Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Loose Leash Walking. Part I. Foundation. Attention and Basics

Loose leash walking is one of the harder dog training skills to master (for human and dog). It's about so much more than simply keeping the leash loose. Our pups need to learn how to tune in to us, and not get too worked up about distractions.

When Your Dog Gets Bushy

Well bushy is what I call. Most folks probably refer to it as a dog who has her/his heckles up.  A more technical term is "piloerction" (like goose bumps in humans).

See what some authors write about piloerection

  • from Scaredy Dog! Understanding & Rehabilitating Your Reactive Dog by Ali Brown
    When the fur stands up like this it is called piloerection. Their purpose is to make him look bigger and scarier; it’s offensive defense. Hackles may stand up any time the dog is aroused, whether excited, happy, scared or angry.
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    from How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication by Stanley Coren
    In dogs, piloerection (the technical term for the bristling or fluffing up of an animal’s fur) is designed to make them look larger and represents a high level of aggression. As we saw earlier, when a dog is communicating a potential attack, we usually see the fur rise on the shoulders (the hackles), and this may extend in a ridge down the center of the back. At the same time, the tail may bristle out as the dog raises it into a dominant vertical position. If a cat sees this display in a dog, it may misread this as the Cattish statement suggesting that the animal it is looking at is terrified....
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      from ComPETability: Solving Behavior Problems In Your Cat-Dog Household by Amy Shojai
    piloerection, or the fluffing of fur, but the meaning is a bit different for each. When a dog is communicating aggression, the fur will rise in a ridge along the dog's back and shoulders (referred to as the hackles). Cats make the most of this talent by arching their backs and standing sideways to their adversary before they fluff; but rather than signifying aggression, this typical Halloween-look is the sign of a frightened cat.
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    from Help for Your Fearful Dog: A Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Your Dog Conquer His Fears by Nicole Wilde
    Piloerection-raised hackles, hair standing on end-is frequently misinterpreted as a sure indication of aggression. While it is true that piloerection often accompanies an aggressive display, it can also manifest as the result of excitement or fear.When dogs are frightened, they may raise their hackles to make themselves look bigger and more intimidating. As noted ethologist and author Dr. Roger Abrantes says, "The fearful, submissive and surprised dog probably raises its hackles to frighten its opponent. If it succeeds in making its opponent hesitate for a moment it will have a better chance to...
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    from Manual of Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Dogs and Cats by Karen Overall
    not all piloerection signals are a concern but that they always signal information. The standing dog is a Rhodesian ridgeback who has limited choice about how he presents his pelage.
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    from Manual of Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Dogs and Cats by Karen Overall
    Fig. 4-3 A dog with true fear aggression shows the bimodal dorsal piloerection pattern classic for fearful, anxious, and uncertain dogs. No one signal is completely clear in its meaning when alone. Congruent signals are important for clear understanding of behavior.
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      from Manual of Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Dogs and Cats by Karen Overall
    pattern of piloerection is changing and is no longer uniform but beginning to show the bimodal pattern that is fully developed in position 8. This dog is showing only a defensive threat. He could become more assertive and aggressive, more fearful and aggressive, or less reactive, depending on the response received to his threats.
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    from Manual of Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Dogs and Cats by Karen Overall
    Piloerection is uniform down the dorsum and, possibly, down part of the tail. The jaw is squared, and the ventrum of the neck is not obvious and is instead tucked up by the squared shoulders, head, and jaw. This is an assertive dog who would be confident in a fight or attack. This is the type of posture that is seen in learned or natural assertive, offensive threats.
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    from Manual of Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Dogs and Cats by Karen Overall
    • Is the hair up on the back or the neck, and if so, where? Where the hair is raised matters because not all piloerection is signaling the same thing
    [piloerection]... sure sign of high arousal in a dog.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Nail Trims. Part 15. Don't Be Stingy

Not only do I give treats after each toenail grind,  but I also sometimes give a treat after each pass on a single toenail - i.e. grind/treat, grind/treat. Which means one toe might yield 3 treats. Which means by the time we are done, my dogs have eaten anywhere from 18 to 50 treats.

Nail Trims. Part 14. Nail Trim Position

The girls and I have been experimenting with positioning.  I liked it when they were comfortable on their beds, but lately it seems that having the girls in a higher position than me has been beneficial.  I'm not a fan of  grooming tables. I ask the girls to sit in a chair while I sit on the floor. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Just Because A Leash Is On, Doesn't Mean You Have To Go Far

So your dog needs to get out of the residence and sniff or needs to stretch his or legs but:

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Jumping Up. Part VI. From The Mail Bag

From The Mail Bag
I have a male Pom, 1 1/2 yrs. old. When I get home from work, it's non-stop barking and jumping for at least 15 minutes. I've tried ignoring him, doesn't work, tried telling him no, tried to distract him with treats, nothing works. I have scratches on my arms and it's difficult to get down on all fours in my good clothes. Even acts the same way when I feed the horses, he can see me through the gate and knows this is a daily routine. He isn't neutered yet, but will be soon. The other 2 dogs I have don't acts this way, one is 4 and one is 3. Is this something he will outgrow or am I doing something wrong?! 

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.