or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › New Cats on the Block › George W (Charms Dad) new to this forum
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

George W (Charms Dad) new to this forum

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to introduce myself.

I'm George (the George Webb listed in the article in this thread, with my response late along the way: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...threadid=15298) My wife and I have 8 cats and 5 dogs, plus a large kitty TV (fish tank). I also work with large carnivores (big cats and wild canids.) I have been owned by and worked with cats for over 30 years as an adult and am on the board of directors of the local humane society, which runs the county animal shelter. I am also on the board of directors for a nearby sanctuary which takes in the "exotic" animals. The mission of the sanctuary is tied to preservation and education. I can say there is nothing quite like being charged by a tiger, even if she is safely on the other side of a fence that I built and know will hold her. (I was building a den box for her and she has an issue with sheets of plywood. Every time I brought one in she would charge with a loud roar. She was locked in the safety cage at the time, but I was just 5 feet from her and it was still quite intimidating.)

My cats are Sheba, Harley, Charm, Mrs. Wong, Angel, Kaybe, June Bug and Mai Ling. We lost Amber two months ago (she had a reaction to anesthesia, she was only 8). Charm happened to be sitting in my lap when I first logged in, so that's why the ID is "CharmsDad". All our dogs and cats are spayed or neutered, all live indoors (the dogs go out in our fenced yard to exercise, play, and pee, the cats are indoor only) and none have any other alterations (none are declawed, etc.) Sheba was a stray we took in and the rest are animal shelter adoptions.

I also work with the local Siberian Husky rescue, have associations with "Operation Catnip" (capture, spay, immunize and release of feral cats) and am associated with the county's animal control ordinance committee. I do other things, but I'm already getting long winded so I think that's enough.

Pictures of all our animals can be seen on out personal web site: www.dogsled.net

post #2 of 24
Welcome to the site George! It must be a very rewarding and yet sometimes heartbreaking job being the director of the Humane Society. There is so much a person in that position can do to better the system for the animals, but yet there is only so much one can do with the system in place and the funds available. I'm very glad you came in and were able to give us the other side of the story in the thread you were first referred to in. We all know how the media can slant a story and yet make it seem so unbiased. I'm glad you decided to stick around.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
It certianly has it's moments, both good and bad, but it sure seems to make a difference to the animals. I know the time I spend there matters.

I'm happy to talk about cats. They certainly make my life brighter.

post #4 of 24
We're happy to hear about the dogs too. This may be The Cat Site, but we are really just animal lovers. Dogs are welcome too.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
If I start talking about both dogs and cats then I'll never shut up.

post #6 of 24
Wow, George, you have some darn handsome critters!

Love your website!
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the compliment. We still have a ways to go. My wife was going to write the stories about most of the cats, but hasn't had time yet, and I need to update and enlarge the stories about the dogs and other critters. We also have lots more pictures to post.

post #8 of 24
Awww I love you website, I have even book marked it, such cute critters , I'm so sorry to hear about Amber

Welcome To TCS !!!! You will Love it lots .. Talk Soon

Sam ( Breeder of "P's & E's" )
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the kind thoughts. We miss Amber very much. We had her creamated and her ashes are in a wooden box I built for her. Her box has joined the others that we have of the pets we have lost over the years, and a select few special animals that we tried to rescue but were not able to save.

post #10 of 24
{{{{HUGS}}}} It's Ok George

I like having cats creamated b'cause then you know they are close too you, I had my First Cat Lolly Creamated a few years ago ( He got run over and died at around 9 or 10 ) he was a White Exotic and then I got my Garfield ( Red Tabby Exotic) Creamated
They were my fave pets ...

Look forward to seeing you on the Cat Lounge
post #11 of 24
I read all through your web site. What a wonderful family! I love to read about people like you. It seems you care so much about the animals you take in. I also have a large family(of pets)I love them with all my heart! My husband thinks I am dimented.He dose not share the same kind of love for them as me, but he still loves them. Tell me how do you keep the dogs from fighting and do you separate them when they act aggressive to eachother and for how long would you do that? And how about the cats? My cats seem to get along pretty good except the dominant male he picks on everyone including the dogs!here are some picks of my cats.

I am looking forward to hearing more about your furry family.

post #12 of 24

post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the welcomes.

Preventing dogs from fighting? That's a long answer question. Part is careful socialization, part is careful training, part is constant observation and diligance, and part is careful selection of the mix of personalities in the dogs.

