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“Playing” at the dog park – Red Alert Behaviors

“Playing” at the dog park – Red Alert Behaviors

Another great article from No Dog About it Blog, again talking about playing at the dog park – red alert behaviours and why dogs need to be supervised, when off lead.

Same can be said if your dog goes to a doggie daycare or boarding kennels. If dogs are running free in groups, they need to have someone watching 100% of the time to watch out for, changes in behaviour, such as over excitement, stress, bullying and aggression.

No Dog About It Blog

Poor guy has a lot of dogs checking him out. Nice dog too. #dogparkThis past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a two-day workshop on dog interactions, dog behavior, aggression and behavior management. One session focused on behaviors often seen at dog parks and doggy daycares. It was eye-opening, mind-expanding and thought-provoking.

One of the key learnings I took away from the seminar had to do with what we often like to think of as “playing” at the dog park. (Hint: Most of what we see at the dog park is not playing.)

When we think of dogs playing, what do we often see them doing? Chasing?  Wrestling? Playing tug? Probably all of those right? But what are we missing?

If you’ve watched any of Sue Sternberg‘s dog park videos, probably a lot. Dogs are always communicating with one another, whether it be before, during or after their interactions with one another. What we consider “play” at the dog park is often not play, but something else, something…

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Posted by on September 4, 2015 in About

 

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Going away over the Christmas Holidays? Now is the time to start thinking about the needs of your dog. Boarding Kennel Stress in Dogs: Things owners need to know!

Going away over the Christmas Holidays? Now is the time to start thinking about the needs of your dog. Boarding Kennel Stress in Dogs: Things owners need to know!

With Christmas just a few months away, many people will be taking a holiday break and maybe going away. Now is the time to start thinking about your pets and who is going to look after them, if they can’t go with you. Dogs can and do get stressed, so if you are planning to leave your pets in a boarding facility, now is the time, to start looking around.

If your pets have never been boarded before, day stays and day/night stays are recommended and should really, be started now. Boarding kennel stress is real! Dogs become stressed the same as you and I and putting your dog into a boarding kennels, can be very stressful for them.

Imagine taking a young child to a strange place and leaving it with people it doesn’t know. The child will more often than not, become distressed and upset. The same thing, can and does happen to dogs.

I hope the enclosed link: Titled “Boarding Kennel Stress in Dogs: Things owners need to know!” will help and inform dog owners, so everyone including your pets, will have a stress free holiday.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2015 in About

 

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At the Dog Park The Importance of Participating

This is a very good video showing why its so important to stay connected with your dog, when you are at the park, as I often say to clients you need to know where your dog is and what it is doing, as it only takes a second for behaviour and atmosphere to change and something bad to happen.

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2015 in About

 

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The Most Dangerous Pet Chew Ever: Rawhide!

Below is a very interesting article on the dangers of rawhide chews.  I used to give my dogs rawhide chews years ago but stopped because, when the chews became soft and pliable, bits of the chew broke off and were either swallowed whole or got caught in the back of their throat and caused them to choke. Its no fun trying to pull a large piece of rawhide out of a Bullmastiff’s mouth.

How can one of the most popular chew sticks on the planet be so dangerous for your pets, you ask? I mean, most dogs chew on rawhide for hours on end, and not only does it keep them busy, but they seem to last forever. Well if you understood what it took to make this… Continue Reading

Source: The Most Dangerous Pet Chew Ever: Rawhide!

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2015 in About

 

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Greeting people may make your dog scared or uncomfortable. It’s all about your dog, its not about you and what you think, your dog needs or should be able to handle.

Greeting people may make your dog scared or uncomfortable.  It’s all about your dog, its not about you and what you think, your dog needs or should be able to handle.

New dog owners and seasoned dog owners, are all too often, not well-informed, when it comes to socialising their dog with people and children. I see it time and time again, the look on the dogs face, its body language saying “Hey I am not happy” while the owners are oblivious to what their dog is trying to tell them. It really makes me, want to pull my hair out sometimes.

In my opinion, the number one cause of many issues we have today with dogs in regards to, dog bites/attacks is “Human Complacency“. While some may not agree with me or maybe even be offended. The reality is, many people today, not all, feel too secure and too comfortable when in the company of dogs and either don’t see or are unaware, of the potential dangers. After all, many of us share our lives and homes, with an animal that is quicker than us, in every way, has teeth that can do a lot of damage and depending on the size, is stronger. If I were talking about another animal, say a Tiger for instance, would people still be so complacent?

