To ensure the safety of all dogs are in the care of professionaldog walkers. To help dog walkers run ethical, honest and responsiblebusinesses. To encourage our students to learn as much as they can aboutdog behavior. To ensure dogs are treated humanely. To discourage the use of outdated training techniques andpunishment training. To encourage respect and community between professionalwalkers and the public. To make dog walking enjoyable for dogs and humans alike!OUR MISSION
Lecture Topics SF Professional Dog Walking Laws and Regulations Vehicle Safety and Transportation Appropriate Walking Equipment Learning Theory Key Training Terms for Dog Walking Canine Body Language and Communication Dog Fights Pack Dynamics and Park Etiquette Client Communication Examples Business Coaching with Veronica Boutelle Reference and Resource IndexWELCOME TO TOP DOG SF!
What YouNeed to Knowas aProfessionalDog WalkerSAN FRANCISCO LAWSAND REGULATIONS
No more than 8 dogs per pack One leash per dog (less than 8’ long) Dog Tags (rabies & phone #) Carry a phone Poop bags (and pick up poop) First Aid Kit in car Safe vehicle with water and a non-skid surface Educational requirement (check!) SF Business license Drinking water Dog Walking Permit if walking more than 4 dogs at a time 1 million dollar liability insurance Knowing which SF areas and parks are on/off leashTHE LAW:CCSF HEALTH CODE SECTION 3900
Keep the dogs safe- know the behaviors of the dogs in your care Be aware - keep eyes and ears open Be defensive Pet First Aid Certified and first aid kit with muzzle available Continuing education Network (without standing around chatting!) Exercise the dogs Be nice, polite and professional AAA or other road side assistance Program your phone with emergency numbers ACC, emergency vets, SF Park and Rec Police, your client’s numbers and other walker’s numbers Understand the environment Hazards: cliffs, poison oak, horses, other dogsTHE OTHER IMPORTANT STUFF
Getting bothyou and thedogs fromPoint A to BsafelyVEHICLE SAFETY ANDTRANSPORTATION
There are pros and cons to all of them!!!!WHAT TYPE OF VEHICLE?
Jeep CherokeeVolvo Station WagonMini VanChevy Astro VanAND MORE VEHICLES
Be driven by a person with a valid CA license Be registered and insured Have a non skid surface Be well ventilated Be enclosed (camper shell on trucks) Have screens on camper shell windows Have a barrier allowing separation of dogs and driver Contain first aid kit with emergency muzzle Contain ample drinking water and bowls Be safe and roadworthy!ALL VEHICLES MUST:
Contain some (at least 1) secured cratesBe cleaned regularlyHave cleaning supplies availableContain a first aid kit for humans and dogsHave ample supply of poop bagsHave a phone chargerHave a supply of basic tools (jack, cables) orroadside assistanceEmergency hide a key or AAAVEHICLES SHOULD:
The good, thebad and theuglyDOG WALKINGEQUIPMENT
Martingale collarwith I.D. tagsNon pull harness Easy Walk or Sensation harnessNylon leashesHead collars Halti or Gentle LeadersLong linesBait bagsClickersBasket muzzleFight SprayTHE GOOD
Flat buckle collarsIneffective HarnessFlexi-leashCouplersTHE BAD (OR NOT SO GOOD)
Choke chains Prong collars E collarsElectronic leashCitronella CollarNylon Muzzles Useful for emergencies onlyTHE UGLY – AND THE SIDE EFFECTS
How manytimes do Ihave to tellyou Chance?!There arealways treatsin the Kong!REWARDS
Natural balanceCookiesCheese and cheesewhizDry liverBaby foodDry chickenPeanut butterLeft oversTREATS- DIFFERS FOR EACH DOG
Low Value Treats Dry Biscuits Kibble High Value Treats Baby Food Hot Dogs Cheese Leftovers Dehydrated Chicken Hearts and other gross things dogs loveTHE HIERARCHY OF DOG TREATS
Squeaker RecallTennis ballsChuck-it ballsChuck-itKongPebblesSticksWaterTOYS (AND THINGS TO GUARD!)
