Blogs by Steve Duno

May 9, 2016 by Steve Duno
Frisbee catch

My dog Rico has been a leaping bundle of energy throughout all of his 9 years of life. A GSD/Pit mix, his medium-sized body carried 60 pounds of dense muscle and bone, and an unquenchable desire to run, jump, weave, chase and leap. No lithe Border Collie this one; he has been a Sherman tank traveling at light speed.

The Frisbee was his favorite toy, one he would do anything to catch. Then one day two years ago, he got air, caught his toy, then came down wrong. Very wrong.

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December 24, 2015 by Steve Duno
Grateful

I’ve had some pretty darn good dogs.

I’ve gotten to train thousands of dogs of all shapes and sizes. Some good, some bad, all interesting.

Through training, I’ve been able to help save thousands of dogs from the grim reaper. I’m grateful for that.

I haven’t been bitten that often. And when I was, it was pretty much my fault. Mostly.

I have helped thousands of people to keep their dogs.

I have talked hundreds of people out of getting a dog at the wrong time

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September 23, 2015 by Steve Duno
Many breeds

There are over 300 dog breeds in the world.

What?

Back in the day, breed groupings existed to identify the basic types of dogs that existed, according to their functions. Working dogs guarded, pulled sleds, did general farm work, or served with the police or military. Terriers killed vermin. Toys were companion pets. Sporting dogs hunted and retrieved. Hounds used their great noses to find game, or people. Herding dogs managed large flocks of farm animals.

So, there are

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June 20, 2015 by Steve Duno
dog in car

We’ve all seen it; the toy dog planted on a driver’s lap while he or she motors around the neighborhood, the dog standing up, looking out the windshield or sticking its head out the open window. It often blocks the driver’s view, and at the very least is a terrible distraction to both the driver and others driving by.

Or there’s the dog (or dogs) kept loose in the car, jumping from front to back, sticking its head out the window, barking at pedestrians or cars, being a general

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April 23, 2015 by Steve Duno
barking dog

Dogs bark. It’s one of the ways they communicate. It’s loud and annoying to humans, unless the barker is telling you that someone is breaking into your home. Then it’s a godsend. See?

Here’s my point. The objective of domesticity is to take a wild creature and, over time, morph its natural proclivities so that said creature will fit into our human lifestyle. We alter inbred canine behavior to fit natural (wild?) human behavior. It’s the only way we can live with dogs. Without

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February 16, 2015 by Steve Duno
treatless dog

In a fit of boredom yesterday I watched a bevy of sheep herding videos, most starring that most fascinating of breeds, the Border Collie. Some involved seasoned dogs, while others showed pups and green dogs just learning their trade. The herder/trainers used white PVC pipe crooks, as well as whistles and their voice. Most used a circular pen, which, sans corners, helped keep the sheep moving.

And that’s it. No treat motivation at all: just audible direction and praise, and the

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December 5, 2014 by Steve Duno
hoading

The great crusade: to rescue every noble cur in the world, to march on dog shelters like wild knights and claim abandoned mutts who, while they wait, recall sad times and good faces, and stare through chain link at others like them; dogs who have forgotten who they are, and who are literally willing to take on new names if it means a warm spot in a good home with love and fairness. Dogs with infamy in their blood: blood of the fighter, the herder, the protector, the hunter. Tiny dogs, and

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October 14, 2014 by Steve Duno
Treat Less Dog

Dogs love food. They wormed their way into our campsites long ago because of it. Neolithic garbage dumps, remnants of a gutted deer, uneaten yak bones- these things drew wolves in, and at some point, an enterprising hominid figured out that regular feeding of these wild Canids could lead to a domestication of sorts, or at least a loose partnership. The Canids got regular food in exchange for guard duty. Puppies were taken from dens, and the long history between us began.

Many

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August 26, 2014 by Steve Duno
easy fix

I work with a dog-aggressive Goldendoodle (yes, you read that right) named Zoe. She’s unpredictably tough on new dogs, especially those who look like her, or on those who just seem easy to pick on. It’s not an easy case; she’s covetous of possessions, and will fire up over food issues as well. But sometimes she’s unpredictable, and will simply tear into a dog, because it’s showing fear, or because it’s behaving erratically. If she is off-leash at the beach, she will often run a dog down and

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July 1, 2014 by Steve Duno
puppy

If you want a child, have one, or adopt one. Just don’t make one out of your dog.

The need for humans to nurture is eons old. It’s natural, and good. It’s not even limited to humans: all parenting mammals show an innate drive to nurture, cherish, and protect their young. It’s preservation of the species, clear and simple- an effective way to ensure survival, and pass along the genes of successful animals.

But what of dogs? Should we cherish them in the same way we do a human

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