Get it! Get it!
YOUR DOG'S PERCEPTION OF BASIC NEEDS (Part 1)
Dogs can only look at the world from a canine perspective, and they view us as being a dog. How they perceive their needs are being met or not met will, to some extent, determine their behavior. The more they think their needs are being satisfied, the happier and calmer they will be. If they think their basic needs are not being met, the more they are likely to do things to try and satisfy those requirements.
How dogs act around food can also be an indication of his relationship with us. If they think they are in charge, they might try to take our food. The leaders control the resources and get the best food. We can sometimes confuse things by giving our dog food, either treats or table scraps, from our hands. In his mind this can get turned around so that he thinks he's the leader because he's taking food away from us.
I'm not a veterinarian, dietitian, or expert in nutrition, but I do know that some things that aren't good for us aren't good for our dogs. We avoid by-products, chemical preservatives, and dyes in our dog's food. Corn is sugar, and should be avoided in a dog's diet. Wheat products should also be avoided. Wheat can cause allergies in some dogs. The first ingredient on the dog food bag should be a whole meat, meaning it should say "lamb" or "chicken", not "chicken by-product meal". Our dogs are carnivores.
If you have questions about your dog's diet talk to your vet or someone at a natural pet food store. They are well informed about the latest nutritional studies. You can also go to the website www.DogFoodanalysis.com and/or www.DogFoodProject.com and do your own research.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Security also primarily has to do with leadership. As I've stated, the vast majority of dogs don't want to be in charge. Dogs don't understand our world. People coming and going from our house (the den) can be confusing for them. In a dog's world, packs don't do a lot of socializing with other packs. Pack members, except the leaders, don't wander away on their own. Again, dogs are looking at our world through his perspective. We're the only ones who have any chance of understanding our world and it's a challenge even for us.
Because dogs don't understand the differences between them and us, they will either do things that they feel they need to in order to keep the pack safe, or they will defer to the leaders to keep the pack safe. In order for them to relax and not stress about visitors, our comings and goings and other issues, we need to take the leadership job and give them consistent signals that we have things under control.
If you see that, then he'll probably like a dark and cozy crate. A crate that is up and open all the time, is a good retreat for a dog, if he needs it. His own blanket with his smells on it also mean safety to him.
Just as we sometimes need our own space, so does our dog. This can be especially important if there are small children in the home. Sometimes dogs don't want to play or be pestered. He needs his own area where he can go to be left alone. We've helped numerous families that have been having problems between dogs and children. Just getting them to set up a shelter for their dog, which is off limits to the kids, has often improved the situation.
Part of our leadership responsibilities are to provide our dog with the safe place or shelter he needs.
Be sure to read Part 2 of this article in the next edition of The Ratbone Barker.
Submitted by Terry Nickerson, Canine Behavior Therapist and owner of Bark Busters of Brevard. You can reach Terry at 1-977-500-BARK or visit her company's website at www.Barkbusters.com.
I Lost My Identity!
Years ago my humans bought me a cute little brown ID tag to match my pink and brown collar. I guess they must have forgotten to check it periodically because when my mama recently checked which telephone number was on it, she discovered there was nothing on the tag at all! With my name and telephone number rubbed completely off, my identity was lost.
Luckily my mama quickly got me a new tag with deeper engraving. It also has a decorative trim around the edge (bling, oh yeah) that works as a buffer to help protect the part with my identity engraving. The new tag also came with vinyl covers for even additional protection.
I don't think I will ever have to worry about loosing my ID again, whew, but please remind your humans to keep an eye on the condition of your tags. Microchips are great but sometimes they fail or the humans that finds us fails to check for a microchip. Having two reliable forms of ID is best.
I finally got a new toy! And it’s a goodie. My foster sister Diamond and I both love it.
My new toy is a skunk from the Forest Friends collection of Go Products with” Chew Guard” technology. I don’t know about all of that but I do know that it is fun.
In the Forest Friends category there are three offerings: a raccoon, a fox, and a skunk. We have the skunk. It’s about 22” long but don’t worry about it being too big because half of it is tail and the tail is light. Some toys that size would be cumbersome for a rattie to carry around but this one isn’t. And, it’s long enough to play tug if you have a partner.
It has a couple squeakers and is stuffed with a material that sounds like wadded up paper instead of the traditional poly stuffing. My mama says it throws well too. The color should keep it from looking dirty too quickly and all the seams are double stitched and reinforced to stand up to chewers (like my sister Daisey).
For pups that prefer a little smaller toy, there is an armadillo available. It’s called Mr. Armie and measures in at 18” (measurements includes tail). A lot smaller is the Baby Armie at only 11”. Sadly, I don’t have one to critique but my mama looked at them and says they appear to a tougher alternative to the dozens of hedgehogs we have destroyed. Sound like a challenge to me ;)
After 12 years, I've come to realize you gotta have a sense of humor in rescue! Just gotta!
A while back, we took a foster Ratty, a stunningly beautifull Decker Giant Rat Terrier named Duke who is literally "******on wheels". Duke is a credit to the Decker lines, a huge boy with a mild disposition and unending prey drive. Duke was adopted but in short order he was returned to us because he was just too much dog, and that he is. Now he is too much dog at my house again, but I love him and I think he has a home coming up - so I am not complaining.
There are times however, when Duke presents a real challenge to my sanity. Being a BIG boy, he has been able to find ways to escape the fence that elude the smaller, less athletic pups. The first proof of his unusual ability came when he showed us he could climb trees and that if the tree was close to the fence, he could then leap from the tree to the other side of the fence. After some pruning and creative "screening" that avenue of escape became ineffective for him but it didn't slow him down for long. During the August meeting of the Ratbone Board of Directors, I was forced to duck out of the meeting when hubby hollered that Duke had gone OVER the fence. Off through the neighborhood he went, with me after him. He was enjoying the taste of freedom so was not interested in coming when called but fortunately, after about 10 minutes I got close enough to snag him and return home for the end of the meeting. Since the fence can't really go higher, it is already 6 feet tall, YES, I said 6 feet and Duke still goes over it, we had to get more creative. First we tried putting shelf brackets at the top of the fence, with fencing strung between, in theory to halt him as he leaped for the top of the fence. Theory is the operative term here, we quickly found that Duke just backed it up a couple feet and would catch the overhanging materials then drag himself up to the top of the fence and leap to the ground from there.
So, there I was, chasing that dang hoot down again. I had just left home when Hubby called me on my cell phone to tell me that Duke had somehow gotten out of the backyard and was trotting off down the street. I dropped everything, turned my car around and came back, spotting Duke on his way to the park. I parked the car and got out and called him. Miracle of miracles, the knothead actually came up to me like he knew he had been a bad boy, so I hugged him for coming when I called then loading him in the car and took him home. He had to spend time on house arrest, going outside ONLY on leash. Hubby and I were off to Home Depot the next day for stronger poultry netting for the fence and different brackets for the top. This time we picked flag brackets, which, when attached to the top of the fence, stand up at about a 45° angle. We then strung the chicken wire across these to create an angled extension to the fence. Our fence is now reminiscent of a maximum security prison but for the moment, it seems to be working. Of course, give him a day or two and Duke may figure out a new way to escape.
Even when he doesn't escape, life with Duke remains challenging and in a sick way, entertaining. At at 5 AM one morning, Duke was barking like a maniac in the back yard so I stumbled out in my jammies to shut him up before the neighborhood evicted us. I grabbed Duke and as I was up already, we took off for a walk, in the hope it would tire him enough to shut him up! After a tour of the neighborhood, we returned home rather stealthily since I was still wearing slippers, hadn't combed my bed-head hair and was NOT my normal fashion plate self. Once at the house, I see little 6 pound Susie, the American Hairless that keeps us entertained, struggling with all her might to drag something through the doggy door. At first, it looks like a pile of old rags but it is twice Susie's size and as hard as she was working, it had to be heavier than her.
Duke is looking for a home, a special family that can deal with his high level of energy and prey drive, maybe even a farmer who has a rat problem but NO CATS. He is a special dog and will make some family very happy. Although his leaving will lower the excitement level in this house considerably, we will still have Susie. Enough excitement for one home!
Little Fraggle was just a puppy when he was picked up off the streets of a Kansas town. He was around 4 months old when the shelter sent a request for rescue for him. He was so frightened in the shelter that when they picked a name for him, they called him "Slinky" because he wouldn't stand upright and was terrified of everything. When he came to rescue, he was afraid of the other dogs and wanted to hide in a box at first. He soon decided his foster mom was OK and he would seek comfort with her when the other dogs approached him. Slinky was such an unpleasant name that the first task was to change it to something lovable. His hair was longer than normal for a Rat Terrier and the name "Fraggle", after the odd little Jim Henson puppets of the 80's, just seemed to fit him.
It wasn't long before Fraggle began coming out of his shell. He decided the other dogs weren't going to hurt him and it was kind of fun to play with them. He began to act less like a "slinky" animal and more like a happy, playful young dog. Being young and cute, it was not long before Nicole and Jose picked him to become part of their family. They were approved and transfer of Fraggle to them was scheduled. This is their story:
After a few hours in the car we arrived home and our newest member claimed his chair in the living room, watching cautiously what was going on around him, he wouldn't even take treats from us. After a few days Fraggle began to take treats, but Elvis was still the enemy. After some adjustment time, we began taking Fraggle to the dog park, where he was terrified of the obstacles. Okay, he was scared of everything! However, the more we went the more comfortable he became, soon he actually began to enjoy going. Eventually, he was doing runs through the obstacle course, absolutely loving to run, jump and climb over things and whisking through the tunnels. The park is now a fun place; he begins yelping the closer we get to the park. I swear this dog has a built in GPS.
Fraggle now has three furry sisters, two dogs (Gidget and Mimzy) and a cat (Reaghan). His favorite is Gidget, we tease him that that she's his girlfriend because they are inseparable. They enjoy running around the yard together and he's become her "caretaker", giving her nightly "baths", lapping her ears and eyes. After some initial confusion and curiosity over what the cat was, we even catch them snuggling together!
Fraggle has been a significant part of our family, it simply wouldn't be the same without him. He's really come a long way from that rainy day in Kansas. He's not so submissive these days and after a moment's hesitation he's off to welcome new guests. Fraggle really loves to please and is always excited to show you what he can do. He has such an expressive face and happy-go-lucky personality, we couldn't ask for a better dog!
Yeah for Fraggle! What a great Happy Tail!
Ratbone Rescues is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Ratbone Rescues, Inc.
P.O. Box 3237
Seminole, FL 33775-3237
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