Forum Replies Created

  • Shoko

    February 14, 2022 at 2:03 am in reply to: A vet appointment that didn’t go well …

    Just to add/clarify….πŸ™‚

    Whatever my dogs do not like to be done to them, I personally prefer to condition them to loving it as much as possible. The only reason why don’t want to just leave the dogs to tolerate is because if the dog only tolerates, I think there is an easier chance for the emotion of the dog to move from tolerate to not tolerate. I think if you condition the dog to really like, their emotion will likely move from love to tolerate and then to not tolerate. So basically you get to have an extra buffer of tolerate before the dog decides to not tolerate. So if your dog loves to have its nails cut by you, the dog will have an easier time tolerating its nails cut by a stranger. If the dog only tolerates their nails being cut by you, the chance of the dog not tolerating the vet cutting its nails and biting the vet out of fear is higher.

    Also, I think it is important to make the dog love as many aspects of the vet visit as much as possible. Even if the dog is good at tolerating many things, if it has to tolerate all of them at once, it can turn out to be too much for the dog, and it might not be able to tolerate the situation as a whole.

    This is based off of my own experience with one of our adult GSDs. Akari is a very tolerant dog. She would tolerate being pet, being handled, vaccinated, poked and prodded by the vet, and anything unpleasant including being picked up and passed on to a total stranger (it’s one of the tests she had to pass to become certified as a search and rescue dog). We knew she secretly doesn’t like people very much, but she was so great at tolerating that we were never worried. Like…if she is so great at tolerating that we are 99.99% sure she will never bite, why bother spend time conditioning her to love what she can already tolerate? How very wrong we were! Because she recently bit the vet on the forehead!

    Like I said, she tolerates being prodded. She tolerates the vet. She tolerates the stethoscope. She tolerates the long handling. She tolerates the blood draw. She tolerates each and every aspect of what the vet did to her that day. However, for her, this time, it was way too many at once and for way too long (and it really was a long visit)! All of the things that she tolerates added up and lead to NOT TOLERATE!😱

    She bit very fast, leaving two holes on the vet’s forehead. The Vet, simply said ” I know GSDs bite…” as he wiped off the blood and continued with his work. For his safety we will be making Akari wear a muzzle next time and keep the visit shorter…

    But basically what I wanted to say is that tolerate can add up to not tolerate. So I think it’s something to keep in mind when conditioning our dogs. If it is possible, I think it is always better to make the dog like the unpleasant things more than just tolerate..

    Btw, I don’t think it would be hard to make Lacy like nail clipping especially since she is only 1 year old. But you have to be very precise when marking the behavior so that she knows she is getting the treat for the actual nail clipping and not for something else that is going on at the same time.

    Also, a thing about muzzles… While it is always good to have the dog be conditioned to muzzles, I am a bit iffy about over using it. This is because I’ve seen and heard quite a few owners/trainers/groomers/vets do things to dogs that they would never do if the dogs did not wear a muzzle. The owner/trainer/vets ends up relying too much on the power of the muzzle instead of actually working on conditioning the dogs. The mentality of…she has a muzzle on, let’s just get this over with…isn’t helpful in the long run. I think it’s always good to take a step back and re-evaluate the situation if your dog is acting uncomfortable in a situation even if she has a muzzle on and can’t bite…

    Anyways, that’s just me with my thoughts…

    But as always, take what you like, leave what you don’t like. πŸ™‚

    Good luck with Lacy!

  • Shoko

    February 11, 2022 at 10:29 am in reply to: A vet appointment that didn’t go well …

    Hi Cyndi,

    I’m just wondering if you know how to train Lacy to like nail clipping using the 3Ds (distance, duration, distraction)? It’s definitely always a great idea to desensitize a dog to muzzles and restraints, but I’m wondering if it might be better if you could make Lacy love nail clipping to the point that she will be begging you to clip her nails? I think once she is good with her nails being cut, you could then focus on desensitizing her to being handled by strangers.

    My dogs used to be terrible when it came to nail cutting, especially Gonchan. But now when he sees me holding the nail cutter, he impatiently gives me his paw and waits for me to cut the nails. The good thing is that once you train your dog to like nail cutting, your dog will hold out his paw and keep it still.

