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39. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 10, 2013, 01:28 xmb1121
Just over a decade ago in Albuquerque, I worked on a news story where a family had a baby and the dog didn't like the baby and snapped at it. The owners didn't know what to do, so they took the dog to the shelter to be adopted. They thought better of it a few days later only to find out that the shelter had euthanized the dog ("We had to tell whomever was interested that the dog snaps at children. No one would have adopted it," they said.) The couple was horribly upset at what had happened. If there was a silver lining to this story, it was that part of our story when to a local dog psychologist, a profession I had no idea existed as this is years before Cesar Milan burst onto the scene (but I did see the real horse whisperer about a year earlier). The advice the psychologist gave made such good sense that it caused me to rethink how I thought about dogs.

The psychologist talked about the order of the pack and how to retrain the dog to understand that people packs are different and people babies go above them. This included stopping doing submissive behavior around the dog (no laying on your back with your belly up on the sofa, for example). The ending was that this was a tragedy that could have been avoided, but in 2001, who would have thought to find a pet psychologist?
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