RESCUED PETS ROCK!!!
RESCUED PETS ROCK!!!
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Positive punishment (force & fear) is the act of adding something to a situation that the dog sees as a result of his own behavior. When a dog gets things wrong his self-confidence will drop and he is likely to stop trying. Punishment is acknowledgment of getting things wrong, which also triggers stress because it often includes some trigger of fear or pain. When stress is triggered, the dog will experience the reaction of fight, flight or freeze. Accompanied by losing trust in a teacher, confidence in himself and the ability to think straight in the situation. The dog is unlikely to have clarity of mind to fully understand the situation, let alone learn something new. In addition to this, the ability to punish a dog at the exact second a behavior occurs, so the dog can make the connection, is rare. The dog cannot see the reason for the teachers seemingly erratic threats or painful acts and becomes even more stressed and confused, so even less likely to learn.
When we use positive reinforcement to teach something new, we are considering how the dog feels, their self-belief, their confidence, their brain chemistry and increasing their ability to learn. In addition, trust in the teacher is maintained, building a better bond, communicating clearly and the dog is spared from as many bad experiences as possible. Positive reinforcement can do no harm to the dog. The dog can learn the wrong things if his teacher has less than perfect timing, but with practice this can be rectified, and the dog will stay confident and happy throughout.
Punishment by itself does not extinguish a behavior, the absence of reinforcement does!
Unpleasant dog training techniques rob the dog of its natural rights.
Behaviors such as growling for space, barking, chewing things, showing a little tension over a resource or digging have been labeled “behavioral problems”. They are assumed to be challenges to the human in the home, thus lead to punishment which in turn causes suppression of the act by the dog.
Suppression of the dog’s most natural communication and behavior is unfair and can be dangerous.
*In a scenario where the dog is expected to suppress or avoid using natural behaviors, gentle natured dogs may just go with the flow. They do this because they have learned to behave in a way that makes them convenient and easy to live with and have worked out what is expected of them and not what’s natural to them.
*The stressed, anxious, confused dog – or the dog with a strong character – will not adapt so well to suppression and may become severely stressed or eventually even defensive. This often occurs if the training approach is stronger, painful, or threatening - forcing the dog to wait it out, and it’s assumed the behavior is changed. But when the bully leaves, the behavior returns because nothing positive or useful has been achieved and the dog is more confused than ever. Or they may fight the attempt at suppression and end up either experiencing emotional shut down or learned helplessness. This is obvious to the trained eye and very heartbreaking.
*If we find that normal behavior is becoming problematic, we must always look at what is triggering the normal behavior. For example, if a child keeps touching the family dog and the dog is growling, the child needs to learn to respect the dog space as opposed to trying to teach the dog not to growl. Touching a dog is not a welfare need for the child but having their body and space respected is a welfare need for the dog. If a child is not touching or looking at the dog and the dog approaches them to growl, behavior management and modification is required. The child has a right to safety and the dog is choosing their own approach here. So, it works both ways and we must always consider the situation.
* If a dog is a breed created to dig, and is he digging the flowers up we need to acknowledge their genetic need and create their own digging space. If the dog chews shoes we must acknowledge their biological right to chew and provide them with a safe and tempting alternatives.
*Other natural behaviors our dogs have include their amazing sense of smell, their keenness to sniff out and find food. This behavior uses both the dog’s nose and mind – growing a sense of purpose. Just as we prepare meals for ourselves, we prepare a bowl of food for our dog but there are some more interesting ways we can feed our dog’s.
By using a dog forging instinct, we can grow his confidence and resilience.
*Over the last few years, we have seen a raise in the term “Canine Enrichment” which literally means enriching the lives of our dog’s by providing them with opportunity to use their natural behaviors.
*One of these natural behaviors is the ability to sniff and detect scent, which does wonders not only for the mental health but also for confidence. Sniffing out his dinner in smaller bits will prolong the dinnertime experience and prevent boredom. It will also leave the dog satisfied and able to rest after having work for something he wants.
