In this edition...
- Fun Facts About Dogs
- What Really Is 'Positive' Dog Training?
- What Is Enrichment?
- Upcoming Classes
- Vote in the "Best of Richmond"
Fun Facts About Dogs
- Did you know that dogs may be as intelligent as a 2 year old human child?
- A very smart dog can learn approximately 1,000 words.
- Every dog's nose print is unique, just like human fingerprints.
- Dogs have 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, while humans have about 6 million.
- The part of a dog's brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is about 40 times greater than ours.
- Although puppies are born deaf, once they are adults they can hear approximately 4 x times better than most people.
- When a dog is hot or nervous, sweat is released through secretory cells found in their paws.
What Really Is 'Positive' Dog Training?
Positive training consists of several aspects including the use of positive reinforcement, while avoiding the use of fear, intimidation or physical punishment. It looks to understand the canine experience from the dog's perspective. It also seeks to dispel the misunderstood concept of dominance in dogs.
Positive reinforcement consists of focusing on rewarding and reinforcing the behavior that you like. Always keep in mind that what gets rewarded, gets repeated. This is true for us humans as well.
Punitive techniques do not work in the long-term as they only serve to suppress a behavior rather than understanding and addressing the cause. They can also potentially exacerbate a situation by making an aggressive dog even more aggressive. Harsh training techniques also risk damaging the relationship and creating a lack of trust between dog and human.
We are so fortunate to benefit from brilliant research done over the past decade. We now have an abundance of evidence based, positive techniques for our dog training toolbelts. Surely we can use our incredible human brains to develop methods to humanely train our amazing furry friends to live successfully in our human world. I love talking about this topic, so if you want to hear more about it, or have questions, reach out to set up a phone call with me.
What Is Enrichment?
Enrichment for dogs in a concept that covers a broad range of topics such as sensory stimulation, security, foraging, and the freedom to perform species specific behaviors.
"Enrichment is learning what our dogs’ needs are and then structuring an environment for them that allows them, as much as is feasible, to meet those needs." Bender,Allie; Strong,Emily. Canine Enrichment for the Real World (p. 14).
Insufficient stimulation or lack of enrichment can potentially cause or exacerbate a variety of behavior problems in dogs including hyperactivity, destructive chewing, attention-seeking behavior, compulsive disorders and certain forms of aggression.
Here are some great enrichment ideas.
• Feed your dog from a roll-a-treat dispenser ball, or a Kong.
• Sprinkle dog treats inside a cardboard box filled with toys, or roll the treats up in an old towel and allow the dog to forage to get to the food or treats inside. Or, try a snuffle mat.
• Give your dog a "lick-mat” spread with broth, cream cheese, or canned dog food. You can also freeze these so they last longer.
• Scatter treats or food out in the grass in the yard or at the park to let the dog search and sniff for each piece.
• Build the dog a digging box either by sectioning off a specific 4-5 foot square area in your yard or buying a child’s wading pool and filling it with sand or dirt. Bury dog bones and toys and teach them that this is where they get to dig and nowhere else.
• Take your dog on a sniff-walk or ‘sniffari’. Plan for extra time so that you don’t feel rushed or frustrated. Let your dog stop and do all the sniffing they want.
Richmond (Cambie Community Centre)
Puppy Preschool (under 5 months)- April 15th to May 6th - 10am
Good to Great Dog Manners (5 months and older)- April 15th to May 6th 11:15am
Vancouver (Wesbrook Community Centre - UBC)
Puppy Preschool - April 4th to May 9th -6pm (Spaces still available)
Puppy Play-Group Drop In - Every Thursday at 6:45pm
Dog Manners Class- May 16th to June 20th- 7:15pm
Good to Great -Recall & Walking- May 18th to June 22nd - 8pm
Vote in the "Best of Richmond"
It would mean the world to me if you would take a few minutes to vote for Daisy Dog Training (Best Dog Trainer, on page 2) in the Best of Richmond. Winning this would be great recognition for my growing business. In order for your ballot to count, you will need to vote for a total of 15 businesses (I know... I know...ugh!) If you live in Richmond it will be easy, if not, feel free to reach out to me for suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much!
Spring is my favorite time of the year. It brings fresh color, a reminder of renewal, light, and life.
Photo by Hendo Wang on Unsplash
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