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Winter dog walks in Melbourne and your dogs needs, including warmth

My pack dogs on our local bench MelbourneWinter is once again upon us, and dogs that are healthy enjoy this weather much more than the heat of summer.  So even though the days are shorter and it gets darker earlier, even though its wetter and colder ... THIS is truly the average dogs most enjoyable walking weather.

And if you don't like it, get yourself a dog walker !

The reason people also don't like walking in this weather, besides the above, is that dogs get dirtier, but please remember they are a dog and they are having fun, so just towel them off if you are braving the parks.

That said, much of Australia has been in drought for the last six months, so the dogs being dirty excuse doesn't even hold for much of Australia.If you are cold, rug up. If it rains, wear water proof gear.Dogs are pack animals, need their exercise and socialisation, so if you truly love your dog, get them walked EVERY day and off lead no matter how you manage it or pay for others to do it.

Why some dog trainers should not be using off lead dog parks

Social-dogs-in-an-off-lead-dog-parkNOT all dog trainers follow the draconian thoughts of these primeval trainers. But those high and mighty ones that show great disdain for off lead dog parks, like they are the source of all problems rather than the reality that they are 95% of the time the source of THE SOLUTION -  making a brilliant social dog.

I recently viewed a "dog Trainer" video from an "old school' guy who works mostly in the eastern suburbs with large powerful dogs. Dogs that are guard dogs, dogs breed for hunting or fighting. Dogs that the average person cant train and ones you rarely see in dog parks, for good reason. If these dogs are NOT social, they become the biggest danger around

As these big powerful dogs are often notoriously 'hard to train' by the average novice owner, this kind of company encourages people go get these dogs.  its a great business model, but not going to end happily. They also discourage that there should be no banned dog breeds, even if many countries in the world do not accept certain breeds because of propensity for extreme aggression resulting in other dog or human deaths. A documented fact they like to dismiss.

Why people fear dog parks, and why they are needed by your dog

lovely-melbourne-dog-parksI find it horrendous and disgusting that actual dog owners (apparently) are putting out there about dog parks in Melbourne.

If you don't believe it, please enjoy some quotes I found online from a well known (massively self promoting) dog "trainer" looking to stir up some controversy about dog parks.  Essentially their premise was to ask an innocuous question like :

Dog parks - love them, or  hate them. Tell us your experiences?

Of course this cult of personality has trained minions that jump at every word they commit to digital blogs, not unlike trained monkeys salivating for praise.  The premise seems simple, do you like dog parks, but the background is far more insidious.

Some unscrupulous dog trainers have been recently promoting owning the biggest, most powerful dog breeds, even those banned in other countries, under some kind of nationalism clause. The kind of dog that most people will never effectively control. They are promoting this as some kind of self empowerment (own a killer dog for protection) or be a libertarian (the needs of the one outweigh the safety of society).

The propaganda is actually there to ensure they have a steady stream of customers. Because if you have a huge powerful dog, untrained with the propensity for killing any animal (not a lot of decimation), then of course training seems like a good idea.

Why people fear dog parks, some real owner quotes !

LOVELY-DOGS-IN-MELBOURNE-DOG-PARKit wouuld be funny if it wasnt so sad, and causing so many dogs to lose the best thing in their life, contact with other social dogs. The foloowing is some group "think" on a recent dog trainer fb post about dog parks being bad.  These were some of their statements and what the reality is behind them::

Real life inappropriate 'pro training' dog people's thoughts

1          THEM: "Hate going to dog parks. I love using the areas near them to prove my obedience. "

US :  They set out with a negative mind set, and think a dog park is there for them to reinforce their dogs training its "obedience". They have little concept about socialisation (the ability of any dog to meet any other dog and react friendly and socially).

The obedience thing often is more about their than safety or dog balance.  After a dog is trained, it should be in dog parks. Parks should not be there to have unstable owners train their unbalanced dogs, forever, and earn a dog trainers star.

2 THEM:  "Weirdly, in the suburb I'm in, there are more reported dog attacks from walking dogs on the street, than there is at off lead dog parks - so its a bit of a bind."

US :  They think its weird that dogs are social in a dog park??  How weird is this human?  When you walk your dog down the street, its going to meet the largest concentration of dogs that have never visited an open space and been off lead, that it ever will.

Many of these sad imprisoned dogs are protecting territory, because when you are in prison, that is all you know to do.  How is the option of going to a dog park and encouraging your mostly social dog to be 100% social a "bind". 

3  THEM :  They say that they are a 'dog walker', "Not a fan of entering a dog park unless it's empty. I generally charge a surcharge if owners really want me to take a dog there. But whether I go or not is still all at my discretion."

US - Pity the poor owners and dog who think this "dog walker" is any good. 

How long does it take to make a dog be social?

dog-socialisation-melbourneA fully social dog is a miracle to see, for anyone who owns an anti-social dog. Firstly what do you think social is?

There are probably many tech definitions of social dogs but I guess they should all  lead to creating a dog that is able to mingle or initiate play or stay away from dogs depending on how the other dogs are acting.

Why is important to have a social dog?

Well initially dog training and dog socialisation go hand in hand. But after you have trained your dog the basics. Stay, come, sit etc ... then that work is often done. Yes with some breeds you may need refresher course on dog training, but they are not usually a life long task.

Dog socialisation is usually done by dogs and opportunity with only slight guidance by the owners. A dog trainer cannot force a dog to feel comfortable with itself or other dogs. BUT exposure in a good environment (ie plenty of other social 'fun') dogs is the main method that this is accomplished.

Ironically we usually come across packs of social dogs and packs of non social dogs. Non social dogs are interested in fight or flight. They are anxious because they were not exposed to dog play at a puppy stage, or exposed continually after that.

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