Category Archives: Behavior & Training

Belgian Malinois Dog – Is It Worth to Adopt One?

Hello again!

belgian_malinois_exercisingAt the last occasion, we dealt with the origin of the Belgian Malinois dog. Furthermore, you also could read about the breeding history and their appearance in that article. Continuing the description, we get to know their temperament, and some personal experience also will be mentioned. All this info is important in light of whether you choose this breed as your working mate / family companion or not. Let’s start!

About the Character of Belgian Malinois

The character of the Malinois is complex. It can be best considered as a top-power canine. We can say in general that this shepherd dog is affectionate, generous and hard-working. And, it’s playful in the circle of family.

He is loyal to his master, to the family, but especially the children. It is courageous and responsible, and has a strong protective instinct. Typically, s/he is reserved toward strangers until it knows them. The aggression isn’t their trait.

The breed is known for its attentive ability, perseverance, courage, toughness, intelligence and meaning. They make excellent watchdogs. They protect your family and property in a very convincing way if needed.

The breed is reasonably pleasant in direction of other canines and pets living under the same roof. Apart from that, the Malinois can show dominating persona, thus requires a consistent hand in keeping and training equally.

A “Light Athlete”


The Belgian Malinois actually represents a prototype of “light athlete” in the world of dogs. Due to its harmonic, lean build and light bone structure, it’s very fast and maneuverable. Speed ​​is not only meant to move in its case.

Because of its reflexes, reactions can take place in seconds in a given situation. They told me an appalling example, a video recording, that demonstrated their “RING” work in a competition.

The Ring – where these dogs are highly successful in – is a special, freestyle guard covers sports, described simply. Here the dogs have to work varied and unpredictable life situations.

Belgian Malinois practicing Ring work

For example, full body catches are permitted. However, the maximum self-control and maneuverability are strict requirements.

An Illustration of Abilities

Well, the tape featured a Malinois, who got the task of the ‘fugitive’s capture’. The trainer sent the dog onto the sprinting training assistant, then conducted the “Leave it-Come in” order JUST BEFORE the catch.

The dog’s conduct was breathtaking. The animal has been floated in the air when the command said, but as soon as he heard the order, turned over a fraction of a second. Then with four feet stamping, pushed away from the assistant and galloped to its owner in its full power.

Well, the good Malinois can achieve such amazing performance in a competent hand. At the same time, it should be noted that all this could be brought out only with expertise, patience and hard work.

Looking Behind This Output

Well, those mighty be disappointed thinking the breed is a miracle dog who learns everything in seconds and doesn’t stop until reaching the top. It’s a false illusion to expect outstanding performance merely from the dog.

Furthermore, in case of any disappointment or failure is outright dishonesty to blame him. Just think about it; an awesome race car also cannot win, if the driver is mediocre or even worse.


In addition, the Malinois is such a “racing car” in which only equipped with steering wheel and brake. Gas pedal is not necessary at all, because the “engine” is rotating at the full speed all the time.


Among other things, this is the feature, which allows extraordinary results on the race track. At the same time, also because of this, it’s very easy to mess up its education.

Another feature of the Malinois is the (above mentioned) lightning-fast reaction capability. That is important to emphasize, because the instinct is very strong in this breed. Thus, it’s recommended to avoid over-exertion or early pressure in training in order to succeed.

This especially applies to the phase of security guard working, where developing the change of dog’s instinct demanded. The essence is bettering the predatory as well as guarding instinct and achieved stable switching between them.

In fact, it makes possible doing a precise and confident work, despite the different stimuli in diverse situations. It is obvious, that all this requires caution, if the reactions and changes take place in seconds.

Malinois Is Eager to Learn

Nevertheless, temperament would not simply happen. Many factors like congenital traits, socialization and training – among others – have the impact on a character. You should begin its education as soon as possible in order to evolve their extraordinary intelligence and adaptability appropriately.

The breed acquire knowledge quickly and eager to learn. The raising should not be major problems, provided that a calm atmosphere, takes place in a consistent manner. The Belgian Malinois dog should clearly feel the leading role of their owner.

