Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday's Funnies!

Off the Leash

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wacky Wednesday!



Wednesday is the day to be WACKY!  Each week we will showcase a terrierific Cairn picture with an appropriate caption.  If you would like us to consider YOUR picture and caption for an upcoming "Wacky Wednesday" send it to us at cpcrnblog@gmail.com!  All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.

A big shout out to Miss Macie for being our Wacky Wednesday model this week!




Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday Sweets!

Sunday is full of SWEETS!  Each week we showcase the sweeter side of Cairns.  If you have a sweet filled Cairn and would like us to consider YOUR photo for an upcoming "Sunday Sweets!" send it to us at cpcrnblog@gmail.com (All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.).

Buster aka CP Sir. Buster

Harry

Foster Lorelei

Sally

SkyeLa

WiiGii aka Luigi Earl

Foster Smartt Lad

Beau and Sadie

Buddy

Tomie and Darleigh

Missy and Buddy fka CP Bon Jovi

Donny and Justice

Foster Chloe Rose

William and Carm

Gabby, Tess, Lucas, and Rocky














Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wacky Wednesday!



Wednesday is the day to be WACKY!  Each week we will showcase a terrierific Cairn picture with an appropriate caption.  If you would like us to consider YOUR picture and caption for an upcoming "Wacky Wednesday" send it to us at cpcrnblog@gmail.com!  All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.

A big shout out to Timmy for being our Wacky Wednesday model this week!




Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Sweets!

Sunday is full of SWEETS!  Each week we showcase the sweeter side of Cairns.  If you have a sweet filled Cairn and would like us to consider YOUR photo for an upcoming "Sunday Sweets!" send it to us at cpcrnblog@gmail.com (All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.).

Teddy fka CP Ralph LB

Trapper John

Foster Dai Bando

Foster Rigatoni

Foster Arsenio

Jax fka CP Kona

Robbie fka CP Robin Goodfellow

Lucas and Rocky

Murphy fka CP Kruzee

Sweet Macie Kisses!







Friday, July 15, 2016

Understanding the Basics of Aggression in Dogs


Fear, pain, self defense... It is important for us to try and understand the context of aggressive communication.

"Very often, what is labeled as 'aggression' is actually a useful and meaningful communication meant to avoid any violence."    Suzanne Clothier

Aggression Basics
A brief look at the causes of aggression,
and how to begin sorting out what's what…

Part and parcel of canine communications are growls, snarls, snaps and even bites - even among the nicest of dogs and the mildest of breeds.  We find these behaviors frightening, and sometimes don't quite know what to do.  Unfortunately, there is a widespread misunderstanding of what constitutes aggressive behavior.  Very often, what is labeled as 'aggression' is actually a useful and meaningful communication meant to avoid any violence.  And at times, we overlook the fact that should a dog feel the need to act in a threatening way (whether to people, other dogs or other animals), there's a reason.

In my experience, dog behavior - especially that which we find frightening - is often poorly understood, leading to misunderstanding and frustration on both ends of the leash.  No matter how fearsome we may find their behavior, we can find some relief in the knowledge that dogs act aggressively for the same basic reasons we do: 

Fear (of a specific situation/person/other animal, or the fear that springs from incomplete socialization - the dog literally does not have the skills to adequately handle the dog-to-dog interactions) 

Pain (this can be quite subtle at times - a dog who is tired and/or who has physical problems can have a much shorter fuse for being bumped by or even in the presence of exuberant dogs) 

Irritation (this can vary widely from individual dog to dog; again, physical/mental fatigue can make a dog more irritable than usual) 

Anger (redirection of anger onto another dog or even the dog's handler is possible with a highly aroused and frustrated dog) 

Protection of territory (this may be the dog's home yard or a familiar practice area or even the handler's vehicle) 

Protection of family (in a sound dog, this should happen only when a serious threat is made; dogs quick to perceive a threat to the handler should be evaluated carefully - such hair trigger responses can be dangerous.) 

