Sit, stay.

(Good Dog.)

How does mankind shape and control their natural environment and therefore treat their animals?

Dogs are one of the most popular pets all over the world. They are spoiled with treats, given presents and sleep in people’s beds. Yet, living in a man-made environment they have boundries, mostly set by humans. There are different ways to control dogs - leashes, harnesses and collars, muzzles, fences and kennels. I am wondering – although we love and try to take good care of our pets, why do we still smother and choke them?

A wirehaired Dachshund in a stroller at the Central Station in Rotterdam. This breed is a hunting dog, which needs a good training and a lot of exercise. It doesn't appreciate the company of unfamiliar people.

A forbidden collar. In the handbook about German Sheperds from 1912 it states: Only choke collars are suitable for the dog. If it dashes the small spikes will bore themselves into the dogs flesh and punish it instantly. This is also easy to do by a small jolt with the leash, if needed. This collar could also injure the dog owner, if he grabs the dog. By now, these collars are forbidden by law.

(image from Der Deutsche Schäferhund in Wort und Bild; v.Stephanitz, 1912, Ant.Kämpfe:Jena)

A Siberian Husky in the Scheveningse Bosjes in The Hague. These Independent and clever dogs are strong willed and need vigorous exercise. They should be taken running, hiking or biking every day. If something catches their interest while they are off-leash, they will be gone.

This poor elderly dog is almost blind and deaf and cannot walk far anymore. It has sunglasses to be protected from the harsh sunlight.

Another forbidden collar.
Contrary to the Coral collar above, v.Stephanitz advised the pinch collar also for daily walks, not just for training - especially if the dog likes to pull.

(image from Der Deutsche Schäferhund in Wort und Bild; v.Stephanitz, 1912, Ant.Kämpfe:Jena)

A dogwalker with equipment.

A lot of American Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers end up being surrendered to a shelter. Within this particular facility 95% of the dogs that need to be placed into a family belong to either of these breeds. People often underestimate that these confident and strong dogs need proper training. They have high energy and endurance.

What many dog owners don't realize, is how they hurt their dog when pulling on it's leash. There are nine different parts of the neck that can be injured by pulling the leash too hard.

The need for control over the dog goes so far, that there are even apps to monitor it. The app is connected to a collar that measures movement and tells the dog owner, how active the dog was during the day. Furthermore, the location of the dog can be tracked.