There, I said it. I'm not ashamed of it, and I'd say it again. :P
Has anyone read any of his books?
I know this will show my ignorance, but who is he and why is he the stupidest man alive?
I was driven to distraction by THIS article.
He used to be a technology writer, until the tech people realized that he didn't know anything about technology. Then he bumbled into a career as a writer about dogs, mostly as a result of some extremely narcissistic and myopic memoirs about being a sheepherding dilettante. He adopted three border collies. One of whom he gave away for some reason. One, Orson, the subject of the article above, he ended up having put down without first going to a veterinary behaviorist for evaluation and a treatment protocol. Apparently he had no idea what a real working border collie was, and the dog paid the price. And Katz of course gets paid by writing a memoir about how wonderful he is that he did all that he could.
He has previously said in public that mixed-breed dogs are not good family pets. He has said on the radio that dogs "live about 8 years." ??? When called to account for his frequent errors and training debacles, he protests that he is not a professional trainer. This despite the fact that he wrote a book subtitled "A Commonsense Guide to Training and Living with Dogs."
Other than that, he's swell.
What a D**k head (pardon my french). :-X People like HIM should be euthenized! not dogs like Orson!
Love,<br />Giuli<br /><br />
To be fair, the dog in question was growing increasingly aggressive, not allowing any visitors into the house, and biting (breaking skin) on three different occasions.
Katz did implement a training protocol, ran tests through his regular vet, added holistic remedies, and attempted containment/management of the problem.
Not every dog is able to live happily with humans.. and what kind of life would it be to be isolated in a dog run or to live muzzled 24/7? A good friend of mine just euthanized his springer mix after he bit 5 times, the last three within weeks of each other (ie like Orson, his aggression was escalating). My friend hasn't written any books, nor claims any great dog experience - he just wanted a dog he could live with. Nothing stupid about it.
How difficult is it when you live on a farm to manage this situation? How did Orson's behavior escalate to this point in the first place? How is it that a veterinary behaviorist was NEVER consulted? How is it that a veterinary behaviorist wasn't consulted earlier? All that stuff in the article about MRIs and expense is pure BS. How often are MRIs needed to diagnose behavioral issues? How much would it cost to work with a behaviorist? $400? $500? How much money did he make off of "A Dog Year"?Originally Posted by kaytris
I definitely believe that putting a dog down is sometimes the most compassionate thing you can do in cases of extreme aggression. I think that should be done with your eyes open and with no excuses. And I simply do not believe Katz's annoying and self-serving excuses that he had done everything for his "soulmate." This is a guy who had already given one dog away. If he didn't already have a reputation for stubbornness, bad judgment, bad advice, and smarminess, then I guess I might be cutting him more slack. But the thought of him cashing in on his dog's euthanization just really disturbs me.
The vet tests mentioned in the article were to rule out a physical cause for his aggression (ie brain damage), not a behaviourist. Its been a while since I've read the book (borrowed from the library, so don't have it handy), but Katz was having some long-term work done on his property (facing a year or more of non-stop workers on his property) which was driving Orson insane. Even in a run, or inside the house, Orson was doing all he could to drive off the intruders. So Orson was living in a non-stop state of hyper-arousal. In this time, he nailed three visitors on or passing by the property, including a child.
Did Katz do the right thing? Can't say, I'm not in his shoes and didn't live with Orson. Is he smarmy and self-serving? Yep, but so is Oprah. Loads of people make money off of personal tragedies. Leaving aside the book, should he be condemned for euthanizing Orson?
Glass houses and all that....
I read "A Good Dog" by Katz. I didn't particularly care for his writing style and I got a little hacked off on his comment about labs toward the end. I don't plan on looking for any more books by him.
He should be condemned for euthanizing orson and then writing a book about it. That could influence owners of dogs that are less agressive then orson and make the owners give up on their dogs and have them euthenzied because he makes it seem "ok" but that is just my opinion. I deal with animals like orson on a daily basis, both in my home and at the animal sanctuary that I work at. There ARE places that take in dogs like orson and give them the peace they need to feel safe and not be so agressive and adjitated. I would know, I work for a place like that. The fact that he didn't think of somewhere to place orson where he would be better off disgusts me.
Love,<br />Giuli<br /><br />
i read A Dog Year while i was at Barnes and Noble. it was short and easy to ready, so i read it at the store. i had mixed emotions about the story and how katz regards dogs. he seems to really love dogs and treat them with respect, but at the same time, he does other things that i seem a bit at odds with his light hearted writings about dogs. i've read other dog articles by him that i enjoyed. there is usually humor involved and grains of truth about dogs that i feel that i can relate to, but when i read this book, there were a few moments of discomfort for me. for instance, in the story, he uses a throw chain to startle his dog for the purposes of training for good behaviors. in the book, he also has an angry, semi-violent wrestling match with one of his dogs, and he seems convinced that it was needed and helpful to the relationship. :-\ maybe it was. he certainly seemed to think so. i think some people call this a come to jesus meeting. personally, i think come to jesus meetings with our dogs can potentially do more harm than good, but i know lots of other people feel differently.
"Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford