Recognizing Your Dog’s Limits

Not All Dogs want to Wear Wings and Shades at Mardis Gras!

I hate to admit it, but all dogs have limitations.  I would like to tell you that ALL dogs can do ALL things, but it’s just not true!!   Just like I will never be a professional dancer (I trip over my own feet sometimes…  often… ) some dogs just don’t have the genetics to do what we want them to.

Limitations come in all shapes and sizes, first there are the limitations that specific breeds bring.

All breeds of dog have been purposely bred for a purpose and most of them fit within a certain category.  The AKC has numerous categories that I usually use:   Herding, Working, Toy, Non- sporting, Hound, Terrier, and Sporting breeds.  Wikipedia breaks them down even further.

Certain breeds are bred for specific jobs: i.e. herding dogs have been bred to help farmers and ranchers herd their stock.  Their instincts for controlled chasing and herding have been modified and tailored to help farmers and ranchers.  Generalization due to breed is usually fairly acceptable and reliable; it would be difficult if not impossible to convince a Bassett Hound or a Chihuahua to safely herd a group of stock. It’s just not a reasonable expectation.

When looking for a dog it is superlative to do some research before you add a new dog as a member of your family!  Breed generalizations and their instincts will assist you in picking “your” perfect dog!

Just like there are breed specific limitations, sometimes there are individual limitations.  Not all Border Collies are capable of herding, not all Greyhounds want to race, and not all Sporting Dogs are capable of hunting.  I once worked with a Labrador Retriever that loved and performed fantastic protection work, but certainly not all Labs have a desire to do bite-work.

Likewise I have seen herding dogs that can hunt, and terriers that herd.  Some individual dogs show an incredible ability to break all the rules and stereotypes.  However one dog’s abilities should not promote the breed toward a certain task.  Similarly one or a few dog’s disabilities should not condemn them or their breed.

I believe that each dog should first be assessed taking into account their breed, the breed standards (what task that breed has been bred for hundreds of years to execute) but should also be treated as an individual for the specific behaviors that he shows.

So many times, as a dog trainer, I counsel with owners who got a puppy for a specific purpose that he is unable to fulfill.  This unfulfillment  leads to feelings of defeat and sometimes anger and sometimes the relinquishment of the dog to a shelter or another home.

Most of us don’t need true “working dogs” and thankfully those that do, know how to find them and select them.   And, if a person truly needs a working dog I advocate finding another home for the one they are unhappy with to ensure that both the person and the dog’s needs are met.

But, in most cases I think we need to celebrate our dog’s individuality and find their strengths!

I currently have 3 dogs at my house, each selected for different jobs or aspirations I had prior to getting them as puppies but so far none has met their purpose.

I have always told myself that if the pup did not reach its potential for what I was looking for I would send it back and find another, but I guess I am a sucker or I have a big heart, whichever you like, because the moment I lay eyes on my new pup I can’t imagine getting rid of it.  Some tell me this is a weakness, but I am not so sure.

I knew within moments of meeting my oldest and youngest dog that their personality was not correct for the job, but I was in love!  If I had sent back my 11 and a half year old Malinois, I would likely have lost the greatest furry love of my life!  No matter what I did I couldn’t change his personality and some of his feelings about life (and I certainly tried), but I did learn to love him for who he is and not who I wanted him to be.

I suppose it is like having children; you may want them to grow up and be doctors but they might have different ideas on what they want to be!

Sociability with My Family is All that Really Matters to Me!

I work in a world full of dogs and peers and peers who buy dogs to compete, show and breed, and although I sometimes envy their ability to know what they want and not concede to have anything less, ultimately I feel sorry for anyone who is too superficial to get to know love and respect the animal they have and find other strengths and activities to share together.

Now, don’t misunderstand me I know that not all dogs are right for all families or situations and those dogs should be given happiness in a good and safe environment.  I also know that some people’s business revolves around having the right dogs, and their dogs are not pets, and I can respect that.

It is my weakness, or my heart that will undoubtedly keep me from the annals of national dog training competitions, but on the flipside I get to know and experience my furry family members for who they are!   It also stretches me to find out what THEY desire to do.  I can push them within their limitations through positive reinforcement, socialization and training,  but I cannot change who they are and what their genetics tell them to do.

