"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 issue is a bit later than I planned - because I have been so darn busy getting that trip to the East all put together... We still have a few uncertainties about some of the details, but the main schedule is ready, thanks to a lot of busy people!


Itinerary for trip to Eastern US and Canada

At the moment, it looks as if we are going to have 5 main stops:

April 14 - 20 Leaving BC, tentatively through Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, AB - Moose Jaw and Regina, SK - Brandon and Winnipeg, MB - Fargo, ND - Minneapolis-St.Paul, MN - Milwaukee and Madison, WI - Chicago, IL - Indianapolis, IN - St. Louis, MO If you and your group fit in here, let me know!
April 21 - 25 Louisville/Lexington, KY http://k9joy.com/dogtraining/Kentucky.php
Apr 27 - May 08 Thurmont, Maryland http://k9joy.com/dogtraining/Maryland.php
May 09 - 11 Buffalo, New York http://k9joy.com/dogtraining/NewYork.php
May 12 - 16 Kitchener-Hamilton, Ontario http://k9joy.com/dogtraining/Ontario-south.php
May 17 - 19 Ontario somewhere Time off?
May 20 - 23 Ottawa, Ontario http://k9joy.com/dogtraining/Ottawa.php
May 23 - 30 Back to BC through Canada, via Sudbury, ON - Thunder Bay, ON - or, alternatively, through Detroit, MI - Chicago, IL - Madison and Milwaukee, WI - Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN and, either way, continuing through Winnipeg and Brandon, MB - Regina, and Moose Jaw SK - Medicine Hat and Lethbridge, AB If you and your group fit in here, let me know!

We will, of course, be back in Creston, BC for the camp course June 04-11!

And we still have a couple of spots open for the Maryland camp April 30 - May 07!

If you know of anyone who lives along this route who might be interested in joining our seminars, workshops, courses, please refer them to the URLs I outlined above where more details can be found on the specific activities that are planned in each area, as far as we currently have them in place. The URLs will not change - but missing info will be filled in as soon as we have it.

If you would like to participate, or you know someone who would, please do not wait till last minute signing up - because those planned activities will all get cancelled at the posted deadlines if an insufficient number of people signed up.... (the deadlines are all posted next to the sign-up links on the order pages; they are generally 10-15 days ahead of the event, subject to the specific cancellation terms for room rental etc..)

You will find times for just about any of my standard seminars and workshops, including
"Mental Activation for Smart Dogs",
"The Basics of Dog Language",
"Kids Going to the Dogs",
"Food and Nutrition for Dogs",
"Responsible Health Care for Your Dog",
"Risk Management, Vaccination, and Preventive Medication for Dogs", and
"The Dog's Social Instincts".

On top of all this, we are offering the introduction course "Bonding with Your Dog" over 2 days instead of the usual 6 evenings over 4 weeks. With students that are committed to some serious homework between the two main practical training days (there will be a little more than a week), I am confident that we can get some very good results with this practical "hands-on" training course - maybe even better than what I am used to!

If you happen to live on the route, or fairly close by the route, then let me know! I would be more than happy to do a one-evening seminar just about every evening, if we can get it arranged. I will bring along all the equipment, so all we need is a location and an audience! So, if you would like to arrange such an evening for the dog people you have contacts to (and get your share of the income from it), then let me know! It does not necessarily have to be fancy - and a smaller group of 20 people might be enough to make it worthwhile. I really all depends on the audience you can connect with.

I made a guideline for people who to arrange seminars - you are welcome to check it out at http://k9joy.com/dogtraining/marketing/toolsoverview.html. As you will see on that page, just about everything you need to spread the word is ready - so there does not have to be a lot of time involved on your part to set it up; a lot of the work is already done! J


More on castration/spaying/neutering...

Below follows a few more of the letters I have received about spaying/neutering. They will be the last ones from this round.... (I still have about 25 that all cover the same things as we already have discussed, so it does not make sense to bring them all - I still appreciate all those responses, though!)

Mogens,

I was just sent your newsletter by a friend of mine and immediately signed up! I thank you and commend you for being a voice for dogs.

I have worked for a veterinary clinic for 17 years. I have had my own obedience school for 5 years. My feelings about spaying/neutering dogs has changed 180 degrees. I was led to believe that spaying/neutering was the best thing that you could do for your dog. Over the years I began to question that thinking. "If it's so good for dogs why don't they do it to people?" My thinking is the same regarding vaccines and diet. I'm 47 and haven't had a vaccine since I was 2, why does my dog need one every year? I now vaccinate the puppies (limited) and do titers every 3 years.

I cooked food for my dogs for about a year because I couldn't believe what was in dog food. But I didn't see any difference in the dogs with the cooked diet so 3 1/2 years ago I switched to raw. The changes were remarkable. Our pack includes 5 Irish Setters from the age of 10 months to 16 years! And yes the 16 year old still runs in the woods with the rest of the pack, just a little slower.

