Dogs that survived the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan show symptoms not unlike those experienced by humans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, a new study by a Japanese university says.
The research compared abandoned dogs rescued from Fukushima, site of the nuclear disaster, and Kanagawa, with non-disaster affected dogs abandoned in 2009 and 2010, before the earthquake.
The dogs that lived through the disaster had stress hormone levels five to 10 times higher than the dogs that were simply abandoned or found as strays, the researchers reported in the journal Scientific Reports.
Researchers at Azabu University in Japan took in eight dogs from shelters in Kanagawa Prefecture, where the 2011 earthquake and tsunami led to thousands of refugees being forced to abandon their dogs. The team took in 17 more dogs collected at shelters and rescue centers in Fukushima.
They measured their levels of physical stress by daily monitoring of the hormone cortisol in the dogs’ urine. All the dogs were later adopted by new owners.
The disaster-affected dogs had five to 10 times the cortisol levels of dogs not touched by disaster. When compared with the Kanagawa dogs, the Fukushima dogs were less aggressive toward unfamiliar people but also less attached to caregivers and more difficult to train.
They suggested that, in addition to showing similar syptoms, similar brain chemicals could be at play in dogs and humans trauma survivors.
“Humans affected by the disaster are already recovering and gradually returning to normal life,” the researchers wrote. “However, our results suggest the possibility that stress can induce excessive, deep psychosomatic impacts with implicit behavioral manifestations, such as deficits in attachment and learning ability also in dogs.”
(Photo: Shane was separated from his owner, Kamata-San,during the tsunami, but later showed up at the shelter where Kamata-san was staying. Credit: JEARS)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 12th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggression, animals, azabu university, brain, chemicals, cortisol, detached, dogs, earthquake, family dogs, fukushima, hormone, humans, japan, kanagawa, nuclear disaster, pets, post traumatic stress disorder, ptsd, rescues, shelters, stress, symptoms, trainability, trauma, tsunami
Reacting to protests that erupted after a court decision declaring all pit bull type dogs “inherently dangerous,” the Maryland Senate has approved a new dog bite law that holds all breeds — and their owners — to the same standard.
The bill, considered emergency legislation, now goes to House of Delegates. Once signed by the governor, it becomes law, overriding the state Supreme Court decision that singled out pit bulls as dangerous and ended the requirement that, in liability cases, they be shown to have a history of aggression.
That resulted in a different standard for pit bulls, or any dogs deemed pit bull mixes, at least when it came to civil suits. While all other breeds would still have to be proven dangerous, pit bulls would not because, as the judges saw it, they were that way by definition.
Pit bull owners and lovers saw the dangers inherent in that — from the difficulties it could pose for those who rent, to pit bulls being abandoned at shelters — and began campaigning to have elected officials do something about it.
“It’s definitely a win for pit bull owners,” Katie Flory of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) told WJZ in Baltimore. “We really do feel this is really the best way to go … It is very important that we look at the animal as an individual and not just the breed.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 13th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggression, aggressive, animals, bites, breed-specific, breeds, civil, courts, dangerous, decision, dogs, inherently dangerous, laws, legislation, maryland, pets, pit bulls, pitbulls, senate, supreme court
What your dog sees as humpworthy may include other dogs (male and female), your child, your ottoman, your favorite pillow, your house guest, a stuffed animal, your leg, or anything else he — or even she — can latch on to.
It’s one of those canine behaviors we humans find less than endearing, downright embarassing and highly confusing; and, as a result, our reaction is usually to bow our heads in shame, holler at the offending dog, or pretend it’s not happening.
So it’s good to see somebody boldy jumping on the subject — and getting across the point, among others, that the behavior is totally normal.
Julie Hecht, who manages Alexandra Horowitz’s Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College in New York City, explores the ambiguous and often avoided topic of non-reproductive humping in the latest issue of The Bark magazine.
“From tail wagging to barking, dog behavior is riddled with nuance. A wagging tail might convey ‘I’m quite scared’ or ‘This is the best day ever!’ Like tail wagging, mounting is far more complex than it may appear, and there is not one simple explanation. But there are some likely candidates.”
Hecht holds a master’s degree in applied animal behavior and welfare from the University of Edinburgh, and she’s an adjunct professor at Canisius College. More important than any of that, she’s not afraid to tackle a subject that offends the more prim and proper among us.
