"The Peeing Post"

Newsletter for dog lovers who respect the dog's nature

Chief Editor: Mogens Eliasen

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Dear Dog Friend,

This Peeing Post is a little later than I expected - reason being that Anita and I got a chance of moving to the Kootenays (south-eastern BC) - so we decided to go for it!   Moving is never fun - but we are looking very much forward to this.   It will mean that phone numbers and address will change around June 01 - more about this in the next issue.  (The toll-free number 1-888-881-4434 will remain unchanged, though, and e-mail addresses are not affected either...)



E-mail on our domains

Yes - we can do it!   If you want an e-mail account on any of our domains, including:

you can get it - based on first-come-first-serve!

As explained earlier, you will get

We will give it a try at US$10 per year with a $5 set-up fee....

If you want your own domain name, the price will increase to US$25 and a $10 set-up fee, but then you will get your own domain and a little mini-web site (1 Mb storage) you can access directly with FTP.   No advertising on that site - other than what you put on...   So, if you want an inexpensive web site for promoting your affiliate programs or your hobby, this is it!

If you want to check the details, please do so at http://k9joy.com/webservices.



When dogs fight...

In continuation of our discussion on aggression, I got some questions from subscribers about dog fights....  

What do you do when dogs fight?

The answer very much is, "that depends..."!

There are several types of dog fights.   Each one of them have its own characteristics - and you need to know the difference before you do anything to attempt taking control over such a situation.

Rank hierarchy disputes between two males.   This is by far the most common kind of dog fight in a natural dog environment.   It is also the kind of fight you really don't need to do much about- because - if Nature rules - the outcome will not cause any serious damage on either party!   Sure, it sounds as if dozens of dog packs are getting killed - but it is a display with very little seriousity behind.   Male dogs, in general, have very strong bite inhibitors, and they will most certainly not do any harm on purpose.   (Be aware that fighting dog breeds, like Bull Terriers and Mastiffs are dangerous exceptions to this...)

Rank hierarchy disputes between two bitches....  This is a serious thing.   Bitches are called "bitches" for a darn good reason: they want to kill each other! I am serious.   Do not expect a bitch to involve itself in some serious fighting without a clear intention of destroying its counterpart.   Female dogs do not have those strong bite inhibitors that the males have...   Nature protects the females in general by giving them very little motivation to fight, so serious quarrels between two bitches are rare - but dangerous when they happen...   (You may consider fighting between any two dogs of which one is a fighting breed as compatible to a bitch fight...)

Rank hierarchy disputes between a male and a female.   This is a rare occurrence.   Females are generally OK with the natural dominance from the males - they know who makes the final decisions in all important matters anyway...   The females let the males brag about their virtues - and then they get away with what they want anyway.   Not much different from the human world!   The real difference is that the males accept it - and NEVER dispute the privileges of a female.   A male will never hurt a female by intent - even if it costs him his life to not do it.   This makes a fight between a male and a female extremely dangerous - for the male!   If he cannot escape, he will get killed - even if he is much larger and much stronger than the female....

Rank hierarchy disputes between two puppies: have a good laugh - and don't worry!   Provided the puppies are litter mates.   If not, you are in serious trouble...   Nature has no way of solving the problem with two puppies being of different ages and sizes.   And puppies have no bite inhibitors.   They develop with puberty.   So, a five month old puppy can easily kill a two month old puppy by accident....   or, two 4 months old puppies of breeds that are significantly different in size can also become a very serious problem for the small one....

Disputes between a puppy and an adult.  As long as the adult has physical power to win, there is no problem in this.   Even a female will not hurt a puppy.   But please note that Nature considers a puppy as "a dog that has not yet reached puberty"!   Don't come to me and call an 8-month old dog a "puppy"!   It is not!   It is a young adult - a juvenile.   It does not obtain the standard "puppy protection" from another adult dog, but gets treated for what it most often is: a brat!

Then we have some exceptions....

Sometimes, dogs will fight for other reasons than hierarchy disputes.   Rarely - but it does happen.   Territory boundary disputes is one example.   Those are generally not very severe, in terms of consequences, as the weaker party normally simply will leave the scene - and be left alone by the "winner" when doing so.

Other fights start over possession of a treasure of some kind, such as food or an exceptionally attractive toy.   Also those are, in principle, related to hierarchy disputes - by often being used as excuses to start one...

Two males fighting over "the rights" to mate a bitch in heat is in principle also a hierarchy dispute.  Nothing more.   It is very rare, though.   Males "in love" are generally very peaceful.   Sex and agreesion are not at all linked for dogs.

