"The Peeing Post"
Newsletter for dog lovers who respect the dog's nature
Chief Editor: Mogens Eliasen
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Dear Dog Friend,
I know - you just got a Peeing Post a few days ago - but I have a lot to share, so here is another issue! It will take you a while to digest, though, so you might get a little break from here...J
More flea stuff...
Thanks for all the comments I got on the flea issue! Many of them cover the same, so I will not refer to all of them individually. However, there are a few that I feel should be commented on, as they cover some additional and clarifying things that did not come across last time.
First, I apologize for an inaccurate statement that wasn't quite fair. And it could be misunderstood. John B pointed it out:
A (...) product mentioned in the Peeing Post may not have been correctly described. I quote: "'FrontLine' actually works by making the dog's blood poisonous for the fleas to eat". This is not how I understand "Frontline" actually works, and in fact it may have been describing a product called "Program" by Ciba-Geigy, which does just that. As I understand it, "Frontline" mixes with the natural oils on the skin and whether the simple contact with the skin is sufficient to kill fleas or it is ingested when the flea bites through the skin and kills in that way, I'm not certain. Perhaps you could clarify? I have actually used "Frontline Plus" (once only) on my two dogs, and it certainly did kill off the fleas within a few days, with no obvious side effects, (and nine months later they are still free of fleas, even though both mix regularly with other dogs). It was a much faster way of eradicating the fleas than my previous methods, which were to use needle-nosed pliers and surface sprays and examine the dogs multiple times per day. That method took some TWO YEARS to accomplish a flea-free zone!
Thanks for the correction, John. You are right: What you explain certainly goes on Ciba-Geigy's "Program" - it is outright meant to make the dog's blood poisonous. But although "Frontline" is supposed to work only externally, it doesn't restrict itself to that. It penetrates the skin very easily... Bayer has a newer product called "Advantage" that is better, as its penetration of the skin is much slower - but it still gets into the blood in small amounts. We simply do not know what kind of damage is done there. That's the big advantage of NEGUVON - it starts decomposing as soon as it gets wet.
John pointed out another thing that I really want to address also: Apparently, the material safety data information on NEGUVON in Australia says that the product is outright "dangerous to dogs" (quote from the sheet). John explains:
Having read your last Peeing Post and it's discourse on fleas, I am concerned about some of the advice given within.
You mention NEGUVON, and present it as being as being probably the best way of attacking fleas on a dog. I have done a GOOGLE search on it, and found some hits, including a PDF from www.bayeranimal.com itself, which I have attached. It is a material safety hazards data sheet. Reading it does not instill a sense of confidence in the product's safety. I particularly point to the section titled Ecotoxicity, which declares it is "DANGEROUS TO DOGS". I presume this means if it is ingested.
Within the body of the document, it also says things like "If poisoned by skin contact" and other similar warnings which, while they are meant for the human handler, could also be applied to our dogs. While I understand that different products can be given the same trade name depending on the world marketing zone and therefore the NEGUVON sold in Australia may be a different formulation intended for a different animal use, it worries me that a subscriber to the Peeing Post in Australia may take your advice as written and possibly put their dog at risk. I also understand that every medication can have unpleasant and possibly dangerous side-effects and manufacturers must legally cover themselves for every contingency associated with their products, and that the risks are generally small. Still, it doesn't inspire confidence in NEGUVON's use, does it........?
I agree that it might sound scary for a layperson. I do not think the formulation in Australia is any different than in Europe. At least, the active chemical is the same. I can tell you that I have worked a lot with those kinds of safety data sheets during my years in the hazardous chemical waste disposal business, and I can assure you that even the most harmless chemical will often look similar to this...
Let me clarify: NEGUVON has been tested and approved for use on udders of dairy cows! Although the chemical, in principle, will penetrate skin, it is also chemically so unstable that it will destroy itself by doing it, so the effect "on the other side" is very diminutive. The tested facts are that the resulting concentration in the milk in the cows' udders was negligible, compared to what could be a dangerous concentration.
And here is the big clue: testing has not been done on people! That's why Bayer has to keep that warning on the label... Personally, I don't believe there is much reason to assume that human skin or dog skin would be much different than cow udders, in regards to the chemical successfully and intact penetrating this material. But the law is like this in all countries I know of: if there are no specific tests to eliminate a warning, the warning must stay! This rule is made by law-makers, not chemists.
Also, the term "Ecotoxicity" refers to what happens to the environment if you just dump this chemical. You are very right about assuming that the danger to dogs refer to dogs ingesting it. It does not refer to its recommended use in aqueous solution. The recipe says that you need a 0.125% solution. That is about 7 grams for a pail of 5 liters of water (0.2 oz per gallon in the US).
