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Author: admin, 07.05.2014Between alternately crying into our ice cream sundaes and scuttling indoors to air-conditioning, we hit the dog beach! Last year I made a map of dog-friendly beaches in the United States and encouraged readers to comment with beaches they frequent in their hometowns.
This is the fifth blog in our dog training series written by Adopt & Shop trainer and pet safety coordinator Jessica J. This guest post is authored by Adam Holmes, a writer for wireless fence provider, Havahart Wireless and a lifelong lover of dogs. Most people at some point in their lives have experienced the woes of having their dog run away. It’s very common for barking and lunging at other dogs (or certain people, noisy trucks, etc.) to be called aggression. Many dogs have learned that the best defense is a good offense: a display that’s designed to drive the scary thing, the trigger, away. Worse, when the leash is clipped to the collar instead of a harness, strong pressure on the neck just adds to the dog’s stress, especially if he’s choking! There are several good online resources for learning how to recognize the early warning signs that your dog is heading for a meltdown unless you move to safer ground. Lisa Benshoff is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and behavior consultant in Easton. As a private trainer and avid observer of dogs in public, I see a lot of people focused on making their dogs do something they don’t want to do. Giving dogs the freedom to choose is little understood but one of the most important things I’ve learned from Tellington TTouch®. Little dogs are probably the most pushed around because if they resist we can just hold them still or carry them.
When the handler applies pressure, even if it seems gentle, the dog may panic because now he really has no choice at all. Believe it or not, sometimes the easiest way to get a reluctant dog to cooperate is to stop insisting and just give her a minute or two. If this change doesn’t happen with your dog, the next step is to figure out how to make that situation easier for her, so she can view it differently or begin to overcome her fear(s). The February issue of The Whole Dog Journal is eagerly awaited for its annual list of approved dry dog foods.
To the surprise of many owners, a wide array of health and behavior problems are related to food. The article also recommends keeping the bag until the food is all gone, in case it causes your dog to become ill. WDJ also provides expert advice on training, behavior, many health issues, new products, and much more. Another reason for inconsistent reactivity could be that the dog is already stressed by something that happened earlier, and the presence of *any* other dog could cause a negative reaction.
Changing the emotional response works by making the appearance of other dogs (at a distance) predict good things, such as high-value treats. In the meantime, always pay attention to your dog when other dogs appear and give him plenty of space when he looks worried, changing direction if necessary. Remember that we can’t simply stop behavior we don’t like; we need to teach an alternative behavior for that situation.
For entertainment, there’s a new cable channel on DirecTV called DogTV that’s designed to entertain and amuse dogs home alone. It usually comes too late, right after the behavior instead of during or when the intention is clear (tensing muscles). By Lisa Benshoff, positive trainer, dog behavior consultant and certified TTouch practitioner. If any of these behaviors describe what you are seeing at home, have a veterinarian take a look. I recall an older Cocker Spaniel that had horrible ear infections, the dog was very aggressive toward anyone who came near him. For alarm or guarding barkers, Turid Rugaas, a Norwegian trainer famous for identifying the Calming Signals dogs use to communicate with each other and with us, advises to do this: Say nothing and go stand between him and the sight or sound, with your back to the dog, and hold your palm out flat, facing him. If it’s demand barking (steady, loud, staring at you), be aware that you may have taught your dog that he will get what he wants if he yells at you!
Behavior modification: If the problem is fear-based, counter-conditioning can change your dog’s emotional response to his triggers. We are excited to introduce to you Lisa Benshoff, creator and author of our Baywater Dog Blog! Our Facebook fans responded with comments about the ease they found walking their dogs once they switched to using harnesses.
When I tell someone that I study dog behavior and cognition, the usual response is a cocked head and a smile ranging from incredibly wide and excited to incredibly confused and unsure.
Julie Hecht is a canine behavioral researcher, science writer, and PhD student at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Welcome to the Scientific American Blog Network, a forum for a diverse and independent set of voices to share news and opinions and discuss issues related to science. From experienced to first time pet owners, adopting a dog or cat can be an experience filled with questions.
Dog Training and Cat Behavior Blog The latest blog posts from our cat care and dog training experts. It’s one of the most heart-breaking moments in a dog owner’s life, and unfortunately, it’s an all too common occurrence.
This discomfort becomes associated with the dog’s triggers, which can only worsen the dog’s fear. Even a couple of inches is enough to maintain control of your dog without making him feel trapped and vulnerable. I’d like to suggest why it may be a misinterpretation of your dog’s attitude and how you can improve his responsiveness.
That means instead of trying to force a Sit, Down, Leave It, or Watch Me, you should be helping your dog to feel safe. Dogs are taking in lots more sensory information than we’re aware of, and they need time and space to assess a situation. It can be a huge step forward for a dog to realize that you are listening and respecting her choice. That means they become less and less nutritious, AND the fats they contain will turn rancid, which is easily detectable by dogs. Fortunately, your dog probably has separation distress rather than true SA since he doesn’t hurt himself or commit extreme destruction when you leave.
