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simba

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Everything posted by simba

  1. I always wonder about that argument, and it's a pretty common argument: "If you're so concerned about his/her animals go offer to help him/her!". If someone is abusing animals, or keeps consistently taking on more animals than they can cope with, and you help them, won't that make it worse? I mean, I don't know this guy, I don't know if he's an abuser or not. But it sounds like he was in the wheelchair before he got the dogs. And if he was, and he got them anyway, why would I help him because he's in a wheelchair and can't care for them (as TIcart77 suggests)? That would presumably be more of a reason to take them away. He would obviously be someone who makes poor decisions. Why would it be my responsibility to facilitate someone else's poor choices? Or, depending on the situation, why would I want to help someone who puts animals at risk? That seems like it can only end badly.
  2. There's good evidence against glucosamine and chondritin supplements, in humans at least, and I'd imagine the same is true in dogs. There was some initial promising evidence, but it turned out it was probably people publishing good results and not publishing bad (all in good faith, probably). Not sure what the forum convention for adding links is, so forgive me if I get this wrong. Here's one, and another, and another, and another. Basically, as regards humans, they seem to be safe but not effective for arthritis pain or for stopping it getting worse. People often report feeling better after taking them, but about the same number report that if they're given a sugar pill and told it's glucosamine. Here's a good, pretty comprehensive article on the issue in pets.They likely won't do any harm to anything but your pocket. I think fish oils still seem pretty ok though. And most dogs seem to adore fish. Particularly properly smelly rotting ones, to roll in and then eat. Or ones stolen out of the nice fisherman's bucket.
  3. Never mind, sure if they are a troll the lurkers will learn something. I've certainly learned a lot. Maybe even what killed the dinosaurs! And well said, Rushdoggie.
  4. What's interesting is that looking at hair/bone samples from long ago, we seem to be exposed to fewer toxins, and less heavy metals, than people were one to three hundred years ago. The average person's probably much less likely to get lead poisoning now, for example. And our food's less likely to be toxic now thanks to people like Accum, improved testing, and rules against selling food in lead-soldered tins. Everything has poisons in it though, because as Paracelsus said 'the dose makes the poison'. Water can be deadly in excess. I understand what you mean about the perfect dog. You're right, you will never find another dog who can replace her. But you might find another dog who you feel the same way about, for different reasons. I'm very sorry for your loss.
  5. I'm very sorry for your loss. I'm glad for her to have had an owner who cared for her so much.
  6. Most of the designer dogs around here I've seen are of the 'hey, I have a dog, and the neighbour has a dog' variety. So yes, foolish impulse purchases, and overpriced, but not in the same ballpark as the (largely purebred or advertised as such) puppy mill dogs. At least the sales aren't usually funding that kind of horror, and the pups are relatively healthy. By which I mean not actively infested with every parasite under the sun. This obviously won't be the case everywhere. I would also have a whatever-poo in preference to a lot of 'well-bred' dogs of certain breeds. I'd have a bulldog crossed with anything with a nose in preference to a purebred bulldog. It wouldn't be what I'd look for in a dog, but random chance and picking the closest trendy dog would probably be an improvement on the breeding selection some people are doing. I certainly wouldn't pay much money for it. The worst bred dogs I know, or those with the worst provenance, are in good, loving homes and have never seen the inside of a shelter. So, to pursue Pippin's Person's point, it might not be all bad for the future of the individual 'designer' dogs. But yeah, shelter mutt obviously a much better idea.
  7. The no-carbs thing comes up when talking about human cancer too. My favourite was the person who recommended strictly no carbs, cooked food, or fruit, only organic 'living' vegetables (if it's not actually growing, you shouldn't eat it). No fruit because it has sugar. Oh, and lots of supplements and 'cleanses' which they conveniently sold. That was when we looked up the testimonials... and found people who had died of cancer still on the list of those who were 'cured'. Sharks get cancer, as do Tasmanian Devils (who are threatened with extinction by it). Must be all the carbs they eat.
  8. Bones, head, and feet make good stock. You can break up the carcass(es) and throw it (/them) into a pot to boil down after you've taken off everything you want to use, and then pick the last remaining bits of meat off. I have fed all of the bits you mention to my dog, and eaten all of them but feet myself. Giblets can make an excellent soup: gizzard, heart and liver are nearly the best bits when cooked properly. The neck, lungs and intestines can be used too, though I haven't tried them. But the latter need to be washed. Damn it, now I want giblets.
