Live! Dog Training Tips with Victoria Stilwell | Smithsonian Channel

(bright upbeat music) – Hello, everybody. Welcome
to this live chat with me. I've been so excited
about this for so long, and I'm so glad that
you can join me. We're gonna be
spending, oh the next, well, if I had it my way, it
will be a couple of hours, but actually it's
probably going to be about the next 45 minutes
talking all things, dog. Please if you have
questions, you are here live, type them in the chat. I want to hear from you, but if I don't get round to
your question, don't worry because there's going to be
a lot of different questions. Some people have
already sent in videos, others will be out asking
questions in the live chat, and I will be
giving tips on maybe not your actual
individual question, but you will be able to
get great information about other things as well.

So, I'm gonna be covering
lots of different topics, but, first of all I'm
gonna introduce myself. I'm Victoria Stilwell. I'm a dog behavior expert. Some of you might
know me from the TV for a trading show that I do, but I'm also the creator,
producer, and narrator for "Dogs With
Extraordinary Jobs" on the Smithsonian Channel. I have to say that being
on the Smithsonian Channel, as a huge fan of
Smithsonian everything, which started first of all when I went to the
Smithsonian museum, and then got the magazine, and I saw that there
was a channel too, I am a huge fan of this channel because they show such
amazing programming. So, for "Dogs With
Extraordinary Jobs" to be on the Smithsonian
Channel is a huge honor, and I want to thank
everybody at Smithsonian for believing in our show, for helping us with our show, and for making it as the
global success that it is.

So for you guys, if you
haven't seen it yet, you better go to the
Smithsonian Channel to watch "Dogs With
Extraordinary Jobs," okay? Now, why, would you say,
why as a dog behavior expert would I be making
television shows about dogs doing various jobs? Well, my mission, our mission at Positively,
which is my company, and also the Victoria
Stilwell Academy, I have an academy
that teaches people to become dog trainers. My mission, our mission is to
change dogs lives positively, to make lives, dogs lives, as
best as they possibly can be in our weird
domestic environments 'cause if you think about it, it's a little bit strange that two really major
very effective predators share the same home together, humans and dogs, but the relationship works.

Why? Because evolution has
created this incredible bond between two very
adaptable species, humans and canines. And now we're using
dogs in a way that, I mean, I think the sort
of the world is our oyster. We can, we know dogs do such
incredible things for us. And so, the mission
of Positively is to shine a light on how
incredible dogs are. So this show is a no brainer. And I got the idea because
I heard a story of a dog that detects the sonar of a
particular type of dolphin down in New Zealand. And I thought that's
extraordinary. And then I began to think about
what other jobs do dogs do that maybe some people
don't actually know about. And that's where how "Dogs
With Extraordinary Jobs" was born, worked with
Oxford Scientific Films, an amazing production company
in the United Kingdom, to create this wonderful show. And so, yes, we have
dogs that are truly not just helping
us in our homes, but saving the world through
conservation efforts. So if you haven't
caught the program yet, go to this Smithsonian
Channel and watch it.

But it also, by watching it, you can also look at
your own dog and go, "Wow, if that dog can do
that, what can my dog do?" And so, we're sort of
flipping things here for this Facebook Live. We're gonna talk about what you can do for
the dog in your home. How extraordinary the dog
that you live with is? And to me, all dogs
are extraordinary, whether they do a
really important job like helping conservation
efforts around the world, helping the last
two white rhino, protecting them in the wild, to being a nanny to baboons, orphan baboons, to saving people in the
lakes of Lake Garda in Italy. Dogs are just extraordinary.

Even if they're
just our companions, they make us feel better. And of course,
throughout this pandemic, there's been a surge
of dog guardianship because everybody's
been getting dogs. Why? Because they just
make us feel better. They make us healthier. They make us feel good and
they make us socialize as well. So, you know what? We're giving back to
them through this. And that's why
I'm really excited that you guys have
sent in your questions. So some of you have sent
in video questions already, but for those of you, again, please type in your
questions in the live chat and hopefully we'll get to them. So, without further ado, we know that
throughout the pandemic we've been with our dogs,
our dogs have been with us a lot of the time. Now a lot of us are
going back to work.

We're actually traveling,
I'm filming again. Our dogs have got so
used to us being around, what happens when we now
have to go back to work? We're seeing that
more and more dogs are actually getting
separation anxiety. So thank you so
much, Ben and Snoopy. Here we have a video
question from Ben and Snoopy about separation anxiety. – Hi, Victoria. We're seated right
here with Snoopy. He's a four month
old Cocker Spaniel. And the only thing we're
really having difficulty with is separation anxiety. I live alone, so there are times where
he needs to be on his own. So if I need to go buy
groceries, I need to shower, I need to clean the
flat, et cetera, but he doesn't like
being left alone at all, the whining gets pretty much
instantly as soon as I leave. I've tried leaving him
with puzzle feeders, Kongs, enrichment toys
and long lasting chews, but he solves things like that, he's very, very good at them.

