"The Peeing Post"

Newsletter for dog lovers who respect the dog's nature

Chief Editor: Mogens Eliasen

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Dear Dog Friend,

Yes, I know - the date of this Peeing Post is for tomorrow - I did not want you to think it was an April's Fool (because it isn't), and I don't want to wait till tomorrow sending it when it is ready to go a day earlier...

First a couple of reminders:


Does your ISP censor your e-mail?

I am getting an increasing number of "complaints" from subscribers that do not receive The Peeing Post as they should. I want to explain what is happening - because it could be you next time...

In all the cases I have investigated, the reason for the missing issues is this:

The subscriber's ISP censors the incoming mail! It blocks all mail from my broadcast server referralware.net and sometimes also my web host bizland.com.

When confronted with this, most ISPs will claim that they are "protecting you against spam" - but the truth is that they subscribe to certain Internet "blacklist services", who are fast to put other servers on their blacklist whenever this server gets accused of spam. My broadcast server, referralware.net (which I use for The Peeing Post), is often accused of this - for no good reason. The same goes with all other servers that allow their clients to do mass-mailing (as I have to do when I distribute The Peeing Post - there is no way I can do that from my personal computer...).

Most ISPs (probably including yours) check many times daily with several of these "blacklists" to see if there are new servers on their lists - and if there is a new one, your ISP instantly blocks all mail from it. Some put it in quarantine, others simply delete it on receipt - it disappears into cyberspace...

It may get worse, because it can take many hours, sometimes even days, for my server to prove that the accusations were unfounded - and in the meantime, your ISP just continues holding back or deleting your mail...

And finally, when "things are cleared up", your ISP may not subscribe to the removal list of "suspected spammers" - so your ISP continues to stop or delete all mail from my server, ignoring that the problem has been resolved....

I had the same problem with my previous ISP - and, every week, I have several people contacting me about this problem: they do not understand why they don't get The Peeing Post anymore.... I demanded from my ISP that they put my account outside their darn "spam filters". When they finally did, I got all the mail I wanted - and I did not see any increase in the real spam at all....

All I can suggest is that you regularly check the back issues to see if you are missing an issue...

It is censorship. Nothing more and nothing less. You need to solve this problem with them, not me. I cannot do anything to help you - other than suggesting that you find another server.

I might be able to help with that, though.... I have an idea that could turn into reality if there is a serious interest for it: I could offer e-mail accounts on my server! A real pop3 account you can use directly with your own e-mail program. No need for using other people's web site for your e-mail (like Yahoo and Hotmail). Password protected, so only you can access the account and download your e-mails to your own computer and send them also from your own computer. No need to change e-mail address when you change ISP! And you can get an e-mail address that is what you want it to be (with very few limitations...)

The way I can do it is by setting up a separate pop3 account (exactly what I do for my personal e-mail) on one of the domains I can do this with. Those domains are

So, if you want an e-mail address that is "john@domesticatedwolf.com", you could get it - provided you would be the first to ask... If another John comes before you, you might still be able to get "john@dogpackleaders.com", or any one of the other domains. You might even get your own domain!

I would have to ask a small fee for doing it - as I will have to involve a tech I need to pay - and I will have to pay also for the basic service from my web host. But we are looking at something like $10/year if you want to use one of my domains, and $25/year if you want your own. With your own domain name, however, I can include a full web page you can design exactly as you want it (and the price includes registration of your suggested domain name - the normal price is $35/year, and that does not include any e-mail account or web space...).

Please note that this all comes with ZERO advertising. You get genuine access to a true commercial account for a cost per year that is about what the monthly cost normally would be... (Yep - this means that I need a dozen or so to sign up before it is feasible for me...)

Let me know if you have any interest in this!


More on aggression

What I wrote last time on aggression triggered a flood of comments... Thank you to all of you who took the time to tell me your opinions!

Although most of the comments were basically passing on praise (which I do appreciate!), there were also a few that touched on topics that deserve some additional comments.