If not, then one day he may decide to take over the flock – that is, control over the family. Therefore, the owner needs to be a strong personality. And besides educating the dog, s/he must carry out joint activities with him regularly.

Example of Our Own

Now, I’m fostering a Belgian Malinois puppy, until finding a new home for him. I’m spending with Larry hours brokenly due to its movement need, including at least an hour running around with other dogs.

During a week he learned properly the commands: “Listen to me,” “Sit” and “Down.” He grasped the “Listen to me” command easily within our yard, then continued in the park. The distractions and his curiosity slowed the process, of course.

I use the clicker method in training; it works well for us. Learning happens in short intervals to ensure that his attention not to go in different direction. With frequent rest periods, he can continuously obtain useful dog knowledge.

Lisa and Zizi accepted Larry into the family. He likes to run with me, enjoys to play ball, retrieve, and rampage without a leash. Later, we’ll try swimming in the river’s dead branches near us. The bad weather didn’t bother him at all.

Larry feels himself the most excellent way when we are in the dog school half-day. We are lucky because there were two different days alike, but otherwise I must organize a separate program for him.

Namely, Larry isn’t satisfied with the playing in the park one and a half hours in evenings. All in all, this Belgian Malinois puppy and I get along pretty well; he shakes up my old bones (and I love that).

To be continued with upkeep needs and health aspects next time,

Alex Sparrow

Springer Spaniel Biting Problem – How to Stop It?

Hi again!

springer spanielI got the following email recently: “We got a virtually 10 week-old Springer Spaniel puppy, named Barry. He has actually been with us five days now. We experienced, that Barry painfully bites during playing. Of course, I understand, to nip is regular for puppies, and he’s just young. The problem is I’m unsure what should be done to end such behavior. He does not appear to note the standard. I know Barry is young, but this behavior makes us mad by now. He would not seem to be listening to the usual “NO.” I don’t know if he grows out of this at all, I need help now. I would like to educate him to cease this problem. How could I do that? Thank you!”
OK, it’s a good question, thank you! And I’d begin the answer with …

What Puppies Use to Do Typically

Puppies spend their days with eating, sleeping, toileting and playing. When playing, they use to run, hop on and chase one another and also initiate play along with their brothers and sisters.

And, besides eating, the puppy uses his or her teeth to bite in playing, too. Your little fur baby learns how to communicate, fight, how far s/he can go and when to give up, in other words, to retreat.

Thus, it is quite natural for them to nip the humans as well. They are inclined to do it more once they turn out to be over excited or overvalued, and likewise, even if they become too tired.

Puppies often will attempt to bite in order to getting attention plus a response, completely similarly they used to call litter-mates to play. This applies to all puppies, including the Springer Spaniel, too.

What a Pup Should Learn in this Relation

Part of this earlier life period in the litter is to learn to bite, and experience how the other reacts to that. This way, the puppy will grasp the ability of regulating the strength of their bite.

Every puppy ought to learn the proper degree of bite inhibition already among their contemporaries. If they have learned properly, when one of them bites the other excessively the fellow will usually yelp.

When the puppy firmly yelp back on the bite did by another, s/he stand up “for itself.”
And of course the offending puppy ought to stop its act, if s/he learned the lesson right.

The others will honor the strength, and the rank established within the pack. And now let’s get back to Barry’s behavior.

Ways to Stop Your Springer Spaniel to Bite

You, being Barry’s owner, have no other job than to stand up for yourself, to show him who is the boss! It doesn’t need a tough hand, but firm education, governance that you should tell him on his language.

In practice, when Barry goes to bite you yelp just like a pup in ache. If Barry has taught bite inhibition, then he should stop it. Right after that you fold your arms, turn your back on him right away and say firm “No”.

The Exclusion Technique

Keep turned away, look in another direction, and ignore him. Stay like that for a while and if Barry ceases and keeps stopped, then you could call him for praise or give a treat, or both.