Think leverage, not dominance. The wolf dominance study this theory is based from has beenadmittedly incorrect by the researchers themselves over themisuse of canine social interactions and the justification forthe use of force based methods. Social hierarchy is contextual and inf lux constantly. It is notabout temperament. Letting go of this concept can help you understand what thedog is doing and not doing and how to do your walks safelyand to have fun.RECONSIDER THE DOMINANCEMODEL IN TRAINING
DOGS LEARN IN TWO WAYS By “Association” or Classical Conditioning Especially helpful to understand when dealing with phobias/ fear/aggression. By “Consequence” Operant Conditioning Future probability of behavior is affected by its consequences Quadrants and learning theory
A reinforcer, whether negative or positive, causes the behaviorto be more likely to occur. When two events occur in succession, animals learn toanticipate the second one. This is involuntary and does notrequire a consequence, only the two events. Dogs learn by association. They learn anything that predictssomething safe or dangerous for them, and/ or somethingpleasant or unpleasant. Classical conditioning is involuntary and does not require aconsequence. I.e.; if a dog is upset.DEFINITION OF CLASSICALCONDITIONING
OPERANT CONDITIONING AND TRAINING Operant conditioning,theorized by psychologistB.F. Skinner, is the basisfor all science based animaltraining. Animals seek reinforcementand avoid punishments. Dogs learn throughconsequence. “Dogs do what works.”B.F. Skinner. March 20, 1904- August 18, 1990
B.F. SKINNER EXPERIMENTAdapted from Image:Boite skinner.jpeg
POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT(R+) A stimulus is provided contingent on the behavior whichleads to an increase in that behavior. Animals will work to attain a reward by choosing a behaviorthat results in something essential or enjoyable.
POSITIVE PUNISHMENT(P+) A stimulus isprovided contingenton the behaviorwhich leads to adecrease in futurebehavior. An animal will workto avoid apunishment. An animal is likelyto do a behaviorresulting insomething painful,threatening orunpleasant.
NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT(R-) A stimulus is removedcontingent on thebehavior which leads toan increase in behaviorin the future. Animals will work toattain relief. An animal is more likelyto chose a behaviorthat avoids somethingpainful or unpleasant.www.coolcartooning.com
NEGATIVE PUNISHMENT-PERSEVERANCE! (P-)The removal of reinforcement or the opportunity to earnreinforcement. The dog is likely to chose a behavior to avoid apenalty or loss of access to something essential or enjoyable.Dog behavior examples for this would be:- Barking- Jumpy, mouthy, rudeness- Impulse control- Dog to dog bullyingHuman behavior examples are:- A parking ticket- Losing yardage in a football game- Penalty box in a hockey game
PUNISHMENT AND REINFORCEMENTLEASH WALKINGBy artist Lili Chin
REWARDS AND REINFORCEMENTS Pay attention to what youreward and reinforce! You willget more of it! Use life rewards: opening doorfor a walk, throwing a ball, freeplay with dog pals. Behaviors that are ignored willdecrease. Remove rewards for behavioryou don’t like. Be consistent.
HOW DOGS SEE THE WORLD What is safe/good forme (ClassicalConditioning). What works and whatdoesn’t work (OperantConditioning).
It is important to recognize what you can and can not do in apack. If training is needed, it is best to refer out to aprofessional for the well being of the individual dog, yourpack, and the enjoyment of your job. Dogs change and mature over time (especially when they hitsexual maturity at the age of 2) and sometimes those dogs arenot a great fit for off leash walks anymore.WHEN IT IS TOO MUCH
SUMMARY Dogs learn by association (CC) andconsequence (OC). Dogs see the world as “what issafe/good for me” and what worksand what does not. Operant conditioning is the learningtheory that is the basis for animaltraining. By manipulating consequences, wecan shape the animal’s behavior. CLICKER TRAINING DEMO! Usinga clicker as a conditionedreinforcer.
