Blog the Change is all about supporting animals in need in whichever way is close to your heart.
So my thing is giving dogs the respect that they deserve. I feel like so many people dont care, or do the wrong thing out of lack of information. For instance: if you are not willing to do everything that is required for your dog to have a happy, healthy and comfortable life, then its simple. This may be harsh, but you shouldn't have a dog. And my expectations are very high.
Dogs give us unconditional love joy and attention, and the least we can do it make every reasonable effort to do the same for them. This means that they should have a clean and comfortable living area, attention exercise and some brain work EVERY DAY, and the necessary effort in providing an adequate diet and health care. I dont care if 'you didnt know that'. Its every dog owners responsibility to FIND OUT things you dont know about, like training and exercise requirements. Ignorance is no excuse.
One small part of this is training your domestic dogs and managing them so they behave appropriately when out in public. It is not appropriate to have dogs off lead in on-lead only areas. It is not appropriate to allow your dog to run up to unknown dogs or people out of your control. It is not fair on the other dogs or people if they are not comfortable with this behaviour. Also it is not safe for your dog to be off lead unless they are under complete control.
My other big thing is the 'dog people' side of dog welfare.
There are many competitors / trainers / breeders around the world and in New Zealand that are cruel and ignorant in their methodologies and practice. I'm sorry if this offends, but this is my view!
NO training should include any aspect of physical correction, wether this be a check chain of flick on the ear, or squirt of water in the face. Again ignorance is no defense. If its illegal in NZ to do this to a child, why do you think its ok to do it to a dog that cannot understand your reasoning behind your actions? Positive dog training methodologies are easy, produce happy working dogs that LOVE their work, why would you want your dog to work for you because its scared of you? I sure don't want this. Again, ignorance is no defense! Just because its the way your have always done things, dosent mean that its ok or right.
Dog breeding should NOT be done for money, for fun, or because you want your kids to see a puppy being born. Dogs should only go to homes where every need is going to be meet. Breeding should only be done from healthy, tested (DNA / x-rays etc.) dogs of perfect temperament. Looks (like a rare coat colour) or designer dogs should not be breed from. There are hundreds of dogs being put down ever week in shelters, there is not need to breed for the sake of it, or to make money selling to pet homes, or overseas to unknown people and homes.
So what I am going to (continue to) do is do my best to help any person that would like to learn about positive training techniques through my local dog training club, and continue to educate the public through my job ( secondary school teacher) and as a domestic obedience instructor at my dog training club.