Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Dangerous training methods

October 17, 2012

The writing of this post was prompted by an unfortunate series of events last night which resulted a dog being returned to the greyhound rescue. Leaving out any names, of course, here is a summary of what occurred. A young, male greyhound was recently adopted by a family: a man, woman, no kids, cats. He has exhibited some typical dog naughtiness like stealing things out of the trash or off countertops. And last night, he apparently growled at the woman when she tried to take one of these things away from him. She attempted to discipline him by performing something known as an “alpha roll,” an outdated dog training technique made popular again in the past decade by Cesar Mill*an and the TV show The Dog Whisp*erer. It involves pinning the dog down on its back to show your dominance. You can find many examples of it on youtube.

When she attempted to do this, the greyhound became terrified and bit the woman’s arm. She has a puncture wound and some bruising. She called the greyhound rescue and told us she wanted the dog put to sleep. We were able to convince her to return the dog to us. She never showed up, and we discovered the police had been called. We were able to go to their home and pick up the dog, and the police were supportive of our observing and rehoming him.

What I want to address here is the use of dominance-based training techniques. I will acknowledge that there may be SOME dogs for whom these techniques may be effective. But even in those cases, those techniques should ONLY be performed by a trained animal behaviorist. Even on the popular TV show, each time Cesar performs a technique like an “alpha roll,” a box pops up on the screen that reads “Do Not Try These Techniques at Home.” The reason: this is purely, undeniably dangerous. This is an excellent way to get bitten.

This dog was returned to us with a folder of his medical records. In that packet was a handout the family had been given by their vet, but clearly never read. It’s written by the Humane Society and is titled “Positive Reinforcement.” In the section that talks about punishment-based training, it says:

“…Never use physical punishment that involves some level of discomfort of pain, which may cause your pet to bite to defend herself. Holding the neck skin and shaking your dog, or performing “alpha rolls” (forcing your dog onto her back and pinning her on the floor) are both likely to result in bites. And punishment might be associated with other stimuli, including people, that are present at the time the punishment occurs. For example, a pet who is punished for getting too close to a small child may become fearful of, and aggressive toward, that child — or toward other children. That’s why physical punishment is not only bad for your pet, it’s also bad for you and others.”

Here are some other articles that support that statement:

Using Dominance to Explain Behavior is Old Hat

If You’re Aggressive, Your Dog Will Be Too

Most behaviorists do not subscribe to dominance-based training techniques, because they are both ineffective and dangerous. The Animal Humane Association, The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, and the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists have all publicly come out against these methods. They are NEVER APPROPRIATE for greyhounds, who are sensitive dogs and cannot emotionally handle fear-based techniques. They are also physically delicate, and such techniques are likely to cause them pain or injure them.

For an alternative, please check out the trainer that our rescue uses: Pretty Good Dog Training. If you need help working through any behavior issues with your dog, please contact your adoption representative, day or night, we are here to help.

We will be observing the dog for any behavioral issues. In our experience he has been a sweet and gentle dog. When we are confident that he is not showing signs of aggression, we will be looking for an understanding and positive forever family for him. He is beautiful, excellent with cats, smart and affectionate.

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Super Bowl ads

February 6, 2012

Yep, another post from me today. Is the world coming to an end?

Couldn’t let the Super Bowl go by without a short commentary on the dog ads this year…

Some of you may already be aware of the Sketchers ad featuring greyhound racing. There has been internet chatter for months in anticipation, including a Boycott Sketchers campaign by Grey2K. (And yes, I signed the petition to ask Sketchers to consider pulling this ad.) Here is the much-debated ad:

http://www.hulu.com/adzone/watch/325768/adzone-skechers-gorun-mr-quiggly

Check out http://www.grey2kusa.org/boycottskechers/ for the Boycott Sketchers campaign, to see how you can still respond to this ad.

My main issue with this ad is that it makes greyhound racing look like a popular, glamourous event. Look at all those people in the stands! Look at the lush landscaping, the UNMUZZLED greyhounds, the well-kept track. This ad was filmed at Tuscon Greyhound Park, one of the very worst tracks in the country. See this video: http://www.grey2kusa.org/azVideo.html and read this story from Tuscon News KOLD: http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=13725459  Does this look like what you see in the Sketchers ad? Not so much.

Why would a company want to associate itself with an industry that has a long and documented history of killing and cruelty? They are counting on the fact that most people don’t care enough to do the research themselves. Most people will take the ad at face-value, assume that greyhound tracks are well-kept places, popular family destinations. There’s no kill truck pulling up to the back door in this ad. But greyhound advocates need to let everyone know what the real story is.

