Podcast – This and That About Living with Pets, Volume 1

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< Updated 01AUG20 >

< A short link for this page – https://bit.ly/2Xh4arB >

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from August 1st, 2020, Kate and Don share some of their experiences with their pets. Even with their knowledge and expertise, their pets are not always “perfect.” In this show, they discuss our pet’s interactions with wildlife and going back to work after being home with the pets almost continuously for several weeks.

Lastly, they discuss a new peer-reviewed study, (Efficacy of Dog Training With and Without Remote Electronic Collars vs. a Focus on Positive Reinforcement, Front. Vet. Sci., 22 July 2020-China Mills, Cooper) This study indicates that positive reinforcement training is more effective than training a dog with a shock collar. These finds are incredibly significant. Many shock collar proponents have long argued that shock is necessary for some behaviors, such as recall, and is more efficient at training than reward-based methods. Note, no research supports this conclusion by shock proponents. However, there is now evidence that suggests the exact opposite; an electric shock is not more efficient nor more reliable when teaching the recall.

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on Z62 Retro Radio, AM620, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show. You can download this show and others at http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts, at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple iTunes store.

Contact Info

Green Acres Kennel Shop
1653 Union Street
Bangor, ME 04401
207-945-6841

www.Greenacreskennel.com

https://www.facebook.com/GreenAcresKennelShop/

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com  )

Alone Training – http://bit.ly/AloneTraining

Preventing separation anxiety – Teaching your dog to cope with being alonehttp://bit.ly/PrevSepAnx

The Unintended Consequences of Shock Collarshttp://bit.ly/ShockCollars

What’s Shocking about Shock – What Science Tells Us About the Use of Shock in Dog Traininghttp://bit.ly/ShockBARK-JUL2019

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts )

 Separation Anxiety in Dogs with Dr. Christine Calder – https://bit.ly/WfMw-SepAnxDrCalder

Anxiety, Fears & Phobias with Dr. Christine Calderhttps://bit.ly/WfMw-AnxFrPhbiaDrCalder

What’s Shocking About Shock – What Science Tells Us About the Use of Shock in Dog Traininghttp://bit.ly/WfMw-WhatShock-27JUL19

Charlee and the Electronic Shock Containment System w-Dan Antolechttps://bit.ly/Blog-Charlee_E-Fence

Other Resources

Efficacy of Dog Training With and Without Remote Electronic Collars vs. a Focus on Positive Reinforcement, Front. Vet. Sci., 22 July 2020-China Mills, Cooperhttps://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2020.00508/full?fbclid=IwAR3QINaZm1Hwq-ejO30plmfK3f9Ce3YLuldwe4a9Orih6rHDSuYJg0_r3lI

Positive Reinforcement is More Effective at Training Dogs than an Electronic Collar, Study Shows, Companion Animal Psychology, Zazie Todd, PhD, July 22, 2020https://www.companionanimalpsychology.com/2020/07/positive-reinforcement-is-more.html

E-Fence Fallout, BARKS from the Guild, April 16, 2020https://barksfromtheguild.com/2020/04/16/e-fence-fallout/

 

©01AUG20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Podcast – What We Feed Our Pets and Why, with – Don Hanson, Kate Dutra, and Linda Case

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< Updated 11JUL20 >

< A short link for this page – https://bit.ly/WfMw-WhatWeFeed-11JUL20 >

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from July 11th, 2020, Don and Kate talk about pet nutrition with author, and animal nutritionist, Linda Case.

People often ask Linda, Kate, and I what we feed our pets. Unless they know us well, they are often surprised by our answer. In many cases, it may be the first time that person does not hear “Feed this brand of food, and this formula and never, ever change.”

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show, Kate, Linda, and I discuss what criteria we look for in pet food, the various types of pet food, and then what we each actually feed our pets. During the course of our conversation, we address the pet food industry’s lack of transparency and all too frequent deceptive marketing.

Pet food ingredients are a big topic in this show. Did you know that some of the ingredients used in pet food are considered “inedible?”  Are you aware pet food companies are prohibited from using any quality descriptors for ingredients on their label? During the show, we talk about the pictures that appear on a bag of kibble, such as a delicious roast chicken and how that photo in no way accurately portrays the frozen chicken frame that was actually used to make the food. We talk about kibble, the most common form of food fed to cats and dogs despite its dehydrating effects.

If you want to learn what Kate, Linda, and I feed our pets and why you do not want to miss this podcast.

You can listen to The Woof Meow Show on Z62 Retro Radio, AM620, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show. You can download this show and others at http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts, at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple podcast app.

