Today I’m Thinking Out Loud about generalities and how much I hate them.
If one more person says to me that little dogs are just nippy, I think I will scream. Little untrained dogs can be nippy, yes — although it’s still not a given.
Or all the people saying “well, it’s just the adjustment“. Of course there is an adjustment, but a well adjusted dog is not going to bite without provocation even when his world is turned upside down.
How about “don’t worry, he’s friendly!“, even though the dog has made it pretty darn clear that he wants to eat you.
Or all pitbulls are dangerous. They can be — but again, they can be the sweetest dogs ever. It’s all about how they’re raised.
Speaking of raising, too many people ignore the warning signs. I’m quite sure Bandit’s previous owner did. In fact, she told me he’d sometimes lift his lips and snarl at her other animals when he was on a chair (after we’d had him a couple of days, of course), and that it didn’t mean anything.
Except it really did. You don’t want to train out growling, because a dog that bites without growling (growling is a warning sign that they are uncomfortable with something) is unpredictable and scary.
People make excuses. They’re in denial. They don’t want to put in the hard work.
Train your puppies
And I’m not talking about housetraining, although of course that’s important. You can never get that puppy time back, that time when you can properly introduce them to all sorts of people, noises, objects.
Yes, it takes time. But the years you’ll have with a well adjusted dog are priceless. Sure, all dogs have their quirks and always will, but proper training when they’re young is crucial. I can’t emphasize it enough.
And God forbid you should ever have to rehome your untrained dog for some reason — it can be very, very, very very difficult to get rescues to even talk to you if you have a dog with issues. You just never know what life will throw at you.
Crates are not the devil
Again, you just never know when your dog might have to be crated. A vet stay. A vacation. A new animal that comes into your home and needs to be separated. God forbid, being rehomed.
The whole point of crate training is to give your dog a safe place.
Every single dog that has lived with us is crate trained (we’re working on it with Bandit). Of course they don’t like it at first. You have to liberally treat them when they’re in their crate, and it can’t be just any old treat, either (see last week’s TOLT for what worked wonders for Bandit).
Give them something yummy to chew on when they’re in there. Don’t use the crate as a punishment. Get them used to being in it when you’re not there. Feed them in their crate.
When Lola is scared or nervous, she goes into her crate. She was no longer crated until Bandit came into our lives, and now we only close the door briefly sometimes when we want to make sure she’s not in Bandit’s face.
Lola came to us at 10 months old. Some previous owners would put her in the crate with a puppy pad until she used it. Wrong on so many levels — not only was she not house trained, she was not comfortable in a crate, either; she’d circle and whine until I wanted to slap her.
And today, when she’s nervous, as I said, she goes into her crate and just curls up.
Crating is not punishment; it’s safety.
So back to the title
The first couple of weeks with Bandit were so stressful I could barely eat. Yeah, I lost a little weight but I really don’t recommend it.
On the other hand, my weekly mileage got up to 15 miles, and somewhere between that and 20 suddenly I can start eating more and still lose weight.
I don’t really know which was responsible, but I do know I made a real effort to eat healthy as much as possible because I knew eating crap was a one way ticket to sickville (not that I’m sure I’m staying away, but so far, so good).
I swear Gizmo took 9 years off my life!
Above we’re relaxing in his outdoor kennel after his ordeal (read about it in my Wednesday Word post).
Lola being her sweet, goofy self
I was taking a break and playing with her one day in the bedroom. Somehow she dropped that toy on the way up the stairs.
Excited to try out Gnome tomorrow
I recently updated the software for my Garmin Vivoactive (affiliate link). And that got me to thinking I should really look to see if there’s a metronome app — yup, it’s called Gnome. I meant to try it out last night on our walk, just to see if it works while you’ve got an activity app running, but I forgot.
Tomorrow I’ll probably run on the treadmill, so I can at least try it out then. Why it didn’t just come as part of the watch, which does track cadence (silently), I’ll never know.
Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:
If you have a dog, is it crate trained?
Every successfully trained a dog to wear a muzzle?
Ever considered creating an outdoor enclosure for your cats?
I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her: