"The Peeing Post"

Newsletter for dog lovers who respect the dog's nature

Chief Editor: Mogens Eliasen

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Dear Dog Friend,

The avian flu

A lot of people are worried about this dreadful disease, which, to date, has only claimed a few human lives in China, all people who were in direct contact with the blood from the infected chickens.

The disease has, most likely, also claimed the lives of a couple of cats and an elderly dog in Europe. How it got from China to Europe without leaving any trail in-between? Well, something here is suspicious...

I will not discuss the perspective of the human threat in detail. At this point, the disease cannot be transferred from human to human, so all scaremongering is 100% based on guesswork. But, as with all viruses, you just never know when it will mutate so that could be possible. Neither do we know if the general flu one day will mutate into a deadly disease.

I suggest you check with Dr. Eliaz for some support for this non-panic approach, based on strengthening our immune system through proper nutrition.

For dogs and cats, which are known to be more vulnerable to the avian flu than people, the same approach as suggested by Dr. Eliaz is valid, particularly for our dogs. There is no vaccine available, and no vaccine will be made available until the problem is over our heads, simply because the chances of the problem becoming serious are so small that the vaccine manufacturers do not want to waste research capacity and money on producing a vaccine that most likely will never be used! (Actually, the fact that the vaccine manufacturers do nothing should tell you quite a bit about their assessment of the likelihood for this disease ever becoming a serious threat - they wouldn't pass on a good chance to make money, and it defies logic if they did not use their lobbying powers to make the government awaer of that...)

It is impossible to obtain a sterile environment for our pets, and it is not a responsible option for them, even if we could. So, we have to do the same for them as for ourselves: enhance their ability to fight such a disease! This means: no fast food (kibble), no constantly filling their bodies with drugs (parasite prevention), no vaccinations without just reason (ridiculous legal requirements are not necessarily "just reason"), lots of exercise and mental stimulation, lots of raw meaty bones and guts. This will not seriously reduce the future stats, but it will most likely keep you and your dog outside the numbers of those who succumb.

Then of course, there is the financial issue. Sure, it can be devastating to farmers that live off chicken production. As it was for beef producers that got involved in the hysteria around mad cow's disease. For dog owners, it might mean that they no longer can get chicken for their dogs. So they will have to use some more healthy food sources for a while (chicken is the least valuable of all raw meat sources you possibly can get). I have a hard time seeing the real problem in that for our dogs...

Remember when Parvo virus was invented? (Yes, I said invented - it is a most likely a man-made disease, created through sloppy or maybe deliberate management of a feline virus!) It took quite some time before vaccines were available. And how many millions of dogs died in the meantime? Not millions. A few hundred, out of many millions. Yes, there were some unpleasant deaths, particularly among very young puppies, and there still is, despite all vaccinations, but nothing to threaten the existence of our dogs on a wider scale. In fact, we have later learned that Parvo isn't more dangerous to dogs than the flu is to people. The vaccination is actually far more dangerous than the disease, and the vaccine does not give any valid protection. (You can find more details about Parvo in the article "The Parvo Hysteria".)

The message about the avian flu is this: please help other people calm down and prepare themselves and their dogs for a healthy future. Good health with a strong immune system is the only way we have a good chance of getting through such a possible threat of disease, if it would become real.

Starting to reduce life quality for ourselves and our dogs by restricting our ability to enjoy life in the face of such a minute and utterly unlikely risk is crazy - completely out of proportion with a meaningful risk management strategy.

Building relationships with our canines

I recently wrote an article on "Consolidating or destroying your relationship with your dog". It merely says what I have written here in "The Peeing Post" before, but I feel it is time to discuss a few aspects of this very important topic. (Click on it to read the article - you are welcome to use it to send to others - the URL is http://k9joy.com/dogarticles/relationship.php.)

It is actually triggered by the first-ever request we have got for a refund of a purchase of "BrainWork for Smart Dogs". This man (whom I will refer to as XX) first bought Don't Pull on the Leash!, obviously in an attempt to teach his dog some manners. Nothing wrong in that - that's what that book is written for! But, as is also clearly pointed out in the book, there is no way of having success with this kind of non-abusive training, unless there is something in it for the dog. This means that you have to reward the action you want repeated. The whole principle behind Don't Pull on the Leash! is that I explain in detail how you can teach the dog to do the opposite of what it naturally does: pull on the leash. After some training with this, the opposite reaction will put the dog in conflict when it pulls - and a dog in conflict, not sure what to do, will do what is desired here: nothing! So, no pulling either.

