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The Canine Insight – Can you afford to miss it?

It’s Finally Time, it’s ready, just for you!

I am super excited to tell you about this….

This year I took it upon myself to get the best information I could for all my dog loving clients, friends and family. What happened next took on a life of it’s own!

I ended up putting together a FREE and EXCLUSIVE Canine Event which is the first of it’s kind with these Amazing Experts.

They have given their time, their stories, their experiences and their successful methods working with all kinds of dogs FREE to You!

All you have to do is register!

The Canine Insight. 

The Canine Insight

The Canine Insight

I’ve been working on this for the past 3 months, so what you are going to get out of this canine convention of sorts will surpass all your expectations, I promise you.

My friends and I are going to explode all the doggy myths and give you a true insight into how living with and loving your dog can truly end up changing your life for the better.

We’ll be talking about training, health, diet, rescue dogs, holistic methods, fearful dogs, communicating with your pet and so much more!

Go register now and tell all your friends who you think might love to hear about this. I want to use this opportunity to help as many dog owners and lovers that I can while this event is on.

Share this far and wide for all our furry friends

Furry Hugs

Bernie Browne x

(and don’t forget to come back and let me know what you got out of the event, I’d really love to hear from you)

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Want to Neuter Your Dog Without Surgery? Zueter!

Seems like there is a new way to neuter dogs non surgically and it’s called Zuetering!

I hate the idea of animals being ‘put under’ for anything other than a major and necessary operation and this could be the answer.

It works by injecting a solution of Zinc Gluconate (zinc is a natural spermicide) into the male pups testes (sorry guys who are reading this!) without the use of anesthesia.

This may make the Rescue and Shelter Organisations sit up and take note as it’s bound to be a cheaper but just as effective way of neutering their charges and hopefully saving them some money.

Want to Neuter Your Dog Without Surgery? New Drug Makes it Possible.

What do you think?

Solo’s Story – a dedication to the one I love

Solo1

I first met the dog I would live with, travel with and love for 17 years in a small NCDL rescue centre, now Dogs Trust in Ballymena.  My best friend, whom I was living with at the time had recently rehomed a dog from there and as we were both big dog lovers and now in our own digs, she promised me she would let me have my own dog too.

So the week before my 22nd birthday we decided to take the hour and a half trip up to the centre and have a look. I knew what I had in mind as I always loved lurchers with their sleek coats and slender aerodynamic bodies. This would be my chance to have one of my own. When we got there we walked around the pens looking at all the potential in those many pairs of brown eyes.

There were many lurchers, mainly greyhound crosses with soft eyes and a variety of coat colours and textures, nuzzling and licking our fingers through the wire. My friend could see I was falling in love and so excited, I was like a kid in a sweet shop.  She agreed they were all quite beautiful but maybe a little large, as were living in a terraced house with only a small front and back garden, with 1 dog already.

I felt a little disappointed that she wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as myself for these beautiful and unwanted creatures but she encouraged me to keep looking, which is what we did.  We stopped at every pen and squinted into the shadow to see who sat there or hid in the back.

On the last row I was losing my enthusiasm and wanted to go back to the lurchers, there were so many it would take me a while to choose one anyway.  I walked around the corner and was met at the first pen door by this black jack-in-the-box. He bounced up and down the whole time we stood there but what I could see of this black blur was that he had the same shape of face as my lovely lurchers but that was all I could see. He was also a little smaller.

In action

We asked one of the staff could they bring him out and asked about his story. The lady had a huge smile on her face and said in no uncertain terms that Jacko was her favourite as she slipped a lead over his head and brought him out.

He was in no way a shy dog, he greeted us with his whole body wagging and feet doing a jig and trying to kiss us amid all this crazy welcome dance he was performing. He was sleek jet black with a white stripe on his chest and he looked like a mini lurcher. Jacko as they had called him had been born in the centre to a white whippet mum, they presumed dad was a collie as he had a fluffy undercoat to the outer shiny flat coat and he was now larger than his mum had been. All his siblings had been rehomed, as had he, but he had been returned for being too much to handle by his previous owners.

It was love at first sight. His big brown eyes shone with mischief, love for everyone he met and a pure love of life and I wanted him to be mine.  We took him for a walk which involved him pogo jumping half the walk in his enthusiastic way but I knew in my heart this boy was meant to be with me. I was his second chance.

