Saturday, August 31, 2013

Should I be the Pack Leader of my Dogs?

Is Cesar's Way the Right Way?

A lot of trainers and behaviorists have heavily criticized Cesar Millan's training technique. Some say that the way he takes care of his pack in his Los Angeles Dog Psychology Center is wrong. Others have even gotten too far as to saying that it's cruel.

Animals Make Us Human by Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson
In Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson's book titled Animals Make Us Human, Temple Grandin explains that although she may disagree with some of Cesar's belief, particularly about how his grandfather became the pack leader of his dogs, what he is doing in the Dog Rehab Center may just be what's right for those canines (half of which used to be homeless).
"The Dogs at the Dog Psychology Center, though, are living in one of the most unnatural situations any dog can live in: thirty to forty unrelated animals and different breeds all stuck together inside one big enclosure. Those dogs have to form a pack to keep from ripping each other apart, and Cesar has done a brilliant job of making himself the pack leader instead of letting the dogs fight it out for the top spot."
Reference: Animals Make Us Human, A Dog's Life p.33

Does this mean I have to apply Cesar's way to my pack?

Not necessarily. In fact, Temple Grandin firmly believes that dogs need parents and not pack leaders. She explains that since dogs are juvenile wolves, they are expected to live with their parents, brothers and sisters. Her theory is that dogs underwent pedomorphosis ("arrested development") during their evolution. That's why, over time, some breeds lost the wolf-like features as well as the submissive behavior that made wolves live in harmony and function as a group (pack).

Bottom line, looks like being the "dog mom" or "dog dad" has been the right way after all.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Do Dogs Have Complex Emotions?

So... Tell me, how do you feel about that?
And when I say this, I don't mean senses as we all know dogs have them. But my question is, at what certain degree do they feel emotions? I know dogs can feel happy/excited when we come home. They can also feel sad/anxious when we are away. They may get angry if their toys are taken from them. What else?


I recall the story of Capitan, the loyal dog who visited his owner's grave everyday for 6 years. There's also the story of Trixie, the Doberman who stayed with her dead owner for 30 days.  And then there's also the timeless tale of Hachiko.

We know dogs are loyal and they even can tune to our emotions. Have you ever asked what level of cognition your dog has attained? Stanley Coren has an interesting diagram on how far dogs feel. Whether you agree with it or not is fine. I would rather think that dogs have developed past the "3-year old in human age mark" (based on Stanley Coren's diagram).

Does this video simply suggest a dog hiding his dead offspring from predators? or Is it a sign of dogs having their own burial rituals like humans do?
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Thursday, August 15, 2013

What is it with Dogs and Ducks, anyway?

Forget about squeaker balls and Kongs... our packs would kill for a piece of duck! And it doesn't have to be the real deal... just a stuffed plush animal that squeaks. Chooey has two of them.

This is Ducky 1 being taught how to potty in the news paper potty area.
Last June, my sister's sons decided to bring the pack some really special toys. This All for Paws Mallard Dog Toy is still one of Chooey's most prized possesion. She squeaks it to death. And when we play the hunting game, I toss it up in the air for her to pick up like a super skilled retriever.

This is how it looked like back when it was still BRAND NEW!
Guess how many times this Mallard plush toy's been torn and sewn?

So our question is, who actually chooses the toys? Is it really the dogs? Or is it the mom and dad?

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Mischief Master Class: A Case of Mistaken Doggy Identity

As we've mentioned earlier, we finally received our Mischief Master Class book. Yes, Chooey and Buchi... errr Peanuts... are famous.

Even in Snoopy's absence, this book is up to mischief! LOL

By the way, Peanuts is doing pretty well with my beau. This picture was taken last June when I visited her to see how my soul dog was. Apparently, I'm no longer her first love. She only allows pretty pictures when my beau holds the camera.

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