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Everything posted by Maddy

  1. This assumes the dog doesn't associate the shock collar with the unpleasant stimuli, rather than the snake. And if the dog ever tests that out, in a real life situation, they'll quickly discover that attacking snakes does not make their neck hurt. Yes, it's possible to just have the dog wear the shock collar for several weeks beforehand to lessen the risk of the dog making the correct association, but as I've pointed out, also very possible for the dog to push boundaries and discover those painful boundaries are gone. In my opinion, it's giving owners a false sense of security. Personally, I would never recommend it to the people who adopt from me- I'd suggest working on the best recall possible (if they insist on offleash walks, which I also wouldn't recommend for greys) and close supervision in areas where snakes might be. It's not a quick or easy solution but it's kinder to the dog and undoubtedly safer.
  2. That's sad, but it doesn't change the fact that aversion training may do more harm than good. It's no different to the people who claim they can "re-train" greyhounds not to chase- the dog will still do exactly what its nature compels it to do, it'll now just be done outside of human oversight. And as I mentioned above, that's far more dangerous, especially in states with multiple snake species where identification for antivenin may be necessary. If your dog is sneaking off to chase snakes, you may not even know it's happened, until it's already too late for treatment. If snakes concern you that much, keep your dogs inside when you aren't home. That way, they're safe from snakes, safe from wandering dogs or any other predator, and as an added bonus, safe from people.
  3. It's pretty common down here, and we only have three species of snake, all of which are treated with the same antivenin. The trouble, as Selkie mentions, is that many use just aversive techniques and you're more likely to end up with a dog who will sneakily go after snakes, which is potentially much more dangerous.
  4. You do realise that they continue to exist when they aren't on the track? And that they have to be handled, trained, moved around, and accept very close contact from strangers, on a regular basis? Until the invention of the mechanical lure, they were coursing and hunting dogs, and lived beside people, just like any other breed of dog. In terms of temperament, in my experience (from actually rescuing them), they are very stable, gentle dogs who thrive on human company. They bond closely with their people but are still polite and friendly with strangers. As I've said before, as long as owners understand sighthound prey drive, greyhounds make amazing pets. If you prefer retrievers, good for you- other people appreciate different types of temperaments. As for whomever you were referring to with the wastage comment.. it's really not that simple. The industry has many problems, and they absolutely need to be addressed. But equally, if the sport goes, the breed goes with it. Over three hundred years of recorded pedigrees, foundations that were built on fitness rather than looks, all the things that breeding for function brought to the breed, will be lost forever. And as much as I dislike the industry as it stands, I also don't want to see a breed that I love, simply cease to be. There could be a sensible middle ground but as long as people refuse to hear the side and doggedly cling to either extreme, it won't happen.
  5. There's a Doler on here who had a boy with rather bad corns (Benny the greyhound) but I forget what her Dol name is. If his thread is still around, in rescue section, you should be able to find her name. I've only ever seen fairly minor ones, and they were good with just softening with vaseline on a regular basis. As my vet said (and I'm sure most others would), there's no point surgically removing them because they only come back. That said, if they're bad enough to cause lameness, something has to be done. Whether that's removal under GA, hulling or filing them with a dremel ()
  6. Handling ears for any reason.. something I dread. Ear branding of puppies while they're wide awake, and during a critical socialisation period, is setting the dog up for issues. One of my greys would SCREECH if you touched his ear leathers, even if you were just gently touching. I was concerned enough to take him to our vet (who also got screeched at ) and his ears were clean, healthy and very normal. Since him, I've had many others who weren't keen on having their ears touched, yet NEVER seen that issue in unbranded greys (which I've had several of).
  7. Maybe pet breeders down here are worse but it all looks comparable to me. There was stuff I don't agree with- such as the culling out of very young pups with health issues or from the odd oopsy litter, even though they could have been good pets- but the fact is, euthanising unfit/unsuitable puppies is not exactly unknown in the show world either (white boxers come to mind). From what I saw, living conditions were much of a muchness (comparable, if not better than the conditions at the breeder we purchased our last pet dog from), socialisation as a whole was definitely lacking but pups were at least kept together, so social skills with other large dogs are generally great. Most breeders that I know of down here, feed out a raw puppy mince, no one cuts off dew claws off puppies (which some registered breeders do themselves, even those toes attached by bone) and overall.. it's average care. It's certainly not ideal (very far from it, especially with regards to socialisation) but compared to the conditions you see companion bred puppies living in down here, it's no worse.
  8. What an absurd question. Did you read and understand what I wrote? I try to be patient with you, asal, but christ, you make it hard.
  9. I can't see what major issues there would be with rearing, it's no better or worse than how many pet breeders (registered or otherwise) raise dogs.
