Fun and informative site to help you pick the right breed of dog for you.
It is buyer be aware when it comes to buying puppies or kittens. I highly recommend this website http://pupquest.org/index.php, that can answer all your questions and more.
Buying a puppy or Kitten that will become a member of the family for 10 up to 18 years is a big commitment of your energy, money and most important love and personal time. Many pets are purchased on a whim or as a present for someone else. Two to four months after Christmas is when animal shelters and humane societies begin to fill up with pet adoptions that fail.
The wise and loving approach to choosing a pet begins with becoming informed about the pros and cons of pet ownership and the breeds you are looking at to adopt. Survey’s show that most pets are chosen by how they look alone, with little consideration of how they act, how much time, attention, and exercise they need, and personality. When successful, the family pet develops a wonderful relationship with the family members which can enrich our lives. I recommend reading the pupquest website chapters and the ebook “before you get your puppy” by Dr. Ian Dunbar before you select “the one” for this important relationship.
Happy dog training
This is an excellent article about the complexity of the “Human – Dog interaction”. Good information for advanced trainers and owners a-like. When you have the feeling that the dog has “taken over” the training, is “mind reading”, or “Tried & True Methods” stop working with a particular dog. The Dog may not be stubborn, or status seeking, or many other labels we assign when the Dog does not respond as we expect. Follow the link below to read more.
What do you do if you are given out cues unintentionally that the dog has learned to read and follow.
1. Return to the present moment.
A. Stop and Breath- usually it takes a full 6 relaxing breaths for are attention to return to the present.
B. Think about what you are doing in the moment with the dog. People are notorious planners & multi-taskers, which can confuse a dog that is reading your subtle cues. We will unconsciously begin to change our attention, body position general mental and eye attention, as soon as we think about the next move, often before we have finished with the last move. Dogs are experts at reading these subtle changes. It is what makes them good hunters of prey, reading where or how the prey will travel before it moves.
Often dog training is repetitive, while at the same time, needs intense focus on the Dog the entire training episode. I noticed my 6 year old neighbor had trained my 6 month old puppy not to jump on her in a few seconds, and then on to more behaviors. She was completely focused on the dog and the dog on her. In reality most of us get bored, repeating the sit command and waiting for the dog to comply for the 20th time, our minds wander. The dog will pick up our loss of focus and look around to find out what we are attending to0, instead of them. When this happens in training the events unfold as; the dog was doing well, following, executing and focused on you. Without a reason the dog begins to look away and not pay attention to your cues and fail at the task.. Well, a dog that is able to read your cues is looking for where the trainer’s focus has gone. Just redirect yourself and the dog, shorten your training sessions. In the home with puppies, I prefer 2-5 minute mini-sessions, with 10 -15 minutes breaks for the dog to play or to practice waiting. When doing longer training make the sessions fun for the dog and you so it is easier to stay focused.
C. Take a break for you and the dog.
D. Access whether to continue or to stop the training session. If the dog is tired, upset, bored, or ill stop.
E. If you want to continue with the dog it is OK to have unstructured time together. The dog is learning through this interaction as well. How to hang out with their humans.
2. Another common reason the dog looks away happens when the trainer becomes frustrated, and focuses at the dog with emotion-charged dominant postures and staring at the dog. The “look away” by the dog is behavior language that “they acknowledge you as dominant” plus signal their “submission” by first “looking away”, then a “head turn away” and finally “whole body turned side-ways” to the trainer. When this happens stop training, give the dog something easy to do and end the session on a positive note.
For More on this subject go to: Do Dogs Know Us Better Than We Know Ourselves? | Psychology Today.
3. Follow up when training gets off track:
A good practice that excellent Dog trainers, as well as leaders of people, employ when something is not going well is a quick self assessment. They will note the details of what they were doing and what caused your reactions. I.e. The time of day, length of the session, something else is on your mind, even simply distracting body pain or fatigue. Good trainers develop a habit of self assessment, without self judgement so that all elements of a training session can be adjusted to the situation and the dog. I believe that this skill is one of those that contribute to the “art” of the Science and Art of Modern dog training.
Great site if you are stuck with a behavior in a pet that is not getting better.
