Posts Tagged ‘do’

aggressive-rottweiler-rGood morning and Happy St.Patties Day,

“May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows your dead.”

Yesterday I posted to Face Book the question, ” What do you do when a strange dog charges you and your dog and you have no opportunity for retreat?”

There was a lot of great discussion about this and I want to thank everyone who took the time to leave a comment.

Now let me start by saying that it is important for people to know that in 9 out of 10 cases the dogs doing the charging are not killers.. simply soft nerved,.fearful dogs, that lack any kind of meaningful training,, and have learned that showing aggression will cause the person or dog to take off and leave them alone..

You only have a few seconds to decide if this is one of those dogs who are just weak-willed and nervous or high drive and confident.. and you have to take action immediately.. I can size a dog up pretty quickly because I have a lot of experience dealing with dogs of all temperaments, the information is in their eyes..and body posture..

Dogs who are just trying to drive you off will have the hair standing up on their backs and will look like they are either about to run or about to bite you..

If you hold your ground, look directly at them, and in a loud commanding voice yell..”Go Home!!” stomp the ground and take a step toward them..they may just do that..

Carry some chicken chunks or liver treats and toss them at the dog.. they may very well forget about you and begin searching out the treats.. and this is your cue to back away slowly keeping your eye on the dog always..

The ones that don’t immediately take off will circle you ..trying to find an opportunity to pinch ya..and if you turn with them,.. keeping your dog behind you at all times.. shorten your grip on the leash so your dog has no chance of getting around you.. you don’t want your dog getting into a fight.. it is your job as leader to protect your dog at all cost..

In most cases the offending dog will not come too close.. but might keep circling, barking and acting tough for quite some time.. in this case you should slowly and I mean slowly back out of their territory..the one thing you don’t want to do is run.. you can’t out run a dog and running will only kick in their prey drive and increase the chances of you getting bitten.. even though you may be scared..don’t show this to the dog..they can sense strength and confidence so make and hold direct eye contact.. and defensive body posture.. you can break down later.

Now what about that one time out of ten when the strange dog that is charging you is a confident, high drive dog with nerves of steel that is not afraid to attack humans..

Let me begin by saying that no amount of yelling, treat throwing.. or stomping the ground is going to stop this dog.. you have only one choice.. you have to go to battle with this dog.. and losing is not an option.. there are many dogs quite capable of killing you and your dog.. Rottweilers, Pit bulls, Dobermans..German Shepherds among others come to mind..

Now unlike the first category of charging dog, this dog will not be barking or have any hair raised up.. they will be laser targeted on you or your dog.. and you must ready yourself for what’s about to happen.. I always carry a 4 foot hardwood walking stick with me.. a two foot tire thumper is good too..but always have it out..

I always have a couple of steel carabiners attached to my belt so I can clip my dog to me ..and have the use of both hands.. you want to prevent your dog from running away..

Ready yourself in your best fighting stance..and when the dog is about 15 feet from you wave your arm out to the side ..this will cause the dogs prey drive to target your arm.. and at the last possible moment when the dog has left the ground and is flying to bite your arm.. step to the side and use your stick to whack the dog hard in the ribs or on top of the head.. this will not in all likely hood cause the dog to retreat.. but it sends the message that you are not going down without a fight.. then you don’t wait.. you attack the dog with all you got.. repeated blows to the top of the head right between the eyes… the ribs..the groin.. usually the dog will give up if it hasn’t bitten you after 3 or 4 attempts..

If the dog gets to you and grabs you by the leg.. wrap your arms around the dog’s neck and choke it to death.. not until it passes out..because a dog that is hell-bent on killing you or your dog will go right back to fighting as soon as it wakes up.. and usually the dog will wake up quickly.. so you might not have time to get away…

If it gets hold of your arm then whack it hard on the head right between the eyes.. usually the dog will give up after about 3 or 4 good knocks on the head..

If you have lost your footing and are in a bad way.. curl up in the fetal position and cover the back of your neck and throat.. with your hands and arms.. keep yelling for help.. you will most likely be badly bitten ..but you may very well survive..