In case Barry begins his action once again, you reiterate the said process, and ignore him for a longer time period. Keep in mind, you must be more persistent than him.

Withdrawing heed makes him perceive that attention and fun not follows his biting.

If it Doesn’t Work

It may happen that your Springer Spaniel is trying stubbornly. The other method could be that you separate him into a different room for a while. After that you let him out, but ignore your puppy a little more time.

Then call Barry to you and command “Sit” after which praise and reward him for his good behavior. This usually works, repeat it if necessary.

NOTE: Actually you have to choose one approach, and consistently apply it in the first place (provide a good trial). Generally, applying the first variation become sufficient.

However, if you feel you need it, other ways also exists. Let’s see.


For example, you can draw his attention onto a toy Barry can bite and chew on. This is another solution too, once again yelp “No”, get Barry to sit down, and if he obeys, and would not begin biting, then re-direct onto that chew.

NOTE: I’d warn you not to reward him until he shows the desired behavior. If Barry gets the threat or praise earlier than he stops biting, then your effort went waste. He may think you reward a bite.

However, if your family members co-operate with you in the process, your Springer Spaniel will stop biting you.

All the best,

Alex Sparrow

How To Train Airedale Terrier A Perfect Way?

Mornin’ Airedale People!


The Airedale Terrier is a bright-eyed, quick-moving and ready-for-action-always type dog. I wrote about their relationship to children earlier. Now, we are dealing with their training. The intelligent eyes, keeping of ears and the erected-tail determine their outer look. S/he is an open, self-confident, self-respecting and friendly canine.

Of course, in order to act as a good citizen, s/he cannot do without proper training provided by a consistent hand because its considerable autonomy tendency.

By this, I mean that you should limit this dog’s will. And that is not easy, to put it mildly. Namely, to carry through its ideas s/he isn’t limited to putting on their – not minor – acting skills.

Why the Education Is Mandatory

As I wrote earlier, the Airedale Terrier breed requires active and enriched lives. Where their owners are unable to cater to their needs, there it becomes unmanageable, goes wild and turns into obstinate.

Therefore, it is common in such cases that s/he destroys the environment, and might pick up bad habits. Furthermore, this canine tends to get away where s/he sees an opportunity.

So, the Airedale is an ideal companion for people who have a lot of free time and want to spend it actively. That’s why it’s worth taking their training seriously, and carry out with agreement of your whole family.

Otherwise, it becomes a very inconvenient, annoying house-mate.

When We Start the Teaching

My experience dictates that we can begin the education already on the day the puppy arrived at our family. But, that only should happen in a playful way, because this isn’t the time of specific serious practices yet.

Rather we consolidate our relationship by the mutual playing, at the same time, strengthen his or her courage. The basic principle is that we only allowed to deal with our Airedale puppy if we are calm and in a good mood.

Nervous Specialties of Airedales

You would ask me “why the good mood is important”? Simple answer: because s/he will be in the similar mood, and thus learns faster. If you’re tense or angry when teaching the puppy, you must stop the sessions with him or her.

Because your Airedale Terrier doggie is unable to comprehend the reason of your upset state. Consequently, it could break a fear on him or her that almost paralyzed your pooch.

I note here, that any puppy’s nervous system is highly mouldable through education, whether positive or negative direction. With proper education, the shy little dog is trainable to be brave – and vice versa – the stubbornness reducible.

But, with only one reckless, violent punishment or bad experience might damage your puppy for life, even having a good nervous system. Which means that it has not become a decent working dog.

Educating Your Airedale Terrier

The early socialization of your Airedale puppy is important. That means familiarizing your pup with more and more, various people, animals, situations and sounds. We do this in order to behave confidently in different environments at its adult era.

During the teaching, it’s advisable to strive not to force the exercises until boredom. In fact, this kind of breed finds its delight in the variety and speed. Thus, you should remember this throughout the teaching.

Enlisting your Airedale Terrier in a puppy day-care session is a good start. To invite guests over frequently, and bringing it to busy shops, parks (which enable canines) are also worthy.