My oldest dog “Nix” had no desire to be the Service Dog  I had wanted him to be; he has always been leery of people  and years of socialization, obedience and prayers could not change him into the social dog I had dreamed of.  However, he had a marvelous aptitude for socializing and temperament testing dogs for play groups, and playing with dogs with disabilities, and rehabilitating dogs with dog aggression.  He also is a phenomenal herder and has raised a number of abandoned animals from kittens to squirrels to raccoons.  I love him now for who he is and not who I desperately wanted him to be.

My other two are too young to know for sure what is in their future.  One has terrible allergies that inhibit her from Service Dog work and also hamper her ability to do strong, deep grip work.  Right now we are considering some obedience and/or agility titles if we can learn to keep her allergies at bay.  But we also allow her to work on her grip, even though she will probably never attain a title.

And, my youngest who was purchased to do competition PSA work is a bit spooky and skittish and has been from the day we took him home.  He undoubtedly will not develop into the strong nerved dog we had hoped for; although he is still maturing and there is a small chance he will totally mature out of this phase!  We will continue to allow him to do the work he enjoys and try and discover what his natural talents are.

I will not love either of them less if they never bring home blue ribbons and titles!

Dogs are like people, we don’t all flourish at the same tasks, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t good at other things!

Get to know your dog, you can stretch and extend his limitations through socialization and training but allow him or her to be an individual.  Be kind and be caring and encourage the development of confidence in your dog during his journey and you just may discover some new challenges and pleasure together along the way!

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Comments

  1. Sheila Bruce says:

    Hi Chet.

    I feel the same way, but always thought that some people love puppies, but don’t really care for dogs, so after they get to about 6 months old, they get rid of them. I could never get rid of my dogs, even if they aren’t all that I expect them to be. I have six!

    Be healthy and happy.

    Sheila

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  2. Janice(Jan) Gray says:

    I really enjoyed your blog. I have a cocker spaniel who no matter how well she has been treated barks at otoher people and animals, even to the extent of barking at animals on the TV. I have been told that she does not act this way when I’m not around. She is quite posssessive of me and when our cat died and she seemed to be moping around the house I made the mistake of thinking she needed some companionship. I got a puppy who seemed very laid back,but after bringing him home, has become quite different. He is relentless in trying to make her play with him. Now I only have peace when 1 of them is at the groomers. I have thought about taking the pup to daycare a couple of day s week for soscialization. He is quite friendly and gets along with everyone he meets and I don’t want hime to become a miniature of my older nonsocial dog. Any suggestions?

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    Gigi Reply:

    I have been reeding about your worries, you said your cat died, but you got her a Puppy, she is beeing threatened by this one. She was not threatened by the cat. Since your Doggy is very possessive. It will take a lot of time and patient, you need to give your Dog a lot of attention, and fit the Puppy in, so she will accept her and not beeing threatened. You should conntact an Animal Behavior Center, check the internet or you can try the first step and take both to a Dog Trainer, who can help also, so that the dog is going to accept the puppy.
    Beccause I do not think that taking her to a daycare will solve this problem, the puppy will smell from other dogs, and your dog will be threatened even more, because of her wanting attention, this barking at everything, is telling you, give me more attention. Try everything you can, not just putting them to the groomers or daycare, this will not solve the problem.

    Hope, I could help you.

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  3. Dorth says:

    I enjoyed this article very much. I agree that all dogs do not always do what they are bread for. I have 3 dogs. All have different personalities and levels of intellegence. We love them all from the 16 yr old Spaniel who is blind, deaf, but still happy to the one year old Shepard, full of energy. Last is the middle dog. He is middle in age (2yrs) and middle in activity. I agree that dogs will only do so much. I had one Old English Sheepdog that was reluctant to do any anything and another OES that was a ‘ham’. He would do anything for attention.
    All dogs are a joy if we take the time to understand them.

