Pets For Vets, Portland Maine

Posted on Jan 27, 2015 in Dog Training, Pets, Positive Association, Positive Reinforcement, Rescue Dog, Safety, Socialization, Training, Veterans | 0 comments

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Pets for Vets Portland, Maine thanks Time Warner and Melinda Poore, VP Government Relations for a great evening held at the Inn By The Sea (pet friendly hotel, Cape Elizabeth).  
 
Judy Moore, PFV Head Trainer and Tom Targett, Chapter Director presented the Pets For Vets Mission and Process to the Legislatures of both houses.  
Raising funds for Pets For Vets, Portland Maine.

Raising funds for Pets For Vets, Portland Maine.

Raising awareness for Pets For Vets, Portland Maine is certainly a noble cause, and the additional funds donated by Time Warner will help several veterans in need.

Our Mission, created by our Founder Clarissa Black:

At Pets for Vets, we believe our country owes military veterans a debt of gratitude. Our soldiers have been brave but many of them have returned with physical and emotional injuries that have made it difficult to transition back to civilian life. Some estimates state that as many as 20% of returning military veterans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Our goal is to help heal the emotional wounds of military veterans by pairing them with a shelter animal that is specially selected to match his or her personality. Professional animal trainers rehabilitate the animals and teach them good manners to fit into the veteran’s lifestyle. Training can also include desensitization to wheel chairs or crutches as well as recognizing panic or anxiety disorder behaviors.

Needy shelter animals receive a second chance at life while giving our returning soldiers a second chance at health and happiness. The bonds of friendship formed between man and animal have the power to ease the suffering of our troops when they return from overseas. 

 

To learn more about Pets For Vets or to donate, please view our National Page at:  www.pets-for-vets.com

For updates on matches made in Portland please connect with us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PetsForVetsPortlandMaine?fref=ts

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Dog Training vs Management

Posted on Jan 3, 2015 in Aggression, Barking, Certified Dog Trainer, Child, Clicker, Crate Training, Dog Training, Leash Training, Pets, Positive Association, Positive Reinforcement, Puppy, Rescue Dog, Safety, Socialization, Training | 0 comments

Management, as it relates to dog training  keeps everyone safe.  Management,  does not teach your dog a behavior, in fact it often creates frustration and increases arousal.  Using forms of management are useful when you need to prevent conflict, such as putting your dog in the bedroom when guests come over.  Using effective management tools, often buy’s you some time, as you teach and reward an alternative  behavior.  

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I will fade the food lure quickly and simply reward when he offers a sit.

For example:  A leash is a management tool used to prevent a dog from jumping on someone.  In this photo, Gambits leash is a form of management, however I am luring this handsome 5 month old pup into a sit and rewarding him.  With some repetition, a person approaching becomes the cue for Gambit to sit if he wants affection or food wether he has a leash on or not.

Another example:  Grabbing your dogs collar when people enter the doorway is a form of management to prevent him from jumping or running out the door.  However, if you teach him an alternative behavior like a sit/stay then you will no longer have to manage.

One more:  Using a crate to potty train your puppy  is a form of management that keeps the puppy safe and prevents him from practicing the unwanted behavior of peeing on the floor.  Immediately rewarding your puppy with a piece of dried liver after each of the 6 or so times he pees in the grass will certainly be reinforcing, so he will repeat the correct behavior to get the same yummy reward!

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3 of these pups are under 1 yr and learning to stay.

 In Summary:  If your dog seems overly aroused, barks often, chases anything that moves, is displaying frustration or poor impulse control behavior, is it possible you are simply frustrating your dog through the over use of managment?  

Consider teaching him what to do in each situation and reward him with anything he loves to reinforce positive behavior.  This will make you a proud parent and keep him from getting frustrated, all while building a better relationship!  

 

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Barking

Posted on Dec 15, 2011 in Barking, Crate Training, Separation Anxiety | 0 comments

I frequently get asked about barking problems or why do dogs bark?  Our dogs bark for a variety of reasons:

  • Dogs will bark if they feel threatened. 
  • They may bark when they play and get excited.
  • Some dogs will bark for attention from us or another dog. 
  • Some will bark if they are in pain and they’ll even bark when they’re lonely, bored or stressed. 
  • Certain breeds or breed types are also genetically inclined to bark more than others.
Desensitizing these shelties to moving stimuli

How you’ll prevent or resolve your issue with barking will partially depend on what is triggering your dog to bark. For example if your dog is barking or vocalizing because he’s in pain, treating the source of his pain would be the obvious solution. If your dog is barking through the front window as dogs pass by your house, blocking off access to that window is a simple way to help prevent his barking.

Keep in mind that the more your dog practices barking the better he’ll get at it. So identifying what is triggering your dog to bark and if possible, removing the trigger or changing the emotions that cause your dog to bark are best.  For Example, if your dog barks each day he hears the mail truck, take your dog out side and reward you dog with a yummy treat for looking at the truck, after a few days of this classical conditioning, take your dog out and reward him for looking at you or any other behavior they offer before they bark.  Eventually, your dog will learn to simply look at the mail truck and watch it go by with no worries at all.


In my opinion, antibark collars which use shock are inhumane and are inappropriate for all kinds of barking problems (and often make the problem worse). Many dogs that have been shocked for barking at a mail man or garbage truck have ended up trying to bite this stimuli which causes them pain each time it is near.  With the right kind of behavior modification and a strong desire to stop the problem, most pet parents can successfully resolve barking issues using classical conditioning methods.

The Alert Barker does so to alert you to someone or something outside, the answer is quite simple. Remove the source of what triggers his barking. For instance if your dog barks at people as they walk past your home, prevent his access to the window using furniture, closing blinds, blocking off the area with a baby gate.  Remember, if your dog barks and the person or dog moves away, this is very rewarding for the dog and will certainly be repeated.

The Lonely Barker is often more simple to modify, try changing your dog’s environment a bit. Remember that your dog probably wants to be with people. Dogs who are left outside for long periods of time are often the worst offenders of barking. Your dog needs to play with you and feel like he is a part of the family. Dogs typically don’t do well when left alone for long periods of time. Make sure you set aside time for regular walks, playtime – even some training sessions. You’ll want to be sure that you give him the social contact that he needs to keep his body and mind occupied. Barking when left alone may also indicate separation anxiety. If you think that anxiety is the source of your dog’s barking, contact a certified dog trainer.

Attention Barking  may be a dog that barked and you tossed him a toy, you have just taught your dog, “When I bark you play!” Even if you look at him or verbally scold your dog when he barks, you will still be teaching him that his barking is a successful way to get your attention. What can you do?  You need to ignore his demands. His barking may initially increase and so don’t give in or he will learn that persistence pays off. However, if he barks and you really ignore him or even better if you ignore him and walk away until he is quiet, he will eventually learn that barking doesn’t work and it will decrease. 

Our dogs are not trying to dominate us, they simply do a behavior and if something follows that they like then they will repeat the behavior.  Dogs are smarter than we think, so be carful and watch what you are rewarding!
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Forming Habits

Posted on Apr 5, 2011 in Certified Dog Trainer, Dog Training, Pets, Positive Reinforcement, Rescue Dog, Training | 0 comments

Did you notice your dog chose to potty on the deck, patio, or step with this latest snow storm or rainy day?  Many dog owners feel this setback in behavior with potty habits even in older dogs.  Rain is simply a negative reinforcer to some dogs, in other words, they want to avoid it, hence they potty as close to the door as possible.

What can you do?  Give your dog continued feedback so he will chose to make the right choice.  Is it that simple?  Often it is, because we know that those who have a support system to help change their behavior are far more likely to succeed.  So be your dog’s support system and remind them when they go out the door to go to the designated area to potty, especially if it is raining.

Following with verbal praise for making the right choice is a great way to support your dog and increase the behavior you want.  Positive Reinforcers such as food and praise are essential to modify behavior and form new habits.

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