    If you’d like, I could try and make a film on how I taught nail cutting to my dogs and put it up on Wednesday Q&A for Mike to critique( I recently bought a tripod!). However, I should let you know that I am not a professional dog trainer. I just happen to be living with many dogs…πŸ˜‚

    Also, about taking your dog to the groomers…πŸ€”(this is only my opinion based on my own experience but…) I think you are missing a great opportunity to bond with Lacy by taking your dog to the groomers to get her nails cut. I know how tempting it is to just let the professionals do it when it’s a lot of work. We used to do that with our older dogs too because they would struggle and there was no way we could hold them down by ourselves. It was only after our 3 pups were born that we realized something had to change and we had to change our approach (vet visits for nail cutting was costing us too much money! LOL). Anyhow, once we started clipping nails of the dogs by ourselves, I noticed that the bond between us got stronger. Maybe there is something about grooming that puts the owner in a good light, or maybe it was simply the fact that the amount of stress in their lives decreased (no more retrained nail clippings against their wills!), but the dogs started to be more in tune with us. πŸ™‚

    But like I said. I am not a professional dog trainer. And I only know GSDs and Mals. I’ve never worked with a molossoid mix. πŸ™‚

  • Shoko

    February 2, 2022 at 10:59 am in reply to: Fear/Protective Aggression Incident

    Hi Cyndi!

    I saw this post and thought I will throw in my five cents. I’m not sure how much of what I am about to write is right, so feel free to take what you like, and leave what you don’t like. πŸ™‚

    <font face=”inherit”>So…There are definitely ways to make a dog associate shouting angry people with treats. And I think this technique would work really well for dealing with people you meet out on the streets, but I think when dealing with specific individuals such as your family member, or close </font>acquaintance that you meet regularly<font face=”inherit”>, who shows hostile stance towards either your dog or yourself, evacuating your dog might be the best choice. </font>

    When thinking about these tricky situations, I ask myself what I would do if my dog was a 3 years old child.

    If my imaginary child is scared of some thing that he/she sees out on walk, I could distract the child by handing the child its favorite chocolate when walking past a scary thing. But I don’t think this tactic wouldn’t be ideal when it is his aunt who is verbally attacking him at a family gathering.

    <font face=”inherit”>If any of my relatives started acting like that to my child, how would I want my child to react?I </font>definitely<font face=”inherit”> wouldn’t want him/her to start shouting back at his aunt, but I wouldn’t want to be forcing the child to keep on smiling at that relative amid verbal abuse. I would probably go over there, take the child by hand and leave before the child feels helpless and angry. You’ll probably say something like “Lets go play outside. We’ll come back to auntie when she is feeling a calmer” or something in that line.. (I’m making this up btw). Or you might say something like “Auntie, you are scaring my child, could you please come back when you are calmer?” </font>

    I think similar thing can apply when that child is a dog. Usually in a similar situation I let my dog know that I have the control of the situation by either turning around and leaving with the dog while feeding treats and ignoring the person, or by putting the dog behind me and nicely but firmly tell the human to leave. I guess you could say that I do the growling instead of my dog. lol

    <font face=”inherit”>Also, I’ve noticed that for many people, when they don’t like someone, it’s very hard to actually like their pets. When there is even a slightest strain in a human-human relationship, the way he/she treats the other person’s pet tends to become rough (and unfortunately often it can happen on an </font>unconscious<font face=”inherit”> level…). So even if you do manage to make Lacy like the other person, you never know how she will be treated…</font>

    So, unless your relative really wants to become friend with your dog, and you really trust that person, I don’t think you need to worry about making your dog act friendly towards that person. I think it’s more important to make your dog think that it’s well protected by the owner so it won’t feel the need to defend itself by growling. I think, ideally you would want Lacy to ignore such people because she believes you will be the one chasing away the threatening person, not her. She can just relax and rely on you. πŸ™‚

    Hope something was helpful!

  • Shoko

    December 28, 2021 at 5:28 am in reply to: Canine Nutrition Certificate offered at CASI?