The toxicity is expressed as its LD50 values, which are 300 mg/kg (rats, oral) and 5,000 mg/kg (rats, dermal). Assuming that rats are representative for dogs (which is quite reasonable in this case), this would mean that a 25 kg dog (small Golden Retriever) would need to eat 25 * 300 mg = 7.5 grams in order to have a 50% chance/risk of dying. And it would have to carry 25 * 5,000 mg = 125 grams constantly in its coat, in close contact with the skin, in order to suffer serious damage from that.
When you use a 5 litre 0.125% solution to bathe a Golden Retriever, you have at least 4.5 litres run off the dog again. So, a maximum of 10% will remain in the coat. That's 0.7 grams. It is a tenth of what the dog would have to eat in order to die! And it is not even one percent of what is required for causing serious harm. Further, the data sheet refers to the dry powder! The aqueous solution is way less harmful, because the chemical starts decomposing as soon as it gets wet... And then: out of those 0.7 grams, only a very small fraction will actually touch the skin...
So, although John's comments are very relevant, and although this chemical is not sugar, I can confirm from decades of using it that it is extremely safe, compared to the modern products that do not decompose as rapidly! But again, one thing is to bathe your dog once in a while, as thousands of people I know directly and indirectly have done. Another thing is to work 8 hours a day with this stuff in a synthesis plant.... and it is for the ladder you have safety data sheets....
This one from Kathy represents about a dozen that all addressed the same, so I caught myself getting a little "short" when responding.:
What's your opinion of IGRs (insect growth regulators--basically, flea birth control hormones) as flea control?
In the past I found that giving the dogs "Program" (lufenuron) pills once a month helped greatly when accompanied by spraying the main dog areas with "Precor" (methoprene). The Program kept the flea eggs from hatching, and the Precor kept existing larva from developing into adults. I've also used Precor to successfully quell an invasion of flour moths. I haven't needed either product in several years. The timing of your article is good. Just yesterday I found two fleas and some flea dirt on my older dog, and immediately went to the vet and bought some Program tablets. I gave both dogs a tablet as soon as I got home. My dogs are raw-fed and minimally vaccinated.
My husband is allergic to flea bites, so giving the dogs the Program pills was a knee-jerk reaction. Now I'm wondering if they're OK. What do you think?
Here is my brutal answer, with no offense intended:
Using that stuff is plain high-risk gambling. There are NO studies to confirm that lufenuron is OK to use, and most definitely not for ingestion! It works by making your dog's blood poisonous. Lufenuron is a known chitin synthesis inhibitor, so it prevents the growth of chitin when the cocoon develops. There is no evidence to show that it does not have a ton of other effects.
See http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC38491#Symptoms for more details - and quit using it!
Remembering John's comments, I should also say that Lufenuron does not decompose naturally, so its long-term effects could be very serious... What you will see from the reference is basically nothing. And that's my point: we simply do not know. With NEGUVON, we do - we have decades of positive experiences behind. That makes a whole lot of difference, in my opinion.
Several subscribers suggested adding brewer's yeast to the garlic as flea deterrent. I am sure that brewer's yeast has no significant effect on fleas. But it is a very dubious food supplement that I would not recommend on a standard basis... Just stick with the garlic!
Now, as many pointed out, garlic (and other herbs - there are many others with a similar effect) will not eliminate the fleas. They will only reduce your chances of getting them with you home. There is no guarantee. As said by several: fleas are everywhere. And feeding raw food is also not alone going to make your home flea free... But it seriously increases your chances!
Patty Coyne suggested adding dolomite lime to the raked leaves and debris in the yard, "just to make life a bit more miserable for the fleas" - and I agree. Lime powder of any kind, just like borax and soda, will create an environment for the eggs and larvae that seriously challenges their survival. And those inexpensive bulk chemicals are fairly easy to deal with in a safe way.
Finally, I want to pass on this very interesting perspective I got from Celestine:
Many's the evening we sat for hours on the floor picking fleas off our dogs and drowning them in a bowl of water.
One bad year we ended up holding the dogs one by one in a bath for 15 minutes, with only their noses sticking out. The idea came from the European hunter's myth (or real story) that foxes have been seen taking a bunch of dried grass in their mouths and backing slowly into a river until the fleas have no alternative but to walk out onto the grass or straw. Our bathtub variation helped for a while.
I wouldn't agree that healthy BARF dogs don't get fleas. Those flea bitten dogs were eating nothing but fresh tripe and I always put garlic on their dinner. They lived outside most of the time, though slept at night inside, and between the large shady garden and the floor boards it would have been near impossible to keep complete control over the flea population without poisons.
Since we have huskies, we do not have fleas! The occasional flea that jumps off a passing dog apparently regrets his choice or dies an untimely death. When we got these huskies they were inoculated, de-wormed and kibble fed (at least for the three weeks that they had been in a dog pound) but that made no difference. My flea bitten dogs in the past had never known vaccination, worm cures or illness.