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  4. Witz says:

    One of the great mistakes that dog owners make is selecting a specific breed for the wrong reasons. I have system of rotating a rescue dog with a purebred. I have always had a German Shepherd Dog in my life as I am active in Schutzhund training and those dogs have been males. Our other dog(s) are rescues and females. I have had a few of the GSD’s not be the “dog” I wished for but have accepted them for who they are. Our rescue’s are family pets and each one has given back in more ways then I can count. My current 8 month old GSD comes from great working lines and is turning out to be what I wanted, but until he is mature I won’t know what I have. Given the vast number of dogs that are in need of rescue, it would seem to me that making the better match with a profiled rescue, would be preferable for the vast majority who want a dog.

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  5. Doreen Braverman says:

    I have a fox terrier and she exhibits most of the traits expected of terriers: she hates squirrels, is a good watchdog and is very loving most of the time.
    Her bad habits are: she barks too long and loud at the postman and will chew the mail. She chases her tail and barks! I bought her a collar that squirts if she barks but it really stresses her for hours.

    She harrasses our old cat – actually grabs onto his cheeks and pulls him.

    Any suggestions how I train good manners into her?

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    BERYLL WITHERS Reply:

    It is a pleasure to hear from another fox terrier owner, and to hear that you are having challenges with her. My dog Violet is 11 months old and has changed quite a lot in the past month or so,much more bossy and trying to re assert her position in the human pack. I wonder how old your dog is. i was told today by a dog behaviourist that most dogs at her age test authority and push the envelope when they can. So i am not as concerned as I was as she has started to disobey basic commands associated with playtime.I think it is important to spend as much time as possible with terriers in particular as they are very bright dogs and easily bored. Regarding your dogs relationship with your cat, Violet was reared in a cat environment so she thinks they are there to be played with rather than attacked. So far she has not got close enough to find out what could happen. I would be very wary of leaving your cat alone without an escape route. My grandfather had two WHFT’s and left them alone one day with his cat (who they knew well) When he came back the cat was dead because he had closed the sitting room door. A single dog may be different but who can say. on barking:I have had some success by distracting Violet when she is barking with something nice, i.e. offering her a treat and she stops right away. That seems to work. Good luck.

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    Patti P Reply:

    Fox terriers are notorious–the poster dogs for bad manners. We had one who had been through 3 homes before we took him. Exercise (and lots of it!), along with obedience training, helped the most. They are exceptionally energetic and assertive and can be agressive with other animals of any kind. Be patient and give her lots of exercise.

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    dusty Reply:

    You need to find a private trainer who can teach you some tools to help your pet out. She sounds like she needs some extra exercise maybe and some positive training. You need to check out your own mood around her also to make sure you are staying calm and get her to become a more relaxed pal. If you can get the postman acquainted with her, it would help too, but that should be done slowly and with care. A trainer on site would be best.

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  6. Laura says:

    Hi Chet,
    My 4 month old puppy Miss Money Penne Lane is sweet and cuddly (Lhaso Apso) until I am out of her guarding me range! Only 2 missed the potty call and that
    was my fault because I hear the tone and we are out the door.
    We have just started the trust issues of her in the house (kitchen) and myself
    to the market, or a walk around the block, which Penne then gets to go on about
    30 minutes after I am home…

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  7. Beth Moore says:

    What a wonderful attitude you have ….. isn’t it regretable that more people aren’t able to love their dog for what he/she really is, instead of trying to mold it into their conception of what a dog should be. My line of four German Shepherds have successively taught me to “love me as I am and I will love you as you are.” And one can ask for no greater gift than that.

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  8. Ralph Maddox says:

    Thank you for writing about recognizing dogs limits. We have 2 cross-bred Maltese/Shih Tsu. They each are the most social dogs we ever had. One can wear me out fetching a ball but the other one is quickly bored and stops bringing the ball back after just a few throws. I love each of them and appreciate their differences.

