Our Remaining Summer Workshops
Workshops are from 1:30 - 3:30pm at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 6030 Grosvenor Lane, Bethesda. Only demo and service dogs are allowed. Register here
THIS Sat, July 26
: Dog Training Essentials: loose-leash walking and coming when called
Dragging you to sniff the local "pee mail", lunging toward neighborhood dog friends, and running after squirrels, despite trying to call your dog back ... Sound familiar? Make walks an enjoyable experience with a canine partner who is totally in sync with you, and rest easy knowing that your dog will return when you call, even around distractions. It's simpler than you think! Speaker:
Michelle Yue, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA (www.GoodDogDC.com
Sat, Aug 17: That's A ... CHICKEN
Using chickens to hone dog training skills has been used since the 50’s. In Feb, company owners and employees, human resource managers, paramedics, fire fighters, parents and teachers of special needs children, and pet owners came together in one room with a flock of chickens. We have videos to show you what happened … plus a live chicken to demonstrate. Come see what all the clucking over clicking is about. Speaker:
Jennifer Pennington, CDBC, CPDT-KA (www.LeadWithFun.com
Sun, Aug 18: Advice for Adopters, Potential Adopters & Fosters
Learn how to make life with your adopted dog easier and more fun! Come hear a trainer discuss dog training and behavior, helpful pet products, and the many common issues that adopters face. There is also time to discuss your individual concerns. Presenter:
Sarah Stoycos, KPA CTP (www.LaughingDogAcademy.com
Our Fall Workshops Are Listed at the End of This Newsletter!!!!!
Why Does My Dog Bark at "Those People"?
July 24, 2013 by Sarah Wilson, MA
Dogs bark at difference. Not all dogs. Some dogs – whether because of excellent socialization or a placid personality – accept everyone. Other dogs, with the herding breeds often being the kings and queens of noticing difference, accept more often.
Usually dogs notice and react to differences we can (mortifyingly) see ourselves: someone in a wheelchair or who has crutches, the little girl from next door, or your friendly uniformed delivery person. Caras, my late-great Australian Shepherd, tutored me in this.
Once he was poolside with me as I swam. I put on a swim mask and he freaked out – racing back and forth, barking with pure alarm. My good buddy would not come near me. I simply moved the mask to the top of my head and he came right over to say, “Hi.” Slipping the mask back on right in front of him while praising him caused him to not recognize me a bit, no matter what I said or did. He was terrified. All I can imagine is that I suddenly became a monster before his very eyes.
Hats, glasses, hoodies, masks, beards and uniforms can all cause this reaction. Your nice, friendly dog can go to Zombie-alert level 10 in a way that makes you want to crawl under a rock. Which reminds me that Caras also went through a phase of barking at the homeless man who lived in the corner of a local NYC playground in the 80’s. After seeing him emerge from the box he lived in, Caras erupted in alarm and nothing I could do at that moment would calm him.
Because Caras was raised in New York City, racial variation was normal for him. But for a dog raised in a single-race area, differences in skin color can do it, the way a neon-pink person might alarm us. When I lived in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn years ago, I was one of “those people” some dogs barked at because I was white in a largely black neighborhood. A number of dogs who had never left the area just didn’t know what to make of me.
Other times your dog may react to things we cannot see: people on prescription (or nonprescription) drugs or intoxication can create a canine commotion. All depends on the dog.
Regardless of the cause, you have to deal with it. Here are a few things to do.
1) At home practice difference. Dress up with hats, beards, glasses. Wear them around the house. Put them on before your dog’s favorite game, so your dog learns difference = fun! Pick up a cane or some old crutches so you can hobble a bit. Have fun.
2) Give your dog something else to do if he erupts. The temptation can be to correct him because it is embarrassing and you want the person being barked at to know what is happening isn’t okay with you, but that won’t help much. It’ll usually just teach your dog that you have issues around this difference, too. Instead, I rely on skills I have already taught the dog: head turns, simple sits, touch to reorient the dog and create rewardable moments.
