Miscommunication Could Explain Why Your Dog Has Become Aggressive | Livestock

The dog may be man’s best friend, albeit a subordinate one, but to his credit our underdog (yes…pun intended) of a friend does have one significant advantage over us…and that is that dogs have a single universal language understood by dogs the world over. That is to say that a dog which travels from America to Africa would have no problem understanding what the dog from Africa is saying; something that certainly cannot be said for homo sapiens (human beings) and their plethora of languages and dialects! This extremely useful ability is a trait inherited by dogs from their wild ancestors, the wolf.Even to this day, dogs and wolves are able to communicate exceptionally well if the occasion ever presented itself. Actually in some parts of the world livestock guardian dogs still have the odd encounter with wolves and in many such encounters rarely does it end in physical conflict for the reasons are outlined below.For a wild animal such as the wolf, the ability to communicate properly with other members of its species is an invaluable and essential trait because it is through this means that unnecessary conflict is avoided. From the wolf’s perspective conflict is a counter-productive activity because it could very well result in serious injury to one of the individuals involved in the conflict. And injury in the wild is something best avoided because it could seriously undermine an animal’s ability to perform certain activities necessary for survival such as hunting. And unlike us humans, in the wolf kingdom conflict is never associated with something as esoteric as saving face illustrating yet another reason why conflict is counterproductive.


Conflict Resolution Is A Desired Attribute For a DogLuckily the wolf has conferred that very same trait of conflict avoidance and conflict resolution down to the domestic dog, the only problem being that somewhere down the line, due to a number of factors, many of today’s dogs are no longer able to properly interpret many of the signals required to resolve or avoid conflict. Listed among those factors are improper socialization with other dogs, and socio-cultural confusion that may arise due to isolated interaction with only people.Consider the following account; although not specifically related to the topic of dogs, it does emphasize the importance of proper socialization no matter the species concerned!For thousand of years rhinos and elephants have co-existed in harmony side by side on the plains of Africa. Both these large creatures are herbivores so neither predates on the other. Both animals possess enormous mass and enormous strength but overall the elephant considerably out matches the rhino in every aspect including intelligence. Recently researchers in the field have observed a very disturbing phenomenon. In increasingly more and more frequent occurrences, young adult bull elephants were attacking, killing and raping rhinos. Such bizarre and often fatal attacks were unheard of in the past.Further investigation into this disturbing trend revealed that those young bulls perpetrating the attacks were doing so because they actually knew no better (something akin to a maladjusted and destructive teenager acting out; one who had no proper family social structure during the formative years).The reason why those elephants were behaving in the manner that they were was because they had never been properly socialized or taught correct elephant behavior. That unusually violent younger generation of elephants became that way because most of the older elephants that would have schooled them how to behave were no longer around to do so. Most of them had fallen prey to the harsh and cruel ivory trade!Your Dog May Be Acting Out Because He Is Frustrated And Anxious!But enough of elephants and back to our topic of dogs! Like the young bull elephants mentioned above many dogs today find themselves in a somewhat similar situation; unable to cope appropriately with the daily demands of everyday modern life. Such dogs tend to be aggressive both to people as well as to other dogs. Unlike the elephants however the maladjustment of such dogs cannot be blamed solely on improper parental socialization, or lack thereof as the case may be, and it is more likely that the cause of such errant misbehavior is due to a stressful and frustrating relationship with the owner of the dog.When you talk to your dog although you are communicating with him/her you evidently aren’t talking “dog speak or dog lingo”. When your dog “talks” to you (barking, whining, growling etc) he is communicating with you to the best of his abilities but in his own language of dog speak. A livestock guarding dog communicates with its wards (for example a flock of sheep) in a similar fashion, and although the two species do not speak the same “dialect” they can still communicate with one another. If the livestock guardian dog could not communicate with its flock then it would be unable to control and protect them.