Some people have said that all the ad needed was a little PSA at the end saying “Adopt A Retired Racing Greyhound” or some such thing. While that WOULD have helped start the conversation, I still think that the ad does too much to glorify racing. If this ad is responsible for even one person saying, “Hey, that looks like fun. Those dogs look so cool racing. I think I’ll go to a track and bet on them,” that’s too many for me.

Yes, I personally know trainers who love their dogs and make sure that all their dogs get into adoption. But that’s not the whole story of racing. I also personally have received countless dogs from the track with open lesions, unmended broken bones, unbelievable cases of parasites, including a dog who died within an hour of arrival here because his lungs were so congested that the stress and heat of the hauler ride was more than his little body could handle. And no one noticed. When people think of greyhound racing, I want them to think of those dogs. Not a pretty green topiary-filled park where happy dogs run in a circle while stands full of people cheer. When people think of greyhound racing, I sure as hell don’t want them to find anything to laugh about.

So please let Sketchers know what you think of this ad, and hopefully they will not continue to air it.

For a cute Super Bowl ad featuring a dog, check out the Bud Lite ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyFWSys3TJU&feature=share

This dog is really a rescue dog, and note the PSA at the end. This is the way to do it. For every ‘like’ Weego receives on Facebook, Bud Light will donate $1 (up to $250,000) to Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, ARF.  https://www.facebook.com/BudLight

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On “Vacation”….

August 22, 2011

ANNOUNCEMENT: Please be patient with us as Lloyd travels to China to adopt our two newest children. Jen will be sole caregiver for 2 kids and 17 dogs while he is away, and will be processing applications slowly IF AT ALL until 9/9. If you submit an application, please be aware that we may not be able to finish your process until mid-September. We apologize for the inconvenience. IF YOU HAVE A MEDICAL OR BEHAVIOR QUESTION – please email Jen, as she will be responding to those!

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Off Topic today….

March 7, 2011

Many of you may know that I advocate for fur-less kid adoption in addition to greyhound adoption.  Today I need to spend a minute of your time on that kind of adoption.  There’s a “movement” going around the adoption blogs encouraging people to consider adoption children with special needs.  So here’s my little contribution….

I have 2 girls from China, and waiting for a third to arrive home soon.  But what follows doesn’t just apply to adoption from China.  There are waiting children there, here, and everywhere!

Many times, what prospective families see about “special needs kids” looks something like the following:

  • Boy, 3 yrs, repaired cleft lip and unrepaired cleft palate 3rd degree
  • Girl, 6 years, spina bifida, possible HepB
  • Girl, 18 months, congenital heart defect
  • Boy, 2 yrs, malformed hands and feet

But those kids are NOT their special needs.  This is WHO THEY ARE:

Then… Girl, 4 yrs, cerebral palsy, confined motion of right limbs.

Now… Sunshine, my daughter, exuberant, fearless, curious and loving.

Then… Girl, 3 yrs, dental abnormalities

Now… Maisy, my daughter, amazingly smart, creative, gorgeous

Girl, 3 yrs, missing arm (fibrosarcoma) and Hep B

Soon to be Poppy, daughter, granddaughter, sister, friend, loved child

These are my own beautiful and perfect children.  But I didn’t just get lucky.

Right now there are beautiful, loving children WAITING for a family to love them.

They are not broken, or too old, or second best.  In fact they are perfect.

Once you see past the label.

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More kennel photos

February 11, 2011

Almost there!!!

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Need some gift ideas?

December 1, 2010

Here’s a shameless plug for shopping that benefits MNGR (and features my own art and designs, incidentally).

For “stocking stuffer” jewelry and prints, check out our Etsy Store!

A few examples of what you’ll find there….
Prints:

Necklaces:

Pins:

And in MNGR’s CafePress Shop, you’ll find a huge selection of designs on t-shirts and other merchandise, including this:

Remember, purchases from both of these stores help the waiting hounds at MNGR!

They all send you holiday Thank Roooooos!

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More articles on Ebro

November 9, 2010

Here’s a collection of news articles from the past few days about Ebro.

Many people have told me that the story has made them cry, or want to throw up, or so angry they can’t see straight. If it affects you that deeply, my sincere hope is that you will take the time to DO something about it! A few minutes of your time, or a few dollars, to help bring justice for this evil person and to help keep something like this from ever happening again.

Donate to GPA-EC. Write letters in support of the hounds. The hounds need more than your tears. They need your help!

License Suspended


Appalling Cruelty

More Found Dead Near Suspect’s Home

Williams Linked to More Deaths

Investigation of Deaths

Williams Kennel in Mobile Shut Down

Necropsy Confirms Starvation

Dozens Demonstrate

Trainer Claimed Dogs Were Okay

Racing to the Grave

How the Public Can Help

The Hound Who Lived


GPA-EC’s updates on the Ebro hounds