Extinction occurs when a behavior that has been previouslyreinforced is no longer reinforced. The result is that thebehavior no longer occurs. Extinction burst! An increase in intensity, duration orfrequency of a behavior that is not reinforced duringextinction. Spontaneous recovery occurs when a behavior reappearsfollowing extinctionWHAT TO EXPECT WITH R+ AND R-
Flooding – sink or swimin dog walking! Habituation- animalslearn to react to stimuliwhen they are minor,occur regularly andnever predict anythingimportant. Sensitization- Theanimals reactionbecomes strongerrather than weakerTRAINING CONCEPTS SPECIFICFOR DOG WALKERS
44YOU ARE YOURDOG’S LIFEGUARD. Don’t throw him in thedeep end to sink orswim. If his ears flipback and his tail drops,come to his aid! He needs to trust thatyou are his safety net. If he is uncomfortable,move to the “shallowend of the pool” – aquiet part of the park,away from the crowd. If he’s not having fun,don’t make him stay. Ifyou don’t like rollercoasters, I won’t makeyou ride one!
A dog has only seen dogs from the inside of a fence,a window, or while straining at the end of a leash.The result: barrier frustration and high arousal at thesight of dogs.Seeing dogs has become paired with feeling upset –so they become upset every time they see a dog. A dog is reactive on leash, but not off. A dog is a fence fighter. A dog barks and lunges when driving in the car but fineoutside when it greats the stimulus.BARRIER FRUSTRATION
A schedule ofreinforcement is aprogram or rule thatdetermines how andwhen a response will befollowed by a reward. Shoot for every 6 secondsto be effective Discrete- rewarded forresponding correctly Free- buffet style,whenever he choosesRATE OF REINFORCEMENT
5 RULES OF RECALL 1 Never call your dog for something he won’t like. 2 Never call your dog if you don’t think he will come. 3 If you make a mistake in the last step, go and “save” therecall. 4 Never repeat the command. Say it only once and thenmake yourself interesting/ exciting with a high voice,clapping, running, getting down to the ground, etc. 5 Always give the dog a HUGE pay off when he comes- lotsof treats, praise, etc.
48A TRULY SAFE DOG PARK DOGKEEPS TRACK OF ITS WALKER& COMES WHEN CALLEDJoyfully comes on the first time!
An animal ismotivated to engagein a particularbehavior becausesomeone else isdoing itBarkingDiggingFears and phobiasare oftentransmitted throughsocial facilitation“We thoughtadopting a 2nd dogwould help the first,now they are bothbad.”SOCIAL FACILITATION
Refers to a process where oneanimal is busy engaging in abehavior, which attracts theattention of another animalwho moves closet to the firstanimal. By proximity, the secondanimal stumbles upon thesame stimulus and developsthe same behavior. For example, the rest of thepack teaches the new dogrecall and rewards, how to beoff leash Or the older dog demonstrateshousetraining to the puppySTIMULUS OR LOCAL ENHANCEMENT
SUDDEN ENVIRONMENT CHANGE Or, SEC is when a stimulus emerges and startles the dogs.Resulting in spooky, or guard dog barking that “sets off thealarm” for the other’s to follow with. Hard to counter act since usually unpredictable and veryrewarding for the pack (if off leash) charge up and bark at. Import to install a very strong recall/ emergency recall foryour dogs’ safety.
52SCAN FOR SAFETY CONSTANTLY Watch and listen. Are these dogsyour dogs shouldplay with? If you note abully on theplayground=AVOID
Situational Awareness• BE AWARE OF YOURSURROUNDS
Set the tone for the walks from the beginning. Teach “wait.”Wait at the door/ wait at the truck bed/ wait to exit the crate. What quadrant is this???P- Say “wait,” begin opening the door, if the dog waits, great, goahead and open the door more. If he breaks, quickly close thedoor. Repeat this until he hesitates brief ly before openingthe door further. When he hesitates, say “OK.” Give thecommand only once and REPEAT!IMPULSE CONTROL
“Wait” for dog’s safety when exiting “Sit” to ask please for things the dog wants “Stay” for focus with the group on the hike “Loose Leash Walking” to not get dragged “Let’s Go” to create distance “Touch/ Hand Targeting” for distraction “Find it” for a job “Recall” for safetyHANDY GO TO TRAINING TIPS
It would be great if humans could speakdog!Speaking Dog
Why Learn Their Language? Since humans can’t speak dog we must insteadlearn to understand it. Recognize signs of resource guarding, stresssignals, arousal levels and predation. Know when you are handling a dog too much andabout to get bit. Because the best way to break up a fight isprevention.