Such facilities, as well as convenient walks to encounter neighbors may also help your pooch to increase their social expertise.

Maintaining Their Attention

Due to its high intelligence, the Airedale Terrier puppy understands the task very quickly. Knowing that s/he very quickly understands the task, it’s good to practice only briefly with him/her until their interest is still ongoing.

So, before starting another practice, you should insert a short game between the two session. This means you play with your dog, enhancing their good mood and keep its enthusiasm further.

In the training, we should apply the positive reinforcement (praise, treats) continuously. Otherwise, our four-legged mate soon becomes listless and will ignore our commands.

The Momentum

This Terrier is a very family-loving and hard-to-bear the loneliness dog. We expect him to behave well-mannered, obedient, guard the house, love our children and the other members of the family.

Then, in return, you must have to provide the most important thing an Airedale is looking for; the experience of togetherness.

To do this it’s essential that our dog lives under the same roof with the family (its pack), which is natural for it. The Airedale Terrier has excluded from the home makes it more difficult to be obedient, due to the lack of bound and greater degree of independence.

All the best,

Alex Sparrow

Facing Dogs and Cyclists Should Lead to Attack?

Hello again!

when dogs and cyclists encounterA healthy lifestyle includes movements and exercise in the open air. Some are walking with their dogs; others are jogging or running and there are those who biking. It’s inevitable sometimes that dogs and cyclists are encountering during their activity. And, familiarizing you with new area by biking might be risky once you cross into a canine territory. So, it is not useless to be prepare for such encounters to prevent any problems.

When Dogs and Cyclists Encounter

Similarly to other living beings, dogs indicate their very own area. And they don’t greet prettily cyclists, joggers, motorists or any additional trespassers. Remember that 98-99 percent of the registered dog bites occur inside the dog’s territories.

When you step into a canine’s private zone, be conditioned for the animal to get into the assault manner. A considerate human may perceive warning signs like livid barking and may prevent problems by leaving the scene instantly.

If you don’t, then you expose yourself to a potential dog attack. This entails biting in your heels and an effort to take you down. Rest assured, a dog assault can throw you off stability, and can result in severe wounds.

Therefore, understanding how to handle dog attacks is a crucial measure to ensure peace in your cycling. I don’t recommend kids – or cyclists having little knowledge with canines – trip the place dog attacks may happen.

Attack Signals

Dogs are often inclined to assault cyclists from the rear direction. But, don’t assume all canines aspire their preys savagely. You can ascertain if the animal has critical will to bite you by observing the dog’s gait.

In addition to the previous barking, if s/he feels threatened; the canine will chase more outrace than usual. Their tail levels downward, ears are erected and mouth opened.

Ways You Can Apply

* Once you notice the dog comes near to you from any course, remember to guard your bicycle’s front wheel. If the animal abruptly makes a frontal attack, it could trigger a collision plus your fall.
The wise decision is to go to the farthest side of the road as well as to ride away without hesitation.

* Another possibility is when you yell load-throated to cope with the offended dog. This sound can temporarily shock the canine and makes it to vacillate. If it’s work, use the additional seconds and leave the scene as quickly as you can.

Nevertheless, at facing dogs and cyclists, if s/he remains in assault mode, lift your fist associated with an angry shout. Majority of dogs are scared of human violence will not chase after a person who poses an evident menace.

* I’d recommend you to understand that you probably can’t outrun a dog always (unless you’re Usain Bolt). For instance, cloggy roads or steep tracks could cause cyclists to make a very sluggish getaway.

No panic, my Friend, a can of dog spray is your savior. That spray will tweak the dog’s eyes and nose, so shut off the canine momentarily on a harmless way.

* If the above ways are ineffective, you should call help. If the dog in question is resolute in its assault, defend yourself and put your bicycle between you and the dog. Be careful and don’t attempt to kick the animal, as this may increasingly cause you to lose your stability.

If you’re assaulted or bitten, then look after medical help instantly. And report the case to the authorities and present a complaint contrary to the dog owner. The canine might want to be put into quarantine to confirming whether it is rabid or not.