But, in order to make such training successful, a reward is required, and, as is explained in greater detail in the book, you have to vary the nature of that reward quite a lot, in order to avoid some other unwanted learning sneak up on you. The solution is to use small simple brainwork exercises as reward, so the dog can never know what to expect and when - all it gets to learn is that something worth its time will happen.

Yes, this creates a need for the owner to know how to do brainwork training. That is a much longer story than the leash training, but I know "BrainWork for Smart Dogs" contains all the answers - plus some. We told XX this, and he then went to the web site and made a purchase. We were looking forward to hearing back about a happy dog and a happy owner, as we have become so used to in such situations...

Well, that did not happen this time. Instead, we got this request for a refund - which we promptly issued, of course. But we also subsequently asked (as we think is reasonable) if this decision for a refund was related to us or to our product. If so, we would like to know, so we possibly could improve our products or our ways of doing things.

Here is the answer: "At this time, my dog needs to learn basic commands, not tricks. Also, I didn't like making up words for the commands. I would not remember all of the made words and it would just confuse the dog even more. I'll take my chances on the dog learning English commands."

I shook my head when I saw it. So, from now on, "basic commands" no longer include coming when being called, sit, stand, down, accepting having a collar put on, not eating without being allowed, greeting people without jumping, waiting for permission to do things? All those are part of the book. And we are now to call it "tricks" when we teach dogs to do the all-important nosework exercises and search exercises that are so important for the dogs in order for them to release the energy from their hunting instincts which otherwise will accumulate and one day explode? Or maybe it is a "trick" to get the dog to come to you when you use your "PLAY-TIME" command? In such case, all clicker training becomes "trick training"... Yes, there are also some exercises in the book that are "just for fun" and really of no practical use. But that is a about a handful, out of 50. And an owner that does not have time to learn his own commands certainly has no time either teaching any dog even a fraction of 50 exercises...

Also, making the learning process easier for the dog is less important than personal convenience? Honestly, if you cannot remember a command word you made up for, say, finding a treat on the ground, then how is your dog supposed to learn it? If you train that command those 10-30 times a day, every day, for a couple of weeks (as is required for the dog to learn any command), then you should have trouble remembering that word you made for the dog? I am sorry, but if that is the level of a dog owner's intelligence, then I would rather see that dog in another home....(If you want to understand this, please see the article "Teaching the Dog English...?"

Back to the question, "What is in it for the dog?". In this owner's case, quite obviously nothing. This is the kind of person who does not care for his dog. As long as this dog is not a nuisance to him, things are OK, but that goal appears to have to be achieved at no cost and no effort from his side.

It is one of those dog owners I am happy to say good-bye to and delete from our contact list. But I am sad when we do it - it means one more dog lost to ignorance....

Any ideas what to do with such people?

Can anyone help Stan?

I have a horror story to tell about how vets and vets schools exploit people's emotional attachments to their dogs, with no concern for the animal's health.

This is the story of Stan and his 8-month Pomeranian in the hopes that it can both serve as a warning to everybody else and possibly give Stan some help.

Here is the story as Stan initially told it:

Well, to cut a long story short, he developed a limp favoring his right hind leg. The Vet took an X-ray and recommended that we see a specialist in hip problems - so we have seen him. Next week he is going to operate and remove the hip ball and replace it with a metal one. This puppy is called Dusty III and he is a beautiful little guy. I am seriously worried after my negative experience with UC Davis. By next Thursday we will know if he will be OK. I have attached a photo [hope you get it.] He is just short of nine months old.

I sent Stan a reply immediately, telling him to talk with me before he embarked on that ridiculous surgery, and he fortunately called. There is a little more to the history. Stan got Dusty about 2 months ago, and the family who had him was letting the kids use him as toy. He got lifted around all the time, and was fed French fries and other "goodies" from McDonalds, not even ordinary kibble!