Dogs Communicate 3 Ways1. Smell (number one for dog-doginteraction)2. Vocally (least used)3. Body Language (ritualized, and whatwe can observe)
• Body languageinterpretation is critical toprovide a safe, enjoyableouting for your dogs.• Express interest to play,resolve conflict, increaseor decrease distance.• Important to read theENTIRE DOG.• Read the dog in context.• Read the other dogs.• Understand stress signalsnot just between dogs butalso people and theenvironment.CANINE BODY LANGUAGE ISUSED TO:
The Four Types of BodyLanguage Signals1. Calming or Cut Off Signals2. Fear Signals3. Warning Signals4. Play Signals
Calming/ Appeasement/Cut Off Signals• Lip licking• Yawning• Head turns to break eye contact• Scratching• Sniffing the ground• Moving slowly or pausing• Adrenaline Shake• Blinking• Submissive urinating• Rolling over• Lying down
STRESSED AND DISTRESSEDTaken from Modern Dog magazine
Warning Signals• Ears forward• Stiff Posture• Tail held high and stiff• Walking straight towards the other dogs• Starring• Weight on the front paws• Neck hair raised• Escalating growling or barking• Closed mouth slow breathing• If warning signals are not read properly either bypeople or other dogs, can lead to aggression.
Hard eye, wrinkles over muzzle, bared teethProtracted warning sequencedesigned to avoid actualcontact. Any dog, pushed toofar can bite.
Submissive grinvs. snarlHow can you tell the difference?Hard eye, tense facial muscles,lips and whiskers forwardSquinty, lips back,ears back and low,body soft and low
Play Signals List to invite otherdogs and people to play• Elbows on the floor, rear end in the air• Raising a front paw• Relaxed mouth, mouth open• Ears held high and back• Tail wagging• Bouncy movements• Raised neck hairs
Mixed Signals!It is not uncommon to see a dog exhibiting signalsfrom different lists. Often this is a dog displayingthat he is conflicted about the environment he isin.If you are unsure how a dog-dog interaction will goor you see alerting behavior, always better to bemore cautious than not. Call the dog to give him abreak from the stimulus. Catch him before hereacts, and with repeated practice he will look toyou in these scary moments without being asked.
WARNING SIGNALS- FEARFUL ANDAGGRESSIVE, CONFLICTEDTaken from Modern Dog magazine
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR THATLEADS TO DOGS FIGHTING Rough play Herding Stalking Excessive barking Targeting a dog to play Humping Failure to read another dog’s cut-off or fear signals Locked staring Growling, and escalation Baring of teeth Presence of resources between two resource guarders
What To Do to avoiddog-dog fights• As a dog walker, you need to see what is going on andintervene when you feel situations are becoming unsafe.Step in, redirect.• Frequent play breaks, understanding stress signals,setting the tone for the walk and the group, distracting adog or giving a dog a job to do instead of undesiredbehaviors, creating distance, and treating to calm anervous dog are all things you can do when you seewarning queues from your dogs.• It is always wise to leave the park if one of your dogsshows signs of tiredness, stress or fear.• Avoid threatening unfamiliar dogs. Be conscious of yoursurroundings.• Select appropriate dogs for your packs!
