Misinformation About Dog Behavior is Rampant – and Sad, Expert Says

TV dog trainer Victoria Stilwell is registering an official complaint: “Dogs aren’t allowed to be dogs anymore,” she says. “It’s great they’re living in our homes, but they have less freedom.”

victoria-stilwell-smileStilwell, best known from the Animal Planet show “It’s Me or the Dog,” explains that all dogs were all bred to do something, but today most are unemployed with no outlet to express natural behaviors.

“Dogs share our bedrooms. We love them. But how often are we there for them? We’re so busy now,” she says.

All these factors combined explain why today’s dogs are suffering from more behavior problems, according to Stilwell…

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About a Mini Dachshund

From an article by Steve Dale of the Chicago Tribune:

“While reporting from the Winn Feline Foundation Board and grant review meetings Feb.10-11, in Houston, TX (Winn is a non-profit that funds cat health studies), and the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Feb. 13-14 in New York City, I asked four pet experts answer some of your questions:…”

Q: This spring, my son and his family (including children ages 4, 6 and six months and their dog) will be moving in with me and my two male dogs. One of my dogs, a miniature Dachshund, is not happy with their dog, and bit his leg, though there was no blood. I’m also worried about the Dachshund’s jumping and nipping at the grandchildren. We need some ideas before this living arrangement becomes permanent. Can you help? — R.H., Cyberspace

A: “Oh, my,” begins dog trainer Victoria Stilwell, host of “It’s Me or the Dog” on Animal Planet. “Let’s try to set up the dogs for success. That may be difficult if the dogs, including the Dachshund, are not particularly social toward other dogs. Give them lots of opportunities to get to know one another outside the home where there’s more space, there are more distractions, and they’re having fun. There are also no potential territoriality issues. My hope is that all the dogs are also spayed or neutered.”

Stilwell adds, “I worry about (the dog who is) jumping and scaring the child. Is this dog really being aggressive, or just doesn’t have good manners? If the child becomes scared, which I’d expect, the behavior may worsen. And what about when the baby begins to crawl?”…

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