In other words, he got a lot of carbohydrates and trans-fattya cids.... Which we know seriously increases the risk of incorrect development of the bone structure. HD (=Hip Dysplasia) is most likely outright caused by excessive carbohydrate feeding (even "premium" kibble contains about 70% carbohydrates; raw meat, organs, and bones contain none...). I believe this could very well have contributed to this. Regardless of Stan's immediate shift to raw food, compensating the effects of 3 months irresponsible feeding might not manifest itself in any tangible way yet, but the dog still has about 5 months to grow its bones, so it is way too early to say that "it just won't happen". There are good reasons for responsible breeders and vets to not accept any HD judgments before the bone structure has finished developing at 14-16 months of age (later for larger breeds).

When I talked to Stan on the phone, I got more and more upset, not with Stan, but with the ignorant way those vets are dealing with him and his dog.

First, Stan needed the vet to pull out the baby teeth, as the dog did not shift them himself. No wonder, given the food he got before. Nevertheless, this action of pulling teeth puts the dog in a vulnerable situation, in terms of immune defense. The vet nevertheless gave the 5-month old pup another multi-shot of vaccines, without even asking! That alone would make me sue that vet and never spend a single dime ever again in his clinic!

Next, when Stan came back with this limping problem, the vet did nothing to examine the dog, other than taking the x-ray. At least, he acknowledged that he was not competent dealing with this problem. But that was not because of the x-ray. That was because he did not use his hands and his brain, but resorted to his x-ray camera as the only tool he could figure out using...

The so-called hip specialist at UC Davis (the vet school in central California) was no better. He did nothing but look at x-rays. And then he served Stan the verdict: Amputate the hip of this young puppy and replace it with one of steel! No mentioning any shade of a diagnosis as to why this would be the best way to go!!

Anyone here who ever heard of a 10-year kid having hip replacement surgery for growing pains?

Or what about a 10-year old kid having hip replacement surgery for a pinched nerve? Or for a torn ligament? Or for an muscle injury that causes pain?

I could scream. Nothing was done to identify any possible reasons for the problem that potentially could be addressed in a less intrusive and irreversible way. This stinks of being nothing but a fat opportunity to make some fast money - or creating an opportunity for vet students to learn how to do hip replacements on live dogs. It makes me even more mad to know that Stan spent thousands of dollars with the same UC Davis vets for a heart surgery on his last dog a few months ago. The surgery was successful, but the dog never recovered from the operation....

Stan's vet is useless. First of all, Stan needs a diagnosis for his new little puppy.

As Stan said in an e-mail to me, "The problem does not seem to bother Dusty when he is walking; just after he gets up he limps, and when he stops he lifts his leg off the ground a little - does not put weight on it - but he runs and plays with my other younger Pom - Marco - all the time and it doesn't seem to bother him. "

This does not sound to me as a problem with the bones. It sounds like a problem related to muscles, NERVES, blood circulation, or soft tissue, like ligaments. My first bet would be having a chiropractor take a look - but California law prohibits chiropractors from advertising their ability to deal with animals, so it is not simple for Stan to find any. Same thing goes for acupuncture - which would be my personal number two choice. I also know from my past work with my mentor Finn Smed that there is a lot to achieve by using herbs and natural medicine. Finn has cured thousands of "hopeless" HD cases simply by stimulating blood circulation and soft tissue and muscle development around the joint. He has never had an HD case he let go to surgery, and never had a dog that could not live a reasonable dog life with its HD!

So, here is the challenge to the subscribers in California, preferably close to Sacramento, in the Lake Tahoe - San Francisco area: Can you possibly help Stan get a reference to a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, or an herbalist possibly through another, more qualified vet?

Please just hit reply and let me know, and I will pass on the information to Stan, also if there are hundreds of replies... This little pup does not deserve to become a victim of greedy surgeons.

Update of "The Wolf's Natural Diet"

In a few days, this update will be uploaded to the web site. It has turned out to become a major project. Based on the feedback we got, I felt a strong need to sharpen the logic of its conclusions. There were too many things about the domestication and its consequences that were not as clear as I wanted them, so I added numerous examples and explanations, plus reorganized and expanded the structure of the last 5 chapters to enhance the step-by-step understanding of the conclusions.

Well, as I have seen before when I do that kind of thing, the result grows... This is also the case here. I think I have added about 70% to the contents - and more than tripled the value, as it is now much more clear what we can and what we cannot conclude about our dogs, using the wolf's example. The conclusions go far beyond the individual dog, and I felt it was important to also draw up the conclusions that follow in regards to breeding.

