Katrina Dogs, Feuding Pups, and Toys, Towels and Trampoline-Hungry Dog
Season 2 | Episode 5 | Isis & Tina, Nugget, and Katrina Dogs
Cesar embarks on a special mission to help the canine victims of Hurricane Katrina. He also encounters a couple who fell in love —until their dogs met, and a big dog's dangerous appetite for toys, towels and trampolines.
The Importance of Walking Your Dog … Every Day
Time and time again, I’ll rush to a new client’s home in an “emergency” situation. Their dog is anxious or obsessive or fearful or aggressive – take your pick. After working with the dog, I give the owners my recommendation, and they’ll look at me like I’m crazy and say, “You mean I’m paying $350 to have you tell me to walk my dog more?”
Okay, let me explain. You see, in nature, dogs spend much of their time walking as a pack, trying to find food and water. Their very survival is based on walking! Birds fly, fish swim, dogs walk. Walking allows them to have a sense of direction, a sense of accomplishment, a sense of pack comfort. The pack is all about structure and organization.
Domestic dogs live behind walls and no matter how luxurious those walls are, it’s still totally unnatural to a dog. So the very best thing you can do for your dog to ensure a close, bonded relationship, a sense of structure and organization, and ultimately a balanced pet is to master the walk and do it often!
Chow Time! Create Balance Before Feeding Your Dog
You know the saying “There’s no such thing as a free lunch?” Well, think about that the next time you are getting ready to feed your dog. To put it another way, your dog has a natural instinct to work for food. All animals work for food and water. All of them. And we need to learn that we are feeding the animal—not the name, not the breed, not the species—the animal. This is how they stay in tune to nature because they use nature as a source of survival. So when somebody properly challenges a dog by creating hunger and thirst before feeding, this allows the dog to be in-tune with itself.
At the Dog Psychology Center, I always challenge my dogs physically and psychologically before the feeding ritual. I fulfill the physical part by exhausting them from a walk, or rollerblading. Then the psychological challenge: I make them wait. The dog that is the most calm-submissive of the pack gets to eat first. Can you imagine what kind of a motivator that is for the other dogs to be calm-submissive? There is no barking or rushing or jumping allowed; and no one is permitted to growl at anyone else. Mealtime is then an incredibly satisfying experience for them, because they’ve earned it – and they know it!
What are Your Feelings about Rescue Organizations?
About half of the dogs in my pack at the Dog Psychology Center come from rescue organizations and some of their histories are horrific. I had one dog that was set on fire by its owners, pit bulls that have been maimed from illegal dog fights, dogs that have been beaten, choked, tied up, and almost drowned. But dogs are resilient and those in my pack are once again balanced and fulfilled in the way that nature intended.
I like to say that the dogs of my private clients are my business, but the dogs of shelters and rescue organizations are my karma. People who rescue animals are an amazing group of human beings. Without them, thousands of potential family pets are put to sleep. Some may have extreme beliefs about animal rights, and you may or may not agree with them, but right or wrong, animal rescue organizations and their mostly-volunteer members are superheroes to me. I thank them for all the wonderful dogs they have brought into my life.