“My dog isjust beingdominant”AGGRESSION“MY DOG IS JUST DOMINANT”
1 To resolve conflict over resources2 In response to fear3 Hard-wired predatory behavior3 REASONS FOR AGGRESSION
This is the number one reason dogs fight. tennis balls water mates access to you food treats (on your person) Space (in car/ truck/territory) Know when to refer out or ask for training help.RESOURCE GUARDING
Dogs maybe fearful of CERTAIN dogs or SPECIFIC people. Previous bad experiences. Under socialization is usually the reason. Most fearful dogs make themselves small, and they try toincrease distance from the stimulus if they can (avoidance/f light). But these dogs are still a bit risk if pushed too far. Some dogs learn over time that barking, growling, lungingmakes the scary thing go away. And once this is discovered,fear-aggressive displays become bigger, and more scary.FEAR AGGRESSION
Be cautious with small, running and high pitched squeakyplay. Very real and very serious. Usually with outside pack dogs. It happens in an instant. Like a light switch going off in adog’s head for dogs who have never shown any signs ofaggression in the past. 50% rule size differential. Especially important when in transport, when off leash and ina pack. Can and usually does happen with dogs who have livedtogether their entire life. Bite inhibition plays role. Compulsive fighting- dogs breed for fighting other dogs.PREDATION
“Throwthe ball!”stalkchasecapturekilldissectPlay drive shakeObject play is based on predatorysequence:stalk, chase, capture, kill, dissect,consume.capture
97SMALL DOGS COULD BE SEEN AS PREY.ONE SQUEAL PLUS PACK MENTALITYAND YOUR SMALL DOG COULD BE KILLED.Image altered – no Pugs were injured in the making of this photo!
Most dog to human bites are avoidable if we “listen’ to whatthe dogs are telling us. Failure to properly read canine body language forces them togo/ act BIGGER: bigger lunges, growls, snaps, bites, etc. We punish them for warning cues like growls and snarls. REMEMBER- a dog who growls has made a decision, we couldhave bitten instead.AVOIDING DOG – HUMAN CONFLICTS
There is nothing to fearRitualization is here!Luckily most of thetime when a dog looksangry he is just tryingto actually get out ofan uncomfortablesituation by usingwhat is calledRitualized Aggression.
Ritualized AggressionAn exaggerated display of aggression totell the stimulus (or scary thing) to backoff or there will be trouble. Therebyavoiding violence and solving conflict.
Why?Dogs use ritualization to avoid fights andviolence when conflict over things such aspersonal space, mates and resources (ietoys and food) arise.
I NEED MY SPACE!The dog isnt saying "Im goingto bite", he is saying "Back offor else you will force me too.”
103REDFLAGS High tails are red flags.The higher and stiffer the tail, thehigher the arousal. Stiff bodies, tense movements.Arousal often tips overinto aggression. Dogs hunched, slinking,crouching, hiding, running to their owners for help.General avoidance is a red flag. Hot pursuit. Stalking in ambush. Ganging up on smaller,weaker dogs. Vocalization – angry barking or growling from dogs -or theirowners/ walkers. Owners/ walkers not stepping in when needed – or absent.As well as owners/ walking constantly micromanaging whenthey don’t need to.
Excessive mounting Pinning Shadowing another dog Neck grabbing BullyingMORE RED FLAGS
106GOOD SIGNS – FAIR PLAYRole reversal. Takes turns. Chase and bechased. I jump on you - you jump on me.Starts and stops, redirection.Play bows, loose bodies, lateralmovement.Relaxed, horizontal tail. Swishy wags.Self handicapping - adjusts for other dog’ssize, needs and play style.Shows bite inhibition. No body grabs orgripping with jaws.
The following list are some of the things that can often predict adog fight:• Rough play• Herding behavior• Stalking behavior• Excessive barking• Failure to read another dog’s cutoff signals• Stiff posture• Humping• Locked gaze• Growling• Baring of teethPredicting a Fight
THESTRESSESCALATINLADDER-Turid RugaasExtreme levels of stressDog is forced to take action.Preparation to take action.Low levels ofstressCommunication effortstolower stress levels & perceivedaggressive behaviors in others.Displacement behaviors:Sniffing the groundScratchingCalming signals:YawningLip lickingLooking awayTurning awayMoving slowlySTRESS REACTIONS:PantingPupil dilationShaking off adrenalineSweating pawsTrembling / shakingWhale eyeHacklingFOCUS:Loss of calming signalsClose mouth - FreezePreparing to defend:Showing teethGrowlingFlight / withdrawalBITE!LUNGE
The biggest pre-bite warning a dog willissue: The Freeze.If the dog’s mouth is open and it closes.If a dog is panting and stops.If his tail is wagging and it stops.If he was moving and he suddenlybecomes a statue …PAY ATTENTION!