3) If your dog is too far gone to respond to anything when this happens, then removing him from the situation or blocking his view may be the only way to calm him. Consider a head halter if this is a regular issue, as that will give you better control over the bark while you work on getting better control in general. And, get (positive) professional training and behavior help as well. When serious, this is not a DIY (Do It Yourself) dog issue.
4) Work your basics at home, so your dog is in the habit of listening. Whenever your dog fails life’s “Pop Quizzes”, the answer is not more of those but rather more successfully completed homework. Practice your basics so you can ace the next quiz that literally comes around the corner.
If this ever happens to you and your dog erupts at some variation he’s not used to – a difference in height, age, mobility, race, dress or whatever – try to remember that he isn’t saying that person is one of “those people” at all. He’s just saying he’s alarmed. Your job is to get control over your dog immediately and then get some help for the problem so it doesn’t happen again.
If you like Sarah Wilson’s blogs, you’ll love her e-mails and these books: My Smart Puppy, Childproofing Your Dog, Dogology, Tails from the Barkside.
12221 Parklawn Drive, Rockville, MD
Go Team Go!: THIS Wed, Jul 24 - Aug 21 (no class on Aug 7) @ 1:15 - 2:15pm
Spend four, one-hour sessions learning how to get your dog motivated to work and play with you. These exercises and games will improve your dog’s loose leash walking, coming when called, as well as choosing you over many of the tough environmental distractions the two of you encounter every day.
Adolescent Dog Class: Tues, Aug 13 - Sept 17 @ 5:45 - 6:45pm
For puppies 5 months to 1 year. This class is a great option for puppies too old for Puppy Kindergarten! Adolescent Dog graduates can then go onto Puppy 1st Grade if they're under 1 year old or have the instructor's permission.
Basic Manners 1:
- Thurs, Aug 1 - Sept 12 (no class on Aug 29) @ 7:05 - 8:05pm
- Sun, Aug 4 - Sept 15 (no class on Sept 1) @ 4:00 - 5:00pm
- Fri, Aug 9 - Sept 20 (no class on Aug 30) @ 10:15 - 11:15am
Start teaching basic good manners and learn what motivates and how to communicate with your dog. Basic Manners is also builds a foundation for many of our other classes.
Check out our Puppy Kindergarten and Puppy Party schedules here.
Free Fall Workshops
Workshops are from 1:30 - 3:30pm at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 6030 Grosvenor Lane, Bethesda. Only demo and service dogs are allowed.
There are only 83 veterinary behaviorists in North America and Australia. We are fortunate to have three in our area plus two veterinarians who are residents in veterinary behavior. This fall, veterinary behaviorist Dr. Amy Pike, the resident she is mentoring, Dr. Meghan Ropski, and the resident that veterinary behaviorist Dr. Leslie Sinn is mentoring, Dr. Meaghan Connolly, will all be doing workshops. Come hear all three, and welcome our newest soon-to-be veterinary behaviorists.
Join us for our other workshops too! They are all fantastic!
Advice for Adopters - guidance for adopters, potential adopters, and fosters
Sunday, Sept 15, Oct 20 or Nov 17
Working With Your Reactive Dog: A Demonstration - Sat, Sept 14, 1:30pm with trainers, Sarah Stoycos, Laughing Dog Academy, and Marnie Montgomery, Joyful Dog
No Time to Train? No Problem - Sat, Sept 21, 1:30pm with trainer Juliana Willems, Dog Latin Dog Training
From Hyper Hound to Happy Hound - Sat Oct 26, 1:30pm with veterinary behavior resident, Dr. Meghan Connolly, Atlantic Veterinary Behavior (Dr. Connolly is able to visit homes in Maryland!)
Pain and Behavior - Sat, Nov 9, 1:30pm with veterinary behaviorist, Dr. Amy Pike
The Dominance Controversy - Sat, Nov 16, 1:30pm with veterinary behavior resident, Dr. Meaghan Ropski
You can read about all of our workshops and register at http://yourdogsfriend.org/free-workshops/
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