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APDT Conference 2018

Last week I spent my time in Memphis, TN for the 2018 APDT educational conference. Our conversations and workshops included:

  • Aggressive dogs – safety to effective treatment
  • Enrichment of all dogs – puppies, puzzles, cognitive games, word discrimination (can your dog be Chaser?), and imitating humans (always something new)
  • Even IT security – who knew?
  • Shelter dog training – stress, testing, music to calm, games, and my favorite, ‘…it’s not about a walk, it’s about enrichment and training…’
  • ‘Where does your dog sleep?’ study – Answer – with their humans – maybe not in the bed, but the same room offers the most stable non destructive and lower stressed dog – I knew that 😉
  • And much more I didn’t see
    Lori, Lisa, and Linda – Beal Street, Memphis, TN

    With all that information spinning in our heads – we had to get out and have a little fun eating ribs and listening to the blues.

Let the puppy Play!!!

If puppies have plenty of proper toys to play with, it is easy to teach them to ‘leave-it’ and ‘drop-it’ and tell them “all done” when it comes to the items we don’t want them chewing.

Puppies need to play. Like our human children, their job during development is PLAY!

Pax`e head in toy box

Don’t limit their toys.

Pax`e sits among the toys

Instead, expand their horizons because they need to explore and chew in order to learn what is and is not appropriate.

Because of this, we can use this play to teach them how to leave their toys, drop them, ignore them, and hopefully not guard them. And, we can prevent them finding toys like boots, shoes, socks, etc.

If they have plenty of proper toys to play with, it is easy to teach them to ‘leave-it’ and ‘drop-it’ and tell them “all done” when it comes to the items we don’t want them chewing.

Pax’e is a nine week old AussieDoodle. In teaching her to tug at my sock, she learns that commands can be fun. She learns socks are boring. And, while she may have wanted to tug with that sock instead of giving it up at first, the ‘drop-it’ command worked.

It’s never too early to start teaching, playing, having fun, and building your relationship with your pup.

Over the next several weeks/months Pax’e’s training exploits will be showcased. Sometimes with success and sometimes, maybe not.

Regardless of success, it will always be a learning process.

Whole Dog Journal training article

For those of you who don’t subscribe to the PleaseDon’tBitetheBaby blog, I am cross-posting:

Once again Pat Miller CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA has written a lovely article for the Whole Dog Journal that offers families with dogs some great tips on keeping kids and dogs safe around each other.

If you subscribe to The Whole Dog Journal, you will see this month’s March 2018 edition with the article: “Kidding Around, Combining kids and dogs in your family can be magical and heartwarming, or cause a devastating tragedy…”

If you don’t subscribe to WDJ, I highly recommend you do, and not just for this article, there is so much more. At least a half a dozen times a month I recommend WDJ to new dog families and even established dog families for the journal’s ongoing commitment to information on training, behavior, health, various products from harnesses to toys, and the annual food guides are invaluable.

Thanks go to Pat Miller and The Whole Dog Journal for reminding families of the some of the ways they can make their dogs and kids safe together. And, thanks go from me for the nice nod to Please Don’t Bite the Baby, and Please Don’t Chase the Dogs.

Every family can work to make their kids and dogs safe around each other with some management, training, and time.

Resource Guarding Excerpt

Resource Guarding can be one of the trickiest behavioral issues to modify and manage because there are so many variations.

  • Some dogs only guard their food
  • Some guard toys
  • Some guard bones
  • Some guard anything that hits the floor
  • Some guard whatever it was they just stole

Regardless of what your dog guards and to what degree, the process is the same. There will be adjustments for management and time needed to modify the behavior, but ultimately it is all about teaching your dog that giving up something is far more profitable then guarding it.

And, occasionally, the guarding will pop up for the rest of your dog’s life during stressful periods, or high energy/excited play, but by keeping your dog’s skills in good working order, you will be able to easily resolve any guarding issues.

I have lived with, Pinball, the ‘Super Villain of Resource Guarding’ and have posted an excerpt about my strategies for working through his issues from my book “Please Don’t Bite the Baby, and Please Don’t Chase the Dogs.”

We were all a bit worried when our son arrived in our home with the ‘Super villain of Resource Guarding’ living there. However, by teaching Pinball good solid commands, and slowly allow him and my son to spend managed time together, we saw things we never expected to see. This video where Charlie Brown Takes a Dive is a great example of how far a resource guarding dog can come with some skills, management, and persistence.

 

In the end, if your dog guards things, training good skills then working with a good behavior consultant is essential to take those skills and turn them into more positive behaviors.

Little Carlito’s Need Brought Together Unlikely Collaborators.

Carlito is a lucky little dog, who shared his luck with the Tanglewood community by bringing them together for a common cause.

The story of “A Dog Named Boo, The Underdog with a Heart of Gold,” very simply put, is about a dog in need, who then turns around to help others. Little Carlito’s story is about a dog whose need brings together some unlikely collaborators – a superstar cellist, a world renowned conductor, a Berkshire’s valedictorian just starting college, and 13,924 concert goes.

I know Carlito and his humans, Mary and David, from the training classes I teach. When they said they’d be missing class to go up to Tanglewood, I thought it was for a holiday. Little did I know David is a highly esteemed conductor who first led the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in 1968 (shows what I know).

When the four-month-old Havanese puppy ran in fear from a smoke alarm that went off in the house where Mary and David were staying, everyone feared the worst. How could the twelve-pound Carlito avoid cars, coyotes, or getting hopelessly lost in the woods of Tanglewood?

Enter Yo-Yo Ma — for years a good friend and mentee of David Zinman (human of Carlito).

According to ‘The Berkshire Eagle,’ When Yo-Yo Ma appeared on stage after his concert, it was not for an encore, instead the famed cellist sought the help of the Tanglewood audience of 13,924 to find Little Carlito.

Leaflets were printed and stuck under windshield wipers, motorists stopped anyone they saw running, walking, or sitting on a front porch telling everyone to be on the lookout for Carlito.

Grace Ellrodt (the valedictorian) was one of those joggers who was tipped off by a passing driver. Just before dusk, she spotted the little puppy in a busy intersection on Cliffwood Street near Triangle Park in Lenox and returned him to Mary and David Zinman.

Carlito is a lucky little dog, who shared his luck with the Tanglewood community by bringing them together for a common cause.

While this all happened last August, it seemed like the story of a little puppy who brought so many people from so many different walks of life together is just the kind of sentiment for this time of year as we look to turn ourselves over to new hopes and ask ourselves, ‘how can we make 2018 a little better?’

Ask Carlito.