Sunday, April 11, 2010

Canine Camp Director cont.

For beginners it is difficult to trust the dogs enough to just watch. People stop any conversation in which dogs sound growly. Many people have told me, "I just don't want my dog to growl." That could be like me telling you not to use verbs.
If you have a dog proven to be a canine jerk, that dog is a candidate for behavior therapy; not day care.
I am talking about normal pet dogs. 99% of the time dogs have a spat; it ends without injury. 
At the next level of training day care workers learn the difference between a spat and a dog fight.  We break up dog fights, but stay out of spats. Ooow, there's a tricky one. 
Many people cannot get beyond correcting instantly when they hear a "rrraaghr" because it's scarey. The big trouble with stopping a spat is that the dogs don't settle their differences.
A spats don't last more than a few seconds. One or both dogs will walk away creating space between them. The skilled handler will redirect play so no other dog can contribute attitude.
Don't panic if the two having the disagreement aren't ready to join the group. I give them a little time to finish their moment.
My very best advice is to take a deep cleansing breath when you hear the first "raaghr". It's difficult because we want to take charge. You think you are helping. Years ago when I first started taking the deep breath, I began to notice that it was all over as I exhaled. For most people calming themselves down is the hardest part.
If you have a good dog, trust your dog.
So after reading this what questions or comments do you have?? Does this make sense? What results do you get when you try this?


  1. This makes sense but it is often hard to stay out of it. I have no problem at all staying uninvolved when it's my girls. You know the story with my boy and he is harder for me to back off with. You are right that most often it is over with the exhale. I would like to come to day care boot camp though.

  2. Sorry, Luv, but he is now the bone head you don't back off. We'll work with him.

  3. "If you have a good dog, trust your dog."

    When in a day care situation or a situation with unfamiliar dogs how do you know when to get involved? I know you've said no blood no foul, but obviously you don't know you have a problem you need to intervien with until there is blood? How often do you see small puncture holes (I'm talking the through the skin punctures with no extra tearing or deeper) in day care? Do you ever have real dog fights?