I have added several new aspects of the domestication process. I am actually quite fascinated with this evolutionary phenomenon, and, in contrast to many prominent researchers, I do not see any major gaps or holes in the process, as we know it. Everything we need to know has a very plausible explanation, rooted in some extremely simple facts - but most often, those facts come from different scientific disciplines. I believe I have made a much clearer picture of this now. And this picture of domestication is very important in order to understand the conclusions in the end.

One of the main conclusions that has now been drawn very distinctively is how a feeding program actually can completely destroy a breed's health, even if you do not see the results right away! I do not think very many breeders are aware of this - but they certainly need to be! And all buyers of puppies need to understand this as well, as this is one of the core conditions that must be satisfied in order to ensure that they get a healthy puppy...

As always when we discuss ethics, I am not the one making other people's decisions. And I have no interest in doing that either. I also have no interest in pointing fingers or calling anybody names for the decisions certain breeders make that might be different from what I would like to see. But I certainly will not abstain from making clear what we can read about their ethics from watching their decisions ... In many cases, it is much more than what they like to have on public display.... When that is the case, then I suggest it is time to change a few things in the priority sequence of the important values - and take the consequences of what we know, instead of denying facts!

I am prepared for taking some hard hits from fashion breeders and other people who do not like to put ethics in place with their financial and personal interests prioritized below regards for the dog's health, but so be it. This book actually begs all breeders and puppy buyers to ask the question, "Why are we breeding dogs, and what do we want those dogs for?" I know - it is not an easy question to answer well. It actually takes that we think carefully about our situation and what our true objectives are. It is the concept of responsible dog ownership in a nut shell.

With this revision, it is past the time of referring to this book as a brief overview of the famous David Mech seminar. It goes way beyond that. As you can understand, it actually does give us all the answers I know people were missing out on at David Mech's seminar! It covers all that stuff David Mech did not cover, but, in order to do that, it also goes far beyond dealing exclusively with modern wild wolves.

As a consequence of this, the price will be raised as soon as the book is finished. All orders for shipment (CD or printed copy) will be shifted to the new version, and those prices have been raised already. The price for a download will be raised as soon as we have the files ready. Because of our policy of free updates in the form of a download to all past customers who bought a certain product, you now have the chance to get the new version at the old price if you get your download from http://k9joy.com/TheWolfsNaturalDiet before we get the new file uploaded and get the web page corrected. If you are too late, you will see the new price on the web site. If you order now, you can just wait for the update to come along in an e-mail in a couple of days...

The worst part of all the new stuff I have put into this book, with all this evidence piled up against us in regards to how we mismanaged domesticated wolves in the past and present, it is also impossible to not think of how this relates to humans. Let me just say this: It does - but I will not spell it out, neither here nor in the book. Maybe some other time (and in different newsletter). For now, I like to stay focussed on dogs. J


Cheers and woof,

Mogens Eliasen


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P.S. The articles of my own I refer to here in this issue are all new - so I strongly urge you to check them out if their topics are of interest to you. As it happens, they generally are born as a result of questions raised by our customers or subscibers. (Instead of just one person benefitting from the answer, I might as well make it available to a broader audience.)

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Yes, I am working my way through all the old articles, so they all become part of this - but I confess, I have some pretty tough priorities to take care of right now, so that kind of administrative task is on the back-burner...


P.P.S. Also a few words about copyright...

You are, of course, always welcome to simply "Forward" any issue of "The Peeing Post" if you know someone else whom you would like to share it with.

Also, whether or not you are an affiliate, you are always welcome to pass on links to the sign-up page for "The Peeing Post" (it is http://k9joy.com/peeingpost - or even put that URL on your own web site as a link. You are also more than welcome to post that URL in any newsgroups or forums you are a member of (as long as it is allowed in that group, but most groups are OK with references to free information), and you may use the URL in your e-mails. You may even print it out on business cards and hand those out to other people, by the thousands, if you want! (If you are a K9joy affiliate, you want to add your affiliate ID to this link, though - but that it only for your sake, not for ours....)

Permission to do this is permanently granted. It is written in every single issue. You do not need to ask first. You are welcome to just do it. I love to hear about the results, though... J

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