Socialization is an important part of raising a dog (or cat for that matter.) Introducing a young animal to lots of people and other animals will help a great deal in all kinds of areas. Unfortunately, there are many differing opinions on what constitutes proper socialization. In my experience it helps to have careful introductions to already socialized dogs, exposure first to people experienced with dogs, and gradually to the less experienced and children so the dog understands people are different. There is LOTS involved in all this and it will help to have someone show you some of the nuances and quirks of dog behavior. Also understand, each dog is a unique individual. I've met people that claim to be behavior experts because they've attended a 4 hour class presenting one person's opinion. I consider these people to be not only misled, but actually can create dangerous situations when they try to apply hard and fast rules to every dog and every situation. Older dogs CAN be socialized, though they may have developed personality or behavior problems that need to be worked through. Socialization also means establishing proper pack order, with the people on top. This usually can be handled primarily by controlling food and establishing bounderies. When the dogs want to go out to the yard or come in (which they do several times throughout the day) they must go to the door and sit an wait for me to let them out/in. They also must wait until I tell them it's OK before they come inside and not try to rush in past me. As for food, they need to understand who it comes from and who controls it. DO NOT GIVE THE DOG FOOD AND THEN TAKE IT AWAY AS A TRAINING TECHNIQUE. This is a common mistake and can actually make the dog very protective of his food. The youngest person in the house should feed the dog if safely possible. Worst case the dog should be fed a full meal, but in small bits at at time until he will accept food from your hand. Then the portions can be enlarged until it's one large portion. The dog should be fed in a high trafic area so he's used to people being around all the time. Feeding one in an isolated area actually encourages food protective behavior. When fed with other dogs they should not be allowed to go from bowl to bowl. Give each his/her portion and stand in the middle. As one dog finishes pick up the bowl and do not let that dog try to go to another bowl.

Training is extremely important with every dog no matter what age. In addition to the food training (above) basic obedience is extremely important. I have a neighbor who's dog gets out on a regular basis (they have an underground fence, that's another discussion.) The dog is sweet but will not come when called. The woman gets out and tries to bribe the dog to come to her with "I have a hotdog" claims. I used to be able to get this dog to come to me when he was out with just enthusiasm and proper actions on my part, but without consistant training he has decided he doesn't need to come to anyone and so the woman usually spends over an hour trying to coax him back.

Dogs form pack structure, largely along gender lines. Male-male or female-female conflicts are much more likely than male-female ones (though they still can happen.) Dogs will establish a hierarchy which you should support. The dominant dog gets attention first, fed first, etc. but should not be allowed to completely exclude lower ranking animals. Food (see above), some preferred locations (a bed for example), toys and treats are areas where conflict can arise. The truth is that most dogs will accept another dog if properly introduced. There are, of course, exceptions to this and so extreme care should always be exercised. There are differing opinions about where is best to introduce dogs, but avoid introducing dogs indoors, especially in an area where one of the dogs has established territory. This is the most volitile place to try an introduction and gives you the greatest probability of a drastic failure. Introduce dogs in a neutral outdoor area or in a large outdoor within the territory of the established animals (your back yard for example.) There are differing opinions about which is better and I've found it depends on the individual animals as to which of these two is better. Introduce animals according to existing heirarchy within the household, the dominant dogs go first, absolutely, and every time. Be ready for the worst. It rarely happens but if it does it is important to be ready. You should know how to safely break up a fight and have a place for each dog to be quickly isolated if one breaks out. DO NOT grab the dogs by the collars and pull them apart, you will be bitten! Dogs should be separated from behind, grab the base of the tail (or the back leg if the tail is to short) and pull back, staying behind the dog at all times. Grabbing the non-dominant dog is best if you know which one it is. With your other hand you grab the back of the neck or collar on the BACK of the dog once you can safely do so and quickly move the dog away from the other animal and to a safe place. Be careful you keep yourself safe in the process, even the sweetest dogs may bite when riled in a fight. It is important you 1) keep yourself safe and 2) break up the fight as quickly and safely as possible for the dogs to minimize any risk of injury to the animals. After a fight the dogs will forget about it within a few minutes. Dogs that normally get along and suddenly break into a fight will be usually be getting along again within 15 or 20 minutes. It's important if one breaks out to try to determine the reason and eliminate it from their environment. While they may be getting along it is best to keep them apart when unsupervised for a couple of days.

Watch your dogs for any sign of agitation between two or more of them. Remove items (such as toys) from the environment if there are any signs of trouble and only introduce them during supervised periods. If you can separate them when there are signs of agitation or agression BEFORE a fight starts it is always, always, always best.

The worst issue is when a young animal decides it wants to challenge for dominance. This is a major problem and requires expert help to resolve. As pups the dogs are given special ranking by the pack. Near 5 months they will experience a "putting in their place" by the other dogs and will have to establish their position. At 18 months to 2 years dogs reach a level of maturity where the animal is considered a full adult and where there is the greatest risk of challenging for rank.