The freeze.When in a state of arousal a doggoes still, even for a splitsecond, consider it a warning.Be aware of where he is looking.That is where he will bite you ifhe decides to bite.Escalates to “Teeing.”A freeze can happenin the blink of an eye.Or the dog may goeerily still and makethe hair rise on theback of your neck.
• Careful Screening and Pack Composition• Situational Awareness• Avoiding Unknown Dogs• Safety when driving and cratingPreventing Dog Fights fromOccurring
• Even if the dogsseem like theywould both enjoythe interaction itis an unnecessaryliability to allowthem to play.Avoid Unknown Dogs
Breaking up FightsWhat Not to DoNEVER EVER EVER GRAB A DOG BY THE COLLARYou are likely to get bitten!
The best way to break up a dog fight is to startlethe dogs using an exterior stimulus.• Loud noises such as a clap or yelling for minorfights and airhorns for bigger fights.• Spraying the dogs in the face with water.• Tossing a piece of clothing over both of theirheads.• Citronella spray for last resort.How to Break Up Fights
What to do after a fight• Immediately leash/ muzzle the aggressor dog.• Separate the two fighters and check for injuries.• If minor enough to continue walk, do not letthem interact the rest of the day.• Try to occupy both dogs and redirect focus.• Try to keep arousal down>• Call the owners and notify them of newbehaviors and come up with a plan so it does nothappen again.
DOG FIGHT EFFECTS Once a dog has fought, his cortisol levels (stress hormones)are elevated for the next three days. Which means that once a dog has a fight, he/she is muchmore likely to have another fight for the next 72 hours. Your dog just “rehearsed” being aggressive and pinning it isthe worst thing you can do. It puts an adrenaline chargeddog in a vulnerable position while other dogs are off leash. Pinning can have the opposite effect and cause a dog that isknown to be questionable around dogs to develop full blownaggression, with more intense damage causing fights.
120YOU PLANNED TOSPEND THEAFTERNOON AT THEDOG PARK,NOT THE VETCLINIC!It’s all fun and games until someone ends up in a cone!
122THE DOG PARK IS NOT A GOOD CHOICEFOR ALL DOGS.NOT EVERY DOG IS A“DOG PARK DOG”. Uncomfortabledogs are oftentargeted bybullies. It’s likethey have a “kickme” sign or abull’s eye on theirbacks. Shy dogs may bemore comfortablein the small dogarea. Your dog is not a“bad dog” if shesimply doesn’tenjoy “playing”with unfamiliardogs at the dogpark.Many dogs do not enjoy being surrounded by space invaders.Does your dog really think this environment is “fun”?
123DON’T BRING A DOG WITHSOCIAL ISSUES TO “GETOVER” HIS PROBLEM.Not appropriatefor the dog park:• Aggressive dogs.• Very shy dogs.• Young puppies.• Dogs who arepossessive of toys,food or you.• Unvaccinated,injured or ill dogs.• Dogs in season.He’ll more likely get worse, not better.
Careful Screening and PackComposition• Nothing is more important when walkingdogs both on and off leash than choosingthe right dogs to walk together.• It is ok to reorganize groups, and offerdifferent walk slot times for dogs tochange the dynamic of the group.• It is also ok to refer clients to otherservices when their dogs begin to showbehaviors that can not be worked on in agroup setting.
Wellness Check – do not bring out with the pack ifyou notice: Coughing/ gagging Vomiting Diarrhea SneezingCLIENT COMMUNICATION
126A DOG PARK IS A GREATPLACE TO RUN! Dogs need exercise! Opportunities to run free andfast, chase balls, sniff and explore. The average walk on leash just doesn’t fill the bill. Tired, satisfied dogs are more content and lesslikely to be destructive.
127TIRED DOGS SLEEP!Adolescent dogs and high energyworking breeds often have more energythan they know what to do with.A chance to romp with friends and runoff some steam and your rowdyteenager comes home tired andsatisfied – and doesn’t need to take thatexcess energy out on you!