Background of Dog Attacks

Don’t plug our heads in the sand but say: the human carelessness is behind attacks always. Main reasons are: people keep their dog improperly, or deal with it aggressively, or simply throw out the animal.

No wonder if the frightened, hungry canine simply runs wild. Due to this fact, the only way you can sustain a dog if you look after it responsible manner.

That way allows you to keep away from to turn against you or towards other individuals or animals. Furthermore, I advise you to take your canine to dog school in order to learn the correct social behavior.

Bottom Line

Unfortunately, a dog attack may happen with anyone, so you should be aware of what to do in such a case. It is important to teach these for your kids or elderly, too, as they are at the greatest risk.

Pay attention to avoid mixing dogs and cyclists. Prepare yourself to get the ability to react in the event you face a territorial dog during riding.

Until next time,

Alex Sparrow

The Most Common Mistakes Dog Owners Do 3

Hello Again!

Dog owners allow jumping upI think I’m right when I say the majority of dog owners want to get to the point in dog training where their animal is obedient always, happy to learn, do not fight, knows and performs basic commands. In the two previous parts of this series, I dealt with misconceptions here and here that would impede the success of training your dog on your own if you apply those. Now, you will hear about additional ones, firstly:

My Dog Doesn’t Allowed to Jump Up On My Suit, Unless Sweat Suit

My Friend, this is wrong, totally!


Your dog is not a human being, even if sometimes you think s/he behaves like that way. Therefore, it cannot distinguish between the old sweat suit and the expensive evening clothing.

What follows from this?

If you let him jump up at you at one occasion, however, you punish him for the same reason at another time, your four-legged friend will get confused and call into question your suitability of the pack leader.

So, if you don’t want your dog to jump up on you, you should definitely dis-habituate his behavior with strict consistency. Otherwise, you can say good-bye to your best piece of clothing.

I repeat once again: under no circumstances, can we expect from our dogs to distinguish between cheap and expensive clothes. By the way, this is a kind of anthropomorphism (when dog owners grant their dogs human properties), which should be avoided by all means.

Dog Owners Think: My Dog Is Blocked From the Couch

This is the next avoidable mistake. My Friend, your dog will not think of it himself, that he is the boss in the house just because sometimes lying on the couch. You may let him up to your bed if you wish.

Of course, this is a great grace you may give. This may actually trigger from some animals the feeling of “everything is allowed to me already.” This is important; especially, your dog only allowed lying on the couch or in bed, if you order to do so.

Moreover, s/he also must leave the comfortable couch or your bed if gets such a command. So, you can allow your dog to rest on the couch or on the bed, but shouldn’t view it as their territorial jurisdiction.

Otherwise, it might happen that the dog prevents the owner or the guests to use the furniture properly.

By Pressing Our Dog On the Floor, We’ll Show Him Who’s the Boss

Declaring the dominance this way in the field of dog training is a past. A confident pack leader acts calmly and firmly. You don’t have to flaunt your strength ever, especially not with raw violence.

The same situation can be observed within the wolf pack: the alpha male shouldn’t have to strengthen his natural authority with continuous aggression. Rather he will do that with showing signals of his dignity and sturdiness.

It’s much more useful if we show towards our dogs with a clear, thoughtful and consistent behavior how they should adapt to us.

It follows from this that those dog owners who can make themselves understood with their dog only by violent means, should build up the obviously lacking emotional bond to their canines at first.

Best of luck,

Alex Sparrow

The Most Common Mistakes Dog Owners Do 2


dog owners let their animals freeLet’s continue the series of mistakes some dog owners make in training their dogs. (You may find the previous part here.) And to reassure you (the reader), I confess I also had similar misconceptions before. But, I tried to learn from them. The next misbelief we discuss over today at first is:

The Same Breed Dogs Don’t Attack Each Other

My Friends, it’s not so, and I’ll tell you why.

It’s well known that for people, the first impression is taken literally in seconds. Based on the image we’ve seen, sentences heard, steps done plus other things will be someone likable or unsympathetic for us.

This also applies to dogs because the sympathy or dislikes between the dogs can depend on many factors. In many cases, the same breed dogs are better with each other, because they often behave in the identical way.

Moreover, mainly it is because their body language is much closer to those of each other. Dogs express their feelings very well with the body language and sound signals they must interpret correctly.

And the correct socialization – begins already in the litter – helps to recognize these signals. However, canines also vary individually with regard to dog temperament, even in the identical litter of the same breed.

So, the total mistake is thinking that angry scenes don’t occur between the same breed dogs.

Dog Owners Think Their Pet Is Trainable Well / Badly

It happens that an insufficient dog obedience occurs against the expectations we made before. I experienced, the easiest thing is to state immediately the breed is the liable, in this case.

You may hear things like: “My dog’s hunting instinct is so strong because of the breed. Therefore, I never let it off leash.” Or this:”My dog has never been obedient, because this breed is incredibly stubborn.”

But, you may often find an opposite example, too: “Buy yourself a Labrador. It is so gentle as a lamb, it does not need to be taught. It is specially designed for novice dog owners.”

My Friends, keep in mind please, all the claims above are generalizations only.

My long dog keeping experience taught me that you may- and should have to deal with every breed. That goes so even if the hunter instinct working in it, if it is especially player or when sensitive than average.

Success depends on how consistently we train our dogs, and if we consider any specific character traits. The point is that every dog needs training, even when a tiny Chihuahua is involved “only.”

The Leash Exists for Those

Unfortunately, some dog schools still follow the “old” training principles. Which means not only intimidating the dog verbally. Plus, using the leash a rough manner is often involved in their concept.

If a dog, say, do not go well next to the foot, then they correct the movement of the leash flinching. Alternatively, when the handler suddenly changes direction, the collar – because the dog is not prepared to do so – jerks at its neck.

Of course, this manner – by no means – can be regarded as positive, relationship reinforcing “educational method.”

Furthermore, the so-called grabbing can cause vertebrae whiplash injury on the neck and larynx injury in front. Rather, I suggest dog owners should try to motivate their dog playfully.

Anyway, when people first start training their dog, many confuse the rewarding and motivation. The two methods are highly close to each other because by its very nature, yet there are differences.

To put it simply: under the word “motivation,” I interpret that you, the dog owners should create an environment, in which your dog is eager to carry out the exercise. Trust, good relationship with each other and an environment free from distractions included here, among others.

It will be continued next time,

Alex Sparrow

The Most Common Mistakes Dog Owners Can Do


dog owners do not intervenyThose who walk with open eyes in the world of dog owners may discover several dog training misconceptions. It follows from that dogs are trained in a number of myths still hovers around or became outdated long ago. Plus, you can find those cases when they based on an incorrect assumption. Let’s look at some of the most common mistakes that could be avoidable easily. This is also timely because these myths often lead to confusion or conflict.

Dog Owners Think Canines Take Care of the Matter Among Themselves

A great deal of canine owners don’t intervene when their animal makes menace, or shows dominant behavior against another canine. They think the dogs will take care of the matter among themselves. But, if you hesitate in such situations, that could lead to a bad result.

Please, bear in mind – as the owner – our duty and liability are to intervene and resolve any conflicts occurring. Our intervention is really important when the dog fellows wrapped in a threatened dog, for instance, at the dog school, dog parks or group sessions held for puppies.

And your intervention has several advantages. On one hand, you – the owner – are affirming your alpha position. On the other hand, with the quick and cool-headed intervene a serious conflict or even a bloody fight will be avoidable.

My Dog Is Puppy Only, S/he Is Still Allowed

I observed that many puppy owners believe that they may allow their pet to approach a foreign dog without listening to friendly or even negative signals of that. They believe an adult dog would never hurt a puppy.

So their pooch even can bit at the other dog, after all it can get away with that, right? Well, unfortunately not!

I cannot sufficiently emphasize that any pup can act this manner only against their own litter mates. The mother dog supervises her successors with ultimate care. She repels adult dogs and allows others close proximity to the litter just after few weeks.

