'Not only is punishment risky, but it also fails to teach the dog an acceptable alternate behaviour. The dog does not learn what to do the next time he is in the same situation. He only learns to fear the situation.' Emma Parsons, Click to Calm p73

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Dog Days of... Winter?


Jess has been 'enjoying' the thin layer of snow today. To begin with, she was irritated by it: she didn't want to go outside into the backyard, and just glared out at it for a moment. When we went out, she managed to perk up and zoomed over the crusty grass, which was great to see - all the excitement with none of the filthy, muddy paws! By the end of the shortish walk, she was limping exaggeratedly along, lifting one of her back paws. I had cut the hair between the pads of her paws earlier, and I think the cold snow against her bare pads wasn't making her at all happy.

Still, I got some lovely photos of her!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Seeing Lola.

I went to see Lola again today for a couple of hours. She is so very, very adorable.

'Who, me?'

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Stress Signals: Clear as Day

About a week ago, on the train back from my university, a small dog (a JRT cross, I think) got on the train roughly fifteen minutes before the end of the line, where I get off. It was, of course, freezing cold; the temp was hovering at about 0C. The little, long-legged dog had a padded coat on, and crawled onto her owner's lap as soon as he sat down.

She spent the entire journey wide-eyed, repeatedly licking her lips, panting and shivering. She showed the clearest stress signals I have ever seen in a dog, and I hope I never see anything that bad again. Poor girl.

Socialisation Checklist for Lola

These are all things to socialise Lola to before the end of the critical socialisation period (i.e. up to 16 weeks old). She will be sixteen weeks (four months) old on 21st January 2010. In order to check something off the list, it needs to have been experienced at least three times on three different occasions.

PEOPLE - AGES, GENDERS AND ETHNICITIES
Children (aged 0-5 yrs)
Children (aged 6-13 yrs)
Teenagers (13-18 yrs)
Young Adults (19-25 yrs)
Adults (m), white
Adults (f), white
Adults (m), black
Adults (f), black
Adults (m), Asian
Adults (f), Asian
Elderly (m; aged 50+ yrs)
Elderly (f; aged 50+ yrs)

PEOPLE - ASPECTS AND OBJECTS
Short People (m)
Short People (f)
Tall People (m)
Tall People (f)
People with Canes/Walkers
People in Wheelchairs
People with Beards/Moustaches
People In Hats
People With Umbrellas
People with Deep Voices
People with High Voices
People Alone
People In Groups
People With Animals
People in High-Visibility Clothes
People in Short Clothes (e.g. skin showing)
People in Long Clothes (e.g. dresses)
People on Bicycles
People on Roller Blades
People on Skateboards

PLACES
Parks (with children; no dogs)
Parks (with dogs)
Forestry/Woodland
Countryside (i.e. farmlands)
Busy Streets
Main Streets
Quiet Streets
Streets with Cars
Streets with no Cars
Crowded Areas
Empty Areas
Places in the Morning
Places in the Afternoon
Places in the Evening
Places in the Night
Pet Shops
Supermarket Carparks
Outdoor Markets
Indoor Markets
Rivers/Streams
Reservoirs
Canals

TRAVEL
Cars (when stationary)
Cars (when moving)
Buses
Trains

ANIMALS
Big Dogs (m)
Big Dogs (f)
Medium Dogs (m)
Medium Dogs (f)
Small Dogs (m)
Small Dogs (f)
Quiet Dogs (m)
Quiet Dogs (f)
Bouncy/Loud Dogs (m)
Bouncy/Loud Dogs (f)
Dogs on Lead
Dogs off Lead
Cats outside
Cats inside
Pet Shop animals
Farm/Countryside animals

OBJECTS - THINGS
Vacuum Cleaners
Washing Machines
Hairdryers
Kettles
Radios
Televisions
Stereos & CD Players
Computers/Laptops
Games Consoles
Radiators
Fridges & Freezers
Mirrors
Windows
Stairs Going Up
Steps Going Up
Stairs Going Down
Steps Going Down
Sports Equipment
Cars Going Past
Motorbikes Going Past
Trucks Going Past
Tractors Going Past
Lorries Going Past
Vans Going Past
Footballs, Basketballs, etc
Fire (teach to avoid)
Lit Candles (teach to avoid)
Unlit Candles
...etc

OBJECTS - STRANGE NOISES
Fireworks
Insect Noises
Birdsong
Emergency Sirens (police, fire rescue, ambulance, etc)

OTHER - WEATHER CONDITIONS
Thunder and lightning (indoors)
Thunder and Lightning (outdoors)
Heavy Rain (indoors)
Heavy Rain (outdoors)
Hard Winds (indoors)
Hard Winds (outdoors)
Bright Sunlight
Dim Sunlight
Snow & Ice

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Bringing Lola home.

On Tuesday 30th November--in one week's time!--at about 4:30pm, just a few hours after her first injections, I'll be bringing little Lola home. We're picking up all the stuff for her in the next couple of days: crate, toys, collar, lead, food, etc etc. She's already met Jess once, and the meeting went well, with Jess sniffing her whilst her tail happily wagged. I'm anticipating some ruffled feathers in the first few days at least, but I'll be paying twice the attention than usual to my old girl, and hopefully she won't be too jealous.