128WELL SOCIALIZED, WELL TRAINEDDOGS ARE SAFER IN PUBLICPeople who take the time toattend training classes andexercise their dogs aregenerally responsible ownerswho genuinely care about theirdog and its welfare.The more a dog gets out in theworld practicing good mannersand experiencing positiveexposure to people, places andother animals, the safer the dogbecomes when out in public.Training + socialization = safer dogs
130SUPER-VISION:KEEP YOUR DOG INSIGHT AT ALL TIMES. Monitor his behavior. He maybe “fine,” but is the dog he isplaying with having fun, too? Think of the park as a place togo for a walk. Don’t stand andchat; walk and visit.Keep moving! Pay attention to your dog- not your phone, your book,or texting your friends.
131A BAD EXPERIENCE COULDIMPACT A YOUNG OR SHYDOG FOR THE REST OF ITSLIFE. The dog park is not a goodplace to socialize youngpuppies. Choose a well-runpuppy class instead. Avoid public parks,especially dog parks, untilthey have completed theirvaccinations. Older pups should start inthe small dog area on quietdays.Choose their friendscarefully! Young, inexperienced dogsare often targeted by bullies.
132CLASSICAL CONDITIONING: EMOTIONALASSOCIATIONSDogs who are bullied oftenbecome bullies.Fear grimace – lips pulled backTail dropped, weight shifted back“Stay away! You scare me!”(She needs space, not a correction) A bad experience.A dog who is T-boned,rolled, or unfairlycorrected by a sociallyinept dog may carry thatexperience with theminto all futureinteractions. “I’ll getyou before you can getme!”
133BE POLITEScoop the poop – the dogs in your care andanyone else’s.See someone who needs a bag? Share!Toss all garbage – yours and anyone else’s.Is someone else’s dog running to you forhelp? Help one another out!Feces and garbage may carry bacteria and parasites.Keep the park clean! We all share it!
134PACK WISELY Bring poop bags Bring water & a portable bowl Keep a first aid kit in your car Bring your cell phone and the number of thenearest veterinarian/emergency clinicDon’t forget tobring a towel !
135SAFETY FIRST! Make sure your dogs are in good health,vaccinated and free of parasites. Your dogs should be safe with dogs & people,large and small, and enjoy the company of otherdogs. Try to choose a quiet time of day when the parkis not crowded and hang out in less-populatedparts of the park. Let your dogs sniff andexplore and meet a few quiet, appropriate dogs. Your dogs’ safety is paramount. Your first dutyis to your dog when inside the dog park and stayoff your phone.
136NO FEMALES IN SEASON!Many intact males can be testy with other males. We recommenddo not taking intact males over 6 months ofage to avoid being targeted.
137THE SAFEST PARKS HAVE DIVIDEDAREAS FOR LARGE & SMALL DOGS Large dogs belong in thelarge dog area. Small dogs belong in thesmall dog area. Your small dog may lovebig dogs, but some largedogs may see your smalldog as a squirrel or asqueaky toy. Collisions could result inbroken bones. Small dogs or youngpuppies in the large dogarea could result intragedy.Most little dogs don’tknow they are small!
138ENTERING THE PARK:LET’S BEGIN WITH A FEW DOGPARK BASICS:Keep your dog on lead until safely insidethe gated area.One dog family in the pass-thru at a time.Stay back from the gate until others haveexited. Close the gates behind you!Wait to go in if there are dogscongregated at the gate.Move away from the gate and steer clearof heavily congregated areas – keepmoving.
139SOCIALPROTOCOL The first few minutesis a period ofintroduction, arousal,attaining socialequilibrium.It is stressful. The gate is a hotspot.Trouble is likely there.Wait for the gate toclear, avoid walkingstraight into crowded,high traffic areas.Video – traffic jam at the gate:
140ENTER THE DOG PARK THE WAY YOUWOULD ENTER A PARTY WHERE YOUDON’T KNOW ANYONE.Enter discreetly. Get your bearings.Size up the room, look for a familiar face.Wander a bit, get a drink.Seek out someone you havesomething in common with.Politely introduce yourself.
141PLAY SAFELY!Competitive play can quicklyspiral into a fight.Play fetch in open areas awayfrom crowds, or save thosegames for the privacy of yourown backyard.