First, there is the question about smaller dogs, compared to bigger dogs...

There is not doubt that the media attention is "on the spot" instantly when a big dog molests a child... This is sensation! Sadly so. Fortunately, the vast majority of owners of bigger dogs are also fully aware of the much higher liability they face - and they are generally much more strict about their control over the dog, which pleases an old trainer like me.

Owners of smaller dogs are, unfortunately, much less motivated to take this issue seriously. The very unpleasant result of this is that smaller dogs are generally much worse than bigger dogs when it comes to aggression! When correcting the stats for the number of dogs of the various breeds, then the top of the list in the USA is the American Cocker Spaniel - not Rottweilers or Dobermans! This means, in simple terms, that a Cocker Spaniel is much more likely to seriously hurt a child than a Rottweiler or a Doberman! (In fact, about 12 times higher - that's what the stats show...)

Whereas a Rottweiler or Doberman generally faces only one fate when it has bitten a child or another human, smaller dogs like Lhasa Apsos, Mini-Poodles, Miniature Schnauzers, Dachshunds, etc. will generally survive... The effect this has on genetics is obvious: smaller dogs with bad temperaments are allowed to breed, regardless of them showing behaviors that would be suicidal for a bigger dog.

It gets even worse when owners of small dogs sadly often don't care much about training. "It is just a small dog" - so, it appears, it does not need a pack leader... But a small dog that has no packleader will develop into a tyrannical monster! You cannot accept responsibility for letting this happen with a bigger dog - but I have seen again and again in my courses that people with smaller dogs are much less motivated for taking this seriously. Owners of bigger dogs don't have a choice...

So, YES, I can confirm from my experience what several groomers wrote me, that the biggest issue with aggressive behavior lies with the smaller dogs, not the bigger ones... Groomers rarely get bitten by bigger dogs - but the smaller ones think they can get away with it all the time!

Sad. It is easy to generalize, though. And there are always exceptions. I hope you are one of them.

Although temperament surely is determined by genetics also, then there are two major factors that will promote aggressive behavior - and they are completely within the owner's responsibility:

  1. Bad communication - if the owner does not understand Dog Language, it will for sure provoke violence more often than it should... (I am serious when I say that I think EVERY SINGLE DOG OWNER on this planet should have a copy of Anders Hallgren's "The ABC's of Dog Language" - I really see no valid excuse for not knowing the fundamentals of the dog's ways of communicating.)

  2. Bad pack leadership - letting the dog take charge will lead to nasty behavior. (Most people in North America don't have a clue what "pack leadership" truly entails - that's why I don't want to do any training with any students before they have watched the video "The Dog's Social Behavior" - it is simply a waste of time and money to even try, because it is not going to work until the student understands the concepts from that video....)

Having said this, I also want to point out a third, very common reason, for aggressive behavior: BOREDOM!

Anders Hallgren did some studies about 20 years ago that very clearly confirmed that the number one reason (more than 85% of all the 349 cases) of destructive behavior was lack of appropriate mental activation. And more than 80% of all cases of aggression were closely related to STRESS - with boredom being the number one reason for it!

I know - it is hard to believe for someone who feels stressed by having to much to do. But reality is that having too little to do is no less stressing than having too much to do! Lots of research has confirmed that some of the most stressed people are prisoners and unemployed people!

In the dog's world, it is the same... If you want an aggressive dog, tie it up at a short chain and deprive it from almost all meaningful activity. In about a month or two, you have a monster, not a dog, at that chain... (This is not advice, it is sarcasm - just in case you should feel tempted to try it...! My advice would be to get yourself a copy of "BrainWork for Smart Dogs", so you could completely avoid problems originating in inadequate mental stimulation and have some serious fun instead...)


