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Pet owners turning to non-traditional

Pet Owners Turn to Non-Traditional

TownHall: ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — It’s the age old and seemingly answerless question: What in the world is my dog thinking? And one that has spawned a growing market not only of scientific research but of everything from decks of pet tarot cards to television and radio shows and books by pet psychics and animal trainers.

Whether any one of them can ever provide real answers to what dogs are thinking or what drives their good or bad behavior is a matter of opinion – or belief. But pet owners can spend a lot of time and money trying.

And even if they never find a real solution, people who love their dogs admit they can learn to better connect with their pets, or sometimes just have fun trying.

Andrea Gladstone and David Radis of Encino, California, wanted to know more about what was going on in their rescue dog’s head, so they bought "The Original Dog Tarot: Divine The Canine Mind," a set of 30 cards and guidebook that were developed by Heidi Schulman, a freelance writer and former television news producer who now lives in Santa Fe, N.M.

They spread the deck on the floor, then asked LoLa why she chewed up her puppy training book and the Dog Tarot guide.

The answers, they divined from the three cards she picked – The Cat, the Pack and Justice – was that she was insecure with her place in the new home and wrecked the books to establish her security and see if they held grudges.

Radis said his wife gave him the deck of cards as a gift.

"For me it is more the fun of it than the life lessons to be learned. But I respect the tarot," he said. "I have done one reading for each of my dogs and they were both spot on. I spread the cards out and ask the dog to touch the cards with their nose or paw."

But not everyone consults the latest books for gimmicks or fun. Cathy, an entertainment paralegal in California who asked that her last name not be used, called on pet psychic Jocelyn Kessler, author of the Secret Language of Dogs, to help her communicate with her 11-year-old lab Champ when he fell ill.

Kessler, she said, "communicated with him energetically so that she could not only learn what he needed through his veterinary care, but also to understand whether he wanted us to stop medical treatments."

Through Kessler, Cathy said, she was able to learn that Champ needed fewer injections, and she was able to surround him with his favorite plants in his final days.

There is no real research to show spending on dog mind-reading or behavior-related services, but a report from the American Pet Products Association says Americans spent $53 billion on their pets last year, including nearly $4 billion on services not related to food, supplies or health care. That category, which includes grooming, pet-sitting and pampering, was the fast-growing, increasing 9.7 percent over 2011. And it is forecast to remain the fastest-growing.

And anecdotal evidence indicates pet owners are willing to spend a lot. Kessler, for example, charges about $350 a session and her book has been displayed prominently on coveted airport bookstore shelves.

Another pet psychic, Sonya Fitzpatrick, who used to have a television show on Animal Planet and now hosts a popular call-in radio show on Sirius XM, recently hosted two sold-out $500 a day workshops that promised to help owners deal with everything from dogs that pee on the rug to biting children.

Like Kessler, Fitzpatrick says she has been able to communicate with animals since she was a child.

And like Kessler, she keeps her client list private, but shares stories of being called to help with everything from caged crocodiles to finding lost cats.

Fitzpatrick offers telephone consultations, asking only that the pet owners send pictures.

"The pet can be anywhere. Telepathic communication works no matter where you are," she said.

Albuquerque veterinarian Jeff Nichol, who specializes in behavior work and writes a weekly column for the Albuquerque Journal, says he has seen a noticeable increase in pet owners who have turned to the nontraditional methods since the explosion on Animal Planet and other networks of shows involving pet trainers and other self-proclaimed experts.

He cautions against such services for behavioral or medical issues.

"Often the methods worsen the problem, and the behavior becomes more challenging to turn around," he said.

That it turn, he says, results in more pets going to shelters or other action "that is completely unnecessary if they get this thing properly evaluated."

Neither Kessler nor Fitzpatrick pretends to offer medical care, but both say they can often aid vets by opening communication about what is bothering a pet. And Kessler said she is very careful not to take on cases of, for instance, aggressive biting dogs.

For Schulman, development of the dog tarot was simply "to bring people closer to their animals."

She said she came up with the idea when she was ill, and cooped up in a small apartment with her beloved rescue dog, Bosco, who has since died.

"I noticed he was very tuned into me," she said. "He knew exactly when to leave me alone, when to bother me. We seemed to develop this nonverbal communication and he looked like he wanted to talk…. I thought if he could speak what would he say? I tried with logic. But I couldn’t figure it out logically. So I thought, ‘What if we could just invoke a little magic?"