    Great! Thank you Allie and Mike for the responses! πŸ˜€ The website (https://www.casinstitute.com/cn) says that they cover these materials in the course: Energetics: GE, DE, ME, NE, RER, RMR; Value of protein; Energy balance Nutrient classes Carbohydrates, (definitions, classifications, functions, requirements, etc) Protein, (definitions, classifications, functions, requirements, etc) Fats, (definitions, classifications, functions, requirements, etc) Minerals, introduction, function, required, toxic, interactions Macro minerals Trace minerals Vitamins, general, classifications, interactions, functions, requirements, deficiencies, etc. Water, function, requirements Digestion, anatomy, physiology, enzymes, hormones, absorption, etc. Life stage nutrition, pregnancy, lactation, weaning, puppies, adults, geriatrics Nutrient content of commercial dog foods Aflotoxins and endotoxins Marketing concepts Chemical vs. natural preservatives Elements of a home-cooked diet Cooking proteins and carbohydrates Supplementing and serving Reasons for using home-prepared diets Commercial raw diets and mixes Components of a raw diet Safety of feeding raw foods Safety and efficacy of a vegetarian/vegan diet Ingredients for a vegetarian/vegan diet. So I’m guessing it covers all of the basics. But now I am getting more interested in taking a course at CIVT after looking at their siteπŸ˜†.

  • Shoko

    September 25, 2021 at 3:36 am in reply to: Dominance aggression success!

    Hi Judy and Allie,

    Thank you! Yes, I did read through the leadership section! Luckily, we already had most of them in place (Sorry, I should have written it in the previous post!). We have an old cat that we do not want the dogs to bother, so we have very strict house rules in place. I think Heidi’s issue would have been so much harder to fix if the rules weren’t there. The dogs are all caged inside the house. Only the well behaved adult dogs are allowed to roam freely once in a while and take a nap with us on the sofa with invitation. The dogs are mostly trained/exercised individually in the yard. I think the problem with Heidi was that my mom wasn’t displaying leadership when they were out in the yard. Unlike the other two pups that we have, Heidi did not cause havoc in the yard, so it was very tempting to give her too much freedom without structure (leave her alone to be free while mom has a cup of tea…). Naturally the overall amount or training and attention that went into Heidi decreased quite a lot as a result. I thought the worst that can happen was for Heidi to turn into a badly mannered dog. Never did I think it would cause her to turn into a bitey dog! Now, I make sure to spend at least once a day training Heidi in place of my mom. I do quick paced trainings where Heidi has to be alert and focus on my next move. There’s not a trace of bitey-ness in Heidi anymore. Overall she is calmer and on top of that she is starting to turn into a dog doughnut(dog shaped like a doughnut) when greeting me. We never saw her doing that to anyone before!

    I really wish more trainers out there talked about leadership and dominance.

  • Shoko

    February 14, 2022 at 4:46 am in reply to: A vet appointment that didn’t go well …

    I just love the way you use the word naked to describe a dog without a muzzleπŸ˜†πŸ˜†! Your dog is so lucky to have such a big arena to play in! My dogs think muzzle=lots of chicken liver.

  • Shoko

    February 10, 2022 at 9:11 am in reply to: Fear/Protective Aggression Incident

    no problem! 😊

  • Shoko

    December 28, 2021 at 6:15 am in reply to: Canine Nutrition Certificate offered at CASI?

    Hi Allie! Can I ask which nutrition course you are taking at CIVT? Did you take the pet owner course, or start from certificate in animal health science and then take the nutrition course? Thanks!

  • Shoko

    September 26, 2021 at 11:26 am in reply to: Making tugs out of old fire hose?

    Thank you Allie! The sock idea sounds fun, but my dogs have a history of eating up socks and towels, so maybe not the ideal for us…πŸ˜‚ I have never hear of bite suit tugs! Where do you buy them?

  • Shoko

    September 26, 2021 at 11:22 am in reply to: Making tugs out of old fire hose?

    Thank you Judy! Forgot to think about the dog’s teeth😱! French Linen definitely sounds safer!