So is humping sexual, or part of an instinctual urge — “must … reproduce … now” — to create offspring? Is it a display of aggression, an assertion of dominance, or just a way to relieve some pent up energy? Clearly, it’s not always and entirely motivated by sexual arousal, Hecht notes, for pillows aren’t usually that arousing.
For nearly as long as ethologists have studied dogs, they have taken note of dogs’ tendency to hump outside of reproductive contexts, she writes.
University of Colorado ethologist Marc Bekoff observed way back in the 1970s that young canids — pairs of three- to seven-week-old wolves, coyotes and dogs — were prone to pelvic thrusting, and that females also engaged in some of that behavior.
“It’s what dogs do. It’s a completely normal behavior,” explains Carolyn Walsh, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, who studies the nuances of dog behavior in dog parks. “Both males and females mount, regardless of whether [they are] sexually intact or not.”
It can come from a surge of emotion, anxiety or arousal, Walsh explains.
“Dog parks can be quite stimulating, and for those who are highly aroused physiologically, mounting behavior could easily come out. There can be such a buildup of social motivation and the desire to affiliate that some of that energy spills over into the sexual motivation system. You see sexual behavior coming out, but it’s mostly out of context.”
Hecht also interviewed Peter Borchelt, a certified applied animal behaviorist in New York City, who pointed out, “There are only so many behaviors a dog has access to, and dogs do what is part of their species-typical behavior. It is something they know how to do.”
Many dog owners equate humping to dominance and control, but it can also be a friendly and less than lecherous attempt to get another dog to play. It may be a cry for attention, a way for dogs to gauge the bond they have with other dogs, or to test just how much a play partner is willing to tolerate.
“This is the idea that dogs perform potentially annoying behaviors like mounting to test the strength of the recipient’s investment in the relationship,” said Becky Trisko, a behaviorist and owner of Unleashed in Evanston, Ill., who has studied dog-dog interactions in the dog daycare setting.
“It’s like saying, ‘How much will you put up with?’ ‘How much do you really like me?’”
Despite all the dirty connotations we humans attach to pelvic thrusting, with dogs the behavior seems — while stemming from various emotions — to be more of a celebration of life than anything else. Cooped up in houses all day, a trip to the dog park, or even just seeing the leash come out, can get dogs excited to the point that something else comes out. Humping, or even an erection, it seems to me, isn’t all about sex when it comes to dogs — that’s just how we’re prone to interpreting it.
We humans equate it with sexual lust, but, with dogs, humping might just be a natural way to celebrate, like the high-fiving or chest-bumping of frat boys, or that “woo-hoo” noise girls make when they get together.
Looking at it through a less tainted lens, one could even make the argument that the behavior — humping, not woo-hooing — is more charming than it is revolting.
For the dog, joy is joy; and embarassing as it might be for us to see any overlap between sexual pleasure and just plain happiness, dogs don’t seem to get all bogged down in what might be the appropriate expression of their various happy and excited emotions.
Is that dirty? Or is there a certain purity there? Do dogs have their emotions confused? Or do they have it right?
None of this is to say you should try it at home, at the corner bar, or anywhere else. Civilized society dictates we don’t engage in that behavior. It’s only to say we shouldn’t get too bent out of shape when our dogs hump.
Rather than punishing a dog for exhibiting glee, it makes more sense to gently redirect the behavior. Watch closely at the dog park and you’ll see that many dogs — the humpees, as opposed to the humpers – do that themselves, with a growl or snarl.
My dog Ace does not tolerate it — whether it’s him being humped, or another dog. He feels the need to break it up, and, should he see one dog mounting another, he will generally rush over and do so.
I’m not sure where that behavior comes from.
Maybe he has become too human.
(Painting by Lachlan Blair, from his father Stuart Blair’s blog)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggression, animals, arousal, barnard college, behavior, behaviorist, boys, canines, carolyn walsh, causes, chest bump, children, civilized, control, cushions, dog, dog cognition lab, dog park, dogs, dominance, embarassing, embarassment, ethologist, excitement, female, girls, glee, happiness, high five, humans, hump, humped, humping, humps, humpworthy, instinct, interpretations, julie hecht, legs, male, marc bekoff, mounting, people, peter borchelt, pets, pillows, play, reasons, reproductive, sexual, socializing, society, the bark, urge, woo hoo
Another dog guru debuts this week, joining the ranks of televised trainers who straighten out the bad behavior of dogs, usually by straightening out their human owners.