Remember.. don’t run…it will be hard to keep from doing this ..but your life could very well depend on it..

If the dog attacks your dog, the same applies.. continue to whack the dog until it quits and runs off or the owner comes to control the dog.. one thing you should never do is pick your dog up.. this will hamper your ability to fight..and makes your face a target for the charging dog.. keep your dog behind you if possible.. I always attach a couple of steel carabiers to my belt.. and clip my dogs leash to it so I can have the use of both hands..

Pepper spray can work well.. but dogs don’t respond to it like humans .. so be warned it may not stop a high drive determined dog..but a full can of spray to the face will make them think twice about what’s going on..

Regardless of the outcome .. if possible talk to the dogs owner.. be kind..the dog may have gotten away from them by accident.. while it is still his responsibility,. try to work it out..

If the owner is just as hostile as his dog..then call the cops.. and let the chips fall where they may..

A word of caution for those of you who would like to think you would shoot the dog.. let me say this..

I was raised with a rifle in one hand and a dog in the other.. and I can tell you it is not as easy as you might think to shoot any animal that is charging straight at you.. your adrenalin is high, and even if you are a crack shot.. you only have a few seconds to react.. and there is a high probability that you will miss.. and a stray bullet or ricochet bullet in an urban setting can kill or injure by standers.. the risk to others is too high.. so please leave your side arms at home.

Again thank you all for taking the time to comment on this serious issue.. and if you have questions let me know in the comments below..

All the best,

Harley

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I was talking with a friend of mine this morning and she asked me what one thing is most important in order to have well-trained dogs..

I thought about this for a moment and realized that the one thing I do that makes all the difference in how any dog responds to me is that I always work with them when my mind is clear and calm..

I have found a way to shut out thoughts about yesterday and tomorrow..

and to just be present..in that moment of time…

It’s in these moments of mindful awareness that we can both share peace…

Dogs are masters of living in the moment.. but because of the stress of living in our world they often have difficulty calming their mind.. this is when we start seeing behavior problems..

People have difficulty with this concept.. but can experience life in the moment.. for example..

If a soldier is going into combat ..there are no thoughts of tomorrow or yesterday..they are focused on the task at hand..

so to is the person who jumps out of an airplane..

But how can someone get into the present moment from the safety of the living room couch?..

I would like for you to try this 30 second experiment.. sit quietly in your living room or any room for that matter.. and focus on a spot on the floor.. don’t move your eyes from that spot or move your body.. this is important because if your body is moving..your mind is not settled….

Now become aware of the weight of gravity pulling on your body holding you to the chair or floor..

Now focus on a sound in the room..

the hum of the refrigerator ..

the ticking of a clock..

If there is no sound..then the white noise you hear in your head…

Now just hold that focus and mindful awareness of sight,feeling,and sound.. if a thought creeps into your mind that’s o.k..just go back to focusing …

As you hold this mindful awareness for the 30 seconds try to think about what you will do tomorrow.. you will find it is very hard to do.. practice this daily and work it up so you can hold this focus and awareness for 5 minutes at a time..

Then let your dog into the room..don’t look at your dog or speak to them.. just go into this mindful awareness.. you will be surprised how your dog reacts to it.. in most cases your dog will lay down and go to sleep.. and when they do you will know that you have connected with your dog in that present moment.. and you both will feel the peace..

Your training will grow exponentially.. I guarantee it..

I would love to answer any questions you might have, or discuss with you how living in the moment can vastly improve the relationship you have with your dogs.. contact me anytime.. and have a great day!

Harley

crazy dog reuse

 

 

 

 

 

 

My dogs are not inclined to run hog-wild around the house.

I believe that it’s because I work hard to make myself the moose that attracts their emotions, and therefore I’m able to help them bring the fear they have accumulated just by virtue of day-to-day living, to the surface, so that it can now become useful energy.

I accomplish this through games that engage their prey drive and urge to hunt, like tug of war, and hide and go find.

