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Ashhurst Domain: Local Environmental Mess

Attention Dog Walkers, if you exercise your dog in the Ashhurst Domain, Ashhurst, please be mindful of the river damage. Some of the walking tracks no longer exist, in the lower domain.

Elayne Hand, Brightchic Photography

DCIM101GOPROGOPR2499.JPG Ashhurst Domain car park & river access. 8th apr 2017

I have to say from the get go, I am not a Ashhurst resident, having said that I spend a great deal of time there – you could say “its” my second home.

Unfortunately, since September 2015 nature has had a hand in changing the landscape and not for the better.  Recent flooding over the past couple of years has seen the Manawatu River, decimate the river banks and take out big chunks of land, including some of the walking tracks.

Just recently the river claimed more land including part of the car park as well as access to the river.

The question now is, how much more land is going to be lost and what is going to be done to prevent it.

The PNCC and Horizons were made aware of the problem as soon as it happened, back in September 2015…

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Posted by on April 12, 2017 in About

 

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Deadly Trust

Deadly Trust

This is a great article and echo’s the advice I constantly give on a daily basis.

West Wind Dog Training

One of my early clients tragically lost her dog. He was a sweet boy.  Very responsive, a dream to work with and the owner did her work. We had discussed safety, using leashes on walks, etc. over our sessions.  She liked to have her dogs off leash when she hiked.  Well I used to hike with my dogs, off leash, specific areas where it was allowed at the time, and my dogs had a lot of training, proofing and testing.  Even at that, often my dogs were on leash.  That was also over twenty years ago and I have changed my views a lot since then about general safety.  You see, I knew my dogs’ limits but I cannot control other elements such as oh…  Other loose animals.  So now, I keep my dogs on leash unless it is a competition requiring off leash work.

Uhura Lure course 9 crop Uhura at a lure coursing…

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Posted by on April 3, 2017 in About

 

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A Few good reasons why young children shouldn’t take their dog out for a walk without adult supervision

A Few good reasons why young children shouldn’t take their dog out for a walk without adult supervision

I wrote this post in 2014, it is still relevant today, as it was back then.

A few good reasons why young children shouldn’t take their dog out for a walk, without adult supervision

Parents, often ask me if its ok for their children to take their dog out for a walk.  I say yes sure, so long as you or another adult accompanies them.

The main reason these days for not letting young children take their dog out for a walk alone is the one of safety, safety of the dog and child.

Young children don’t have the strength or presence of mind to act quickly enough, if something bad were to happen.eg: such as a stray or off lead dog were to approach them. Adults, in the same situation can often find it hard to manage, let alone a young child.

Anyone who takes their dog out has to have their “Eyes Wide Open” all the time and be aware of their surroundings and what is going on around them. Young children are not really capable of doing that, due to their age and immaturity.

Lastly, the Dog Control Act states: Section 52 Obligations of Owners, The owner of any dog shall keep that dog under control at all times. a dog shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be not under control if the only person present or in charge of the dog is under the age of 16 years.

For more information please read this very good article: Can Kids Walk Dogs? 5 Things to Consider 

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in About

 

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Making a Dog Safety difference in 2017! How many people involved with dogs. Vets, dog trainers/behaviourists, pet shops, etc. discuss & hand out dog safety information, to their clients?

Making a Dog Safety difference in 2017! How many people involved with dogs. Vets, dog trainers/behaviourists, pet shops, etc. discuss & hand out dog safety information, to their clients?

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.

I have just put together a one stop dog safety resource page. Titled: Dog Safety Advice for all (not just kids) most dog bites are preventable.

There are different coloured links to videos, articles & graphics. All information is free to use. All information is copyright so a mention or link to the various authors of the graphics, articles & videos including ZeroBites Dog Training, would be greatly appreciated.

I have been a advocate of dog safety education, including the Dog Control Act for years.

To that end I have been discussing and handing out information on both, to my clients for a very long time.

I’d be interested to hear from any trainer, club, vet who is doing this as well, apart from myself.