Can't wait to read more of your newsletters. I'm sure there will be some things I don't agree with, that's life!

Sincerely,

Robin Willey

Thanks, Robin - you are welcome to disagree - as long as you have your reasons, and they are good. I do not need to agree with them, but they have to be good - for you and your dog.

I still get the occasional e-mail from a subscriber that wants to unsubscribe because he/she disagrees with me. I just don't understand it! Why would someone want to exclusively stimulate the mind with stuff they know well already? How can we develop our minds and gain new insights if we constantly protect yourselves from information we don't like because it gives us a different perspective than the one we already had? If our opinions are so vulnerable that they cannot stand any testing of disagreement with others, then maybe it would be a good idea to get a stronger basis and then settle for some different, but more sustainable, views....? Just my opinion. I admit, I have no interest keeping people like that as subscribers - but it just makes me sad that they close their minds like that....

When I studied physics at University, I was impressed with Albert Einstein, not only for the genius in the sciences of physics, but most definitely also for his general insights in other important human matters of more philosophical nature. One of my favorite quotes is this one: "Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly."

I might occasionally be wrong - but I have no ambition of being mediocre!

Thanks so much for writing about the problems with misguided breeders. As an owner of a dog rescue I would like to see all "backyard breeders" banned. It is only about making a few bucks to most of these breeders. It's sad to see the aftermath and it is I that has to clean up after these people. I would enjoy seeing more issue's on the matter.

Thanks,

Angela Meyer

Spoiled Rott'n Rottweiler Rescue


Hi! Mogens and Staff, so pleased to hear that you'll continue with the Breeding issue later. People must remember they have a very good storage capacity with their brain and I feel we should take all the different ideas in and just store them, even if we don't necessarily agree or need them at the moment. Because you never know when you may have to use that stored knowledge, that someone has been kind to offer.

People need to remember Mogens: "To pass something onto another is not to lose it but to invest it." and people on the receiving end should be happy to accept.

Cheers

Mandy Choice

Thanks, Angela and Mandy - I agree about sharing. And I want to seize this moment to say that I have several more comments and issues relating to this that I would like to return to another time.

great newsletter. You are so right on regarding survival of the fittest. I know PETA would have a fit, but mother nature does know best. Look at the human race; we have so many children and adults alike that have health issues that we weren't seeing before--extreme numbers of asthmatics, premature births and subsequent health issues, woman at the age of 60 having babies, multiple births due to fertility meds, etc.

In regards to neutering, two of my purebred dogs that were neutered developed thyroid (hypo) problems. And yes, the weight gain is inevitable. My girlfriends dog runs with her and still has the "weight" spread. Thanks for your very insightful articles!

Sue O'Neil

I know about the human problem - and it concerns me personally very much. However, I can also see how that discussion is completely hopeless, as we would have to discuss also who should control who's going to have children... I have no solution to that, and I know nobody who has any acceptable ideas. I vehemently oppose letting government or "experts" control this - but I also realize that it will take a lot of education to leave such decisions with the individual, where they belong. I just hope that it truly is a matter of education. Everyone can learn to make decisions. And everyone can learn to make good decisions based on informed knowledge about the available options.

For dogs, the issues are easier, yet still more than complicated enough to cause a lot of problems!!!! But we can make those decisions for our dogs. And we better learn how to do it. And soon. Because we will need those techniques some day in order to secure the survival, also of our own species...


Some possible reasons and alternatives to castration

The problems with spaying/neutering are not really the intention of preventing dogs from breeding at random. Even in Nature, that would most certainly not happen, as only the pack leader has mating rights - and he will generally choose only one bitch to mate...

The problem is that there are four major groups of glands in the body that all depend on each other:

The four sets of glands all work together. Hormones produced by one gland stimulate production of other hormones from other glands. Removing one set is equivalent to driving a car on three wheels... Although the remaining three glands will try to do their best, adjusting to the situation, they are not able to do as good a job as they can when they have the full quartet at work. The result is a metabolism that is running off balance - with an increased risk of failure when optimal performance is called for.

I do not want to go into details about what exactly happens, but the scientific evidence is there to support what I just said. It is not easy to dig into, though, because the veterinary associations do not want to promote it... They and their members make more money on people believing in spaying/neutering as being "a good thing to do", like eating your porridge.... Unfortunately, it is also founded heavily on the assumption that the average dog owner is not responsible. Which sadly must agree with.

But let's consider once again why we would spay/neuter. What are the true reasons people have or should have?

Here are the most common ones, in my approximate assessed order of importance and worthiness:

  1. Prevention of un-planned and un-desired puppies being born.
  2. Reduce a male dog's dominance when it is out of control...
  3. Stop a dog from going nuts in order to try to visit with the opposite sex...
  4. Stop a female from bleeding because it is messy and she does not clean herself...
  5. Stop a female's PMS problems around estrus....
  6. Save money on dog licensing...
  7. Trying to prevent cancer
  8. Because it is an approved "standard" in society to do it...
  9. Trying to save money or time or energy instead of training the dog or spending time with it...

