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June 17th, 2023 Q & A See Transcript Below

Speaker 1 (00:00:00):

Hey everybody, it’s Will Bangura with Pet Talk Today. I want to thank all of you listeners for your continued support. I need a huge favor. Would you please hit pause in just a second? Whatever platform you’re listening to this podcast, if you love what we do, would you please give us a five star review? Giving a five star review is the best way you can say thank you because that allows our rankings to go higher and that means that more people can benefit from the information that we’re teaching and sharing on Pet Talk today. I don’t want to take up any more of your time. I want to get into that show, but please, if you love what we do, please give us a review. Thank you.

Speaker 2 (00:00:36):

Raised by Wolfs with canine d n a and is Blood. Blood having trained more than 24,000 pets helping you in your fur babies thrive. Live in studio, it’s Pet Talk today with Will Bandura answering your pet behavior and training questions. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your host and favorite pet behavior expert, will Bandura.

Speaker 1 (00:01:11):

Good morning pet lovers. I’m Will Bangura and you’re listening to another episode of Pet Talk today. We’re streaming live on Facebook every Saturday at 11 o’clock eastern time. You can also listen to the podcast on any of the hosting podcast platforms like Apple Podcast, echo, iHeartRadio, Spotify. Doesn’t matter where you get your podcast from. If you miss this, you can always subscribe to the audio Pet Talk today. Do me a favor, hit that like button, go on, show us some love, and then also if you would hit that share button so that more people can benefit from what I do here. If you’re brand new to Pet Talk today, let me talk a little bit about myself and what we do here. Again, I’m Will Bangura. I’m a certified behavior consultant as well as a certified professional dog trainer. I specialize in very severe behavior problems like separation, anxiety, aggression, fears, phobias, extreme noise sensitivities, dogs that are basically either very aggressive or very scared. Of course, I deal with nuisance behaviors like jumping and barking and begging as well, but if you’ve got a question, if you’ve got a problem with your dog, I’m here to help you and that’s what Pet Talk today is all about. So if you’ve got a question, if you’ve got a problem about your dog or dog’s behavior, here’s what I want you to do in the comment section, go ahead and type in your question. Also, please let me know where you’re watching from and what kind of pets that you have. Okay?

Speaker 3 (00:03:09):

He never tells me. He never says Why don’t, don’t cost me nothing when he wants out. I want you to love me, my dog.

Speaker 1 (00:03:32):

That’s right ladies, we want you to love us like the dog does. I play this song today because it is National Dog Day, kind of like Father’s Day, but for dog dads. So Happy Dog Day for all of the dog dads. We love you and I’m sure that your dog loves you as well. So today, in addition to taking your questions, and again, you can just go ahead and post your questions in the comments section, let us know where you’re watching from, what kind of pets you have. I’m going to do the best I can to provide you with positive based solutions for your dog’s problems. See, I don’t believe punishment is necessary. I don’t believe any dog needs to experience fear, pain, or intimidation to learn. As a matter of fact, I think punishment, any level of fear, pain or intimidation only makes things worse.


Dogs come into this world. Unfortunately, they don’t come into the world with a manual that tells them, Hey, what kind of behavior should I have? In the human world, we have a dog with normal natural dog behaviors. We bring ’em into our wor world, they start doing things that we don’t like, which are very normal behaviors, and then we start punishing them and they don’t know any better. So my philosophy, those of you that have been watching the show for a while, been listening to the podcast for a while, know that I want you to take a little bit different approach rather than always asking yourself rather than always looking at what I don’t want my dog to do, what I’d like you to do is think about what all alternative behavior. Can I take time to teach my dog that when my dog, when I ask my dog to do that behavior, it would be incompatible with the behavior I don’t like.


So for example, if I’ve got a problem with a dog that’s jumping on guests when they come in the house, I’m going to proactively be doing a lot of work on teaching my dog to sit and stay with distractions or go to its dog better place and stay with distractions, and I’m going to proactively have helpers come over, knock on the door, ring the doorbell, come in so that I can take the appropriate necessary time that I need to be able to do this with my dog to make things fair, we’ve got to be fair with the dogs, right? We can’t be punishing dogs for doing things that are just natural dog behavior because they don’t know that they’re now living in a human world and they need to adapt to our rules. We’ve got to take the time to teach them alternative behaviors, the things we like and what we want them to do.


Now, we also talk about, hey, how do you stop unwanted behaviors? Well, there’s all kinds of ways to be able to modify and stop unwanted behaviors without having to punish your dog, without having to inflict any fear, pain or intimidation. And I’m not talking about abuse, but I’m talking about even mild leash and collar corrections yelling at your dog. That just increases stress and quite frankly, most behavior problems are rooted in anxiety. We talk about that a lot on the show. If you’re brand new to Pet Talk today and you don’t know what we’re about, you can scroll down and down and down and down on this Facebook page and see show after show after show after show. You can also subscribe to the Pet Talk Today audio podcast and hey guys, if you like what we do and you’re listening to our podcast, please do me a favor, pause for a moment, give us a five star review.


