Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Friday, June 13, 2008
Use food treat to get dog to open his mouth so that the Dumb Bell can be inserted. Hold the Dumb bell in your right hand. As the Dumb Bell is inserted, give the cue TAKE IT. As the dog takes the Dumb Bell in his mouth, place your right hand under the dogs chin and press upwards giving the cue HOLD IT. Next, take the Dumb Bell in your right hand and give the cue OUT. REWARD.
Most dog owners are somewhat amazed when their dog first shows possessiveness. This is because of the manner in which the pet expresses itself, usually verbally ( a growl or a snarl ) and orally ( a snap or a nip ). This is usually the first time the owner has ever had the animal do anything threatening against them.
They find it hard to accept that the dog could feel that it has something that the owner has given to him and the dog does not want to have the owner touch or take it from them. After all, ownership means that the owner owns everything and the dog owns nothing. NOT SO MY FRIENDS! There are times that the animal will feel that what has been given to it or the animal has taken, is the sole right of possession by the animal . This could be as simple as a ball or toy or something to chew or eat.
How do we prevent this situation from occurring in the first place. There are several methods suggested to condition the dog so as to prevent this from occurring. The first method is related to food. In order to be able to take food away from the dog, the owner should first practice the habit of going to the dogs food bowl and placing more food in the bowl as the dog is eating. This means that you first give the dog 1/3 of its normal amount in the bowl. As the dog is eating, you go to the bowl and pour another 1/3 into the bowl. The dog now knows that when you come to the bowl it can expect to get more food. You then put the final 1/3 of the amount in to the bowl. You do this each time you feed the dog for at least eight to ten days. This conditions the dog to the behavior of your coming to the bowl and putting more food in the bowl. Next you start with the 1/3 in the bowl and as the dog is almost finished with the food, you pick up the bowl and pour 1/3 into it and set it back down for the dog to eat. When the dog is almost finished, you again pick up the bowl and pour the last 1/3 into it and place it on the floor for the dog to finish. Do this for eight to ten days and you can now pick up the bowl and place it back on the floor without the dog objecting. Once or twice a week go back to the first method of putting more food in the bowl in order to reinforce the routine.
The second method if generally called the trade-off method. You give the dog a ball or a toy and when you want to take it from the dog, you offer the dog another ball or toy. When the dog releases the first ball or toy, you throw the second so the dog can have that one. You do not try to get the item from the dog, but wait until the dog willingly gives up the first item. As soon as the dog releases the item. throw the replacement item. Dogs are willing to give up something if they get something in return. After five or six releases and trade-offs, you start to say "OUT" as the dog releases the item. The dog soon learns that out means that you will give something in replacement for the item the dog is willing to give up. OUT can be then transferred to anything you want the dog to give up. Don't get greedy and forget to treat the dog when it give up something. The dog will soon learn that you are taking and not giving.
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De Ja Vu. We live a few block from the Susquehanna River in Forty Fort Pennsylvania. On June 22, 1972 the river topped the dikes and flooded the entire valley to a level of almost 40.6 feet. At that time we had two Giant Schnauzers, Ch. Camoli's Gem of the East and Ch. von Russ Brinny Brite, a mother-daughter pair. We had very short notice that time. I had Marie drop me off at my office a few blocks away to move some files to the second floor and pick up the State Car that was parked there. I returned to my home and was putting the dogs things in my personal car when the sirens started to sound. Until you experience the sound of wailing sirens and know that it means that the river had topped the dike or that the dikes have broken and the river coming through you cannot realize what a terrifying sound it is. When I was leaving the house with Gemma, the water was coming down the street. Marie had left a few minutes earlier and had taken Pazazz with her in the other car. We were to meet at a friends house out of the flood plain. We had taken some clothes and enough food and water for the dogs for a few days. Little did we know that we would have almost fourteen feet of water in our home and that we would be out of our home for weeks.
This time, as soon as I heard the words "EVACUATION" I said to Marie "pack clothes and I'll take care of the dog's things". I immediately thought that the next thing they would announce was a water advisory, that would mean the water was not fit to drink. I got out my water containers for the one Giant Schnauzer we have, Ch. von Russ Follie Berger' and collected enough water to last her a week (15 gallons). I also put food for a week in a metal container along with her medications and feeding pan and water bowl.
The phone rang and this time it was our friend Anna Cervenak. She and Max Bartikowsky have a Beagle, Sparkle. She said that they were going to the Victoria Inn to stay and would meet us there. I called the Victoria Inn but found out that while I had been packing the clothes and dog supplies in my Maxi Van, others had been calling for reservations. No Rooms available. I next called the Knights Inn because I knew from traveling the dog show circuit that they accepted pets. No rooms available until noon on Saturday. I made reservations for two rooms. One for us and one for our friend Bob Adams who has a Cairn Terrier, Darcy. It was now close to midnight, Friday January 19,1996.
Because of our experience showing Giant Schnauzers for over twenty-five years, we are use to packing the necessities for our dogs and ourselves. We have left the house in the wee hours of the morning many times to go to dog shows. My wife, Marie, has a list of things to take for us and the dogs. The list came out that night, only there was no Best of Breed or Group Placements to be won, this was a life and death situation. We had everything to lose if the river came over the dikes. We had thrown everything we owned out into the street to be hauled away after the" 72" flood and it looked like we were going to be in the same situation again.
The phone rang again. It was Bob. Like many dog show people, he has two vehicles, a passenger car and a station wagon for the dog. Bob needed to move one of the vehicles to high ground. I said I would be right over with my car to follow him and give him a ride back. It was now about one-thirty A.M.
