Episode 301 - Menace to High Society (Jan 8)

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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Victoria
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Re: Episode 301 - Menace to High Society (Jan 8)

Post by Victoria » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:42 am

animals wrote:Hi Victoria, I'm ten years old and I'm one of your biggest fans. I never miss any of your new episodes on Saturday night. I loved the singing pug that sang I love you. Was it hard to train ginger? I really hope that jill sticks to the training . Why is swimming excercises good for a sore leg? :D :D :D love lauren
Hydrotherapy and swimming is great for sore limbs, dogs with arthritis, post surgery recovery etc because it is low impact and puts less stress on joints. It is great for fitness as well.

Victoria
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Re: Episode 301 - Menace to High Society (Jan 8)

Post by Victoria » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:49 am

Wicket wrote:Victoria,
I have two questions if you don't mind. :)

1) I've heard that growls are communication and should be listened to, that sometimes it would be best to avoid what the triggers the threatening snap/growl so I was surprised (and slightly worried) that you stood near Ginger's bed when she snapped and growled at you. Do you mind explaining more why you did that?

2) Why do dog owners need to "claim their space" in front of the door?
there are many different methods you can use in these situations and i judge which one the dog is most likely to respond to with the least amount of stress, how much time I have, safety etc. With ginger I wanted to show her that if she didn't growl when people came in then really good things happened to her. It was important for her to show her discomfort with a growl but at the same time I wanted to show her what would happen if she didn't. I wouldn't do that with all dogs but I knew that it would be a technique that would help her and it did. As soon as she got it she then became excited when anyone came into the room because their entrance made her feel good. She relaxed. Re, the front door, reclaiming space is firstly for safety so the dog doesn't run out and the person can enter safely but also it establiches a boundary and encourages the dogs to get his or her cues from their owner at what can often be a highly volatile place. It establishes a ritual of behavior that becomes predictable and allows the dog to cope better when the door bell rings as predictability can help reduce fear.

jacksdad
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Re: Episode 301 - Menace to High Society (Jan 8)

Post by jacksdad » Sun Jan 30, 2011 10:55 pm

Wicket, keep in mind that the advice you reference is often given for safety reasons in addition to being good advice. remember a lot of people still think growl = challenge to my (human's) authority, and any amount of tail wage means happy friendly dog. When working with this level of knowledge and experience in "reading dog", in my opinion it just makes sense to advise that you step back and de escalate the situation and try and figure out why the dog was growling. then seek help if your not sure what to do.

to take the route Victoria describes requires experience and skills a lot of people haven't yet developed.

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