That’s the best way that you can thank us. Today, I want to talk about, in addition to answering your questions, I want to, if we have time, talk about how to prevent how to manage resource guarding. Now a while back, I had done some previous podcasts on resource guarding, but I want to go ahead and revisit that. I’m getting a lot of people contacting me about resource guarding issues and I, granted these can be some of the most difficult problems to deal with, and so we’re going to go ahead and revisit. We’re going to go ahead and revisit that today. Like I said, if you’ve got a question about your dog’s training and behavior, what I need you to do is just type that question in the comment section. Do me a favor, hit like hit share. Let us know where you’re watching from, also what kind of pets that you have. Let me take a look at some of the emails I have. We’ll also take a look in addition to the email questions, the questions that are coming through on the live feed. Laura, hello from Massachusetts to Chihuahuas. Hey, Laura, appreciate you being here. Jennifer, she’s got a question, how does safely break up a dog fight between a 60 pound dog and a 35 pound dog and how to stop the fighting so it doesn’t happen again?


And then got, I believe it’s Rain or Renee from Los Angeles. I’ve got a two year old rescue Yorkie. He recently started barking growling at people and animals and on the TV screen he didn’t used to do that. What can I do to make him stop? Jennifer, hang in there. I’m going to get to your question because it’s a very important question and there’s a lot of people that need to understand how to safely break up a dog fight. Okay? The first thing I want to say, Jennifer, when it comes to a dog fight, if you are by yourself, there’s not a lot you’re going to be able to do. You’re probably going to get hurt. Even two professionals trying to break up a dog fight can get hurt. It’s difficult. It’s hard. So if there’s two professionals trying to break up a dog fight, this is what we as professionals are going to do.


We are going to get to the rear end of the dog. So one person’s at the rear end of one dog, the other person’s at the rear end of the opposite dog, okay? You and the helper, the two people that are going to be breaking up the dog fight, need to be communicating together. What you’re going to do is you’re going to count 1, 2, 3, and on three, you are going to grab the dog’s rear legs towards the bottom of the leg, 1, 2, 3. You both go in, grab the dog’s rear legs, lift up, and as you lift up, start turning in a clockwise or counterclockwise circle. Make sure you communicate this ahead of time with your helper. So again, the process, you and your helper get behind the dogs. 1, 2, 3, grab the legs, pick them up, start turning in a clockwise or counterclockwise, posi direction. The dogs are going to let go of one another.


They don’t like their back legs being picked up. They could swing around and still bite you. It’s eh, unlikely. If you’re quick, it can happen. Then you need to get ’em the heck out of there and you need to separate them. Okay, what do I do to stop it so it doesn’t happen again, Jennifer, that when you’ve got two dogs fighting in the same home, that’s intra dog aggression or inter dog aggression, and that can be some of the most difficult behavior problems to address. There is very few professional behaviorists that take on those type of cases. Those are some of the things that I specialize in, and I don’t believe that this is something that you can handle on your own. You need a professional and you need a certified behavior consultant or a dog behaviorist, a real behaviorist with formal education. They went to college.


They went to grad school, they know what they’re doing. This is an unregulated industry. There’s too many fly-by nights out there that never went to school and don’t know what they’re doing. They’re well intentioned, but they’re screwing up a lot of dogs and they’re giving you a lot of misinformation. And let’s face it, this might be a situation where if you don’t get this resolved, one of the dogs might have to go, and that’s heartbreaking. That’s heartbreaking. Now, if you can’t find Jennifer, somebody in your area that can help, I do behavior consultations, coaching, behavior modification help and training virtually. I do that all over the world. I’ve got clients in Australia, I’ve got clients in Canada. I’ve got clients all throughout the United States that have dogs just like yours, and we’re having great success. See, the myth is you think I need to be there in front of you and with your dog, and this is not teaching the dog to sit and lay down and come when called.


This is about teaching and training you what to do and continuing that back and forth conversation on how we’re going to make adjustments because it’s really about educating you. So if you can’t find anybody to help, you can go to my [email protected], dog behaviorist.com. Also, if you go to dog behaviorist.com in the article section, Jennifer, I’ve got an article on how to introduce dogs or how to reintroduce dogs. But right now, if your dogs are fighting, they need to be separated, not even see one another, and you’ve got to work with them in a very special, very specific way that can take months to bring them back together. But I do have an article on how you do reintroduce them, and that’s at dog behaviorist.com in the article section.