Related:

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

Photos From the Frontlines–The Dogs of War 

He Doesn’t Want a Cookie… 

Are Our Pets Spiritual Assignments

 

June 13, 2013 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , | 8 Comments

He Doesn’t Want a Cookie…

Him... He Doesn't Want a Cookie

Related:

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

December 1, 2012 Posted by | Adopt Just One More Pet, animal behavior, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, On The Lighter Side, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pets | , | 1 Comment

Videos: Loyalty and Love By Animals

For those you think animals/pets, don’t have feelings, don’t get attached and don’t understand…

When a yellow Labrador was struck and killed on a busy street, a female black Labrador (her mate or friend) stood guard over the fallen dog.

Video:  ABC World News Now: Loyal Dog Stays by Fallen Companion

Video:  Loyal Dog won’t leave fallen Navy Seal

 

Video:  Cat Tries to Revive His Friend Hit by a Car

Hero Dog Video Caught on Tape: Dog Saves Her Puppy From Drowning in Pool

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

‘Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Soul Remains Unawakened’

 

h/t to Patricia Gillenwater

May 1, 2012 Posted by | Animal and Pet Photos, animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Animals Adopting Animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Pets, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

It Is So Hot Here… My Dog Is Melting!! ;-)

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Let us not forget that the heat can last through October in the US, depending on the year and the part of the country you are in.  And this year the heat has been horrible.  Please do not leave your pets or children in the car unattended for any reason… for any length of time, even minutes.  Temperatures in the car, even with the windows cracked can reach high enough levels to cause brain damage and death very quickly! 

And if you see that a pet, a child or elderly person is left unattended in a vehicle or a truck bed, please call the police, animal control, the fire department or other emergency services. Immediately and break the window if help does not come within minutes or you perceive danger for the victim.  Also offer water while you wait for help if possible.

Video: Idiots Leave Dogs Unattended in Heat Wave

Cruelty Alert: Pets Suffering from Heatstroke in Parked Cars

Temperatures Are Rising: Be a Dog Defender: Help Save Animals This Summer!  Cool Ideas for Hot Dogs -  Please be proactive and vocal… you could be saving a life and definitely saving animals of a lot of suffering!!

Call the ASPCA, Humane Society, etc. for ‘Pets in Hot Cars flyers’ (like the one above) to keep in your glovebox to give out when appropriate, or make and design one yourself. And please distribute them in your neighborhood to help educate people about the danger of leaving pets in hot cars.

A hot oven or a hot car... It's the same thing.

Please step up for abused and neglected pets and animals.  Help them and be their voice.  Call the authorities if you suspect a problem.  It is always better to err on the pet’s or animal’s (or child’s) side!  And always call animal services or the police if you see a pet locked in a car and/or out in a yard where it has no access to shade and water!  More animals die from ignorant, neglectful and cruel owners than from diseases!!

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

Help Save Lives!

Posted by Ask Marion at JOMP

August 22, 2011 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal and Pet Photos, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Commuting dogs in Moscow

The Commuting dogs in Moscow

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STRAY dogs are commuting to and from a city centre on underground trains in search of food scraps.

The clever canines board the Tube each morning.

After a hard day scavenging and begging on the streets, they hop back on the train and return to the suburbs where they spend the night.

Experts studying the dogs say they even work together to make sure they get off at the right stop – after learning to judge the length of time they need to spend on the train.

The mutts choose the quietest carriages at the front and back of the train.

They have also developed tactics to hustle humans into giving them more food on the streets of Moscow ..

Scientists believe the phenomenon began after the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s, and Russia’s new capitalists moved industrial complexes from the city centre to the suburbs.

Dr Andrei Poiarkov, of the Moscow Ecology and Evolution Institute, said: “These complexes were used by homeless dogs as shelters, so the dogs had to move together with their houses. Because the best scavenging for food is in the city centre, the dogs had to learn how to travel on the subway – to get to the centre in the morning, then back home in the evening, just like people.”


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Dr Poiarkov told how the dogs like to play during their daily commute. He said: “They jump on the train seconds before the doors shut, risking their tails getting jammed. They do it for fun. And sometimes they fall asleep and get off at the wrong stop.”


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The dogs have learned to use traffic lights to cross the road safely, said Dr Poiarkov. And they use cunning tactics to obtain tasty morsels of shawarma, a kebab-like snack popular in Moscow .

They sneak up behind people eating shawarmas – then bark loudly to shock them into dropping their food.

With children the dogs “play cute” by putting their heads on youngsters’ knees and staring pleadingly into their eyes to win sympathy – and scraps.

Dr Poiarkov added: “Dogs are surprisingly good psychologists.”