And when he notices I'm gone, the whining is sort
of instantaneous. I've tried them both in
and out of his crate, that doesn't seem to
make a difference. I'm trying to put him in stays
whenever I leave the room, and that gives me
about a minute. So it's not really long enough to do the errands I need to do. And I'm also trying to
teach him how to be alone, but none of this is
seeming that fruitful. So any tips would
be much appreciated. Thank you. – Thank you so much for
that, Ben, and you know what? No, you're not alone, and Snoopy is just one
of millions of dogs that go through
anxiety on separation.

Our dogs are very bonded to us, and it looks like Snoopy
is very bonded to you, and he's very young, he's
only four months old. And so, it's rather like
a toddler with a parent. Dogs are attached to us like young children are too
to the adults in their lives, to their parents. So how do we sort of start
this disconnection process? Well, it actually
starts before you leave.

And I love the fact
that you are leaving him with toys and activities. I love the fact that you've been doing some
great training already, so good on you for doing that. But, I want you to give
him the activity toys, and also do different
types of games and things that he can do by himself
while you're there. You see the mistake people
make is to only give the toys or the activity games when
you're about to leave.

And so, so the dog actually
kind of suddenly sometimes the toys actually become the
cue that somebody is leaving. So what you do in the
house when you're there is very important. And it does mean that sometimes,
and if you take a shower, you shut the door so the
dog can't be with you. If you just want to go
out into the garden, or you want to go
into another room, sometimes you've shut the door, it's called the
independence training, and you do that
while you're there. You also create a soundscape that's very similar when you
leave to when you're there 'cause what normally happens
with separation issues is that when people go out, the
radio gets turned off, the television gets turned off, and the soundscape
is very quiet, and then the dog hears noises that it might not
have heard before, and that's actually a
bit of separation anxiety that we haven't really
tapped that much into.

Think about what it's like
when you're alone at home by yourself at night, you might hear noises
that make you anxious. They've been around all day,
but you haven't noticed them, and then all of a sudden
now because it's quiet, now you're noticing them. That could be another part
of separation anxiety. So I want you to look at that. I want you to create a
soundscape of loving,
relaxing music, and keeping the lights on, and may be sometimes
keeping the television on as long as it's not too loud, something that the dog can, makes the dog feel that
it's not just so alone. Also the other thing
that I would say is that I would try graduated departure
so that the front door doesn't always mean you're
going out for a long time. Go out and then
come back in again, go out then come back in again. Mask your cues so the
keys don't always mean, when you pick up your car keys, it doesn't always mean
you're going to go out.

There are various things you
can do to mask your triggers, and also to change the
picture for your dog because dogs get very, they
anticipate things a lot. So if you're really
worried about this though, and your dog can't settle, then and get a video cam
or a webcam or something so that you can see what your
dog does when you are away 'cause it might
mean that your dog is a little bit worried to
begin with on separation, but then does settle down. Record it, and if
you're really worried, then I would definitely get help from a Certified
Separation Anxiety Coach, Separation Anxiety Trainer, and they can help you through because separation anxiety
will not get better on its own. So even though it's
happening now, tackle it now, your dog is young enough, and hopefully you will be
able to see some success. So best of luck, and thank you so much for
sending in your video. Okay. Trinity from Facebook
asks, hi, Trinity, "My dog likes to
whine in the car.

I've tried treats,
ignoring it, other methods. Do you have any ideas? We got her checked
out by the vet, isn't anything health-related." Now I wonder why she whines. Is it because she's excited? Is it because she doesn't
like being in the car? Has she ever been car sick? When you take her for a drive, does she leap into the
car with excitement, or do you kind of have to carry
her and put her in the car? Because that really
determines what you do.

Now, really rather like
the separation anxiety case that I just talked about, there were some dogs that
have confinement issues, and actually don't
like being confined. So where separation anxiety
Ben had tried to crate, and then not a crate, it's actually better for
sepanx dogs not to be crated. And sometimes for dogs
when they are in your car, it's better that they are
just wearing a regular harness that can be belted
into the seatbelt. But for other dogs, some dogs
like to be confined in a crate that's partially covered. Because what I've
experienced with dogs is that sometimes that excitement
is just so extreme they can't contain themselves because the car ride
always ends with a walk.

So, or the car ride always
ends by going to the vet, so that's why the dog's whining. Or you always go on a long
drive, so the dog gets car sick. So that's why I want, there are various different
things that you can do. So, try the harness, try putting your dog
in a covered crate that is securely attached, not covered all the way,
so there's still airflow. But, if you do that, you
might see the whining subside because the visual stimulation of so many things
going past the window can be too overwhelming
for some dogs. Also try some calming music. There's some wonderful
calming music out there that's specially designed for
dogs, play that in the car because again, we pay so
much attention to visual, and to smell with dogs, let's think about
how they hear things. So actually playing
music in the car can have a really good effect. If your dog does not
like driving in the car, and is actually whining
because of stress, what you do is that you
feed your dog in the car.