Collars and harnesses - some comments on safety

A little while ago, I got an e-mail from Laura, who wrote:

...I am perplexed about your comments regarding collars with a snap closure. I have been told specifically by more than one dog owner whom I trust, that these types of collars are safer because the collar -will- break open if the dog gets hung up or caught on something, like tree branches, fencing etc. Now granted, my dog is not going to be climbing any trees, but if he is running through bush or even if he is trying to jump onto the kitchen table, I really don't want the collar to turn into a noose.

In fact the only risk I can see to losing the collar is the loss of the tags. But if my dog becomes completely lost, with his collar on or not, I would be making many trips to the shelters and animal control to locate him. That is safer than relying on the staff to track down the owners or keep records on which dogs have been picked up or turned in. My dog is microchipped, so once I locate him I would be able to prove that he belongs to me. Whereas, a collar can easily be cut off and thrown away by someone who is trying to steal the dog or if he gets taken for medical research.

I'm very interested in knowing if there is something I am missing about this collar issue. Thanks for listening...

Laura

Thanks to Laura for the input. I appreciate the point, and, in a way, I agree with the observations.

However, in my opinion, there is no such thing as letting a dog run around on its own. For that reason, I have no concern for the dog's ability to get free if it gets trapped or caught - because it is not alone! You (or someone else responsible for it) will be there to help. If not, you have no collar on the dog at all! For Search & Rescue (SAR) training, for instance, I will never allow a dog handler to let the dog wear anything during training. If he/she cannot control the dog with the voice, there is no point is attempting serious SAR training yet...

Also, I see no point in the dog wearing a collar at all when it is secure on your property - particularly not indoors. It is a great ritual to teach the dog to accept getting its collar on when being taken out for a walk or for travel or training. However, if you do want to keep a collar on the dog also indoors, then I assume that you simply use the same collar when you go out - and, in such case, that collar should not be so loose that it can cause any problems for the dog. Again, if you cannot watch and supervise the dog, it should not be left to roam on its own... particularly not if there is any risk whatsoever that it could get caught by its collar. Even with a plastic snap collar, you can most definitely not rely on such a collar breaking for the pressure of the dog's weight! It takes a lot of luck for the dog to break the snap - or a damaged snap. If the snap is what the manufacturer intended it to be, it is most certainly does not include the feature of a safety-breaker in case of excess force being used. If it were, it could not safely hold the dog when you have it on leash....

The problem with those plastic snaps is that they are simply not reliable - either way. If you want to use it for safety, then you better make sure it ALWAYS works. Those snaps don't always break or open when you need it - they do it at times that are unpredictable - and that is certainly something you don't need!

Laura is right that if your dog gets lost, YOU will have to track him down. You cannot rely on any shelter personnel to contact you. Microchips or tattoos can do a lot here - but the chips particularly are not always safe for the dog either.

Yes, in case of theft, you have NOTHING to protect your dog. Collars of any kind can be thrown away, and microchips can be removed. Tattoos can be changed. That's one more darn good reason for not leaving your dog alone, unsupervised! Unless it is behind locked doors - and then you don't need a collar at all...

In my opinion, a collar is a tool you need in order to attach a leash to a dog. As far as I am concerned, it has no other purpose. I know, some government authorities disagree on that, but in such case, we are talking about something that no longer has anything to do with the dog...

And, by the way, teaching a dog to fetch its collar and to put it on itself is a great brainwork exercise (of course included in "BrainWork for Smart Dogs"...J.)

 

Cheers and woof,

Mogens Eliasen

 

If you have any suggestions to contributions or contents of The Peeing Post, I will be happy to know about them. (Please no anonymous contacts, though...)

If you have any comments or questions pertaining to this issue or in general pertaining to dogs, please respond - if I can find an answer for you, I will!

 

Even if your question is a "My dog..." question of a personal nature, I will be happy to give you as much advice as I can per e-mail, provided you will give me feedback on how you used my advice and what results you got - and allow me to publish the story. (If I don't get feedback, you will get an invoice for my time...)

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PS. Don't forget the Oliver Camp Course May 01-08, 2004!

I know your dog will love to come, but I don't want to train him without you, so we need you to be there too...

Mogens