Self defense (perhaps the most common cause of dog-to-dog interactions) 

Protecting resources & possessions (this could be proximity to a special person, or actual resources like toys, food, crate, etc) 

Sexual conflict

Social status (excluding the odd occasional spat, resolving social conflict with aggression is a sign of inadequate socialization with other dogs) 

Hunger

NOTE: Like humans, dogs can act aggressively in abnormal ways due to biochemical imbalances, various diseases, genetic defects, psychological and/or physical abuse, drugs or chemicals, and for reasons science cannot explain. Like their human counterparts, such abnormal dogs are rare but can be extremely dangerous. 

Important Concepts in Understanding Aggression

Dunbar's Fight/Bite Ratio:  How many fights has the dog been in?  How many times has he done damage that required veterinary attention (incidental punctures on ear/head/face do not count.)  A dog who has been in 3 fights and damaged other dogs every time is a more dangerous & difficult dog than a dog who has been in 30 fights and never damaged another dog.  The Fight/Bite ratio tells you a good deal about the dog's bite inhibition. 

Much of what we call aggression is actually behavior designed to avoid real conflict.  Warning looks, growls, snarls and even threatening snaps & charges are intended to warn.  A dog who intends to connect his teeth with another dog will do so unless something physically interferes with him (length of leash, barrier, etc.) 

Handler involvement is critical:  Without meaning to, handlers can contribute to aggressive behavior in any number of ways: tight leash, holding their breath/tensing muscles, punishing the dog for acting 'aggressively,' failing to recognize signs that the dog feels pressured, failing to set clear boundaries for behavior, failing to protect the dog from other rude dogs.  One clear sign that the handler's involvement is key is this: The dog is aggressive on leash, is fine in off leash situations. 

Need for clear assessment of the situation:  Where were the dogs relative to each other?  Where were the handlers and what were they doing?  Very often, a dog is tagged as aggressive when the incident occurred while the dog was quietly laying down or sitting and simply responded to another dog who climbed onto him or invaded his space.  This is very different from the dog who actively seeks out confrontation, and will move toward another dog in order to provoke conflict.  As with any training problem, the careful trainer takes the time to clearly assess the problem before deciding on a course of action. 

ALL DOGS are capable of aggressive behavior, regardless of breed:  The world's sweetest Labrador or Golden is still 100% canine, and fully capable of the entire behavioral spectrum, including snarls, growls, snap and bites. 

Aggression that occurs in the handler's vicinity is the handler's responsibility:  Regardless of whether the problem was provoked by another dog (in which case the handler needed to protect/defend his dog) or his dog was the provocateur, handlers need to be proactive in their management of their dogs, provide clear leadership, intervene as necessary, and set clear boundaries for their dog's behavior. 

Off leash socialization through early adulthood is the best prevention for aggression problems:  While many handlers utilize puppy kindergarten classes to help socialize their young dogs, it is the adolescent dogs who actually require more work.  Generally speaking, a puppy's only real goal in life is to play, and in doing so, learn how to be a dog.  Adolescent dog, like adolescent humans, have mastered those basic skills and now must employ them on a much more serious level: Who's in charge here?  What are the rules?  Where do I fit in?  Unfortunately, during the critical months of adolescents and young adulthood, many handlers no longer permit their dogs to socialize with other dogs off lead - a time when they most need this experience.



"Copyright © 2013 by Suzanne Clothier. Used by permission of Suzanne Clothier. All rights reserved. For more information about Suzanne please visit SuzanneClothier.com"



Read More Training Tips from Suzanne Clothier:





Friday's Funnies!

Off the Leash

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wacky Wednesday!



Wednesday is the day to be WACKY!  Each week we will showcase a terrierific Cairn picture with an appropriate caption.  If you would like us to consider YOUR picture and caption for an upcoming "Wacky Wednesday" send it to us at cpcrnblog@gmail.com!  All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.

A big shout out to little Lucas Gee for being our Wacky Wednesday model this week!




Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sunday Sweets!

Sunday is full of SWEETS!  Each week we showcase the sweeter side of Cairns.  If you have a sweet filled Cairn and would like us to consider YOUR photo for an upcoming "Sunday Sweets!" send it to us at cpcrnblog@gmail.com (All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.).

