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Counter Conditioning Leash Reactive Dogs - Less Stress More Success

Counter conditioning and desensitizing leash reactive dogs are perhaps one of the more challenging aspects of dog training. It is never as easy or as difficult as some make it out, but is surely work and it is work that needs to be done, after all no one wants to have a dog that is lunging and barking on leash.

Here is a link for a video that that corresponds to this blog. http://youtu.be/OMLrYaoxNOs

No matter how one goes about the process there are a few crucial aspects that must be adhered to or else things will either get very bad or stay at the same stressful level. The goal is to reduce stress and help the dog learn to deal with being on leash.

1 – Mechanics and timing of the dog handler. This is the prime function that all other aspect hinges on. If the dog handler is discombobulated and disorganized the dog will have many over threshold responses and thus the rehearsal of unwanted behavior will continue.

 

Har-Vest Yields 12/12/12

Har-Vest: 3-in-1 Backpack for Dogs was born out of inspiration and need and gave birth to my inventive entrepreneurial spirit within the dog world. It was simple. Merge a no-pull harness with a functional, durable and attractive vest/backpack. Minimize the amount of equipment a developing puppy would need to endure and yet enhance training, socialization and control using positive methods. Beyond original conception, Har-Vest also had the added benefit of calming the unruly dog and increasing confidence in the overwhelmed dog. And suddenly, here we are, hundreds if not thousands of dogs later on 12/12/12. And I realize it was 12 years ago this month that the inspiration began. And, to honor the beloved 12 days of Christmas, not to mention we're in the middling stage of Chanukah, with numerology and light all around, I thought it a great day to highlight some of Har-Vest's benefits and features.

 
Guinness, Muttamorphosis Dog Training's dog, behind a dog gate used while people visit to avoid trouble with greetings.

Who’s at the door? Santa or Satan?

In terms of dog/owner frustration & concern, coming a close third place behind recall & dog/dog reactivity issues, is greeting guests. Unlike recall or dog/dog reactivity, training appropriate greetings should not cause as much stress as it seems to. The fact that the challenge is occurring in an owner's home, means people have complete control of the environment in which they are training. As such, it should be easy to manage their dog’s behaviour & retrain a greeting acceptable to all concerned. So why is it such a common challenge then?

 

Vet Visits Need Not Be Stressful.

This video shows a brief clip of teaching a dog to be comfortable with a nasal vaccine. 

 

Polish Tatra Rescue Saga

 rescue |ˈreskyoō| verb ( -cues , -cued, -cuing ) [ trans. ] save (someone) from a dangerous or distressing situation

 

Advocacy Overdrive – Stop Verbal Violence Against Pit Bulls

The blog has a corresponding video at this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVRDrA8zuzw

The cheapest version of violence is verbal. It can be dispensed with out any consequences many times and furthermore in many social settings verbal violence is readily accepted as a “joke” or a slight on a group or individuals that everyone can gang up on.

In the media verbal violence against Pit Bulls is rampant. It lives on in the form of talk show hosts using the term “pit bull” as a conflated way to get attention, garner “phones” at radio stations and it has been long understood that headlines which create “monsters” and fear, especially fear of an “unknown” or “other” will sell the news like nothing else. This is programmed fear mongering.

 

Viewing training sessions on film

These days’ people log in many hours on screens watching TV, YouTube, Video games, Phones and so forth. However how much time is spent watching videos of training dogs that we do with clients dog or even our own dogs? Viewing videos for the nostalgia or the cute moments are fine and we all need to do a fair amount of that. Viewing for the purposes of bettering the training process and accurately observing and assessing the environmental and behavioral aspects for both the humans and the dogs is crucial for improvements.

Trainers spend all sorts of time and money watching other trainer’s DVD’s and so forth and that is fine. That is a very good thing to have access to. The truth is most dog trainers spend very little time watching themselves on film and critiquing the process accurately.

 

The Indoor Dog Ideal

If I said to you that I worked with some dogs whose owner makes them live outside, what is your first thought?  I know mine is usually dirty, parasite laden dogs who bark at strangers and don’t care much for being petted.  That’s because those are the outdoor dogs I grew up around.

Some imagine that an outdoor dog is sad and lonely, constantly hoping for the chance to come inside.  Some imagine a dog on a chain whose world is small and unfulfilling.  Depending on where one lives, you might think of the shivering, wet dog who has no shelter while its owners are toasty warm inside.

 
Roger Abrantes and boxer.

Dog Training—Let's end the fighting!

The dog trainers’ dispute about training methods blazes on unabated, with the erroneous and emotive use of terms such as dominance, punishment and leadership only adding fuel to the fire. There is no rational argumentation between the two main factions, one of which advocates a “naturalistic” approach and the other a “moralistic” stance. The term ‘dominance’ generates particular controversy and is often misinterpreted. We can detect, in the line of arguing about this topic, the same fundamental mistakes committed in many other discussions. By taking the controversy over dominant behavior as my example, I shall attempt to put an end to the feud by proving that neither side is right and by presenting a solution to the problem. Plus ratio quam vis—let reason prevail over force!

I shall demonstrate that the dispute is caused by:

 
Hazel lips her lick, a common expression of dogs getting their photo taken

Understanding Calming Signals in Dogs

Calming Signals is a term coined by Turid Rugaas, a Norwegian ethologist and dog enthusiast. Her obvious love and long term devotion to observing dogs with their own kind has led to her ground breaking work in articulating these signals into written language (Norwegian, English and no doubt dozens of other written languages -- ironically, dogs speak the same language regardless of country of origin or the spoken language of their people).

 

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