Balls Jealousy

Okay, what is balls jealousy?  A dog that is jealous of another dog because it has a tennis ball? NO!! HAhahaha… “Balls Jealousy” is a term I made up for the vibe that intact male dogs give off to neutered male dogs.

I’ve encountered this more than a dozen times at Pets Get Physical (a doggy daycare and boarding in Kleinburg, Ontario) when I worked there and on my dog walks.

When there was an intact male dog around, 95 percent of the time other dogs would get set off by a vibe or aura that the intact male gives off.  And it’s not always because the intact male is showing aggression or dominance.  It could be a submissive intact male, but for some reason it just pisses off other male dogs.

For example, Dutch (my foster dog of almost two years) and Bolt both went into growling and attack mode on an innocent, intact male dog on one of our walks.  I was able to quickly call my boys back to me and put them on a leash, which I admit didn’t help the situation but it was the only way to safely remove them.

I called over and asked, “Do you have a male or female dog?” The other owner said, “It’s a male.”  Then I asked, “Is he neutered?”  And the other owner said, “No, and yeah, he gets that a lot from other dogs.”

I’m assuming he meant the idiotic behaviour my boys were demonstrating with growls and barking.  So, I yelled back, “Sorry, they just have balls jealousy!” and we both laughed and walked away.

Thank goodness that ended well.  It could have been a blood bath if the other dog was aggressive and Dutch had his way. Hahaha he could be crazy like that sometimes.

So, if you are wondering to neuter or keep your dog intact, ask yourself: Do you want your dog to have lots of friends?  Is that something important to you?  Do you want to breed him and is that why you want to keep his balls?

Some people have said that they wouldn’t want their own balls cut off, so why would they do that to their dog?  Hmm…well, yes, no one is asking humans to cut off their balls.  In my opinion, it’s just a procedure that will help the dog socially, among other health benefits.

Sometimes it helps the dog calm down a notch (not always, but sometimes) and it leaves the breeding to the breeders.  There are just so many dogs to rescue, so if you don’t know what you are doing and you aren’t a breeder, then don’t let your dog breed.

Go ahead and get them neutered and let them be your pet, not a breeding machine.  Enjoy them for their lifetime and they’ll have a better chance at socializing and a living a fuller life.

Rant on Extendileash / Flex Leashes

I bought an extendileash or Flex Leash for my Lab Puppy when I was 9 years old.  I think that’s when my hatred for these leashes began.  If my puppy reached the end of it, I had no strength to pull him towards me.  The Flex Leash would pop out of my hand, and there went my lab running down the street.

Okay, so I was nine years old. Pretty small and not strong for a growing puppy.

I remember we used to extend the leash to the end of the rope and use the button to lock it in place. My puppy was running across the backyard and the Flex Leash was trailing behind him. I went to reach it and before the end came to my hand, the rope was rubbing against my leg, by my ankle.  I’ve got a pretty bad rope burn scar from it.

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Bah, it’s faded a lot, but I’ll never forget it.  It was a gouge into my leg when I was nine!

“Okay, Lilli, then which leash should I buy?” you ask?  A simple and regular one!  Here’s one I got for Smokey and I use it for small dogs and off leash training.

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This pink one was $11.99 CAD (plus taxes, of course) at Global Pets in Stouffville.  It’s thin, light, 6-feet long and reflective (safety first!).

Another leash I use is a slip leash that looks like this:

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It’s shorter but it does the job.  I like it because I can use it to gently correct a dog. Vet and Animal Shelters use these. I haven’t been able to find them in stores, so I bought a bunch online.

They are easy to slip on (hence the name) when I’m on a trail with the dogs off leash and I need to put them back on a leash quickly.

Okay, I’m going to go on a tangent here. Bear with me, I do this a lot.

Love is a choice, right?  Forcing someone to love you is just not fair.  It’s the same with having a dog walk with you.  It should be the dog’s choice to want to walk with you and there should be no power struggle.

Yes, I have run into times when I need to gently insist that a dog follows me, but I’m not choking them to come with me or using any brutal force.  Like all tools, when used properly, it’s a form of communication.

Okay, so back to leashes.  To me, a Flex Leash means constant tension if you don’t have that stoppy button down.  A Flex Leash allows your dog to walk on its own within a certain radius — the length of the flex leash rope that retracts.  And when it extends and retracts, it is in constant tension.

So, what does this mean to your dog?  In my opinion, it’s telling your dog that it doesn’t have freedom. It has to pull away from you and you are always attached to him, pulling him back when he comes back to you.  Even if you aren’t pulling him back, the tension of the Flex Leash is as if you are.

What a regular leash or slip leash does (when it’s not taut, but loose) is giving the dog freedom and choice.  To me, a leash is just a tool to train your dog to stay with you and to be safe from harm (e.g. cars, skunks, aggressive dogs, etc).

In my opinion, walking properly with your dog is achieved when they are walking with you (usually beside you), and not pulling you or being pulled.

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When the leash is loose and your dog is walking with you, he will learn that you are the pack leader if you walk ahead of him and you are in control of the walk.

You can achieve off leash freedom when he becomes conditioned to walk with you by having a loose leash, then dropping your leash and letting it drag on the ground while he follows. Voila!  Try that with an Extendileash/Flex Leash! LOL 😛