Meatloaf

Gabby and LeeCee

Paris fka CP Cherie Amour

Foster Trapper John

Bridgie Canterbeary Tails fka CP Sandy T

Foster Wish

Beauregard

Foster Cleatus

Denny fka CP Denmark

Freya fka CP Venice

Foster Burton

Foster Tater Tot

Duffy, Tori, and Meatloaf
Meatloaf Searches for a Mouse!





Friday, July 8, 2016

Teaching Our Cairns to Relax

Lowcountry Dog Magazine
by Cindy Carter 9/29/11
It is our job to be advocates for our dogs health; physical, mental and emotional.  Learning what causes stress and teaching our dog the skills needed to cope and relax is our job as their caretakers.
You are lying on a comfy bed taking deep, relaxing breaths, receiving a gentle massage and the cares of the world are receding into the background.  Does this sound like a wonderful spa, where you are pampered and your every wish is indulged?  No, this is the world of a dog that is learning to relax.

Okay, that image may be a little over the top, but dogs, just like humans, need to learn to relax.  We humans tend to over-react and to not think clearly or reasonably when stressed or out of sorts.  Why should our dogs be any different?  While we don’t know exactly how dogs process or feel emotions, there is no doubt that they do have emotions and respond to them.  Stress can play a major role in the lives of our dogs just as in our own, it affects the physical, mental and emotional well-being of our pals.  Unfortunately, they don’t have the verbal language skills to communicate with us, so it’s our job to learn to recognize the canine signals of stress.

Our dogs give us so much, while asking very little in return.  It is our responsibility to learn to communicate with our dogs, providing them with a safe environment in which to live, work and thrive.  Many of us, unless we have a very high strung, possibly reactive dog, never consider that relaxation is important.  After all, what do dogs really have to be stressed about?  They take naps, go for walks, eat well, maybe play agility, rally or flyball, it’s a dogs life, right?  We see our dog hanging out on his bed and think, what a great life.  But is it really, if every time he hears a noise or senses a change in the environment, he feels compelled to jump up and investigate.  Maybe the missing piece in this dog’s life is the ability to relax.

What about the normally well behaved, well trained dog whose skills take a turn for the worse when he is in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by strangers, human and/or canine?  Is this a dog that just refuses to do what is asked of him or is it possible that he cannot respond because he is worried or stressed?  Maybe your dog reacts to fast moving objects, the UPS truck or even the vacuum cleaner, by barking or chasing the object.  Or your dog is at the other end of the spectrum, when something or someone new is introduced, he shuts down, unable to interact with others.  In many cases, it is stress that makes a dog unable to respond promptly or correctly when the environment is highly charged or confronted with changes.

So what can you, as a devoted and loving caretaker do to help your dog learn better coping skills?  A good place to start is learning to recognize signs of stress and helping your dog learn to relax.

These are some of the more common stress indicators, but you always need to see the behavior in context, after all a yawn can simply be a yawn.

  • Lip licking
  • Yawning
  • Look away ( head turns)
  • Sniffing
  • Stiff body
  • Dilated pupils
  • Drooling
  • Sweaty paws
  • Tail and ear carriage

There are many other signals but these are fairly easy to spot.

Now, what to do when you see your dog offering these behaviors in a way that is indicative of stress.

1) Remove your dog from the situation

2) Teach your dog to relax

3) Teach your dog a different response

4) Change the emotions behind the response

One excellent tool for changing the emotion and easing stress is this Rocking Dental Chew from Benebone, made in the USA.  Cairns love it and will both quietly lay and chew it or carry it around and toss and shake it.  Either way, a good session with the Benebone Rocking Dental Chew is generally prelude to a peaceful nap!

We can’t discuss everything on the list now, but removing your dog from a stressful situation is important, regardless of where you are in your training plan.  If your dog is stressed by children, bikes, strangers, other dogs, or loud noises forcing him to remain around these triggers only does harm.  It is rarely a good idea to “let the dog get over it”.  Constant exposure to a scary thing typically results in a dog becoming more stressed and fearful, possibly even aggressive when he feels trapped.  If you are afraid of snakes, would being locked in a room with several snakes make you feel better or more afraid?  Of course, there are ways to help our dogs be more comfortable in certain situations, but that discussion is for another time.