“Dogs in the City” follows New York City trainer Justin Silver, who in the premiere episode confronts a celebrity bulldog who doesn’t seem to like his owner’s new wife; a Bernese mountain dog with a weight problem; and an office mutt who doesn’t get along with strangers.
The hour-long summer reality series will air Wednesdays on CBS, at 8 p.m. (Eastern and Pacific time).
Silver, a dog trainer, behaviorist and owner of a pet care company, is also a comedian and founder of Funny for Fido, a nonprofit organization that raises money for homeless animals by producing a yearly stand-up comedy event.
According to the show’s press release, Silver “has a creative and instinctive ability to connect with his canine customers while solving dilemmas for their two-legged masters. In each episode, he meets with clients who present a range of relationship problems, lifestyle changes or domestic issues. Justin gets as imaginative as necessary to reach a satisfying resolution, often finding that the owners can be a special breed themselves.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 29th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: aggression, animals, beefy, behavior, behaviorist, bernese mountain dog, bulldog, cbs, dogs, dogs in the city, guru, issues, justin silver, mutt, new york, overweight, pets, reality, relationships, strangers, television, trainer, training, weight
A pit bull that police say killed a 74-year-old man in Santa Fe is expected to be labeled a dangerous dog and put down next week.
Police blame Achilles (pictured above) for the injuries that killed Clifford Wright last Wednesday. The dog belongs to his son, Gavin, who described his father as Achilles’ constant companion and a lover of pit bulls.
Wright, a retired pawn shop owner, was watering his lawn when the dog, for reasons unknown, attacked him, police say.
Lt. Louis Carlos said a preliminary finding by the state Office of the Medical Investigator is that “the injuries sustained by Mr. Wright were from the dog. There were no other medical reasons related to his death.”
“Right now there is too much to speculate on as far as what actually happened,” Gavin Wright told the Santa Fe New Mexican Friday. “No one is going to know exactly why or what took place. But I know that everything that took place prior to that was nothing but good things.”
Wright came home to find his father’s body outside. The family has four dogs — two pit bulls, an English bulldog and an Australian shepherd-Great Pyrenees mix.
Police said Friday that Achilles will remain in quarantine at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society for up to 10 days. Early next week, he said, police will likely ask a judge to declare him dangerous.
The New Mexican said the dog bite death was the 10th in New Mexico in the last 45 years, according to a database kept by Karen Delise, founder of the National Canine Research Council.
The majority of those deaths were not attributed to dogs described as pit bulls.
“We have 78 million dogs in this country and over the last decade there have been an average of 25 fatalities each year,” said Delise. “So, it’s an extremely rare occurrence, and I think we need to keep that in perspective.”
Delise said speculation that a dog’s breed or its neuter status caused an incident is usually erroneous.
(Photo: Santa Fe Police Department)
Posted by jwoestendiek May 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: achilles, aggression, animal control, animals, bites, clifford wright, dangerous, death, dog bites, dogs, euthanasia, euthanized, gavin wright, karen delise, national canine research council, new mexico, pets, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, santa fe
Is there a convenient place they — or for that matter, we humans — can go to lap up a little more? Sadly, no.
A new study, by Holly Miller and others from the University of Lille Nord de France, takes a look at doggie self control, and what happens when it’s depleted.
Dogs can “run out” of self-control, the study says, and when they do, they are more likely to make more impulsive decisions that put them in harm’s way.
Sound like any other species you know?
I find this quite interesting — even though it runs counter to my assumptions about self control, and about dogs. I’ve always been under the impression that self control, like abs, could be built up if one exercised that particular part of oneself enough.
It was just a theory, because I’ve never exercised them enough — either self control or abs — to find out.
While I know people and dogs have varying amounts of self control, and that both are prone to losing it, I thought self control was more like a muscle that could be built up — that the more you practiced it, the more you’d have.
I reasoned that the more one made their dog practice self control, which is of course far easier than making oneself practice it, the better their dogs would become at it.
It’s why, when I put Ace’s dinner down for him, I make him wait for a nod from me before he can eat it. But is that teaching him self control, or just letting me exercise control over him?
And if his supply of self control is limited, should I not be using it up on that silly tradition, and instead letting him save it up for when it’s really needed? Unfortunately, there is no self control gauge to let us know how much we, or our dogs, may have left.
The new study, recently published online in the Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, is described as the first to demonstrate that “self-control depletion” has significant behavioral implications in animals.
The researchers recruited ten dogs. Some were left in a room but ordered to sit still for ten minutes; others were caged, yet allowed to move around. Afterwards, the dogs were taken to a room where a barking, growling dog was caged.
Those dogs who had exerted self-control by sitting still spent more time in close proximity to the aggressive dog than did those who had not exerted self-control, according to the study.
“The present research provides evidence that the phenomenon of self-control depletion, once believed to be uniquely human, can be found in dogs,” Miller’s team concluded.
Their study can be downloaded here.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggression, animals, behavior, danger, dangerous, decisions, depleted, depletion, dog, dogs, holly miller, humans, impulsive, pets, research, risky, running out, self control, situations, study, University of Lille Nord de France
No, that’s not the football team.
These rodent warriors do battle not on the gridiron, but in the laboratory, where scientists stage bouts, and — while not charging admission or, we hope, taking bets — videotape them, to try and better understand mouse aggression.
The same sort of thing — emphasis on “sort” — Michael Vick, and many others, have gone to prison for doing with dogs.
Now PETA has joined in an effort to bring an end to the staged fights.
In a letter to the Dane County district attorney, PETA and the Madison-based Alliance for Animals allege University of Wisconsin scientists are violating a law that says “no person may intentionally instigate” a fight between animals.
The two groups cite at least 35 articles published by UW researchers since 1999 that described fights between mice, part of a federally funded effort by researchers to study aggressive behavior.
If you’re wondering why not just study professional wrestling instead — which often offers its own version of a cage match — it may be because the scientists, as part of the study, remove and probe the brains of the mice when their fighting careers end. (Try doing that with a professional wrestler and you’d be in trouble.)
Eric Sandgren, director of animal research at the university, told the Wisconsin State Journal that he doesn’t believe the law PETA is citing is intended to prohibit scientific research, but rather to prevent cockfighting, dog fighting or bullfighting. “Aggression research like this isn’t really the point of the law,” he said.
He said the “fights” are not blood-letting affairs; they generally involve mice displaying aggressive behavior but then backing away. The researchers “don’t see animals that have wounds,” he said. “They don’t see animals that are limping.”
The complaint is similar to one the Alliance for Animals and PETA filed against the University of Wisconsin a year ago that accused researchers of violating a state law that prohibits killing animals through decompression. A special prosecutor decided not to bring charges in that matter.
All the “meddling” by animal rights groups led the state legislature’s budget committee last month to approve a provision specifying “that current law provisions prohibiting crimes against animals would not apply to persons engaged in bona fide scientific research…”
Rick Bogle, co-director of Alliance for Animals, said the provision would, in effect, allow university researchers to do anything they wanted with animals.
“Their argument, the way I read it, is the state should absolutely have no say in what goes on in the state university involving animals,” he said.
According to PETA, the university has spent “millions of tax dollars on staging violent fights between animals in their laboratories for cruel aggression experiments. Experimenters lock large, aggressive mice and smaller, weaker mice together in cages that the animals can’t escape from and then watch as the weaker mice are beaten up and bitten repeatedly for as long as 10 minutes. The bouts are videotaped, and experimenters count the number of “attacks” per fight. The winners are then killed and have their brains cut out and dissected.”
You can read PETA’s letter to the Dane County District Attorney here.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aggression, aggressive, alliance for animals, behavior, bouts, dane county, experiment, fighting, fighting animals, fights, fights between animals, investigation, laboratory, laboratory animals, law, madison, mice, mouse, peta, prosecution, research, science, scientists, staged, staging, study, university of wisconsin
We can’t remember a week — at least not since 2007, when federal authorities raided 1915 Moonlight Road – that pit bulls have grabbed so many headlines … without even biting anyone.
Here in Baltimore, the week began with a pit bull parade, sponsored by B-More Dog and designed to improve the image and shatter the misconceptions about the breed — such as the one that they are innately inclined to inflict violence.
Those who ran into the pack of four-legged goodwill ambassadors at the Inner Harbor Sunday got a chance to see beyond the myths.
The very next day, a mistrial was declared in the case against twin brothers in Baltimore accused of setting a pit bull on fire in the summer of 2009. Phoenix, as the dog was dubbed, died five days later. The police investigation that followed, testimony at the trial indicated, was something less than thorough — likely, I think it’s safe to say, because the murder victim was a dog, and, in particular, a pit bull.
Jurors were unable to reach a decision, and a new trial is a possibility, but as of now, it appears the fatal burning of Phoenix will go unpunished. Despite that, she leaves a legacy.
“We waited almost two years for justice for Phoenix and though justice was not met for her, she became the change agent and public figure for animal abuse,” said Jennifer Brause, executive director of Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS). “Thousands of people offered their support on her behalf. Because of her, a Mayor’s Commission on Animal Abuse has been formed and the seriousness of animal abuse has been elevated to a national level.”
No dog, I will go out on a limb and educatedly guess, is more often the victim of abuse and neglect than the pit bull type — just as they are the most often maligned. Society, rather than simply label them as aggressive, and ban and muzzle them, needs to come to terms with the fact that, in those instances when they are violent, our fellow humans are responsible for it, training them to fight, attempting to breed for viciousness, and trying to turn their natural born tenacity into something mean and macho.
Which brings us, once again, to Bad Newz Kennels.
Down in Dallas, the adoptive parent of one of Michael Vick’s dogs confronted the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and offered him an opportunity to meet Mel, a shy and fearful pit bull who was apparently used as a bait dog at Vick’s Bad Newz Kennels.
The convicted dogfighting ring operator — in Dallas to receive the key to the city — declined, and his entourage shoved Mel’s new owner, local radio personality Richard Hunter, who captured the whole episode on his shaky camera, out of the way.
A few days after that, reports surfaced that Vick’s former estate on Moonlight Road, the Surry, Virginia, headquarters of Bad Newz Kennels, which has sat empty for three years, may be getting a new owner — Dog Deserves Better, a Pennsylvania-based dog rescue and advocacy group.
They hope to turn the former Vick mansion — where 51 dogs were seized by authorities and eight more were found dead and buried on the grounds — into a training and rehabilitation center for rescued dogs.
As usual, bringing up Michael Vick brings on lots of comments, on this blog and others, from his supporters — those who say “give it a rest,” those who say “he served his time,” those who say he’s a different person now who should be permitted to move beyond his besmirched reputation.
Be that as it may, I’m wondering when pit bulls — given they are regularly accused and punished without any trials, given that any violence they display has been instilled into them by humans, given that their bad reputation is mostly undeserved – will be afforded that same opportunity.
As a breed, they’ve done their time.
(Photo by Tim Quinn)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, aggression, animal abuse, animal welfare, animals, bad newz kennels, baltimore, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, brothers, burned, burned dog, cruelty to animals, dogfighting, dogs, doused, fire, image, investigation, media, mel, michael vick, myths, news, parade, pets, phoenix, pit bull, pit bulls, pitbull, pitbulls, prosecution, richard hunter, stereotypes, trial, vick, vick dogs, violence
My time at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, helping out as a volunteer, was mostly spent among those dogs who, due to their unpredictable behavior, have been assigned red collars — meaning only staff can interact with them.
I drew duty at Dulcie’s School of Dance, an octagon-shaped structure whose residents, for the most part, misbehaved either before or after their arrival at the southern Utah animal sanctuary, and who — though red collared dogs can be adopted under the right circumstances — in many cases will live out their lives there.
Dulcie’s is occupied by outlaws like Wooley Bear, a 12-year-old border collie mix who is one of Best Friends most prolific biters, a mutt named Billy Brindle, and Boo, a 14-year-old boxer who has spent more than a decade there.
Caregiver Carin Carothers was my supervisor, and she made sure a closed gate was always between me and the mostly notorious canines she oversees.
I did get to help make dinner though, and wash the dog bowls, and attended two classes — one for shy dogs, one for unpredictable and aggressive ones.
Shy dog class was easy lifting — not unlike a day at the park. I took a seat, bag of dog treats in hand, and waited for students, all green or purple collared dogs and all fearful of humans to differing degrees, to cautiously approach.
It’s all aimed at getting the dogs — many of whom came from hoarding situations — to trust humans more, difficult as that sometimes is to do.
Later, I caught part of a class for dogs who, rather than being shy, are aggressive.
I took a seat under the shade and watched as Carin and four handlers, each working with a single dog, sought to keep that dog’s attention focused on the handler. Another volunteer was called upon to approach the leashed dogs who, the hope was, would continue focusing on the treats and their handler rather than snarling and lunging at the person approaching.
I was wondering who that volunteer had made mad when I was called upon to do the same thing — repeatedly walk up to within five feet or so of a dog and be distracting.
Almost every time, the dogs failed to notice me — the preferred reaction, though I didn’t like it much. The only thing worse than not being able to pay attention to a dog is when a dog pays no attention to you.
Later, though, I did enjoy bonding with Smitty, another Dulcie’s resident — a green collar placed in the unit to be a good influence on the less friendly dogs. Carin suggested I take the coonhound for a spin in my car around the canyons — and Smitty seemed to love it, peering intently out the window.
Though we only planned for a day of volunteering, we stopped by Best Friends again yesterday, mainly to take Smitty for another spin.
This time he was even more gung-ho about the ride, throwing his front paws on the back of my Jeep and awaiting to be hoisted the rest of the way. Looking at him in my rear view mirror, I could swear he was smiling.
We tooled around the canyons, stopped and spent some quiet moments at Angel’s Rest, the pet cemetery on the grounds of the sanctuary. We listened to the wind chimes, and sat in the shade of a gazebo. He hardly howled at all this time, instead laying quietly and staring at me.
Were I not on the road for an extended period, or maybe if I had a bigger vehicle, I’d have taken him with me when I left Best Friends Wednesday afternoon. That I didn’t means you still can.
My day and a half as a volunteer at Best Friends may not have saved the world, but I had a good time, and I think Smitty, who’s not yet two years old and still a little shy around most people — did, too.
And while I’m not saying it’s karma or anything, I noticed as I headed back to the highway that my car’s version of the red collar — my malfunction indicator light — was no longer lit. I’d been fretting about it ever since it came on when I rolled into Phoenix last week.
I do believe that doing good things makes good things come back to you — just maybe not that instantly. And if there is such a thing as karma, Smitty — the role model at Dulcie’s, that green collar who lives among the reds — has good times ahead.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace does america, adopt, aggression, animal sancutary, animal welfare, animals, behavior, best friends, collar, color, coon dog, coonhound, dog, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, dulcie's school of dance, kanab, pets, road trip, role model, shy dogs, smitty, utah
Lee Mannix, a Texas-based, internationally respected dog behaviorist, was killed Sunday in a one-car accident.
Mannix, 40, was founder of the Lee Mannix Center for Canine Behavior in South Austin, and his clients included musician Jimmie Dale Gilmore and author Kinky Friedman.
“There are very few people who have the touch, and Lee certainly had it,” said Friedman, who co-founded the Utopia Animal Rescue Ranch. “His ability to relate to animals was second to none. He could take a dog that everybody’s having trouble with and thinks is ferocious and untameable, and two or three weeks later it’s a totally different dog. Lee came in as an equal, and the dogs just loved him.”.
Mannix, 40, was killed in a single-vehicle accident Sunday in Hays County. His brother Kevin, also in the vehicle, survived, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
Mannix wasn’t always drawn to dogs; for 12 years he avoided them entirely. When he was 8, a German shepherd bit him so severely he required 130 stitches. He shunned dogs until he was 20, when a friend gave him a dog.
Mannix worked at the Austin Humane Society and DogBoy’s Positive Power Kennels in Pflugerville, and headed a local humane society in Colorado.
As a trainer, Mannix specialized in canine aggression problems.
“I can get a dog to do anything I want it to do. The thing is training the owner to do it,” Mannix said last summer. “So I don’t train dogs per se; I train owners to understand their dog’s behavior and get it right.”
Author Friedman noted: “There are lots of important people out there, politicians and the like. But I think Lee Mannix was significant. And there is a distinction there … He’s the kind of guy who has opened the gates of heaven wider.”
Memorial donations may be made to the Schrodi Memorial Training Fund.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, aggression, animals, austin, auto, behavior, behaviorist, canine, car, dog, dogs, killed, kinky friedman, lee mannix, lee mannix center, news, pets, texas, trainer, training