Episode 811 – The New Normal: Distance Learning & Telecommuting

Victoria and Aly talk about how to be more effective when learning and working from home. Social distancing is the thing these days, but how do we keep from going nuts and what are the best practices to stay productive and efficient when working or learning from home. Dealing with the social aspect of isolation. Aly shares some top tips for how to be productive while staying home, including staying engaged and avoiding passivity. The use of rituals of physical, technical and mental preparation in staying efficient at home.

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Online Classes = Dog’s Best Friend

Coronavirus pandemic necessitates an alternative to group classes

Billions of people across the globe are giving up their normal activities in a massive community effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, and dog training classes are no exception. So many in-person classes are on hiatus or cancelled, but that does not mean that you can’t keep training your dog under the guidance of professional dog trainers. Though online classes are not new, they are suddenly more popular than ever before.

I was excited to learn that Dog’s Best Friend Training in Madison, Wisconsin just launched online classes in response to the pandemic. They are now offering Puppy Kindergarten, Beginning Family Dog Training, and Get Focused and In Control, with plans to add additional classes and workshops soon. I recently spoke to Owner & Trainer Aimee Jarosz as well as Behavior Consultant & Trainer Chelse Wagner about the new program*.

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The Changing Role & Responsibility of Rescues & Shelters

There may have been a time when schools only needed to be charged with teaching students reading, writing and arithmetic. But as society changes schools become responsible for instruction that either used to be provided at home, or represents a new field of study. When I was in high school we had a choice of […]

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Veterinarian’s Take on Covid-19: Week One

A vet’s perspective on the Coronavirus life

It’s been a week of hand sanitizer, social distancing and official responses. Policy, protocols, processes. (As you know, these are a few of my favourite things). Communications and reviews. Precautions. Preparation. Triage. Risk assessment.
Change. Uncertainty. Change.


Dear Tilly came to stay and wasn’t sure what to make of it all either!

Our inboxes have been flooded with COVID19 updates and responses from every company. Read our’s here.

In the meantime, people are still getting sick, not from COVID19, but because other shit still happens. And their pets still get sick too.

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Three Secrets to Safe & Effective Exercise for Your Dog

It’s no secret that exercising your dog can lead to a happier and healthier pup – not to mention a quieter house and a happier you. The complication is that exercising your dog takes time and sometimes we struggle to find time to exercise ourselves. However, without safe and effective exercise, your dog can gain weight, risk costly injury, and tear apart the house in response to pent up energy. Consider how you exercise your dog now: perhaps you play tug with your Chihuahua in the living room, jog or play fetch with your active retriever, or ask your senior mixed breed to sit in the kitchen — all of these activities can exercise your dog both physically and mentally. Let’s further explore how you can make the most of your time with your dog while safely and effectively gaining the benefits of exercise.

Here are three secrets to safely and effectively exercising your dog through activities and games that you probably already play.

1. Discuss with your veterinarian

Before beginning any exercise (even training class!), it’s important to get a full health check with your local veterinarian. Let your vet know which activities you are thinking about pursuing, and ask which activities would be most appropriate for your dog’s age, musculoskeletal structure, and preferences. Remember, just like with children, jumping from high places or playing on hard surfaces can be detrimental to joints. Be sure to ask how long the activities should last, how intense they should be, and about any necessary equipment or weather precautions. Just because your dog wants to fetch constantly, doesn’t necessarily mean that this high impact, sustained exercise is healthy. Describe the activity and environment to your vet in detail, and be sure to get clearance before enjoying with your pup.

2. Explore variation

After speaking with your veterinarian about appropriate activities for your dog, plan to vary the types of activities each day. If your veterinarian approved some shorter distance jogs for your pup, perhaps the next day you could spread his food in the backyard as a scavenger hunt. Varying high intensity with low intensity workouts is just as stimulating for your pup, and the variation will keep him engaged. You can also vary exercises within the activity itself. For example, if you frequently throw a ball or disc for your dog until she lies down and pants, consider asking for tricks between different types of throws. By varying distances and body movements you can help your dog regulate her arousal and stay safe.

3. Remember warms up & cool down

Before beginning any activity, it’s important to set up your dog for success. Dogs have the same basic musculoskeletal components as people, and therefore they can sustain similar injuries from rigorous use or clumsy accidents. However, dogs are more athletic compared to humans (even your couch potato probably has a higher VO2max than you!), and they can exert a lot of energy at playtime. It’s important to warm up and cool down your dog’s muscles before use. Consider the type of exercise and what body parts are involved, and plan for a warm up. For example, if you’re about to open the back door for your dog to dash out with his powerful hind legs, take a couple walking laps around the living room first. Ask for a few repetitions of sit and put a treat in front of his nose to lure him in a few circles before opening the door. Much like a short jog, squats, and plyometrics before a sprint, these exercises can help protect your dog’s soft tissue before dashing off. The easiest part is that the same exercises can be performed in reverse for a quick cool down.