Of course, a puppy may afford more for itself within this small community. On the other hand, the “bite inhibition” instinct is missing in an adult dog basically. In other words; a grownup dog doesn’t tolerate the bite by a puppy s/he had never seen it before.

An older dog may react even a hostile manner to the approach of a more vivid puppy. So be careful before you let your puppies close to an unfamiliar con-specifics first time.

To avoid any inconvenience I suggest you to ask the other dog owners whether their dog is reliable. You should be convinced that you face a properly socialized dog.

Owners Think Their Animal Doesn’t Forget What Learned Before

I have observed also that many people who have a dog pleased when the training course is completed finally. That’s because they lull themselves into believing they never have to exercise the performing of “sit,” “stay” or “come” command with their dog henceforth.

Unfortunately, this is a misunderstanding as well. The commands – like everything else, what the dog has learned during his life – must to exercise in order to win continuous confirmation and integration into the animal’s behavior.

I already talked about this with several expert, plus experienced that the dog training often is a momentary victory only – all without the guarantee of lasting success. It often occurs that a puppy forget all suddenly when it enters the age of puberty.

And you know what? The same phenomenon presents itself when dog owners prolonged inconsistent behavior toward their favorite in a certain period. In this case, you can start it all over again. The “lifelong learning” applies here as well.

It will be continued next time,

Alex Sparrow

To Treat a Stubborn Dog Is Impossible?


Stubborn dog - BeaglePaige says:

“I have a Beagle named Boots. She has a mind of her own. She knows that she is not supposed to get on the couch, or even leave the kitchen, but she does anyway. She is an one-year-old, quite stubborn dog. How can I teach her to stay in the kitchen?”

“When Boots leaves the kitchen we yell at her, and when she is on the couch, and somebody sees her there, she rolls over on her back. When my father saw Boots on the couch, my father smacked her and she ran into the kitchen.”

Of course, I’ve met the so-called stubborn dog in many cases during my long dog keeping practice. I’ve to say, similarly you can find obstinate humans in life. They all possess their own individuality. And this applies to dogs as well.

A Story of a Stubborn Dog

It happened that I trained a hunting dog many years ago. Babe was a three years’ Beagle and so damn waggish that she just decided to avoid performing certain commands if she felt like that. She did everything I said until she became stubborn.

For example, I trained her to shake in ten minutes, and she performed that several times. Then Babe changed her mind and only lifted her first leg half-way up and next put down to the ground. And she stared at me with grinning countenance.

Babe was so willful sometimes as if she had been the leader of the pack or the ‘alpha’. As you know, the leader of the dog pack in wild expects and receives submission from other species within the group. Of course, it couldn’t go on – I had to show her who’s the boss.

The Solution

I had to show her that I’m in the charge, and she must respect me. Of course, this didn’t imply that I punished Babe or treated her rude manner. Not at all. I only educated her with body language and voice, to know who is the authority.

I applied a firm voice in our ‘conversation.’ When talked to her, I didn’t bend over her but stood up straight. Similarly, I didn’t get down her level even I praise Babe because she fulfilled my orders.

When the feeding time came, or I gave treat or petted her, I gave the Sit command before. If she sat down, she got the meal or praise. Of course, Babe received caressing when I wanted to do, and not when she demanded.

Plus, I eliminated the tug-of-war game from our mutual fun time. Furthermore, I didn’t make wrestling game with her. These steps were necessary, because such games might awaken her feeling the chance of physical domination over me.

My Answer to Paige

Unfortunately, the way you are handling the situation is not the best choice. For starters, I personally feel that any family that truly wants a dog should allow the dog to be a member within the family. This includes allowing her to share the home – all of it – including the living room.

Keeping the dog off the furniture would be no problem simply by changing the tones of your voice. A firm “NO!” each time the dog attempted to jump on the sofa – followed by a rewarding pat upon the head and a “good dog” – will get the point across provided you are consistent.

