Episode 207 - Dangerous Territory - Feb 20

Any time new episodes of It’s Me or the Dog are airing on Animal Planet in the US, Victoria will answer questions about that episode later that week. Post your questions to Victoria about the most recent episode here anytime.

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dontpugme
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Re: Episode 207 - Dangerous Territory - Feb 20

Post by dontpugme » Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:48 pm

Could you feel the bite? Were there bite marks in your boot? If you had moved your foot, would Nico still try to bite?

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Re: Episode 207 - Dangerous Territory - Feb 20

Post by Victoria » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:03 pm

Hello everyone! I'll be here for the next hour answering your questions about last night's episode - Dangerous Territory.

doggy style
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Re: Episode 207 - Dangerous Territory - Feb 20

Post by doggy style » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:04 pm

are you going to answer last weeks questions?

sunnynacho
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Re: Episode 207 - Dangerous Territory - Feb 20

Post by sunnynacho » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:04 pm

sj96skittles wrote:omg!! nacho looks sooooooooooo cute!!!
Thanks!! :D

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Re: Episode 207 - Dangerous Territory - Feb 20

Post by Victoria » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:07 pm

kchilutti wrote:What type or brand of clicker was being used?
Most clickers you can buy today are quite similar. There are certain characteristics to look out for such as general build quality, how loud the clicking sound is, and general accessibility, but anything that makes a repeatable and recognizable sound will work. There are some really cool clickers available now that incorporate more features, so keep an eye out for those as well.

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Re: Episode 207 - Dangerous Territory - Feb 20

Post by Victoria » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:13 pm

jubjub0527 wrote:I'd like to know more about phasing out treats and techniques used to modify pets' behavior. When should you start phasing out treats and how do you go about it?
Sometimes you don't see it that clearly on It's Me or the Dog, but I do believe very strongly in phasing out treats and replacing them with other positive rewards or lengthening the time in between rewards. There's no simple formula for when to start replacing treats with other rewards. Basically, you want to make sure that you've created a strong foundation for the dog and are sure that he has a firm grasp of what it is you're getting him to do. Once the pattern is set and the dog is working for you with good focus, you can slowly start to lengthen the time between treats and sprinkle in some other types of rewards (praise, toys, etc). Mix it up a bit. Once the dog 'gets it', you can get a lot of mileage out of stretching his mind and ability to focus.

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Re: Episode 207 - Dangerous Territory - Feb 20

Post by Victoria » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:19 pm

dontpugme wrote:On the episode, after you leave a household, we see you check in on a tv/laptop. Is what the viewers see all that you get to see on the tv/laptop, or do you see an extended version?
What you see is pretty much what I get. of course, the producers will tell me in very general terms how a dog/owner team is getting along, and sometimes I see a few more bits of footage than is shown during the 'DVD scenes', but not much. If anything, what's left on the cutting room floor is left out more for time constraint reasons and not central to furthering the story or the viewer's relationship to what's been going on with the owner.

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Re: Episode 207 - Dangerous Territory - Feb 20

Post by Victoria » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:21 pm

sj96skittles wrote:when you were gone and nico was doing the agility, how come he responded better to cortes than cameron?
Both Neeko and Toby did agility. Neeko has a much closer bond with Cortez, and Cameron is much more unconfident with him, which the dog can sense.

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Re: Dog Treats

Post by Victoria » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:24 pm

sweats wrote:I noticed that during the show this evening (2/20/10) you were giving the two little dogs treats when they responded to your or the owners commands. You had a pouch on and reached in to grab the treats quite often.

I have a shitz zu and like to work with him as well but have had a difficult time finding the right treats and small enough so I'm not feeding him a smorgsboard.

Can you give me the name of the treats you were using so I may order some online? I would greatly appreciate it.
On this show, I used a mixture of the dogs' kibble and cooked chicken. Instead of feeding them their regular meal in a bowl at night, I used feeding time as a reward, mixing chicken in as well to make it taste better.

mustlovdoggs
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Re: Episode 207 - Dangerous Territory - Feb 20

Post by mustlovdoggs » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:25 pm

Victoria I had a question about last week. Peanut butter with the spoon and leash. Did you give him the peanut butter then show him the leash and if the leach up set him did you take the peanut butter away. I need to use this one on of my dogs so I want to get it right. Thanks for your answer.
I wished I was the person my dogs thinks I am.

kimb123
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Re: Episode 207 - Dangerous Territory - Feb 20

Post by kimb123 » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:26 pm

Hi, Victoria! That was a great episode!


How had Toby and Neeko been getting along since you were gone?

Thanks.
Kimmy

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Re: Episode 207 - Dangerous Territory - Feb 20

Post by Victoria » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:29 pm

Doglady6807 wrote:I was wondering more about how to deal with a dog who reacts with aggressively toward visitors as they come in. I understand how removing the dog from the room can be effective, however, my dog also becomes very anxious and agitated if there is ever a closed door between us. So, removing him from the room makes him bark more violently and scratch frantically at the door. Should I just wait it out? The other thing that happens is, if he is silent for a second and I let him out, he is still very worked up and will charge the guest and start barking again. In this event should I just put him back in the room? Is it a patience/waiting it out thing, or would you suggest a different approach? Thank you so much!
You have to wait until the dog is calm before taking him out of the room. I think it's a case of having to wait it out.

nalaandsimba
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Re: Episode 207 - Dangerous Territory - Feb 20

Post by nalaandsimba » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:32 pm

Victoria,
I'm sorry to post twice tonight, but I do have one other question. My wife and I have 2 cats (hence, Nala and Simba). We are going to be moving to a place where we can have dogs and are wondering the best way to introduce them. Our cats are house cats that have never seen a dog before other than on "It's me or the Dog". They (and by this I mean mostly Simba) are scared of strange places and get highly stressed in new situations. I was thinking a baby-gate situation... what do you think?

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Re: Episode 207 - Dangerous Territory - Feb 20

Post by Thepupstopshere » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:37 pm

Hello Victoria~
How long had Neeko and Toby been living in the same house? Did I understand correctly that Toby was not an aggressive dog before living with Neeko? That looked like quite a bite he gave the other dog when out for a walk. I hope the other dog was okay. Thanks, Victoria. ~Nina

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Re: Episode 207 - Dangerous Territory - Feb 20

Post by Victoria » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:37 pm

sunnynacho wrote:We'd first like to say thanks for changing our lives. My husband and I started watching your show in September of 2008. We learned everything we could, read your book, and when we were ready, we adopted Nacho. He is the most wonderful, sweetest dog, and mostly thanks to you and your advice. We are head over heels in love with him. I've attached a picture for you to meet him.

So my question about last night's episode is about how dogs see humans as pack leaders or not. Obviously the Yorkie needed to start respecting both guys a lot more, and you advised one of them to take on stronger body language in front of the dog to do this.

What is your take on other techniques for establishing leadership that involve owners physically placing their dogs on a certain position and making them stay there for say, 30 minutes? It is not asking a down, it is not an alpha roll, but actually putting your arm over the dog, gently grabbing both paws and lowering him into a down.

I read about it in a Canine Good Citizen Test preparation book (by Jack and Wendy Volher) and they recommend doing this often so that the dog will understand who is the leader of the pack.

It is not forceful at all but I think it is a bit more dominant than your line of training. Do you think it is good for the dog? Would it not cause them to be afraid of their owners instead? And do you think it would help in cases like Toby?
You're very welcome! I'm so glad the show has helped you, your husband and Nacho - that's what it's all about. Very cute dog.

Regarding the 'human as pack leader' question, I think this can be a big point of confusion for a lot of people, and it's a great question. If you haven't already done so, I recommend reading my article, "Alpha No More" here: http://positively.com/files/100101-bestfriends.pdf. I get that you're not specifically talking about alpha rolls, but although what you're describing is lighter, the basic premise behind it is very similar to alpha rolls.

Here's the short answer, which is really another question: Would you rather have your dog behave well because it wants to or because it's afraid (to whatever degree) of what will happen to him if he doesn't? I do not recommend or support techniques where you physically place the dogs in a 'submissive' postition and force them to remain there, even if you're doing it with a relatively light touch and without pain. You're right that the dog in this scenario will only learn negative things about you from this exercise. I simply don't think that's a good thing in any situation or to any degree. And especially not for 30 minutes!! Dogs have relatively short memories, and a couple of minutes into this exercise, he will have completely forgotten what he did to warrant such treatment and will just be befuddled and confused while his trust in you as a source of all good things is severely reduced. Plus, even though I don't like them at all in any scenario, the only time punitive methods will achieve any type of result at all (albeit while damaging the relationship) requires that you catch the dog in the bad act 100% of the time and immediately punish. I disagree with it, in any case.

As far as the human being the pack leader, I think that's nonsense. Dogs' brains aren't as complex as ours, but they're certainly advanced enough to recognize that we are not canines and are a completely different species, and thus cannot be a part of their pack (much less the 'pack leader'). Even if you temporarily set aside the the fact that the whole idea of pack leaders among dogs is a concept based on what is widely recognized as wildly flawed and outdated research, the premise breaks down further when you try to assume that a dog sees you as another dog. Obviously we need to be in a leadership position when it comes to our dogs, and the fact that such leadership is so often lacking is a large reason why the dog training profession is thriving. Being a leader is all about being a teacher as well. We're not pack leaders, and we shouldn't try to pretend we are. Just give your dog boundaries and positive guidance, and your role as the source of all good things to him will be cemented.

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