Marie had the TV playing during all this and when I returned from Bob's she said that they had informed the public that the location of evacuation centers was going to be announced and they were not going to accept pets at the centers. This meant that one hundred thousand people were going to have to leave their homes. What were they going to do with their pets? We have crates in our vehicles for our dogs, but most pet owners only have a collar and walking lead for their pet. What were they going to do?
People that live in a flood plane or near the ocean and are in the path of a hurricane need to have an evacuation plan that includes their pets. The first thing you should consider is a pet carrier or crate that will fit in your vehicle. Even if you end up in a motel, you can keep your dog in the crate, or carrier if it is a cat. You need something safe to keep the animal in when you are not able to be with it constantly. This also means training the pet to enjoy being in the crate!
The next thing is taking food for at least several days. A metal. or plastic container is best as it will keep the food dry and is easy to carry and store when you get someplace to stay. Water for your pet is easily carried in two liter plastic soda bottles. TAKE ENOUGH FOR AT LEAST FOUR DAYS. Label the containers "DOG'S FOOD"," DOG'S WATER". Water from a different source could cause a digestive upset and give you further problems with diarrhea. Make sure you take any medication necessary for your pet.
Heart worm medication should not be forgotten as it is necessary to administer daily unless you have your pet on the monthly medication. Another factor that is important is that your pet be accustom to riding in your vehicle. Many pets only get to ride in your vehicle when they have to be taken to the Veterinarians. This is somewhat of a traumatic experience for the animal and if the only time it gets to ride with you is to the Veterinarians, it is not going to make your evacuation trip any easier with a dog that is upset and possibly throwing up. Another safety factor that we practice is never let the collar on your pet when it is in the crate. The animal could become excited because of the situations you could be exposed to and the collar could become caught on the crate and the dog could choke. We always hook the collar and lead to the crate door in order that it is always accessible when we want to take the animal from the crate.
If it is absolutely impossible to take your pet with you, placing the animal in the highest room in the house is the next best thing. Do not tie the animal to anything, let it loose. Pick a room that has a secure door. Place papers in one corner of the room. Place at least two days ration in a large pan such as a roaster and make sure you provide lots of water in containers that cannot be easily dumpted. The animal can go a few days without food, but water is very necessary. If it is during winter, provide several blankets for the animal to lay on to keep warm because the electric power has to be shut off and there will be no heat in the house. Place something in front of any windows in the room to prevent the possibility that the animal may jump at the window and break through in an attempt to escape. You can clean up any mess when you return to your, hopefully in a few days.
Another factor to think about is in the case of fire. There are stickers available that you can paste on your doors that tell the fireman you have a pet inside and also state what kind and how many. Your fire escape plan must include your pets and what you can do with them once you are out of the house.
The people that had to evacuate were informed by WBRE-TV there was a lady in Clark Summit, a town about twenty-five miles away, that had a large heated horse barn and was making it available to pets, but they had to be in crates. Also, some of the boarding kennels out of the flood area still had vacancies.
We decided to leave our house about 2:30 AM and go across the river to the Knights Inn area before the bridges were closed. They had closed the bridges early during the "72" flood. Marie and Bob followed me and I headed for an all night restaurant at about 3:00 AM I have a small TV that plays off the battery of my van. I took this along so that we could keep informed about the developments concerning the river.
During the afternoon on Friday, the temperature had been as high as 60 degrees. At 3:00 AM the temperature was 17 degrees and the wind chill brought it down to 12 degrees. Bob and I had our dogs in our vehicles and that meant that we had to keep going out to the vehicles and run the engine to keep it warm for the dogs. I have a curtain in my van that hangs just behind the dog crate to help keep the heat up front in the maxi van. I was able to keep the temp about 68 degrees during the night. At dawn, we went to the Victoria Inns to stay with Max and Anna until we could check into the Knights Inn.
We sat there watching TV. Remember during the Gulf War how you could watch the war going on from your living room. Well because of the coverage by the local TV stations, we were able to watch flood scenes as they happened. Some of the scenes were very graphic and frightening. There was one scene of a fireman wading in water up to his waist to rescue a dog left tied to its doghouse right alongside the river. Another scene showed a National Guard Officer carrying a Golden Retriever from the flood waters. The dog was licking his face. There were other stories of pets left behind and drowned . Not everyone had prepared to take their pet with them.
The river crested at 34.38 feet at about 5 P.M. Saturday. We were able to return to our home the next day. Our dogs were safe and healthy because we had the experience of traveling with them and being ready to take the things they needed to keep them safe and healthy. They had acted as if they were going to a dog show, thanks to their dog show experience.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008
After marriage, my father gave my wife a Boxer as an anniversary gift and we got involved in both Obedience and Conformation Dog Shows. Years later, after the Boxer became ill and the veterinarian advised us she was not going to live much longer, we decided to obtain a Giant Schnauzer. We named her Gemma. This arrogant BITCH was the beginning of my serious education in animal behavior.
This experience caused me to search for methods of training that did not involve any aversion techniques. I can't say at this time whether it was my concern for Gemma's well being or my sense of self preservation. But learn I did.
When I became involved in Carting, she was my prize Cart Dog. Oh! Did I mention that I became aware in 1972 that Gemma was blind? This was shortly after she became a Champion. We had been in the 1972 Agnus flood and our home had fourteen feet of water in it. As we were repairing the damage, I noticed that Gemma was bumping into things. After all, everything had been changed and the newness of her environment did not permit her to move about from memory. She did not know where anything was and had to learn all over. Her blindness did not stop me from training her, in fact, it made my efforts to learn how to train more important.