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  9. Carol says:

    Hi, I am over here in the uk, London. I recently rescued a Jack Russell, Lily. At 8 months old when I first got her (3 months ago)she was a lovely little thing that did need some training though so we enrolled in a class. She has benefitted from the classes. It also became obvious that she had had training to some extent before, so it was interesting to try and found out what command got a response and what didnt. The first month passed ok, the second month she became a real terror. I’d take her for long walks (in fact at first it seems I may have overdone it a bit) her energy level went thru the ceiling, she into everything, chewing everything she could, but not much damage as I always caught her stealing things, and toilet trained forget it! She went anywere, everywhere, never a hint she needed to.
    We are in our third month now and the training is paying off not least in that I have been looking at your newsletters etc., and one of the main benefits of going to a class is that you learn how to learn and so to teach your dog. I have books out of the library and all sorts!! Too much probably. I have been trying out your ‘off limits’ and she is picking it up much quicker than I whought she would. I am also getting her to ‘give’ a ball into my hand, and ‘stand’ instead of jumping up at people. All works in progress but as fetching and dropping a ball is her favourite, the ‘give’ lessons are coming on the fastest. I would LOVE to know who to get her to tell me when she needs to go out. She barks, I open the door, she runs manic, I open the door. The only way I am able to stop her from peeing and pooping all over the place is just to take her out roughly every hour whether she needs to or not. Occasionally she comes back in then poos!! (yes i probably brought her back in too soon!) I’d love to know how to get her to tell me when she needs to go and the thought of getting her to ring a bell sounds absolutely amazing!

    Still as your article is about loving the dog you have, we have become best of mates, very affectionate towards each other. My wish to ring her neck has passed!! (2nd month) and she is much more relaxed now and can actually lie down and have a sleep in the evenings. I have even thought of rescuing a companion for her – I think I may be going mad! I have seen the Saluki who is looking for a home 3-5 years old, they dont know for sure how old he is. It would be nice, at least in theory but I’m not at all sure about in reality – a Saluki and a Jack russell – they’d take me hunting and we may just disappear in to the wide blue yonder, never to be seen again! he he he. – or Lily could be very jealous – It’s ok I’m just a dotty pensioner! but an active energetic one! I suppose it is a silly idea!!??

    Some comment this!

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  10. Jasmine Holmwood says:

    We have rescued a 2 yr old cocker spaniel he is adorable in every way untill he see a cat before we do. Then he is away . He totally ignores any commands and is sometimes away for 2/3 hours at a time causing us much anxiety. When out walking he comes back ,walks to heel and waits on command. Sadly he is aggressive with other dogs so we have to avoid encounters with other dogs in town. Any advice would be welcome.

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  11. Margaret Lidz says:

    My Husband and I have always adopted rescue dogs. Even though they each had different personalilties we loved them and mourned thier deaths for as long as it took for us to be comfortable welcoming a new dog into out home. We have recently adopted a five year old lab rescue dog who had been badly neglected, if not abused. We have no idea what his life had been like before lab rescue took in his badly broken and sick body and saved his life. But in two short months he is the love of our lives. We live on a river and he doesn’t feel comfortable near the water and he has no interest in retrieving anything! But, he is a pure bred Labrador Retriever. And, we’re deteremined to be patient and wait for him to find himself. He is, however, a 74 lb. lap dog who can’t get close enough ever to either of usl That’s all we need to make our day. He’s also anxious to please and very smart.

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  12. Jules says:

    I have a dog just like that. I got her at 6 months old hoping I could train her to have good house manners and protect myself and my two kids….she’s great at protecting and I trust her with my life but she also loves to rip everything apart, freak out when she sees or hears other dogs, steal food off tables and counters, pee or poo on carpets, etc. I also wouldn’t trade her for the world, she’s my baby. She’s one a half now so hoping she will eventually learn some better house manners lol. Does anyone know how I can stop her from going to the bathroom on carpets? I’ve tried everything that I could think of…

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    Casey Reply:

    Learn to crate train her, ASAP! It’s the best way to stop accidents in the home!
    kc

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    cj Reply:

    CRATE TRAINING! And stick with it! Your dog cannot make messes if she is in a crate. If she is a high energy dog, then you will need to exercise her. Walk her, let her run around in a fenced area. A tired dog is a good dog……

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    Noel Petter Reply:

    I had the same problem with my cocker spaniels and later with my Cavalier King Charles puppies. the carpet and the padding both retain the smell for years.
    Ultimately I removed the carpet and padding and had the hardwood floor re-sanded and new Varnish. I also tried 8 mill plastic sheeting which seemed to also retain the smell and ultimately removed the plastic sheeting and in that room I also went to a refinished hardwood floor. Now my puppies go outside and with the help of a clicker I taught them the proper place to eliminate and it was well worth it even tho the wood had some stains that would not sand out.
    Good luck, Noel

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    jules Reply:

    I use to have her crate trained but now I have her staying on the main floor when I’m out. There’s no carpets on this floor so no accidents. It only happens if I forget to put the gate up to block her from going upstairs. I know its not a huge problem because I prevent it I was just hoping to find a good way to stop the habit so I can let her upstairs too but I guess its ok to just keep it this way. I just have one more problem…she has an issue with trusting other dogs. She use to love other dogs until a dog bit my 5 year old and she attacked the other dog to save my son. Now I can’t even get her near any other dogs without her wanting to rip them apart…I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried staying calm and treating her when she acts nicely when getting a little close to other dogs and saying “no” when she growls and snarls at dogs. Nothing is working and I’ve tried interacting her with other nice dogs for months now…anyone have any tips on how to do help fix this as easily as possible? I might need my boyfriend to help me with this thought because I’m small and my dog is 80lbs and pure muscle lol.

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  13. d wright downs says:

    PR Advice from Army PAO Superviser/photohrapher Do not take pictures of dogs who need grooming . My Service dog in training is highdrive/prey GSD. I have always had layed back GSDs. What a difference. This guy could work for special forces or Special Ops. All pups from his Sire are working SAR, Cadavar, Police, in the Slovac Border patrol, etc. My guy is the only one who is a medical service dog.

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  14. Bob James says:

    m\My two border collie / Australian Kelpie cross ‘pups’ [two and a half years] were more-or-less rescue dogs, obtained from people who couldn’t afford to keep them through vaccinations etc, so they were 4 and 6 weeks old when separated from siblings and mother. Consequently, they are anxious and not good with dogs.

    One herds – got away once and rounded up three large boxers without biting [though it sure embarrassed me!] and bosses the other by grabbing his lead, and the other lives for the moment’s distraction of dog/bird/mailman/kangaroo etc.

    They are beautiful companions to each other and my family and to me, even if my dreams of good social dogs have gone unfulfilled.

    Thanks for your wonderful article – can’t you dilute it to a slogan and send it to every dog owner on the planet?

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  15. Fstalin says:

    How true, I have a 2 years old German Sheppard that behaves like a beagle likes to play and watch people that passes through, hates other dogs, especially those that come near me, I have sent him to training school to see if he can get along with others of the kind but zero results, he is very smart obeys just about all the commands that I give him but socializing with other dogs looks like is not in his agenda.
    So I have no choice but to play in the park and walk with him conserving a good distance from other dogs but his mine and I love him much.

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  16. Gabrielle says:

    First if you do not want your terrier to bark then do NOT let her ! each time she barks tell her : No in a low case voice and tap her gently on the nose. Do that repitedly, until she understands.Now for the cat you can not expect your cat and dog to be best friends but you can stop your dog from bothering it by either seperating them or accually hold the dog and make it learn that the cat is a friend so put the dog on a lead and walk it around the cat and hold him that way he gets to sniff him/her and to get the know each other. Hope it helps 🙂

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  17. Adie says:

    I agree. What a fabulous article. We have a Lab and a rescue Lab/Dane. Both are extremely loyal, respond well to training and get on well after their owners got better at understanding them:) It was this understanding of their different natures. That helped us ensure they could live together happily instead of us trying to make them into the same dog. Thanks

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  18. H. Cahill says:

    Are AKC labs good house dogs, (small children)

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  19. Pat Kooyenga says:

    I have a boxer that will turn two in March. She definitely is “her own dog.” She is a sweetheart when she’s calm, but when someone comes over she is a ” real hyper nut.” Athough I know I can’t change her temperment I’d like to hypnotize her and form her into the kind of dog I want. She’s a “true boxer.” My daughter has her sister from the same litter, who is so well behaved, and almost never jumps on people. They have basically been trained the same way. My daughter has a family, and in my house for most of the time, there’s just me and the dog.I suppose there’s the difference. I can’t wait for her to turn two,( or maybe I’ll have to wait until she’s three?) and she will calm down and be the most lovable dog all the time that she can be now, some of the time. Wish me luck!!