The Moscow mutts are not the first animals to use public transport. In 2006 a Jack Russell in Dunnington, North Yorks , began taking the bus to his local pub in search of sausages.

And two years ago passengers in Wolverhampton were stunned when a cat called Macavity started catching the 331 bus to a fish and chip shop.

Posted: Just One More Pet

Even those of us who dearly love them underestimate their abilities.

It just makes me said to think how terrible people treat their pets, including keeping them in crates while they are gone all day or over night to make their own lives easier, etc etc.; let alone the ones who are abused or used for scientific studies. There was a study completed recently (see below) where they determined pets had the intelligence of about a 2.5 year old, but I’d say this shows they are even smarter and more aware than that!

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

November 15, 2009 Posted by | animal behavior, animals, Just One More Pet, Pets, Unusual Stories | , , , , | 2 Comments

How Safe is Invisible Fencing? What the Average Dog Owner May Not Know

Invisible Fence With Gate

What is an invisible fence besides a cheap way of confining your dog being pushed as safe and humane? Basically invisible fencing is a wire buried in the ground that interacts with a collar worn by a dog. When the dog approaches the perimeter of the “enclosed” area, the dog receives a shock. Some collars give a warning tone before the dog gets shocked while others do not. Some fences allow you to adjust the intensity of the shock while others may not. In theory, after a bit of training from the human, the dog will learn not to leave the yard or else he will get a shock.

Electric fences are growing in popularity. The reasons people using these or considering these fences have given me are varied with the most popular being: invisible fences are inexpensive; invisible fences are easy to install; there is no visible fence line; these fences supposedly safely and humanely confine the dog to your property. But are invisible fences all they are touted to be? How many people considering or actively using this type of fence are aware of the drawbacks? I am only highlighting the major ones that I have experienced with various clients and consults.

My first concern is the safety of the dog being confined. Is there any protection using an invisible fence? No. The invisible fence only acts on the dog wearing the special shock collar. Loose dogs, wild animals and humans will have full access to your yard and your pet. There is nothing physical to deter them from entering your property. If your property line is not clearly defined, pedestrians (especially in regions without sidewalks) may inadvertently walk into the dog’s territory. If your dog charges the perimeter at a pedestrian, it may be assumed your dog is loose and the pedestrian react one way or another. There is nothing to deter the theft of your dog. Dog thefts are a reality of life and owners must make it less attractive for someone to walk off with their pet. Not to mention the danger of illness such as rabies or injury from fight with wild or stray animals having easy access to the yard. Invisible fences offer no physical security for your dog.

How well do invisible fences confine your dog? Is it as securely as people are led to believe? Invisible fences may not confine your dog at all after time. I am amazed at how many dogs learn to ignore the shock. I love going to a house and being told “Bongo never crosses the fence line” as the dog dashes into the street to greet me, crossing the fence line and ignoring the shock collar. Many owners remove the collar once they feel the dog is trained so there is no more shock. But many dogs learn that once collar is off, nothing is holding them back.

I have watched dogs of clients slowly test the fence and show signs of building up their tolerance levels to the collar. Once a dog builds up a tolerance to the shock, there is nothing holding him in the yard. Fast moving objects can excite the drive to chase, pedestrians or animals close to the property line may bring out the natural urge protect their property. A dog excited to greet someone may cross the line forgetting the shock will happen. A dog that gets spooked by something may accidentally bolt through the fence line. Then what happens if the dog refuses to reenter the yard as the collar warns a shock will come? Dogs will tempt.

Dogs are dogs and cannot be relied upon to remember 100% of the time that they will be shocked if they cross the line. Finally, if you lose power, forget to change the batteries in the collar, some little critter chews through the line or the line just wears out due to elements, you lose your fence. Even dogs that have been maintained “reliably for years” with an invisible fence may decide to escape it one day. You may not realize your dog has learned to tolerate the shock or that the fence is inoperable or you have a dog that just does not care about the fence until tragedy occurs.

Finally, invisible fences are indiscriminant punishers and can lead to behavioral issues not readily apparent to the owner. Some of these issues may take time to develop. What is an indiscriminant punisher? Regardless of the action or intent of the dog, he will get a physical and sometimes painful correction from the collar. The dog gets punished all the time no matter what he is thinking or doing. Invisible fencing works through an adverse correction to the dog approaching the line: come too close and get hurt to some degree. To a dog, when a correction occurs it is for the action he is doing at the time of the punishment.

This is why trainers insist on never calling a dog and then punishing it. In your mind you may be punishing for chewing your shoes. However, in the dog’s mind punishment is for the action he was doing when he gets punished: coming when called. What if the dog was headed to happily greet the neighbor and then gets zapped? In his mind is he being zapped for approaching the perimeter or for greeting a human? We do not know. What if the starts to associate greeting happily with a zap – a negative? He can start to associate being friendly with negative. What if the dog is approaching the perimeter because he perceives a threat on the other side? He then gets zapped. In his mind the zap could be associated with the perceived threat. This can increase his threat level making him more likely to react.

If the dog associates the zap with his actions at the time, there is a chance he may stop giving warning as he approaches the perimeter. Now you have a dog that gives no warning signs before reacting. This is a very dangerous animal, as humans have no way of knowing its intent through body language. An invisible fence is indiscriminant in when it punishes and does not learn how to manage a dog humanely: it just responds to the proximity of the electric collar. I have worked with dogs that have developed fears of being on grass because they associated the shock with grass. Now these dogs are having issues as they refuse to potty on grass and are using decks, patios and even indoors as their potty spots.

Lastly, how cheap are these fences? Veterinary bills and/or a lawsuit can be far more costly than a good, barrier fence or secure dog kennel. Is the lack of security an electric fence provides worth saving a few bucks? Is it worth risking the chance that your dog may be the one to develop behavioral issues? It is far easier to work to prevent undesired behaviors than fix them later on.

In 22 plus years of working with dogs, I do not feel that invisible fences are a safe, humane or fair method of primary confinement for dogs. This type of fencing offers no protection to the dog and minimal protection from the dog to the general public. There are also behavioral issues that can arise through the use of these fences. Sadly, until one has been employed, there is no way of knowing how the dog will react over time to the fence. The safest form of confining dog to the property for its own protection and mental well-being as well as the protection of others is a good, physical, barrier fence.

Karen Peak

by Karen Peak
View Biography

Posted:  Just One More Pet

Just One More Pet concurs with this opinion. Invisible fences are not a safe, humane, fair or loving method of primary confinement for dogs.

The pet products industry and the “me generation” have developed and allowed for products that less than acceptable.  Anything that produces pain for your pet or unreasonable confinement or even unreasonable rules verges on bad pet parenting and being inhumane even if it isn’t against the law.

Most pet parents are loving guardians.  But many have been swept into the thought realm that if something works or makes it easier for them; its okay.  And that is just not the case.

We need to go back to using common sense plus treating pets as we would want to be treated. JOMP believes that is you would not be willing to use, do or go without something… a product or technique on your children or on yourself, it is not acceptable to do or use with or on your pets/animals!

Included on that list (but not exclusive to it) are:

electric or invisible fencing

all shock collars (which have caused death and permanent damage to many pets)

cages or carriers to restrict pets for anything but travelling or short periods (confining your pet in a carrier for hours while you are gone or while you sleep is inhumane)

any collars and training apparatus using spikes

Again, we need to go back to using common sense plus treating pets as we would want to be treated. If you would not be willing to use, do or go without something… a product or technique on your children or on yourself, it is not acceptable to do or use with or on your pets/animals!

Pets like children make messes and make mistakes sometimes… it is life.  Pets/animals like children create extra work in your life.  And like with children, if you have pets and animals your house and yard won’t (and shouldn’t look or be perfect), will sometimes be messy and sometimes even sustain some damage or need repairs.  Again that is life with other being and creatures. If you can not relax and live with that… perhaps you should not have children, pets or animals of any time.

The exchange for the extra work and some messes for you and mistakes by them is love, companionship and joy.  Everything in life is a trade off.  Ask Marion/JOMP~

Girl unsuspectingly walks through invisible fence line while holding neighbors electric dog collar”

Looks real humane, fair and loving doesn’t it?? – Video

Posted:  Just One More Pet

Related Posts:

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

GoD and DoG

October 22, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Friendship and Love, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

Most (or the average) dog understands 165 words and gestures+ and 20 to 40 commands, but many can understand a lot more!  The same article states that even though most dogs have the cognitive ability of 2 to 2.5-year-olds, their social consciousness—an awareness of people, their ranking within the family and such—is as high as an adolescent or teenager.  It also seems that dogs and apes have some of the same basic emotions such as fear, anger, disgust and pleasure and are able to deceive.

dog-reading

Our canine friends are smart! Research has shown that most dogs understand 165 words or gestures, can add up to five, and that some dogs learn how to deceive their owners. It is a known fact that children don’t develop such a habit until much later.  Some “super dogs” can even learn up to 250 words, a capability found only among humans and language learning apes.

Math, for those young or old, has been a sore point for many but scientists have found out through experimentation that dogs can understand simple math. TheStar.com (2009) found this out by evaluating dogs’ confusion “after they watched a specific number of treats get dropped behind a screen, then discovered that the actual number of treats was more or less than expected.”  Canines can count up to 5 and spot errors in simple arithmetic computations.

Quoting four studies on spatial problem solving abilities of dogs, Coren said the canines can understand the location of valued items (treats), better routes in the environment like fastest way to find a favorite chair and how to operate simple machines.

It is also interesting to note that dogs have a sense of fairness but not equity. In TheStar.com (2009) Stanley Coren, an expert on dog behavior and professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia states: “when researchers had two dogs perform simple tasks but only rewarded one, the unrewarded dog lost interest in participating.” However, he goes on to say that when one of the dogs is fed a “superior” treat, both stayed engaged, equally.

Again, The Star.com (2009) Professor Stanley Coren also states that dogs understand at least 20-40 commands or more.

The same article states that even though most dogs have the cognitive ability of 2 year olds, their social consciousness—an awareness of people, their ranking within the family and such—is as high as an adolescent or teenager. In other words, they are very interested in who is moving on, who is sleeping with whom and how others around them are being treated—and where they fit in.

Weber (2009) suggest that dogs and apes have some of the same basic emotions such as fear, anger, disgust and pleasure. But he also noted both animal groups are missing some of the more complex, learned emotions such as guilt. These kinds of emotions are “learned” and require more in-depth thinking.

What is interesting to any dog owner is that because dogs have been domesticated for so long, they can understand words and gestures. I can remember the many times when we owned a collie named Lady, how she would react to certain phrases and gestures such as, and “Are you hungry?” “Time to go potty,” and “Lady, what have you done?” and my favorite, “Lady, time for a bath.”

Most dogs also know and understand when we’re feeling down, when we’re ill or when we’re happy and respond appropriately. Because they have been domesticated for so long, they instinctively can spot our emotions and then respond to help us out.

Researchers have also found that intelligence seems to vary according to breeds, generally, but there is always an exception.

Hounds and terriers are less intelligent, while retrievers, border collies and herding dogs are more intelligent. And, it seems that smart dogs need more attention; much like children who are smarter and always seeking the attention and approval of their parents, siblings and friends.

The intelligence of canines is dependent on various factors including their breed, environment around them, training imparted by their handlers, and like with humans an occassional unexplainable intelligence factor, he said.

“Border Collies are number one; poodles are second followed by German Shepherds. Fourth on the list is Golden Retrievers; fifth Doberman; sixth Shetland Sheepdogs and finally Labrador retrievers,” the canine scientist said.

“There are three types of dog intelligence: instinctive (what the dog is bred to do), adaptive (how well the dog learns from its environment to solve problems) and working and obedience (the equivalent of ‘school learning’),” he said.  But as all parent know there is a lot more that goes into their children’s (2-legged or 4-legged) intelligence and sometimes the standard means of measurement do not tell the whole story.

Professor Stanley Coren also suggests that most dogs are capable of deceiving.  And anyone who owns or has owned a dog, knows that there are times when they do something wrong, they will go to great lengths to hide the guilty deed such as hiding a broken object, running away from the scene of a crime, etc.

Dogs can do many things that their wild relatives, such as the wolf, cannot do and this is because of their close association with humans; that bonding and domestication from being around us so long.

“Their stunning flashes of brilliance and creativity are reminders that they may not be Einsteins but are sure closer to humans than we thought,” the researcher from the University of British Columbia in Canada said at the 117th annual convention of American Psychological Association in Toronto on Saturday.

The American Psychological Association has more than 1.5 lakh members of psychologists, researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students.

Professor Coren, canine researcher, who authored the book ‘How Dogs Think‘ said, “Canines use this intelligence to intentionally deceive their fellow dogs and people to earn their treats.  During a play the canines are as successful in deceiving humans as we are in deceiving them.”

And finally there are abilities like sensing a long list of illnesses and even death, by both dogs and cats, that we are just learning about; things humans cannot do.  So judgeing their level of intelligence by ours may not be totally fair either.

References:
The Star.com (2009).Rover’s as smart as the average tot. Retrieved August 11, 2009
from: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/678720
Weber, B. (2009) Pooches, people have more in common than previously thought: scientist.

By: Ask Marion/Just One More Pet


How Dogs Think How To Speak Dog

GoD and DoG

August 16, 2009 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet and Animal Training, Pets, Success Stories, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 52 Comments