I am now training dogs at a rescue!

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emmabeth
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I am now training dogs at a rescue!

Post by emmabeth » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:10 pm

So I thought I would update you all as to how that is going - I won't name the rescue as I haven't asked them so I won't name any of the dogs either, but otherwise I'll keep a diary of our progress!

Today I met T and B.

T is a big butch chap of around 2 years old, found as a stray. I did some brief assessments on confidence/anxiety/fear/self control and then introduced him to a clicker and then free shaping.

He aced it, he is super smart, quick to learn and remarkably self controlled for his breed. He also coped really well with frustration and figured out the free shaping really fast, by the end of the session he was stuffing as many paws in the box as he could (small box, sizeable dog!).

Loads of fun working with him and he would make someone a great dog, unfortunately his time is nearly up :( and whilst I agree with the time limit this rescue has, it still sucks, so we will be working mega hard to find T a home.

Then there was B - small terrier type, with a recent history of unpredictable biting and fairly serious biting at that, diving in biting hard, backing off and coming again for another bite.

He didnt make any moves to bite me, and we did the same assessment and training as with T, however B is a very distracted we chap, not that old, and I think hes been punished for growling, and I think also he has been picked up and hurt somehow (all the bites occurred with people bending over him and reaching out to him).

I have recommended his food is changed to the bes tquality they can offer (it still has grains in it but its better than the other options) as he is itchy and uncomfortable. He failed fairly badly at clicker training and free shaping - far too distracted, but actually did really well with a Nina Ottoson style interactive toy. He was also happy to let me help him with my fingers near the food, and also ok about me taking the toy away when he was done.

Soooooo watch this space - the dogs in the centre are mainly staffies, terriers, a couple of collies, a dalmation and some trailhounds - I aim to work with the longest stayers and the problem dogs first and then do some interactive toy work with the easier dogs in and among.
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Erica
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Re: I am now training dogs at a rescue!

Post by Erica » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:40 pm

What lucky dogs! ;) Best of luck to T...and B of course, but it sounds like T needs it more at the moment!
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JudyN
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Re: I am now training dogs at a rescue!

Post by JudyN » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:54 pm

Well done you :D

It must be so hard working with the dogs and no doubt forming a bond with them when they have a time limit :cry: I understand the reasons, though - sending you strength for those times when your love and expertise isn't enough.
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bendog
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Re: I am now training dogs at a rescue!

Post by bendog » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:14 am

Good for you! Though have to say, whilst I'd love something like that, i do think I would end up taking all the dogs home with me! Good luck.

Sarah83
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Re: I am now training dogs at a rescue!

Post by Sarah83 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:18 am

That's awesome :D I would love to do something like that. I'm sure it must be hard if they only have a certain amount of time but at least by giving them a bit of training you make them more adoptable.

Poor B sounds like one stressed little guy :( Fingers crossed you can help him and fingers crossed both he and T find good homes.

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Re: I am now training dogs at a rescue!

Post by ClareMarsh » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:08 am

Lucky dogs, well to be working with you anyway :D It will be interesting to read how you get on, and no doubt upsetting at times but that's the reality isn't it :(

Good luck :D
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Nettle
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Re: I am now training dogs at a rescue!

Post by Nettle » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:18 am

Can you persuade the rescue to add greens if they can't do much about the food? Any extra greenstuff/apples will cleanse (I know it's a lousy year for apples but they might be able to get shop throw-outs) or else add Dorwest herbs' Easy Green?
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emmabeth
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Re: I am now training dogs at a rescue!

Post by emmabeth » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:39 am

The food situation is one I would really like to work on. Like a lot of rescues, they feed a mixture of dry and tinned food that is donated and unfortunately I have spied a fair amount of Bakers Complete, Frolic and that kind of nutter juice stuff..

The Manager has agreed that B will go onto Arden Grange which is a lot better, but I would guess unless someone donates something like Taste of the Wild or similar, not much can be done.

I don't know if the dogs would eat greens if provided alongside dry food - but its definitely something to add to the ideas pot and you have just made me think, perhaps T who can't have toys as he eats them (and has already had surgery to remove a portion of toy from his gut!) could have things like a huge cabbage or carrots or parsnips to wreck...

Ideally I would like it if they could have a media campaign to get people to donate Kongs (or get Company of Animals to do so) and then most of the dogs barring the likes of idiot boy T, could have their meals in Kong toys each day rather than bowls - I can't see that its THAT much more work to stuff Kongs really!
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Sarah83
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Re: I am now training dogs at a rescue!

Post by Sarah83 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:39 am

Stuffing Kongs isn't that much more work. Stuffing Kongs so the dogs actually have to work to get their food might be though, especially if it's just dry kibble. Mixed with a bit of wet it probably wouldn't just fall out like dry kibble would though.

Maybe getting the word out there that there are better foods than Bakers etc would be helpful for all shelters/rescues. I know they rely on donations and I suppose people think they're donating high quality food but there are better foods out there for around the same price. Not top of the range ones but not really dire stuff. But unfortunately how do you compete against the marketing those awful foods have?

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Re: I am now training dogs at a rescue!

Post by Suzette » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:57 am

What lucky dogs they are! I imagine you will be hitting the highest highs and the lowest lows with this job, but you're out there doing your best and doing your part and that is very gratifying, and I'm sure many dogs will benefit from it. Good luck to you and the dogs! I'm looking forward to updates . . .
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Sabrina
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Re: I am now training dogs at a rescue!

Post by Sabrina » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:53 pm

You are amazing! I'm so glad that you will be helping those dogs!

jacksdad
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Re: I am now training dogs at a rescue!

Post by jacksdad » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:20 pm

lucky dogs, lucky you.

sounds like a lot of fun

emmabeth
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Re: I am now training dogs at a rescue!

Post by emmabeth » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:41 pm

I will be back there tomorrow so as long as B doesn't perform a finger-ectomy I will update you all.

I'll see if I can nab the manager about how they ask for food donations, maybe things can be worded a little differently or maybe some form of sponsorship deal could be sought with a food company.. I have no idea how all that works and it IS run by a charity comittee.. so.. wish me luck LOL!
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

Wilkie
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Re: I am now training dogs at a rescue!

Post by Wilkie » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:25 pm

This might sound like a stupid question, but how can you tell when a dog has been punished for growling?

bendog
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Re: I am now training dogs at a rescue!

Post by bendog » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:49 am

They tend to shut down/go straight for the bite/snap rather than growling as a warning

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