Clean Run - March 2011 - (Page 68)

You Know Your Dog Is Aggressive If... Part 5 By Pamela S. Dennison How do you know if your aggressive dog is ready for a match or a trial? There is no cut-and-dried answer to that question because so much about dog training and the desensitization process is about “feel” (and lots of time and training). I think the real issue is: Are you, body and soul, still focused on the prize or have you come to terms with the dog you really have? Have you worked your dog in a myriad of different contexts? Do you have close to a 100% success rate in your sessions? Have you broken down each possible scenario, and trained it? Is your dog calm doing agility by himself with no provoking stimuli around? Is he calm if he sees one dog, two dogs, three dogs, and so on, far away, then closer and closer? Is he calm when other dogs run agility? Is he calm with other dogs playing tug? Is he calm when the judge comes up from behind you or runs across the ring, directly toward you to talk to the ring steward? Is he calm with the crush of people and dogs at a trial (indoors and outdoors)? How well-versed are you in reading your dog? Do you know beforehand if he is going to aggress? How fast are you at stopping the aggression before it starts? Have you developed a “feel” yet for when to start a session and when to end it? The list could go on and on about what we who own aggressive dogs have to think about and train for that people with “normal” dogs never give a second thought to. If you have been working on his problems only for a few months, then I’d say (without knowing you or your dog) you probably aren’t ready yet. had practiced the entire test many times, breaking down each task into the smallest of approximations, with many different people as the “tester” with complete success; and I could almost not hyperventilate), then he got his CGC. My next goal was to do some agility with him (being only human aggressive, agility was easier for us than competition obedience). Because 99% of my training with him was (and still is) off lead, that part wasn’t a problem for us. The real problem was getting measured for his height card. I worked long and hard desensitizing him to 1) being on the table, 2) a person approaching head on, 3) my having a death grip on his collar, 4) a person pretending to touch him, 5) a person actually touching him, and 6) the wicket. Once he got his Novice agility titles, we moved onto APDT rally. The judge stays pretty far away Clean Run | March 11 Setting Goals for Your Dog ’ s Performance Career You will need to strategize your dog’s career. For instance, my initial goal for Shadow was an OTCH. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. However, passing the Canine Good Citizen test was a great first big goal for us. I worked with him for 18 months, three to five times per week and sometimes more. Once I felt he and I were both really ready, (Shadow hadn’t bitten anyone in a long time; we had a great relationship at that point; we 68

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - March 2011

Clean Run - March 2011
Editorializing: Go Get the Dog
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
Who Needs a Training Partner?
Difficult Students, Difficult Dogs, Happy Endings
Ready, Set, Trial! Volunteering at Agility Trials
The Breeders Behind the Dogs
Working on Stimulus Control
Teaching FOCUS and Impulse-Control Classes: Introduction
Power Paws Drills: Long Way, Short Way
Help for Heel Pain: The Facts About Plantar Fasciitis, Part 1
Hydrotherapy for the Canine Athlete
Getting the Biggest Bang for Your Seminar Dollar
When Pigs Fly: You Can Do It
You Know Your Dog Is Aggressive If... Part 5
Want the Best Training Results? Then Play!
Challenges for Rising Stars

Clean Run - March 2011