*The second natural act triggered by turning some of the dog’s meals into a task is problem-solving. The opportunity to solve problems is an aspect of canine enrichment cannot be overstated. To find a task and overcome it, achieving a natural reward is promoting self-belief, confidence and empowerment. There are many excellent tips on enrichment available from many resources (Facebook).
The way that food affects how your dog feels is highly relevant to the dog who defaults to react to behavior when stressed or scared. Food dyes and chemical flavorings are linked to behavior issues. A high influx of carbohydrates which are often used to bulk out dog food, can lead to an excess of energy that the dog needs to use somehow, and this leads to a change in the behavior.
Blood sugar is another factor that changes behavior. A dog that does not have access to food for long periods may suffer with a crash in blood sugar before eating followed by a peak after eating. If the food is high carbohydrate, high energy as many foods are - to keep their manufacturing cost low - this will affect how the dog feels by providing a peak in blood sugar then a drop soon afterwards. If you have ever not eaten for a long time, you have likely experience the feeling known as being “HANGRY” which peaks with low blood sugar and send us running for the most calorific food we can find, to regulate not only our body but also our minds. The feeling of low blood sugar is a specific kind of stress and can be avoided in our dog’s by regular feeding of foods that release energy slowly.
If we feed our dog’s the right fuel, avoid problematic commercial dog food ingredients, feed them regularly to maintain their blood sugar and recognize their individual sensitivities, we will be soothing any inflammation that has already occurred. We will also be creating and maintaining a mood that best prepares them for building resilience and learning. Finally, remember that training treats count too. Many food type training treats are extremely high chemically and are far removed from food. Try to use whole food, single ingredient training treats if possible, such as finally chopped meats or something like fresh peas.
Using chemically treated dog treats for behavior modification is extremely counterproductive.
Ensure the dog is in their best possible state of body and mind to learn new and helpful behaviors!
A hungry dog will generally eat anything and like their ancestors they would happily live on our food scraps. A diet to maintain full health and vigor is a little more complex. The purpose of food is to supply nutrients to the body and brain, to support cellular health and regeneration. The process of digestion and things that the dog digest will affect everything from their health and well-being to their behavior.
Food is linked to ill health for dog’s and people. Up until a few generations ago our diet – and the diet of our dog’s – was generally made up of whole foods with chemical free nutrients. Even 50 years ago, most gardens were used to grow food and many people kept the animals that they intended to eat. Things have changed though and convenience foods, intensive animal farming and the use of chemicals and modification has grown quickly over the last three or four generations. It’s cheaper and easier to buy fresh produce in the supermarket. So many of us have stopped growing and opt for the convenience. Lives are busier, working hours are increased and preparing a meal from whole foods is time consuming and unnecessary.
The result of this is that foods need to be preserved for as long as possible, because spoiled food eats into profits. Therefore, chemical treatments to preserve the life of the food on the supermarket shelves are often used. In addition, much convenience food is far removed from the whole food that it once was. Processing kills nutrients and much of the convenience foods we buy today have been heavily processed. All this happens to the food we buy and eat; it has one standard to meet, it must be deemed fit for human consumption.
Dog food, however, does not have to be deemed for human consumption. The commercially created, canine convenience foods that we buy are not given the same health priority as foods developed for humans. Yet the systems within our bodies function in the same way and both need a good level of quality nutrients to maintain full health and vigor.
The bright claims of health and energy on the front of the packaging, does not correspond with the ingredients on the back of commercial dog food bag. It is this knowledge that we can utilize to begin the process of positive change for our dog’s.
To be considered a complete dog food by law, a food must contain all the vitamins that a dog needs in order to maintain a basic level of good health – the quality of the vitamin required is not part of the requirement. The food that this vitamin comes from -within the kibble- is also considered largely irrelevant. In the process with in which the vitamin is gathered, is not usually discussed either. When we learn to read the ingredients in the dog food, it’s an eye-opener and can be quite upsetting, particularly if we have trusted manufacturers claims that we are doing the best for our dog’s.