  9. The problem with those is the same as with all of those statistics. How do you identify 'pit bull', how do you define 'pit bull' and how do you account for the cultural factors. People who see pit bull bites reported will probably be more likely to report a biting dog as being a pit bull. And people who are looking for a tough dog, or who acquire dogs as status symbols, may be more likely to have dogs involved in a biting incident. The people in the E.R. aren't trained in dog identification (they don't even see the dog), which the average person is notoriously poor at, and most people are frankly terrible at it. So you have a high-stress situation between two people who both are unlikely to have expertise in this area, with people recording this who are probably not prioritising accurately recording the breed of dog (as compared to, say, treatment given.) Why they would be more reliable than veterinarians, who presumably have to deal with many more dogs and results of dog aggression than the ER, is beyond me. Frankly I would be surprised if ER breed identifications had any successes at all. http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/breed-identification-1/ Clifton says there are few accidental pit bull births because "nothing resembling a pit bull occurs in nature". What? Nothing closely resembling a dog occurs in nature. Certainly border collies or chihuahuas don't. What this would have to do with the likelihood of accidental litters is beyond me. "Most killer PBs were raised in loving homes and seemed sweet — until they attacked" Most dogs who have killed, of all breeds, would probably have seemed sweet until they attacked- because only an idiot would keep a large powerful dog in a position where it could attack someone if they didn't think it would be fine. Semonyovan appears to be arguing that pit bulls are currently and originally bred to attack people, which is not something at all usual. The worst of dog fighters tend to be very intolerant of dogs who go after people. "By seven months, those cuddly pups usually start attacking other animals without provocation. Small children are at particular risk for harm because they are easy prey." Children are more likely to be hurt in any encounter with a dog, or horse, or anything- they're small. A lot of the claims in that article are myths so laughable they can be debunked by a visit to the local dog park. Apparently non-pit bulls won't fight to the death, pit bulls attack without warning, other dog breeds only attack when abused/starved/cornered... And the 'characteristic' 'grab and shake death lock' can be observed in many breeds. I've seen a dog quite neatly dispatch a large rat with it, and another with a rabbit. Again, the majority of pit bull incidents could be neatly avoided if current dog laws were enforced, and applied to all dogs. I'm not a pit bull owner, it wouldn't affect me if there was never another litter born of them, but the evidence presented for banning pit bulls is far from convincing. Any dog can bite, any large dog can do harm.
  10. I can see why you'd want a certain amount of demanding respect, because I know people who will not trust someone who doesn't. Someone who uses long words and does a bit of patronising can seem a lot more experienced than the 'call me Joe', explain-everything type. I don't like it myself, I don't understand it, but it suits others. And for anyone who is a skilled professional working with the general public, you'd want to make use of anything that would encourage people to respect your opinion. Not for the experienced people, but so you win over the people who may otherwise do/use something not at all suited to the problem. "That plumber doesn't know what he's talking about, if I replace this with this other size of pipe it will work perfectly."
  11. Anything that squeaks. Bones, balls, unfortunate small furries caught outside...
  12. Liz P- those are good points, and I know it can be a problem (like for human athletes) to get the calories in, but I was just talking about pet owners, and not necessarily ones here. I would doubt 50% of the dogs of members are obese. People here are a self-selected group who share particular ideas of care for dogs. And while I know that bulk doesn't make food more filling, I was thinking more of the human desire to 'fill the bowl' than the dog's hunger levels. I've got an easy keeper, and many people tell me to feed more despite the fact that the dog is grossly overweight and not losing weight on the amount fed. Even if more is put in and the dog stops eating the answer then is to tempt the dog with something else. The fact that it looks like an unsatisfying portion to the human is more important than the effect on the dog. Agree totally with your point on 'more expensive isn't always higher quality'. I have seen dog food at the shop, two labels, two prices, identical ingredient lists and nutritional information, made in the same factory by the same company. Gcv-border: fair point!
  13. The terrier, during busy times, ends up going to bed when I do (1-2am) and getting up at 10ish. She then goes off and has a nap somewhere. She also will pick up a toy and try and persuade me to chase her, then lead me upstairs to bed, when I stay up too long past the usual.
  14. I never quite understood 'you can feed much less of this for the same nutrition' as a benefit for the average pet owner, except perhaps in storage space. Most people have trouble not overfeeding dogs anyway, you'd imagine something low-calorie that looked satisfyingly huge in the bowl (to the human) would be better. I am also completely skeptical of the claims of most dog foods, especially the more expensive ones. I could whip up an incredibly unhealthy meal using wonderful-sounding ingredients, and considering the lack of any real testing of long-term health effects, and the dubiousness of many of the advertising claims ('all-natural', 'holistic', 'a pure dog food', 'raw ingredients' on a cooked kibble) it seems to all come back to 'feed it and see what happens'.