  10. Ah, the old "People these days, no respect, etc., etc., etc." These days, it's socially unacceptable to spit on someone, to beat them within an inch of their life, to murder them because they've annoyed you, to use certain language, to toilet in front of other people, to say racist/sexist things, to break any one of the tens of thousands of unspoken social rules. Being a human is literally the hardest it's ever been. And the slightest infraction can become viral news in a matter of minutes. People are not "worse" now than they were at any point in time. It's a fallacy that gets trotted out to justify any number of (ironically) shitty things, such as capital punishment or beating children. Hitting a child who bullies other children will not cure that child of the problem. We know better than that now. We understand that behaviour must serve the individual some purpose, and that if we discover this purpose, we can resolve the problem, without more violence. Hitting someone does not cure them of anything. Period. Same applied to animals. Clearly, you're okay with the idea of corporal punishment and as I said, you're welcome to your views. However, I absolutely disagree with you and to be honest, I find your views to be outdated and unscientific. Old ways are not necessarily better ways. And in the case of behaviour modification, definitely not the better way. Having said that, if you have studies that confirm the "natural" way is better, please feel free to link them, I'd be very interested to read any sort of evidence for your claims.
  11. In Australia, the VAST majority of pet greyhounds come from the racing industry. And from what I've seen, there is a difference in drive between the two groups. One group is bred to look a certain way, the other is bred to chase through a brick wall. You select for drive, you get more drive. Plenty of ex racing dogs make great pets, but some have prey drive so high that an "average" home is unlikely to be suitable, unless the new owners are willing to do a lot of learning, very quickly. As for the difference between chasing and hunting.. They were bred to chase down and kill animals, for hunting purposes. They're not a retriever or a pointer or a tracker- they chase down the prey and they kill it. Or attempt to turn it, which at high speeds, could result in death anyway. And that's not an attack on the breed, I absolutely love greys and have owned ex racers for over a decade, but I see no need to pretend that their prey drive is not high. I have seen that prey drive in action and it is not something to be downplayed. Your experience seems to be in showbred dogs and I can guarantee you, they're not the same thing. I don't think you can truly appreciate the levels of drive involved until you've been on the other end of the leash to a higher drive greyhound. The intensity of that drive can be confronting. And the consequences for underestimating it could be devastating.
  12. It's that general brand of crap. CM used to do a lot of it for anxious/fearful dogs and it was horrible to watch. I can still remember one in particular, a Great Dane who was scared of slippery floors, and he just dragged this dog down a long hallway and everything about that dog's demeanour was terrible fear. Right up until the dog shut down, anyway. Its eyes were fixed, its posture/gait were stiff/sluggish and it just went wherever he dragged it. And CM proclaimed it a great success. Distressing to watch and even more so, to know that people would copy his methods and cause harm to their own pets I'm quite.. uncomfortable around fish (I won't say scared, but the thought of touching one makes me want to panic-vomit up my intestines) and if someone forced me to put my hand in a fish tank- as a shitty, god-awful teacher did to me a few years back- it sure as hell won't help my anxiety around fish. And after being made to do something I clearly communicated that I didn't want to do, I was left with zero respect or trust for that teacher. Negative outcomes for everyone. And forcing dogs to confront things they aren't comfortable with, same thing. I want my dogs to trust me- to trust that I won't ever drop them in the deep end, and to trust that I'll listen when they communicate with me. I managed to teach a greyhound to get into the bath by himself (which was a pretty big deal for him) and that was just trust. He trusted that I'd abide by certain rules (like not getting his ears or face wet, or not using cool or cold water) and once we'd established that trust, life became so much easier. Trust is a huge part of bonding, and you can't form trust if you're hurting or scaring someone. As for an apocalypse.. my dogs would be doomed. I think they'd immediately die of horror once they discovered that chickens do not naturally come in a "kiev" variety
  13. I get what you're saying LG, but I don't think that picture is really the same thing. In your case, it sounds like a reasonable way to deal with fears. But the difference here is that you are not intentionally causing distress to "teach" your dog a lesson. Would you throw your dog outside during a storm to make her "toughen up"? If I know you anywhere near as well as I think I do, I'm guessing the answer to that would be no. People like CM (I know, I know- it's like the Godwin's Law of dog forums) are big on forcing animals into confronting, stressful situations when there are better ways of dealing with those issues. The CMs of the world might appear to get instant results (when the dog completely shuts down) but the long-term results could be fear/anxiety issues that are even worse than before. One of my dogs was very scared by the vacuum cleaner but we didn't hit him with the vacuum or chase him around with it, to help him "get over" it- we made the vacuum cleaner into a fun game (he now thinks the vacuum cleaner is his chasey friend- he's not the sharpest tool in the shed), made his experiences positive and taught him that vacuum cleaners are not something he needs to fear. Because unless our vacuum becomes sentient and decides to eat whippets, there is no real reason he should fear this human object. If the object in question was a neighbouring pack of wolves, sure, he'd probably need to learn some caution but realistically, there's still no need to teach through fear or pain. Pick any given situation/object/whatever and you can teach an appropriate response without fear or pain. I know we have plenty of people here on the "balanced" training side of the fence- and I'm rather dunk my feet into boiling oil than get into the argument of which side is right- but I think this is more than just a training issue, because it suggests that using (actual) scientific methods of humane behaviour modification are weak, humanising and will leave a dog dangling without leadership. And that's just crap.
