The Primal Blog

Why Dog Parks Are a Bad Idea and Why Off Leash Dogs Suck Part Two

This post actually applies to dog parks and any place where people decide to let their dog be off leash despite the fact that their dog is supposed to be leashed. A very small percentage of dogs have been trained to the extent that their off leash skills are impeccable and worthy of actually being off leash. For the other 99% of dogs this is not the case, but that does not stop the vast majority of owners from letting their dogs run wild all the while not knowing how to truly gauge the temperament of their dog. The excuses are vast when dogs are growling, snarling, snapping, pinning other dogs to the ground or even attacking other dogs. We all hear it all the time, people will say how friendly their dog is and how great they are with all dogs, but usually it is that people are overall unable to come to terms with the idea that their dog might not be as friendly with people, dogs, or social situations as they thought. I have spoke to Mike Jones (the owner and head trainer of Primal Canine) about many times; it is not that people are bad owners, it is simply just that people are not in touch with or have a legitimate understanding of dog behavior, body language and basic training/dog manners.

 

Something I hear often is the term “socialization.” Many people perceive dog parks as a necessary step in the socialization of their dog while believing that socialization comes from a dog experiencing many unknown people, places, dogs and stimuli all at once, and over and over again. As this surely counts as life experience and definitely counts as placing a dog under environmental stress…this is NOT proper socialization. Expecting that your dog will get along with all other dogs is like expecting a human being to love all other human beings. This is unrealistic and in this situation dogs are no different. I find it troublesome when people bring dogs to public places who are clearly uncomfortable with the entire situation as they are flanked with strange dogs and people. This brings me to the next thing I commonly hear from owners, “oh he/she is just nervous, he/she just needs to get used to people/dogs/the park etc.” Well, thrusting your dog into an awkward and uncomfortable social situation is a sure fire way to set the stage for a disaster. If your dog is aggressive or nervous around other people and dogs, what you need is training – THEN structured socialization, not forced, unstructured discomfort in hopes that your dog just works through their issues on their own. Dog parks and public parks are NOT the place to socialize your dog, or bring a dog that an owner can otherwise not control on leash, so it is the last resort for this dog to have exercise.

 

It is exhausting and scary for those of us who are being responsible and leashing our dogs to watch all of the dog fights and scuffles that occur and wonder if next it will be our dog that is attacked or approached by a poorly mannered dog whose owner is none the wiser. This brings me to the next concern I have; I have four “Pit Bulls” and if there is a conflict even if my dog is licensed, well trained, leashed and the victim defending itself – my dog will be blamed. While walking on what is supposed to be a leashed dog area in a wildlife reserve park yesterday, my leashed American Bully was mounted and humped on three separate occasions by different dogs. Each time the owners not only did nothing, but they stood there and laughed as their dog humped my dog because to them it was funny. My dog, as most dogs, tried to get away and after about 15 seconds began trying to nip at the other dog – suddenly the owners cared about the situation and pulled their unleashed dog off of my dog. The most ridiculous part of each instance where this happened (all three times) the owners only cared about controlling their dog when they thought their dog was in danger of being bitten by a “Pit Bull.” Allowing your unleashed dog to run free out of your sight, knowing that your dog loves to be the dog park rapist is a great way for your dog to get bitten. The lack of manners on the part of owners and dogs alike does not even stop there. I have issues walking my dogs in my neighborhood where people constantly allow their off leash dog to run up to my dog and from dozens of yards away yell about how friendly their dog is. Well, that’s great but what if my dog was not? Once again suddenly my dog would be the aggressor because of their breed and the other dog would be labeled the victim because it was just a friendly Lab, Spaniel, Shih Tzu or whatever just strolling up to say hello. That situation would never be acceptable if it was reversed.

 

Overall, public places are supposed to be safe places where people and dogs can enjoy their outing and not have to worry if their dog is going to be safe or not. Leash laws are there to protect your dog and others dogs. Not leashing your dog is ruining the experience of the owners who are actually being responsible. Please remember to be competent about your dog’s likes and dislikes and ability to be in social situations, and always leash your dog. 

Ask Primal Canine | Episode 11

Ask Primal Canine is your chance to ask head trainers and affiliate associations of Primal Canine your questions about your dogs.