So hopefully some of that helped. Okay. All right, going to, all right, going to Renee from Los Angeles. I’ve got a two year old rescue Yorkie. He recently started barking growling at people and animals on the TV screen. He didn’t used to do that. What can I do to make him stop? Well, first thing I would do is I would stream. I don’t, most people don’t have DVDs anymore. We certainly don’t have videos. I would stream a movie that has dogs, so rent a movie that you can stream and download that has dogs like Beverly Hills, Chihuahua or something like that. And what you’re going to do, hopefully, me personally, before I would do that, I would teach my dog the place command or get on its bed or spot and stay there. I’m going to place the dog on that dog bed at the farthest distance from the tv, but the dog can still see the television. I’m going to start playing Beverly Hills, Chihuahua or some movie that’s got lots of dog. If your dog is reactive, barking, doing whatever, showing any signs of stress, what I want you to do is press pause now with no sound and no movement. Is your dog still reacting to the dogs on tv?


We may have to start with still pictures on TV before the actual movement and sounds. We have to gradually and systematically, very slowly desensitize your dog to the dogs. Now, what are the components that the dog is experiencing visually? The dog sees the dogs? Do you know we can make that less intense to work on desensitization by turning the brightness down on the television. The further your dog away is, the less bright the picture is, the less it’s going to bother your dog. If it’s the volume issue, the sound of the dogs, we can turn the volume down to a low volume that won’t bother the dog. We’ve got to do what’s called counter conditioning and desensitization. We’ve got to change your dog’s underlying emotional state right now. Your dog views the dog’s on TV as some kind of a threat. It’s anxious and it’s being reactive, and so we’ve got to turn that into something positive.


Now, this might take weeks. It could take a month or two. You’ve got to work with your dog at least three to five times a day, and you need to spend about five to 10 minutes each session. You’re working with your dog, desensitizing your dog, but you start off at a very low volume brightness, very low dog, far away, but can see the tv. You may have to start with the still frame. Counter conditioning and desensitization is about exposing the dog starting out at a level where the dog does not have a care in the world. The dog is relaxed, no stress knows that the dogs are on tv but doesn’t have a care in the world. And then what we’re going to do is counter conditioning, is pairing something with that trigger. So we’ll press play, and as soon as the dogs appear on the TV screen, as long as your dog is calm, relaxed, not stressed at all, not vocalizing can focus on you, we’re going to start feeding extremely high value food rewards.


So little tiny pieces of cut up, cooked chicken over and over and over. Feed, feed, feed, feed, feed constantly and continuously for about one to three seconds, which is the duration I want you playing the dogs on the television. Then you’re going to press stop and the dogs will disappear off the tv. When you do that, you stop feeding. Wait about three or four seconds, repeat that process, press play as soon as the dogs appear. Start feeding your dog, feed, feed, feed, feed, feed constantly and continuously for about one to three seconds. So we’re associating and pairing. That’s something very positive with the trigger, the dog’s on tv, but we’re doing it in a way that it’s very benign. We’ve turned the volume down, we’ve turned the brightness down. We’ve moved the dog far away from the tv, so it’s nothing for the dog, it’s no big deal, but we’re turning that thing into something really wonderful. If we do that over and over day after day after day, the dog is going to start looking forward to seeing the dogs on tv. Now, once that happens, and that might take two weeks, now you can bring up the brightness a little bit. You might be able to bring up volume a little bit, but anytime you’re bringing up criteria, volume, brightness, bringing the dog closer to the tv, you need to check your dog’s canine body language and make sure your dog is not experiencing and he’s stress.


It’s important they got to be calm, cool, and collected when you’re doing this work. If they’re stressed out, you’ve turned the volume up too loud too soon, you’ve turned the brightness up too bright too soon, or you’ve brought the dog too close too soon, little by little gradually, systematically, you’re going to work all those variables until you can get your dog all the way in front of the tv with the TV being as bright as it can go, and the volume being up very high. But at any point in that process, again, your dog gets upset. You need to back up that process. You need to back up that process. Now, there’s a lot to counter conditioning and desensitization. I need you to do this. Anybody that is going to use counter conditioning and desensitization, which by the way are the tools in the gold standard to help any dog that has any kind of fear, any kind of anxiety, any kind of phobia, any kind of aggression, any kind of reactivity, counter conditioning and desensitization, that is what we use.


It’s the gold standard. Now, I think it was Tuesday of this week, maybe did a brand new video podcast. It wasn’t an event. It was a impromptu thing I did on Tuesday. You can scroll down and you can find it, but I did an hour long video podcast, and I also uploaded that as an audio podcast to the Pet Talk Today audio podcast. But I did an hour revisiting counter conditioning and desensitization. So if you want to learn in depth and you need to, how to utilize counter conditioning and desensitization to help any dog with a fear of phobia, reactivity, aggression, doesn’t matter what it is. Go to episode 98. Now, episode 98 is going to be in the Audio Pet Talk Today podcast where you would do a Google search for Pet Talk Today podcast. Most people are watching on Apple Podcast, iHeart Echo with Amazon, but listen to episode 98 in detail.