We went through all the necessary paperwork and homechecks and the following weekend of my birthday we went to collect my boy who I renamed Solo, so as not to confuse him completely of his old name which I didn’t care for. He was more like a Han Solo my new ebony boy.

We soon found out he was a chewing expert, carpets, curtains and seat belts were his forte’, barking was another habit which took a long time to master but he had the company of my friends lovely dog Trouble to get him over his transition from kennels to home life.

Soon we moved to Oxfordshire to follow my career with horses and Solo’s first flight in a plane. I spent the whole flight imagining him escaping from his crate and bounding out the door as soon as the baggage handlers opened it and being mortified as images of us all trying to catch him as he chased planes on the runway haunted me! He didn’t I hasten to add but that was the kind of thing he could do.

solo2

The move to living in a more open environment with lots of exercise across big grass fields and spending all day with me while I worked in a large yard suited him down to the ground. He made lots of doggy and horsey friends although he always erred on the cautious side to any newcomer on 4 legs. Newcomers on 2 legs were met with his by now well known pogo stick impression and trying to kiss their face while they were still upright. His other trade mark was to gently put their wrist in his mouth, like a doggy handshake. This he only did with his true friends.

He was great with other dogs, he also showed an inbuilt ability for herding when needed and he helped me with many a shy or scared dog, encouraging them with his gentle ways that everything would be fine. He loved the water and the beach and chasing balls and especially if all 3 were combined. Then we could barely get him back to the car!

solo 3

I couldn’t sum up his whole life in this one small blog but I wanted to let the world know that this funny, intelligent, kind and wonderful dog had existed in this world, if only to help me through life and remind me to keep my sense of humour and patience on many occasions.

For 17 years he was my shadow, my best friend, my confidante and my teacher. He taught me to never judge a book by it’s cover and that every dog deserves a second chance and has the potential to change your life for the better. They come into our lives like a guardian angel to teach us about ourselves and how to treat others, with kindness, with humour and with unconditional love.

And when they leave this world we know they have touched our lives and our hearts like no other creature ever could.

solos head

This blog is dedicated to the memory of my ebony boy who will live forever in my heart.

For Solo x

Golden retriever study suggests neutering affects dog health

So here’s the question; Is neutering really as kind to our dogs as we think?

This important study is worth a read for people thinking about neutering before 1 year old, especially with a pedigree breed.

Golden retriever study suggests neutering affects dog health :: UC Davis News & Information.

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Let us know what you think……

Bernie

Puppies Aren’t Presents … Foster!

xmas puppy

I’ve worked with dogs since I was 16. I’m not talking about our own family pet dogs throughout the years; but as a career when I started working in a show kennel while still going to school. I loved my job even though I worked weekends, bank holidays, Christmas and New Year’s day. It taught me early on that caring for an animal has no days off.

Later, I moved onto working with horses; but there were always dogs about, they seem to go pretty much hand-in-hand. I once puppy-walked three cute Bloodhound puppies for a local bloodhound group many years ago. This also entailed them actually living in our home for six to eight weeks working on socialising, getting them used to everyday sights, sounds, smells, other people, dogs and animals.

They looked adorable, but they chewed everything, mauled everything in my garden until not a single plant existed anymore; dug holes, looked for exits in every nook and cranny in the garden and just basically ran wild on their instincts.

I loved those silly pups, called Lavender, Limerick and Lucky. But I was also very glad to see them go back home, as happy, well-adjusted youngsters ready to take on the world. But boy were they a big learning curve! And it taught me that looks can be very deceiving when it comes to those big brown eyes and that irresistible  ‘cute factor!’

Without the right knowledge, tools and resources, pups like those can easily become demons in disguise and can shred everything you love in your home, create fall-outs with your lifetime friends or neighbours and simply make your life a living hell.

xmas adopt

I’m not going to sugarcoat the truth here because dogs and puppies are still being bought as Christmas presents for children as if they were mere toys and it has to end.

Ask yourself, how many toys need 24-hour care? Need to be fed 3 or 4 times a day? Require cleaning up after them? Need bedding and toys bought for them? Need to be kept safe and healthy? All just to be able to play with them?!

