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A big “Thank You” to all who supported ZeroBites Dog Training blog, in 2016.

A big “Thank You” to all who supported ZeroBites Dog Training blog, in 2016.

ZeroBites Dog Training blog had a good year, come the 31st December 2016. Zerobites had 41,546 visitors and 59,859 views. To celebrate I am offering a “Blog only Special” (Manawatu Region Only) for a limited time only.

From 9am Friday 6th January to 6pm Sunday 8th January 2017

Private Dog Training (one on one)  to help you with any basic behaviour or training problems, you maybe having with your dog

(Aggression issues are not included, as more time and work is needed) 

Training will be held in either Ashhurst or Woodville


I will be offering one 2 hour, dog training session

OR 

two 1 hour, dog training sessions, for $89.00 including FAQ sheets. This is a great deal, for a limited time only, usual price $160. Offer closes 6pm, Sunday 8th January 2017.

Please fill out the form below, if you would like me to help you, with your dog.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2017 in About

 

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A big “Thumbs Up NZ” for the lack of imagination & foresight and daring to be different. The new proposed dog control laws, leave a lot to be desired.

A big “Thumbs Up NZ” for the lack of imagination & foresight and daring to be different. The new proposed dog control laws, leave a lot to be desired.

This will probably be, my first and last article I write on this subject because quite honestly, its enough to make a person pull their hair out, in frustration and disgust.

I am not going to get caught up in the fray and ramble on emotively, there are plenty of people out there, who without a doubt, are more qualified at emotive and unproductive rambling, than I.

The number of dog attacks/ bites have been slowly increasing over a number of years, there are many reasons for that, the theme however always seems to remain the same.

NZ has a spate of reported dog attacks/bites.  Reports in the media usually lead to a feeding frenzy of emotive rants, raves & ideas on how to solve the “dangerous dog problem”. This theme seems to be repeated every time a serious attack story hits the media.

Common sense facts and solutions, are what is needed, not emotive rants and raves. I have been an advocate of dog safety education for all (children & adults) for a very long time and I have to say, “Lets get real, is the dog really to blame?”

When I refer to dog safety,  I mean teaching both children and adults,  how to act, behave and stay safe, when in the company of dogs, it’s about teaching and keeping both dogs and people safe. 77% of dog bites come from the family dog or a friends dog. stopthe77.com

Personally, I have found that most dog bites & attacks are caused by inappropriate interactions with a dog. There’s a real culture of “she’ll be right”, or “oh Fluffy wouldn’t bite – he’s bomb proof”. People are complacent and usually not aware of the warning signs.

Indeed in a recent online survey commissioned by Hon Louise Upston  (associate minister of local government) which ran from 1st August 2016 – until 14th August 2016. The need for more education was indeed one of the things identified, yet it seems one of the last things on the “to do” list.

Yet, Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is often mentioned.  For those of you who don’t know what BSL is, it’s laws or legislation based on the breed your dog is, or in some cases what people think your dog is if you’re not sure. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much a quick fix solution that worldwide, is known not to work! However, it has the potential to cost a lot of dogs their lives. So why look at adopting it? Is it to placate the uneducated & uninformed, while trying to curry favour, with the general public?

 Why not, dare to be different, how hard can it be, to research and maybe try something new.

For example take a look at: How Calgary reduced dog attacks without banning pit bulls  Briefly, they changed from the “standard animal control model” to a “responsible pet owner model” education is a big thing, all schools are visited every year, dog owners are urged to get training for their dog if problems arise and so on. Read the article, it is food for thought.

In a recent article published on Radio NZ web site 23rd September 2016 an article titled:

Dog law change would make dangerous breeds extinct in NZ :

Mr Les Dalton (Institute of Animal Management president) said the new measures were well overdue.

“It’s something that needed to be done. We’ve had far too many children being mauled by pit bull-type dogs and dogs that had the content of the wrong breed in them. Would you put your grandchild or little daughter or little son in the lounge with a pitbull and leave them alone with the child?”  A very emotive statement, to say the least.

Maybe, Mr Dalton needs to be taught some basic dog safety education. You should never leave any dog, irrespective of the breed, alone with a child or even some adults for that matter. (dog safety 101, folks!)

All dogs can bite, even “GOOD WELL TRAINED DOGS” if they are teased, hit, abused or put in situations THEY find uncomfortable. People need to be taught how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. “All animals speak to us, including dogs, if we as humans, choose to watch, listen and learn”. Dogs need us to protect & respect them.

Having a well trained dog isn’t enough, basic dog safety/dog bite prevention, should be taught in all schools, while I know in some areas of NZ, it is being done. I am also aware  “Funding” is an issue. If NZ wants to turn the tide and is serious about reducing the dog bite statistics, make the funding available.

The old saying, “talk is cheap, put your money where your mouth is, or shut the bleep up” springs to mind.

Now, this suggestion may or may not be popular and yes it will not reach everyone but its a proactive start.

How about anyone involved with dogs.  All dog trainers, vets, pet shops and behaviourists  hand out information and discuss basic dog safety and the dog control act with their clients? It’s easy enough to make up FAQ sheets or even print something off the internet and hand them out. I’d also be interested to hear from any trainer, club, vet who is doing this, apart from myself.

 Also, rescues, SPCA, Plunket and the like, are on the front lines so to speak. It’s a great opportunity to educate your clients and help turn the tide.

Even “GOOD HUMANS” will react if they’re pushed, teased or threatened – so why do we put our pets in potentially life threatening situations?

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2016 in About

 

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Dogs, Chicken & Boxes = FUN

Dogs, Chicken & Boxes = FUN

Dogs, chicken & boxes = Fun scent work for you and your dog.  Scent work is a great workout for dogs, it can be both mentally and physically challenging. It can be done indoors or outdoors, so if the weather isn’t that great and your dog is chomping at the bit and maybe driving you crazy, hiding a few treats around the house can give your dog a bit of a work out.

Today we decided to hide chicken in the boxes, they didn’t need a lot of motivation to go and hunt it out. We placed the chicken under and in the boxes, on trees and around a car. below is a few photos I took today of the dogs having a great time, in fact we all had a good time.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2016 in About

 

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Just a reminder, dog training classes start on Sunday 17th January 2016 @ 2pm Ashhurst Domain, Ashhurst, Palmerston North

Just a reminder, dog training classes start on Sunday 17th January 2016 @ 2pm Ashhurst Domain, Ashhurst, Palmerston North

Dog Training Classes with an expert dog trainer and behaviourist The course is very comprehensive and unlike others, covers more than just dog obedience & dog behaviour.

Start: Ashhurst Domain, Palmerston North Sunday 17th January 2016 @ 2pm

Woodville Sunday 17th January 2016 @ 10am

Suitable for dogs of all ages. Classes are kept, as age appropriate as possible. I will teach you how to handle your dog in real life situations. Small classes max no 5, Min 3, so I can spend more time with you and your dog, unlike some of the larger classes. To secure your place, book now!

The course teaches you: How to Effectively communicate With Your Dog & How Dogs Communicate With Each Other.

Commands: Sit, Stay, Recall, Down, Social Walking (loose lead/heal) Stand, Leave It (visit Turid Rugaas link on this blog to gain a better insight on how dogs communicate, with each other).

Covers Minor Behaviour’s Such As: Jumping Up, Digging Holes, Pulling On The Lead etc

My aim is also to promote dog safety & awareness so this class also covers:

How to socialize your dog, the right way.

Basic dog behaviour & safety around dogs/Dog bite prevention

Responsible Dog Ownership/Dog Control Act

Introduction to Canine Parkour (Urban Agility)

Course cost: $110 (FAQ sheets included) runs for 4 weeks (4 x 1 hour sessions)

If you and your dog would like to join the class, please fill out the form below.

 

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2016 in About

 

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The Most Dangerous Pet Chew Ever: Rawhide!

Below is a very interesting article on the dangers of rawhide chews.  I used to give my dogs rawhide chews years ago but stopped because, when the chews became soft and pliable, bits of the chew broke off and were either swallowed whole or got caught in the back of their throat and caused them to choke. Its no fun trying to pull a large piece of rawhide out of a Bullmastiff’s mouth.

How can one of the most popular chew sticks on the planet be so dangerous for your pets, you ask? I mean, most dogs chew on rawhide for hours on end, and not only does it keep them busy, but they seem to last forever. Well if you understood what it took to make this… Continue Reading

Source: The Most Dangerous Pet Chew Ever: Rawhide!

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2015 in About

 

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Socialising your dog, Its all about your dog, its not about you and what you think, your dog needs or should be able to handle.

Socialising your dog, Its all about your dog, its not about you and what you think, your dog needs or should be able to handle.

New dog owners and not so new dog owners are all too often not well-informed, when it comes to dog socialization. socializing your dog isn’t just about socializing your dog with other dogs, it’s about getting your dog out and about, visiting new places, meeting new people, experiencing new sights and sounds because the world isn’t a quiet place. Even if you live rural, it’s a good idea to take your dog out and about.

You often hear by (not all) well-meaning experts, “You must socialize your dog” “if you want a well socialized dog, your dog should meet as many dogs as possible. or you may have problems later on”.

Unfortunately, all too often they neglect to say the dogs you introduce your dog to, should be friendly, non aggressive/non dominant dogs. Reality is, your dog should only socialize with dogs you personally know, who are friendly, non aggressive and non dominant.

Even puppy and obedience classes can contribute to behaviour problems in dogs, if not run correctly.

A bad experience especially at a young age with an unfamiliar dog, situation or person may cause behaviour problems, such as aggression or timidness.

For example: a dog rushes up to your dog and stares at it in the face, barks or jumps at it, or on it,  your dog may feel intimated or frightened. If your dog is attacked by another dog, your dog , may become dog aggressive. The same can happen with children, if they have had a bad experience early on in life, it can stay with them and influence their behaviour, later on in life.

The same can be said when you introduce your dog to unfamiliar people, places or situations, Don’t force your dog into any situation that clearly makes him uncomfortable or stressed. Take things slowly, so your dog has good associations. It’s all about your dog, it’s not about you and what you think your dog needs or should be able to handle.

If you encounter a situation where your dog becomes apprehensive or a bit scared/aggressive DO NOT pat your dog and say “Its OK” by doing that you have just praised your dog for being scared/aggressive. Instead, gently tell him “No”, get your dog to focus on you, so you can help him  behave more naturally, do some obedience, canine parkour, or whatever else your dog enjoys and sometimes if that means removing your dog from the situation, to a place where your dog feels more comfortable, that’s ok.

Click on the links below to read more about socializing your dog.

Socializing your dog the right way.    Dog Owners, its ok to say NO!   Dogs off Leash but not under control

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2015 in About

 

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Pet Support Group, for owners with challenging pets: Nurturing and caring for a pet with problems

 

Do you find, you are living your life around your pet? Often, owning, loving and caring for a pet with problems can be challenging. Sometimes you may feel frustrated, isolated and you may begin to doubt, your own pet ownership abilities and instincts and often ask yourself, “am I doing the right thing”?

The Pet Support group welcomes all people who struggle with the challenge of living with and caring for their difficult pet. This group is dedicated to supporting you in managing and honoring your bond, no matter how delicate or difficult. We aim to achieve this by providing a supportive social network to help reduce isolation and stress and by encouraging you to mind fully notice and cherish the positive aspects in your relationship with your pet.

While I strongly believe that training is a great way to further explore your relationship with your dog, our group focuses on the emotions involved with your relationship and does not include training advice.

I will facilitate monthly meetings that will incorporate member-to-member communication and support in a safe and open environment. Group attendees are invited to relate their own challenging, personal struggles while vowing to offer a non judgmental, empathetic ear and coping strategies when requested by peers.

What better group of people to connect with than those who walk in the same shoes?

The advantages of attending this support group are limitless. Some of the best reasons to join include:

  • Sharing common experiences and exploring problems
  • Learning new coping strategies and healthy emotional outlets for frustrations
  • Forming new friendships and discovering a sense of community
  • Learning to thrive in spite of your pet’s issues
  • Being surrounded by a love based approach to repair and nurture your bond 

 

Meetings, First Sunday of every month

Where: Wetlands Café, Ashhurst Domain, Ashhurst

Next Meeting:

Sunday 3rd May from 3. 30 – 4.30

Please fill out the form below, to reserve your seat, or if you would like further information

 *Pet photos are welcome but please leave your furry family home.*

I would like to thank Rachel Bow, Ruff Mutts Portland, Oregon, USA, for her assistance and advice on setting up this Support Group.

Gold coin donation, proceeds to go HAVEN Bull Breed Rescue & Education

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2015 in About

 

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