Two Timely Topics: Separation Anxiety & Dog-Dog Play

Separation anxiety is a challenging problem for dogs, owners, and sometimes even for trainers. It may not be life-threatening, but it can certainly be lifestyle-threatening. In extreme cases, separation anxiety can even cost a dog his home. Get the best and latest cutting edge advice from the author of Don’t Leave Me! Step-by-Step Help for Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety, the award-winning book on the subject! Dog-dog play may seem a lighter topic, but it is crucial to understand the subtleties of play in order to prevent aggressive incidents and to keep dogs healthy both physically and psychologically. Both segments of this full-day seminar are packed full of invaluable information that will be applicable whether you are an owner, trainer, rescue/shelter worker, or other canine professional or enthusiast. Separation Anxiety (Morning) Many owners become frustrated and overwhelmed living with a dog with separation anxiety, and some even give up. While most trainers are aware of standard protocols and approaches, some dogs just haven’t read the game plans, and outside-the-box solutions are needed. Living with Sierra, a shelter dog who came with a deeply entrenched case of separation anxiety, has given Nicole an insider’s perspective on separation issues and has emphasized the fact that a cookie-cutter approach does not work for every dog. Nicole’s twenty years of experience as a canine behavior specialist, along with her newfound empathy for owners, allowed her to develop outside-the-box, creative ways to address separation problems and to support owners. This presentation includes lecture and video. Topics include: – How to accurately diagnose a separation issue, and how to differentiate separation anxiety from isolation distress – Root causes, and how owners can have an influence for better or worse – Creative management options, including what to do in an emergency – The Alone Zone: Where in (or outside) the house to leave your dog when you’re away; what is not recommended and why – The latest, easy-to-use technological advances that allow you to monitor your dog while you’re away – Assessing if and when pharmacological intervention is appropriate, and two natural alternatives to consider – Complementary products and therapies that may help – Separation anxiety myths (You might be surprised at some of the “accepted wisdom” that is simply untrue!) – Common questions, such as “Could getting a second dog help?” – A structure to help you formulate a customized behavior modification plan Whether you are a trainer, owner, or shelter/rescue worker, you will come away from this seminar with a better understanding of separation issues and how to modify them in order to lessen stress for both owners and dogs, and to give dogs a better chance at a forever home. Dissecting the Dynamics of Dog-Dog Play (Afternoon) In the fluid dance we call play, dogs leap, spin, chase, pounce, and wrestle together. Their interactions range from joyful romps based in camaraderie and fun, to cautious “discussions” born of over-arousal and tension, and sometimes even to skirmishes that can result in bodily harm. If we are to make accurate behavioral assessments and keep dogs safe psychologically and physically, we must understand play’s subtle dynamics. Through entertaining lecture and extensive video footage, we will explore the nuances of dog-dog play. Viewing slow motion playback will reveal split-second body language, signals, and maneuvers that would otherwise be missed, and will improve your skills when watching dogs interact in real time. Even if you are an experienced trainer or owner, you’ll be amazed at how much is revealed. One thing is certain: you’ll never look at dog-dog play in the same way again. Topics include: – What constitutes safe play – Whether actions like mounting are problematic or not – What the latest studies reveal about gender play preferences, role reversals, and self-handicapping – What canine physical features may confuse other dogs and hamper communication – Which danger signals should not be ignored – When a play bow means something other than, “Let’s play!” – How and why redirected aggression occurs – How play can sometimes be a displacement behavior – Which situations warrant intervention and how to do so safely – …and lots more! *This seminar has been approved for 6.5 CEUs for CPDT-KAs and CBCC-KAs.


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May 21, 2017

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