As I already indicated, in terms of fighting, I will never trust a bulldog, a bull terrier, a bull mastiff, or any other dog of a breed that is man-made for dog-dog fights.   One of the most prominent features that made these dogs good fighters in the arena is their lack of bite inhibitors - and that lack is a genetic defect that cannot be "bred away" again, as it represents the absence of a gene.   Genes that are extinct are extinct.   Like dinosaurs.   They never come back, no matter what you do in your breeding...   Some dogs of these fighting breeds still retain some bite inhibitors, and some dogs of other breeds have lost them, so this is not a back/white issue.   It is a matter of risk management.

Then there is the situation with a very small dog being attacked by a larger dog.   This involves a serious risk of the small dog being so scared that it will see itself as a possible prey for the larger dog - and this, in turn, will make the larger dog react in accordance with its hunting instincts - and not its social instincts!   Very dangerous...   Owners of small dogs are not necessarily "hysterical" when they do not want their small dogs to be attacked "in play" by someone else's much larger dog!   It is outright ignorant and irresponsible of the owner of the larger dog to let it happen - and it is nothing less than a ridiculous insult to call the owner of the smaller dog names because he/she is concerned about the little dog's safety.   That concern is extremely legitimate, and all owners of bigger dogs should respect that!



What you do when dogs fight...

First thing to consider is this: is this fight putting anyone at serious risk?   If not: don't do anything, but let the dogs resolve their dispute the natural way.

Yes - this calls for some serious and very fast judgment from your side!   So, if you are in doubt, you act as if this fight could be dangerous...

The big question is how you do it...

In general, the "standard way" of grabbing each dog by the collar is a very dangerous solution.   In the heat of a fight, no dog will notice the presence of your hand - and you will, seriously, have to count your fingers afterwards!

Screaming and yelling at the fighting dogs will do nothing more and nothing less than encouraging them to fight even more viciously!   Same thing goes with hitting them or kicking them - it will only make things worse - and it will for sure do so.

The safe approach is to grab the dog's hind legs and firmly lift them and twist them, forcing the dog to roll over onto its shoulders.   It that position, it cannot bite you - and it cannot fight the other dog either - because it is forced into a submissive position that automatically will cause such changes in its hormone chemistry that its fighting mood will disappear in a matter of 30-60 seconds.   When this happens, you just release it, and it will take off, showing all signs of embarrassment!

OK - that was one dog.   But what about the other one?   Obviously, doing this is impossible for one person, dealing with two dogs.   If you are two, it is simpler: each grab a dog, and when you got them turned over, slowly pull them apart, so you don't cause any damage from a set of teeth that has a firm grip in some skin on the other dog...

Now, which dog do you grab, your own or the other?

I see two main situations here:

  1. You know your dog has a problem with provoking fights, and you want to teach your dog a lesson about not doing it.

  2. The fight comes as a surprise to you, and you do not really know who started it.

The first situation calls for your grabbing your own - provided you can trust the other owner...

This further gets complicated by the fact of your possibly not knowing the other dog and the other owner...   maybe the other owner isn't there!

Another complication is: does your dog have its bite inhibitors intact?   If you do not know for sure that the answer is "yes", then you have to act as if it was "no" - otherwise, you will be facing some severe liabilities afterwards...

Well, this can get ugly.   But, if we assume that you know your dog is OK, and that it has its bite inhibitors intact, and you are alone about dealing with this aggressor that attacked your dog, then the answers is simple: grab the other dog by the hind legs and help your own dog nail it!

Now, if your dog is one with no bite inhibitors, you run a serious risk of inflicting some very serious damage on the other dog - maybe even killing it....   I have no advice for you in that situation - you will have to make that judgment call yourself and take the consequences of your choice of dog.

Yes, I know: you will meet many other people who will not understand this - and they will get extremely offended and possible extremely aggressive to you when you do this....   particularly if you grab their dog by the hind legs!   My personal take on this is that I don't give a damn.   The dogs come first.  Idiotic owners later.   But I acknowledge that this is not for everybody to do.   I have no specific recommendations here that will cover everything you can run into in regards to stupid people that go berserk.   There is no way out of making some serious decisions - and making them fast.   However, if you are well prepared, it is much easier - and has a much greater chance of working out as it should!



How you avoid dog fights - or at least minimize the risk of them

First of all: you want to be very careful with your choice of breed....   If you do want one of the fighting breeds, then please accept your responsibilities.

