Apr 24, 2009

IT'S THE OWNER NOT THE DOG

SOMEONE SENT ME THIS ARTICLE FROM AP ABOUT HOW THE DOGS ARE ALWAYS BLAMED FOR THEIR OWNERS' MISTAKES IN NOT KNOWING HOW TO TRAIN THEM, BUT IT'S IN SPANISH--I GUESS SOMEWHERE ON THE WEB IT CAN BE FOUND IN ENGLISH:

Muchos perros son sacrificados o abandonados por su actitud violenta, pero contrariamente a lo que se piensa, en la conducta agresiva del perro la raza tiene menor peso que otros factores externos, modificables y que dependen del dueño. Así lo demuestra un nuevo estudio de la Universidad de Córdoba (UCO) que incluye razas consideradas agresivas por naturaleza como el Rottweiler o el Pitbull. Las conclusiones sorprenden: son los dueños los principales responsables de los ataques por dominancia o competencia de sus mascotas.Según Joaquín Pérez-Guisado, autor principal del estudio, algunos factores que provocan agresividad en los perros son: el hecho de que los dueños no hayan tenido un perro antes, no someterlo a un entrenamiento básico de obediencia, consentir o mimar al perro en exceso, no emplear el castigo de tipo físico cuando éste es necesario, adquirir el perro con los propósitos de simple regalo, mascota para defensa o capricho, castrar a las hembras, dejarle la comida de forma indefinida, o dedicarle poco tiempo en general y en sus paseos."El desconocimiento de todos estos factores modificables potenciaría este tipo de agresividad y conformaría lo que coloquialmente podríamos llamar como darle una mala educación a nuestro perro", explica a SINC Pérez-Guisado.El estudio, que se ha publicado recientemente en 'Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances', parte del siguiente dato: cerca del 40% de las agresiones por dominancia de los perros están vinculadas a dueños poco autoritarios que nunca han realizado entrenamiento básico de obediencia con sus mascotas o que, si lo han hecho, ha sido de forma mínima.La raza no influye tanto en la agresividadLos investigadores españoles estudiaron 711 perros (354 machos y 357 hembras) de los cuales 594 eran de pura raza y 117 mestizos mayores de un año. Entre las razas observadas destacan el Bullterrier, el American Pitbullterrier, el Pastor alemán, el Boxer, el Rottweiler, el Dobermann, así como razas aparentemente más dóciles como el Dálmata, el Setter irlandés, el Golden retriever, el Labrador retriever, el Caniche miniatura, el Chihuahua, el Pekinés, o el Bulldog francés, que también muestran actitudes dominantes.Según Pérez-Guisado, determinadas razas, el sexo masculino, el tamaño pequeño, o una edad ente 5 y 7 años son "los factores dependientes del perro asociados a una mayor agresividad por dominancia". No obstante, estos factores representan "un peso mínimo" para que el comportamiento del can sea agresivo. Influyen más los factores unidos al modo de actuación del dueño o la dueña.Para corregir el comportamiento del animal, los amos deben seguir un trato adecuado y "restablecer la dominancia sobre el perro", añade el investigador. En cuanto al castigo físico, Pérez-Guisado puntualiza que "esta medida no puede utilizarse con todos los perros debido a la peligrosidad que entrañaría, aunque sí podría ser empleada para restablecer la dominancia sobre cachorros o perros que sean de pequeño tamaño o fáciles de dominar". Sin embargo, "nunca deberá ser utilizada como justificación para ensañarse con el perro, ya que el castigo de tipo físico debería de ser más una forma de asustar y demostrar la dominancia que tenemos sobre el perro, que una forma de infligir un gran sufrimiento al animal", asevera el veterinario.Según el investigador, "no es normal que los perros que reciben la educación adecuada mantengan comportamientos agresivos de dominancia". Pérez-Guisado atribuye esta actitud "excepcional" a la existencia de algún problema médico u orgánico "que puede provocar cambios de conducta en el perro".

2 comments:

Andrea said...

