Good Day

Had a pretty good day so far. It all starts by how I wake up. I woke up a few minutes before my alarm this morning, and got ready for my doggie social class. I was going to a different class today, as the dog I normally take was neutered on Thursday. He’s not ready to up and around yet. Class went well, BIG CLASS today. I LOVE big classes!

Me and NapoleonThere were 3 Great Danes in class today, and Napoleon made friends with one of them. They played the whole time, and made the ache of getting a dane come back. A lady in my neighborhood is going to be having Dane puppies in May, and I’m interested, but not quite sold yet. I don’t have a lot of information yet. I have a ton of questions to ask, and I want to make sure I get a healthy puppy. I don’t so much care about show lines or whatever, but I just want to make sure mom and dad are healthy.

I was able to talk to the head trainer about some concerns I have been having with Napoleon and the crating. He is crate-trained, because he knows the command, goes in no problem, and lays down immediately.

It was a nice day today, so my husband and I took our motorcycle out and have lunch. It was a great day, and I love having a mini-date when we can. We came home, and then worked on my website.When we are gone, I have nanny-cammed him before, and he is perfect. Just goes to sleep, or chews on his bone. But if we are home, he whines, and has a high-pitched migraine-inducing bark. …nonstop! I have waited for hours before.  All the techniques I have used with other dogs-not working for my boy! So, my trainer recommended I try out a bark collar. I haven’t used one before, but this will be good. I’ll get to learn how to use one on my own boy, and learn the proper way to use it. The goal is to eventually not use it all. I will be giving this a try.

It’s finished! Yay! Pawsitive Dog Training. I’m pretty happy with the outcome, and I can happily say I am very proud of my work. Finally finished, and I’m happy with the logo my friend made for me. I’ve been through countless logos, including another one my coworker made for me for free. None of them were… simple enough, or didn’t fit my business model. I found one I can use for anything, and that’s exactly what I have been looking for.

So, now, I’m off to play some video games, and drink more coffee. Yum! Have a great weekend, all!

The Guilty Look?

The ‘Guilty’ look…

I hear a lot of talk about the ‘guilty’ look in dogs. They were left unsupervised in the house while the family was gone, and they chewed up something or eliminated in the house. What if I said canines are not mentally capable of feeling that emotion? Don’t be a victim to anthropomorphism (putting human emotions on animal). The look we see as ‘guilt’ is actually a combination of submissive gestures and pacifying, or calming signals meant to appease your anger or frustration. If you are already worried your dog did something, or if you walk in and see a mess, you are already emitting emotional feelings towards the dog, and they pick up on that. They don’t associate the action of what they did, to your feelings. They just try to submit, so the reprimand will cease. In you continue scolding the dog, he may try to send more calming signals such as lip licking, rolling over, or the ultimate submissive gesture – urination.

A study was done at Barnard College in New York. Dr. Alexandra Horowitz PhD tested 14 dogs and their owners for the owners interpretation of the dogs so-called “guilty look”. The dogs were not to touch the forbidden treats but the owners were asked to leave the room while some dogs were given the forbidden treat. When the owners returned they were told whether or not their dogs had eaten the forbidden treat, some owners were given misinformation and told that their dog had eaten the treat even when it had not. What Dr. Horowitz found was that the “guilty look” had little to do with whether the dog ate the treat. The “guilty look” was most prominent when owners were upset at their dogs for eating the treat, whether or not they had actually done it.

Now, as for the eliminating in the house while you are gone bit. Dogs do NOT eliminate in the house because of anger, spite, jealousy, boredom or mischief. With the exceptions of territorial urine marking, illness, or (rarely) separation distress syndrome. Dogs go to the bathroom in the house for one reason: they have never been properly housetrained by the owner. For senior dogs with medical problems, they need to be let out every few hours to alleviate the pressure on their bladder. They just can’t hold it nearly as long. Food and water should also be monitored.  Now,  many people ask about crating during the day. This is a great training tool, and really helps with behavioral problems. if the dog doesn’t have the opportunity to self-reward, it will eventually stop wanting to do that behavior. It’s not fun if they don’t get anything out of it.  Roaming the house needs to be earned, and if the dog is having accidents in the house, that respect has not been achieved. Older dogs cannot achieve this level of respect, so crating is a safe option or putting the dog in a bathroom or laundry room where if there is an accident, it is at least contained.