Clean Run - June 2011 - 21
In class, Mike rolls into the ring and then puts Lucky down. As soon as Lucky is on the ground, he yawns and shakes as though he is trying to dry off. Yawning and shaking off are some of the bigger signs of stress that we see in dogs when they are frightened, excited, or startled. These signs are known as displacement behaviors, recognizing that they are stress being displaced from a physiological response to a physical response. It is easy to remember what they are by using the mnemonic of seven Fs: fidgeting, fainting, freezing, fleeing, fighting, feeding, and fornicating; each has a contextual meaning.
Fidgeting can manifest as scratching, grooming, and loss of focus.
Fleeing or running away is the sign of a dog that is not only frightened but also not bonded to his handler. If your dog is leaving the ring and running away, you need to step back and work on your relationship. The safest place for a dog to be when frightened should be at your side. If your dog is afraid of a particular item and runs away from that to you, listen to what he is telling you and don’t force the dog to face his fears. This will not only result in a dog that runs away from the stressinducing stimulus but also from you!
Yawning and shaking off are displacement behaviors commonly seen as a result of stress.
Fainting happens when a dog is completely overwhelmed. Dogs can actually completely lose consciousness, but this is very rare. More often the dog will completely shut down. He may be unresponsive to cues and ignore items in which he is usually very interested. A dog that is shut down like this should be removed from the situation. If the dog has lost consciousness, seek veterinary attention. Freezing is seen when the dog is at the point of making a decision. You might see this in training just before the dog decides to take a risk such as making the teeter tip or committing to the chute for the first time. Interfering in the freeze is a risky venture; the effort to support your dog can impede his ability to make the choice for himself.
© cindy noland
© cindy noland
Fidgeting happens when a dog is uncertain. If you see a dog fidgeting on a start line for instance, you are seeing the physical manifestation of the dog’s inner conflict: He wants to start, and he also wants to wait for the right time to start. It is interesting that predatory animals face a similar situation when they are hunting, but they don’t show the same conflict. They know that if they fidget they will miss their prey and go hungry. There is no conflict in the mind of the predator. He knows that if he takes off too early the outcome is predictable. Fidgeting may also manifest as scratching, grooming, sudden loss of focus resulting in going off course or knocking a bar, pacing, shifting, or even panting.
If your dog is fleeing or running away, it’s time to step back and work on your relationship.
This dog freezes at the top of the A-frame.
Fighting or biting happens most often when the dog has no other alternative to resolve a problem. When a dog is forced to do something or when he is in conflict with a person or dog, he may resort to his teeth to resolve his conflict. For many dogs, once the bite has landed, the stress is resolved and they move on. It is very hard for those who are the recipient of the bite to accept that bite as a stress reliever; however, for many dogs, the bite is a way to relieve the tension they are under. Regardless of how difficult it is, faced with a dog that has bitten, it is most important to keep everyone safe at all times and then go back and revisit the problem when you have a better handle on what is happening with the dog in question.
Learning to recognize the signs of stress is one of the skill sets that successful trainers develop early. Recognizing the signs of stress can help you learn to better connect with your dog and optimize your training sessions by interspersing them with periods of rest and relaxation.
June 11 | Clean Run
Clean Run - June 2011
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - June 2011
Clean Run - June 2011
Editorializing: When Did Agility Become About Looks?
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Building and Balancing Handler and Obstacle Focus, Part 3
Sharpening Your Snooker Skill: Teach Your Dog to Bypass Obstacles
Lameness in Agility Dogs
Confessions of a Gambling Addict, Part 2: Planning the Opening
AKC’s New Kid on the Block: Time 2 Beat
Challenges for Rising Stars
Intervertebral Disc Disease in the Canine Athlete
Challenges at CR Central
FOCUS and Impulse-control Classes: Week 2
Ready, Set, Trial! Walk, then Run
Tips for Training Running Contacts, Part 1
When is Good Enough Enough?
Clean Run - June 2011 - Clean Run - June 2011
Clean Run - June 2011 - 2
Clean Run - June 2011 - 3
Clean Run - June 2011 - 4
Clean Run - June 2011 - Editorializing: When Did Agility Become About Looks?
Clean Run - June 2011 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run - June 2011 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Clean Run - June 2011 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run - June 2011 - 9
Clean Run - June 2011 - 10
Clean Run - June 2011 - 11
Clean Run - June 2011 - Building and Balancing Handler and Obstacle Focus, Part 3
Clean Run - June 2011 - 13
Clean Run - June 2011 - 14
Clean Run - June 2011 - 15
Clean Run - June 2011 - 16
Clean Run - June 2011 - 17
Clean Run - June 2011 - 18
Clean Run - June 2011 - 19
Clean Run - June 2011 - 20
Clean Run - June 2011 - 21
Clean Run - June 2011 - 22
Clean Run - June 2011 - 23
Clean Run - June 2011 - Sharpening Your Snooker Skill: Teach Your Dog to Bypass Obstacles
Clean Run - June 2011 - 25
Clean Run - June 2011 - 26
Clean Run - June 2011 - 27
Clean Run - June 2011 - 28
Clean Run - June 2011 - 29
Clean Run - June 2011 - 30
Clean Run - June 2011 - Lameness in Agility Dogs
Clean Run - June 2011 - 32
Clean Run - June 2011 - 33
Clean Run - June 2011 - 34
Clean Run - June 2011 - 35
Clean Run - June 2011 - 36
Clean Run - June 2011 - Confessions of a Gambling Addict, Part 2: Planning the Opening
Clean Run - June 2011 - 38
Clean Run - June 2011 - 39
Clean Run - June 2011 - 40
Clean Run - June 2011 - 41
Clean Run - June 2011 - 42
Clean Run - June 2011 - AKC’s New Kid on the Block: Time 2 Beat
Clean Run - June 2011 - 44
Clean Run - June 2011 - 45
Clean Run - June 2011 - 46
Clean Run - June 2011 - Challenges for Rising Stars
Clean Run - June 2011 - 48
Clean Run - June 2011 - 49
Clean Run - June 2011 - 50
Clean Run - June 2011 - Intervertebral Disc Disease in the Canine Athlete
Clean Run - June 2011 - 52
Clean Run - June 2011 - 53
Clean Run - June 2011 - 54
Clean Run - June 2011 - 55
Clean Run - June 2011 - Challenges at CR Central
Clean Run - June 2011 - 57
Clean Run - June 2011 - 58
Clean Run - June 2011 - 59
Clean Run - June 2011 - FOCUS and Impulse-control Classes: Week 2
Clean Run - June 2011 - 61
Clean Run - June 2011 - 62
Clean Run - June 2011 - 63
Clean Run - June 2011 - 64
Clean Run - June 2011 - Ready, Set, Trial! Walk, then Run
Clean Run - June 2011 - 66
Clean Run - June 2011 - 67
Clean Run - June 2011 - Tips for Training Running Contacts, Part 1
Clean Run - June 2011 - 69
Clean Run - June 2011 - 70
Clean Run - June 2011 - When is Good Enough Enough?
Clean Run - June 2011 - 72
Clean Run - June 2011 - 73
Clean Run - June 2011 - Agility Bloopers
Clean Run - June 2011 - 75
Clean Run - June 2011 - 76