Christopher Aust, Master Trainer
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The Paws for Change Foundation should have the web site up and running this coming week. We are very excited, as it has been one challenge after another. Donations are still needed to meet our initial goals and we have put together a couple of little gift packages for your generosity.
A life time membership to Paws for Change and receive the monthly newsletter, due to begin in September of 2004. You will also have your name entered into a drawing for all the gifts listed at the $100.00 donation level.
1. The Spot Organics aromatherapy product of your choice from the list below:
2. Life time membership to Paws for Change and receive the monthly newsletter, due to begin in September of 2004.
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2. One-year membership to iCop as a Master Member. This International organization fosters professional development through consumer confidence. Online professionals support business ethics and integrity. As aMaster Member you will have access to over $2,000.00 in free products and services, $1500.00 in product discounts and products you can resell on your own web site. The one year membership is a $59.95 value, although I have it on good authority the price is going up to $89.95 in September. For more information on membership, go to www.i-Cop.org
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2. The MASTER COURSE by dr. jl scott. This is a five month home study course in life transformation with one of the best in the business. Her methods have been used by some of the top business people on and off line. I've taken the course and as most of you know, I wouldn't even allow it to be offered unless I truly believed in it. This course alone has a retail value of $249! For complete information, go to www.themastercourse.com
1. All of the items listed above
2. One month, four sessions, of telephone coaching sessions with me. If you live within fifty miles of Sacramento, you can opt for one hour and a half in-home sessions. These both include a detailed behavioral analysis of your dog and an individualized training program designed specifically for you and your dog. This has a retail value of $180.00
If you have an animal related business, we have some opportunities for you to support the foundation while advertising your business on three different web sites. It is truly an incredible opportunity to widely advertise your business and give to a good cause as well.
I'm outta here!
Dog Chewing the Sofa? Puppy Eating Your Shoes? Or WORSE?
By the same token, I can tell what's going on from the noises of my dogs. I can tell when my son comes home. I know when someone is coming up to the door or when their friend, the neighbors dog, has come for a visit or someone is moving around on the property at night.
Generally speaking, when people speak, we have something to say or are trying to communicate a message. There are those people, and we all have known one at one time or another, who seem to talk just to hear their own voice. I had a friend who I used to have to tell to just shut up sometimes. Her brother was different. He was quiet and reserved. Their genes may be the same, but their personalities are different.
Dogs are pretty much the same when it comes to vocalization regardless of their breed. Some are yappers and some aren't. The main difference between dogs and humans is dogs rely more on body language than vocalization when it comes to communicating. The act of barking is generally because something is going on they are unable to communicate in other ways. For instance, many of us have seen a dog that barks whenever someone comes to the door. They don't have a posture for “Hey, Momma, someone's coming up to the door.” As a result, they bark.
Now, last week I mentioned I had come up with a process when I did Bassett rescue to curb barking. I did a lot of research before designing the process and have used it over the years with great success. I had never looked at it as a breed specific issue and applied it to any dog with an excessive barking issue.
I also mentioned I have been working with a lady who rescues shelties, which, according to some, can't be trained not to bark. I didn't modify the process at all. I simply applied it as I have always done with other dogs. Guess what, it worked on every single Sheltie in the trial.
I asked everyone with this problem to take notes about their dogs' behavior. In most cases, I am betting the behavior is the result of one of a couple of things.
Lack of Socialization
Many dogs bark at people and dogs they see passing outside of the home. More often than not, it is when they don't know the person or animal. Either way, this is a socialization issue more than anything else. In older dogs who have exhibited this behavior for long periods of time, anxiety may have also set in as well.
Anxiety can actually be found in just about all the areas mentioned above. What I am specifically addressing here is the dog who is just a little skittish. These dogs tend to bark at everything and nothing at all. This is usually found in smaller breeds.
Dogs are like kids. They want structure and need to know the rules. Like so many other subjects I have written about, a strong obedience base is instrumental in developing and maintaining appropriate behavior in our dogs. Without this base, dogs simply don't know what to do to fulfill their pack position and basically run amuck.
Dogs require exercise to work of excess energy and keep them happy. When they don't have enough exercise most dogs will find a way to work off this energy. Some dogs will become destructive. Others become aggressive. Some bark.
Hopefully, from your notes you have been able to determine the trigger for your dog's barking and are able to find the category/categories that apply to your dog. What I am going to do is assume they need it all and go through the process step by step. This way you can see the whole process.
The first step is to establish a strong obedience base. Obedience is instrumental in everything related to behavior modification. It establishes pack order with your dog, builds their confidence and allows your dog to understand the necessity for doing as they are told by their Alpha. All dogs should know how to sit, stay and come as a minimum.
Next you want to increase your dog's exercise. Running casually around the yard or around the house is generally not enough exercise for a dog over 20 pounds. I recommend this be done in the morning, as we want them to settle down during the day when they are active. By relieving them of their excess energy in the A.M. they are more likely to be calm during the day.
