Posts Tagged ‘or’

download (1)Good morning, I hope you are all well and having a great day with your pups.. today I wanted to chat with you for a bit about the dog park.. just a few things I feel is important for you to know in order to have the best possible experience for both you and your dogs, and while I am not a fan of the dog park, I know a lot of people are,. so if you are determined to take your dog or pup to the park there are a few things you should be aware of.

When you enter the dog park with your dog..the first thing that happens is your dogs stress levels go up.. the stress hormone cortisol begins to flood your dogs system ..

and depending on your dogs temperament.. stress can be a good thing or a bad thing..

In well-balanced dogs, stress can help them to learn new things in an excited environment.. in fearful or shy dogs stress can lead to aggression..and if someone doesn’t step in on behalf of the fearful/shy dog..he or she will do a number of things to ward off the dog that is causing the stress..

The first thing a fearful/shy dog will do is to crouch/lie down ..in an attempt to stop the interaction..if this is unsuccessful, they will then snap, bark, and lunge at the dog.. and as always as a last resort they become defensively aggressive and may attack the offending dog.

If you see a dog displaying these signs and your dog is engaging with them.. immediately call your dog to you.. if it is your dog that is showing signs of unhealthy stress..perhaps the dog park is not the best place for you to bring your fearful/shy dog.

I will leave you with a few of my top tips for having a safe and fun-filled romp in the dog park..

1. Before you consider heading out to an off leash park..make sure you have a solid and reliable recall with your dog..if you don’t,.. then the dog park is not going to be a safe place for you or your dog.

2. The idea that dogs should work things out among themselves is a recipe for disaster.. and for this reason you should always be watching your dog and know where they are and what they are doing at all times, leave your cell phone, i-pads and pods in the car..

and finally..

If you do have a solid recall with your dog ..be sure to not sabotage it by calling your dog to come and then clipping the leash on them and going home..your dog will see this as punishment and your reliable recall will suffer.. if you call your dog to come to you often during play,,have them sit..and give them a tasty reward.. then release them to go and play.. you will ensure your dog will always want to come to you when you call ..not matter what they are doing at the time..

Remember ..a dog will not just snap and attack another dog..there are many subtle signs and warnings a dog will give before they resort to defensive aggression.. so observe not only your dog,.. but all the dogs at the park..so you can recognize these signs and get out ahead of any problems at the park.

All the best

Harley

dog sniffing butt

How To Introduce a New Puppy or Dog To The Dog(s) You Already Have

Bringing home a new dog is a highly charged and exciting time.

It doesn’t matter if you get a pup or decide to rescue a shelter dog, if you already have a dog, it’s important to manage the introductions to make sure it goes well for you and your dog(s).

If done right, this getting to know you experience can be relatively stress free for everyone.

I have rescued many dog over the years and I can tell you that it takes about 1-2 months for dogs to settle the new pecking order, and a year before you could say the dogs are now part of the same pack.

They are going to test one another, they might even have a “dust up” or two, that’s why I believe supervision and good management are key to making sure things don’t get too far out of hand.

Watch this short I made on how to introduce a new puppy or dog to the dogs you already have.

Want to learn how to properly crate train your dog?

As Spock would say, it’s only logical captain. 🙂

To find out more about using a crate to manage your dogs behavior go here NEXT!

Ultimate Guide To Properly Crate Training Your Puppy Or Dog

tug of war reuse

I am sure you have probably heard from one trainer or the other that you should not play tug of war with your dog.

Some trainers say you can play tug with your dog but you must never let them win.

 

What I teach people about playing tug of war with their dogs is in direct contradiction to the thinking of conventional dog training. I play the game based on the premise that all the things your dog does has a direct connection to their prey drive and their desire to hunt, and the more value an object has, the more attracted and emotional your dog becomes when they see that object, and if your dog catches, bites and eats that object then there is a certain amount of stress relief that the dog will experience.

