Jul 292011
Dog Dylan in Stevie Ray's Dog House

What is Dick’s Dog House?

Even in what might be perceived as the negativity of this corner of my world; my dog house will be presented with a positive spin and always with a potential way out. This is not a bad place, ever.  My dog house is a safe place.  A place to think and be relaxed.  It is a place to make a good choice.  A good choice on what behavior is best.  A place to be comfortable.  This is not a place of anger and fear. It is a place to find the right solution and to move forward.  It is a place to find understanding and it is a safe place, free from abuse.  So despite the fact that some behavior is occurring that I do not appreciate, it is not a place to abuse anyone that might find themselves in my dog house. Positive suggestions accompanying all comments would be preferred. Like I expect to be with my dogs, I also prefer to be with people.

People that might end up in Dick’s Dog House, might be people who use techniques like fear flooding to attempt to extinguish fear! Scott Taylor, here in Vancouver taught me to use fear flooding on Dylan and I am very glad I did not.  It was pretty obvious who she would blame and my relationship would have suffered.  Instead I have a loving, affectionate and enthusiastic dog, who now loves people and most dogs.  She can tolerate most situations and is much more confident in the world.  She is not in danger of reverting, she loves to express her love and excitement.  Her wiggling happy tail is what I see when she greets people.  This is not what you get with fear flooding.  Sorry Scott!  You are my first member.  This was a long time ago now though, so it is quite possible that he has changed.  Stay tuned for an update here in the near future.

How about making sure there are no issues, such as hypothyroid deficiency (including all forms) and using desensitization? Poor thyroid function is seriously misdiagnosed due to inadequate testing and results in strange and often aggressive behavior;  but along with good health, behavior modification using positive reinforcement while the dog is not fearful, or preferably joyful and happy, but aware of the presence of the fearful stimulus, desensitization, can produce a much better recovery and a long lasting solution with low future risk to backfire.

Another current reason might be a Veterinarian who deals with difficult problems by giving up!  I have seen a lot of this lately and often wonder how this would go over in MD’s.  Sorry, I just don’t know, so…  I think a sense of humility in  that when we don’t know something, we should seek help and be open to other possibilities.  I also wonder why they don’t know us dog guardians do not give up. They are part of our families and provide a great relationship for all family members.

People can change and I do believe the world needs change.  Our dog’s need change.  We need to find a way to do the best we can as guardians and when we come across people in life that are just not compatible with the spirit of our dogs, they will find themselves in Dick’s Dog House!



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