I think this is a great article, and I believe much of the information would open peoples' eyes. I have always believed that there is no dog or other animal that is born "bad". It's easy for humans to blame an animal for being a certain way, but people need to realize that their actions and behavior can influence that of their pets so, so much!
A native Spanish speaker, who is a friend of mine, and myself are both bilingual and have created an English translation for the article:

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Many dogs are killed or abandoned due to their violent behavior, but contrary to what many people think, the aggressive behavior has less to do with the breed of the dog than other external factors, which can be corrected and depend on the owner. These were the findings of a new study from the University of Córdoba. The study includes breeds of dogs considered naturally aggressive such as the Rottweiler or Pitbull. The findings are surprising: It is the owners who are primarily responsible for the dogs' attacks of dominance or competition for the owners' approval. According to Joaquín Pérez-Guisado who is the author of the study, some factors that provoke aggressive behavior in dogs are: The fact that the owners have not had a dog before, owners not giving their dogs basic obedience training, giving excess attention or affection to the dog, and not using physical correction/punishment (my note: this does not mean actually hurting the dog, an example would be firmly pressing your fingers against the dog's neck to simulate the bite of a bigger dog, which shows dominance in a dog pack. This is firm, not painful.) when necessary. Other factors that often eventually lead to aggressive behavior in dogs are: owners buying/getting the dog as a gift for someone, having the pet as a guard dog or getting/having a dog without realizing the responsibilities (getting the pet just because it is cute, for example), spaying female dogs, not portioning the food (allowing the dog to eat whenever/leaving the food dish out with food in it at all times which may make the dog feel possessive/territorial), or not dedicating enough time in general to the dog and not walking the dog enough. "The lack of knowledge of all these factors increases the likelihood of this kind of aggression and gives what can be called "bad education" to the dog", explains SINC Pérez-Guisado. The study, which was recently published in the 'Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances', shows that around 40% of the dominating aggressive behavior of a dog is linked to the type of owners who are not very authoritative (my note: in that they do not set up such things as rules, boundaries and limitations) and who have not gone through basic obedience training with their dogs, or that, if they have, it has been too minimal. The breed of a dog does not influence aggression so much. The Spanish researchers studied 771 dogs (354 males and 357 females) of which 594 were purebred and 117 were one-year-old mixed breeds. Of the observed breeds, the majority were Bullterrier, American Pitbull terrier, German Shepherd, Boxer, Rottweiler, Dobermann, as well as breeds that are usually thought of as being more docile such as the Dalmation, Irish Setter, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Miniature Pinscher, Chihuahua, Pekingese, or French Bulldog, which also show dominating behaviors. According to Pérez-Guisado, in certain breeds, being of male sex, small size, or an age of 5 to 7 years are "the dependant factors of the dog associated with more dominance aggression ". However, these factors represent "a small weight/amount" of the factors that contribute to a dog being aggressive. The factors that influence this behavior more is the behavior of the owner. In order to correct the behavior of the animal, the owners must follow an adequate treatment and "reestablish dominance over the dog", adds the researcher. About the physical correction/"punishment", Pérez-Guisado emphasizes that "these measures cannot be used with all dogs due to the dangerous risks, although it could be used to establish dominance over puppies that are small in size or easy to establish dominance over." However, "it should never be used as a way of letting out anger (even if it is anger at the dog, of course), and the physical "punishment" should be used more as a way of "scaring" them and demonstrating dominance that we have over the dog." Pérez-Guisado attributes this "exceptional attitude" to the existence of some medical or organic problem that can provoke changes in the behavior of the dog."
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I watch Cesar Millan's show "The Dog Whisperer" and he shows that dogs need exercise, dominance, and then affection in that order. He has shown many people that it is the owners who need the training, not the dogs. He has saved dogs that would have been euthanized by the owners through showing them how to act and behave around their dog in different situations, which in turn changes the dog's behavior.

Sandra said...

THANKS FORTHE TRANSLATION!
EXACTLY--WHY BLAME THE ANIMAL FOR NOT KNOWING HUMAN RULES, ESPECIALLY WHEN NO ONE TEACH THEM. HUMAN KNOW THEIR OWN RULES, BUT THEY BREAK THEM KNOWING WHAT THEY'RE DOING IT.