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  • Writer's pictureAnne Brest

GETTING THE PLATZ

Sunday 3.00 to 4.00 702 am Cape Talk 567 fm


by ANNE LAPEDUS BREST


If you want to get the Platz then tune into to 702, Sunday afternoon 3.00 – 4.00 pm (Cape Talk 567 fm) to listen to Dr. Platzhund (the one and only) who has been talking on radio for the past 14 years (Barmitzvah plus one) talking about animal behaviour problems and veterinary issues on Radio 702 and only recently Cape Talk (part of 702) and the content of discussions with callers over the year is a clear indication that a mans understanding of his best friend is going to the dogs.


In homes where dogs are dominating the children and children dominating the parents the reversal hierarchy is giving pet dogs mixed signals resulting in a whole variety of anxiety disorders and it is interesting how the dog can reflect or be the mirror image of any home situation because most people today grow up in an unnatural deprived city environment behind 4 walls with no open spaces.


People, (adults and children) are rapidly losing the understanding of the true needs of animals this incorporates the emotional physical mental and social requirements of most pets. All that people can rely on is what they see on TV soapies or Walt Disney movies where anthropomorphism is rife. This concept is the attribution of human thoughts and emotions to animals, i.e. my dog looks guilty, my dog loves me, my cat is spiteful, my cat wants to have babies and the dog is jealous of the new baby. All these ideas sadly reflect the thoughts of pet owners who seriously misunderstand the body language of their pets. Not everyone qualifies to own a pet and this is based on the fact that not everyone can be assertive enough in character to make an animal feel comfortable within the home environment.


In essence people have to be the pack leader for dogs and they need to know how to interact with cats and how to control their parrots. This can only be done by seeking the orientation offered by animal behaviourists , canine obedience instructors, or veterinarians speciailzing in animal behaviour. In the USA in 1996 it was calculated that 8 millions dogs are euthanazed annually for behaviour problems alone which is, for example, biting people, barking excessively, fighting with other dogs, digging in the garden, destructive behaviour, escaping , fear of sounds, (thunder storms, fire crackers, bag pipes, sirens, etc)


In summary all the pet behaviour disorders are directly or indirectly the owners fault, every behaviour problem is a natural behaviour for dogs, except that it may be excessive or inappropriate for example if a dog messes inside the lounge it’s normal, but the fact that it is in the lounge is unacceptable, but the dog doesn’t know that. People select their pets on emotion , impulse, and neoteny (cute baby face) instead of seeking professional advice on the most suitable pet for their lifestyle and home environment. The placing of certain breeds and individuals in an unsuitable environment is only going to cause problems for the dog and the human animal bond is deleteriously affected by the dogs response to the claustraphobic, unstimulating, walled- in environment


Any pet can be a pleasure and socially acceptable if expert advice is sought on ideal selection of pet followed by positive socialisation, training, continuing education and people behaving as assertive , confident, consistent leaders of the animal social system instead of being submissive, over indulgent wimps that offer their animals no structure of function in life.


DOGS have to have rules and if they share your bed, they are sleeping in the most privileged place in the home which is the den and the height advantage can lead to the dogs becoming aggressive towards their owners and refusing to allow any other person to share that bed in the future.


A common problem encountered is dogs jumping up on people. This is a behaviour mostly subconsciously taught by people . the dog is jumping to make eye contact and the people greet the dog with such excitement that the dog is rewarded for its bad manners and the gratification reinforces the need to repeat that behaviour at every greeting. People must learn to greet dogs the way dogs greet dogs, and that is being cool and aloof.


It is the height of bad manners for dogs to be a nuisance towards visitors and such behaviour reflects upon the owners inability to discipline and control their dogs’ behaviour mostly because people are quite happy to have a one sided relationship with their dogs, which is give give, give, give without expecting anything in return.


If dogs were given the choice of who they would prefer as their owners, most dogs would be homeless. When puppies are being chosen from the litter and the puppy runs up to the prospective buyer people think that the puppy has chosen them, that they are the chosen people, where in fact, a puppy of six weeks can instinctively determine in a matter of seconds, that it can control that entire family for the rest of its life by having the kids and the adults under its paws.


If you treat your dog like a human , then your dog will treat you like a dog.


ANNE BREST


Contact details.

Cel: 082 452 7166


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