We as educators have a opportunity to make a difference and maybe along the way,

prevent someone from getting bitten and save a few dogs, a one way trip to the vet.

We are on the front lines so to speak, we can make a difference! We have the opportunity to be part of the solution, and if we do nothing, are we passively contributing to the problem?

 Rescues, SPCA, Plunket and the like, are on the front lines also, they like us, have a great opportunity to educate their clients about dog safety, keeping both dogs and people safe.

It would be good, if we could all in a small way, help turn the tide in 2017 and try to reduce, by education, the number dog bites/ dog attacks in NZ.

Again, hopefully along the way, prevent someone from getting bitten and save a few dogs, a one way trip to the vet.

Another link you maybe interested in reading:

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.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2017 in About

 

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Dog Safety for all (not just kids) Most dog bites are preventable!

Dog Safety for all (not just kids) Most dog bites are preventable!

I have put this page together as a one stop, dog safety resource.

So lets make a difference in 2017! 

There are links and videos, to a lot of good information on dog safety, dog body language and do and don’ts ( how to keep dogs and people safe),  on this page. You will find the links in different coloured text, so please click on them, if you want to learn more and help to turn the tide on the rising number of dog bites/dog attacks.

77% of dog bites are caused by the family dog or a friends dog.  While dogs can and do make great companions and are a lot of fun, people often, feel too secure and comfortable when in the company of them and don’t see, or are oblivious to the potential dangers.

Dogs and Humans are different species and both speak different languages and its up to us, as humans, to learn what they are trying to tell us. Like all animals, dogs do speak to us, if we as humans, choose, to watch, listen and learn.

They need to be treated with respect and understanding and sometimes human expectations are too high, they don’t think like we do, they are, after all, a different species.

Please watch the The Family Dog, stop the 77 video below. There are more videos on their site, great for all the family and friends to watch.

Parents, educators & dog owners have a responsibility to learn and then teach,  children adults, non dog owners, & dog owners, how to act and behave when in the company of any dog, including their own.

Both kids and adults need to know about basic dog safety and awareness, because for the most part, children under the age of 12yrs are the one’s who get bitten. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of adults who get chomped on, as well.

Even non dog owners, need to know how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. as they may not have a dog but the chances are, they know someone who does.

Below is a very good graphic from family paws, on the 5 types of supervision, it is too easy to get caught up in doing something else and not being aware of what is going on around you, such as talking or texting on the phone or on the computer, chatting or having coffee with friends, the list is endless.

Again, dogs do talk to us, if we as humans choose to watch, listen & learn. They need us to watch out for them.

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

The same can be said about introducing your dog to people: If you are unsure remove your dog from the situation, it only takes a second for something bad to happen.

Greeting people may make your dog scared or uncomfortable.

5-types-Supervision-LowRes

TV and Movies often portray “The good family dog” but don’t be fooled, these dogs are well trained, and they have trainers on the sets with them. If you want a well-trained and adjusted dog, you have to put the time and effort in. They need guidance, direction and boundaries, as do children.

Even people who have been around dogs all their life’s should Never assume that a strange dog is going to be friendly towards them, remember you may think you know dogs but that strange dog doesn’t know you. It may see you as an intruder or a threat.

There are many things that can cause a dog to bite you, so please take the time to read

5 easy ways to get bitten by a dog, Dog Owners its ok to say NO! & Lets get real, is the dog really to blame A Few good reasons why young children shouldn’t take their dog out for a walk without adult supervision

Dog Safety Advice for All (not just kids)

Never leave a child alone with a dog, because a child’s actions may inadvertently trigger an unwanted response, and the child may get bitten.

Never tease a dog. (E.g.: shouting & yelling, barking, throwing things, pulling faces & ears etc). These actions can cause a dog to attack because it may feel threatened or frightened If the dog is confined in a yard or tied up it will not forget the teasing, and if the opportunity presents itself, it will get its own back.

Always ask the owner’s permission before petting a dog. If the owner is not around leave the dog alone. If it is a stray dog, stay well away.