Contact Info

Linda P. Case, MS
Autumn Gold Consulting and Dog Training Center
Mahomet, IL
(217) 586-4864
Autumngoldconsulting.com
https://www.facebook.com/pg/LindaCaseAutumnGold/posts/
https://thesciencedog.wordpress.com/

Don Hanson & Kate Dutra
Green Acres Kennel Shop & The Woof Meow Show
Bangor, ME
(207) 945-6841
https://www.greenacreskennel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/GreenAcresKennelShop/
https://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/
https://www.facebook.com/WoofMeowShow/

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com  )

 GAKS Philosophy on Pet Nutrition http://bit.ly/GAKS_Nut_Phil

Pet Foods We Offer At Green Acres Kennel Shop http://bit.ly/GAKS_PetFood_Brands

Pet Nutrition – Which Companies Are Behind Your Pet’s Food?  – http://bit.ly/PetFoodComp

Things I Wish I Had Known… The Importance of What I Feed My Pets – – WWM-MAR2019 – http://bit.ly/Things-Nutrition-1

Pet Nutrition: Some Myths and Facts – Part 1 – My story with Gus – Maine Dog Magazine – Winter 2017 http://bit.ly/Gus-Nutrition

Pet Nutrition – What Should I Feed My Pet? http://bit.ly/What-Should-I-Feed-My-Pet

Pet Nutrition – What Do You Feed Your Dog? – WWM-JUN2016 – http://bit.ly/WhatDoYouFeedYourDog

Pet Nutrition – The Wisdom of Rotating Your Pets Diet – Part 1 http://bit.ly/DietRotation1-30JUL19

Pet Nutrition – The Wisdom of Rotating Your Pets Diet – Part 2 http://bit.ly/DietRotation2

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts )

Podcast – DCM, the FDA, and Dog Food-the Science and the Hype with Canine Nutritionist Linda Casehttp://bit.ly/Blog-DCM-FDA-8AUG19

Podcast – Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous?, with Linda Case, MS – http://bit.ly/Podcast-FDA-Grain-Free-LindaCase-29SEP18

Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Kymythy Schultze Author of Natural Nutrition for Cats: The Path to Purrfect Health http://bit.ly/KymythySchultzeCatNutrition-Podcast

Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Pattonhttp://bit.ly/DrPatton-Podcast

Podcast – Pet Fooled – A Look Inside A Questionable Industry with Kohl Harringtonhttp://bit.ly/WfMw-Pet-Fooled

©11JUL20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Podcast – Green Acres Kennel Shop’s Puppy Headstart Class Goes ONLINE

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< Updated 21JUN21 >

< A short link for this page – https://bit.ly/WfMw-GAKS-PuppyONLINE-21JUN20 >

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from June 20th, 2020 Kate interviews co-host Don Hanson about the online Puppy Headstart class he has developed for Green Acres Kennel Shop. They discuss what prompted the development of an online course and the process involved. Kate asks Don about the typical audience for the class and how they have reacted to learning online versus face to face. They then go on to discuss the topics covered in the class. Don then reveals a new option for class students; puppy daycare.  Kate wraps up the interview asking Don about the pros and cons of online courses and their role in Green Acre’s future.

FMIhttps://bit.ly/GAPuppyHeadstart-Online

You can listen to The Woof Meow Show on Z62 Retro Radio, AM620, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show. You can download this show and others at http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts , at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple iTunes store.

Contact Info

Green Acres Kennel Shop
1653 Union Street
Bangor, ME 04401
207-945-6841

www.Greenacreskennel.com

https://www.facebook.com/GreenAcresKennelShop/

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com  )

 What Is Dog Traininghttp://bit.ly/WhatIsDogTraining

How to Choose a Dog Trainerhttp://bit.ly/HowToChooseADogTrainer

Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Started Training Dogs – Gus, the Dominance Myth, An Alpha Roll, and a Damaged Relationship – WWM-SEP2018 http://bit.ly/Things-Gus-Dominance

Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Selected My First Dog – Aversives are Unnecessary and Counter-Productive When Training A Dog – Part 1 – WWM-JAN2019 http://bit.ly/Things-Aversives-1

Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Selected My First Dog – Aversives are Unnecessary and Counter-Productive When Training A Dog – Part 2 – WWM-FEB2019 –  http://bit.ly/Things-Aversives-2

About Don Hanson – http://bit.ly/AboutDonHanson

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts )

The Woof Meow Show: Introducing The Woof Meow Show with Kate Dutra and Don Hanson – https://bit.ly/WfMw-MeetKateAndDon

 

©21JUN20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Shared Article – Researchers Find No Definitive Link Between DCM and Grain-Free Diets

< Updated 18JUN20 >

< A short link for this page – https://bit.ly/DCM-NOLink-GrainFree-18JUN20 >

In July of 2018, I first reported on the unsubstantiated FDA allegations that grain-free dog foods were contributing to increased cases of heart disease (DCM) in dogs. I promised to keep you updated on the news on this topic and advised you to make sure to get the entire story as many veterinarians, and animal nutritionists disagreed with the opinion piece in a veterinary journal that initiated the FDA report. Since then, much has been published, further challenging the FDA’s statement. A new peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Animal Science indicates that there is no link between DCM in dogs and grain-free diets. You can learn more and find links to the article in Pet Products News and the Journal of Animal Science below.

