There is an old insult that states that so-and-so is so unpopular that ‘he couldn’t get elected dog catcher’. The insult is especially nasty because dog catchers are rarely the most popular people in a community and the job itself is generally undesirable.
I work with a number of rescue groups that have a continuing problem. They have dogs that bite people. Sometimes the biting is only a matter of territoriality. The dog goes ballistic when guests come to the house. Sometimes it’s resource guarding. If it is front-door aggression the easy solution is to simply confine the dog when guests arrive.
Of all the disconnects between dog owners and their dogs, the biggest, most glaring, completely illogical, widely held and damaging myth is that dogs can be spiteful. Nope. Nada. Nicht. Ain’t happening. To understand my adamant belief that doggie spite doesn’t happen, conduct this simple experiment based on actual events.
Problem Solving Made Simple
Professional groomers sometimes find themselves in a similar quandary as veterinarians. You are not experts in behavior, but some of your customers will wind up re-homing their dogs if they are unable to solve behavioral challenges. This has the potential to negatively impact your business.
Somewhere, deep within the bowels of my computer is a nifty little pinball game. It is a tribute to the software designers, who have created a marvelous simulation of the real thing. Two of the keys on the keyboard activate the flippers, and two more act to “nudge” the table.
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.
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.
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:
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.