You give you a wonderful toys
and activities in the car while it's parked in your
drive, and it is not turned on. And you do that for
probably about a week, and then you do that when
the car is turned on, but you still don't drive it. And then if your dog is
relaxed and comfortable, and likes to get into the car, then you can do short little
trips and start building it up. Okay, but really great question, and thank you so much,
Trinity, for asking it. All right, we have
another video question. This is Emily and Darcy.

– Hi Victoria. My senior beagle Darcy has never been a fan
of dog toys or bones. Instead, what she
really wants to do is shred and eat cardboard, empty boxes, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, you
name it, she wants it. Is this safe for her to do? And if so, how much cardboard
is too much cardboard? – Okay, Emily, yes. Well, shredding
cardboard is one thing, and that's actually okay
if Darcy just shredded. I had my Labrador who
was a big shredder. She liked to disembowel
stuffed toys, but she never
swallowed anything. And it was actually
her favorite activity. So I allowed her to do it on
occasion under supervision. But the fact is, I think
you said Darcy eats it too, that has me worried. So, I want you to try
something different. It's not cardboard, but beagles
they have incredible noses, and so, they really
liked to forage. There're these wonderful
things called snuffle mats. You can also make your own, you can get a pile of old toys, sorry, old towels and old rags, and put them on
top of each other, and hide food in the middle
of them and throughout them, and you can send your dog
basically on a treasure hunt.

And there's also things called,
as I said, snuffle mats, which sort of do the same
thing, bits of material, but it's really hard
for dogs to tear it off. And actually it's the
foraging that dogs like. So they're trying to sniff
through the snuffle mat, and you've hidden
pieces of their kibble, or some treats in it. And the great thing
about these toys 'cause you can make kind
of toys of anything really, but the great thing about these is that you can use
your dog's meal, you can feed your dog's meal, especially if it's kibble,
through these toys. And I'm a great one for that. I love, not every single day, sometimes I'll feed
my dogs from a bowl, but I also like to give
my dogs activity toys. So they have to find their food, they have to forage
for their food, and then they can
consume their food, and you know what? That's a really great
way to tire your dog out 'cause it's not just with
the physical stimulation that's tiring, it's the mental
stimulation that's tiring.

So, try that, and best of luck. Okay. Right, Joe, from Facebook,
I love all of this, keep them coming,
keep them coming. "Any tips for introducing
two large breed dogs. One is five years old
and can be reactive, the other is three
and loves all dogs." Okay, well, I'm glad that the
younger dog loves all dogs. Now, you don't know, you don't say whether
they're male or female. Normally male, female is actually sort
of better introduction than male, male, and female, female, but, here's what you do. Don't introduce them on
territory that they know, in the front or the back
garden or yard, or in the home. Take them to neutral territory, and allow them to
discover their environment before they greet each other. Now, you're going to because
most places have lead laws, and it's very important to
keep your dog on the leash when you can, and to follow the laws. And in fact, to begin with, you need to keep both dogs
on nice relaxed leashes.

One person holds one dog, the other person
holds the other dog. And you allow them
to sniff each other, but not close to begin with, and here's how I do it. I start by just
walking the dogs. I get them walking,
I get them moving because the worst
thing to do is to let the dogs greet and
then just stand there because then the dogs
have too much time to go, "I like you," or, "I don't
like you," and then react. So what I like to do
is get them moving, get them in the zone. And also when you're
introducing them outside, territory that is
neutral territory, what you find is that there's
so many other distractions that they're not completely
100% focused on each other. There are other sights to see, the sounds to hear. There are things to sniff. And so, this is really good, this is a really good way of kind of giving
them distractions
as they're greeting.

So, I walk them
parallel to begin with, and then what I would do after walking them
parallel for a bit at a distance, so my
reactive one is not reacting, and it might be quite a
large distance to begin with. And then I do what
is called following. So I have the commodore
walking in front, and then I have the other
dog following behind, and gradually I begin
to close that distance. And what you'll find is that the reactive dog is
actually picking the scent from the dog in front of it because we all leave a
trail of scent in our wake. You'll see a lot on "Dogs
With Extraordinary Jobs," you'll see how do
these dogs find people after there's been a mudslide,
or a collapsed building? How do they do that? And it's all about scent. Weird and gross I
know, but humans, we shed about 30 to 40,000
skin cells a minute.

Yeah, and that's called,
they're called rafts, and they sort of flow
behind us like a veil, they form a cone. And the dogs, what they do, you'll see when a dog
is getting a scent, it'll actually kind of go
back and forth like this grabbing sent within that cone, and as that cone and the dog
gets closer to the person, that gets a little smaller until the dog's
targeted the person. It's kind of a similar
thing to what we do with dogs greeting each other. And then we kind of curve, after we've done a good follow
and our dogs are relaxed, then we sort of do
a curved greeting, and I call it the
three second greeting. So you don't bring
your dogs head on, you bring them in a
curve to each other, and they go, "Hello,"
for three seconds, and then off they go.

And if everything's all
right, you do it again, maybe five seconds, but keep them moving,
that's the key, okay? Good luck. All right. Now we have another
video question. Riley, Brady and Sadie. – Hi Victoria, I'm Riley. – And I'm Brady. – And this is our puppy Sadie. How do we keep her from
jumping up on people when she meets them. Thank you.
– Thank you. – Wow, Riley and Brady,
that is an awesome question. And again, you're not alone because lots of
dogs love to jump. I had a dog called Sadie
too, she a Labrador, and she's the love of my life. But I love your dog, and
that's the most awesome name. Okay, so why do dogs jump up? They don't jump
up to dominate us.

They don't jump up because
they're being naughty. They jump up because
they're saying hello. If you think about it, a dog is obviously much
shorter than we are, and it's a really effective way for the dog to get to our face to actually look
us more in the eye so that it can figure
out what we want from it. It can figure out
our communication. So the worst thing to do
when a dog is jumping up is to knee in the chest, or do anything tell the dog off, or even sometimes
tell the dog no because we have to
understand why dogs do it. Now, sometimes dogs will
jump up when they're anxious and not sure at you, and they go, "Hmm, I'm gonna
jump up at you and take a look. I'm not too sure." Sometimes they'll do it 'cause
they're just so excited, which I think Sadie
might be that.

She's just so excited that
she just wants to say hello. Okay, so many different
reasons why dogs jump up. Here's what I did with my Sadie. My Sadie did the same thing. And so, I decided we'll look, she really likes to
say hello to people, so I don't wanna
stop that energy. She's really excitable,
and I love her sociability.

So I don't wanna stop that. However, I do want to
stop her from jumping up because my daughter at the
time was about you guys age, and so, I didn't
want her friends coming around on
play dates as well to get jumped up on either, and nor her grandparents. So, what I did is
that I taught Sadie to do something different. So the energy still goes
to doing an activity, but instead of going up,
the energy is going down. So what I did is taught
her to go get a toy. And she loves toys,
very toy orientated.

So, I would teach her, first
of all, I break it down. Nobody would be at the door, I
wouldn't even be at the door, but I just be there
in my living room, and I would throw a toy for
her and I'd say, "Go get it," and she would go get the toy, and then she would
bring it back to me. And then I would throw her
another toy, "Go get it." And so that was
part of our game. Then I went to the door after about a couple
of days of doing that, a couple of days, not minutes, a couple of days. Once she really
understood the game, I took it to the front
door and I was like, I had a toy, I was
like, "Go get it." And so I taught
her how to do that.

And so now she's seeing
that at the door when I say, "Go get it," she
goes to get her toy. And then what I did is that
I had somebody ring the bell, but nobody came in because
the trick of the bell, or the knocking on the door
made her really excitable. But by that time she already
knew what go get it means. And so I would, again, I would actually
now have a toy down, or that I'd already placed, on the floor and
say, "Go get it." So I had built it up to the
point where the doorbell rings, I say, "Go get it,"
she goes to get her toy as I open the door, and then she comes
back to say, "Hello," and she's so excited
about showing the toy, she doesn't jump up. The other thing you can do is have an activity toy
that you give the dog, so that Sadie could
have an activity toy, like a toy that's stuffed
with a bit of food that she can play with, and that means her nose
is going down all the time and not up.

So there's various
things you can do, but I think that's really
gonna help you, okay? Best of luck, and
thank you so much for that wonderful question. All right, we have
Jessica Brock. Okay, oh, no, we have, sorry
Sheila from YouTube asks, "How do I stop my puppy
from chewing on cords and eating mulch?" Puppies are like human babies, everything goes
into their mouth. They explore the world
with their mouths. So this is very normal, and I'm afraid there's
no sort of magic wand.

It does mean you have
to go around your house and you have to puppy
proof your house, and here's how I do it. Okay. I lie on the ground. Yes, I do. And I see everything that
a puppy could get into. And that could be stuff
that's left on the ground, I don't know, that I
haven't cleaned up. It could be wires. It could be anything. And I block access to it. And I don't let my puppy go
anywhere near these places without my continual
supervision, and when I cannot be there
to supervise my puppy, my puppy is in a crate, or what I call a puppy
proofed room area, can be utility
room or something. You could put a baby gate there. So your puppy not isolated, nor is your puppy
confined in a crate. But in that utility room, is the puppies crate
with the door open, puppy pads, water, and that's where your
puppy can be safe so it's not chewing on cords. Now, eating the mulch outside, I'm afraid again,
that is supervision. You do not allow your
puppy access to it.

And you redirect your puppy
onto things that it can chew, things that it can get. So this is why I love puzzles. Special dog puzzles that
your puppy can forage in, and can find little treats in. So when you have
those kinds of toys, your dog actually will
prefer so much more to go for those toys, and to
forage, and to find the treats, and little bits of
kibble in those toys rather than the mulch, okay? Good luck with that. Now I have a very special
treat for you all because I'm going to show you how, a little excerpt from the show. One particular family, very dear to my heart, the wonderful Xena, the
warrior puppy, and Jonny, Jonny is a boy with autism, and this is a story of how a dog that was very
close to death, found a boy with autism, and how an amazing bond
developed between them.