Punching the stubborn dog has caused a behavior change, of course. But, not the behavior change you wanted originally. Now the dog fears father, and rolls onto her back in total and complete submission. Striking a dog for such misdemeanors simply creates more problems than it solves.

All the best,

Alex Sparrow

How Guide Dogs React At Getting Attack?


one of the guide dogs at work I read the following news here recently and felt an urge to discuss the reaction of guide dogs when they have been attacked.    (Photo: Flickr/kenjonbro)

“A Budleigh guide dog owner is asking fellow pet owners to be careful after a terrifying incident where her dog was attacked.
Penny Gatter, 67, who has very limited vision, was walking on Budleigh seafront with her dog Milo, a four-year-old Labrador/retriever cross, when another dog approached them.
It attacked Milo, who due to his guide dog training and non-aggressive character did not attempt to defend himself.”

I read similar stories with compassion toward the aggrieved party always. As a dog lover and keeper for decades, I’m aware that dog attacks are inevitable sometimes. It follows from that the attacked dog becomes affected badly at that time – due to their training.

How Trained Guide Dogs Behave

A guide dog must meet the multifaceted system requirements. It should be strong and courageous, tenacious, yet gentle, human-loving and free from aggression. Additionally, it should be a docile, intelligent, obedient, yet self-thinker and distinct.

Only those canines which possess these properties can be trained successfully to be a guide dog. Just imagine: the human’s fate and life depend on them. (The bests for this mission are the German Shepherd, Labrador/Golden Retriever, Giant Schnauzer, Newfoundland, English Setter, Airedale Terrier.)

As you can see from the above, guide dogs have been trained to provide assistance and not for attacking.


For instance, you may have read in the USA Today that a guide dog tried to save his owner from crashing with its own body in Brewster.

The visually impaired Audrey Stone and her dog, Figo tried to cross the road in New York City in the morning. However, a driver of a minibus transporting school children didn’t recognize them in time.

The Golden Retriever quickly jumped into between the bus and his owner to catch a collision. And with his self-sacrifice certainly saved his owner from possible more severe injuries.

A well-trained assistance dog will not assault in return for a similar attack – even at the cost over its life – due to their training.

But let’s go back to the introductory story.

Milo’s owner said: ” When Milo was attacked he stood right next to me and never moved, and this dog was just lunging at him.”

Luckily, Milo suffered only bruising outwardly, but he could get a shock that might result in giving up the service. Unfortunately, there are examples in this regard as well.

What Statistics Say

I also read a related statistic performed by dog researchers. According to that, 240 guide dog suffered by dog attack between March 2011 and February 2013. That’s roughly ten assaults monthly and shows upward trend.

In the aforesaid period, five seeing-eye canines retired due to the shock acquired by the attack. The financial implication of this calculated £ 171.657. And we didn’t mention the emotional feelings of the needy person.

Just imagine the bond between the needy individual and a guide dog developed during the service. That is much more and deep compared to between a sighted owner and their pet.

And an attack could result in both the dog, and the visually impaired do not want to go outside anymore.

My Take on It

I know from experience that most of these attack on guide dogs – or other canines – could be preventable. The society doesn’t have to do other than properly handle the irresponsible dog ownership. Namely, I see the main trigger cause for dog attacks in that. Hopefully, more and more dog owners will be careful not to hurt these human helping animals.

Until next time,

Alex Sparrow

Enjoy the Unique Being of the French Bulldog

Hello again!

French_Bulldog_with_puppiesHumorously speaking, you may interpret the French Bulldog as a relative of English Bulldog, which struggled with the size challenge. These dogs were ruthless destroyers of different rats, polecats and similar, originally. That trait was one of the pillars of their popularity, no doubt. The other – important – component was when Comte Le Couteulx de Canteleu (1827 – 1910) handed his famous Frenchie kennel to the Paris Zoo.

These dogs spent there thirty years and entertained the audience. That period provided enough time for the general public to get to know and fall in love with this breed.

Temperament of French Bulldog

This type of Bulldog is small – however – considerable in construct with a robust muscular physique. The short straightforward-care coat is fit their balanced personality.