As I mentioned, dogs are unique individuals and have distinctly different personalities from one to the next. There is ongoing controversy as to how much agressiveness or other behaviors are inherited vs. how much is learned. I have seen puppies from very agressive parents grow up to be quite sweet and wonderful, while others are more like their parents. A mixture of personalities seems to me to provide the best balance withing the group. A dog that is comfortable with the lowest ranking position also seems to help stabalize the pack. (This is not a dog that has been forced into submission but one that seems to be naturally more passive and comfortable with the bottom rank.) This does NOT mean allowing this dog to be picked on by the other dogs.

By the way, mature wolf behavior is different than that of their domesticated cousins. A somewhat different (and MUCH more reserved and methodical) approach must be taken if you are trying to introduce wolves.

This just briefly touches on one of my favorite subjects. I've been through hundreds, if not thousands, of introductions and worked with many people to resolve conflict issues. I hope you've found some of this helpful.

post #14 of 24
Wow George! I'm impressed with your knowledge! I'm glad that you found us here on TCS so you could share your knowledge with all of us!
post #15 of 24
Welcome George! I just went over to the post you have linked... I'm glad I got to see the other side of the story.

I also checked out your website... you have beautiful little babies! I can't imagine having 13 furry babies in my house, I don't know how you guys with so many do it.

Also, your post above about dog behavior... well, I know who to bother if I ever want a dog.

Hope you enjoy your time here!
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the compliment. I love to talk about these things, one of my great passions. If I ever come across as arrogent please feel free to tell me, I don't mean to be that way.

As I quickly approach my 50th I am still constantly amazed by all these wonderful creatures. I am fortunate to have parents that have a deep love and understanding of animals and passed that on to me. Both my parents, now 70 (mom) and 76 (dad), regret that their health makes it impractical for them to have a pet in their home. My sisters and brother all have dogs and cats, and are living proof that "we're having a baby" is no reason to get rid of the family pet since they have introduced their pets to the new baby, or brought in new pets with young children, all without incident. Both my parents grew up on farms, and they were raised with a healthy respect and understanding of animals from their parents. Pets were part of the family, even back in the 20's and 30's when this was not the common attitude. Farm animals were always treated humanely. I remember going to the hen house or out to the pasture with my grandfather on many occasions and seeing how well he treated all of the animals, and that was back in the 60's.

post #17 of 24
Wow George your knowledgable, Thanks for sharing
post #18 of 24
I can tell you realy love your and others dogs thank you. It takes a long time to gain such knolage. The tip about the food is a usable one. I have always free fed my dogs maybe that is the reason they fight not often but they do. Resently I had to let go of my rotty she had cancer in her lungs she was 14 years old wich I understand is old for a dog of her breed. My other dog is alone now and I want to get another dog. He is very dominent and I am affraid that he will not get along with another dog I cant even take him to the dog park. Well hw still has the cats to keep him company. Anyway I dont want to make everyone read all this so I will go now. Have a great day!

post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
I'm very sorry for your loss. Have you seen the petloss web site? (www.petloss.com) I believe you'll find some comforting material there. Loss of a pet is like the loss of any other family member, and it's important that you allow yourself to grieve. You need to go through this process to reach the point of acceptance and healing.

Pets also experience this sense of loss. Often it's apparent that the dogs and cats will continue to search for their departed companion and will experience a period of depression. Spending time together can help both you and your pets through this difficult period. One of my cats spent nearly 6 months in a state of depression after one of our dogs died (now 10 years ago, the cat has sense passed away too.) The two had been deeply attached from the cat arrived as a kitten and attached himself to the 7 year old dog.

When the time comes you decide to bring another dog into the family you might consider a spayed female as a good option. Male-Female conflict does exist, so it's no guarantee, but is much less likely than with the same gender.

post #20 of 24
Thank you George.
She was a beutiful dog.
I will use your advice about the spayed female.

Keep up the good work!

post #21 of 24
Welcome George!
post #22 of 24
Welcome George!

So glad you are here, and thanks so much for sharing your invaluable knowledge and experiences.

It is adorable you have kitties with Chinese names, Mrs. Wong and Mai Ling.. very very adorable!!

Smiles and Cheers!
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all for the welcomes.

Mai Ling's name just seemed to materialize on the way home from the shelter. Mrs. Wong's name took a long time to come about. She had a very oriental look about her when she was younger and we went through lots of name options but none seemed right. It took almost a month to come up with the right name, which just seemed to appear out of thin air one day. The staff at our vet's office is quite entertained by her name.

post #24 of 24
Oh, you've bit me! I've got only a parrot, two dogs, 4 cats and 7 kittens at the moment But NO cats TV...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: New Cats on the Block
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › New Cats on the Block › George W (Charms Dad) new to this forum