If you’re considering giving a puppy as a Christmas present, have you done your homework? What size will this puppy grow up into? Is it a lively breed? Have you seen it’s mother, is she a nice-tempered dog? Will you have to secure your garden to make it safe? Who’s going to look after this ‘present’ when you go on holiday? At work? Who is going to look after it, train it, get medical care and more? It certainly won’t be your child!

So rather than ignoring or brushing off all these questions, Please Really Think about them! If you aren’t willing NOW to even think about these questions or do the necessary homework, then please buy your child a cuddly toy, adopt a panda or give them riding lessons, because you aren’t ready to take on a dog right now.

I always wanted a horse of my own and asked twice a year (every birthday and Christmas!) for one when I was growing up. I didn’t get that horse until I was in my twenties and bought it myself! And I certainly didn’t hate my parents for not giving into my demands and getting me one. Instead, they aimed my focus to a local riding school where I learned to ride and then later worked at for free lessons and rode my friend’s ponies instead.

And during this time, I learned what it really takes to look after, clean out, exercise and feed a horse. Yes, they were fun! But they were also expensive to keep in food, medical attention, bedding, blankets, bridles, saddles and more! To me there is very little difference, on the commitment level, between horses and dogs and what it truly means to properly care for that animal. You wouldn’t buy a racehorse for your child if they don’t even know how to ride yet, would you?

foster a dog

Take on a shorter commitment: Foster a Rescue Dog

If you really like the idea of owning a dog, but are still not 100% sure, then go and talk to someone at your local animal rescue or shelter about fostering. They can help you decide if it’s right for you and what type of dog would suit your lifestyle and family. Some of them will even help share the costs of food, bedding and vet care while you’re fostering for them.

3 out of 5 Foster Parents end up Adopting their Foster Dog or Cat

This is usually because they realise how well this animal fits in with their life and want to keep them instead of giving them up to another good home.

If it doesn’t turn out to be a good match (which can sometimes happen), then you are at very little financial loss. You’ve also done the rescue a wonderful service and given a needy animal a home life and love while it waits for a new family. You will also learn whether you are actually ready for a dog – if at all!

So this year, please don’t think, “I’m going to give in to the kids and buy a dog.”

Instead think, “How can I teach my kids about the commitment of owning a pet?” 

For more information on fostering a dog, here’s a great website: Fosterdogs.co.uk.

Wishing you all a wonderful and safe Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Did you find this article interesting? Let us know by leaving a message below and sharing it with other dog owners too!

For more information about the Dog Owners Coach, or to book a consultation, please visit my website at www.4dogenterprises.com/coaching or find me on Facebook at The Dog Owners Coach.

Disposable Dogs: Let’s Find the Solution(s)!

Due to your overwhelming interest and support for my last blog, I’d like to take it one step further and suggest some potential solutions and especially ask for YOUR ideas and suggestions on how we, as a society, can effectively address and positively turnaround this epidemic of unwanted dogs.

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Disposable” dogs … what exactly do we mean by using that term?

These are the dogs (and, of course, it applies to other pets as well) who are bought on an impulsive whim, with little thought – and even less planning; and then when the reality, cost or actual work needed to care for this animal begins to starts to seep in, often an equally-quick decision is made to simply get rid of the “bothersome” pet.

This once-adorable, cute pet now becomes the disposable collateral from an owner’s sad-attempt-at-an-excuse of  ‘oops, made a mistake!‘  Maybe it’s because of the particular breed: it’s too small, too big, too energetic or too strong-willed. Or maybe it’s something as basic as: it won’t listen to me, it pees everywhere, chews everything and so on. What do all these “reasons” have in common? They are nothing more than endless and unwarranted excuses. It needs to stop!

These same hapless dogs are being primarily sold by breeders. It doesn’t really matter whether they are ethical breeders or not; because it’s really these new – and incredibly naive – owners who are fueling an industry where the primary intent is to make money off the good nature of a dog. Just because nature provided this instinct, doesn’t mean society should abuse it – for any amount of money!

But we all know the basic rule of economics: Where there is a Demand there will always be a Supply.