  14. Just sounds like justification for hurting dogs in the name of training The trouble with using the "but nature" argument is that often, it totally ignores other examples of how nature works. In nature, small dogs like chihuahuas would not survive. Simple fact. But here we are, breeding something unnatural and keeping them in an unnatural setting (our homes), and protecting their health in a variety of unnatural ways (vaccination, parasite preventatives, etc.). So the "but nature" argument doesn't fly, while you're happily ignoring other things that are perfectly natural- like your dog dying from heavy roundworm burden as a young puppy. The "but nature" argument totally ignores the fact that there is nothing natural about the lives of domesticated animals. You pet dog doesn't have to learn how to hunt for food, or learn how to avoid potentially lethal conflicts with dogs straying into its territory, because we humans have completely changed how the dog lives. If you want to hurt your dog to teach it how to behave, I guess that's your business but let's not pretend that it's better management, because it really isn't.
  15. A greyhound locked outside all day and night will not be a happy dog. Personally, I wouldn't rehome a greyhound to a home where it was going to sit outside by itself for the majority of its life- we're talking about a breed of dog that usually lives around at least several others of its kind while racing, they are rarely happy living in almost complete isolation. In my honest opinion, this is another thread where the most suitable dog for the OP might just be a cat. Also, the OP mentions never having owned a dog and again, I know greys get recommended a lot as "easy" first dogs, but they're very different from the average dog and in my opinion, not ideal for the first-time dog owner unless the prospective owner has done a hell of a lot of research and understands what they're getting.
  16. But these are still issues of prey drive, not of human aggression or abnormally high anxiety or fearfulness. Which is what I was getting at- Karen Dawson had an opportunity to talk about a real issue in managing the breed, but instead chose to focus on issues that are much less common in ex racers, in a manner that comes across as rather alarming, especially for new owners who might have children (and children's faces attached to those children). In my experience, the general public has no idea why greyhounds wear muzzles and many will firmly assert that "greyhounds aren't aggressive dogs so they shouldn't wear muzzles", and that says a lot about the level of misinformation out there. When you explain to some of these people that greyhounds chase small animals to kill them (as was their original purpose), they are utterly horrified. But to be honest, I'm not sure what they expected? That a greyhound would chase something down and then.. cuddle it gently? Who knows
  17. Return the dog to the rescue. It's neither fair nor sensible to try to train the dog out of behaviours that are normal for the breed. From the sounds of it, you got given a greyhound with higher than average prey drive and no amount of training is going to change that. When you return the dog, I'd communicate VERY clearly that prey drive is the issue and that he is NOT small dog safe. Maybe he slipped through testing, maybe they didn't bother to test, who knows. But either way, they need to be aware that he is not suitable for anything but a fairly experienced sighthound home, where his prey drive can be safely managed.
  18. Plenty of ways to avoid boredom though, the inside of a house is no less stimulating than sitting alone in a yard. Personally, I see a lot of advantages to keeping dogs inside if you aren't home. Firstly, they're so much safer- almost no chance of them escaping or being stolen, no chance of baiting, less issues with barking, no need to worry about the weather, etc. As for toileting.. we trained our whippets to use Conni pads. Very easy and especially useful in wet weather when dogs aren't keen on going outside. Provide a rotation of good toys, access to comfy places to sleep and my dogs are very happy creatures.It's absolutely doable, if you're willing to make a few small changes to your day. And as an added advantage, because they're inside dogs, they're very clean, which means they're that much more pleasant to be around. At one stage, I had four inside dogs (three greyhounds and a whippet) and my house smelled perfectly fine, according to visitors who could be relied on to be honest with me (my mum )
  19. Oh, I agree. I could think of several breeds/crossbred types that I'd prefer to see muzzled, but honestly, there's not enough Savlon in the world to soothe the flaming I'd get for daring to suggest that some breeds are more prone to certain undesirable behaviours than others. :|
  20. Well, ideally "assessment", rather than "deed". No SWFs should have to die for a greyhound to be judged unsuitable for muzzling exemption. Maybe some people with high drive greyhounds are sensible and manage them safely, but I've heard of plenty who haven't been, and for people who refuse to be sensible, we have laws.