The last reason does not need much commenting - it simply won't work! If you seriously believe that your obedience problems are going to disappear because you spay/neuter the dog, I just wish for you that you can control your temper when you wake up to reality...

The eighth reason deserves no comment. It would be a waste anyway, for people who refuse to think.

The cancer prevention is a myth, as we discussed earlier - there is no evidence to support it, except for over-vaccinated and kibble-fed dogs. I do not expect you to be in that category anyway, so we can leave that one in the dust behind us...

Yes, licensing is generally cheaper for castrated dogs - because the local government sees a chance to tax breeders on their "huge profits"... I find it outright distasteful, as no additional services are provided for those owners at all - it is purely a matter of tax greed. But these bylaws are directed towards breeding stock, not sexuality.

Now, some females do get some serious PMS problems around their estrus. Just as women do. As far as I am concerned, men better learn to live with that, as PMS stands for "Permission to Man Slaughter"... Kidding aside - I personally consider this a very egocentric and uncaring reason for cutting a female's organs out of her body. The parallel in a man's world should be that he should have his balls cut off if he cannot control his temper... (I wonder if you can find any men on this planet who would consider this a reasonable solution to an anger control problem....)

The "convenience" factors are more serious - because I know I am up against some adamant opinions from people who simply don't care about what I mean and what is good for the dog - they just do not want to pay any price if it involves sacrificing anything from their own selfish benefits. I have no intention of arguing with that. Those people are not my favorite people to deal with anyway - and I seriously despise their ignorance of the dog's needs. If bleeding is a problem, then it is simple to let the female wear pants during those few days, as long as you don't mistake such pants for an effective birth control remedy - which they are not...

Isolating her from access to the family is a very cruel solution. Although I know of some human cultures also that force menstruating women into isolation while they have their period, I simply detest such disrespect for what is natural.

However, if constant and excessive bleeding truly is a problem, then removing the uterus is a responsible option that should be considered. This does not mean "spaying", as the ovaries are left intact... Yes, this way, she will still go into estrus, and she will want to mate with some deserving pack members and acquaintances - but you do not need to worry too much about that, as there will be no puppies coming out of such a breeding! If you are having problems with the neighbors' male dogs coming over all the time, you might consider doing what a friend of mine in Denmark did many years ago: He made a door that could open in, but not out. This way, those males soon learned to get in to their sweetheart, but they could not get out... When my friend realized that a male dog was "in the trap", he went out and found the phone number on the name tag while the two lovers were connected. He then took a picture and phoned the neighbor, asking him to come and get his male dog and pay the $10 fee for the services the female provided, or $20 for his male intruding on his property... It took less than a year before the operation was all paid for, and everybody in the neighborhood was happy, two-legged as well as four-legged!

Prostitution? Sure. I might not outright recommend this solution, but I seriously don't see why anyone else should have any qualms about these neighbors solving their problem this way when everybody agrees and nobody else was harmed or hurt.

The main thing - and that is my point - was that this female still was a female - she kept all her important glands. She even got some extra fun in her life.

Thinking of it from the owner's perspective - he could probably have charged more... J


I will leave the two last points (dealing with excessive sex drive and/or dominance plus the birth control problem) till next issue, which probably will be published in a week or so. We will also return to the subject of responsible breeding then...

 

Cheers and woof,

Mogens Eliasen

 

If you have any suggestions to contributions or contents of The Peeing Post, or some comments or questions pertaining to this issue or in to dogs in general, I will be happy to know about them. If I can find an answer for you, I will!

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---------------------------------------------------------------

P.S. I realize that I have cheated on you.... in the Fall, when my computer crashed, I had done up two articles about feeding frequency, which I wanted to introduce to you - but I never got it done.

The articles are still there - and I suggest you give them a look. You will find them at http://k9joy.com/dogarticles/dogfood01feedingfrequency.pdf and http://k9joy.com/dogarticles/dogfood02feedingfrequency.pdf.

They line out some of the most common problem all dogs have (or get) when their owners assume that what is good for people is also good for dogs. In regards to feeding, this is absolutely not true. I am almost tempted to say that if something is good for people, then chances are that it is not good for dogs... I know it would be pushing it too far, but when it comes to the topic "regular meals", then the crazy statement is true!

Another article that just went off my desk is this one: http://k9joy.com/dogarticles/dogfood01rawgurus.pdf.

It came to life as a concentrate of some discussion in an on-line newsgroup where the topic "which guru is right" pops up every so often - and I am a bit tired of it, because the discussion is always based on over-simplification - and that is exactly what causes the differences in opinions! If people would just open their minds and stop trying to force Nature to fit into simple human classification schemes, life would be so much easier...

Check those articles - they should make up some serious food for thought for most dog owners...

As always with my public articles, you have permission to print them out and duplicate them as much as you want - as long as you do not charge money for them and you leave the contact information intact.

Mogens