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Posted by wmmbb in DOG BLOG -.

Possibly things are going to the dogs. The better idea then might is to go with Dexter and Hannah.

They lack socialization with other dogs. At least this week, there have been occasions when we have come across other dogs.I took a hint from Caser Millan to use positive reinforcement – and that seemed to work well. It was certainly more productive than going crook at them. (Of course I realize that there is much more that the Dog Whisperer applies, such as close observation of the behavior of dogs that I don’t know about.)

Caser Millan has an interesting autobiography and has developed principles of dog interaction and interrelationship. He has critics of course. Wikipedia describes these principles as:

Millan’s work focuses on handling a dog with what he calls “calm-assertive energy”, which ought to transfer from the owner to the dog. He approaches dog behavior by teaching dog owners to understand the natural needs and responses of a dog, to understand that dogs are pack animals, to assist owners in establishing their role as calm-assertive pack leaders.

Millan prioritizes fulfilling and balancing a dog’s primary needs: exercise, discipline and affection—in that order. In other words, it is the owner’s responsibility to fulfill the dog’s energy level through challenging exercise; to provide clearly communicated rules, boundaries and limitations for the dog’s behavior; and to give the dog affection at the right time. Millan encourages owners to give affection, but to give affection when the dog is in a balanced state of mind, not when the dog is fearful, anxious, avoidant or excited — when the affection itself can reinforce imbalance.

According to Millan, a common pitfall for dog owners is to give a great deal of affection with very little discipline and even less exercise.

Millan emphasizes the importance of walking a dog, not only for the dog’s exercise, but for the owner and dog to bond—with the dog ultimately recognizing the owner as its leader. He also encourages owners to watch their dog for subtle cues in the dog’s posture, movement and facial expression—to eliminate poor behavior before it arises or escalates. And he encourages owners to understand the profound effect their own attitudes, internal emotions and physical postures have on a dog’s behavior, counseling owners to hold strong posture (i.e. shoulders high and chest forward) and to project energy that is calm-assertive.

Millan also stresses that owners identify their dog in a hierarchy of three levels:
most important, as a dog with canine rather than human needs.
as a particular breed of dog — for example, a Boxer-Rottweiler mix — with a breed-specific energy level and behavioral instinct.
and as their individual dog, e.g., “Bella”.

Millan uses vocal marks, e.g., tsch or tsst sounds, while working with a dog (rather than words, especially the dog’s name), and he encourages owners to create their own unique sound that works for them.

Millan stresses that when meeting a new dog, making eye contact, speaking, and touching it are to be avoided, in favor of letting the dog approach on its own terms.

It is a starting point and worth considering. The emphasis identifies my failing. There are things to be learnt in relation to dogs.

As it happened we went into the bush, Rusty came along. He was a very obedient dog. His companion was also wheeling a bike, so I thought it best to let him take the easier path, we usually follow. Going the other way was more work and exercise. I should go that way more often. Going downhill, I have Dexter and Hannah walking behind me. Otherwise I let them go ahead, as I understand it against all the rules of good dog management. Going down the declines it would be dangerous. They don’ seem to mind.

Pisca has still out of action, so I am putting together a video. As careful as I try to be, it is really trial and error with dose of luck. This is especially true for the music. Between them Picasa and the dogs have taken me into new territory. I hope enjoy David Arkenstone’s, “A Thousand Small Gold Bells” along with going with Dexter and Hannah on a pictorial journey:



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