  21. I didn't respond negatively, I disagreed with your assessment of Karen Dawson's comments as "fair". And to clear up another thing- you assume incorrectly: For the previous 10 years, I have run my own greyhound rescue (prior to that, I was coordinator for another). I have assessed each and every dog that I have cared for. I have collected dogs from training properties and taken them straight back to my home, to my family, none of whom are missing their noses or any other body parts. Each dog is given time to settle and then assessed based on daily observation, rather than assessed by "tests" like the RSPCA use (which have been proven to be pretty useless). The exception to that is prey drive testing, which is done formally initially but followed up with ongoing observation of interaction with smaller animals/small dogs. With regards to prey drive.. I'm not sure if your comments there were aimed at me but if they were, you're preaching to the wrong person. I'm a firm believer that some greyhounds need to be muzzled as a matter of safety. I have to assume you misinterpreted my complaint about Karen Dawson's statement: she focused on less usual issues such as human aggression. I opined that I believed issues such as prey drive deserved MORE attention because they tended to be less understood by the public and much more of a safety concern (besides obviously being more common). Anyways.. @m-j I suppose it's not unlike other traits in that you have some genetic basis and then environmental input from there. I rehomed the litter sister of a Launceston Cup winner. He was a hard chaser, whereas his sister (the dog I rehomed) was safe with anything, and went on to live with a chi and a cat, very happily. Same environment, same training, slightly different roll of the genetic dice. I think greater socialisation with other animals couldn't be a bad thing, but it's not always going to be enough. And for dogs like that, we need assessment and legislation to prevent harm. As for the 4 Corners expose making a difference.. I honestly can't say I've seen it here. Of the last three dogs I've had recently (all youngsters, post 4 Corners), one was so keen that I'd say he wasn't even medium sized dog safe. Another was keen on fluffies and would definitely have chased. The third was not cat safe but definitely small dog safe, and his reactions to cats certainly weren't strong. That dog came from a trainer who couldn't even be bothered to keep the dog in reasonable health, so I doubt he was putting too much effort into socialisation. Yet that dog.. easily one of the nicest dogs I've had in a while. Perhaps if he'd been socialised thoroughly as a pup, he might have been even better. Who knows. At the end of the day though, I don't think it's possible to create and enforce rules around socialisation of pups so we have to be realistic about what that means for management, for pet owners. I think a lot of pet greyhound owners are oblivious to the risks, because they've been told- over and over by groups like Animals Australia- that greyhounds aren't aggressive, and so they believe that means no muzzle is needed. It's such a shamefully fixable issue, and it shits me endlessly that we're still stuck on it, all because of some misinformation and lack of education.
  22. Thanks asal, but I've seen high prey drive and the average JRT doesn't even come close. A JRT may have more energy, but energy to chase and drive to chase are too very different things. I have tested greyhounds that turned into screaming frenzied, completely uncontrollable animals when they saw the small dog and the reality is, those dogs don't make good pets for the average home. Downplaying prey drive is exactly the wrong thing to be doing anyway. Greyhounds are a coursing breed and the public needs to understand that, and to understand what that entails. Advocating for a breed is not just encouraging people to adopt, it's providing honest, accurate information, based on the expected behaviour/traits of the average.
  23. Of course not all greyhounds are suitable for adoption but the issues she describes are (in my experience) the least likely reasons a greyhound would be unsuitable. I could count on one hand the number of greyhounds I've fostered who have struggled with suburban life or issues relating to socialisation. Compared to the amount who are unsafe because of very high prey drive, issues with socialisation are insignificant. Statements like.. "I see the bites on the child's face," and "I see the nose that's almost been bitten off by the person silly enough to rub their face into the dog." create an impression that greyhounds are dangerous dogs and that the public has been lied to about their temperament. And neither of those things are true. For someone who claims to be an advocate for the breed, she has a reputation of.. pretty much the exact opposite, amongst a lot of greyhound people. As for @Big D's comment, total garbage. Suffering and disaster? How long have you been involved in greyhound rescue to have formed the opinion that they don't transition well into pet homes?
  24. And a hefty side helping of incorrect information, conspiracy theory and pseudoscience. I wouldn't recommend that site to anyone who wanted to understand nutrition as a science, rather than as a belief system. The guy heavily pushes vegan diets for dogs as "healthier and more natural". As far as I'm concerned, he's a ****ing idiot.
  25. I think in some cases (like the ones you mentioned), it'd be helpful to work out RER/MER, calculate out kcals for their given food types and actually show owners, with maths, that opinions of total strangers in cliquey Facebook groups aren't always the most reliable way to determine caloric needs of your own dog. Considering MER may vary by breed, housing situation (inside or outside dog), local climate, activity levels, reproductive status, age and a small mountain of other factors, it's impossible to just apply one very basic percentage. It doesn't even account for caloric value of the food. There's a big difference between eating a kilo of kale, and a kilo of Caramello koalas, for example :|
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