142DON’T THROW HISBALL INTOA CROWD OF DOGS.ONE BALL, FIVE DOGS AND ARACE TO GET TO IT FIRST –THIS COULD GO POORLY.Beware of the dog who is poised to jump the dog chasing the ball.Change locations or wait until he moves on to throw your ball.
143ASK OTHER OWNERS/WALKERS FOR HELPHOW YOU ASK IS IMPORTANT –BE CALM AND SUPPORTIVE.OWNERS/WALKERS MAY BECOME DEFENSIVEREGARDING COMPLAINTS ABOUT THEIR DOG.“Could you call your dog, please?”“It’s okay, my dog is friendly - he’s justplaying.”“I know, but my dog is a scaredy cat, hedoesn’t know that – could you please callyour dog? Thank you!
144GOOD DOG PARENTING/MANAGEMENTWatch the dog(s) he is playing with. Ifeither dog is not having fun – if anyone’stail drops and ears flip back – interrupt andredirect.Your dogs needs guidance to learnappropriate manners in the park.Do not allow your dog to bully others orhave fun at the expense of another dog’scomfort. Interrupt. Take a break to calmdown.
145NOT SURE IF THE DOG BEING CHASED BY YOUR DOGIS ENJOYING THE GAME? TEST: CALL YOUR DOG. If the other dog follows and continues to engage yourdog, it was probably fine. You may allow play to continue. If the other dog looks relieved and dashes off to safety,you were right in separating them.
146YOUR DOG WILL BE SAFER, AND SO WILL ALLTHE DOGS IN THE PARK, IF YOU CAN CALLTHEM OUT OF A TRICKY SITUATION.Practice at home! Call often and reward generously with a high value foodreward, a game with a favorite toy, or any activity thatyour dog loves. Every time you call your dog and reward him well, youincrease the speed and likelihood of future reliableresponses. Avoid calling to anything your dog finds disappointing orunpleasant, or he will learn to avoid you when you call. Congratulate your dog every time he checks in. Call, praise and then send your dog off to go playfrequently,so your dog doesn’t think that the only time he hears“come”is when it’s time to go home.NOTE: Avoid giving out treats to other dogs,or even to your own dog, while other dogs are gathered –you dont want to start a conflict, competing over you as a food source.
147EVEN WHEN IT’S GOING WELL,CONTINUE TO MONITOR AROUSALLEVELS CLOSELY!JUST LIKE KIDS ON A PLAY GROUND,WHAT STARTS OUT FUN COULD END UP INTEARS!Cooperative play ^side-by-side sharing.^ Note: high tail and hairraised on spine of brown dog.Red flag!v Competitive exchange, arousal risingDogs face-off – “it’s mine!”Hackles raisedeyebrows loweredWhen in doubt, call him out!
148Dominance or submissiveness is not a character trait– it’s a situational relationship between individuals.NO DOG IS “GOOD” WITH *ALL DOGS*ALL THE TIME
149CHECK FOR INJURIES AFTER EVERYHIKE WHEN DROPPING OFF.TicksFoxtails & burrsScrapes or puncturesInjuries to pads of feet or torn nailsHead shaking, scratching, licking,sneezingLimping, sore musclesPlay is hard work!
150AT THE END OFTHE WALK, YOUAND YOUR DOGSSHOULD LEAVETHE PARK SMILING. Monitor stress levels – watchfor red flags. Stay in touch with your dogs- keephim in sight at all times. Body block to protect your dogs if he runs to you for help.Don’t grab your dog to “save” him. Intercept and redirectthe incoming space invader to give your dogs room toescape. Call your dogs and move away from troublesome activityany time things get tense or your dogs seemuncomfortable. Praise for all great choices and good manners!
Well-socialized,traineddogs are safer dogsthat make our parkssafer too! Not all dogs are“dog park/ groupdogs.” If a dog (or you) arenot enjoying the hikesit is ok to refer out toanother walker whodoes a differentservice (one on one) ora trainer if needed.151SUMMARY- YOU ARE THEKEY TO SUCCESS!