Once the fear energy is under control they can use it to connect with me in a meaningful way.

For example, when we take walks through the woods, play tug of war, hide and seek, and other useful avenues of co-operation, like herding and hunting.

Some people mistakenly think this seemingly out of the blue behavior is humorous, and reinforce their dogs fear by chasing them around in a game of sorts,.. thus bringing that initially invisible threat that set them off in the first place,.. into reality.

For most people this is something they will regret doing later on.

Even though my dogs don’ t behave in this hectic, bouncing off the walls way..I have rescued a few dogs that did.

I always thought it was about the stress and confusion of the new environment, memories of past life experiences, and having to deal with my dogs exuberant social behavior.

I was aware of the “fear factor”, because I observed the way they hauled their buts in low to the ground when they ran in random zig- zagging geometric patterns, as if to protect it from getting bitten by what ever was chasing them in their mind.

I gave it very little thought because after a few days of bonding, ie,  walks in the woods, and playing games designed to engage prey drive.

The crazy hog-wild running around just disappeared.

There is only one down side to my dogs not running hog-wild around the house..I don’t have a video to show you..but thankfully there is YouTube.

I found this short video that shows the behavior I am talking about..and you will see the person with the camera is under the false impression that this is funny, and inadvertently reinforces the dogs fear by chasing him around trying to film the action.

This person doesn’t understand that the dog is trying to connect with him, but don’t know how.

If you have questions about this post or anything that is on your mind , I would love to hear from you, leaving a comment here is a good place to start.

All the best,

Harley

Resource: Natural Dog Training.com

CHECK THIS OUT

 

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It’s not that hard to train your dog to like the leash.

First let me start by saying that your dog was not born with a collar and leash, so it is perfectly understandable that he or she is going to react to this new experience with some concern.

If not done properly it can be very dramatic for both you and your furry faced friend.

I have seen dogs buck and jump, bite at the leash, pull and squirm trying to get that alien contraption off their neck. I have even seen them just lie down and scream bloody murder.

Some just shut down and refuse to move a muscle.

You see to your dog, a leash and collar means the end of their freedom, so it is only natural that they will protest.

If this has been your experience then I am happy you found my post today. I am going to break it down for you so that your dog will form positive associations with the leash from the very first time you clip it on.

Let me show you step by step how easy it can be to train your dog to like the leash.

Start in the house

The first thing you want to do is make the leash a fun and rewarding thing for your dog. I accomplish this by putting a little peanut butter on the clip end of the leash. ( dogs and puppies love the peanut butter)

Next call your dog to come to you..don’t go to them, you want them to get used to coming to you when you call. If your dog hesitates a little and roams around some don’t be to concerned with that, just keep encouraging them with high-pitched happy tones, and soon enough they will smell the peanut butter and come to see what that wonderful smell is.

When your dog gets to you take his collar in your free hand and let him or her lick the peanut butter off the clip end of the leash.

By holding onto the collar you are conditioning your dog to be comfortable with you taking hold of his collar, something you will no doubt do many times in the up coming years.

Hold the collar while poochy gets all the peanut butter, and when he is finished..don’t try to clip the leash on, just release the collar and tell him to go play.

Give him 10 minutes or so and then repeat this process, but this time as he finishes the tasty treat, without making any fuss or saying a word, and while still holding his collar, clip the leash to his collar.

Drop the leash on the floor, let go of his collar and tell him to go play.

For the next 10 minutes you will need to supervise your dog as he moves around the house dragging the leash with him. You will want to make sure he don’t get snagged on something or it will cause the leash to get tight and your puppy or dog is most likely to freak out.

Avoid this at all cost.

After the ten minutes is up, with scooby snack in hand call your dog to come to you, take his collar in your hand and give him the snack, and unclip the leash..then release him to go and play.

Now the next time you practice this exercise, every so often reach down and pick up the leash, don’t pull on it or put any expectations on your dog to perform, not just yet. Just pick it up and drop it. Say something like “good dog” and give him a rub on the head, or a scratch on the ears.