Positive ways to reassert your role as Alpha Dog (Someone elses title, not mine-good article non-the-less)
Nice check list with general tips on how and why dogs decide on who is in charge in family groups. When a dog is at the top of the pecking order in a home it is important to look at how the human behavior of family members has given the dog this message. Whether we notice or not, dogs are monitoring our reactions to them. They are looking for “canine-like” behaviors that tells them where they fit in the group pecking order. Dogs (& cats) have a strong need to seek a place in social hierarchies. This is common in all species that live in groups (for safety, food, comfort & bonding). Social hierarchy when respected by the members, minimizes the need to have daily conflict over who gets the best things in life, i.e. the best bed, first choice of food, play time, playmates, toys, or even cuddles from us. Pets will behavior in many ways to find where we say “No” or “Ouch” to figure out there place in the family society. Harder for people to detect are the status seeking behaviors that are “cute” or behaviors that just “do not matter to us”. The desire to test (& re-test) to find social boundaries is normal, regardless of species. Carnivores tend to have stricter social rules with almost “ritual-like” behaviors compared to people. The theory being, that to a carnivore conflict is much more dangerous to life and limb because they have specialized to hunt and kill for a living and can use the same skills to protect their families and home range. People with less powerful bodies and jaws, but bigger brains, are more able to find other creative ways to solve these problems of survival such as finding a new group or moving to a new area to live. In general people tolerate change more readily than our pet carnivores.
Increasing numbers of dogs and cats are abandoned every year in the USA due to behavior problems. 80% of shelter population are there because the prior owner gives up their pet because of a behavior related issues.
I strongly recommend:
1. Spend alot of time selecting your next pet. Most pets are purchased as a spur of the moment decision. More than 90% of animals are chosen based on appearance, not personality. To be real about our life choices we pet lovers must admit we spend less time selecting this living, feeling and active new being, than picking out a pair of Jeans. We carefully research our cars, homes, appliances, TVs and our lifemates in the hopes of finding a good match for our needs and expectations. Do not the pets, who will be living in our homes and sharing a place in our hearts also merit careful choosing.
Check out this website’s free ebook:
” Before you get your puppy” at www.dogstardaily.com
2. Teach your new pet the rules and manners necessary to live happily in the world of people. Remember that in the eyes of a puppy or kitten, humans are strange!! We make constant mysterious noises (our language & tendency to talk to one another). Dogs and cats vocalize for sure, however much more of their communication occurs through combinations of body language, scent and context. Even the slight tilt of an ear,or change in pupil size has meaning in dog-land. Vocalizations often convey more exuberant, fun or urgent messages and are a few sounds, not strings of different words into complex sentences.
The first meeting with our new pet, where we laugh at the puppy’s mannerisms or coo over their cuteness, is a mystery to the object of our attention. The puppy is hoping to be safe and wants to figure out how to be submissive enough to avert aggression from us. So some puppies will “over-greet” us with lots of; wiggling, tail wagging, licking faces and even roll over or make short squeaks, or high-pitch barks. All puppy-isms for; “I submit to you, you are the boss, don’t hurt me, and “show me what you want” . The next year for the puppy will be filled with difficulty, while pup tries to learn English or read our confusing body movements.
I encourage all pet owners to learn about the brain and social development of the puppy or kitten to become better owners. So much more is known about behavior & how they learn, than was thought 30 years ago. Thankfully this is leading to many new methods to educate our pets on how to live with us. I recommend the site http://www.dogstardaily.com. Good source of info and best of all, the training methods are easier & more successful for the average pet owner and much faster compared to older dominance or clicker methods. See “After you get your puppy” and don’t miss the online training book.
3. Do yourself and your pet a favor; socialize it very young to humans, cars, dogs and cats and vet offices. Teach it the manners of living in a human household and neighborhood.
a. Dog and Cats both become more bonded to their human family through the process of consistent and daily training.
b. They also become confident in their surroundings when they understand how to behave when human do unpredictable things. In the view of a Dog or Cat especially in the first year, much of what we do is unpredictable.
c. An important fact to know, for the welfare of the puppy is, they do not know when to use the skills learned in puppy class. To the dog; Sit, down, stay, come are just tricks that are part of a playdate in once a week class. Most animals need hundreds of repetitions of “sit” within every part of the house and day, to slowly understand what it really means.
In Madison WI area check out “www.Badgerkennelclub.com for classes, sport with your dog, good breeders of puppies and more.