(guitar strumming) – [Narrator] Xena was
abandoned as a puppy on the side of the road. (guitar strumming continues) Animal services
came to her rescue, and were horrified
by what they saw. Somehow the emaciated stray
with an incredible will to live started to show
signs of recovery. She was aptly named Xena, the warrior puppy.
(gentle uplifting music) – I remember mentioning
her to the family. We had really all been talking
about a Labrador retriever, and I had fallen in
love with the lab. – [Narrator] Linda
wanted to save Xena, but there was a problem. Johnny disliked anything new
invading his personal space, and that included dogs. (gentle uplifting
music continues) But as they collected Xena,
something remarkable happened. (Jonny speaking indistinctly) Xena crawled onto Johnny's lap. – [Linda] Are you ready to go? – And stayed there.
– Yes, ready.

– Which was a miracle in itself, right, because of all the
space issues that he has. – She has lots of teeth. – She does have lots of teeth. I just was in tears. – You got a new puppy from the new place. You got it from the news? (gentle uplifting
music continues) – [Narrator] From that moment
on life changed for Xena, Johnny and the rest
of the Hickey family. (gentle upbeat music) After Xena's arrival, Johnny was suddenly
happy to touch food without it being a problem. (gentle upbeat music continues) – Sheep. – [Narrator] And there were
even more changes in store. (Jonny speaking indistinctly) – Our home was a
silent home, silent. He would play independently, no talking, no singing, no
giggling, no nothing, it was a completely quiet home.

pexels photo 5745215

– Hi five Xena. Come on Xena, come on. – And we're in the family
room when we first came in, (Linda giggling) it was giggling, and
laughter, and I'm like, "This is unbelievable." – Good girl. – [Narrator] It's
thought autistic children respond well to dogs because they don't
feel pressured by them. Dogs don't judge, they
simply calm and comfort. (gentle upbeat music continues) – My name is Jonny, and this is my puppy Xena. I think we make a
pretty perfect team. – Isn't that incredible? That is just an example of one of the amazing
stories we filmed for "Dogs With
Extraordinary Jobs." There are 20 stories like that. Truly extraordinary dogs
doing extraordinary things. Now the update on Jonny
is, he's 14 years old now.

He's doing really
well at school. Xena is still his love. He is a different child. He is very verbal. He is hugging people. He can touch and eat a
lot of different foods, which before Xena was
there, he could not do. And he has a pet lizard now that he takes to
school with him. He is doing amazingly well,
and it's all because of Xena.

She's an incredibly special dog, and because she's
a pit bull mix, Jonny realizes as well
that he's different, Xena is also different. Some people will discriminate
against dogs like Xena, like they do him. And so, this bond has
just been remarkable. And so, he's doing really well. And I just wanted
to let you know and give you an update on that. Okay. So let's, well,
thank you so much, we have so many questions, but I hope that you're
finding it useful even if I don't get
to your question. So we've got Shelly
from Facebook. "How do I help a dog that
barks at himself in the mirror? I'm at a loss." Oh, yes, yes.

Okay, I'm so sorry. So they did loads of studies, and do dogs recognize
themselves in the mirror or not? And do other animals recognize
themselves in the mirror? Well, actually what they did is they've done studies where they
sort of put like a paper dot on the chimpanzees head,
or on the dolphins head. And when the chimpanzee
or the gorilla looks into the mirror, it looks in the mirror and
then suddenly goes like that, exactly like we would do
if something odd was there. So researchers saw that actually what the gorilla or the
chimpanzee was looking at was recognizing that they were looking at
an image of themselves. Same with the dolphins,
I have to say. Dogs, hmm, no, not so much. Gosh, darn it. They're very smart, but
dogs can't do everything. And so, no, apart from
maybe the odd feeling of something on your forehead, no, they don't recognize
themselves in the mirror, which is why your dog
probably would be, is looking at the
mirror and going, "Who's that? Who's that?" So, the only way that you
can really stop that behavior and so many different behaviors, and this is sort of general
for everybody listening, we call it management, is how can I most effectively, as quick as possible and
as easily as possible, how can I stop this
behavior from happening? How can I set my
dog off for success? And really what it is is that
you manage your environment.

So you don't allow your dog
to practice that behavior. That means either
putting you mirrors up, it means covering a mirror. And so, when you find a dog
doesn't rehearse a behavior, then the behavior
goes into extinction, but you have to keep at it. So manage your environment to
set your dog up for success. But, no wonder you're at a loss because it is a really
difficult behavior. What I normally do is that
if I can't remove the mirror, then, and if I
can't cover it up, I'll have to get a good recall. So recall the dog
away from the mirror. I will stop the dog
going into the room where the mirror is at, and I will try and give
the dog other activities, so that actually it's
not really bothered by seeing itself in the mirror, but sometimes it can be freaky.