And so Rescues, around the world, are heaving to the rafters with unwanted dogs (not to mention other pet animals). The same dogs that were once “so cute” and “adorable” before being brought into their new home. Or maybe it’s the same dogs that became overnight “must-haves” thanks to the latest movie released (called the “movie effect” by Linda Cole in her Yahoo article: “How the Movie Effect Creates Shelter Dogs“).

Or sometimes they are just unwanted gifts with a non-returnable label. (The madness has already started … Yorkies are popular and Staffies are not. Breeders are tripping over themselves in trying to speculate what will be the most popular breed for the Christmas rush!)

And the “crimes” that these canines have been convicted and then sentenced to a shelter for? Just being a canine in a materialistic world. A world where our loyalty and commitment only lasts until the next, latest and shiny new edition is released. Is this how we now label Man’s Best Friend? Are our beloved canines now seen as a cheap  – and then disposable – commodity?

It’s Time to FIND Solutions!

Since it appears our collective common sense has gone out the window along with old-fashioned ethics, we need to find some new ideas and ways to protect the dignity and lives our always faithful companion, the dog.

Obviously the rules and regulations most government departments come up with are not working.  Maybe we need to get the Kennel Clubs on board? After all, they are the experts about the breeding and showing all dog breeds in nearly every country in the world. They also have a huge influence on the dog-owning population of pedigree dogs. Since pedigree dogs end up in the same shelters as non-pedigree breeds, isn’t it time for the Kennel Clubs to actively campaign and advocate for much better treatment of all canines?

Mick offered a good suggestion on my last blog, Disposable Dogs? We Need to be Accountable for Our Behaviour,  saying: “We should have to get a dog license before we get the dog. This will stop the ” let’s get a dog ” people. Have the licenses available from shelters only. That way a person will have to have contact with someone who can give information and education regarding dog ownership. The biggest problem will be enforcement of the above.”

Would licensing work? And what would it take to enforce dog licensing? Would follow-up visits be necessary to ensure ongoing assurance of good dog ownership practices?

Perhaps we need to address the source of the supply (which helps drive the demand). Do we really need to “farm” (aka puppy mills) or breed more dogs? Especially when you weigh it against the current over-population which is putting an unbearable, and unsustainable, strain on our local governments, charities and shelters alike.  Over-breeding is bleeding us all dry!

So what’s YOUR suggestion to this problem? We all know too well that if we just keep ignoring it, this problem is not going to go away … it’s a problem that’s here to stay.

I know there are an infinite number of volunteer and animal rescue workers around the world that have thought about this issue on an almost daily basis. Let’s start sharing and working on some real “next steps” and potential solutions(s).

Looking forward to your comments, feedback and suggestions!

Did you find this article interesting? Let us know by leaving a message below and sharing it with other dog owners too!

For more information about the Dog Owners Coach, or to book a consultation, please visit my website at www.4dogenterprises.com/coaching or find me on Facebook at The Dog Owners Coach.

Disposable Dogs? We Need to be Accountable for Our Behaviour.

I’ve wanted to write about this subject for a very long time. It’s not something that has just cropped up in the past year or so, but has actually been an ongoing and distressful issue for me.

When did our faithful canine friends become disposable?

Why do we have this epidemic of discarded dogs? Pre-loved canines who have done nothing but be dogs.  And even more concerning, why has this trend become even more prevalent in the 21st century? Is it possible that we actually forgotten the intrinsic value of the precious dog/human relationship?

I’ve worked in – and for – numerous Rescues for many, many years and it is always heartbreaking when you witness the extraordinary amount of young and old, big and small, pedigree and non-pedigree dogs handed over to the local dog pounds, rescues and shelters. The reasons? There’s a very long laundry list of reasons – and excuses – but most of them stem from the single fact that the family dog was an idea not well thought-out.

It all starts one day when someone impulsively suggests, ‘Let’s get a dog!’ Perhaps it’s one partner to another, or one friend to another friend or even a child to their parent and guess what? They do. In a mere blink of an eye, they’ve booted up the old laptop, searched the free ads (and adorable pictures) of dogs needing new homes and within a day or two, they have a new member of the family to love. Just as easy as that!