Always start in a quiet, low distraction area

Take a deep breath and learn some great techniques to help your dog relax.

Always start working in a quiet, low distraction area, preferably a place that your dog is comfortable and work for a very short time.  Have him sit or lie down on a mat or doggie bed, don’t force him to lie down unless he wants to, remember this is about relaxing.  I am NOT a Tellington TTouch practitioner nor a doggie massage therapist, but I do use some of their techniques to help dogs learn to relax.  Using slow, light touches, begin to massage your dog.  It is best to use only your fingertips, little or no pressure and keep both hands in contact with your dog.  If you are touching your dogs back, be sure to go the entire length of his back, including the tail (even if it is not there).  The ears and muzzle are very important areas as well. If your dog is reactive or barks a great deal, TTouch tells us to use a counter-clockwise motion.  Be aware of your dog, if he is uncomfortable with your touch, stop.  Our purpose is to help your dog associate gentle, calming touch with his bed or mat.  In that way, the mat, eventually, will become a cue to relax.

Now, the actually work of teaching relaxation.  Dr. Karen Overall, a respected behavioral veterinarian developed both the Protocol for Relaxation and Protocol for Deference, designed to teach dogs that being relaxed and calm is what earns them rewards.

Many dog owners have been taught to have their dogs sit or down for everything, work to earn.  Dr. Overall has carried this a step further.  In the Deference Protocol she teaches dogs that being calm while in a sit or down is the behavior that earns a reward. So instead of having your Border Collie sit for the ball to be thrown, he must sit and relax to get the ball tossed again.  Hard to teach, yes and no, it depends on the dog and the thing they are trying to earn.  Do you start with the ball, no, you start with something of low value so the dog is successful.  Is it worth the effort, yes, definitely.  Once he has begun to associate being calm with getting what he wants, he will learn to calm himself as he starts to get over aroused.

The Protocol for Relaxation has changed many dogs lives for the better.  It is a series of exercises designed to be used over a period of time, gradually increasing the distractions around the dog while he remains calm.  After each step, the dog is rewarded with a small, maybe not terribly exciting treat.  The mat used for relaxing touch is the perfect place to do these exercises, again creating an association between the mat and relaxed, calm behavior.  The exercises start out very simply and increase in difficulty, at any time the dog becomes anxious or excited, you stop the exercise and start over, at a different time, at a point your dog was still able to relax.  The protocol begins with having the dog simply sit while you count to 3 and give a treat, count to 5 and treat, count to 10 and treat.  As you progress through the exercises, you may be hopping from foot to foot, going outside the door, ringing the doorbell, the whole time Rover is calmly processing things happening without reacting.  Can you see how these exercise will be useful in daily life?

I hear many clients say that their dog knows how to hold a sit or down/stay with things going on.  But -- this is not proofing a stay, in fact, Rover has never once been told to stay.  This is all about helping your dog relax in the face of distractions.  It also teaches great self control.

Another technique for teaching relaxation is to teach a dog to take a breath or hold his tail still.  We capture these behaviors when the dog offers them, then put them on cue.  Teaching a dog to take a breath works exactly the same way that it does for us.  The intake of a deep breath gives both species a chance to take in oxygen and pause long enough for our brains to begin to work instead of react.


You may wonder why it makes any difference if your dog is relaxed. If your dog is over threshold, reacting to something in the environment, he is not thinking or even hearing you. At this point, he is using the instinctual part of his brain, not the thinking part, which is where we need him to be.  Being in a constant state of stress or anxiety is bad for your dogs health, as well.  How do you feel after a particularly stressful day?  Imagine living with that stress constantly, with no way to relieve it or even let someone know that you need help.

It is our job to be advocates for our dogs health; physical, mental and emotional.  Learning what causes stress and teaching our dog the skills needed to cope and relax is our job as their caretakers.

Cindy Carter, CPDT-KA
Mindful Manners Dog Training
www.mindfulmanners.net
843-906-9997


Benebone Rocking Dental Chew on Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Benebone-Bacon-Flavored-Dental-Chew/dp/B014JXJ2S4/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1467973280&sr=1-1&keywords=benebone+dental+chew

 

Friday's Funnies!

Off the Leash