Also, you can go to the pet talk, or excuse me, you can go to the dog behaviorist.com website. Again, back to the article section. I’ve got an article on counter conditioning and desensitization. I’ve got another article there that talks about thresholds and canine body language and the importance of understanding those things to be successful with counter conditioning and desensitization. Because when you’re dealing with this, anything, you’ve got a dog with fearing anxiety phobias, aggression reactivity, you’ve got to be a master at understanding and picking up the tiny little cues that dogs give in their body language, subtle stress signals, subtle, straight, subtle signals that they’re saying, Hey, back off. I get a lot of people that contact me say, Hey, my dog bit. There was no warning. You didn’t give any warning at all. There were dozens of warnings. They didn’t know what to look for because they were such kind of what I call covert or very subtle stress signals that they’re showing or what we also call distance increasing signals.


They want them to move away and appeasement signals trying to communicate, Hey, I’m not a threat. Leave me alone. You have to understand canine body language in depth, and in that [email protected], in the article section, you will find about thresholds canine body language in using that to be successful with counter conditioning and desensitization. So 98, episode 98 is the one that you want go to for that. Also, previously, I had done a previous podcast on counter conditioning and desensitization maybe a year or two ago, and that’s episode 81. So you can check out episode 81 also. But the new podcast on counter conditioning and desensitization is episode 98. All right, let me go back into my questions and emails and let’s see what we got. Okay, I’ve got Clarissa. Hello. I’m in Upland, California. I’ve got two dogs, a Bassett Hound Mix, Roscoe and a Chihuahua, Jack Russell, mix Jacks.


They both get anxious when I get home, but Roscoe gets really crazy and nibbles, everyone jumps and runs around the place. He also chews up things when both my husband and I are away. Well, Clarissa, you got a couple things, and one of them is you’ve got some moderate separation anxiety when your dog or if you have a dog that when you leave is destructive and choose things up, that’s typically separation anxiety. Now, I recommend that you crate train your dog, but then a lot of times we have these dogs with separation anxiety. Now they got crate anxiety too, so that can take time. We just can’t toss a dog in a crate that is afraid of it. We might start by putting the food bowl in there halfway, making them kind of go in there and eat their meals for a few days. We might start tossing high value treats in that crate and getting them to go in there and get it, and then we might start labeling that behavior.


Capturing or shaping is the terms I’m talking about when we’re doing it that way because we can’t ask the dog to go to Crate if it hasn’t been taught. So the process of teaching is creating the behavior, labeling that behavior, rewarding that behavior, creating those associations, positive associations and the experience and the repetition of doing it over and over and over, and eventually we can ask for it and the dog will do it. The crate needs to be a positive experience for the dog. Okay? When we are dealing with separation anxiety, it’s all about gradual systematic desensitization of departures, and it’s not about counter conditioning. We learned that in separation anxiety, feeding the dog gets him more amped up, more anxious. The way you deal with separation and anxiety, you need to leave your dog for a duration of about 30 seconds, about 30 times a day, go out for 30 seconds, come back, go out for 30 seconds, come back in, go out for 30 seconds, come back in.


Do that 30 times a day, various throughout the day, ignore the dog completely. We want the dog to get so bored and think it’s so normal for you to get, go in and out for 30 seconds that it could care less. And when that happened, oh, by the way, when you’re doing your 30 seconds, if your dog is stressed out, you’ve gone too long too soon, shorten the time, this doesn’t happen quick, then you might go to 45 seconds, then you might go to 60 seconds, then you might go to 90 seconds, two minutes, so on and so forth. But as you’re gradually coming and going, you’re doing a lot of it boring. Do not engage with your dog in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out. Gradually, slowly over weeks extending the time. You may spend one week just going in and out for five seconds.


Now, these sessions need to be done at least three to five times a week, and they need to, each session should be about five minutes, 10 minutes max. Okay? Don’t get greedy. Don’t add too much duration that causes your dog to be upset. Now, if your dog is having this separation anxiety every day, you need to figure out a way to either get your dog to doggy daycare, have somebody come over and watch the dog work from home until you’ve done the work to rectify the separation anxiety, or it might be very, very difficult to get on top of this. If your dog keeps rehearsing this panic over and over and over while you’re doing the work, it’s really hard. You’re, you’re fighting against the work that you’re doing. Nobody wants to hear that. But rule number one, when you have a dog with separation anxiety is they can’t be alone.


You got to figure that out, and I know it’s challenging, but it has to happen. And then you’ve got to do the work of separation anxiety. I also have a couple articles on dog behaviorists.com on separation anxiety. You can get more information there. You can go to the audio podcast of Pet Talk today. You’ll have to scroll through. I don’t remember the exact episode number, but we had Milena Demartini, who is the guru of separation anxiety, and we did a full hour interview with her. So look for the Separation Anxiety podcast on the audio podcast like at Apple Podcast, echo iHeartRadio or Google Podcasts, Spotify, doesn’t matter. They all carry.


All right, let’s see here. All right, getting back to that. Let’s see here. Nobles runs around the place, shoes and things. Yeah, the other thing that Clarissa said, besides being destructive when they’re gone, and that’s why the crates important. Your dog can’t be destructive and be in the crate at the same time, and crates are usually temporary. They might be there for a month, six months, in some cases. Crazy dogs. You might have ’em in there for one to two years, but eventually they can come out when they learn the manners. So you mentioned that with the two dogs, the Bassett Hound mix, that’s Roscoe and the Chihuahua, Jack Russell, mix Jacks, they both get anxious when I get home, but Roscoe gets really crazy and nibbles, everybody jumps and runs around the place. One of the first things you need to do is change Two big things.


When you leave the house, you need to be calm, quiet, boring. Do not make a big deal and say goodbye to your dogs. Oh, mommy’s going to be back in 10 minutes. Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be okay. I’m not making fun of you. I do that crap to my dogs too. Okay? We love our dogs. We do those things, but that gets ’em excited right before we leave. It gets him nervous right before we leave, and it gets that energy up, and it’s related to coming and going. And then when you come home, don’t engage the dogs. You walk in, freeze like a tree, turn your back to the dog. When the dog calms down, when the dog settles, move one step to see if the dog’s going to get excited again, because if the dog gets excited again, stop and freeze like a tree again. Once we’ve got calm behavior, now we can take a step. If the dog’s calm, we can take a second step. If the dog’s still calm, we can take a third step and so on and so forth. But anytime the dog gets excited, stop, freeze like a tree. Turn your back to the dog.


You are reinforcing whether you know it or not, you’re reinforcing the dog’s behavior that’s fun for the dog. I don’t care if you’re saying no, no, and trying to correct the behavior. You’re engaging the dog. The dog thinks it’s fun. Completely ignore the dogs when you leave and right before you leave, completely ignore the dogs when you come home. Ignore the dogs for 10 minutes when you come home. If they have to go to the restroom, let ’em out. But other than that, ignore them. I guarantee if you’ll do this in 30 days, you’ve got a whole completely different situation. Now, the other thing, the thing, Clarissa, remember if you were listening earlier in the show, I talked about, Hey, I want you guys to take a paradigm shift instead of always thinking about what you don’t want your dog to do, start thinking about what behavior could I teach my dog to do that would be incompatible with the behavior I don’t like?


Because if we take the time to train and condition an alternative behavior and motivate the dog to want to do that, because we’re reinforcing it with high value rewards like food, toys, love, praise, affection, but it’s got to be something the dog loves. Don’t assume that love, praise, and affection is a expensive enough currency, a good enough paycheck for your dog to be really motivated to do some training exercises and work, especially the things that are really difficult. You’ve got to up the ante. Use the most powerful reinforcer you can. Usually that’s going to be some really good food, like a little piece of cut up beef, little piece of cut up chicken, little piece of hotdog, little piece of cheese. And let’s say I’m teaching the dogs to sit. I’m doing that over and over and over. We’re doing that maybe 20 times a day.


We’re doing a sit and they’re getting rewarded for that. We’re doing it at various times throughout the day, different locations. Every time they sit, they get a reward. Now, when I come home, I’m going to try sit, but I need to take time. Three weeks, four weeks to teach, sit first and with distractions. How about we get a leap and have a leash on your dog When you do this, have a helper. Knock on the door, ring the bell. Come in as a distraction after you first start working on this, because when you or somebody come else in the H come, someone else comes in the house. It’s very, very, very excitable. Very excitable. Ask your guests to be calm, decrease that stimulation for your dog, and then as you’re teaching your dog to do something else like going to place, that’s another great one. If you’re not teaching your dog place or go to bed or go to spot, you need to. It is an amazing exercise, amazing way to manage your dog’s behavior. You dog can’t be laying in its bed or on an elevated dog cot and committed to staying there and be harassing you, your cat, your other dogs, guests getting under your feet when you’re cooking, pestering you while you’re watching TV or working. They’re hanging out on their place. You can get an article on how to train [email protected] in the article section as well.


So yeah, that is some of the things that you know can begin to do Clarissa, and you need to change those associations and decrease the stimulation. Your dog’s way overstimulated. Also, a lot of dogs are very bored, very bored. So start looking up some canine enrichment activities that you can do to stimulate your dog’s mind, puzzle games, nose games, things of that nature. Just regular obedience training. Your dog needs to be more active as well. Let me take a quick moment to talk about calm dogs. Calm dogs is the world’s most effective calming aid for dog anxiety. And right now there’s a huge [email protected]. Calm dogs will help with anxiety, fears, phobias, fireworks, storms, aggression, car rides, grooming, vet visits, and even more calm dogs is a labor of love. I actually created this natural formula, calming aid. It took me five years to create this, and that’s because I had dogs that needed something for their aggression.


They needed something for their fears and their anxiety, and I didn’t want to put them on Prozac. It wasn’t quite that severe. So I tried every natural thing on the market, C, b, D, oil, everything, every calming aid that said it would work. None of them worked with the hundreds of the thousands of clients that I’ve worked with. They told me the same thing, nothing works. So I spent five years researching ingredients that were evidence-based, science-based. I looked in peer-reviewed journals. What combination of vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, what are the things that really help a dog to change but without sedating the dog? See, the nice thing about calm dogs, it doesn’t sedate. Now, take the Calm Dogs Challenge. It’s a 45 day challenge. If you take calm dogs twice a day for 45 days, if it doesn’t help your dog, you get your money back.