Every Thursday we will air questions from you! Feel free to leave your comments or questions below or email primalcanine@gmail.com

www.PrimalCanine.com #primalcanine
Filmed by Jeff Knapp and Mackswell of B.Co Creative Agency.

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Becoming Primal Canine | Episode 11: Intro Omar

Becoming Primal Canine is a series based on Primal Canine the company. We look into the day to day practices of one of the leading dog training companies in the industry. We have an exclusive look into who they are and what they do to pursue to be the best.

www.PrimalCanine.com #PrimalCanine

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Belgian Malinois will be the next Pit Bulls

            Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds have recently exploded in popularity. The problem is that both of these breeds (especially the ones from specific working bloodlines) are not intended to solely be pets or companion animals. Mals and Dutches are working line dogs, they require serious, experienced dog owners who truly have the knowledge of the breed, and the extensive time for consistent, on going training and exercise. Novice and first time dog owners are as a whole are likely to be unfit and unable to provide the amount of mental and physical stimulation necessary to prevent the dog from developing serious behavioral issues. Acquiring any breed of dog because they are trendy, “badass,” or “manly” is ridiculous and the wrong reason to get any animal. Adding a dog to your life should be a decision made with careful consideration, and selected based upon an owner’s competence, experience, and amount of time available for dedication to training and exercise. Not based upon “cool factor.”

 

            If any of you are unaware of what a Malinois or Dutch Shepherd is, I am sure you have seen one before and mistaken it for a German Shepherd. Mals and Dutches are commonly used as multipurpose military dogs, police dogs, and personal protection dogs. Their alertness in conjunction with their drive and energy level makes them excellent dogs for protection and apprehension. Dogs with such drive require structure, training and exercise to properly contain their drive and disperse their energy. As we all know as dog owners, all dogs especially working dogs, who are deprived of dedicated owners will suffer. When working dogs have careless, negligent owners their dogs become highly predisposed to destructive behaviors, aggression towards people and other dogs, and are all around unmanageable. This is in no way stating that Mals and Dutches are inherently dangerous or vicious, because anyone that owns a dog knows that bad dog ownership can cause any dog to become unruly and difficult to manage. Therefore it is simple to understand that the way a high energy dog become dangerous is through the negligence on the part of human beings.

 

          Pit Bulls (the term being used loosely), like Rottweilers, and Dobermans (and many other working breeds) are stubborn, loyal, high energy, alert dogs with a high prey drive, which many people acquire for their “cool factor.” After decades and decades of idiots thinking its really cool to get a dog, never train it, never socialize it, never exercise it, and then be proud of the dog’s unbridled aggression – Pits became labeled as unstable and unmanageable dogs dumped off at shelters with issue after issue that their owners created. Suddenly these issues were branded to breed as if it was the dog’s fault that nobody cared about the commitment of owning a dog. I say that Mals and Dutches are the next Pit Bulls because the rate at which Mals and Dutches are growing in popularity, combined with their drive and human stupidity – they will be filling up the shelters quickly. This can happen a number of ways; people can recognize the growth of demand for the breed and somehow acquire a couple Mals and begin breeding them. Start using the dogs as cash cows, caring only for the profit and not the proper breeding, nor caring about who or where the puppies go. People see cute Mal and Dutch puppies online, think, “oh they’re so cute!” or “babe lets get one they look just like a German Shepherd!” The problem perpetuates from there as these homes and owners were not properly vetted, educated or prepared for this puppy. As time goes on, the owners realize the dog does not do well being crated 8-10 hours a day while they’re at work, and that 20-minute walk around the block doesn’t wear the dog out. The owners become frustrated as the dog tears everything up, barks constantly, pulls like crazy on walks and starts to nip at other dogs because he wasn’t manageable in public and is therefore unsocialized. That dog is destined for the shelter because it’s no longer a cute puppy from Instagram, it’s a 75 pound adult Malinois that cannot be controlled by the owner, he is dog aggressive, has a high prey drive and separation anxiety from being sequestered in a crate all day and night. I can only hope that the solution lies first with breeders being vigilant about where their dogs go, to who and for what purpose they will be used for. Secondly, it is of the utmost importance that owners understand that Mals and Dutches should not be gotten as companion animals. There are so many breeds of dog that are better suited strictly as pets that will of course still require training, care and exercise but not to the high standard which Mals and Dutches require.