An article published in Pet Product News on June 17th, 2020 entitled Researchers Find No Definitive Link Between DCM and Grain-Free Diets reports that a newly published review in Journal of ANIMAL SCIENCE  ( Review of canine dilated cardiomyopathy in the wake of diet-associated concerns ) reports:

A group of researchers found no definitive relationship between grain-free and legume-rich diets and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs…” [ Emphasis Added ]

Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) reported cases of DCM include incomplete information, making it impossible to draw any sound conclusions from this data, the authors noted.” [ Emphasis Added ]

The peer-reviewed article is based on the results of more than 150 studies on DCM. The lead authors are Dr. Sydney McCauley, an animal nutritionist, and Dr. Eva Oxford, a veterinary cardiologist. Dr. McCauley noted, “What the science does make clear is that DCM is largely an inherited disease.”

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com  )

FDA Update on Heart Disease in Dogs & What Should You Do? – 7JUL19  – http://bit.ly/FDA-DCM-Food-7JUL19

Shared Articles – More on the FDA, DCM, and Pet Food – 10JUL19  –  http://bit.ly/FDA-DCM-Food-10JUL19

Shared Articles – Do the Vets Behind the FDA Investigation Have A Conflict of Interest?31JUL19http://bit.ly/DCM-FDA-Conflict

Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – 23JUL18https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/07/22/pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs/

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/ )

Podcast – DCM, the FDA, and Dog Food-the Science and the Hype with Canine Nutritionist Linda Casehttp://bit.ly/Blog-DCM-FDA-8AUG19

Podcast – Pet’s in the News–No. 4 Pet Food, DCM and The FDA http://bit.ly/WfMw-DCM-FDA-20JUL19

Other Resources

Pet Product News – June 17, 2020 – Researchers Find No Definitive Link Between DCM and Grain-Free Diets http://www.petproductnews.com/News/Researchers-Find-No-Definitive-Link-Between-DCM-and-Grain-Free-Diets/

Journal of ANIMAL SCIENCE June 15th, 2020 – Review of canine dilated cardiomyopathy in the wake of diet-associated concernshttps://academic.oup.com/jas/article/98/6/skaa155/5857674

 

Podcast – Anxiety, Fears & Phobias with Dr. Christine Calder

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< Updated 17JUN20 >

< A short link for this page – https://bit.ly/WfMw-AnxFrPhbiaDrCalder >

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from June 6th, 2020, Don talks with Veterinary Behaviorist Dr. Christine Calder about anxiety, fears, and phobias in pets. We start with a discussion of the multitude of words used to describe fear in our pets; anxiety, nervous, shy, skittish, timid, and more and then discuss how pets indicate they are afraid through body language and their actions. We also discuss extreme fear, phobias, specifically noise, storm, and firework phobias. Lastly, we offer suggestions to help you help your pet.

If your pet is afraid of summer storms or fireworks, you will not want to miss this show

Contact Info for Dr. Calder

Facility: Midcoast Humane
Address: 190 Pleasant Street, Brunswick, ME
Phone: (207) 449-1366
Website: https://midcoasthumane.org/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Christine-Calder-DVM-DACVB-Veterinary-Behaviorist-104864721012254/

More info on Dr. Calder from the January 2020 issue of Downeast Dog Newshttps://downeastdognews.villagesoup.com/p/what-is-a-veterinary-behaviorist/1846547

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com  )

Crate Habituation to Reduce Anxietyhttp://bit.ly/CrateHabituation

Help! My Dog is Aggressive, Reactive, Fearful, Anxious, etc. – What do I do? – WWM – APR2017 – http://bit.ly/HelpDogAggx

How Can I Tell When My Dog Is Anxious or Fearful? – http://bit.ly/DogsSignsofFear

Management of An Aggressive, Fearful or Reactive Doghttp://bit.ly/BhxManagement

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts )

Podcast – Introducing Dr. Christine Calder, Maine’s 1st Veterinary Behaviorist – http://bit.ly/WMw-DrCalderVetBhx

Podcast – Separation Anxiety in Dogs with Dr. Christine Calderhttps://bit.ly/WfMw-SepAnxDrCalder

 

©17JUN20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

Podcast – Separation Anxiety in Dogs with Dr. Christine Calder

< Click to Listen to Podcast >

< Updated 17JUN20 >

< A short link for this page –
https://bit.ly/WfMw-SepAnxDrCalder >

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from May 30th, 2020, Don talks with Veterinary Behaviorist Dr. Christine Calder about separation anxiety in dogs. Separation Anxiety is a panic disorder in dogs that cannot cope with being left alone. These dogs are not misbehaving to get revenge but are suffering.

