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Questions and Answers

Question: Is it better for my female to have one litter of puppies?

Answer: If you are an ordinary family and not experienced my advice is to have
her spayed and leave it to the professionals. Your female may not be suitable for
this purpose. I have no doubt your vet will confirm this to you.

Question: Is it best to spay a bitch before her first heat or after her first heat?

Answer: A number of vets may suggest that a bitch should be spayed at about
5/6 months. Whilst writing this book the American Veterinary College is now
recommending as young as 8 weeks . However I have found that this can have
some behavioral effects in the second or third year. I recommend that it is best 
to allow a female to come on heat and allow her to develop, and after three
months to have her spayed. This is not a complicated operation. Most owners 
are unaware that a females behavior will start to change due to hormone 
influence about 8 weeks prior to the heat . There are a whole host of opinions
including preseason spaying and not to spay at all.

Question: Do you have any advice for children that are afraid of dogs, and how 
not to get bitten?

Answer: A very good friend of mine Terry Ryan (who is a lady ) who works out of
Washington University formed an organization called Prevent-a-Bite. Due to the
sad fact that one half of the children in the world will be bitten by a dog before the
age of fourteen years, most before the age of nine. The following guidelines have
been written by Terry which I support one hundred per cent.

  1. Never touch a dog when he is feeding.
  2. Don't tease your dog, his ears are not handkerchiefs to pull.
  3. If chased by a dog while cycling, get off, place the bike between you and
    the dog and look away.
  4. Avoid packs of dogs, if confronted, don't run away or scream.
  5. If meeting a new dog, pat him on the side of the face, under the dogs chin
    or on the chest. Never place your head above a dogs head. Crouch down
    and approach on his level.
  6. Ask the owner if it is okay to pat their dog. If it is, let the dog sniff your
    knuckles to show you are a friend.
  7. Don't pat dogs in cars, it is a space they consider worth defending.
  8. Don't try to separate dogs fighting, go for help.
  9. Never approach a dog when it is chained up.
  10. Never enter a house unless you have the owners permission.

Question: My puppy is getting quite naughty, he playbites my sons arms and
jumps up, and when we go for walks he pulls us all over the place. One of my
friends told me he is to young to start training, at what age can I take him to a
training school?

Answer: It has been proved by scientists that a dog of 3/4 months of age should
be looked upon like a 5 year old child. Training should start as soon as your vet
informs you that he is clear of his vaccinations. Most area's now run puppy social
classes designed for young dogs to explore other dogs and where you get some
good information and basic knowledge. I personally love these classes and so do
children, this is a fun hour for all the family.

However not many people are aware of how old their dogs are compared to
humans years. In the old days we would say 7 years for each 1 year, but that is
incorrect. Below is the official age of your dog:

Dog  Human     Dog   Human
3 months 5 years  8 years 48 years
6    "     10   "     10  "  56   "
8    "   13   "     13  " 64   "
10   "    14   " 14  " 72   "
12   "  15   "   16  " 80   "
18   " 20   " 18  " 88   "
2  years  24   "    20  "  96   "
4    "  32   "  21  " 100  "

Question: Why does my dog turn round and round when he is about to go to
sleep?

Answer: When a dog is going to have a sleep, his instinct will make him turn his
nose in the direction that he considers to be downwind. This way he can scent
and smell danger.

Question: Whenever I wash my dog the first thing he does is roll on the grass 
and gets himself all dirty again, why is he so naughty?

Answer: The dogs instinct tells him that you have washed away his identity, it 
is very normal for dogs to carry out this kind of behavior. What I do when I have
washed my dog, I put her in an outhouse to dry off, then let her out, she does 
not normally roll after that.

Question: Whenever I take my dog into the woods he always finds some
droppings of other animals and rolls in it, he come back stinking, please 
can you tell me why he does this?

Answer: I am afraid that this is an old instinct of the wolf that is still in your pet.
When wild dogs or wolves hunt they will roll in the dung of their prey. They are in
fact trying to get the smell of the prey on them. This way they can get closer to
kill the prey. I think we have all suffered from this instinct !

Question : My dog will not stop barking when the telephone rings and will not
stop when I am talking, do you have any idea's?

Answer: The telephone is acting as a trigger, the phone rings you get up and
start talking into the phone. The dog barks, you most probably shout out "be
quiet" so now your dog has your attention and has made you bark! The best 
way to deal with this is to get a friend to phone you at agreed times, every 5/10
minutes. When the phone rings, don't move, look at the dog, do nothing. After
about 3 or 4 rings the dog will not react again. Try it, it works.

Commitment, Firmness, but kindness.

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