Thursday, May 27, 2010

Stage 2 of D & C complete!

I need this reminder to pump me up for Stage 3 w/George's D C work w/off leash dogs.
HE'S.....R E A D Y ! ! ! !

He's been through the D & C drill before, that's not new, so I account his speedy progress to:
*bio-feedback, me also using and rewarding any calming signals...even if it's something simple as he licks his lips, or yawns, looks away for a brief second or just stands still and lowers his tail.
*slowing down my pace when I see his tail raise or his body looks tense 
*packing his most favourite toys with me for our walks.
* He also LOVES the SHOW ME game! (Leslie McDevitt 'Look at that" game)
*rewarding the One Bark...and having conditioned him to when I say "thank you" a whole whack load of treats to search for are thrown for him or any of his highest valued rewards are presented at that now he'll bark once then look at me...CHA CHING!!!  I know he loves to bark too much to ever be a chilled out dog, so this way we meet half way.

I don't play intense highly repetitive toy games with him.  Just happy go lucky and in short increments;  like hiding the Skinnez, playing light teasing and tug and having him interact with it, by nose touching it, targeting it(laying on top of it) , getting him to down and then hide a treat under neath the toy so I can release him to 'find it" and plain old retrieving it.  My body language is relaxed, my tone of voice is well, annoyingly sweet to those around me's worked wonders. !

Calming signals from me that George responds nicely to and seems to diffuse the situation;

*When I squint my eyes and blink slowly to let him know I think he ROCKS!

*He LOVES when I lower my head and look shy too.  Don't know why but it melts him :)

*Also he loves when I wiggle, like Patricia McConnell's signature friendly meeting wiggle.

It was hilarious to watch, I saw her do it in a seminar and the strange dog...TOTALLY got what it meant.  She also talks in a goofy voice and it totally worked!  Almost like the play bow. Seems universal.

*I just watch the calming signals he gives me and if there's a human equivalent .... I just reciprocate.

I charmed a shy beagle in a class (she was a rescue from a cancer research lab) who came out of her shell using Patricia McConnell's wiggle.  Her name was Bagel. I'll never ever forget that day. I was assisting at Dogsmart. What a sad start to life, she was used in cancer research.  An approach from the side, averting eye contact only a quick look then look away, a little wiggle and goofy voice from me and it totally lit her up. She came out from under the chair and started to wag and interact with me.  

It's AMAZING how much information we can help them to decipher when we communicate with our body!

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