So, management is gonna be
your best friend here, okay? Right. Now we have
another video question. This is Ife and Donald. – Hi, my name is Ife and
this is my dog, Donald. And my question for Victoria is how do I get my dog to
calmly approach other dogs? Because sometimes he gets super
excited and super friendly when he sees other
dogs out on walks. – Thank you so much
for that. Okay. I love it that he gets
excited, but look, let's think of it from
the dog's point of view.

And I love doing that as well, is a really good tip. Try and see the world from
a dog's point of view, like I was talking about
from a puppy's point of view, that means get
down on the ground and see what the world is like. If you have a little
dog do the same, get down on the ground and
see what the world is like, it's all legs, table legs,
chair legs, people's legs, it's weird. So, I also look from
a dog's point of view of what that leash is.

So for us, the leash
is very important, it is our canine life preserver, it's gonna keep our dogs safe,
keep our dog attached to us. And there are laws
that we have to obey to keep our dogs safe
and to keep people safe. But if we look at the leash
from the dog's point of view, "What is this
annoying piece of rope stopping my ability
to act naturally?" So dogs get frustrated. They get really frustrated at
the other end of that leash because they can't just
go up and say hello.

They can't put distance between
themselves if they need to. And that's why you'll get
dogs really excitable, and dogs get really reactive 'cause it's just
frustration and agitation. So what do you do? Well, most places, unless it's a nice and
safe off-leash area, we can't walk our
dogs off the leash. Some people with
really reactive dogs, as in they don't
like other dogs, will walk their dogs in areas where there aren't
a lots of dogs, and they will employ things
like emergency U-turns that they teach the dog
inside the house first, which is basically, "Hey, turn around, we're
going this direction," if they're outside and
they see another dog.

So, we don't wanna
stop that exuberance, but excitable greeting
can also cause other dogs to maybe feel a little bit odd. "What is this crazy
animal in front of me?" So what I do is I just sort
of do the reverse direction. And I might play a few games,
I might have a tuck toy, I might throw a few
treats on the ground, I called it scatter feeding. So I'll get a few treats and
I'll throw it on the ground, and I'll say, "Go find," and I'm giving my dogs other
activities, other things to do, as we're approaching
the other dog. And I might have already taught
the dog to touch my hand, and I say, "Touch,"
move the dog away, good, now we can walk forward. So basically what I'm doing is that when the dog
is really excitable, when the dog is really either excited because
they're excited, or frustrated, or nervous, is that I'm actually engaging
the brain in another activity. When a dog's thinking, it's less emotional.

Think about a time when you've
been really, really excitable or really nervy, or angry, or really frustrated. Sometimes it's
really hard to learn. And that's because our
sort of emotional brain takes over our thinking brain. That's why it's really good
for people to stop thinking. So for example, I was on a
flight flying into Portland about 18 months ago,
just before the pandemic. And it was really bumpy. The pilot warned us, but it was really bumpy, and
the plane was going like this. And I'm not the most, I'm not the best fly, but I'm not completely nervous, but I was nervous on this one. So what did I do? I knew that sort of
brain relationship, and I thought I'm gonna write. So I started
writing, and writing, and writing, and
writing an article 'cause I write various
articles for various magazines. And I just wrote, and engaging my thinking
brain, calm me down.

Exactly what we do with dogs
that are reactive on the lead. We give them things to do. So now they're thinking,
thinking, thinking, rather than, "Hello,"
or "get away." Do you see what I mean? You're engaging
that thinking brain, and as you're doing that, it brings the dogs
frustration down. And so that's what I do. Games and little activities as we're getting and
approaching the other dog. And you can approach
when you're calm, right? If you're wearing crazy
behavior, no you can't, but you're gonna calm
down and approach. And I do set ups, unfortunately I have lots
of friends with calm dogs, so if I have a reactive
dog in any kind of way, I will use those calm
dogs to do that technique. Anyway, wonderful, wonderful,
wonderful question. And good luck with that. All right, Lynn,
from Facebook asks, "I am a home border, and one of my borders has
decided I'm her resource." Oh, that one, Ooh.

"How do I treat her to get her to understand
I'm here for all the dogs. She's guarding me in the house and stopping them from
approaching some of the time. She's nervous, yes,
and initially really
missed her owner, and now I am a
valuable resource." Okay, hm, I see this a lot, and I see this a lot with
dogs in boarding situations, doggy daycare, things like that.

When they gravitate
and anchor themselves to the human person, to the human person,
to the person, and it could be somebody that they don't
really know that well, but it's a person, when they anchor
themselves to that person, it's not necessarily that they
are guarding the resource, it can be that,
"Don't come near me, and I'm next to my
anchor for protection." So, sometimes dogs don't do
well in boarding situations, nor do they do well
in doggy daycare, and when I have a dog that does exactly what
this dog is doing, I will first of all look and see whether this is the best
situation for this dog.

