Category Archives: Uncategorized

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Principles and goals, with a focus on modern, humane and scientifically sound training methods that forgo the use of outdated, aversive training methods or equipment.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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The “Choice” Challenge

 

Another great blog post on eileenanddogs.com

group of dogsThanks to Debbie Jacobs and Randi Rossman for their input on this topic. Any weird conclusions are mine alone.

I have come to believe that most of us who thought we were using “choice” as a reinforcer were mistaken.

Wait! Before you come running after me with pitchforks, let me explain. I’m not saying that choice isn’t a wonderful, enriching, and humane thing to provide for our dogs. It can be all that! Rather, I’m concerned about the trend of glomming onto attractive-sounding language without proper analysis of what is actually happening. The problems attending that go a lot further than nomenclature. They can affect the quality of our dogs’ lives.

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The future of behavior medication?

A great blog by The Dog Zombie

We don’t actually know how behavior medications work. We know how they change the operations of cells — for example, we know facts like “this medication makes cells slower to recycle this particular chemical.” But we don’t have a good idea of how those cellular-level changes result in behavior-level changes. We don’t know how these medications make individuals feel better.

And that’s a problem, because not every individual responds to a particular behavior med in the same way. A pathologically fearful dog might have nasty side effects on one med, no response to a second, and then respond beautifully to a third. It’s hard on owners to have to try a variety of medications before finding the right one, especially as it takes a month or two to be sure that a particular medication is or isn’t working. (Oh, yeah, and the same is true for humans who use these drugs.)

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