Category Archives: training

Say no to crating dogs


I am not a fan of crating dogs. Any which way you look at it, the crate is just another word for a cage, and dogs don’t belong in cages.

More and more I’m finding breeders are recommending crating for dogs, and an alarming number of dogs are spending extended long periods of time inside these crates or cages. This is just wrong.

I’m not saying that crating is all bad, I understand that they can be an effective tool in certain instances such as to prevent a dog from self harming. I once knew a dog with separation anxiety, whose phobia or fear of being left alone was so bad that he would be destructive beyond comprehension causing himself harm in the process. In this instance crating for a short amount of time, so that one can go out is not only a safe option but it was pretty much the only option his owners had to keep him and their house safe.

The argument that gets tossed around for crating dogs is that it provides a safe haven for the animal to be able to get away to when he needs some time out. My question to this is why does that spot that place of refuge if you will, have to be a cage? Why not a quiet corner in the house, say the bedroom or even the laundry.

Max our Burmese cat that we adopted at 9months of age had spent 3 months of his life locked up in a cage in the garage with minimal to no interaction. It took a long time to gain Max’s trust, it is a credit to him that he is such a strong and resilient little guy. He still paces almost obsessively in front of doors and windows, a side effect from his time in captivity. I can only imagine the damage that extended crating will have on these poor dogs.

Dogs are pack animals they are happiest when they are with their pack, their family, they don’t ask for much, and in return they give us unconditional love, and undying loyalty.


Naughty Teenage bird


When I first got my Quaker parrot Stan he was 6 months old fully weaned and although he had been hand reared he hadn’t had much human interaction for a while, so was very skittish and timid.

It took a while to build up Stan’s trust. Initially he would get spooked by any sudden movement or sound. With time he learnt to love us, and very quickly learnt to step up and do other tricks such as shake hands, play peek a boo and dance and talk( I will admit his beak wasn’t as strong back then so when he did bite it didn’t hurt. Now his beak can slice through your finger and boy does it hurt) so training was a lot easier.

As Stan grew and his beak became stronger the kids began to grow wary of him until their reservations became full on fear. It is not unusual for Stan to fly at the children, most of the time I’m sure he does it to get a reaction out of them and it certainly works! They run off screaming into their bedroom with Stan hot on their heels flying behind them.

This kind of aggression is classic adolescent behaviour for birds, and with time and much patience he will grow out of it, but with birds training is a long slow process and consistency is key. Initially it was a shock despite having been well read up on owning a bird, I guess I just never believed that MY sweet loving bird would ever become a naughty aggressive teenager.

I will admit that I have read all the books, and subscribed to all the experts but what I’ve come to realise is that every bird is different just as every child is different and what may work on one bird will not necessarily work on another. So don’t be afraid to try several different techniques or tactics when it comes to training your bird to fit into your family.

Read lots of information, listen to lots of advice but above all trust yourself and your instincts, after all this is your bird and nobody knows him/her better than you do.