Insecure Teenage Dogs at the Off Leash Park

Patricia McConnell's Willie

Recently I got asked: “What should I do when my dog goes over to another dog, puts his head over the other dog’s shoulder and, depending on the other dog’s reaction, they will start squabbling?” So far no one got hurt. The dog is just two years old and has no previous history of aggression.

Most dogs go through a phase where they become a bit ‘stroppy’ (as we say in Australia) with other dogs in off leash situations. Anecdotal evidence suggests that male dogs may be more prone to show that kind of behavior.

A previously well socialized and easy going dog suddenly becomes a bully. His body language towards other dogs is more assertive, he might get into scraps and he does not take no for a no.

Behavior is never stable and it always changes, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. The change I am talking about often happens when the owners already have a difficult time with their teenage dog.

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Pet Professional Guild announces scholarship program for members to further force-free education

Eligible candidates can apply for educational opportunities that support PPG’s stance on avoiding the use of aversive methods and equipment in animal care and training

Screenshot 2017-01-14 11.07.18WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla.Jan. 17, 2017PRLog — The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) is to provide a limited number of scholarships for members to further their education in force-free training and/or pet care. Under the PPG Education Scholarship Program, members will be able to apply for suitable educational programs offered by organizations that support PPG’s Guiding Principles and goals, with a focus on modern, humane and scientifically sound training methods that forgo the use of outdated, aversive training methods or equipment.

Full, associate, and provisional PPG members across all training and pet care specialties are deemed eligible scholarship applicants, provided they are a current member and in good standing for a minimum of 12 months.

PPG must receive scholarship applications between March 15 and April 15 any given year via an online form. All applications will be reviewed by the scholarship selection committee, which includes members of the PPG education committee, the PPG steering committee and a PPG board member. Final scholarship recommendations will be forwarded to the PPG board of directors by May 15 of any given year, and the board of directors will notify all applicants of the outcome of their applications no later than June 15 of the year in question. Scholarship funds will be remitted directly to the educational provider and not the candidate.

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PPG Publishes Open Letter to Veterinarians on Referrals to Training and Behavior Professionals

Expresses concern that, in an unregulated industry, pet owners may be referred to individuals who do not use scientific protocols or adhere to the premise to do no harm, regardless of credentials

Pet Professional Guild (PPG) has published an open letter to veterinarians and animal care professionals regarding the practice of referring clients to pet training and behavior consultants. In the letter, PPG expresses its concern that, because the animal training and behavior industry is currently unregulated, pet owners may find themselves being referred to individuals still using outdated training methods that are reliant on the use of aversives, while eschewing modern, humane protocols that are scientifically proven and sound.

In the letter, PPG highlights the fact that, at present, anyone can call him- or herself a dog trainer, credentialed or not, and that very few industry associations do not currently hold their members to a strict code of conduct. Of primary concern to PPG is the fact that, under the guise of dog training, there are still many who use punitive methods, including startle devices, such as disc throwing, loud correctional “no’s,” and even more extreme tools, like shock collars, choke chains and prong collars. Due to the “slick, magical way they are marketed to unsuspecting pet owners,” PPG states that pet owners, and indeed those making referrals, may not immediately be aware that such individuals rely on “subtle, or even invisible,” fear-based methods for training and behavior change.

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Cheeseball Recall

jacobBy Brenna Fender

If you need to work on getting your dog to come when called, here’s a fun game to try!

  1. Select an easy-to-eat, fairly dry, easy-to-toss, visible treat. The name of this exercise comes from the use of puffed cheese ball snacks (the kind humans eat!) as treats.
  2. Toss the treat a few feet out in front of your dog. Make sure he sees you throw it.
  3. When he goes to eat the treat, wait for him to finish.
  4. As he finishes the treat, call his name and, when he looks at you, throw the next cheeseball a short distance behind you. If your dog is small enough, throw it between your legs and have your dog run through them to get the treat. If not, throw it so he runs just past you.
  5. Repeat.
  6. When your dog is anticipating each toss, add the “come” cue. As your dog is beginning to turn toward you, say “Come” in a happy, upbeat voice.
  7. Practice often!

The Cheeseball Recall is just one part of a good education in coming when called. Recalls are crucial to canine safety. If you need help training your dog, contact Courteous Canine for safe and effective recall training.