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In the news today is the report that a baby girl in Indiana was the victim of an unprovoked attack by the family dog. It’s not unusual to hear this declaration from victims of bites, parents, animal control officers and the media. Even scientific literature lists a lack of provocation as a common reason for biting (sometimes an inference drawn by the authors, at other times simply a repetition of the available data).
Almost all bites are provoked. Dogs are social animals and respond to very subtle cues. We can work to figure out the reasons for a bite, including the likelihood that it was aggravated by anxiety around the baby. There is a danger in concluding that bites are random. If there isn’t a “real” stimulus triggering the aggression, how can it be prevented or managed? The basic premise that bites occur in response to something is exactly…
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April 10, 2010
Joyce Kesling, CDBC
Learned helplessness is a complex behavior first identified by Seligman in 1967 who was studying experimental neurosis. One of Seligman’s experiments found “…dogs exposed to traumatic inescapable shock showed signs of neurotic elaboration and disintegration on cognitive, emotional, and motivational levels of organization” according to Lindsay (2000).
The experiment included three groups, one group, escape trained (ET), one group (YC) was controlled with restraint and no option to escape and the final group was the control (C). Both the ET and YC groups were exposed to continuous shock, but the ET group was allowed to escape the shock by giving an appropriate response and the YC group was prohibited from making any response to turn off the shock. The C group received no escape training. The next phase of the experiment was the following day when all three…
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NEW YORK – People and their pets often end up resembling each other, but image-obsessed Americans are taking that age-old relationship a step further, treating their four-legged friends to everything from spa facials to testicle implants.In a nation of surgically enhanced human breasts, teeth and skin, perhaps it was just a matter of time before the beauty stakes were raised for pooches and cats.
FYI, give dogs a break, go out and train, play, teach them manners, socialize them with other humans and dogs, this is getting ridiculous! Don’t the people doing this, these faux dog specialists have anything better to do?
“One end of the spectrum features dogs like Hops, a Maltese terrier who recently was given a blueberry facial, followed by a blow dry, and tooth brushing with chicken-flavored paste, at Manhattan’s Downtown Doghouse spa.”
“Groomer Ani Corless described this as the new normal for lapdogs.”
ME: NO, not new normal, disturbed people thinking it’s normal!
“These are man-made breeds and they require maintenance,” she said.
ME: What dogs need is not makeovers, they have real needs based on biology, not skewed psychology based on humans with obvious emotional and real problems…living in reality!
“Mid-facial, Hops ejected a tiny puddle of vomit, but otherwise did seem to enjoy the attention.”
ME: Can you really blame him? He could have been so upset being put through such unnatural behavior, both human and dog expected, it would make me puke too!
“More extreme — and painful — makeovers are also gaining ground.”
ME: Someone please stop the madness, dogs really don’t like this shit!
“New York Republican lawmaker Nicole Malliotakis says animals are subjected to tattoos, earrings, nose rings, chin rings, tummy tucks, even facelifts.”
“Owner of two Chihuahuas called Peanut and Olympia, Malliotakis has proposed a law to ban cosmetic alterations to pets in New York state, calling this “a form of animal cruelty.”
ME: Someone with some sense, it IS animal cruelty!
How To Safely Interact with Humans and Their Dogs
Right there! Do you see it? It’s a human walking their dog.
In order to approach them safely, observe the human. Before you or your dog gets closer, let’s look at the human. What can you tell from their body language and facial expressions?
Start with the eyes. Are they darting back and forth, looking for a way to escape? Are the human’s eyebrows furrowed and pinched? You’re witnessing signs of stress. Do not ignore them.
Scan their bodies and look at their hands. A human that is not comfortable being approached by a stranger will often raise one or both hands towards you. If you see body language such as an outstretched hand, palm towards you, this is a clear signal to stop! Do not continue approaching.
Read more via Dog Bite Prevention Week: How to Safely Interact with Humans.
Why is this important?
“Adult elimination problems represent a significant source of distress for both owners and dogs. …incomplete house training is the leading cause given by dog owners for relinquishing their dogs to the uncertain fate of the animal shelter…underscoring the importance of preventing and resolving house-training problems” (Lindsay, 2005).
Why teaching “bell ringing” signal might be a problem!
Teaching puppies to give a signal to go outside is a common, but questionable, house-training practice. While appearing reasonable and useful at first glance, encouraging puppies to give such a signal may conflict with the objective of training them to hold and eliminate in accordance with an arbitrary schedule.
Effective bowel and bladder control require that puppies learn to endure some amount of discomfort-an aspect of house training this is not necessarily served by training puppies to perform a signal to get outdoors on demand.
Such need-to-go signals depend on…
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How can the behavior consultant help?
In matters of behavior, dog owners should seek only consultants qualified through proper education and training. Animal behavior problems can be complicated along with recognizing the unique characteristics of each individual animal and family.
The skilled behavior consultant will embrace not only scientific knowledge but will have enough education in dog behavior consulting as exemplified by cynopraxic modalities. The cynopraxic trainer-consultant will not only acknowledge play, esthetic appreciation, emotional empathy, compassion and ethical restraint but will characterize qualities that mediate connectedness, facilitate the bonding process, support behavioral healing, composure, sincerity of purpose, presence and a certain amount of playfulness (Lindsay, 2001).
In conclusion, “the ability to train dogs is an art that depends on a trainer’s ability to play and a dog’s ability to play in turn…where there is…
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Who Speaks for the Dogs?
Who speaks for the dogs? A lot fewer organizations than you might imagine!
In the world of dogs, mixed motives, hidden agendas, and naked economic self-interest are the watch word.
A lot of people, for example are shocked to discover that the American Kennel Club has a 50-year track record of profiting from puppy mills, embracing breed standards that create dogs that aredefective by design, and embracing crackpot 19th century eugenics theories.
What? The AKC? I thought this was an organization for dogs?
Nope. This in an organization built around rosettes and salaries.The way to keep the business going, so far as they can see, is todouble down on puppy mill registrations while maintaining a closed registry system which too often results in rising coefficients of inbreeding.
The welfare of dogs? It never enters the picture.
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