I’ve got a 100% money back guarantee. You won’t find that anywhere else. I make it risk free. The promise is very simple. It either helps your dog or you don’t pay. All right, so that’s Calm dogs. Check that out. You can go to calm dogs.com or dog anxiety.com. Also, let your friends know about that. Last week I did a show, if you want to scroll back down or go to the audio podcast of 97, I did an entire show on dogs, their Fear of Fireworks, the 4th of July, and how you can help them. That’s coming up real soon. It’s right around the corner. So check out last week’s video on this page or go to the Pet Talk Today audio podcast, episode 97 where I’m talking about fireworks because we all are needing to deal with that. Okay, Patrick Donnelley, hi from Champaign, Illinois. My friend has a large but very sweet female shelter dog. Her dog loves meeting people while on walks and is calm and happy when this happens. I asked her how her dog was with other dogs. She said her dog is reactive on leash six foot, but commented, if she drops the leash, her dog’s reactivity stops. I assume she is dropping the leash when she is in a dog park like setting. She is wondering why that might be. Oh, Patrick, there are a lot of different possible reasons behind that.


It’s possible that on walks when there was a leash on that the dog might have been concerned or reactive towards another dog, and then your friend started doing all kinds of things with the leash to manage and control the dog, and that escalated the dog’s frustration and it escalated the excitability and the reactivity. And that might have been going on for a while. I don’t know. And then your friend might have realized, Hey, if the leash is loose or I let it go, then the dog’s okay. Sometimes we are part of creating that problem, that behavior. The other thing is if a dog is nervous, they go into a state, whether it be mild or severe of fight or flight. Now what happens when the leash is on and you’re in fight or flight? The option for flight goes away. If I can’t get away, the only thing I can do now is go after. If I can’t flight, I’m going to go into fight.


So that is something that could have multiple, multiple factors. The biggest thing that your friend needs to begin to do is start working your dog, but have like a 10 or a 15 foot leash that can be very loose. See what happens then That way you still have control of the dog, still have a leash on, but get of that tension in the leash and see what happens. But the one thing is, Patrick, your friend needs to know whether the dog appears not to be reactive when the leash is dropped or not on the dog. They always have the potential for that dog to be aggressive or reactive regardless. There might be other factors that are involved. Usually there’s multiple contributing factors to behavior. And so when looking at this problem, I’m saying to myself, Hey, this is a dog that needs to have really high-end obedience control.


This dog needs to come when called every time no matter what. The dog needs to come and stay every time no matter what. The dog needs to be able to do a look, command, focus on the handler, the owner, rather than focusing on the distraction, the thing that is getting its goat. Patrick also, I believe you are the Patrick that put in an order for calm dogs. We’re getting in in the mail for you. Hopefully that is something that helps your dog. Jennifer says, yeah, the bigger one is being re-homed cause she is just too much for me. She needs room to run. I have a small home. Well, sometimes that’s the best option. It’s painful to let go of one of our fur babies, but if we don’t have the time, if we can’t do the work and we need to, it might be unfair to the dog and maybe the dog’s better off somewhere else, as sad as that might be. Linda says, I’ve got an eight month old malice. She barks in lunges at everything. She growls and bites me, can’t ride in the car freaking out, pulls on the leash when trying to walk or anything. She has bruised me, made me bleed from biting. She chew on toys, et cetera.


Well, Linda, one of the things that’s going to help you is the calm dogs supplement. So go to calm dogs.com. Now, that’s not a cure. The way things work best is if we use a supplement or medication, if the dog needs it in combination with behavior modification. One of the things we found out with the calm dogs is that 98% of dogs, when they took it twice a day at the proper dose for six weeks, there was a change in their anxiety. There was a change in the behavior after they took it for that long, we asked, okay, what percentage of change occurred in their behavior? And the average we got was 60% change in behavior from the calm dogs alone. But then when we started behavior modification on top of the supplement, the success rate was more like 87%, 89%. So it is so important when I say success rate, I don’t mean that if it didn’t hit 87, didn’t hit 89%, that the dog didn’t get better.


That means that if a dog was aggressive, frequency of behavior went down, 87% intensity of behavior went down 87%, the duration of behavior went down 87%. The dog’s recovery time to get back to normal baseline got better by 87%. There’s no such thing as a cure when we’re dealing with real aggression, but we can make it a whole lot better and we can help you to be able to manage your dog in any situation, and over time, it’ll keep getting better and better and better. But a lot of these dogs you know that are freaking out at everything and there’s no real threat. This is more than a behavior issue. This is a contributing factor that’s neurochemical. We know this through science and research and studies that dogs that have significant fears, phobias, anxiety, aggression, and reactivity, all have very low levels of serotonin. So the dogs that are super severe, the veterinarians are prescribing Prozac, Zoloft and medications like that. We use those with humans for anxiety, not just depression. We use those with humans for anxiety, aggression, fears, phobias as well, and they work with dogs. Do they work with every dog? No.