During the show, we discuss separation anxiety and its symptoms, sharing experiences with mild and extreme cases. We discuss which dogs are more likely to suffer from separation anxiety and address other disorders that may have some of the same symptoms. We discuss treatment options and things one can do to prevent separation anxiety.

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on Z62 Retro Radio, AM620, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show. You can download this show and others at http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts, at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple iTunes store.

Contact Info for Dr. Calder

Facility: Midcoast Humane
Address: 190 Pleasant Street, Brunswick, ME
Phone: (207) 449-1366
Website: https://midcoasthumane.org/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Christine-Calder-DVM-DACVB-Veterinary-Behaviorist-104864721012254/

More info on Dr. Calder from the January 2020 issue of Downeast Dog Newshttps://downeastdognews.villagesoup.com/p/what-is-a-veterinary-behaviorist/1846547

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com  )

 Alone Traininghttp://bit.ly/AloneTraining

Crate Habituation to Reduce Anxietyhttp://bit.ly/CrateHabituation

How Can I Tell When My Dog Is Anxious or Fearful? – http://bit.ly/DogsSignsofFear

Management of An Aggressive, Fearful or Reactive Doghttp://bit.ly/BhxManagement

Preventing separation anxiety – Teaching your dog to cope with being alonehttp://bit.ly/PrevSepAnx

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts )

Podcast – Introducing Dr. Christine Calder, Maine’s 1st Veterinary Behaviorist – http://bit.ly/WMw-DrCalderVetBhx

Podcast – Anxiety, Fears & Phobias with Dr. Christine Calderhttps://bit.ly/WfMw-AnxFrPhbiaDrCalder

From Downeast Dog News

Separation Anxiety (Part 1) – What is it? –  https://bit.ly/SepAnx-Calder-1

Separation Anxiety Treatment (Part 2) – https://bit.ly/SepAnx-Calder-2

©17JUN20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

Themes in Puppy Training – What You Need to Know BEFORE You Start Training

< Updated 08JUN20 >

< A short link for this page – https://bit.ly/BeforeYouTrainYourDog >

Training Your Dog – Important Tips for Puppy’s

We encourage you to refrain from asking your puppy to perform behaviors during class unless you are 100% confident that your puppy will immediately and consistently respond when you give a single, visual, or verbal cue.

Some of your pups may sit immediately and consistently on a single cue, but most will not. Not responding to a single cue to sit is not a surprise to us, and it will not become a problem unless you continue repeating the cue. Every time you say the word “sit” again without the correct response by your dog, the cue becomes more confusing and less meaningful. Sometimes the cue becomes so useless, that we may suggest you restart training with a new word to get an immediate and consistent response. If we see or hear you repeating cues, we will point it out, as it is our goal to have your puppy respond consistently.

Your puppy will need to be trained in a wide variety of scenarios and environments before they reliably start to respond in new situations consistently. We cover this in more detail in Puppy Headstart lectures and in great detail in our Basic Manners orientation, the first class without your dog, and in the remaining seven sessions of Basic Manners.

We briefly discuss training your puppy in Puppy Headstart and begin with addressing how your puppy learns (see next section). However, the only typical behavior we address in Puppy Headstart is the Attention or Look behavior, which is part of the handfeeding protocol we discuss in the week we call “Food = Power3.” We do provide information on start to teach your puppy to recall in this handout in the section entitled “STARTING TO TEACH YOUR PUPPY TO COME WHEN CALLED.” If you wish to start working on this behavior, we encourage to follow the protocol we have outlined.

Listed below are some essential training tips that will help you and your puppy to be successful.

  • Be patient. Training takes time, lots of rewards, and lots of repetitions. Remember how long you went to school before your parents felt you were ready for the world? Your puppy will not need to go to a school that long but plan on training your dog being a significant part of your life and theirs for the next six to eighteen months. Your dog will probably learn some things like sit and down quickly because it is something they usually do; we need to teach you how to train them to do this when presented with a cue. Other things, like coming when called and walking on a loose leash will take longer and will require more effort on your part; however, we can help you get there. If a six-year-old child can teach a 6-month old, forty-pound dog to walk on a loose leash, so can you.

The Misunderstanding of Time by Nancy Tanner – http://bit.ly/Patience-Dogs

  • Focus on the relationship with your dog. If your dog does not enjoy your company and you do not enjoy theirs, you may not succeed. If you come home from work frustrated or angry, it is probably not a good time to try to teach your dog. Training MUST be fun for both of you if you are to be successful.

 

  • Learn how your dog communicates and how you can best communicate with them. Dogs communicate visually with many parts of their bodies (mouth, eyes, ears, tail, body posture and look to our body language to determine what we are trying to communicate to them. Because we are primates we tend to vocalize, when we would be more successful using our bodies. Scientific research has demonstrated that dogs learn a great deal about us by looking at our faces. By doing so they can tell when we are safe to be around and when we are not so safe. Even subtle signs of displeasure like the woman frowning in this picture can cause a dog to believe that she is unsafe. You will not have a good relationship with your dog is they see you frowning and angry al the time. Take the time to learn how you can communicate with your dog and to understand their body language so that you can understand what they are trying to tell you.

Introduction to Canine Communication – http://bit.ly/CanineComm

Smile! Your dog’s brain will light up in response Science, March 2018https://bit.ly/Dogs-HumanFaces

  • Please do NOT repeat cues if your dog does not respond quickly and consistently. Your dog is not stubborn when they do not instantly respond; they do not understand the context in which you are giving the cue. If you give a cue and the dog does not perform the desired behavior, and you get frustrated, you may cause your dog to become distressed, which makes it even more difficult for them to learn. Yes, if you get frustrated, your dog knows you are no longer fun to be around. Think about a time where you were trying to master a skill, and whoever was teaching became irritated because, by their standards, you were not learning quick enough. Their attitude didn’t help you learn, did it? I recall the first time my father tried to teach me to drive a standard transmission in an old WW2 vintage Willy’s Jeep with a bad clutch. I loved my dad, but he did not set up the teaching scenario for optimal success. Trying to learn became so aversive that I questioned whether or not learning to drive a standard transmission was worth the aggravation. That is not helpful.
  • Start teaching a visual cue or hand signal before using a verbal cue. We are humans and most of us like to communicate verbally. When we try to communicate with our dogs, we naturally talk. Dogs communicate visually, using all parts of their body to give various signals to others. Instead of listening to us, our dog looks at us for visual signs that indicate what we want. Therefore, dogs typically respond more readily to visual cues, which is why we teach a hand signal first. You can use anything you want as a visual cue. However, the ones we will teach you have been chosen for a reason.

Do Dogs Learn More Quickly from Verbal or Visual Signals? – Psychology Today, Oct. 16, 2018https://bit.ly/Cues-VisualVsBerbal-10-16-2018

  • Think about what you are teaching your puppy, is it something you want them to do for the rest of their life? I often caution people about teaching their dog to “shake” or to do anything with their paws. Yes, it is a cute trick, kids love teaching it, but a puppy that has been rewarded for shake will often paw at people throughout their life in search of a reward. The same can be said for teaching “speak.” Un-training a behavior takes much longer and a great deal more of your energy than training what you want.

Canine Learning

It is essential you recognize that your puppy has been learning since the moment it was born and will continue learning for the entirety of his life. Since dogs, like humans, are always learning, it is your job to manage what they learn and to respond accordingly to their behavior. When you are not paying attention, your puppy will be learning that your shoe tastes even better than rawhide and that books and magazines make fantastic noises when they rip them apart. What is your puppy learning right now as you read this? Is it a desirable behavior?

Dogs do not learn by reading a textbook or watching a video on YouTube. Dogs learn by doing. When there is a rewarding result to a behavior, your puppy will be more likely to repeat that particular behavior in that specific context. For example, if they get a treat when they sit, dogs are very likely to sit in an attempt to earn another tasty morsel.  If stealing your sock causes you to chase them, your puppy has just discovered an effective way to get your attention and to play with them. Countless puppies love the game “Chase me I have your sock!”

Always remember, dogs do what works FOR THEM; they do not perform behaviors simply because we want them to do so, nor does your puppy do things solely to please you. Sorry, that is one of the great myths about dogs. They do not and never will do things we want “just because.”

Our best strategy for teaching our puppy is to determine what our puppy likes and to use these items as rewards for behaviors we want to reoccur. Dogs do not waste energy on actions that they do not find rewarding. It is our responsibility to show them what earns rewards and what does not. Be very cautious about inadvertently training behaviors that you do not want. Always take the time to stop and ask yourself, what is my dog learning right now at this given moment in time?

If your puppy does something that you do not want, ask yourself, why is that behavior rewarding? What can I do to prevent my puppy from doing that in the future?

Happy/Not So Happy Real-Life Example

Zeus, a 14-week-old Labrador puppy, sometimes played “tag” with his guardians when they were interacting with him in the yard.

What did Zeus learn?

    • That chasing people was fun.
    • That running away from people was fun.
    • That his guardians could be unpredictable, as he was never quite sure when they were playing the game, or when they were going to become frustrated with him because he tried to initiate the game by running away from them.

We humans often find chasing our dogs and having them chase us to be a great form of entertainment, but what are they learning here? The game of tag can have some pros and cons. When we are having our puppies chase us, they are learning to play a game of staying with us and keeping us in sight at all times, particularly if we dart behind trees and couches. However, the flip side of this is that when we chase our dog, they are learning to run away from us and not to let us catch them. When push comes to shove, unless your dog is ill or overweight or you are an incredible sprinter, you will never successfully catch your dog if he or she is running away from you.

