MacDog - Bulletin Ambassadog!
This week I’ve nominated MacDog as the Bulletin ambassadog for January after receiving this lovely email:
I love your Pet Bulletin page, a welcome addition to MDB, so I have attached a photo of my old boy who has been collecting the Bulletin from the gate every morning. He won’t release it until he gets his treat, so there are some mornings, especially as he is getting older, when he goes for a little wander before bringing the paper in hence a bit of a soggy paper.
Jane & MacDog
Thank you to Jane and Mac.. he looks like a very good boy, deserving of an extra treat I would say!
Anyone who would like their dog, cat or otherwise to be February's Ambassadog, Ambassacat or Ambassapet please do send in a photo and tell me why.
Adoption Success Story
Rochelle Grant sent in these pictures of Luther and Dizzie. I asked her to tell me more about these two and she said: “We decided we wanted to get a dog ( well I did, after a long 2 years of nagging my husband). We knew straight away we were going to adopt and started visiting different shelters.
My husband wanted a lab and I wanted a boxer. One horrible stormy say we found ourselves near Llucmajor and thought we would have a little look at the shelter while we were at it. It was very noisy, loud barks, aggressive dogs and the very last cage there he was. This scared little thing desperate to get out. He had been left tied to a lamppost in the rain.
I thought he looked boxer and my husband thought he looked lab so it was clearly meant to be (even though he turns out to be neither, he is a mix of an Italian mastiff with pitbull).
We were not allowed to take him the same day as he had only arrived that morning and they had to wait 14 days to see if somebody would claim him.
I called everyday to check if he was still there and on day 5 they told me to come and get him, he was far too stressed and scared and needed to get out, we were there in a blink of an eye! It was tough to start with, we wanted to squish him with cuddles and kiss him to bits, but he was very timid for a quite some time. At first he didn’t trust us, he was terrified of being alone, he hated mops and broom sticks ( we assume he was maybe beaten ), he just wouldn’t let us in. Until he did! It literally felt that an overnight choice by him. He suddenly wanted all of our love and couldn’t get enough if it. He broke down his walls and it was the best thing ever.
He is a beautiful, clever and loving dog. Who now has a crazy little sister Dizzie that adores him that joined the family just under 2 years ago. I won’t say it’s been a walk in the park and even until this day he still has his issues and suffers with stress when out of the house, he probably always will do. But wow was it worth it!
Obsessive Compulsive Pot Plant Disorder
Jillian sent this photo of Guinness who she say’s has obsessive compulsive pot plant disorder. Jillian has blogged about Guinness and its really quite amusing if you would like to follow along with her stories about him, most recently about his OCPP. www.jillybluedogart. com
Walking the Dog Off Leash
by Joachim Sommer
First of all I must stress that having a dog off leash in Spain in public areas is only permitted where specifically signposted, for example in dedicated dog parks and on dog beaches. However it is widely accepted on certain walks and areas to have the dog off leash, this will not guarantee one does not get fined though.
Check with your council the areas where you are allowed to let your dog off leash; in Palma, for instance, you have 10 areas designated for this, these are published on their website.
Dogs classed as “potentially dangerous dogs” (PPP) according to current laws (either by breed, physical traits or behaviour), are NEVER allowed off leash, always must wear a muzzle and be kept on a leash no longer than 2 metres in ANY public area.
Before letting our dog off leash we should consider:
- The safety of our dog and third parties
Not all dogs and people are as friendly towards off leash dogs as we are, dogs on a leash may not at all like to be frantically greeted by our dog.
Some dogs or people may have averse reactions, some may even panic and/or inadvertently cause averse reactions in our dog. Mixing leashed and off leash dogs is always a potentially dangerous situation as the leashed dog knows they can’t flee if the need arises and thus are more likely to react aggressively when approached. We always should consider this the reason for a dog being leashed in a place where others are not. Hence if someone asks us to leash our dog we should comply.
- Our dog’s personality
If our dog is a natural hunter it is probably not a good idea to let them off leash in a field where we know are rabbits, it they are a natural herder it is probably best to keep them leashed in the presence of sheep, goats or even people.
Easily excitable or poorly socialised dogs often do not recognise signals from people or other dogs designed to tell them not to approach, and thus should be managed appropriately.
- Our dog’s level of training
Before letting our dog off leash we should ask ourselves “how likely will they respond to us calling them back in this situation?”, if we expect this to be 95% or more it is probably safe to do so. If it is less we should consider the possible consequences before we do. A reliable recall and good “heel” are almost as good as having the dog on a leash.
When training off leash walking and the recall make sure to start in an environment where the dog has little or no distractions, like the backyard or even the living room and then gradually increase the difficulty levels of “distraction” and “distance” in a way that the dog can comply most of the time. If they get distracted too often and can’t comply go back to a lower difficulty level.
In the beginning and in each different training environment always heavily reward the dog when coming to you and then gradually phase out the treats.
Whenever you let your dog off leash interact with them before telling them they are free to go,for this it is a good idea to introduce an “end of exercise cue."
If you struggle contact a professional!