Never run away from a dog and Never run away screaming and shouting, because a dogs natural instinct it to chase and catch its prey.

Never enter a yard with a dog in it; always ask permission from the owner.

Never stare into the eyes of a dog, the dog may see it as a threat or a challenge to fight.

Always approach dogs calmly, carefully and slowly. Let the dog see and sniff you that’s how they get to know you and never approach a dog from behind.

Dogs like to play rough, they don’t have hands like you or I, and they jump up and use their mouths to grab hold and hang on. So do not jump, wave your arms around or scream when playing around dogs, these actions excite and stimulate the dogs chase response.

Never play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.

If you are approached by a strange dog stand very still and remain calm. Don’t scream and shout, stand sideways and don’t stare, that tells the dog, via body language, that you are non confrontational, then slowly move away, by taking small steps, if you can.

Never approach a strange dog. (You will never know what it will do).

Never put your hand through a fence or a window of a parked car to pat a dog, because it will bite you.

Never disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping, or caring for pups.

Never try to separate dogs that are fighting. (unless you know what you are doing)

If you are knocked over by a dog, Always protect your face, arms & neck and roll up into a ball and remain very still.

If you get bitten tell an adult.

Never put your face close to a dog.

Never hug your dog or any dog around the neck because you may trigger the dogs bite reflex and the dog will bite you.

Children should not take their dog out for a walk unless accompanied by an adult, because if a situation arises e.g.: encounter with a stray dog, children don’t have the strength or presence of mind, to act quickly enough.

Be careful when handling a dog who is in pain or injured, it may bite you. Always, take precautions.

Always, try to be relaxed and calm around dogs, erratic movements could startle a dog or they may think you are teasing them.

Never take your dog on someone else’s property without finding out first, if it is OK to do so.

Fast-moving outdoor athletes should keep a safe distance between them and dog walkers. (E.g.: joggers, Cyclists etc). Again, these actions trigger the dog’s natural chase response.

Never run or walk up behind a dog, (even one you know) and try to pat it. Always, let a dog know you are there, let it see and sniff you.

Below is another very good info graphic from Doggone safe, although it says holiday tips, these tips can keep everyone safe year round.

holiday bite prevention tips

More information with graphics can be found @ http://www.zerobitesdogtraining.com/bittenP1.html
Also take time to read the NZ herald Dog Attack feature & A big thumbs up NZ
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/dog-attacks/news/headlines.cfm?c_id=575

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2017 in About

 

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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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How to Introduce dogs and cats to each other

Zues

Zues

I have had a few inquiries lately on how to introduce cats and dogs. So I thought I would repost this article.

The ideal way of course is to have both the puppy and kitten grow up together. Dogs and cats can become great friends but just like with people, there are some who may not get along, no matter what you try to do. I have both cats and dogs and yes some play well together and some don’t.

It can take a while for your cat and dog to become used to being around each other, there are no quick fixes, it could take weeks or even months. One of the main things not to do, is try to force your cat and dog to meet each other, they have to do it on their own terms. Both the cat and dog need their own space, somewhere safe where they can go. A dog crate is ideal for your dog and the cats need a bolt hole too, such as another room or the like.

When first introducing your dog to your cat, make sure the cat is safe in another room and your dog is on the leash, you must have control of the situation, so you need to be confident in what you are doing as there really is no room, for human error.

If your dog isn’t great at listening or focusing on you, work needs to be done, obedience training and enrichment games such as Canine Parkour will help with that. You need to have your dogs full attention.

So now it begins, let your cat out of the room and let it wander around, you should have your dog on a lead and focusing on you, have it sit, if your dog starts jumping around make it sit and tell it to Leave It” if it starts barking tell it to be “Quiet” if that doesn’t work, try some water and vinegar in a squirt bottle. Squirt it in your dogs face. The dog crate is also a useful tool, crate your dog and let the cat in the room to wander around.  You have to be watching all the time in other words no distractions. If your dog starts barking you can also cover the crate so the dog can’t see, until it calms down. Depending on your circumstances the introductions may have to be little and often. If you are out all day, never leave the cat and dog home alone together. Make sure they are both safe and away from each other.