Using these three secrets, you can safely and effectively exercise your dog in the same amount of time and help you and your pup enjoy the benefits. Through warms ups/cool downs and varying your dog’s activities you can tire your pup out in no time at all. Talking to your veterinarian about the type, duration, and intensity of activity can also tailor the exercise to your dog and avoid costly injury. 

Many caretakers believe that their dog needs to sprint in order to get tired, when in reality sniffing, training, or a combination can be just as taxing. Check out the table below for more ideas! Challenge yourself this week to change one thing about your dog’s exercise routine, and see if you enjoy a calmer, healthier dog!

 

Activity

Variation

Warm up/cool down

Hide a treat/toy in the house

High/low places, obstacles, multiple rooms

Walk laps, sits, crawls

Sniffy walk

Hide treats, change route

Walk laps, sits

Tug

Side to side, stop/go, 2 tugs

Jog laps, play bow, weight shift

Fetch

Short/long distances, walking breaks, sit/down/spin/beg/back

Jog laps, downs, circles

Jog

Walk/run, canicross, sniff breaks

Sniff, walk laps, sits

 

 

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Episode 811 – The New Normal: Distance Learning & Telecommuting

Victoria and Aly talk about how to be more effective when learning and working from home. Social distancing is the thing these days, but how do we keep from going nuts and what are the best practices to stay productive and efficient when working or learning from home. Dealing with the social aspect of isolation. Aly shares some top tips for how to be productive while staying home, including staying engaged and avoiding passivity. The use of rituals of physical, technical and mental preparation in staying efficient at home.

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Forget About Stress & Anxiety

POSITIONING THEMSELVES FOR REINFORCEMENT First off, sorry. The title was designed to get your attention. We cannot forget about stress and anxiety but rather than focus on those conditions we assume a dog is experiencing, let’s get down to the business of behavior. It has been important that people have been encouraged to […]

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The Changing Role & Responsibility of Rescues & Shelters

There may have been a time when schools only needed to be charged with teaching students reading, writing and arithmetic. But as society changes schools become responsible for instruction that either used to be provided at home, or represents a new field of study. When I was in high school we had a choice of […]

The post The Changing Role & Responsibility of Rescues & Shelters appeared first on Fearful Dogs.

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Meet Lily

Lily has cerebellar hypoplasia. She’s also an extreme extrovert. She loves chasing and shaking her toys. Her spirit is endless and she has no idea she can’t do it all.

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Dog Behaviour Conference Now A Global Online Event

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Positively and the Victoria Stilwell Academy have announced that registration is now open to the public for the International Dog Behavior Conference which – for the first time ever – will be held online rather than in-person.

For the past six years, Positively, VSPDT and the Victoria Stilwell Academy have hosted the National Dog Behavior Conference in the UK. It’s always one of our absolute favorite times of the year, not just because of the awesome content that our fabulous presenters bring each year, but also because of the community it represents.

The dog training world – and the dog owning world, for that matter – is a collection of wonderful people committed to providing the very best they can for the dogs in their lives. Whether that’s as a dog trainer, daycare owner, veterinary staff, rescue volunteer or employee, or just an uber dog-geek of an owner.

The Dog Behavior Conference brings together like-minded people who are passionate about making the world better for animals around the world. And up until this year, it’s been pretty much limited to people in Britain since the conference has been hosted in the UK in the past.

Now, though, with the coronavirus situation wreaking havoc with all of our lives, we’re excited to share that the conference is bigger and better than ever… online!

While we were disappointed to have to cancel the in-person conference, we’re really excited about the new benefits that this move to an online event will bring.

First, more people can join us and get access to the amazing content that some of the world leaders in the pet industry have to offer. The conference is now open to everyone around the world, so you can log in from anywhere and be a part of the action.

Second, we get to add a couple more rock star presenters to the speaker list. We already had a ridiculously talented and engaging lineup including Victoria, Sarah Fisher, Holly Root-Gutteridge, J. Nichole Smith, Sarah Heath, and Kay Laurence.

But now we’re thrilled to announce that we’ll also be hearing from the esteemed Clive Wynne from Arizona State University, as well as the tremendous Zazie Todd of Companion Animal Psychology.com.

Plus, we’ve been able to lower the cost of registration to less than half of what it had been for the in-person version. Full registration for the two day online event is just $125 – and that includes lifetime access to watch the video recordings of the presentation as much as you’d like after the event.

The online International Dog Behavior Conference will be held on May 9-10, 2020, and you can register to reserve your spot now at positively.com/dbc.

Seats for this online conference are limited, and we’ve sold out of this event each of the past several years in-person. Now you can reserve your place and take advantage of lifetime access to the content for just $125.

Click here to learn more and register today!

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