you and your family. You'll get to enjoy it a lot more. But if you do decide to get a dog this Xmas, put it through dog school as soon as possible. Give it the best chance in life to really be your best friend, a pet you look forward coming back to at the end of each working day. And treat it with the dignity it deserves.