Better Dogs Through Chemistry
Recently at a garage sale I picked up a huge box of slightly used "dog products". I didn't know what was in the box when I bought it for a $1.50, but the guy said there was some "pretty expensive stuff in there". I figured for a $1.50 there would be something I could use....So when I got home I went through it. In the box were a plethora of items for the lazy dog owner. This guy must have been an interesting dog owner as there were:
- 3 kinds of "no chew" sprays
- 3 kinds of doggy perfumes
- 1 anti-scratch flea spray
- 3 dry shampoos, an unopened bottle of real shampoo
- 2 "keep off the furniture" sprays
- 2 "don't pee on the plants in the yard" sprays
- 3 different urine clean up products
- 2 "don't fart or burp" food additives
- 4 products to stop chewing
- 1 product for urine spots on the lawn
- 2 "stop digging" products
- and a few more...
Some of these bottles were extremely expensive - one of the food supplements alone was still almost full and had a sticker of $33.50 - so it obviously didn't work very well. My question is ...don't you TRAIN your dog? I also feel for the dog, it must have been a nervous wreck with an owner like that (belching and farting is often a symptom of nervousness and stress). And that's the problem with people these days - they want a better dog through chemistry - a quick fix for anything a dog naturally does that you don't want to take the time to work on. Every one of these products is generally unnecessary. Some may be helpful under certain circumstances (such as dry shampoo when you can't give a real bath or chew aids when you have household antiques) but generally, NONE of them are 'required'.
Had he just spent some time with his dog, let it know his expectations, given the dog loving guidance and some toys (that cluttered up the perfect house) he wouldn't have had a neurotic, nervous house soiling, furniture jumping, stinky Malamute. So how could this guy, or anyone with unrealistic expectation of Malamute ownership, have avoided the expense and problems he encountered? Time, Reasonable Expectations, Knowledge.
This guy obviously wanted a quick fix and felt if he threw enough money at the dog by buying the right products, he wouldn't have to actually train the dog. In essence, his expectations were unrealistic and he bought a dog for the wrong reasons - hoping the dog would 'somehow' train itself. The thought of this is absolutely ludicrous to dog-wise people, but there are many people that obviously believe it. I didn't ask, but I'll bet that dog ended up in a shelter or given away - hopefully to someone that appreciated it more and knew you must invest more in your dog than a lot of spray products.
So how does he fix this? What should he have done?
- Chewing - supervise, supervise, correct when necessary, and use a crate when you can't!
- Stinky dog - how about a real bath? If you're too busy a trip to the grooming shop works too.
- Digging - supervise, correct and give the dog something else to do
- Urine spots on lawn - get real, it's pee - it's a lawn - if you want a PERFECT lawn, don't get a dog!
- Farting and Burping - if the dog felt more secure in what was expected of him, I'm sure this wouldn't have been a problem
- Urine in the house - take the time to potty train the dog. Yes, it's inconvenient to take him out after eating, sleeping and when he asks, but the alternative is he WILL pee in your house
- Dog on Furniture - that's a simple case of training the dog. If you can't trust him yet, get a crate and use it when you can't supervise and teach.
- Peeing on Plants in yard - so where's he supposed to pee if he can't use the lawn or a plant? The toilet? Again, get real...
- Scratching - a vet appointment would be in order - maybe it isn't fleas, maybe it's an allergy to all the chemical products he's exposed to
In other words, this guy shouldn't have a dog unless he really had the TIME for a dog. Any dog. If he wanted a Malamute, I would laugh in his face! Just as an invisible fence and "boundary training" is no substitute for putting in a "real" fence, chemical training products are no substitute for taking time to train and guide your dog in basic house manners...and the results last longer and don't get washed away with the rain. If you invest time in your dog, you'll have a great dog and no need for ANY of these products. If these products really worked, there would be "stay out of the garbage" spray and "don't steal my sandwich" spray.... "No chase cat" spray and "morning empty stomach throw-up" spray...."don't lick butt" spray or "no shed" spray (oops, they already make that!)...geez maybe I should develop some of these, I'd be RICH!
New products under development for puppies.
Don't eat the flowers spray....
Mud repellant spray....
Ears up early cream...
Walk in waterbowl repellant...
Anti-stick and rock eat spray...
Wooly coat removal shampoo...