June 7, 2011 Issue #56 Published by Sue Skiff

A Note From Sue

How’s it going?

Last week, I told my landlady that I was writing an article on how to teach your dog that it’s in charge. I immediately caught my error. Then, I thought that it would be really fun to write a tongue-in-cheek article on that subject. So, this week, I have written a list of 35 things that you can do to get your dog to be in charge. All of the items on the list are things that people do with their dogs, or allow their dogs to do. Hopefully, you won’t recognize yourself in any of the items.

People don’t really understand that anything their dogs do is what the people allow their dogs to do. But, it’s the truth. A dog can’t do anything that it’s not allowed to do. So, if you do recognize yourself in the article, you need to figure out how not to allow your dog to do these things. I hope that you enjoy the article that I have included on this subject in this e-zine, even though it’s not as tongue-in-cheek as I originally thought it would be. Feel free to use it as a guide on what not to do with your dog.

I have also started to get controversial in this issue. I have written the first of a series of articles which kind of trashes the pet food industry. Hopefully, this will get you folks semding in your opinions. I look forward to hearing from you on the subject.

I want to share this link to a video of a blue healer (Australian cattle dog). It is absolutely amazing! The link was sent to me by a reader and old friend. Yes, it is the same link that I shared on Facebook and Twitter. Just making sure that people get to see it.

Please remember to send in your comments and questions. I really enjoy hearing from you!




Dogs like to know where they fit in the pack. If they don’t see anyone else taking charge, they will take the lead, even if they are not comfortable in that position. Here is a list of things you can do to help your dog feel like the leader of the pack:

1. Give your dog attention when it barks at you.

2. Give your dog attention when it is whining.

3. Give your dog treats to get it to stop barking.

4. Have your visitors give your dog treats to get it to stop barking at them.

5. Allow your dog to growl at you when you try to move it off of the couch or bed.

6. Let your dog have its way when it growls at you.

7. Feed your dog when it begs from you.

8. Feed your dog when it “tells” you that it’s feeding time.

9. Take your dog for a walk when it “tells” you that it’s time to go for a walk.

10. Let your dog mount you.

11. Be inconsistent in your training.

12. Don’t insist that your dog always come when called.

13. Make it okay for your dog to choose when, and if, it will obey a command.

14. Reward your dog for following a command when you have had to repeat the command more than once to get it to obey.

15. Teach your dog to only obey a command if it sees a treat.

16. Allow your dog to pull you on a walk.

17. Stop walking whenever your dog wants to stop to sniff.

18. Choose not to do any training with your dog, because it is small, or because you want your dog to be an equal.

19. Treat your dog like it's a baby, instead of treating it like it's a dog.

20. Kiss your dog on the mouth or chin (not to be confused with allowing your dog to kiss you on the mouth or chin).

21. Chase your dog when it won’t bring a fetched toy all the way back.

22. Chase your dog when it runs away.

23. Allow your dog to mouth you in play.

24. Wrestle with your dog, and allow it to get on top of you.

25. Allow your dog to sit on you.

26. Roll over onto your back in front of your dog.

27. Allow your dog to “tell” you to play with it.

28. Let your dog out if it’s whining when you have it locked up.

29. Bribe your dog to get it to let go of items that it shouldn’t have.

30. Act submissive around your dog.

31. Make excuses for your dog’s behavior.

32. Wait until your dog is a certain age before beginning training.

33. Allow your dog to bark at you while you are preparing its food, then feed it.

34. Reward your dog for inappropriate behavior.

There you have it; 34 sure-fire ways to teach your dog that it’s in charge. Hope you learned something.


Well, here goes. I am going to start giving opinions on what you should feed your pets. Yes, they are opinions. However, I have actually done a lot of research on the subject, starting when I had a dog who had skin issues. Today, I am going to focus on a few facts. Then, in the future, I will start talking about what I think animals should eat.

I am going to state boldly right out front that most Vets don’t really know that much about animal nutrition. The sad truth of the matter is that the curriculum and text books that are used in the nutrition classes at Vet schools are provided by pet food companies. In decades past, it was Purina that did this. And, they became hugely popular, because Vets recommended them. Over the last few decades, however, it has been Hills, maker of Science Diet and Prescription Diets, that has provided the information on nutrition taught to Vets. Of course, this means that it is the most recommended brand of dog and cat food by Vets; and Hills proudly advertises this fact.

I am going to focus on cats for the time being. I truly believe that cats are the most common victims of health issues that can be traced to pet foods. Consider these facts: Cats can live 30 years. When cat food was invented, and people started using it for their cats’ sole source of food, the average lifespan of cats was cut by 1/3 to ½ of what it had been previously. Now, Vets will tell you that your cat is old when it is still under 10. And, before the invention of dry cat food, cats did not suffer from tooth decay, diabetes, kidney disease, or feline urinary syndrome (FUS).

What is it about pet food that causes problems for cats? Glad you asked! The first issue came up immediately when cat food first came out. It was the taurine issue. Taurine is an amino acid found in animal proteins. Many animals, including dogs and humans, produce taurine in their bodies. They therefore don’t need to get it from their diets. Cats, however, are unable to produce taurine. They have to get it from their food. One of the reasons that many cats love tuna so much is that it is high in taurine.

Unfortunately, taurine is destroyed by heat. When cat food was first invented, the high heat used in cooking cat food would destroy the taurine in the meat. As a result, cats started having heart and vision issues. The problem was quickly figured out, and dealt with. Much commercial cat food is still heated at high temperatures. To deal with the taurine issue, pet food manufacturers have to add taurine to cat food to replace the taurine that was destroyed in the cooking process. Thus, now, many cat food brands brag about the amount of taurine they put in their food.

Next week: Cat health problems due to cat food continue to occur.


It’s part of life in the 21st century. You get the kids off to school, work all day, pick the kids up at daycare, make dinner, and collapse. But, what about the dog? How do you find the time to train it to be a good citizen? Maybe, you managed to get your dog into a puppy kindergarten class, and then a basic obedience class. But, you really didn’t have time to practice the way the instructor wanted you to, and now, well now, it’s all kind of fallen by the wayside.

You know that your dog can do better. Perhaps, your dog has some behavior issues. Whether or not they’re serious issues, they make your life harder, don’t they?

So, what do you do when you’re already stretched, and you know your dog needs more? The answer is “day training.” Day training starts with a meeting with me where you describe your dog training needs, and your dog’s behavior issues. I then come to your house for an hour or so, on agreed upon days, to train your dog. You get to get on with your life, while your dog gets training and attention from a professional. And, that training and attention is customized to your and your dog’s exact needs.

Maintaining what your dog learned is also built into the day training program. At the end of each week of training, I meet with you to go over what your dog has learned, as well as what you need to do to maintain the learning. After the agreed upon number of weeks has elapsed, I return for a follow-up or two, to make sure that you and your dog are on the same page, and everyone’s happy. For more information on day training, visit my dog training website

I Need Your Testimonials

If you have used my services in the past, please consider writing a testimonial for me. I will put it on my website for all to see how wonderful a writer you are. I’m giving you 3 ways to do this. The first way is to simply send me an e-mail, with your golden words included. Or, you can post a review on my Yelp Page Thirdly, you can post a comment on my Facebook page Thank you for your help in making Silver Lining Pet Services a success!

Silver Linings is a publication of Silver Linings Pet Services, and is published for the purpose of marketing services. The current address of Silver Linings Pet Services is: 5555 Merritt Drive Concord, Ca 94521