If you wish to play tag with your puppy, we recommend that you do so with the following rules:

  1. You are ALWAYS the one being pursued.
  2. Allow your puppy to catch you, and each time he does so, give him a high-value food reward and then run away again, repeating this process.
  3. Before you begin the game give it a verbal cue, such as “Catch Me” and when it is time to end the game, allow your puppy to catch you one final time, give a couple of great treats and give an all done cue, such as “That Will Do.” (This will help to prevent him from chasing those joggers at 6 AM.)
  4. Always end the game before your puppy is ready to finish so that you can help him remain interested in the game and not become bored with it.

 

That Dominance and Alpha Stuff

By now, it is possible that someone has told you that you need to worry about your puppy becoming dominant or that you need to be the “Alpha.” The best advice we can give you is – forget about it. The whole idea of “dominance,” “pack hierarchy,” and “the alpha dog” is a concept that came about through poor scientific research. If you talk to a wolf biologist or well-educated pet care professional, they will tell you that wolf packs are more like a well-adjusted family than a tyrannical “kill or be killed” dictatorship.

Moreover, while the dog and wolf may be closely related species, they are separated by several thousands of years of evolution. Behaviorally the domestic dog is not even considered to be a pack animal. We explain this topic in more depth in the orientation session for our Basic Manners class, but if you want more information now, check out these articles on our website and the many resources they suggest.

Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Started Training Dogs – Gus, the Dominance Myth, An Alpha Roll, and a Damaged Relationshiphttp://bit.ly/Things-Gus-Dominance

Dominance: Reality or Mythhttp://bit.ly/Dominance-RealityorMyth

Position Statement on the Use of Dominance and Punishment for the Training and Behavior Modification of Dogshttp://bit.ly/GAKS-Pos-NoPain-NoForceNoFear

How did wolves become dogs? (from NY Times Science OCT 2017 ) – http://bit.ly/Wlf2DogVideo

Excerpt from the documentary Dogs, Cats and Scapegoats The Mind of Cesar Millanhttp://bit.ly/dodoDW-Holly

 

A Quick Note About Punishment and Aversives

Punishing a puppy can have some dangerous pitfalls, and we highly encourage you to avoid this. When we apply punishment in an attempt to extinguish a behavior, we may unintentionally make the behavior worse and harder to change. We never know how a dog will associate punishment. It can very easily and quickly damage your relationship with your puppy. Punishment causes fear and stress, which impairs your dog’s ability to learn. We have found that people often resort to punishing their dog more as an expression of frustration than as a learning tool. Raising a puppy will probably be frustrating. Your willingness to accept that and learning to deal with it without responding aversively is critical to developing a strong and life-long bond with your puppy.

Most of the behaviors that we humans list as being “problem” behaviors are typical canine behaviors and not issues for our dogs. For example, dogs have to urinate and defecate – it is humans that have the problem with the locations our puppy may choose to defecate or urinate. As the species with more gray matter, we challenge you to create an environment of success and to reframe your “problem” behaviors. Ask yourself, what do I want my puppy to learn, and how can I teach this behavior? How can I manage my puppy and his environment to prevent him from being rewarded for actions I do not want?

Not So Happy Real-Life Example

Moxie, a mixed-breed puppy, who was often left alone for extended periods, was kicked by her male owner for urinating and defecating in the house.

What did Moxie learn?

      • To fear men.
      • To NEVER eliminate in the presence of a human being.
      • To immediately consume her feces to hide it.
      • To continue to urinate and defecate in the house (she was rarely allowed to eliminate outdoors, and each time that Moxie did defecate or urinate inside, she was immediately rewarded because she felt better).

Moxie learned the above in 8 weeks. It took three years for Moxie to become comfortable urinating or defecating while on a 6-foot leash. It took one year of daily work to habituate Moxie to men (she always remained aloof. However, her fear dissipated). This dog never learned not immediately to attempt to consume her feces – it had become a fixed action pattern. She did learn to leave her feces on cue, but her first instinct was always to consume it until the day she passed away at the age of 14. Moxie was a real dog, and this story is true.

What Do Pet Care Professionals Say About the Use of Aversives?

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB), and the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) recommend that aversives NEVER be used.

We explain this topic in more depth in the orientation session for our Basic Manners class, but if you want more information now, check out these articles on our website and the many resources they suggest.

Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Selected My First Dog – Aversives are Unnecessary and Counter-Productive When Training A Dog – Part 1 – http://bit.ly/Things-Aversives-1

Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Selected My First Dog – Aversives are Unnecessary and Counter-Productive When Training A Dog – Part 2 – http://bit.ly/Things-Aversives-2

Reward Based Training versus Aversiveshttp://bit.ly/RewardVSAversive

What’s Shocking about Shock – What Science Tells Us About the Use of Shock in Dog Training – Green Acres Kennel  Shop Bloghttp://bit.ly/ShockBARK-JUL2019

Podcast – What’s Shocking About Shock – What Science Tells Us About the Use of Shock in Dog Traininghttp://bit.ly/WfMw-WhatShock-27JUL19