Because A, it's not
good for this dog, B, it's not good
for the other dogs and it could be a liability. So, if you can separate
with a system of baby gates, it's all about safety, and I feel like because
this dog is nervous, and let's say, you're like, "No, but I still want
to board this dog, this dog still needs
to be boarded with me." So I want you to create
what I call a safe space, and this is where
the dog goes to. If there's another dog
that it likes to play with, or it can come out at
various times for play time with one or two
other dogs, great, otherwise this dog can just
chill out in it's safe space.

And you give it, and it could still see you
because it's behind a baby gate, and it still knows you're there, but it's safe from
the other dogs. And you give it activity
toys to play with throughout the day. And I think if you do that, then the dog's not
gonna need to guard you. The dog's not gonna need to
develop grow itself to you.

And it's gonna be
much more relaxed. So try that, but I think
it's a really great question 'cause it does happen a lot. So when I have dogs
that are nervous and I know that they
go to doggy daycare, I'm always like, "Hm, can I see a video of
the dog at doggy daycare?" And invariably the dog doesn't
go to doggy daycare again, or it goes to doggy daycare, but in a safe area where it
feels safe and much calmer.

Okay, we have another
video question. This is Carolyn and Minnie. – Hi, my name is Carolyn
and this is Minnie. We have a question about how to get Minnie
used to her harness. She seems to prefer her collar, and any time we take her
harness out, she hides from it. We were not sure what to do. We've tried many
different things with her. We've fed her her meals
with her harness on. We act really happy
when she's wearing it. And we give her treats
when she's wearing it, and as you can see, she's
very treat motivated.

We're just not sure what to do. She's fine when she's walking
in it, but she's just very, you can tell she's upset
when we take it out and try to put it on her. And sometimes she'll run
around the apartment, and sort of try to brush it off, and we're not sure what to do because we prefer to
walk her in the harness, but she seems to
prefer her collar. Any advice is appreciated.
Thank you so much. Say bye Minnie. Thank you. – So Carolyn, thank you so
much for sending that in. Okay, again, this is
quite a common issue. I do prefer putting
harnesses on dogs, small dogs, large
dogs, it doesn't matter because the neck is a
very vulnerable area, which is why, please,
please, please do not use a choke
collar, or a prong collar, or even a shock collar to
walk slash train your dog, please, please,
please don't do it.

So I understand Carolyn why you would like to
use a harness more. If you look at the dog's neck, you've got the thyroid gland
at the base of the neck, you've got the saliva glands, you've got the trachea, you've got very,
very vulnerable areas which can become damaged
if any, any pressure is put on that neck at all. It's the same sort of thing if you were to wear
something around your neck that constricted as you walked. Now, for dogs that
don't pull on a walk, attaching a leash to a regular
collar is absolutely fine. So if Minnie doesn't
pull, I don't see there's any reason why she
needs to wear a harness. But if Minnie pulls, the harness can feel odd
when it's first put on. So, there might be various
different harnesses you have to try,
and sometimes it's dogs don't like harnesses
going over the head. Dogs don't like putting
their foot through harnesses.

Dogs don't like the
feeling of the harness under their armpits, or it's constricting
around their middle. And that's why yes, Minnie is trying to
sort of brush it off, and try and rub it on things. It's just not that comfortable. I would say try
different harnesses. There are harnesses that
are much, much softer. And I can't say brands, but there are a lot
of that are genuinely, it's kind of almost like
wearing a wristwatch where you know it's
on there to begin with and then you forget it's there.

And I actually really
like what you're doing is that you're feeding
her around the harness. You're making the
harness a positive thing, don't go too over the top
when the harness is on. I actually make it sort of, "Oh, it's just no big deal.
All right the harness is on." The mistake people make
is to put the harness on and take the dog for
a walk straight away. Let her wear her harness
just around for a bit, make it no big deal, feed her her meal, do
something else, go watch TV, don't make it a big deal, and then take it off her again. Put it on her again, take it off her again. And do this for
a couple of days, and then attach the lead to it
and take her out for a walk.

Just a short walk to begin with, and see how she is with that. I think if you build it up
like that, I think that, I think you're gonna see
some really good improvement, and that she will
forget that it's on. The other question
that I actually get is can I use a head halter
on my horse, on my dog? And the reason why I said horse is because halters are
normally used for horses. It's easier to control them.

And for very large dogs, some people like to
use the head halter. I used to use them,
but I'm not a big fan. I'm not a big fan because again, it rubs a lot around the
face, and up by the eyes. And sometimes people with
very large, very strong dogs prefer to use them. And again, it's all
about what is safe, what is safe for the dog,
what is safe for the person? So thank you so much for
your question and good luck. All right, we've got
Joy from Facebook. She says, "I have
a three year old rescue greyhound called Fifi. She likes to dig at our
fluffy bedroom carpet relentlessly before bedtime, before sitting down.

