Gary Wilkes, Author at Groomer to Groomer - Page 3 of 4

Gary Wilkes

Above and Beyond the Call of Grooming

Of all the people in a dog’s life, a groomer sees them more than anyone outside of family. Additionally, groomers have dog-savvy that many vets, vet techs, trainers, and rescue people don’t. That means, with your knowledge, you are the perfect person to make sure a dog lives a long, healthy, happy life.

“He’s never done that before…”

The Magic Words of Dog Ownership
We all know dogs. We know what they do. We humans have been around them for about 15,000 years. You could sit down and list most of their known behaviors off the top of your head.

Finding Effective Behavior Solutions

In the world of training there are many claims of mastery and efficacy. Few are ever proven. Real masters let their work speak for itself. Self-promoting “masters” rarely show anything outside of video tape and photos—and boy, do they look good in photos.

Weeing Weanies and What to do About Them

Many years ago I lived with an adorable Mini-Dachshund named Rosey. Every time I attempted to greet her, she urinated. I ignored her, she urinated. I tossed treats on the ground to distract her. She urinated. I had my roommate put Rosey in a crate for about 10 minutes so she couldn’t greet me as I entered the house. She urinated.

Fast Cheap Good

It might be an unrealistic expectation, but what do you do when your clients expect your work to be fast, cheap, and good?
My brother has a sign in his office. It reads: “You can have it fast, cheap or good—select any two.” Despite the obvious wisdom of this cliché, some pet owners demand all three:

Chasing Praise

If you look in veterinary literature, you will find reports of Bull Terriers who destructively bite their own tails. These dogs are so persistent that they often do enough damage to require removal of the tail. The odd thing about this disorder is that removing the tail may not stop the behavior. Some dogs continue to bite at the place where a tail should be.

Why Dogs Lose Their Homes

This month’s column isn’t exactly about behavior. It’s about the broader effects of behavior and why I became a trainer and behaviorist. It all started about 35 years ago. I was out of college with no real desire to pursue my chosen profession: architecture.

What’s in a Name?

Bumper was an Australian Shepherd mix who belonged to my roommate, Dan, when I was a young shelter manager. Dan liked to let Bumper run loose through the neighborhood each evening at dinner time. After dinner, Dan would want Bumper to come home. That’s when the trouble started.

Naughty Vs. Normal

My first cattle dog was named Megan. When I met her, she was four months old and on “death row” at my shelter. She was about to be killed because of the heinous offense of chasing livestock—a task she was genetically designed for. Go figure.

Barking Bad

Barking is a problem for just about everyone other than New Zealand shepherds. They use “Huntaway” dogs to drive sheep with incessant barking. I don’t blame the sheep. For most people, incessant barking is a problem. People can be driven from their apartments or condos because their dogs bark incessantly. Shelters have trouble featuring adoptable animals because they cannot hear amid barking dogs in a kennel.

Chew Toys

I have a cattle dog that belongs to a common subspecies of domestic dog—canis manducatione—the chewing dog. He does have a small underbite, which makes me think part of his problem is improper occlusion. I will be fixing that problem in the near future, but for the moment (and for the last 10 months) I have been dealing with a super chewer. That brings up the topic of chew toys.

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