As dog owners, its our job to keep our dogs safe and to educate and keep safe, anyone who comes into contact with our dogs. And yes, if someone chooses not to listen to you and thinks they know better, dog owners its ok to say No! don’t think by saying NO, you may offend someone, if that person is offended, its their problem, not yours.

If someone, be it a child or adult wants to come and say Hi and pat your dog. Do you let them rush up and pat your dog on the head? No you don’t, and if they try to, stop them. As a dog owner its your job to protect your dog and educate, the not so well informed.

They have to ask you first, in a calm and quiet manner. Dogs don’t like to be crowded or stared at,  (all have personal space, same as humans) whether it be one person or ten, ask the child or adult to stand side on with their arms by their side, a safe distance away, (the bigger your dog the more space), then your dog has the option to choose, whether to approach or not.

The same applies, in your home or when you are out and about, if you can’t be watching your dog and what is going on around you, 100% of the time, when other people or children are around, remove your dog from the situation. Don’t put your dog in a situation that it can’t handle just because you think, its what it needs. How well do you supervise your dog when around kids and other people?

Dog owners, need to get educated, so they in turn can educate others, on how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. If your dog is scared or uncomfortable, you should know, don’t let complacency rule the day.     Please read: 5 Easy ways to get bitten by a dog

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2015 in About

 

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Socialising your dog, Its all about your dog, its not about you and what you think, your dog needs or should be able to handle.

Socialising your dog, Its all about your dog, its not about you and what you think, your dog needs or should be able to handle.

New dog owners and not so new dog owners are all too often not well-informed, when it comes to dog socialization. socializing your dog isn’t just about socializing your dog with other dogs, it’s about getting your dog out and about, visiting new places, meeting new people, experiencing new sights and sounds because the world isn’t a quiet place. Even if you live rural, it’s a good idea to take your dog out and about.

You often hear by (not all) well-meaning experts, “You must socialize your dog” “if you want a well socialized dog, your dog should meet as many dogs as possible. or you may have problems later on”.

Unfortunately, all too often they neglect to say the dogs you introduce your dog to, should be friendly, non aggressive/non dominant dogs. Reality is, your dog should only socialize with dogs you personally know, who are friendly, non aggressive and non dominant.

Even puppy and obedience classes can contribute to behaviour problems in dogs, if not run correctly.

A bad experience especially at a young age with an unfamiliar dog, situation or person may cause behaviour problems, such as aggression or timidness.

For example: a dog rushes up to your dog and stares at it in the face, barks or jumps at it, or on it,  your dog may feel intimated or frightened. If your dog is attacked by another dog, your dog , may become dog aggressive. The same can happen with children, if they have had a bad experience early on in life, it can stay with them and influence their behaviour, later on in life.

The same can be said when you introduce your dog to unfamiliar people, places or situations, Don’t force your dog into any situation that clearly makes him uncomfortable or stressed. Take things slowly, so your dog has good associations. It’s all about your dog, it’s not about you and what you think your dog needs or should be able to handle.

If you encounter a situation where your dog becomes apprehensive or a bit scared/aggressive DO NOT pat your dog and say “Its OK” by doing that you have just praised your dog for being scared/aggressive. Instead, gently tell him “No”, get your dog to focus on you, so you can help him  behave more naturally, do some obedience, canine parkour, or whatever else your dog enjoys and sometimes if that means removing your dog from the situation, to a place where your dog feels more comfortable, that’s ok.

Click on the links below to read more about socializing your dog.

Socializing your dog the right way.    Dog Owners, its ok to say NO!   Dogs off Leash but not under control

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2015 in About

 

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Dog Attacked this morning on the River Walk Pathway, between Ashhurst and Raukawa Road, Ashhurst, Palmerston North

IMG_6456This morning I received a call from a client. She told me, while she was out walking her dog this morning, her dog was attacked by an off leash dog.

The dog came up from behind and latched on to her dog.(her dog was on a leash). The owner of the dog was jogging along the pathway with another leashed dog in tow. My client told me he ran up and said “dogs never done that before” then he told her “he usually checks to see if anyone is on the track before, he lets the dog off” He then slipped a leash on his dog and ran off. Leaving both my client and her dog traumatized by the incident.

This shouldn’t have happened, dog owner, complacency and a “she’ll be right attitude” have again played a major part in this incident.

