I was at a dog park the other night with a 45 pound ABD (American Black Dog). It had the typical medium–length, all black coat and built like a border collie. A couple of weeks ago he pulled his owner off her feet while going after his favorite target—’little white dogs’. He gave no warning before he lunged.
Barking is a problem for just about everyone other than New Zealand shepherds. They use “Huntaway” dogs to drive sheep with incessant barking. I don’t blame the sheep. For most people, incessant barking is a problem. People can be driven from their apartments or condos because their dogs bark incessantly. Shelters have trouble featuring adoptable animals because they cannot hear amid barking dogs in a kennel.
Pavlov is a name well known in the field of psychology but almost nothing about his work is known. At best, you may know that his most famous experiment was to ring a bell and then give a dog a piece of food. He traced the physiological reflexes associated with food – salivation, reduction in heart rate, etc.
Many of your clients need training services and ask you to help them find a qualified trainer. Trainers that come to your salon may solicit that kind of recommendation. They will undoubtedly sell themselves in the best light possible – an understandable and normal thing to do. This is where it gets interesting.
The last 30 years of dog training lore revolves around the connection between wolves and dogs. You can buy 100 books that prattle about dogs being descended from wolves; animals that voluntarily live in groups, called packs. This perspective invariably assumes that dogs are likewise “pack animals”. The underlying implication is that dogs possess the same wolf-like ability to live in harmony with their own kind.
There is nothing worse in a full day of grooming than being bitten by a client’s dog. Having to deal with dogs that do not enjoy grooming is par for the course but being bitten is oftentimes rare, painful, and can set you back for hours, if not days.
As groomers, I feel like we are excellent animal wranglers. Collectively, we’ve managed to get more things done to dogs in the name of hygiene than anyone else.
Barking is a problem for just about everyone other than New Zealand shepherds. They use “Huntaway” dogs to drive sheep with incessant barking. For them it is functional. For the rest of us it is problematic. People can be driven from their apartments or condos because their dogs bark incessantly. Shelters have trouble featuring adoptable animals because they cannot hear amid barking dogs. OSHA noise level standards require kennel workers to use hearing protection.
Of all the disconnects between dog owners and their dogs, the biggest, most glaring, completely illogical, widely held and damaging myth is that dogs can be spiteful. Nope. Nada. Nicht. Ain’t happening. To understand my adamant belief that doggie spite doesn’t happen, conduct this simple experiment based on actual events.
Problem Solving Made Simple
Professional groomers sometimes find themselves in a similar quandary as veterinarians. You are not experts in behavior, but some of your customers will wind up re-homing their dogs if they are unable to solve behavioral challenges. This has the potential to negatively impact your business.
Somewhere, deep within the bowels of my computer is a nifty little pinball game. It is a tribute to the software designers, who have created a marvelous simulation of the real thing. Two of the keys on the keyboard activate the flippers, and two more act to “nudge” the table.