Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nail Trims. Part 13. Pet Grooming Sling

With the help of a professional, the grooming sling might be a safer alternative to a slip lead and grooming table.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Loose Leash Walking - Pulling Begets Pulling

Many of us keep our dogs on leash - because it's the law, because it's safer, as a courtesy to others, etc..
But just because the leash is on, it doesn't mean we should use it like a steering wheel.

Opposition Reflex

Grisha Stewart’s Behavior Adjustment Training
Dogs have a natural reflex to go the opposite direction of pulling.
Jean Donaldson’s Culture Clash
The other reason that has been put forward for pulling in dogs even to the point of gasping for breath in obvious discomfort is what’s called an opposition reflex. As soon as they feel pressure against their necks or chests, they reflexively lean into it… So given what you are up against, it is prudent to begin anti-pull training from day one, rather than waiting till the dog has an entrenched pulling addiction.
Jolanta Benal’s The Dog Trainer’s Complete Guide to a Happy Well Behaved Pet
..dogs have an opposition reflex meaning that their normal response to being pulled in a given direction is to pull in the opposite direction, so their default when the leash is tight is to pull it even tighter
Nicole Wilde’s Help For Your Fearful Dog
Dog’s have an opposition reflex meaning that if they are pulled in one direction, their instinct is to pull in the opposite direction. If pushed they will push against the force. This instinct helps to maintain equilibrium. This reflex is why when an owner attempts to put a leash on a young pup and pull him along, the pup digs in and puts on the brakes. A leash is not meant to pull a dog. In fact, when a dog is walking correctly, the leash should be slack, resembling the letter ‘J’
Karen Pryor’s Reaching the Animal Mind
As they push and pull, they feel the stiffness in the dogs’ muscles, as an automatic opposition reflex causes the dogs to push back against the pressure. They can also see on the dog’s faces, increasing confusion and fear. In fact, the trainers can no longer not see the stress they are causing.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Dog Parks - How Do We Prepare For Our First Visit?

From the mailbag:
I would like to know how to introduce my 5 month old Collie puppy to a dog park. I have never taken a dog to a dog park before and our town has a new one. Any help would be appreciated.

There are several reasons I would not go into a public dog park. Below are a few initial considerations:

Nail Trims. Part 12. Finding the Quick.

One of the reasons that many dogs find nail trims so scary is because they have been "quicked" before.  The vet staff or groomer might have cut into the fleshy part of the nail.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

When You Don't Feel Like Walking

Note: Be sure to consult a vet before starting any new exercise programs.

A lot of us love taking our dogs walking every day.  But sometimes we just can't.  We might be tired of dealing with loose dogs, the weather might not be cooperative, etc..

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Primary and Secondary Reinforcers

A primary reinforcer is something that dogs, cats, humans, bugs etc.. don't have to learn to like: food, play, attention, etc..