Remember to make everything about having the leash on a good experience for your dog.

Positive, and rewarding association with the leash is what you are striving for.

Now the dog has began to like the leash, it means that good things are coming.

It is now time to put a little pressure on the leash when you pick it up, nothing that will confuse the dog, just a little tug, or slight pressure.

Reinforce the positive association with a snack or with verbal praise.

Once the dog is comfortable with you picking up the leash and applying pressure, it is time to start walking your dog around the house, use the furniture as obstacles to help your dog to pay attention to you and get used to moving in different directions as you lead them with the leash.

Every so often stop and have your dog sit, and give him a food reward, then move on with the exercise.

It is important to not jerk the leash or attempt to correct the dog with high levels of pressure. If your dog wants to go one way and you want to go the other, just stop, and when the dog turns and looks at you then simply move in the direction you want to go. Your dog will follow you.

Well that’s it in a nut shell, this is the easiest way that I know of to train your dog to learn to like the leash. If you have comments or questions just leave them in the section below.

Also if you would like to stay up to date with my postings and let’s face it who wouldn’t right? lol

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You can find my page here..  River Valley Dog Training

all the best.

Harley

anxious dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a part of life for both us and our canine companions.

For us anxiety might mean that feeling you get when you are going to start a new
job and can’t sleep the night before.

Or that gut wrenching feeling just before you parachute out of a perfectly good airplane.

Then there are those people who truly suffer from severe anxiety, and in some cases the anxiety
can be so severe that it causes some people to never leave their homes,and need therapy and medication
just to cope.

What does anxiety mean for our dogs?

Quite often a dog will be anxious about people,children, other dogs, noises, and generally
anything that the dog has not been socialized to accept as a normal part of their lives.

What I find disconcerting is that in a lot of cases dog owners are very cavalier about their dogs anxiety
and they force their dogs to interact with the very things that cause their anxiety..like taking a dog that is anxious about strange dogs to the dog park where they have no choice but to deal with strange dogs, or letting a bunch of random people come up and pet a dog that is anxious about people.

When we talk about separation anxiety in our dogs I often hear people say my dog destroys the house when we leave because he has separation anxiety.

I think it’s important to understand that while destructive behavior can be the end result of anxiety..it is more often a
behavior issue that often is the result of dogs owners punishing their dogs for certain behaviors which teaches the dog that the only safe time to indulge in these behaviors are when the owners are away, on the phone, or taking a shower, and training your dog is the answer.

That being said, destructive behavior can also accompany anxiety..a truly anxious dog in most cases has become anxious because they have unlimited access to their humans..and get so emotionally attached that they fall to pieces when the owners go away.

They will pant,pace, and sweat..and this ramps up the tension and loads adrenalin..so the dog does the only thing they can do to alleviate the anxiety, they go through the house like a hurricane..ripping up the garbage, door frames, beds, couches, and relieve themselves where ever they want.

If you find it’s a case of when the cat’s away the mice will play then training is needed..if it is true anxiety then the
owner must help the dog.

This can only be done, by building confidence in the dog so they can be on their own..

To accomplish this you need to crate train your dog and do it in a way that makes him simply love the crate..

First you would put the crate in the same room as you..and put the dog in with a chew toy filled with his food.

Leave him in there for 5 minutes, then 10 then 15..then move the crate to the next room..then to the farthest end of the house, and repeat the procedure, as the dog gets more confident, begin to leave him longer..and always feed the dog his meals from a chew toy..this will give him something to do in his crate and before you know it he will be looking at you as if to say..can I please go in my crate.

It is the same way I taught my children to spend time on their own..I give them a video game and tell them to stay in the room and play..and they gladly do it..and actually look forward to the time when I would tell them go to your room and play your video games.

Your dog will learn to see chew toys and his crate in the same manner..he gets to chew on something to relieve any stress or anxiety, and he gets a tasty munch while doing it..it’s a win – win situation.

I hope you found this post helpful, and if you did you can let me know by liking my Face Book Page

River Valley Dog Training

all the best,

Harley