French Education

I have over the last few years been a regular contributor to a couple of French Bulldog Forums, first asking questions and learning then, answering questions and sharing what I have learnt about taking care of Eti. Out of personal interest I have also researched issues that other members of the forum have been experiencing that I, touch wood, haven't and in doing so learnt a little more. Add to that the many valuable insights gained by reading the many knowledgeable responses from other Frenchie Owners - owners of longer standing, multiple owners, owners with interests in the Show Ring and with insights provided by their network of breeder friends, owners involved with the rescue of French Bulldogs and owners with both healthy and unhealthy Frenchies. This has resulted not in just a little knowledge but also perspective. I have a photographic memory that has always held me in good stead and I haven't just remembered what the problems were that challenged some owners but also what were the practices of the owners that had healthy dogs.

I intend to serve up this information and knowledge in a series of posts that cover topics that I have found to be relevant, recurring issues, or just interesting to French Bulldog owners. You'll see in the sidebar that there are already broad categories like Health, Nutrition and so on- over time this will become subdivided and more easily searchable as I begin to index them. To give you an idea of what these posts might be I thought I might kick off with a post inspired by the phrase "The Concept formerly known as Dominance"- one jokingly coined by Dr. Rosemary Connell in response to the extremely un PC usage of that word nowadays amongst dog trainers and behaviorists but I think I want to spend a little time working on a suitable graphic to represent that just like the artist's. So instead we'll start on a post I'm putting together called "Hug me. I'm French " that ponders if like their human French counterparts who like their greetings with not one kiss but two, our little Gallic Chiens also have a different perception of 'personal space. Without doubt an important focus in this series of posts will be nutrition- a subject that has more dog owners reevaluating and researching options in the light of the recent pet food recalls. So the next post will most probably be "Nutrition Options"- an overview of the three common choices -kibble, home cooked and raw.

We don't fully appreciate the casual confidence that we have in the human world as friends or parents to say 'Oh, that looks like measles' or ' she's annoyed with you because you ignored her'. With our dogs being a completely different species it takes some knowing to recognize an allergic reaction or that grumpy behavior is a symptom of pain. There is a substantial difference in the knowledge threshold between saying to a fellow human 'You need to see a doctor' or 'It would be a good idea to get counselling' and what you would similarly say to a dog owner 'He needs to see a vet' or 'you need the help of a trainer'. Another reason for this knowledge gap is simply that a dog can't say to us like a two year old could- 'my tummy hurts'. Thats the information territory that I am most interested in filling- information that leads to insight and knowledge that transforms a dog owner from one who is baffled by his dog to one who has some ideas on what to do next. Ideas that he has confidence in executing before he or she feels professional help is required.

I am not an expert with any kind of training and all the information and knowledge I've acquired is with this simple ambition in mind and that is to understand my dog a lot better and to be able to confidently know what to do with with him when things go a little wrong and how to get back on the path of keeping him happy and healthy and knowing when to seek professional help. Or, even more importantly understanding the important role of nutrition and successful communication with our dogs in order to prevent things going wrong and ultimately avoiding the need to seek professional medical or behavioral help or at least to keep it to a minimum. The comments section will be available for this part of the site so feel free to add your thoughts.

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