  15. I'm very sorry for your loss. I wasn't on the boards really when she was active, but I read a lot of the older threads before joining, and her posts always stood out.
  16. That makes more sense- I thought that the bit about "this seems to cut back on the smell but does not totally get rid of it" referred to what the human could smell, not the effect of the smell on dogs. I know that dogs can smell it, and was wondering whether some bitches were so odorous that humans could too. Brain is clearly not working adequately today...
  17. Never really noticed the smell. We always just kept the dog inside and walked her only on leash when she was in heat. She got a bit whiney beforehand, but that was about it.
  18. Is it bad that I know someone who did that? Sheared the sheepdog, that is? In fairness, it was very hot. Gideon's girl- eeeew. There's an image that will haunt me at some unexpected moment in the future.
  19. Sorry for butting in again- but you're suggesting there's 'intolerance for a different belief' here. What there is is 'opinions that differ from those of other people'. It's not intolerant to discuss facts, or to point out if someone is working off incorrect information or is mistaken, otherwise every teacher in the world is intolerant. When you advocate 'tolerance' what you are advocating, whether you realise it or not, is 'not expressing your opinions if other people differ on them'. Because no-one here is exactly going and picketing the doors of colour breeders, or discriminating against coloured dogs. They're just expressing opinions, and reciting facts, as to why it's wrong to breed for it. So what's wrong with that? If I'm wrong- what would your version of 'tolerance' look like? If breeding for colour always involves breeding for double recessives (which come from a small number of founders and may carry other hidden problems) or potential health defects (merle), even setting aside the other problems with it, what could be wrong with saying that's an unwise practice and that people shouldn't do it? Again- if someone was breeding for deafness deliberately (without the excuse of colour) would you advocate people 'live and let live'? This is breeding for human whims, at the expense of dogs' health, and at the expense of the breed as a whole. Why should we tolerate that? The problem isn't people are discriminating against coloured dogs. The problem for you is people advocating not discriminating in favor or against coloured dogs at all. Of treating them like any other dog, and looking at their ability and health.
  20. If you pick for pretty much anything but colour, you'll get mostly black and white for border collies (because most of them are black and white, and most other colours are recessive). So to get certain colours, or to get higher frequencies of coloured dogs, you have to breed for colour as a priority. You have to actively pick out not the best working dog, or the longest-lived, or the best-tempered dog, but the one with the 'right' colour which might not be as good at any of these things. And probably won't be, because if 1 in 20 dogs is of the 'right' colour then you have only 1/20 or fewer of the dogs who are healthy or good at working etc to choose from. Anyone who breeds for colour as a priority is not breeding first and foremost for things which will actually affect the dog's welfare, even leaving aside the question of breeding a collie to actually be a collie. It's like if someone was breeding dogs obsessively to have blue eyes- the priorities are not at all relevant to the health and welfare of the dogs, or their suitability for anything (even as pets). It gets even worse for colours like merle, where breeding for it can actually have a directly detrimental effect on the welfare of the animals (all merle dogs are at increased risk for health problems like deafness- you can't breed for merle without breeding for that increased risk). You were wondering about colour, and suggested that most dogs are black and white because people actively select for that colour: "the old herders only wanted the black/white", and made the concomitant suggestion that there are fewer dogs of other colours because people are or were biased against them ("Can't any colour be just as good"). It's an appealing suggestion, but it seems more likely it was just random genetic drift.You see similar white patterns on foxes and rats bred purely for tameness, suggesting that it may never have been actually selected for- it just happens when you select for other things. It's like saying people from China or Nigeria are more likely to have black hair than people from Ireland, and assuming that that's because the Irish don't think black hair is as good so they don't marry black-haired people. No need for deliberate selection when it's more likely explained by genetic drift, dominance or otherwise of genes (black is more likely to pass on than some other colours), and chance. It's not a question of whether people think red dogs, for example, are inherently bad. You can get good dogs of any colour, and no-one's saying "Lilac dogs are awful!" the way GSD people would talk about white dogs. But for the reasons explained above, it's not considered ethical here to breed for colour any more than it would be to breed for blue eyes, or to breed for deafness. It's not being intolerant to explain that breeding for colour means breeding for dogs which aren't as good at working and in the long-term probably won't be as healthy etc, it's just fact. A border collie is a dog bred for the ability to herd livestock, in the same way that a west highland white terrier is a small white dog with wiry hair. If someone was breeding for smooth-coated black westies, the other fanciers would doubtless say that that breeder wasn't a good breeder of westies, or their dogs weren't really west highland terriers. Would you have an issue with that? What if they were breeding for increased risks of deafness, or sight problems, deliberately? And this is an example where the black westie won't affect anyone's livelihood. Most dogs can be pets, so it's not such a big deal for most other breeds. I'm not a collie person nor an expert in anything to do with this- I'm a total outsider and noob- but I don't think there's any intolerance here. People are passionate about breeding healthy, able dogs. That's a cause worth being passionate about.