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  20. Bill Dennis says:

    Isaw a little Pappillion a friend had purchased as a puppy, and although I was older and retired I just fell for the sweet thing. I found out there was a “rescue Pappillions” on line which in checking has a 3 year old femail that was being retired from breeding and was available. I contacted the lady that ran the farm and made arrangements to adopt her. She was four and was over the spading operation. We got along famously and now after 16 years she is still with me but life is not always kind to the elderly. I love her and hope to meet again on the Rainbow Bridge when we both go. The companionship and love is the best.

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  21. Sarah says:

    My dog is a little over a year and she sometimes still have problems where she use the bathroom in the house. How can I train her so she can stop?

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  22. SCR says:

    Hi Minette
    I agree with you in so many ways and I applaud Witz who, also in Schutzhund, keeps his dogs and works them even if they aren’t perfect or what he expected. Unfortunately that isn’t the norm. I see all to often people take a young dog who have yet to mature, and because they are not at the ‘stage’ they think they should be at a specific age, they sell them to the highest bidder without giving them a chance. These dogs get bounced from one home to the next collecting more and more ‘baggage’ on the way. I say this as I have been training and competing in Schutzhund for over 20 years and it drives me crazy that so many of these “trainers” can’t train anything that doesn’t fit in their mold and expect all their dogs to be at a certain level by a certain age without taking their individuality into consideration. If their puppy doesn’t work with their methods, off they go and they purchase another one. As a breeder and trainer it is heart wrenching to watch these people throw the dogs from one house to another because they won’t conform and learn what their dog needs. I watch these dogs and wish that I had more time and a larger place as I know in most cases that all it would take is a different training method and they would be doing it.

    On another note, I’m sure you have tried pretty much everything for your dogs allergies but I may know of something that can help. I have been using NuVet for a few years now for not only my dogs but on clients and friends dogs and have found it to be an AMAZING all natural solution for everything from Allergies to Heart Disease and Cancer, even Chronic infections are cleared up and never come back! And its guaranteed to work – if you don’t see a difference in 60-90 days you will receive a full refund! And it won’t break the bank either. If you are interested in learning more or trying it, you can either go to NuVet.com, or call 1-800-474-7044 and when they ask you for your number or code it would be 79048. (FYI-It’s not sold in retail stores)I would send you to my site or give you my info but I’m in Canada so it would be more beneficial for you to just go to the source in the U.S. But if you would like to, by all means contact me personally and I would be happy to tell you more about it.

    All the best in your training…

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  23. Jeannette says:

    I have a Chihuahua puppy, which is why I’m reading this blog. I noticed comments about allergy… I’m an alternative practitioner and also work with many of my clients’ pets. The homeopathic remedies that work for humans also work for dogs and cats. Check out the DNA Homeopathics on my website, or ask about them at your local nutriitonal supplement store. jm

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    Minette Reply:

    My dog has a very strange condition, she has a nose FULL of green snot all of the time. It is really bizarre, so she sneezes snot all over the place which inhibits her ability to go in public with me as a service dog because I am afraid she is going to snot on people and expensive items that I would then have to buy 😉

    she has been on antibiotics and allergy pills of all kinds and has had the condition since she was 2 weeks old. I am at a loss as to how to help her, but I feel so bad for her gurgling snot sounds all of the time. Good thing she is a happy, active, well adjusted dog!