The Unintended Consequences of Shock Collarshttp://bit.ly/ShockCollars

Podcast – The Unintended Consequences of Shock Collarshttp://bit.ly/ShockPodcast

Food, Play, and Praise as Rewards

Our training philosophy at Green Acres can be summed up as “Manage your puppy to prevent undesirable behaviors and always reward the behaviors you like.” In most cases, the best reward for a puppy or an adult dog is going to be a tasty treat or some fun, interactive play. Many of the outdated training books of the 1970’s promoted a philosophy that stated dogs should do everything we want just for our praise, and that they should never be given food as a reward. I wonder if those authors would have accepted “Fantastic Book” instead of payment in cold hard cash? I sincerely doubt it, just as I know that very few people would work solely for praise. Dogs are like every other animal on this planet; they do something because there is something in it for them. Food is often the most powerful “something” for rewarding our dog for desired behavior, so we encourage you to use it and to use it well!

 Study Confirms That Food Is A Better Reinforcer Than Praise or Touch

Food has more value as a reinforcer than either praise or touch was confirmed by a study published in the Journal of Experimental Analysis of Behavior in July of 2012 (Relative Efficacy of Human Social Interaction and Food as Reinforcers for Domestic Dogs and Hand-Reared Wolves – Feuerbacher and Wynne). The following is from the conclusions of the study – https://bit.ly/FoodAsReward-Wynne-2012

Our goal was to identify the reinforcers that maintain social behavior between dogs and humans. We hypothesized that social interaction might function as a reinforcer that could maintain dogs’ social interactions with humans. Although there were some individual differences, our results suggest that social interaction did not reinforce canid behavior as well as did food. If social interaction functions as a reinforcer, it may do so only under specific conditions not explored in the present experiments. The greater efficacy of food as a reinforcer parallels the evolutionary origins of dogs as scavengers of human refuse (Coppinger & Coppinger, 2001) and supports the use of food as a reinforcer for training. The present findings might provide empirical evidence for trainers to give clients who object to using food to train canid behavior (e.g. Donaldson, 1996). [ Emphasis Added ]

 A Word on Dog Parks

We do not recommend taking your puppy to a dog park. While dog parks usually have rules, there is seldom someone present to enforce those rules. As a result, there may be dogs at the dog park that are not adequately vaccinated, that carry harmful parasites, or that are aggressive to other animals. Any of those things can put the physical health of your puppy at risk. Aggression and inappropriate play may also place your puppy’s mental and emotional health at risk. For more information on dog parks and making sure an experience at the dog park is a good one, we suggest you read Don’s article at – http://bit.ly/BeforeYouVisitTheDogPark

Management

Management is about taking the necessary steps to ensure that your puppy is not placed in to a situation where he may have the opportunity to behave in an undesirable manner. In its purest form, management translates to: If you do not want your puppy chewing on your new shoes, then do not leave your puppy unsupervised and a room where your shoes in the middle of the floor.

The primary reason people have problems with housetraining and destructive chewing of personal items is poor management. Appropriate management is one of the most overlooked training tools and is essential to responsible canine guardianship. When your puppy is managed correctly, you will have the time to develop the right relationship with him/her and your dog will get the training it needs. Many of the behavior problems clients call us about are management problems due to inadequate supervision or unrealistic expectations of a young dog.

All puppies have a minimum of two trainers: 1) their guardian and 2) their environment. While you may spend a significant amount of time training your puppy, even you need to eat, sleep, and take mental breaks. However, the environment never needs time off and is available to train 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you do not initially manage your puppy’s interaction with its environment, they may quickly learn things you do not want them to learn. While providing this management may seem extremely time-consuming, when done right, it pays off handsomely.

When a puppy is loose in the home, they require constant supervision. Constant supervision means that a responsible person is devoting all of their attention and energy to watching and managing the puppy so that they can intervene before something undesirable happens. You cannot provide a puppy with adequate supervision while reading the paper, watching TV, doing homework, preparing a meal, or talking on the phone. Remember, we have brought this species into our home and expect them to live by rules that make absolutely NO SENSE to them. A puppy has no concept of valuables and as such does not get why chewing up your grandchild’s doll is an issue. It is our responsibility to properly manage our puppy to prevent unwanted behavior while also training them and rewarding them for desired behavior.

Proper management and training requires a plan to be established as to what your options are when you cannot supervise your puppy. Crates, pens, and tethers make ideal management tools. Always have treats and chews handy so that when you have to place your puppy into its crate or pen suddenly you have a reward ready to go. Additionally, tethering a puppy can be useful, providing you remain in the room and can give partial supervision and reward good behavior. (Note: A puppy on a tether should NEVER be left unattended!)

A puppy or even an adult dog will always be like a young child. They can be trained, but training does not happen overnight or even in a month. Nor can you train your dog for all possible contingencies. Until your dog is trained, it is your responsibility to make plans so he/she can succeed.