  21. Skeptvet, science based medicine, and quackwatch are my go-to's for supplement information. Respectful Insolence may have info on them as well, or Edzard Ernst (yes, blogs, but blogs that provide good research and common sense, by people with expertise). Some of those are more centred around human medicine, but they can overlap. Some of the more common pet supplements are covered here.
  22. Companies sell raw food diets as well. The research showing dogs have evolved to digest and thrive off many different types of food, including grains, comes from lots of different sources- not just dog food companies. Zoos, for example, are anxious to get the best quality of life for their animals (at least the good ones are) and conduct research and document observations on how their animals do. For most carnivores they'll feed some kind of meat, captive wolves often get fed a commercial dog food because wolves fed like that tend to live longer. http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/raw-meat-and-bone-diets-for-dogs-its-enough-to-make-you-barf/ When people are researching, doing the right thing by their dogs I hasten to add, if there's a widespread belief that grains are bad for dog incontinence then more people will see or report improvement when taking their incontinent dog off grains. That's just how it works. Krisk- With your dog, it could be just like with humans- a 'normal' part of getting older, rather than as a result of anything more serious. I hope so, anyway. I had a bitch who was incontinent for a short period, and then it stopped suddenly. Nothing wrong with her by the time she got to the vet.
  23. I don't like the corollary idea of 'safe breeds' which comes when people start talking about 'dangerous breeds'. Obviously people here wouldn't do that, but you get an alarming number of people who will disregard obvious signs of aggression in dogs who are of the 'right breed' because 'those dogs don't bite'. Whether it's their own dog or someone else's. I have absolutely been 'taught' by 'more experienced owners' at various times that labradors don't need to be socialised, fluffy dogs don't need to ever leave the house, it's cute when the golden tries to savage the postman, because those dogs are good dogs, they're not mean. Or that you can bark at, and put your face up to, the growling shih tzu while the owner is frantically trying to pull it away safely. The worst experiences I've had were with labradors (dog-aggressive), boxers (same), yorkies (same), border collies (three or four human-aggressive, all with multiple bites to their credit). The dog-reactive, muzzled, ginormous german shepherd was fine because the owner knew what he was dealing with. Same with the beautifully-behaved staffies. The 'dangerous' dogs had owners who took care to have their dogs under control. Leaving aside people being attacked by their own dogs, or the dogs of their friends, if a dog's supervised, under control, and muzzled and leashed if necessary, if existing laws about these things were enforced, you wouldn't have problems with loose dogs. It seems to be 'sexier' to target the scary dog du jour with legislation, rather than just enforcing the laws which could reduce attacks by all breeds. Take Ireland- collies, terriers, cocker spaniels, german shepherds and golden retrievers seem to be responsible for more dog bites than other breeds, probably because they're more common. It would be ludicrous to then call for a ban on those breeds- they bite more because there are more of them, and because most of the mixed-breed dogs can be lumped into those categories.
  24. I have taught a terrier to leave prey animals alone before, it was ages ago so I can't quite remember how. I doubt it was anything complex. I think it started off with teaching the dog not to eat or focus on food until it was allowed to, and then we worked up to not chasing the tennis ball when told not to, and then the same commands were used for the animal. It was mostly teaching impulse control around prey-like things and teaching the dog that those commands would be enforced. We worked on the most exciting non-living stimuli that I could think up, until perfect, before even thinking of starting with the living animal. They never regarded the rabbits as 'not food', but they recognised that the rabbits weren't to be eaten without permission. When the rabbits were picked up the dog would do tricks like you'd just opened the cookie jar. But that was only one dog, and one instance, so I don't know whether it would help at all with your situation. I've known a few dogs who had to be rehomed because they couldn't learn that lesson, and not for any lack of effort on the owner's part (though perhaps someone more experienced could have handled it). It was a haphazard solution even though it worked, you'd be better off getting expert advice. Edit: they weren't left together unsupervised or anything like that. It was more for those incidents when the dog happens to be out when you think it's in, or the rabbit escapes or whatever.
  25. Most of the time when older dogs correct puppies they'll stop quickly, even if they look like they won't. It can look like the puppy is about to die though. I don't usually bring toys to the dog park, just in case. I've seen a few scraps over tennis balls that ended with a trip to the vet's. Even if I can guarantee my dog's behaviour I can't do so for all the other dogs that will be there. Having said that I don't know your situation, and your dog, so it might be completely different.
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