    [Reply]

    Jeannette Reply:

    There may be a condition that causes green snot in dogs that I’m not aware of, but in humans, green and yellow snot usually indicate an infection. If I were working with your dog, I would give her colloidal silver dropped directly into the nose. It could also be given in the mouth. How much does your dog weigh? Colloidal Silver is antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial without causing the negative side effects seen with antibiotics. I would break a probiotic capsule over food for a few months. we counteract the negative effects of antibiotics in the gut and the resulting allergies that develop as a result of them. And, I would give her both S-1 AllerDrain and S-2 AllerTotal from Apex Energetics homeopathic formulas. The homeopathic formulas help stop the reaction to allergens and support drainage. After giving AllerDrain your dog may have even drainage, but then it should lessen. Also, having had antibiotics at a young age, your dog may be having food sensitivities that act like allergy. It would be a good idea to change the food you give her every three weeks until th condition improves. Good luck! jm

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  24. chris says:

    my husband & i both grew up with a german shepherds. we have rescued a shepherd and a doberman. at present we have a 6 year old male german shepherd that does not like other dogs but is kind & loving to our 4 rescued cats. max is very intelligent, knows all his commands but we are not able to take him to the doggy park. he does not play well with other dogs & my husband & i do not want him to hurt another dog or himself. people have suggested that we get rid of him because he is not dog friendly. he has gone thru 6 dog trainers and the results are still the same- max does not play well with other dogs. i walk him very early every morning for 2 or 3 hours, we play with him at home in our yard or at the park very early in the morning or late in the evening. we love him and would never give him away or bring him to an animal shelter because he is not friendly with other dogs.

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  25. SHERRY says:

    wE JUST GOT A BEAGLE, WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH HIM .hE IS SO DIFFERENT THAT OUT CHOW AND CHEWEENIE. HE CHEWS UP EVERY THING IN SIGHT. CCOUCH TABLES, DIG UP THE GARDEN THERE ARE WHOLES IN HY BACK YARD YOU COULD BUILD A HOUSE IN.HE SEEMS TO BE BORED. LOVES TO WHINE ALL NIGHT. i KNOW NOTHNG ISN’T WRONG BECOUSE WE HAD HIM TO THE VETS AND HAD HIM X-RAYED HE LOVES TO EAT ROCKS WICH HE THROWS UP. ANY IDEAS? WE NEED HELP. I HAVE BEEN TOLD HE IS JUST A BESGLE THAT IS WHAT THEY DO!

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  26. Ahmed says:

    Hi, I’ve been reading some of your blogs and updates as I’ve got a Labrador retriever (as I think) as her father is labrador and her mother is golden retriever so she looks like a lab , she’s 8 months now and very smart , I’m training her by myself as I think that this is better than hiring a trainer but I’m facing a big trouble with her which is the eating problem her apetite is not good at all she eats the least amounts nothing more I don’t know what I shall do ?? I need her to eat and get bigger and stronger please advice as I feel I’m lost and hopeless with this issue , I wrote my email to contact me if possible. Thanks and waiting for your reply. Ahmedelhakim@hotmail.com

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I recommend taking her to your vet. Only your vet can see her and determine if something else is going on and give you an idea of what her weight should be!

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  27. lizzy says:

    i have a cute little min pin and she’s the sweetest thing in the world, but she has one big obnoxious problem. she barks… i mean she goes crazy barking whenever she see’s someone she has never or hardly ever sees. She barks at other dogs too, and sometimes she barks for no apparent reason. It’s incredibly obnoxious and ive tried having her meet the new person or animal and having them reward her, but often she’s so afraid of them, she won’t accept the treat. I know getting mad doesn’t work, and i don’t want to try to be nice, because i’m afraid she’ll think im rewarding her. i think she’s possesive of me and enjoys protecting me. Other people say shes not like that when im not around. What should i do?

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  28. Betsy says:

    Thanks for this! It was a great reminder for me. I have a 3 yr old Doberman that I’ve had since she was a puppy. She was well socialized and went everywhere with me and was exposed to pretty much everything. She loves other dogs, but she is nervous around new people and barks a lot. Needless to say no one wants to see an 80lb Dobe looking at them and barking! I thought she was a little nervous when I went to see her as a pup, but I fell in love with her, and thought if I socialized her well that there wouldn’t be any problems. I should have known better! I’ve learned to accept her for the great dog she is. She has an off the charts prey drive that we’ve had to work with, but I guess that’s the key, working with that drive and making it a positive thing. Thanks again! I always find your information helpful!

    [Reply]

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