Dog food is made of several ingredients and each of them will appear on the packaging. The highest percentage of the ingredient is written first then the ingredients list goes in the order percentage, so any vitamins are usually the last on the list. The first ingredient of good commercial dog food will be a specific type of meat, not meal or the generic term meat, as “meal” “by-product” simply means ground bones, feathers etc. The ingredients in dog food should be easily understandable. Long chemical names are used, in small type, outshone by the happy looking dog and promises on the rest of the packaging. If we feed commercial dog food, we should look for transparency and everyday quality real food and ingredients.
There are two ways that diet can affect behavior: the way a dog’s body feels, and the way the dog’s brain functions.
BOTH affect behavior.
One of the biggest factors in how diet affects the health of dog’s and people is inflammation. A diet that the body is sensitive to, will lead directly to cell inflammation. Much diet sensitivity goes unnoticed. Inflammation isn’t linked only to diet though, it is a totally natural, healthy immune response to irritants that are within or around the body. An acute inflammation is the body healing itself via an influx of stronger cells. Ridding it and any cells that it has damaged, of invasive bacteria or viral cells.
If an area of the body is cut, acute inflammation occurs around the cut site. The wound swells and heals, if the immune system is doing its job correctly. If a body is not cut, but still experiences a potential invader- for example kennel cough cells the immune system will send an army of its own cells and this time the inflammation is contained within the body. When the potential for infection has been dealt with and the body is back to a healthy self, the immune system can withdraw its response.
If the body experiences a continued state of invasion the immune system will be constantly working to rid the body of the problem. This will lead to inflammation in the long term, known as chronic inflammation. Food sensitivities based on poor quality dog foods – or in fact, any food or substance that is eaten, can cause chronic inflammation and if the dog is ingesting regularly then the immune response is always working. By feeding our dog’s food types that cause this immune response in their bodies, we can be subjecting them to a lifelong of chronic inflammation. The most frustrating thing is that we don’t even know and instead think we are doing the best for our dog’s. The reason being, that we have assumed that all dog food manufacturers create dog food with skill and intention for an excellent health. A fact that we should be able to assume – but sadly we cannot. Foods most often link to inflammation include sugar, saturated fats, trans fats, refined carbohydrates, or omega 6 fatty acids, gluten, and casein.
Commercial dog food often contains much more than food and if even one or two of the ingredients in a regular fed meal, is perceived by the immune system as a threat, the dog will suffer with chronic information. Which is one of the reasons we really must read and understand the ingredients of anything we feed to our dog’s.
So, what should we feed our dog’s?
A diet of fresh food, packed with nutrients and vitamins and devoid of artificial coloring ‘s, additives and fillers are the aim. If we cannot provide fresh then we must use commercial dog food carefully and fully explore the ingredients, then research them. A dog’s diet should contain carbohydrates, proteins, and fat through oils. Each of these three ingredients need to be high -quality and if chosen carefully will also provide all the vitamins that a dog needs for good health.
It’s important to remember that diet sensitivities may vary between dog’s, therefore some dog’s cope really well with some foods and others don’t. Make your dog’s diet a project. Spend some time collaborating exactly what you are feeding your dog. Make some positive changes and you will find that your dog’s behavior responds to those changes.
Puppy and Adult food:
Please stay away from corn, wheat, or soy as an ingredient. Dogs do not need nor should they have corn in their diet. Corn creates ear infections, skin infections, chewing of the feet, itchy skin, dry skin, yeast infections. Corn is simply a cheap filler dog food companies use. When corn is an ingredient, dogs need to eat more food to compensate for the lack of healthy ingredients. They also shed more and poo more too!
Please stay away from “byproducts”. An example “chicken meal byproduct” is everything from the chicken except the meat. Basically, it is feathers, feet, and beaks.
“Chicken meal” is the meat/protein. So regardless of the protein you choose to feed your puppy/dog make sure it is the “meal” and not the “byproduct”
Dyes are terrible for dogs! If it looks good to you (colors) it's almost always bad for your puppy/dog! Healthy foods are not colored they are almost always brown!
It is never too late to start feeding your adult dog a healthier food. Transition into the new food slowly by mixing the old with the new and slowly fade away the old.
Your puppy has a long life to live, start them on the proper diet now!
You spend slightly more at the register but SAVE a lot of money in vet bills later in life! Bonus is your puppy/dog is healthy and happy too!
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