My favorite is Through a Dog’s Ear, lovely music designed and proven to soothe and quiet dogs who are anxious in any situation. Well, if you look at it from your dog’s point of view, NO can be very unclear, since he may actually be doing several things at once. Let’s say you’re walking your dog and need to stop to tie your shoelace, to let a car go by, or say hello to a neighbor. You’re walking with your dog when she catches an interesting scent and wants to go into the bushes or across someone’s lawn. Your dog has picked up your TV remote or cellphone and is heading for his bed where he can enjoy chewing it to bits. She says this posture reassures the dog that you are taking care of the “threat” and he can stand down. Food is often overlooked as a factor in undesirable behaviors, including excessive barking and aggression. Undesirable behavior can fade away when you simply focus more on increasing the behaviors you like by noticing and rewarding those. Start indoors, with your dog nearby and have within reach a bowl or treat bag with small bits of high-value food, like cheese or chicken. Lisa is a dog behavior consultant, positive trainer, and a certified practitioner of Tellington TTouch®.
Below are Lisa’s insights into harnesses and why they might be a good choice for your dog, too. They heard the word dog, and (unless they are someone like Farhad Manjoo of Slate) they would love to talk about dogs, and particularly, their dog.
And if the dog is truly panicked about the approaching dog (or kid on skateboard, or UPS truck, or .
Feeling trapped by the leash, this dog feels he has no choice but to fight—or look as if he will! Anticipation of that pressure—sometimes caused by the owner popping the leash—when he sees his trigger coming closer and closer, elevates the fear, which causes the behavior. This effort must begin at a distance where your dog can look at his trigger without reacting, which varies a lot and depends on the individual.
I have seen many people expect their dog to Come or (lie) Down just because they “commanded” it, without doing the training that actually teaches what the cue means. When a dog is scared, anxious, angry, or otherwise upset about a person, dog, or something else in his environment, his brain and body are entirely focused on responding to the perceived threat. Avoiding these common mistakes can not only prevent digestive upsets and trips to the vet, but may also explain why your dog sometimes refuses his food. Buying cheap food may cost you much more at the vet clinic and also contribute to behavior problems.
In fact, positive trainers call this behavior (barking, lunging, growling, snapping) reactivity, not aggression. Specific would be changing the emotional response to other dogs, or at least the types that cause reactivity, and training a better behavior.
This method, which requires set-ups to train, rewards a calm response to seeing another dog by moving away from the other dog, which is what the dog really wants in the first place. For your dog, I would recommend using food to keep him busy, as well as products to help him feel better. Low-quality foods contain little or no quality protein (avoid byproducts!) and too much carbs (corn, soy, wheat should not be among the first five ingredients on the label), along with other ingredients linked to behavior problems and poor health, especially chemical preservatives, additives, and dyes. Even if they do suppress the barking, they just add to the dog’s stress, fear, and confusion, which may lead him to find another outlet for his feelings–a brand-new problem behavior. We have seen this happen many times with shy or timid dogs in TTouch classes and private sessions.
Both methods are far more effective and humane than punishing the dog for reactivity, which can just convince him that the presence of other dogs actually does predict bad things for him. I like Himalayan Dog Chews because they’re healthy, very hard, and can last for hours or even days, depending on the dog.
No wonder if the dog needs more time or clues to figure out what you want, or throws his paws up in frustration. And barking or behaving aggressively often works to make scary things go away, so that’s what he’ll keep on doing. Many studies and vets support the view that switching to a high-quality food can produce dramatic behavior changes.
As you probably already know, yelling No and rushing over to him can either frighten your dog into self-defense mode or prompt him to run off with it, just what we don’t want. There’s no need to use the name unless your dog is focused on something else, or unless you have a multidog household and you are speaking to one particular dog.
Say in a cheerful voice, “Excuse me,” or “Quiet please” or any other cue your dog doesn’t already know (and ignores). If you train a cue in different locations, gradually adding in the 3 D’s (distance, duration, and distractions), one at a time, your dog will really understand what you want, no matter where you are.
Be aware that when dogs are in a very emotional or reactive state (what’s called being over threshold), NO is completely useless to stop those involuntary behaviors. Worse, grabbing items from a dog’s mouth may eventually turn him into a resource guarder, which can be dangerous and isn’t easy to undo. In those situations, say the dog’s name, pause for him to look at you, and then say the cue.
Now the dog is extremely off balance, even off the ground, and this often prompts the handler to pull back. So take the time to reward your dog for dropping stuff, starting with very low-value items, in order to avoid destruction and unnecessary confrontations. Increase the distance between your dog and his triggers by crossing the street, changing direction, or walking in a quieter area or at quieter times of day, if possible. A tight leash can also communicate that the handler is nervous, which just adds to the dog’s tension.
Many dogs do adapt, but others have no idea what to do and their confusion produces stress.
The Whole Dog Journal also provides excellent nutrition information and recommendations for dry and wet food. Biology and psychology both greatly inform what we know and are learning about dogs.I gave a run down of the entire conference topics and scientific presenters here. Repeating it three or more times teaches the dog that he doesn’t really need to respond until you say it with force, the fourth or fifth time.
And, getting back to dogs, if you consistently have to repeat your cue, it’s likely that either (1) he doesn’t really understand what it means (because it wasn’t trained well enough, in many places and with distractions) or (2) that he just can’t hear you because he’s really distracted. That’s not to be interpreted as blowing you off: it’s just a fact that an intense focus on something he’s watching or smelling means that his ability to hear and process what you’re saying is very diminished. Having signals for the basic cues is extremely helpful since dogs pay more attention to our body language.
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