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ICAWC 2015 - Sarah Fisher - Bank On It


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In this talk, Sarah explores the idea of a dog’s “bank account” and whether the opportunities that add value to a individual dog’s life outweigh the inevitable outgoings that will occur or whether they are operating on consistently low reserves.

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ICAWC 2015 - Sarah Fisher - Bank On It

  1. 1. BANK ON IT Building a healthy ‘bank’ account for our animal friends Photographs copyright Bob Atkins, David and Charles Publishing Ltd, Sarah Fisher, Chirag Patel and E. Evans.
  2. 2. Accountability • Every animal comes with their own ‘bank’ account • We cannot change an animal’s past but we can shape his/her future if we make wise investments whilst he/she is in our care • A well managed account helps to provide stability and security in an ever-changing world
  3. 3. Opening balance • Genetics, physical health and early experiences (or lack of them) form the basis of that account • Some animals may have good investments in place • Others may have few reserves on which to draw
  4. 4. Healthy account • Animal has natural confidence • Is physically sound • Early ‘managers’ took time to make regular deposits in the animals account • Other ‘advisors’ were mindful of the impact of their interactions • Guardians invested in ongoing rewarding education and care
  5. 5. Overdraft or empty account • Think about animals that might be labelled as ‘red zone’ animals • Their bank account may be desperately overdrawn • Many frequent deposits must be made if there is any hope of turning this deficit around
  6. 6. Deposits • Deposits in an animal’s account are made from positive experiences • A yummy treat or an appropriate game • Verbal praise • Gentle handling • Physical, mental and emotional wellbeing • Rewarding education and positive interactions
  7. 7. Withdrawals • Withdrawals are made from negative experiences • Forceful handling • Poor health such as hip dysplasia • Tension in the body that creates touch sensitivity • Frustration and stress • Inappropriate husbandry
  8. 8. Current accounts • Every time we interact with an animal there is potential for a deposit or withdrawal to be made • We may not know much about the banking history of the animal in our care • Reading the ‘balance sheet’ can give us valuable insights into existing reserves
  9. 9. Standing orders/direct debits • Regular visits to the vet for health checks • Chronic pain • Niggling injuries that flare up from time to time • Poor posture • Lack of sleep
  10. 10. Potential withdrawals • Pulling on lead • Patting, and ruffling the ears or coat • Games that have a detrimental impact on the body or inadvertently frighten the animal • Ill fitting equipment that impedes the natural movement of the animal • Slippery floors • Constant noise
  11. 11. Interest • Every deposit or withdrawal has the ability to gain interest • Interest can be a bonus that will increase the overall value of deposits made • Interest can also be applied to any on-going withdrawals that occur • The greater the combined value of deposits or withdrawals, the greater the interest accrued
  12. 12. Considerations • Are human led activities an opportunity for multiple deposits to be made? • Is the dog relaxed enough when on a walk to top up his/her own account by taking in all the wonderful sights and smells in the big wide world? • Does the cat truly enjoy the games we encourage him/her to play?
  13. 13. Transfers and security codes • Making deposits in one environment doesn’t mean they can be automatically accessed in another • You may need to spend time helping the animal remember his/her security code or build his/her trust to help him/her feel safe enough to share his/her savings with you
  14. 14. Redress the balance • Prepare for health checks by making multiple deposits before and after the event • Do your best to use equipment that improves rather than restricts natural movement • Try stroking the lead to reduce tension on the line and change habitual patterns of bracing • Use Tellington TTouch body work to calm and relax the animal
  15. 15. Super savings • Clean fresh water available for animals when any learning is taking place • Opportunities for animals to use their nose • Adapting the environment to suit the animal as best you can • Slow, calm movements around kennel/cattery • Mindful contact that helps develop trust
  16. 16. The Bucket Game Devised by Chirag Patel
  17. 17. Account reviews • Avoid rushing when making deposits • The transaction may go astray • Remember to check the balance sheet from time to time • Give the animal plenty of breaks so he/she can process the payments too
  18. 18. Build the Trust • Sustainable financial growth takes time • Achievable targets, consistency and patience are the keys • An accumulation of deposits helps to build a reliable Trust Fund • This provides security for the animal where ever he/she goes
  19. 19. Positive change • Make a little ‘banking’ book for the animals in your care • Create deposit slips to encourage your supporters to ‘bank’ with you • Build slowly and remember to take care of the pennies • The pounds will take care of themselves
  20. 20. Happy ‘Banking’