Let’s examine this for a moment..

For the sake of argument let’s place a dollar value to some of the prey items your dog finds valuable..with regard to how emotional energized and attracted your dog will be to each object.

When a dog sees a mouse scurry through the grass, he might become attracted and give chase..and while it is fun to stalk and pounce on a mouse and eat it..the dollar value to your dog is about 1 Canadian dollar.. or as we call it..a loonie.

That’s cool, your dog experiences a small reduction in stress levels, and your dog will most likely do it again if he sees a mouse.

Later that afternoon your dog sees a rabbit, or a squirrel, now things are heating up..he gives chase and if he catches the squirrel or rabbit and eats it.. he experiences a bigger rush of “good feelings” and stress reduction, and that is like depositing 10 loonies or so in the dogs emotional doggie bank.

The next day your dog sees a moose, suddenly every nerve in his body lights up with an emotional charge like nothing he has experienced up to this point.. in terms of money..he has just seen 10 million loonies worth of energy and emotion head off into the brush..and if he could only catch the moose and eat him..his stress would totally disappear and he would be the happiest dog on the planet.

You can see how it would benefit you as a dog owner to learn how to be the moose in the eyes of your dog,.. you don’t want to be the mouse, or the rabbit or squirrel, those prey items are fun but don’t attract your dogs emotions and, feelings like a moose, buffalo, or caribou would.

One of the ways you can begin to be the moose is to play tug of war with your dog, the only thing is you must ALWAYS let your dog win..no exceptions.

Here is a step by step guide to playing tug of war with your dog

1. Don’t stand face to face with your dog or smile a lot,.. humans are the top predators and this posture and showing your teeth will make your dog defensive and we want him to be in prey drive, so stand sideways, don’t smile, and don’t look him in the eye.

2. Get two tug toys…I like to use two foot lengths of rope tied in many knots. Put one in your back pocket or tuck it under your arm so you will have one to play with and get your dogs attention when your he or she don’t want to bring the one they have back..when your dog drops the one he has and turns his attention to you..tug and pull with him and when he runs off with that one, pick up the one he dropped and begin the game again.

3. With your dog on a 30 foot long line begin the game slowly, stay relaxed, make sure there are no other distractions, like other dogs playing or kids running around, and be sure to be on your game and paying attention..this game requires your dog to bite hard and if they miss the toy..you might get bit..but if you are careful, this doesn’t have to happen… tease your dog with the tug and entice him to bite it..this might take some time especially with nervous, timid dogs who have built up anxiety and stress..but keep at it..act like the mouse or the rabbit…run away waving the tug, lay down and roll around like a prey animal, and keep teasing your dog with the tug..he will bite it at some point.

4. Amp up your emotions and use your voice to get your dog into prey drive..say things like..” Get it boy”, Sic a hold on it,” or” bite that thang.”

5. If your dog starts to growl a lot then that is not a good thing, this means your dog is afraid he is going to lose the war..so you should quickly let him win.

Winning means he gets to run away with the toy.

A little growling is o,k. just don’t let things get out of hand.

6. When your dog bites on the tug, pull smoothly, don’t jerk hard,,and keep the play session short so your dog don’t get bored..once you have reached a place where your dog is pulling and biting hard try to time it so you release the toy when your dog tugs hard on it..so that to your dog is seems like he earned it and you are not just giving in to him..they can tell the difference.

7. When you are ready to end the game, have a piece of chicken some tasty treat in your pocket, take it out and offer it to your dog, they will take the treat and you can gather up the tug toys..and put them away until the next time you want to work with your dog.

* It is important that the game ends with you having possession of the toys, once you get home put the toys away out of sight of your dog until the next time you bring them out to play.

There you have it, if you have any questions about how to play tug of war to engage your dogs prey drive, tell me about it in the comment section below, thanks for visiting my blog and make sure to come back often.

All the best,

Harley