I was gutted to miss out on our week in review post this week as we had a little streak going but things have been hectic around here. I’m not letting any more posts slip behind schedule though so here is my update on the dog behaviour course!
I’m going to format these posts a bit better so it’s easier for me to track progress etc so here we go.
Again we covered two topics in this class;
Canine Life Stages and Learning
This covered the importance of socialisation (defined as learning how to recognise and interact with the species with which it cohabits – kids, adults, other dogs, cats, livestock etc) and habituation (defined as becoming accustomed to environment stimuli – household noises, traffic, fireworks, surfaces etc). It also defined the different development and life stages for a dog including the importance and effects of socialisation, habituation and potential problems at each stage.
Learn to Earn training program
This covered the training protocols for the learn to earn program. This program is recommended for dogs with poor impulse control that may excessively bark, jump, mouth or dogs that are quite “pushy” for attention or are a bit over the top in general. It is a program where the dog must earn all its rewards so that it can develop impulse control and realise that patience and behaving calm is what gains access to things it likes such as food, throwing a ball, releasing through a door, getting to greet and play with other dogs, getting stroked etc.
I still haven’t completed the first assignment. I have done most of my research and background reading and will be hopefully get it finished this week. It is taking me longer than expected due to being quite busy with work and also due to making sure I put enough time and care into research and compiling the references for the essay.
A second assignment has also been handed out which is due on 7th November. This is another 1000 word essay based on the importance of socialisation and whether socialisation is necessary only at the “critical socialisation window”. I’ll need to pick up the pace to make sure I’m not too pressed for time!
Reading list progress
In Defence of Dogs – done, fantastic in-depth read, actually re-reading for assignment 1
How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves – in progress, great practical easy to read book
Dogs That Bite and Fight – in progress, really insightful book around aggression that isn’t really covered in detail in other books
The Other End of The Leash – done and really enjoyed it but could do with re-reading as it was a long time ago!
Outside of class learning
I follow quite a lot of facebook pages, groups and subscribe to channels on youtube pertaining to dogs so I usually come across a few interesting videos or resources so I thought having these grouped here would be great for future use or if anyone else finds them interesting or informative!
I finished watching the following 2 part series this week and I really like how it shows that even inexperienced trainers can train their own dog to do something quite impressive through the power of positive reinforcement! I also like how they cover dog body language and signals which is important in respecting our dog’s emotional state.
This short video from Chirag Patel is a great reminder to be aware of our dog’s true feelings about being petted and stroked, and to ensure our dog is enjoying it or help them form positive associations to truly enjoy it rather than just tolerate it for our sake.
I love this quote and feel like it’s something we should all strive towards with our dogs. There are always going to be difficult situations we get into with our dogs where we have to ask them to “trust us” whether it’s navigating a particularly stressful situation out of necessity or emergency, performing first aid procedures on our dog that could be stressed and could lash out in pain, asking them to leave a really tasty looking scrap of food that is dangerous to them and so on. If we have continually built up our relationship and trust with our dogs through positive means these “deposits” add up then when we have to take out “withdrawals” in situations like I mentioned then our balance stays in the positive.
Finally some interesting research was done around children and dogs’ abilities to follow advice from adult humans. Those of you that have both young children and dogs what do you think of the research? Maybe it would be a fun experiment to try at home!
If you made it through all of that well done (click – treat :)) and for your efforts have a picture of Bonnie hiding under our recliner because why not!