Anxiety can be caused by a multitude of factors. It is a complex issue I have written about extensively in the past. As a result, I am going to refer you to a previous article I have written on the subject. You can find it at: www.master-dog-training.com/archive/112103.htm Your list should be able to help you determine the source of the anxiety and assist you in working the dog through it. It will also help you to determine if socialization is the issue.
You have often seen dogs inside a house or yard that will bark at a stranger passing on the street or at the sound of a car they don't recognize. Sometimes this is a protective instinct caused by the dogs desire to be protective. This is rare, as most dogs don't bark when they are preparing to attack. They usually will growl. More often than not, this behavior is the result of the dog simply not being used to people close to the house. This is a socialization issue, which needs to be addressed through exposure.
If you know your dog barks at strangers walking outside you need to be prepared to conduct training within that environment. In some cases, you may even have to create the situation so you can focus the training directly to the trigger. This way you can socialize the dog to the trigger while reinforcing the behavior you want the dog to exhibit.
Regardless of the reason for the barking, it all needs to be addressed in the same manner. Consistency and training are the keys to success here. Squirt guns and, my favorite, screaming “shut up” at the top of your lungs aren't going to make them stop even if it makes you feel better. You have to take action in a way the dog will know the barking is the issue, and it won't be tolerated.
Now, with basic obedience in place and the dog receiving the proper amount of exercise, there are a couple of things you can do. My personal favorite, and the one I have seen the most success with, is banishment. The second is placing the dog in a controlled position and enforcing the stay command. We'll start with the latter.
Whenever the dog begins the barking behavior, the dog should immediately be told “no” and taken out of sight from the trigger and placed in the sit position. The entire way to their “time-out spot they should be told, “no, quiet,” or “no barking” or whatever word after “no” you want, provided you use the same word each time. They should then be told to “stay.” They are not allowed to lie down or move.
They should stay there for a minute or two. If during that time they get up or lie down you must immediately put them back in the sit position. You must be firm and not allow them to worm their way out. When their time is up call them over and tell them one last time “no” and whatever word you chose. You must do this every time the dog barks.
Once they understand the command, you can even give it to them when they are likely to start barking. For instance, if they are walking towards a window they like to bark out of, then tell them “quiet” before they actually start the barking or make it to the room. You have to be firm and consistent. Use a strong tone and make sure the dog knows you are serious.
To banish the dog, you must find a place to put the dog during his sentence. It needs to be a place the dog does not normally go and provides no form of entertainment. Bathrooms work great for this as they are small and often can be kept rather dark. You don't want to use crates or their bed.
The process is pretty much the same as placing them in a control position only you don't have to be as watchful. When the dog begins to bark, place them in the room and turn out the lights. Leave them in the room for three to five minutes. When they are allowed out, the “no quiet” command should then be reinforced. Don't apologize to the dog by loving them up when they come out. Give them the “no” and let them go on their way.
If they continue to bark when placed in the bathroom open the door, reinforce the “no” and close them off again and start the time over again. You may have to repeat the process several times, but you have to do it in order to not give the dog the idea they can win out by being more persistent than you. Basically, you can't let them be Alpha.
Personally, even with all of my experience and training, I wouldn't try owning more than eight dogs on my own. Even that would be extremely time consuming to undertake. Dogs require our attention, affection and time. If they aren't getting the individual attention, exercise and care of course they are going to bark. It then becomes the owner's fault for the behavior.
Barking can stretch our nerves to their limit and be time consuming to fix. It can be dealt with though if we stay consistent and address the issue of barking by the individual dog and stay consistent. It isn't breed specific and, as far as I have seen, any dog can have their barking behavior modified.
My goal in life is to become as wonderful as my dog thinks I am.
~ Eileen Green ~
~ Eileen Green ~
A Yorkshire terrier, named Bertie, has been credited with saving the life of a woman who was in the adjoining hospital bed to her owner in Cardiff's University Hospital in Wales.
Bertie, who weighs less than five pounds and is a hearing dog in-training was at the hospital to visit his deaf owner, Gill Stevenson, who had been admitted for a routine procedure. The charity that teamed up Bertie and Stevenson has named him “Dog of the Month,” for his life-saving act.
Bertie had been at the hospital visiting his owner when he stood up on the bed and began to feverishly bark at the woman in the bed next to Stevenson. When he couldn't be quieted, Stevenson knew something was wrong and summoned the nursing staff, who rushed to the room.
The nurses checked the woman and discovered she had stopped breathing. They immediately called doctors and began CPR. The woman was revived and went on to a full recovery. The staff at the hospital credited Bertie with saving the lady's life.
It just goes to show that some dogs not only look after their
owners but also the people around them. Three cheers for
Bertie!! I wonder how she'd look in a lab coat?
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