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Puppy Training Tips

Puppies have sharp teeth. And as they instinctively use their mouths to explore and taste things (including you) and when playing, those sharp teeth hurt when puppy takes a nip at you with them. You are going to get nipped by your new puppy. Accept that as a fact. However, there are steps you can take to discourage them from doing so and protect yourself from scratches and cuts from those sharp little teeth at the same time. Given that nipping is natural for a puppy to do – for example, they do it to their siblings as part of growing up and developing – so one step to take is to try to socialise your puppy with other dogs. Let them do what comes naturally to them if possible. You may then find that they are calmer when back in your company as they’ve had their fun with the other dogs and are them less inclined to take a nip at you when they think they are playing and see you as a dog substitute. There’s another beneficial by-product of mixing your puppy with other dogs. A puppy will learn how to interact with their fellow canines which can help when out for a walk, for example, because the puppy has picked up essential doggy social skills. Just as you and I played with other children in the area when we were young and learned at the same time, you can allow your puppy to do the doggy equivalent. Another method you might use to help reduce the puppy’s tendency to take a nip at you is to build correct behaviour into your regular training routine and general interaction with your puppy. Encourage and reward good behaviour but do not punish bad behaviour. While that may sound like a contradiction, it’s not. If you do punish a puppy for bad behaviour, expect retaliation. Puppy does not know why they are being punished, and they will (forgive me a slight pun) bite back – quite literally – with those sharp teeth and take a nip at you because they see it as an attack and it is their instinct to fight back. Well, wouldn’t you? When puppy decides it’s time to take a nip at you, instead of getting yourself worked up, shouting at them or (even worse) hitting them (please don’t do that) try ignoring them until they stop, gently but firmly put them back on the carpet or even in their bed. Then when they do stop, are back on the floor, in their bed etc. give them lots and lots of praise. By doing this, you are teaching a puppy that when they nip, they do not get your attention until they have stopped. And when they do stop they get your praise. Much more fun for the puppy. Taking these simple steps should help to reduce the puppy’s nipping instinct, and you will have a better trained, better-behaved puppy as a result.     Robert

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Blind man arrested after refusing to remove guide dog from Kamloops, B.C., store

A late night stop for a coffee in Kamloops, B.C., last month quickly got out of hand when a gas station attendant refused service to a blind man because he had his guide dog in the store.    Ben Fulton, a law student from Ontario, was arrested on June 16 for causing mischief after getting into an argument with a gas station employee over his guide dog, which the employee said was not allowed in the store.   “I explained to the clerk that it was a guide dog and by law we were allowed to be in the store,” Fulton told Daybreak Kamloops host Shelley Joyce. “He insisted that his manager had given him very strict instructions that no dogs at all were allowed.”   Fulton said the conversation escalated, when the attendant asked if he should call the police.    Blind couple, guide dogs denied service by both Kamloops, B.C., taxi companies Cpl. Jodi Shelkie with the Kamloops RCMP said the attendant told police that when he asked Fulton, his travelling companion and the dog to leave the store, that they became “very verbal and made physical gestures,” which the attendant interpreted as threatening.    Fulton called the RCMP’s comments a “gross misstatement of the fact.”   “I was telling the clerk that the dog was a guide dog, so I was being verbal in that I was explaining the situation,” he said. “I held my card out so the clerk could see the card. That’s the only gesture that I can imagine he’s talking about.”    When officers arrived at the gas station, Fulton expected they would tell the gas station employee that the law does allow guide dogs in public places.    Instead, RCMP handcuffed him, put him in the back of a police car and arrested him for causing mischief.   “The male was unco-operative and began yelling at the officers and, at this time, the man was arrested to prevent continuation of the offence,” Shelkie said.    After 20 minutes of speaking with Fulton and his travelling companion, RCMP released Fulton with no charges.    Cabbie lied about why he refused blind man’s ride, admits ‘I don’t like dogs’ to tribunal Visually impaired student and guide dog asked to provide ID multiple times a day B.C.’s Guide Dog Service Act says a guide dog team (the dog and the individual that needs its assistance) can access public spaces just like a person without a guide dog might, providing that the dog does not take up a seat meant for public use and that dog must be on a leash or harness.      The Human Rights Code in B.C., says a person cannot be denied access to a service on the basis of a number of things, including physical disability. Fulton, being a law student, was aware of this and plans to file a complaint with B.C.’s Human Rights Tribunal.    “I will be pursuing whatever measures are necessary to make sure that these…