She seems to really enjoy it,
although it's causing mayhem. How do I stop her
from doing this? Telling her off
doesn't seem to work. She has about 40 toys, but it
still doesn't stop or help." Okay. You make your bed, don't you? Well, like my 17 year old, she doesn't and I have
to make her make her bed. But, dogs like to
make their beds too. And so, it's a very
doggy thing to do, to either when they're outside
to scratch at the dirt, or when they have got a
bed to actually lie on, to scratch at the bed, turn around a couple of times before they plot
themselves down. And I think that's
what she's doing. So, I'd like you to try this, get kind of nice, I mean, to accommodate
a greyhound, and you can just go
to the carpet store, and you can get sections, you
don't have to buy anything. You can get sections
just carpet, nice sort of shag pile carpet, and just puts us in your room.

And that might be her place
that she likes to dig into because toys aren't gonna work,
that's not what she wants, she wants to make
a comfortable bed. And sometimes as well people think that actually
scraping on the ground before a dog lies down is actually releasing the
scent from the dogs paws. Now a dog's paw is the only
place where they actually sweat. A dog can only cool themselves
down, thermoregulate, via panting, but, and the only place they
sweat is through their pads, but also on these pads as
well you have a lot of glands that have the dog's scent.

So have you seen it that when
your dog goes to the toilet, especially outside, hopefully
it should always be outside, that they might scrape at least their back
paws along the ground. And what they're doing is actually distributing
their scent on the ground, and then lifting they're
scent off into the air to cover a wide area. It's almost like,
it is like pee mail, but it's almost sort of, it's kind of like a
Facebook or I was here.

He has lots of information
about me because all of this, all of these, the scent, carries a lot of information
about the dog that was there. So they think that
when dogs lie down, they do exactly the same thing. So the scraping is
not just making, even there, if there's not a
lot of stuff to make a bed, it's still making a bed, but
it's also distributing scent. So try that, try different
kinds of fluffy towels, things like that, and then you'll have
a dog that's doing it on the fluffy towel, or on the carpet bit that
you get from a carpet store, and not on your carpet, but toys don't tell her
off because it's a normal, natural dog behavior, and something that she
likes doing and needs to do.

Okay. We have final question. "How can I tell the difference in different types of tail wags? How do I read happy,
anxious, predatory tale?" Ooh, gosh, I love that
question. Thank you so much. Okay. This is a reason why I
don't like tail docking because tails are so expressive. So much of our
dog's body language conveys intent and conveys
their emotional state. So when a dog is happy, they usually wag their
tail in an helicopter, circular motion, but they can also wag
their tail really fast. But dogs that are nervy can
also wag their tails very fast. Dogs that are predatory can
also wag their tails very fast. So how do you know
which one it is? You look at the
rest of the body. In my academy, we teach
all of our trainers to be incredible observers
of body language, as well as vocal language, but dogs don't
speak our language, and that's where
problems can happen because it's really hard to
understand their language, and it's really hard for them
to understand our language.

So, we try as best as we can to understand what
different body language, or body signals mean. So when I look at a tail, I'm also looking at what the rest of the
dog's body is doing, including the head. What's the expression
on the dog's face? Is it tense? Are the eyes staring? Are the pupils dilated? Are the ears tense and forward
or are the ears relaxed? Is the mouth open? Is the dog slightly panting? Is the tongue hanging out? Is the body fluid
and moving like that? Now, if I've got a
really waggly tail, I know the dog is happy. If I see that the dog
is wagging its tail, but the rest of the
body is very tense, then I know that
there's something up.

And also what we
teach our students is to not put labels
on our dogs, right, from the word go,
"Oh, my dog's happy, oh, my dog's this," we will eventually
use the label, but what I want you to do is first of all observe
what the dog is doing, and here's how you do it. Tail is wagging in
a circular motion. The body is very fluid. The dog's mouth is open, the tongue is hanging
out and relaxed. The eyes are blinking.

The ears are slightly
back, but relaxed. Now, I might be able to
say that dog is happy, feeling good. If I see my dog is
leaning forward, very tense, mouth is
closed, tail is quivering, then I might be able to say, "Hmm, my dog looks like
it's maybe a bit nervous, or it might be getting
ready to do something." And then if I see a dog
that's just going crazy, and jumping around, and
is really excitable, I might say that dog is excited. But again, I look at
body language first, and then I put a label to it. Okay. (sighs) This has been
probably one of the best Facebook Lives I've ever done. I've really enjoyed it, and I hope that you found
lots of information. Remember, please do watch
"Dogs With Extraordinary Jobs" on the Smithsonian Channel. Thank you everybody
that sent in videos. Thank you everybody
that's joined us live, and thank you again to
Oxford Scientific Films, to all of those
people who took part in "Dogs With
Extraordinary Jobs," and to the wonderful folks
at the Smithsonian Channel who made this Facebook
Live possible.

Thank you so much, and
have fun with your dog, and don't forget
to watch the show. Take care, everybody..

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