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Training FAQ

1. Dog's Health and Training

MS LINDA ...... wrote:

Dear Jim and Darr,

I need you to answer a question for me, My dog who is 13, will be 14 in August this year,has cataract in both eyes but still sees ok, has arthritis in his legs, but would still set chase after a cat in the park, his behavior is changing very often, he gets angry and aggressive towards me for no reason, he has nipped at me, bit my finger, even when trying to pet him. He is on aspirin, and a drug uraban a hormone to help with his behavior, do you think new training would help? Is he too old? Is it too much for his arthritis. Could he be in more pain than what I am seeing?. I love him so much. What's your opinion. I was told he was establishing dominance over me. Is this true, He was given to me when he was 2weeks old, he is now 13 yrs.

Thank you Linda.

    Hi Linda....remember everything I will write is based purely on your email and it will never be as good as actually seeing your dog and you together ok!

    No, I would find it hard at this later stage in life to believe that your dog suddenly decided to establish a dominance over you. These things are more if not always the common thing in the first 2 years of their life. I would 90+% point to his arthritis as well as any other potential medical problems. It is to bad but you should try to establish if he is in any sort of constant pain. You did not mention what breed or breed mixture your dog is. Is it possible that there is another problem like dysplasia? Dysplasia is where the joints don't meet properly especially in the rear hips. This causes pain and problems in walking. Each dog is different in it's percentage of pain relative to walking properly. This is common with the larger breeds or even some smaller breeds like shelties which are not so large. Is your dog over weight? If so could a change of diet to loose that extra weight help? You really should consult your vet or maybe two vets for two opinions. Whatever...think about bringing a new puppy into your life NOW...while your other guy is still around....now because as hard as it is you will have to let go eventually, and a puppy is without question the answer to your future love of dogs. I know...you may have said this is my last dog..no one will ever replace him. Don't wait. But be careful. No dog will ever replace this one. Every dog just like every person is different. Even within the same breed. Although you can expect some common traits familiar to a particular breed. The best way to explain this is if you went to China...or if a chinese person came to North America, We like they would have some familiarities that are familiar and in some way type casted to that air of familiar things about a nation that we or the chinese have come to expect from another nation. As it is with breeds of dogs. Within the umbrella of each breed is a common ground for temperment as well as physical appearance. But within each breed each dog is an individual with it's own unique personality...although not necessarily apparent from the outside world. So study very carefully...what your puppy should be and remember...great dogs are not necessarily purebreds ok!

    Lynda..I wish you the best in this sensitive time and feel free to reply to this email with more information about your situation.


    My Dog is going Blind

    Tom ......wrote:

    I have what may be a unique question...

    The dog I adopted in March is slowly losing his eyesight to cataracts (caused by hypoparathryoridism), and unfortunately corrective surgery is cost prohibitive ($2,000 U.S.).
    He has lost about 50% to 60% of his sight already. He is a male, 4 year old, Flat Coated Retriever.
    Do you have any suggestions as to what things I should be training him on before he loses his sight altogether? Thank you.

      Tom, Try to associate all commands with the touch or smell sensation. For instance when you want him to lay down say down and sofely touch his lower chest area. Think about it and you will be able to get inventive as there is no rule here just common sense. If you want to send me back your suggestions I will tell you if I agree or disagree. Above all be kind and show lots of love through touching, hugging etc. The dog will come to rely on this later when there is no sight.
      Good luck


      Email James Houssen: james@houssen.com

Email James Houssen: james@houssen.com