Happy Real-Life Example:

Susan was playing with Fido, her 14-week old Lab puppy, when the phone rang in the kitchen. Susan immediately got up and placed Fido in his crate with a treat and a special chew toy located on the shelf by the crate and then proceeded to answer the phone.

What did Fido learn?

    • Going into his crate gets rewarded
    • Chewing on a special toy is fun
    • Interruption in play gets rewarded
    • Spending time alone for a few minutes is okay (providing Susan does not let Fido out if he is barking)
    • No inappropriate behaviors were practiced such as eliminating in the house or destructive chewing

Not So Happy Real-Life Example

Sally was playing with Rex, her 12-week old Golden puppy, when the phone rang in the kitchen. Sally immediately got up to answer the phone, leaving Rex alone in the living room. While Sally was in the kitchen, Rex urinated on the carpet, tasted the coffee table, and chased the cat. Rex then proceeded to go into the kitchen and bark at Sally until she hung up the phone.

What did Rex learn?

    • Urinating on the living room carpet is rewarding (he immediately felt better)
    • Humans are great because they even have sticks indoors to chew on
    • Cats are lots of fun; they run fast when you chase them
    • The best way to get humans attention is to bark at them.
    • Sometimes Sally gets mad for no apparent reason (Rex has no idea that Sally’s anger is associated with his urinating on the carpet or the puddle of urine in the room)
    • Sally can be unpredictable, sometimes she is nice and sometimes she is scary.

The material presented above will be discussed over the next four weeks. If you have any questions or concerns, please be sure to bring them to the attention of your instructor, so that we can help you to plan for success.

________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( greenacreskennel.com ) in Bangor, ME where he has been helping people with their pets since 1995. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). Don is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and is committed to PPG’s Guiding Principles and the Pain-Free, Force-Free, and Fear-Free training, management, and care of all pets. Don produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show, that airs on Z62 Retro Radio WZON (AM620) and WKIT 103.3-HD3 and is streamed at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON every Saturday at 9 AM. Podcasts of the show are available at http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts/, the Apple Podcast app, and at Don’s blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.  The opinions in this post are those of Don Hanson.

©08JUN20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Podcast – Pet Care in a Pandemic-Mark Hanks from Kindred Spirits Veterinary Clinic

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< Updated 11MAY20 >

< A short link for this page – https://bit.ly/WfMwHanks-9MAY20 >

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from May 7th, 2020, Don talks with veterinarian Dr. Mark Hanks from the Kindred Spirits Veterinary Clinic in Orrington, Maine, about caring for our client’s pets amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics addressed include:

  • Our current understanding of COVID-19 and how it affects dogs and cats
  • How the pandemic has affected Kindred Spirits and what they have learned
  • How the pandemic has affected Green Acres Kennel Shop and what they have learned
  • Concerns about how the pandemic may be adversely affecting pets
  • Our experiences with providing services online

Contact Info

Kindred Spirits Veterinary Clinic
Dr. Mark Hanks
857 River Rd, Orrington, ME 04474

(207) 825-8989

Website: https://www.kindredvet.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kindredspiritsvet/

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on Z62 Retro Radio, AM620, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show. You can download this show and others at http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts, at Don’s blog http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows and the Apple iTunes store.

Podcast – Pets in the News No. 10

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< Updated 02MAY20 >

< A short link for this page –

https://bit.ly/WfMwPetNews-10 >

If you brought home a puppy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, you will not want to miss this show. Puppies have a critical socialization period from 3 to 16 weeks of age. How they are exposed to new things can greatly affect their behavior and quality of life. Socialization requires interaction with a wide variety of people and animals during this time frame, which is not practical or safe during a pandemic. Don and Kate will review articles and offer suggestions on what you can to provide your pandemic puppy with the best socialization possible. We also discuss keeping your adult dog mentally stimulated. We finish the show with a discussion of how our dogs signal us to do things for them. You can find links to all of the articles we discussed below.

Links to Articles from the Show

Time is of the Essence: Puppy Socialization During a Pandemic from My Fantastic Friend by Jessica Ring – https://www.myfantasticfriend.com/2020/03/19/time-is-of-the-essence-puppy-socialization-during-a-pandemic/

5 Mind-Challenging Games to Play With Your Dog – Dr. Karen Becker – https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2020/03/09/brain-stimulating-games-for-dogs.aspx

Cross-species referential signalling events in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) from Animal Cognition (2018) 21:457-465, Worsley & O’Harahttps://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10071-018-1181-3

Contact Info for The Woof Meow Show

Address: 1653 Union St., Bangor, ME 04401
Phone: 207-945-6841, x103
Upcoming Shows: http://bit.ly/WfMwUpcomingShows
Website: www.woofmeowshow.com
Don’s Blog: http://bit.ly/Words-Woofs-Meows
Podcast Site: http://bit.ly/WfMwPodcasts
Live Stream: http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WoofMeowShow/

 

©02MAY20, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved

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