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Redefining The Modern Dog

written by Marina Zacharias

I find it insulting to read in a popular magazine about how "breeders" have purposely made the "purebred" dog into some kind of wimp, suitable only for "judges" to look at in the show ring. According to these "experts," all the health problems, temperament problems, etc. can be laid squarely on the shoulders of vain, selfish breeders who care more about "winning" than about the welfare of their animal.

I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised at such downright ignorance, but it really ticks me off when this kind of pure propaganda is published.

Let's face it gang, somewhere along the line an "image" problem has raised its ugly head. A lot of this has to do with creation of the image given by dog food companies subliminal message that the modern dog is a "weak sister" to its ancestors. Some of it arises from the "message" of the orthodox veterinarian community that the modern dog must be vaccinated regularly, inspected regularly, "flea programmed" regularly, wormed, nail clipped, teeth cleaned, etc. at your favorite neighborhood local clinic. He’s probably also suffering from a "deficiency" of antibiotics, prednisone, or "special" scientific diet from a can (available at the front counter).

In other words, the modern dog is some kind of new creature that really can’t stand up to the rigors of the civilized world, so must become a "pampered pooch", to be looked after by "professionals" only and God forbid that your dog eat anything other than brand "x" food.

Let’s take a look at a true "image" of a modern dog!!

  1. First and foremost, your dog is a carnivore. That means they love to eat other animals. Dogs will happily eat the internal organs, the meat, and the bones from other animals. It doesn’t matter whether you are talking about a Chihuahua, a Poodle or a Great Dane—they love to eat this way!
  2. Your dog is a vegetarian. One of the first things eaten by a wolf or wild dog when it kills, are the stomach and intestinal contents. These contain fermenting grass and similar plant materials. Wild dogs and modern dogs love to eat fruit of different kinds—especially if it is overripe. They scavenge around the bottom of fruit trees. They dine regularly at the compost heap. I have one girl that I baited regularly in the ring with green grapes. She loved them! Remember when feeding vegetables, they should be pulverized until they resemble the gut contents of an animal.
  3. Your dog is a scavenger. You only have to leave your dog alone with an open garbage can to find that out. Dogs will eat and derive food value from practically anything. To a wild dog, soil eating is an important source of minerals. Bark from trees is an important source of fiber. Dogs receive valuable nutrients from material that we humans find totally repugnant. Things like vomit, feces, and decaying flesh.

    This habit of eating feces (called "Coproghagy") is common with many dogs that eat commercial dog food. Why? To try to stay healthy! Feces are a highly valuable food, consisting of the dead and living bodies of millions of bacteria. They are an excellent source of essential fatty acids, fat soluble vitamins (particularly vitamin K and the whole range of B vitamins), many different minerals because of the soil in it, and a host of other nutritional factors including anti-oxidants, enzymes and fiber. The feces they eat is of far greater benefit to them than the product peddled by the dog food companies!

    If you don’t want your dog to eat feces (and most of us don’t) then you must provide in the diet all those nutrients which are currently missing from your dog’s diet, and which feces supplies. This requires a team of ingredients like yogurt, eggs, polyunsaturated oils, an enzyme supplement, crushed raw vegetables as a source of fiber, etc.
  4. Your dog is a hunter. Dogs will eat anything that moves. This starts at a very young age with insects, beetles, ants, lizards—whatever walks, crawls or slithers into it’s path. As time passes, birds and small animals are tackled. Later on, with the help of other dogs, larger prey such as deer, sheep, goats, cattle etc. are eaten.
  5. Your dog is an opportunist. This means that a hungry dog will take the opportunity to eat whatever food is available. Many dogs survive happily on the contents of garbage cans! When you think about it, a dog roaming the streets, seeking out it’s own food is living closer to nature and the lifestyle designed by evolution, than dogs fed a consistent "100% complete" dead commercial dog food. It may not have the same foods it’s ancestors had to choose from, but at the same time it is not limited by what some humans or dog food company chooses for it. Much of the food is raw, including vegetable peelings, rotten fruit, and some bones.
  6. Your dog is an omnivore. The fact that your dog is a carnivore, a vegetarian, a scavenger, a hunter and an opportunist means that he is an omnivore. This means a dog can eat practically anything in the way of food. In fact so far as eating goes, your dog is one of the most versatile creatures on earth!! He will survive on just about anything we care to throw at him, even commercial dog food!!

So, as far as the "image" of a weak sister, wimp, pampered pooch, etc. goes, keep in mind that your dog is a hero!! He manages to put up with all the sheer "nonsense" foisted on him by people that "know" what is "best" for him, and still survives.

We all need to make the effort to change the mindset instilled by the mega-buck propaganda boys, and help others to enjoy this wonderful creature without the fear that we may do something "wrong" and hurt this "best friend" of ours. He is a lot tougher than you may think—if you let him be!!