A couple of weeks ago, I went to a class with Your Dogs Friend. They were recommended by Peaceful Dog, and I was so glad that I checked out their website. They have a variety of classes, referrals, and seminars. The first seminar I attended was ‘Overcoming your dog’s fear of people’ which was wonderful. It was lead by Jeni Grant who had so much information and was very knowledable about dog behavior issues. I truly believe that Dempsey feels threaned and afriad of humans which is why he is reactive torwards people and acts aggressively. I have learned that if a dog is fearful of something they will either retract and act fearful or act aggressively in the form of growling, lunging and snipping which is Dempsey. Rizzy is fearful, but not of humans but of objects. That will come another time. And I thought husbands were complicated hehe.
From what I leanred from this class dogs exhibit fear by a variety of mannerisms including :
- excessive sniffing
- excessive shaking
- round eyes
- change in tail/ear position
- aka anything out of the ordinary
This makes sense because when I think about what I do in a nervous situation which is play with my hands, drink a beverage quickly, talk fast etc. So in other words dogs have the same fearful qualities in that they demonstrate their feelings by acting differently.
Jeni also gave several examples of what dogs perceive as scary
If you watch two dogs meet each other they rarely ever go straight face to face. Dogs looking at each other straight in the eyes is confrontational and threatening. When approaching an un-known dog it is best to let them approach you and turn sideways to them instead of straight on. Leaning over to pet then is also threatening to them. Many dogs will let you pet them on the head, but generally do not like it. Dogs are very tolerable and usually do not react negatively towards actions they do not like. One thing we are asked to do with the shelter dogs is to practice collar and head touches. That is when we go to reach for their collar/head and then give them a treat when they act neutral/calm towards the action.
As far as hallways scaring dogs it is the concept of being trapped. They feel like they have no where to go and there are walls closing them in. I thought this was interesting!
I am realizing this is along post so ill come back another times with tips and tricks that Jeni shared with us!
Have a good night!
Clearly Dempsey is not afraid of Rizzy’s behind!