Dog’s Eye View: Tribute to good dog owners
Until now, most of my articles have been inspired by typical behavior and training issues. I enjoy writing about these topics and hope the information provided is helpful for the readers of this column.
This article is addressed to you, the readers. Those of you who regularly read this column are already at the top of my star list. You are interested in knowing more about dogs and doing right by the dog you have. You are the special people who know it takes time and commitment to raise a behaviorally healthy and happy dog. Kudos to you.
You are the responsible pet owners who continue to walk your dogs on leash in the face of so many loose dogs. Don’t give up. Use your best happy voice and tons of praise and extra special goodies for your dog while running the gauntlet of unruly, off-leash dogs.
For those of you who take along a bag and clean up after your dogs on the trail and in the parks, you are the precious few. You are ambassadors for dogs begin allowed in public places. Don’t let careless, irresponsible dog owners break you down and make you give up. Thanks to your diligence, there are less communicable-disease-ridden piles in your parks and neighborhood. You are probably the only people who know or care about disease transmission.
Here is a definition worth knowing: fomite transmission. This term refers to the transmission of infectious diseases by objects. This occurs when an object contaminated with feces, blood, saliva, nasal secretions or hair from an infected animal is licked, or the contaminated material comes into contact with mouth, eyes, lips or skin of another. What objects act as fomites? Food dish, cages, brushes, hands, floor surfaces, clothing, shoes, toys and the ground contaminated by feces.
Think about children playing in parks or on school grounds contaminated with dog waste. Following is a short list of diseases that can be spread through fomite transmission: canine respiratory disease, MRSA, panleukopenia, parvovirus, ringworm and salmonella.
Responsible pet owners, thank you. You are on my hero list. Let’s continue to set the example for dogs in public places and spread the word that dog waste has no place on the trail, in parks or on the school grounds where our children play.
For those of you, who regularly practice this exercise; skip to the last paragraph, but be sure to share this article with someone who still needs the training.
Training exercise of the day: Make sure your dog is wearing identification. Pack a fanny pack with treats (the yummy dog kind and maybe a few for you) and at least two waste pick up bags. Put the leash on your dog and head for the park or trail. If and when your dog does something you approve of, tell him what a good boy he is and give him a treat.
If and when your dog poops, take the time to pick it up. Here’s how: Place your had inside the bag, like putting on a glove. Scoop the poop up, and turn the bag inside out to cover the poop (your hand stays clean). Tie a knot in the end of the bag, and place it in an appropriate trash receptacle.
Now treat yourself to something special. Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you practice this behavior, the stronger it will become. Positive reinforcement works for all of us.
Thank you, dear readers. If you have suggestions for future articles, please let us know. You can contact us at totalteamworktraining.com.
Laura Tyler is a certified professional dog trainer with more than 25 years of experience. She has earned associate certification through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and owns Total Teamwork Training LLC here in Northwest Colorado.
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