After a few weeks of constant and consistent training, you maybe able to let your dog off the leash or out of the crate with a muzzle on and watch how the cat and dog interact.

Some may think this is harsh or not fair on the dog but its better than finding your cat dead. Even after all this training, your dog and cat maybe ok when you are around but when you are not around, all bets are off.

I personally have a dog in the house with me, who killed a cat in his past life before he came to live with me, that was why he was rehomed.

My cat has grown up with dogs but it took her 3 weeks before she even came to check Zues out. I used the crate or put him in the kennel when I was’t around. After quite a long time they lost interest in each other,

I corrected Zues every time he even looked at my cat the wrong way. Now I can leave both of them, home alone together. They are not friends but they tolerate each other and both have their own space. I have on occasion caught them sleeping together, if you can call it that, Zues at one end of his couch and Turbo at the other.

Here are a couple of good articles, one written by Ed Fawley, from Leerburg Dog Training and the other by HEART animal rescue and adoption team Inc

Introducing Dogs or Puppies into Homes with Cats by Ed Fawley

Introducing a new cat to Pets  by HEART

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2016 in About

 

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Dog Parks, Good or bad idea?

Dog Parks, Good or bad idea?

I am personally not a great fan of dog parks because when many dog owners (not all) see the sign “Dog Park” they think it gives them the right, to let their dogs, run amok with no consequences.

Dog Parks are specifically designed for dogs and their owners but they are no different, to any other Public Park that allows “Off Leash or On Leash Dogs” when it comes to the “Dog Control Act”, Manners & Etiquette, Common Sense and dog owners being aware, of where their dog is and what it is doing. Dog parks are not for all dogs.

Dogs like humans, can become stressed, distressed, fearful, overly excited or aggressive. While others may be bullied or be bullies.

Dogs need their owners to stand up, protect and watch out for them, even at the dog park. Same as you would look out for, and help a human friend, if they were in trouble or needed any kind of help.

All dogs speak to us, if we as humans choose to watch, listen and learn. If your dog is aggressive a dog park isn’t the place for it, same can be said if your dog is a bit nervy or fearful. Also, bitches on heat need to be kept away from any park.

I personally believe, dog parks should have information on dog park manners, etiquette & rules, posted by the gate entry, to the park, of what is expected from dog owners and their dogs, so everyone can have an enjoyable time, at the park.

In some states in the US they have compliance officers randomly visiting parks. They have the power to issue on the spot fines, if dog owners don’t have their dogs under control, in other words, their dogs are causing a nuisance or are problem. Also, in some US states, dog owners who wish to run their dog, off-leash are required to apply for an off leash licence. Food for thought NZ

Some of you may think I am anti off-leash dogs, in fact I am not, I am only anti dog owners, who do not have their dogs under control. Whether it be a dog park, park, beach, reserve or the like. If it is open to the public, everyone has the right to be there and enjoy their day, without being harassed by someone’s dog. Not all people love dogs, not all dogs, love other dogs, and so on.

I do believe, dog parks should have, separate areas for both small and big dogs, so they can  run around and play safely. Some big dogs may see smaller dogs as prey and may kill them, if given the chance. Before anyone throws their hands up in horror, it happens! Same may happen in a boarding kennel/doggy day care environment, if small and big dogs are run together.

That is why it is so important to have someone physically present, watching the dogs behaviour, at all times.

Below are a few links to articles and information on Dog Parks and Off & On-leash Pros & Cons.

Dogs off leash but not under control    Dog Park Etiquette  Canine Parkour (urban agility)

Off Leash Dogs in Public Areas: No Manners, Common Sense or are some just confused!

Socializing your dog, the right way        At the Dog Park The Importance of Participating

Three Dogs Who Shouldn’t Be at the Dog Park or Daycare   10 best dog parks in the US

When is a Dog Park not a Dog Park? When its a Public Park or Reserve!

Robin Bennett – The Keys to a Positive & Safe Dog Park Experience

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2016 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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