June 2015

What To Do If Your Dog Gets Motion Sickness

Subscribers Only — Five magic words: “Wanna go for a ride?” These six simple syllables are enough to launch some dogs into a dizzying display of tail-wagging leaps and spins in eager anticipation of the fun to be found in a car buzzing along the open road. In contrast, though, are the dogs who find car rides as much fun as most humans do root canals. For some dogs, the dislike is physical; they experience motion sickness and battle with nausea, drooling, and vomiting. For others, it’s emotional, and the dog suffers from anxiety associated with riding in the car. Unfortunately, the two causes can overlap, where a dog initially experiences physical motion sickness and comes to associate the unpleasant feelings with the car, which leads to anxiety related to riding in the car.   More...

Success Story

Subscribers Only — While the concept of energy-based healing might be tough for some people to accept, professional animal trainer and flower essence practitioner Jennifer White of Woodinville, Washington, has a large database of client success stories to draw upon. It includes a 3-year-old service dog who was on the verge of being retired due to extreme car sickness. The dog had exhibited symptoms of nausea – drooling and panting – since early puppyhood, and he never outgrew the problem.   More...

Resources

Subscribers Only — Experts mentioned in the article "What To Do If Your Dog Gets Motion Sickness."   More...

Technology That Can Help You Protect And Enjoy Your Dog

Subscribers Only — It’s incredible how many aspects of our lives have been enhanced and transformed by technology in just the past few years. Anyone who uses a computer or mobile phone is at least aware of his or her ability to obtain recommendations for businesses or directions to a location. If you’re a dog owner and need a reputable emergency veterinary clinic in a strange town, having the tools to find such a clinic and get there in record time may literally save a dog’s life. But web- and mobile-device-based technology can also be used by dog owners in countless other important ways – and we’re sharing some of the most fun and useful ones with you.   More...

What to Do if your Dog Hates Certain Husbandry Chores (Grooming, Harnessing, Trimming, etc.).

Subscribers Only — I put my hands on my dogs at least a few dozen times a day. It might be to attach or untangle a leash, look into ears, check teeth, brush or trim fur in various places, put on a Thundershirt, apply flea and tick preventative, or just to feel the soft silky warmth of dog under my hand. We humans are a tactile species, and with our handy opposable thumbs, we’re always doing something to manipulate our canine companions and their body parts.   More...

Wiping Muddy Feet

Subscribers Only — For all classical conditioning procedures, do multiple repetitions of each step, feeding your dog a high-value treat (I like to use bits of fresh roasted or canned chicken) after each repetition. Only move to the next step when your dog becomes clearly happy at the previous step; this lets you know he’s made the association between the procedure and the high-value treat.   More...

Putting on a Harness (Jacket, Thundershirt, etc.)

Some behaviors don’t lend themselves well to a total choice approach, but you may be able to use a Choice/Conditioning-hybrid procedure, still giving your dog some sense of control over his own world. Here’s one such procedure:   More...

Lifting Your Dog

1. Place both hands briefly, gently, on either side of your dog’s spine, and then feed him a treat. 2. Gradually move your hand down and under your dog’s ribcage on the far side, touching and feeding him a treat several times at each step. 3. Gradually move your other hand around the front of your dog’s chest to his opposite shoulder, touching and feeding him several times at each step. 4. Put light pressure on your dog with both hands, gradually hugging him toward you, and then feed him a treat. 5. Gradually increase pressure, feeding him treats several times at each step. 6. Hug your dog against your chest, lifting upward slightly; release and treat. 7. Gradually increase the amount of lift pressure until you are picking him up, giving him a treat several times at each step.   More...

Trimming Toenails

Subscribers Only — Even behaviors that don’t lend themselves well to choice, such as trimming hair and medicating ears, can incorporate an element of choice and priming, by teaching your dog to “station.” To “go to station” means to to go to a specific spot where nine times out of 10 (or better yet, 99 times out of 100), really good, fun stuff happens. If, every once in a great while, a slightly less fun (but not hugely aversive) procedure happens, it shouldn’t be enough to change his happy association with his station, especially if you do much of the classical conditioning away from the station, and invite him to station only when he has a positive association with all the parts of the procedure. Remember, do multiple repetitions at every step until the dog is happy!   More...

Letters and Corrections: June 2015

In the May issue, we published an article, “Outfoxing Foxtails,” that included an endorsement of the Outfox Field Guard, a protective hood for dogs that is made out of a fine mesh, allowing the dog to run and breathe freely while protecting him from getting foxtails in his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. We failed to include a phone number for the company that makes and sells the Outfox Field Guard, however. That number is (800) 261-7737. Orders may also be made online at outfoxfordogs.com. We regret the omission.   More...

It Really Works

I’ve been using my friend Christine as a model for our training articles lately. She has lots of dog-handling experience, looks great in photos, has two very large dogs that we can use (and have) for the photo shoots, and isn’t fazed by anything I ask her to do for the photos.   More...