Nanaimo Kennel Club
is dedicated to the welfare of all dogs, purebreds and mixed breeds. The Club encourages the betterment of all dogs in the community through various activities.
The Nanaimo Kennel Club
There are two parts – a day of behaviour and a day of canine first aid.
Here is the link:
The ACE program for controlling the reactive dog
Shelley contacted us because Gunner was lunging at dogs while on leash. He had come from a rescue a year ago, and as a 60-pound dog, he had a considerable pull. Gunner had never actually bitten anyone or another dog, but the issue seemed to be escalating.
Gunner also looked like he had some “Bully Breed” in him. His looks and behaviour created problems. Shelley had started walking Gunner in areas where she would not encounter other dogs. She used to take him to the off-leash park and he enjoyed it, but one time he charged another dog with lots of growling. Now she stayed away.
Shelley feared that Gunner was getting worse and she couldn’t control him. He was reacting to any dog. If he turned aggressive and did damage, would she have to put him down?
When we met Gunner, we could see he was hyperaroused. He lunged and barked at us. Though he wasn’t showing behaviour that he would bite, we could see how people would label that as aggressive. What we were seeing was actually insecurity. Gunner would prefer to stay away from people and other dogs rather than having to meet them. He lacks confidence.
When we talk about this to clients we do behaviour consultations with, we talk about his “window of tolerance”. At a certain distance, Gunner can tolerate seeing another dog. If he is pushed closer, his adrenaline spikes and he is in panic/hyperaroused mode. He loses executive brain function and cannot make logical decisions, nor listen to reason. That is when the symptoms – barking, lunging, and pulling – come out.
Shelley had tried to use a treat when he was like this, but it failed. He wouldn’t respond. This is like asking a person who is panicking in an elevator to relax. It won’t work.
Our solution was a graded exposure program for Shelley and Gunner. We need to look at distance as the stimulus for the spike of energy. At a distance, Gunner does not react. As he gets closer (to dogs), his reactivity increases. Watching his body language can give you a clue to how he is feeling.
If Gunner is brought too close to the stimulus, just turning away can decrease the energy and get his common sense back. Shelley can gauge his state of mind by whether or not he will take a treat. If he won’t, he is too aroused. Once he relaxes, then Shelley can try again to approach the stimulus. Over time, this will desensitize Gunner to the stimulus. We showed Shelley how to implement the program by a visit to the dog park. We could gauge the distance he would remain calm and work from there.
The key is this – we can manage this behaviour, but it won’t ever go completely away. We can also reduce Gunner’s reaction.
The next step was for Shelley to walk Gunner at a large mall. We need to put miles on, in a high traffic area. This provides the opportunity to see people that are walking by, not ones that would be approaching Gunner and “threatening” him. This has worked in many dogs to reduce their reactivity so they see people as friends and not as a threat. Shelley can watch Gunner and move him away from the people or get closer, depending on how his energy is at the moment.
This is an example of the methods that are used at ACE. It is also the topic of the seminar on July 28. If you want to join us, click the link. We have a full weekend of education ready and waiting for you.
Canine First Responder
Saving lives, one dog at a time
I have a CPR video on YouTube that has racked up over 168K views.
I get lots of comments and a recent one really hit home:
“I wish I had watched this yesterday, I failed my best friend today by not doing this properly. Now he’s gone forever.”
That was heartbreaking to read.
Then there are more comments, and people that are ready.
Chloe Williams – 10 months ago
This is a vital skill that all pet owners and caregivers should know!
Rick DiGregorio – 1 year ago
I’m so grateful for this. God forbid this happens to my “Lily.” Thankfully I’m prepared now.
joe eoj – 2 years ago
I watch CPR videos from time to time just to keep it fresh in my mind because its not something i do every day and sometimes I forget the numbers of repeats etc. I have a 6 years old Yorkie with problem on his trachea (not collapsed yet but has breathing difficulty) and today i wrote down on a paper the whole procedure and i feel much more relaxed now having the info handy. I hope I will never need it! Thank you very much for the video sir.
What this shows is that knowing first aid is so important. In my veterinary assistant class that I teach, we review what to do if a dog is bloating (a stomach twist). One week after that lesson, a student told us about her experience:
Her neighbour’s dog was trying to vomit, getting weaker, and the belly was getting larger. From what she had learned, it was bloat, also known as a torsion. Because the dog was becoming critical and the veterinarian was a good hour away, she went into first responder mode. She got a piece of garden hose, measured the right amount, inserted it into the mouth and “tubed” the stomach. This relieved the pressure and they were able to get to the hospital and save the dog. The entire class was so proud of her and what she did.
Are you ready for emergencies? Do you know what to do if your dog seizures? Gets a bleeding cut? Is vomiting?
The ACE Canine First Responder Course is the topic July 27. You can also have the benefit of the other lectures on an effective recall and how to handle allergies. Check it out here.
The Nanaimo Kennel Club offers classes in: Puppy Socialisation and Pet Manners as well as Obedience, Show Handling, Tricks, Rally Free, Rally Obedience and Scent Detection.