New year, new things to do – or write about – in my case.
This blog has always been ALMOST strictly about training the difficult breeds, and it still is, because there are still some who don’t believe that certain breeds are easier to train.
But life is much more than just training, and in order to keep my difficult, stubborn dogs healthy both in mind and body, I have started to focus a lot on things I can do to improve that.
The road to this started almost four years ago.
In 2016, we lost our dog Miranda to an infection that had gone unnoticed by me and our vet. There were several aspects that I was ignoring about how I was feeding and caring for my dogs, how I felt about what I was doing, and what kind of care I was getting at the vet for them. Many things came together to cause my dog to lose her life, and me not paying attention and not doing what I felt was right was one of them. It has happened to most of us dog people at some point I’m sure. That was the only real consolation for me when this happened, that I wasn’t and won’t be, the only one experiencing something like this.
Change In Perspective
I have decided now that I am no longer going to ignore writing about what I think is the best way to feed, exercise and train my dogs, just because I might be worried about what others may say or do say. I am, right now, working on several certifications and designations for this year to give me the knowledge and education I need to feel comfortable using, and writing about, natural dog rearing and wellness.
This includes feeding raw and real food (not always raw but at least fresh food), using herbs and food we produce for ourselves, including livestock, how we do that, and making sure my dogs are doing proper conditioning exercises for their fitness. I prefer to keep our home as free of as many toxic substances as possible and that includes preventing the dogs from being exposed to those things. We already do all this for ourselves, so writing about how I care for the dogs makes total sense to me and is just the next logical step in this blog.
This care may also include going to our conventional vet and using “modern” medications if needed. We definitely do all the important stuff here for our dogs with regards to preventing infectious diseases and if something comes up like an ear yeast infection, we are not opposed to using conventional medications to eliminate it if needed.
One of the problems when talking about dogs is that people get really upset and emotional around pet wellness issues. It is likely because of the emotional factor that this happens. Our pets are our family and are fairly innocent and that brings up strong emotions. We all want to take the best care of our pets as we can or know how, and our choices and opinions about what that is are sometimes criticized by other dog people, people without dogs, or even authority figures. This causes strong emotions.
So when I discuss something about my own dogs, it applies to my dogs only, unless I specifically say so. Since I am not a vet, I obviously do not diagnose dogs, but I am allowed as a human being to express my opinion as it relates to my OWN experience, without putting anyone else down (otherwise that would just be me being a jerk). If you happen to find what I’m talking about interesting and useful to you that’s fine. You are entitled to that. You are also entitled to disagree. Make use of information you want and leave what you don’t from this or any other blog or source. Do your own research, consult who you want to consult and make your own choices. At the very least, enjoy reading about other people’s and dog’s experiences.
Influencing and Being Influenced
All dogs are different, and require different care based on genetics, environment, lifestyle etc. Only you know what your dog is really like – even more so than your vet – and that means you have to do what is right for you and your dog, while taking in other people’s information that you might feel is worth it, including your vet’s advice. I always take advice with several grains of salt if the person giving it has 1. never been in my shoes and experienced the exact same thing I have and 2. seems like she/he is trying hard to convince you and stands to benefit from it, either by you acknowledging the person is right (ego) or by receiving money from another source.
When discussing dog care, I would suggest not to bother trying to change people’s mind by lecturing or being nasty, such as in comments. That ALWAYS backfires and usually gets the opposite reaction. There are better, easier and more effective ways to influence people to see different truths such as writing a useful and informative blog post or getting educated on a topic you are interested in. I am hoping to do this myself.
I will be writing more about our experiences with wellness, mostly about fitness and conditioning as well as the regular training the “difficult” dog articles, which are the kinds of dogs I train, have and know about. This blog seems to be leaning towards becoming somewhat of a doggie lifestyle blog – only about my dogs and our own life experiences (unless I specifically say so 😎)
I hope you will be interested enough to stay around with this small change in the blog to enjoy some new stories and experiences that we are working on.