Does every dog need it? Absolutely not. I don’t want any dog on a supplement or medication that doesn’t need it, but there’s a lot that do. There’s a lot that do. Now, again, you’ve got to do the behavior modification as well. You absolutely have to. So Linda, you need some professional help. It’s going to be hard. See, the first thing we tell people when there’s a problem, we say, okay, avoid all the triggers, then we’ll do the work. Well, if you are a trigger and we can’t get you far enough away where your dog’s comfortable to start doing the work, yeah, you definitely are going to need a supplement or medication to help you get to the point where you can actually do the work with your dog. Because folks, if your dog is in a constant state of fight or flight, the thinking part of the brain shuts down the neocortex. The thing that does the executive functioning shuts down. The dog is in the older part of the brain, the middle part of the brain, thelia, which deals with fight or flight and emotions.


So if you’re trying to teach your dog anything, when it’s in that state, it’s not going to happen and they’re not going to remember it. It’s kind of like in psych, human psychiatry. When we have a patient that is so out of control that we need to stabilize them on medication first, and now we can start doing therapy. That’s not every dog, that’s not every human, but that is a potential issue. You got to ask yourself, Linda, you know when she’s growling and biting at you, what are you doing? What’s happening right before that? See, the way behavior works, it’s A, B, C, A is the antecedent creates the B, the behavior. The behavior cons, C, a consequence. Now the A antecedent, that’s just what happens right before the behavior. We might call that a trigger. So let’s say that an antecedent is a strange dog comes into a dog’s view. The antecedent is what happens right before the behavior. The antecedent is the trigger. Now the dog goes into barking and lunging and so on and so forth, and you as well as the other dog’s owner, pull and separate the dogs apart. The consequence, see was that it caused distance and space and relieved emotional pressure. What was the function? You need to think what was the function of the dog’s behavior, and that means what happens right after.


See those of you that get deliveries every day and you have dogs that are barking at the delivery person, your dog thinks barking, gets them to leave. We all know the delivery person’s not going to be hanging out there for its lunch break. They deliver, they leave, but when they deliver, the dog goes, then all of a sudden they go in the dog’s mind, yeah, my barking caused that scary thing to go away. That gets reinforced because they want that scary thing to go away. It’s removed that minus sign that removal is negative. Reinforcement. Reinforcement strengthens the behavior. Negative and negative. Reinforcement just means the removal of something, in this case, the removal of the scary delivery person, I bark, that person goes away. Antecedent a delivery person triggered behavior, B, barking, lunging, growling, C consequence, negative reinforcement. The scary thing goes away as a result of the behavior in the dog’s mind. We know that it just happens. But other behaviors that dogs do like when they bark, lunge and growl, and then boom, you grab your dog, pull your dog away from the trigger. Negative reinforcement, strengthening that behavior. Now, in an emergency situation, you have to do that, but unless it’s an emergency situation, you need to be avoiding all triggers and doing counter conditioning and desensitization. Again, episode 97 on counter conditioning and desensitization. Everybody with a dog with fear, anxiety, phobias. Aggression reactivity needs to listen to that podcast. Absolutely need to do that.


Let’s see here.


Second question is from Clarissa. Both my dogs pee on different sections of the house. Roscoe tends to do it more often. He peed on the bed last week. Yeah, you’ve got a lot of anxiety stuff going on, and the dogs truly do not understand that it’s not okay to go to the bathroom in the house. Oh, I know a lot of you think they know what they’re doing is wrong. Don’t I don’t have time to get into the research. You got to start potty training all over from scratch, and that means crate training. That means that the dog’s in your eyesight at all times on a leash you’re supervising. When you can’t supervise, you’re crad the dog. That means that you’re getting the dog out real frequently and you’re out there to reward the dog with a high value food reward every time it goes in the correct place.


It means if you catch your dog in the act of peeing, you immediately calmly put the dog in the crate for two minutes, clean it up, then take the dog back outside, and there’s a whole lot more to it than that. Matter of fact, when I teach people how to successfully potty train the most difficult dogs, takes about 45 minutes. I’m going to direct you to episode 16 of the Pet Talk Today podcast. Go to the audio podcast, pet Talk today, episode 1645 minutes of very in-depth information on how to potty train the absolute most difficult dog. Anybody can get that taken care of. If you follow that podcast, I guarantee you, you will potty train your dog.


All right, let’s see. All right, so Robert says, my two-year-old German Shepherd barks at dogs while walking and tries to run around them. How can I curb this behavior? Well, one of the things, Robert, you need to be more interesting than the dogs. The dogs are a distraction. Does your dog like food? Does your dog like toys? Could you be in relatively close proximity asking your dog to do certain things, playing with toys, giving treats for doing things, and would your dog then ignore those other dogs? Now, if not, if not, you’re too close to the triggers. Your dog is not ready to be that close, and you’re always going to be failing counter conditioning and desensitization. How we help your dog get used to and relaxed and calm and comfortable and not be aggressive or reactive or fearful to triggers is something you have to do three to five times a week.


Sessions, sessions are five to 10 minutes long and you have to start the work. In this case, it’s a visual trigger at a distance where your dog can see the other dog, but doesn’t have a care in the world. And what’s going to happen is the dog sees the strange dog doesn’t have a care in the world, but we feed, feed, feed, feed constantly and continuously for about one to three seconds. Then that person or dog goes out of you. We stop feeding. We do that over and over and over. We’re pairing food with the trigger, but at a distance where the dog is fine, not upset. We’ll do that for about two weeks. Then we’re going to move a little closer, start over again. But the dog’s got to be completely relaxed at the new distance. Gradually, systematically over time, we get closer and closer and closer to the dog. But at any time your dog gets nervous, and I’m talking, that happens way before the barking.


Anytime your dog gets nervous, you’re too close too soon. You need to back it up. And you as well. Episode 98, which is on the Pet Talk today, audio podcast, counter conditioning and desensitization. Jennifer says, how can I help my dog so they’re not barking at every little noise from outside when I’m not home? One has separation anxiety as well. He barks at something, the other two’s barking. Well, if your dog’s got separation anxiety, that typically in addition to behavior modification and counter conditioning, almost always needs either medication or it needs a supplement. I’ve got dogs and I got testimonials, reports from people with their dogs have separation anxiety and the calm dogs has significantly helped. So check it [email protected]. Now, I talked a little bit earlier about some of the process that you need to go through to begin helping a dog with separation anxiety.


We know that dogs that have sound sensitivities are much more likely to be just anxious in general. So probably your dog does need something, a supplement or medication in conjunction with a lot of behavior modification. Again, there’s no pill, no medication, no supplement. That’s going to completely cure a dog. You’ve got to do the work with that. And as far as noises go, there is a thing that I call treat party. I didn’t make it up, but what you begin to do over about three to four weeks is you start creating very benign sounds that won’t really freak your dog out. It notices, but it’s not a big deal. You make the sound and then you go treat party, and you drop three or four pieces of chicken, you create another sound. Maybe you drop a toilet, paper roll, treat party, throw some treats, and little by little, you are going to increase the sounds that you’re creating.


But every time the dog hears the sound, you’re going treat party like you’re excited and given some food, doing that gradually, slowly, systematically, so that your dog starts anticipating, Hey, anytime there’s a sound, good things happen. But in the meantime, if your dog is reacting to every sound, you may, I know it sounds crazy, but you may need to get some noise canceling headphones for the dog temporarily as you’re doing the work. If there’s no sound that can keep the dog calm. If you go to dog behaviorist.com, I know I say that a lot. Go to my article section. I’ve got an article on Treat Party on Dogs with Noise sensitivities. I believe we even talk about the noise canceling headphones. They’re a tool. They’re not something that they wear forever.


But anyway, we’ll hopefully give that a shot. Hopefully that will help. And by the way, if any of you that listen to the podcast, watch the show, are doing some of the exercises and advice that I’m giving you, please come back. Let us know, comment, and let us know how things are doing. And folks, please do me a favor. If you like what we do, please give us a five star review. It helps our rankings go up. Again, those reviews need to go to the podcasting hosting sites like Apple Podcast Echo, which is Amazon, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Spotify, buzz Sprout, you name it, any of them. But yeah, give all that stuff a chance. Hey, listen, I am not able to always get to everybody’s question. Got to a lot of ’em today if I was not able to. Yeah, Judith, let’s see. Wait, one more. My vet prescribed Trazodone daily, but she’s too sedated. Yeah, forget about the Trazodone. It can also make them more anxious. Calm dogs. My supplement does not sedate. It acts a lot more. Well, it’s not sedating. I’m not going to go into the psychodynamics and the Pharmac Kinesis behind it. But yeah, the calm dogs could potentially help Judy or Judith, and it does come with a money back guarantee. So if not, you can get your money back. Let’s see. Do I have time? I’ve got one minute. What do I’ve got? Do I have anybody else I can quickly answer in a minute?


Clarissa said I’m going to go through the podcast. The article, we did try crate training, but he got to a point where he managed getting out. Yeah, because you did it. The crate training was done too fast, too fast. You got to really break it down in the small little baby steps. And every step’s got to be positive. Every step has to be positive. Do me a favor, go ahead and Judith, send me an email to will pet talk today.com. Will pet talk today.com. I’ll send you a video on create training that might be helpful as well. Okay. All right, folks, we are out of time. It’s been another great show. Thank you for all of your questions. Appreciate your support. Hit that like button, hit that share button so that more people can benefit from what we do. I’ll be back here next Saturday, 11 o’clock eastern time. Have a wonderful week folks. Train with your dogs. Practice. Practice. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it brings about permanence.


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