Next: make sure that your dog learns from puppihood that dominance from an older dog is to be responded to with submission, not aggression.   You have a very narrow window for this: in the period from 8 weeks of age till 12 weeks of age, your puppy must learn this from several other adult dogs.   If not, it will never learn it, and you have a dog that will show "behavioral problems" with other dogs, either by excessive fear or by unacceptable aggression.   (The whole topic of "Socialization" and the dog's ability to adjust to a hierarchy is thoroughly discussed in the video "The Dog's Social Behavior".)

Further: when you meet with another dog and you feel the tension, you make a quick agreement with the other owner to let the dogs figure this out on their own - and you both let go of the leashes!   I know, this sounds crazy - but reality is that those leashes, when tightened by nervous handlers, do nothing but escalating the conflict.   Without that moral support from a tight leash, the dogs are far less inclined to use aggression.

Finally: be a good pack leader for your dog!   This means that you train it well, so you can always call it, also when it is in the middle of playing with another dog!

It also means that you avoid confrontation with other dogs, or rather: that you take care of those confrontations!   The way to do this is to put your dog in a PARK while you go up towards the upcoming dog and bring it under control before it can approach your dog...   (The PARK command is the command you use to make the dog stay on a spot until you release it.   It may stand, sit, or lie down, as it wishes, but it cannot leave the spot - one of the most fundamental commands you can teach your dog.   Any puppy in the world will learn this before it is 8 weeks old, so you really have zero excuse for not getting it done...).

How you deal with the strange dog? Well, if the owner is with it, you try to resolve this potential dispute upfront, through human communication with the owner.

If the owner is not there or not cooperative, you squat down and get the other dog to come to you for the treat you offer.   While it eats your treats (have a few more ready), you clip the snap of your leash on its collar...   (Yes, this implies that your dog can do its PARK without its' leash!!!)

If the strange dog ignores you and heads right towards your dog, you instantly release your dog from the PARK and hope things will work out OK.   If not, you prepare yourself for dealing with the fight.   And now you realize the second good reason for being able to get your dog to PARK without leash: you don't want your dog to enter this situation with a leash attached to it...



Some alternatives you also might want to consider...

Carrying a stick for defense is tempting.   Well, if you plan on using it to hit the other dog, you could be in for some very unpleasant consequences, such as causing severe damage - or making the conflict even worse!

You are much better off using your leash....   A good solid leather leash will make an excellent and fairly risk-free weapon.   If you swing it in the air like a helicopter rotor, holding on the snap, you can scare just about any dog quite effectively.   If you hit it is the or its front legs, it will hurt like hell - and not do any serious damage.   Most dogs, even when in a mood of fighting, will take to running away from such a "heli leash".   (Once again, you see the importance of you controlling your dog without leash...)

Other defense weapons that can come in handy include pepper spray.   Although intended mainly for bears (which do not always respond to them as the manufacturer declare - besides, if you really can get to use it on a bear, you should have been gone long time ago...), they are actually quite effective on dogs.   Be aware, though, that they are illegal in many places.   However, the possible fine you are facing will most likely be negligible or actually even acceptable, compared to the cost of "repairing" your dog after a nasty fight...  

Regardless of the kind of defense approach you use, you are in for a hard time if the owner of the other dog witnesses what you do....   Idiots that let their fighting dogs run lose and be a danger for other people and other dogs are often of a macho nature and would love the opportunity to make a fight with you!   And, if your dog is heavily engaged in a fight with another dog, it will not come and help you defend yourself...

The law-abiding citizen will simply pull out his cell phone and call the Police, then wait and see what is left of his dog when the fight is over...

So what do you do? Make your own judgment on that - no recommendation given from my side, other than this: avoid confrontation.   Dogs know this, and when their instincts are intact, they follow that rule very carefully.   You need to do the same.

 

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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P.S. I have joined what can become a serious research project on the impact our diet choices have on our dog's health.   Diet choices for the dogs, that is.  The choices should include the most common ways of feeding, plus, of course, a natural raw diet.   It is way too early to report any details, but I expect that I will need some help to fulfill my possible commitment to this research....  

One very important area will be obtaining some feedback on preliminary questionnaires.  I hope I can come back later and ask for some volunteers for this...J

Another one will be of technical nature: someone who knows PHP programming and MySQL database operation to manipulate large numbers of data for statistical calculations.   If you know of someone who would like to contribute some work in any of these areas, please let me know!

Mogens