That’s why I think rescues are struggling at the moment,  full to the brim with lovely animals that are still there months later. You see, rescues make you re-examine that impulsive statement (Let’s get a dog!) and Make You Think it Through Step-by-Step. Where will the dog sleep? What will he eat? Can you afford the proper kind of food for the breed of dog you want? Do you really have time for a dog especially when it comes to training and daily exercise? Does the breed of dog you think you want really fit into your family’s lifestyle? What if the dog becomes ill? Can you afford medical treatment? And what do you do with that K9 family member when you go away on holiday?

Yes, the rescues make you think through this impulse before acting. So why would someone who is more interested in satisfying the “instant gratification” of owning the latest ‘trend’ of the most-popular-dog-breed, go through all the application forms, personal home checks and make a written commitment of being accountable and responsible for this animal, when they can just phone up a complete stranger from an online ad and buy that “instant gratification” from an unscrupulous puppy breeder who only cares about making a profit.

They won’t, because it’s easier not to. Too easy.

It has become all too easy for many people to go down this unscrupulous-puppy-breeder-road and money is certainly not the reason! Rescues and shelters have their dogs vetted, vaccinated and neutered and then ask for a mere pittance in comparison to the price some pedigree dogs are being sold for (and we can be talking hundreds into thousand pounds (or dollars) for some of these breeds). And some of these unscrupulous breeders never give a guarantee of health (because most of them can’t considering the conditions under which they breed), let alone anything else.

So what happens once that cute, little doggy – who just makes your heart melt – comes home?

Once that sweet-faced puppy comes home, too many people suddenly find themselves in complete and utter shock over how much work that cute little Daisy, Inca or Jimbo really are! The constant mess, the expense of all that food they eat .. every day! And the biting and scratching of those (remember, “cute”) little puppy nails and teeth; on you, your new furniture and of course, your favorite pair of leather shoes! Wasn’t this supposed to be “Easy?”

The problem with “wannabe’s” is that they see someone with a beautiful, well-mannered and affectionate dog and they want one too … now! What these same people don’t see (or understand) is that anyone who is good at something will make it look easy; and very responsible dog owners have (out of sight of the wannabe) put a lot of time, knowledge, effort and hard work into creating (and maintaining) a solid relationship with their dog.  This is what separates the “wannabe” from the reality of a good dog owner.

A Good Owner will seek Help

There is a huge difference between someone who wants to learn more about owning a dog because they love their dog and want to do the right thing and someone who just can’t be bothered after the instant gratification part has been satisfied (whom I call the “Trophy Owner”). Unfortunately, there are fast becoming a lot of Trophy Owners in this world and it is at the detriment of our most beloved pets.

Thankfully, what warms my heart are the Honest, Sensible and Rational people of this world who don’t want to contribute to the growing epidemic of disposable dogs. These good owners proactively seek help in establishing the proper relationship with their family pet and addressing issues before they get out of control. They learn about – and then incorporate – the necessary boundaries, discipline and leadership required by their dog to be a fulfilled member of the family. It’s these kind of people who will be good dog owners all of their lives; and with every dog that comes into their home, there will be love, kindness and a better understanding of all the facets of good dog ownership. And because of this understanding and commitment, they will always enjoy a close relationship with their dog whether they are playing, going places together or just cuddling on the couch.

We need more responsible people like this to keep more dogs out of the rescues throughout the country. If we continue as we are, we are heading for a disaster that will affect the health and mental well-being of all our dogs in the very near future.

And truly, what does that say about our society?

Responsibility doesn’t end when you have had enough of the puddles on the floor, the chewing, the howling, the barking, the pulling, the digging, the jumping, the growling and the over-excitedness.

Actually, that’s exactly when your responsibility kicks into overdrive; because your dog is telling you that your behaviour has created their behaviour. These out-of-control behaviours are a symptom that something important is missing in your relationship.

All negative, destructive and excited behaviours can be changed into more appropriate and positive actions by teaching our dogs an alternative and better behaviour. That is the responsibility of every dog owner … just as it is for every parent with their children. We don’t expect children to come fully trained with only the behaviours we like. It’s the same with the dogs we bring into our homes. Teach them kindly and consistently, reward positively and reap the lifelong rewards of a truely wonderful human/canine partnership. 

Did you find this article interesting? Let us know by leaving a message below and sharing it with other dog owners too!

For more information about the Dog Owners Coach, or to book a consultation, please visit my website at www.4dogenterprises.com/coaching or find me on Facebook at The Dog Owners Coach.