In dog behavior, dog safety, dog trainers, dog training, dogs, poodles, rescues, Uncategorized on April 24, 2013 at 4:14 pm
In my journeys working with my clients and with NorCal Poodle Rescue, I see way too many dogs that are fearful of men. The problem is not extensive with people who take in a new puppy but grows exponentially with rescue dogs. It is so hard for the new man to see these dogs cower from them. It’s emotionally stressful for everyone in the family pack.
It’s not easy to ask women to back off to allow the men to build a relationship with the dog but I know it helps the situation. After all if we have had experiences with something or someone that frightens us we have to build up our trust. Dogs are no different! They too need time to change how they relate to a situation that frightens them. Going slow and being patient is a great healer. Be gentle and soft with your newly rescued dog. Don’t use your big voice. Stop demanding and allow your dog to find her way to you. Lower your body by crouching rather than hovering over your dogs head. Give him a chance to spend time with you eating, playing and relaxing. As enough time goes by she will be much more open to you.
When I was a little girl my parents would tell me at the door of my grandmothers, “don’t forget to give her a kiss”. The more they said it – the more terrified I got. So when you have male visitors to your home I find it helpful to not ask the dog to connect with him. Your visitor can help by ignoring your dog and just going about their visit with you. In the beginning the less interaction – the better. The goal is to allow your dog to scent and adjust to men in her life without her going into a flight or fight mode.
Once you have bonded with your dog and gained his trust, you can start to move the process to the bigger world. Every new male will be a new situation, so having patience again is key. I have found being chipper and brisk can help a lot. Using happy talk and keeping the movement going helps. Lingering and thinking things will be different at this stage doesn’t seen to help. The key is to keep going and let your dog see – but not have time to react.
In dog behavior, dog safety, dog trainers, dog training, dogs, poodles, rescues, Uncategorized on April 10, 2013 at 11:32 pm
Keeping you Safe
The other day I was visiting a client who shared a story about her dog that got me thinking. Her pup is about 1.5 years old, very passive , but fearful at board and play or being boarded at the vets office. He was a rescue so who knows what happened to him before he found his forever home. The most recent incident happened at the vets office when being taken out of the kennel. Most of the vet techs had no problem with him but it seems 2 of the techs did not fair so well. The pup actually lunged and made contact with one of the techs. Good for him or her there was no blood drawn, just a bruise. But the bigger question is, why did he have issues with only 2 of the techs. Why not all of them?
So in thinking about how the dog must be feeling (any dog) being confined in a small space, with new people, and in a new place, I can certainly see why a dog must be not in his/her right state of mind. And the question that nags at me is how well do people stop to read a dog before they just reach in and collar them? Or physically grab them and pull them out of the kennel. I was reminded about my dog Trey, who many years ago snapped at a boarding facility employee that decided to not allow me to leash up my dog by simply calling him to me. The worker just reached in a grabbed him. Of course you can understand how freaked out Trey was and just wanted to get this stranger off of him and get out to me. The worker dropped Trey and decided to just open the one gate so I could leash him up before passing through the final gate to the front area. Did this guy have a clue to read Trey’s body language before reaching in. Does he ever know a dog’s body language? I think not! The signs were all there!
Our founder Sylvia along with her husband Danny, came up with a wonderful chart called MEETME. It stands for Mouth, Ears, Eyes, Tail, Movement and Environment. It charts the various body language stages going from a Green to Yellow to Orange and finally to Red. If you take a moment to look it over it all makes sense and can help keep anyone who deals with a dog(s) in the safe Green/Yellow zones. I can’t speak for the vet tech but I can tell you the guy who picked up Trey had no clue. Trey was showing him all kinds of signals that it was a unsafe situation. So for all you wonderful pet owners and pet lovers in all kinds of capacity feel free to use this chart to keep you safe.