Thursday, 27 March 2014

Pets at Home to Stop Selling Cesar Millan Books

I opened my facebook this morning to the best news


Based on customer feedback, we're removing all Cesar Milan books from our stores and they will no longer make up part of our book range. The transition will take a few weeks, so you may still see these in some stores.

Now I know a lot of people will be confused by this as to why it is a good thing and why there is such dislike for Cesar there are some useful links in the following pages

I know most people who follow his methods are not cruel to their dogs, they follow the principles in his training that are fairly common to all dog trainers, being consistent and making sure the dog has adequate exercise.
These things are fantastic

Then there is the middle ground of 'not so good but not in itself doing harm' where people hear that just about everything they dont like that their dog does is because he is dominant
and if the rank reduction methods are nothing more than stopping the dog get on the sofa or eating before them then its not really cruel - and to an extent it does work, not because suddenly the dog thinks you are 'Alpha' but because suddenly you are doing some kind of training with your dog, you are giving them some rules to follow

When it starts to become bad is when because you think your dog is dominant  and that is a 'bad thing' that must be stopped you start seeing your dog in a negative light
You assume he should magically 'know' how to walk nicely on a lead, keep off the sofa (that he was once allowed on) and worse still - not ever communicate wants, needs, likes and dislikes.
You are only now looking for the 'bad' in your dog so you can suppress it, you ignore the 20min when he is walking nicely on the lead to focus on the 30s when he lunged at the cat
You ignore the evening lying quietly on his bed to focus on the 2 barks at the door.
This is stressful for YOU to always see your dog in the negative, you are missing many opportunities to teach your dog the things you DO want them to do, and it is very stressful to the dog who suddenly sees you angry all the time and dosent understand why.
Again these methods do seem to 'work' this is because punishments suppress behaviour, they get depressed and give up trying to do things, the most dangerous of these things is punishing a dog for growling. It seems to make total sense - the dog must be challenging you by growling - so you punish it, eventually the dog gives up growling
The problem here is you have dealt with the communication NOT the actual problem
Growling is the dog telling you he really dosent like something, it is a warning
If you punish the warning it will go away - but the dog still dosent like the thing he was warning you about
Now he dosent have the option to communicate, you think he is 'fixed' and keep putting him in the situation that is very stressful for him.
So the best side of that method is he is very stressed - the worst thing is that some dogs will reach their breaking point and knowing growling dosent work then they will move right to the attack - without any warning.

If you see the communication as  'good' and help your dog to like the thing then the growling will go away

Monday, 24 March 2014

How I built my Centaur

 I thought some of you might like to see some stages in one of my latest sculptures

The Centaur

I started building a base out of pipe cleaner then creating the shape of the horses body and a start of the mans torso in core wool

 Making a face worried me as I havent really done many human(ish) faces before so I decided to work on this next. I gave him blue glass eyes

Then I worked on his torso
If Im making a man I might as well have a man with a 6 pack :) it was fun trying to figure how muscles would work on a body like this

 Hands were freaking me out so I chickend out and added the colour to his body and spent a very long time making sure he was very firmly felted and balanced on his 3 hooves (it was tough to get him to stand up well)
Finally I built up the guts to try the hands - the scale is so tiny and I wanted his hands to look realistic with 4 fingers and a thumb on each hand

I am quite happy with how they worked out - I came up with a cheety method, I will make a tutorial of that soon

I then worked on his rustic wooden spear and added his hair

The hair looked very wrong to me so adding a little grey brought him more to life (and people say he looks a little like Billy Connely now)

Then a little tidying up and my project that has taken the longest time to date was ready for his photoshoot

I am quite happy how he turned out - not 100% happy, I never am :) but he is similar to the guy I saw in my mind before I started

He is up for sale in my needle felting shop

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Recall - can you see what they are thinking about?

Just for a bit of fun I thought I would shoot of a few photos right at the moment I called my dogs from a down stay
It seems pretty clear that the instant Ben is called all he thinks about is grub :D and Mia seems to be trying to check out what he is eating 


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