My Life with Dogs #8

dog pointing (2)

Friends: I have decided to share with you My Life With Dogs. These Blogs taken from my book, 14000 Dogs Later, may be one page at a time, or more. I don’t want to dump too much on you at a time. I hope you enjoy. Feel free to make comments here, or on Face Book or Twitter. Best, John

Twitter: @prestonbooks The following is the continuation of last week’s blog:

“The precursor to training however is to understand some very basic differences between dog and man.”

There is no absolute scientific study of which I am aware indicating that dogs see color. Their world is black and white, and maybe shades of grey; therefore they see better than humans in dimly lit space. It is interesting that dogs recognize
movement at a much greater distance than humans, yet the human eye maintains focus at a much greater distance then dogs. Depending on the breed, some dogs see further than others and some discern moving objects better than others. Many dogs respond as well to signals as verbal commands.

(On many occasions I have noticed my dogs’ blank stare into the fields where deer roamed. It was only by a concentrated effort that I could distinguish the movement that he so easily recognized.)

Touch appears to be most important during the socialization period of dogs. Once grown, however, dogs may or may not respond to petting, caressing, or fondling. (My son, as an example, has a rat terrier that could care less about petting, and in fact, will back away from such attempts.) Many obedience dogs, however, will work extremely hard for a simple pat on the head. And…dogs seem to respond to physical pain to the same extent as humans.

This is a great training tool for us because voice inflection and the use of single words enhance his understanding of what we want of him. The words we use and how they are pronounced can encourage, discourage, excite, or demoralize. Dogs hear sounds of a much higher pitch than humans, more importantly they hear faint sounds that human hearing cannot detect. (We’ve all experienced dogs barking a welcome or warning of a coming automobile well before that sound reaches our ears.)
This is where the world of dogs and the world of humans separate. Rather than describing glandular secretions, nasal cavities, mucous membranes, and olfactory nerves, I will give you examples. If I set out a glass with 99 parts of water and one part urine…you would drink it. Your dog would recognize not only the urine, but whether it came from a dog or bitch, if the dog were new to the neighborhood or if the bitch were in heat, or if the urine came from his canine friends in the same household.

Their sense of smell is beyond understanding. Imagine a wolf on the trail of a wounded Caribou. The hunted animal might attempt to hide its scent by running through other herds of Caribou hours ahead of the wolves…but the wolves will hunt her down even while passing up easier kills as they pass through the herds. Imagine a hound on the heels of a killer. He may be following shoe traces left on plants and dirt. It may be raining, or snowing and the track may be two days old. Maybe hundreds of people and other animals have contaminated the original traces.

Yet, the dog persists, never tiring, never quitting, until he finds the culprit. It is now believed that a dog can track both an airborne scent and a ground scent at the same time and that his scent ability is more than 40 times stronger than humans. Can a dog sense that a person’s death is forthcoming? A dog has an uncanny ability to sense chemical changes all around…in the air, on the ground, and on your body. They do not know that your death approaches, they do sense the chemical changes your body gives off whenever you have a significant mental, emotional, or physical alteration.

Because his taste buds, dogs are one of the easiest animals to kill. And, believe it or not, there are people that will kill your dog on purpose…maybe your dog barks too much, maybe it’s a thief that wants in your house, maybe it’s a neighbor who has kids and he’s afraid of your pit bull. Through the years I have poison-proofed more than 30 dogs. It’s an easy process that works wonders…overnight. Secondly, many dogs eat trash, antifreeze, or toxic foods that may poison them…another good reason to consider protecting your dog.

There are two methods of poison proofing. One is by using a verbal or leash correction when your dog approaches any food that is not in his bowl. The trainer puts food near the dog’s crate, where he exercises, on the floor in the kitchen, etc. and makes corrections when the dog approaches any tidbit that is not in his bowl.

The second method is by using an electric collar. The electric collar has been used for training many types of dogs for many years. Its use, however, should be under the direction of someone with experience.
If you feel your dog is at risk and you want him poison-proofed you must read about the process thoroughly before proceeding…or better, enlist the services of a professional trainer.

What I’ve Learned: Knowing and understanding how a dog perceives the world through his senses of sight, touch, sound, smell and taste, without question will make you a better owner, handler, and trainer.

So, until next time, remember, everybody needs a dog, and

every dog needs somebody.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: