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a discussion of dealing with biting dogs would not be complete without mentioning that some veterinar- ians are treating biting dogs with human anti-depres- sants. This practice is controversial and experimental in nature, as it is impossible to do controlled studies using biting dogs. The drugs are typically given to dogs to satisfy desperate owners rather than with any real prospect of improvement in the dog’s behavior. i might also throw in here that many veterinarians will recommend neutering dogs as a way to improve their behavior. any reason is a good one to persuade some- one to neuter their dog, and the results are generally great for a number of obnoxious behaviors, but i have not heard of any cases where neutering alone caused a biting dog to quit biting, without other changes being made as well. it is also possible that an otherwise nice dog that starts biting when handled may be suffering from some kind of painful injury or ailment, and an exam by a veterinarian would be in order to rule out health causes.

it is common, when a dog develops a biting problem, for the owner and the breeder to play the blame game. This is not helpful in solving the problem at hand. my response as a breeder, if someone is dissatisfied with a dog that i sold them, is to get the dog back as quickly as possible. a breeder might want to replace the dog if it is simply a bad personality match for good own- ers, or refund the purchase price if the people do not know how to be good owners. i don’t want the people to seek other remedies, such as giving the dog away or selling it, which could end with the dog being bumped from home to home before being dumped somewhere. it was my choice to sell the dog to these people, and if i did not do well in my owner-selection process, then i need to improve. once i have the dog back, then i can determine if it is a “psychodog and needs to be put down, or if it can be rehabilitated and placed in another home, even if that home is mine. The thing i always remember, and try to convey to other people, is that biting dogs do not “get religion.” if they have learned to solve their problems by biting, then they will bite again if placed in the same circumstances. They don’t feel badly about biting. They may feel bad about the consequences (at least in my house!), or act unhappy about a person’s response to their biting, but they will not feel repentant, go to confession, or seek counseling.

i often tell people who are having a hard time parting with a biter that can’t be successfully managed, that the world is full of nice dogs, and there is no reason they can’t have one. if they are into saving dogs, the animal shelter is full of nice dogs—go save one of those. but this dog is not the right dog for their situa- tion. We can’t pick our relatives, but we can pick our dog.

Joann neal

The 2007 AKC Agility Invitational was held Dec 1-2 in Long Beach, CA. This year, PCA spon- sored an AKC medallion for the TOP Agility Poodle competing at the Invitational.

The winner was the 4-year-old black mP . . .

maCh3 Winetime racing ravin maniac Xf by Ch maCh alyndee Sumthin Ta Talk about ud ex Ch White Crest Say yes ohno bred by Karen bounassi and owned, trained, and handled by Cindy glover of Tampa, fl

a photo of Cindy, ravin, and the *enormous* medallion PCa sponsored

Submitted by Kathryn foran Windfall windfall.sp@verizon.net

cont. on page 39

The Poodle Papers /Winter Edition

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