Becoming Primal Canine | Intro Sara

Becoming Primal Canine is a series based on Primal Canine the company. We look into the day to day practices of one of the leading dog training companies in the industry. We have an exclusive look into who they are and what they do to pursue to be the best.

www.PrimalCanine.com #PrimalCanine

Filmed by Jeff Knapp and Mackswell.
Edited by Jeff Knapp
Produced by B.Co Creative Agency #BCoCa

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Ask Primal Canine | Episode 8

Ask Primal Canine is your chance to ask head trainers and affiliate associations of Primal Canine your questions about your dogs.

Every Thursday we will air questions from you! Feel free to leave your comments or questions below or email primalcanine@gmail.com

www.PrimalCanine.com #primalcanine
Filmed by Jeff Knapp and Mackswell
B.Co Creative Agency #BCoCA

Read More

K9 to 5: A Pawsome Guide to Working Dogs!

Just like hard-working humans, some dogs have talents and specialties that make them valuable (and cute) members of society! They serve as police officers, farmers, therapists, medical assistants, protectors, heroes, and so much more! This infographic explores why working dogs are so special.

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Becoming Primal Canine | Episode 4 Intro Monique

Becoming Primal Canine is a series based on Primal Canine the company. We look into the day to day practices of one of the leading dog training companies in the industry. We have an exclusive look into who they are and what they do to pursue to be the best.

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Advocacy Transcends All Breeds of Dogs

Inspired by something a friend of mine Kat (@_t_y_s_o_n_) wrote on Instagram I wanted to write about putting down other breeds of dogs. As a Pit Bull owner times four, I am well aware of the discrimination my dogs face and how hard it can be for those of us who love the breed to hear the nasty and inaccurate things people can say. Stereotypes and myths about Pit Bulls are one of the reasons they are being killed at an accelerated rate in shelters. The assumption is that they are all assumed to be dangerous and if space is hard to come by, Pits are the easy choice to put to sleep so more room can be made for less murderous, more desirable dogs. We all despise the discrimination against the breed that is killing dogs in shelters and causing people to make assumptions about our pets. So the question is, if we hate this judgmental discrimination of Pit Bulls, why do we do this to other breeds that are not Pit Bulls?

 

I hate hearing terms like “if it ain’t Pit, it ain’t shit.” Pit Bulls are not the only dogs causing shelters to overflow. Since when does the breed of dog matter? We don’t like when people discount our dogs because of the breed they are, so why should we turn our backs on other breeds and pretend as if that type of inclusivity isn’t incredibly hypocritical? Everyone wants to act like an advocate, but advocacy isn’t very genuine while putting down other breeds of dogs like Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, Jack Russel Terriers, and Shih Tzus, knowing they too are being stereotyped as aggressive, vicious, stubborn, yappy, untrainable, and far from being “manly” or “cool.” I hear just as many myths and stereotypes about small dogs as I do about Pit Bulls, and I hear just as many people that have Pit Bulls say they “absolutely hate small dogs.” Well, that’s fine if you do not desire their looks or size, but consistent shit talking about a breed of dog only spreads the ideal that they are bad dogs and likely decreases their chances of being adopted from a shelter, same as Pit Bulls.

 

Small dogs, just like any other dog, are not born inherently vicious, yappy, mean, untrainable, and aggressive. They become that way because people are ignorant, negligent, and think getting a small dog means they don’t need to be trained, socialized or exercised. Many small breed dogs are working dogs, they require exercise that is both mentally and physically stimulating. Just like large breed dogs that have domineering personalities and high drives, without training, exercise and socialization large breed dogs become unmanageable. From there, unruly dogs, regardless of breed and size are surrendered to shelters where most are killed due to overcrowding or behavioral issues that shelter staff are unable to correct. Putting down any breed of dog, big or small, is helping no one and it is in fact killing animals who have been placed in a position in life that we humans have created. Be responsible, train and properly care for your dog and don’t forget that love transcends breeds of dogs and they all need our help. 

The Real Benefits of Dog Ownership

For thousands of years dogs have been there for us as our best friends. But what are the tangible benefits of that friendship? Sure, a goofy dog makes us laugh, but how much? And we do find ourselves walking more each day, but how far? Let’s take a look at just how much dogs benefit us in our daily lives, in real numbers. 

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