This pathway is for everyone to enjoy, if you take your dog for a walk along here, it must be on a leash. There’s plenty of signage, so ignorance is no excuse.

 

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2015 in About

 

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Stop the 77% by The Family Dog, another must see video for all, whether you are a dog owner or not. 77% of dog bites come from the family dog or a friends dog.

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2015 in About

 

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Are you Quake ready? Do you have a survival kit for your pet?

Are you Quake ready? Do you have a survival kit for your pet?

Lately we have had a few shakes around the country, so it got me thinking, how many of  us are disaster ready and have survival kits for our pets, If you had to leave your home quickly, or the power or roads were out, how would you manage, what would you do? As it can be a stressful time for all, including our pets.

I have put a list together of the basic things you will need for your pets.

1. Water, make sure you have enough for a week.

2. Food, Buy some canned food and before many of you throw your hands up in horror and say “I am not feeding that”. Canned food has a higher water content, so it will reduce the amount of the water your pet will need. Don’t forget to include a can opener in your kit. Keep in mind, if you feed a total dry food diet. your pet will need more water.

3.Proof of ownership and vaccinations, ID Tags, papers etc

4. Leads/collars and some form of portable containment

5. First Aid Kit

6. Medications, if your pet is on any medication, make sure you have enough, so stock up.

7. Contact list, boarding kennels, friends, vets, etc

8. Toys, blankets, anything that keeps your pet happy.

9. You should have bowls for food and water but it may pay to buy some portable bowls.

Of course this is just a basic essential kit list but you may want to add more to your own pets survival kit.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2015 in About

 

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Dog Safety and the need to be aware, there is no room for multi-tasking here!

Dog Safety and the need to be aware, there is no room for multi-tasking here!

Lately, I have noticed a lot more dog bite prevention information finding its way on to Facebook and the like, and it got me thinking, I wonder how many people, actually stop and read any of this information, or have many, become immune and don’t even give it a second glance.

Whenever a reported dog attack/bite incident hits the news, it creates a feeding frenzy, unfortunately in many cases, we the public don’t get to hear the full story and yet for many it fuels a lively debate, on what should be done, what isn’t being done but one thing that always seems to come up, somewhere along the way, is the need for more education.

There are many good education programs and resources out there already both online and offline. So what is going on here, I know funding can be an issue for some, even here in New Zealand but are we doing enough?

Is complacency to blame, do we see dogs too much as part of the family and forget that they are dogs.  All too often they are put in situations, (whether it be at home or away), we would not put ourselves in, if the roles were reversed, and yet we expect them to behave and be good dogs.

As a dog trainer, I personally talk to and hand out information sheets to all my clients on dog safety and dog bite prevention. I also tell them they have to become teachers/educators and teach and show anyone who comes into contact with their dog, how to act and behave. Which I know can be hard because many worry they may offend someone, by telling them what to do.

I wonder how many dog trainers, behaviorist, dog training clubs, Veterinary practices (who frequently run puppy classes) pet shops, rescues, dog breeders etc do the same.

I think Molly Summer (Kindred Companions LLC) hit the nail on the head  in a recent article she wrote.

Titled: “You’ll think twice about taking your dog’s photo after reading this…”  (to read the full article click on the link)

“Dog trainers and behavioral consultants see it and we warn the public. We tell owners that “dogs don’t like hugs and kisses”. We explain dog body language and try to open a channel of communication. And finally we try to set healthy boundaries for families and pets. But for some reason all of this education and warning fall on deaf ears. This phenomenon is a relatively new thing. Sure dogs have been family pets for hundreds of years. But the requirement that a dog be tolerant of anything done to it, especially from a child “that doesn’t know better” is new. Most parents wouldn’t leave their toddler alone with a horse, a parrot, or even a cat, but for some reason, a dog is no longer an animal. Instead it is everything but an animal.

Perhaps Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms are partially to blame. Dogs are no longer the family pet. They are the decoration in family photos. The dog is supposed to be the child’s “best friends” but did anyone ask the dog? And even if they are, the meaning of “best friend” is to care about that friend’s needs and concerns. Forcing them to interact while expressing discomfort is not treating them like “best friends.” And before an owner says that they “didn’t see the signs”, ignorance is no excuse. If your best friend spoke a different language you’d do your best to try to understand it. Yet for some reason, dog language rarely becomes part of the conversation. ….”

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2015 in About

 

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