Please remember that only a few percent of all the fleas in your home will ever be on the dog...
The flea battle is a matter if increasing your odds - and fighting on several frontiers. It is not a matter of just feeding your dog a poisonous tablet or giving it a bath...
Male dogs peeing indoors when visiting
On this totally different topic, I got this e-mail from Jeanette B.:
As the name of this newsletter indicates, peeing is important to dogs. For human beings this is okay as long as the dogs keep their peeing outside the house. But some male dogs tend to pee indoor, especially when they come as guests in somebody's home. And it can be quite annoying when all your furniture stinks of dog pee when the dog has left. My best friend's dog has got this habit, and that is a problem for her and for me and subsequently for our dogs.
So, I would like to ask: Why do dogs behave like that, and is it possible to teach them not to (and how do you do that)?
Good question! That means: the answer is not as simple and easy to come up with as the question....
Let us discuss those answers.
The instincts for marking territory are pretty strong in our dogs. Also generally much stronger than for wolves. It is, in a way, very strange, because, for wolves, this is very much linked to rank in the pack. The pack leader in a wolf pack will be very upset if some other member of the pack as much as thinks about marking territory! Subordinate male wolves do not lift their legs when peeing - they squat like a puppy! Only pack leaders may lift their leg when marking territory.
Most dogs do not see marking of territory as being associated with rank, although high-ranking males (and females!) will mark more often and with more passion than lower-ranking individuals. All male dogs in a pack will do it, and they are OK with the others doing it too. They are very interested in each others' marks, but those "peeing contests" generally never trigger rank disputes, as they do among wolves. A male wolf that lifts his leg will be considered a serious challenge to the pack leader's authority, and such provocation will most definitely have serious consequences.
We are obviously dealing with a bunch of instincts, out of which some have gone partially extinct during domestication, and some have been reinforced. Domesticated wolves had and have no need for marking territory, so survival of the species did not and will not depend on those instincts being in place or not.
However, those instincts are not all gone... and some features survive in some dogs, more than others.
It is as if the disappearance of the the tight subordination of this behavior to social rank in the pack has "released" this behavior, so dogs now do it freely and with much less inhibition than what a wolf would dare to do...
The instinct that controls the urge to mark territory are definitely linked to rank. For dominant males, the urge is strong. For less dominant males, it is less profound. It is rare among females, but my old Bettemuir did not know about that - she was as "bad" as any male, and she lifted her leg! (Not back-and-out, as a male does, but forward and up towards the shoulder, so the body got turned, and she could hit a spot as high as any male can!)
The thing to understand here is that peeing is far more than "releasing bladder pressure"! This is hard for humans to comprehend, because, for us, that is exactly it! But that is not the case for dogs. Peeing serves a whole range of other functions also.
In his book "The ABC's of Dog Language", Anders Hallgren does discuss this behavior in greater detail, although we literally know very little about the details, because we do not know what exactly it is that stimulates the dog's nose and triggers the sometimes passionate interest. There are few easy-to-interpret exemptions, such as the male's vehement attraction to the urine of a female in season, which obviously is triggered by the sexual hormones she sheds in the urine, just as a woman does. There is no discussion possible, though, that urine signals are extremely important to dogs, and they do have the capability of getting an enormous amount of information about each other by sniffing each others' urine marks.
In Danish, it is a common joke among dog owners to say that the male dogs "leave their business card" when they lift their leg and mark. It is actually not a joke at all, but a pretty accurate representation of what is going on!
We can understand now that, for some males (and particularly the more dominant ones), it has to a very strong stimulus for them when they enter a home of another male dog - and get exposed to this dog's smell everywhere; they must reciprocate and leave their business card! In fact, they would be extremely rude and disobedient to fundamental "Dog Law" if they didn't introduce themselves this way...
At this stage, let's just conclude that this behavior has absolutely nothing to do with any of the following:
This also tells us that punishment is completely out-of-place - because the dog has no clue that it is doing anything wrong.
The big question is then, "What do you do?"
My first answer is: Let those males meet outdoors, so they can get this exchange of business cards dealt with under circumstances that are acceptable also to humans. Just be aware that the ceremony can last quite a while! Half an hour is not uncommon...
When, if you now take your male into the home where the other male lives, you have to be extremely alert and watch your dog! You have to catch him when he starts lifting his leg - but before he pees! You have a maximum of 1/10 of a second to prevent that peeing from being carried out... Honestly: if you are in the middle of a conversation with other people, I can guarantee that it won't happen - you will be taken by surprise, and take action too late!
Assuming that you are indeed "on time", then what action should you take?
The correct answer is that you instigate your ban. You do this by using your command to show instant submission. Male dogs cannot pee and show submission at the same time, so this will interrupt the "crime" before it got committed.