Lost In TranslationMiscommunication between owner and dog is probably the single biggest reason that the sweetest of dogs becomes a nuisance overnight! I mean imagine how you would feel every time you tried to communicate with your so-called best friend (dog’s owner) and all you got in return for your efforts was a disapproving glare, harsh words and a scolding! Think of how a child would respond to such parenting…not good right? There’s a very good chance that somewhere down the line that child is going to start acting out. So it isn’t too far of a stretch to see how your frustrated misunderstood dog could also start acting out; in many cases such acting out will manifest as an overly aggressive dog.The real tragedy of this situation is that many dog owners are unaware that far too often they are completely misinterpreting their dog’s responses to any given request. You see other than the obvious forms of vocalizations that dogs commonly exhibit, such as barking, whining, growling, yelping etc., dogs actually possess a myriad of signals that make up a good potion of their everyday vocabulary. Unfortunately your average dog owner is completely clueless of this unvocalized “dogspeak” so that when he or she tells their dog to do something and the dog in turn responds in doggie lingo with an unvocalized response which happens not to be the desired response the owner was looking for, and so the owner responds in a harsh scolding voice BAD DOG!Get Your Free Dog Training Course

Basics For Raising Goats | Livestock

There are some basic preparations necessary before starting your goat herd. The basics discussed herein will be proper area, housing, fencing, feeding and watering. These topics as you will find are appropriate even for a show goat if you are starting a 4H or FFA project.The area necessary for goat grazing is important factor do to the quality of forage necessary to sustain proper nutrition. If you are just starting out then allow plenty room for your animal. It is estimated that you can feed 2-4 animals per acre (but not in the desert.) An acre is approx. the size of a football field. Until you know that this is ample grazing for your goat or goats don’t over populate your pasture or field. It is important that goats to have plenty of roaming space. This will make for a healthy environment and keep parasites and communicable diseases down to a minimum.Housing is relevant for shelter from weather for your animal. A good manager will have no problem making even the most basic shelter work. Use whatever material is readily available to you. You need to keep in mind we are protecting the animal from unnecessary stresses such as rain, wind, and cold. The goat is highly adaptable and does not require anything fancy or expensive. Allow approx. 10-15 sq. ft. per goat in an open housing situation for best results. For small application, it can be three sided 3-4 ft. tall in back and 5-6 ft in the front, open toward the south west to allow maximum sunshine penetration in winter. Goats do not require heating as long as you have a 4-5 inches of good quality dry hay down on dirt floor for bedding. Allowing them a place away from cold, wet drafty winter conditions. Closing up most of the front will help during the worst of the winter. They will group together and keep each other warm.


Fencing is important for your success in raising goats. Fencing that holds other livestock in just fine may not hold your goat in at all. I personally use a 39 inch woven fencing that has 3 inch H by12 inch W spacing at the bottom that graduate larger openings toward the top. Keeping your fence taunt and snug to the ground. I use two barbed wires at top spaced 4 inches above and apart, and one barbed wire at the bottom along the ground. This prevents the animals from going under the fence and helps to keep dogs out that may cause harm to your stock. You must be mindful that the goat has many predators. Where necessary and for larger applications a guard animal can be put in place to keep predators away. I personally use Great Pyranesse dogs and female Donkeys in different pastures. The Colorado University has a good site and more information on guard animals at; [http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/livestk/01218.html]Feeding your goats varies here because if you are feeding a show animal in a captive situation it is much different than a herd out in open pasture. All your 4H or FFA instructors are amply qualified to instruct you on feeding requirements. Now on the other hand if you are raising meat goats in pasture I don’t recommend you follow the school instructors at all. Unless in situations where they to have pastured goats themselves. An adult meat goat requires 10-11 pounds of good quality hay or grazing per day which is equivalent to 3.75 pounds of feed per day. Goats are ruminant animals like beef livestock and know when to eat and when to stop in pasture situation. Goats don’t normally over eat unless turned out to fresh ample supply of green field after a long dry winter. Like any livestock must be treated for conditions as needed. Goats turned out to abundant fresh grazing, I recommend giving treatment of Colostridium Perfringens type C & D with Tetanus Toxoid. This is available at feed stores or on line and is referred to as CD&T. Which is an over eating preventative treatment as well as Tetanus prevent treatment combination. Your veterinarian can assist you in administration.


Watering is very simple but you need to know that an average adult goat will drink 5-6 gallons of fresh water a day. Rubber bucket or container works well. Most goats are fussy about their drinking water. Emptying and refilling is necessary if hay or other debris blows into water. There are float valve products and larger containers at your local feed store that connect to water hose to help you for larger herds.Author of this topic and many more is Daniel Truelove an expert author on meat goats.