And here is some bad news, I have to share at this point: In order for you to understand what that SUBMIT command means and should mean, you have to watch my video (soon on DVD) "The Dog's Social Behavior" - the explanation is way too long to get across here. On that video, it takes me about 1.5 hours to explain what you need to know about this before you will have any chances of training it well...
The important difference between the SUBMIT command and plain punishment are two:
As you understand, the SUBMIT command is directed towards the intention of committing the crime - it is not in any way "consequences" of doing anything wrong, as any kind of punishment would be. Dogs have no instincts that make them comprehend the concept of punishment. All you get out of applying it is that you trigger fear in the dog. Fear of you and of the situation around you. Just about the opposite of what you should achieve with your training...
Quite honestly, this is not for "newbies" into dog training. This is for very advanced levels only. On my camp courses, I will teach it. But I need to have you in front of me, when you practice, so I can correct your small mistakes instantly, so we do not get any fear reactions created in your dog. And I need about a week to make sure you "get it" right, in all the different kinds of situations that will apply. The specific act of using the right dose of dominance at the right time for any given dog is really quite simple - but identifying what exactly it should be and how exactly it should be balanced and applied in a given situation is not simple...
The conclusion unfortunately is that, until you can join me on a camp course, the only action on your part I can recommend is that you simply avoid the problem by not taking your male dog into the home of another male dog.
Powerful initiative against the rabies scam!
As everybody should know, since registration started 35 years ago, there has never been a single case of dog bites in Europe or North America infecting humans with rabies - despite some 10 million dog bites a year. Even when we consider that the current rabies vaccination programs cover as much as 99% of the dog population, this still means that the maximum possible risk of humans contracting rabies from a dog will be less than 10 ppm - or some 25-50 times less than the risk of being murdered in the USA!
On the other hand, rabies is known to be one of the most dangerous vaccine ever developed, and the death toll from its early forms is horrendous...
If you want to have in informed overview with some serious number crunching that will tell you the truth, you get it from this article: http://k9joy.com/dogarticles/rabies.php. It is a big one - but the topic does not allow to split it.
As you find also from the article, I have really good news...
On the initiative of one of the most competent experts in this area, including Dr. Jean Dodds, who is deserved famous for her studies of thyroid issues in dogs, and how vaccines destroy the function of the thyroid, a foundation has been established for the purpose of conducting research to challenge the current demand for rabies vaccination by proving it redundant and harmful and serving no other purpose than making money for vets and vaccine manufacturers.
Here are a couple of links that can shed more light on this very important news story:
Permission is granted to post and cross-post this message. Please help to spread the word so we can get these studies underway as soon as possible. The simplest way is to simply hit "Forward" and then send this issue of "The Peeing Post" to everyone you know who has a dog.
Here are the facts about this brand-new initiative from the official press release - which I deeply welcome:
The Rabies Challenge Fund
World-renown vaccine research scientist and practicing veterinarian, Dr. W. Jean Dodds of California, and pet vaccine disclosure advocate, Kris L. Christine of Maine, have established The Rabies Challenge Fund to raise money to fund a 7 year rabies vaccine challenge study in the United States.
In addition to the challenge study, the fund will finance a study of the adjuvants used in veterinary rabies vaccines and establish a rabies vaccine adverse reaction reporting system.
Rabies vaccination is the one immunization required by law across the country for domestic dogs and cats. Researchers believe this vaccine causes the most and worst adverse reactions in animals. The Rabies Challenge Fund has been founded to improve the safety of rabies vaccines and to determine, by challenge, if they confer immunity for 5, 6, or 7 years.
The Rabies Challenge Fund's first official sponsors are Deb Odom (Florida) and Dawn Turner (Arizona), who have committed to donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of their pet vaccine informed consent posters and informational flyers.
Donations can be sent to THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND, c/o Hemopet, 11330 Markon Drive, Garden Grove, CA 92841.
Rabies Challenge Fund poster designed by fund sponsor Deb Odom is accessible at http://www.zbirdbrain.com/PetAdvocatesTownHallCisSupport.htm
Good stuff, eh?! Now you know what to do with the money you planned on spending on your dog's next vaccination...
Cheers and woof,
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!
You can reach me by simply clicking on the peeing dog
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P.S. The next camp course is planned for the first week of May in Creston, BC. However, I have received a few inquiries about possibly doing one in the Vancouver area.
I have, like-wise, received inquiries for doing it in Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ontario, Quebec, and Pennsylvania.
If the interest is serious, we can certainly do it! But there is a lot of work involved in preparing it, so it will not happen unless I get some confirmation of the desire to participate. The best way will be if you will take care of the practical arrangements. Or you can get someone else to help you.
The optimal situation is when you have a group of 4-6 people working together on making it happen. What you can do then is to arrange for some public seminars in conjunction with the course - they do not cost extra travel expenses... and they might simply finance the whole venture!
Check out these two pages for information on how you can do it: