Twosday Training Tip
TIP #1: WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH THE JUMPING?
A classic culture clash example is greeting rituals: in most human cultures, we shake hands or bow. In dog culture, they buzz around excitedly, lick and sniff each other. Greeting may become exaggerated when dogs live with humans because we're vertical: the dog wants to get at our face. We also tend to let tiny puppies get away with it and then change the rules when they grow larger.
The main reason dogs jump is that no one has taught them to do otherwise. I'm not talking about punishments like kneeing dogs, pinching their feet or cutting off their air with a strangle collar. This sort of abuse has been the prevailing "treatment" but is inhumane and laden with side-effects. Imagine yourself being kneed in the diaphragm or pushed over backwards for smiling or extending your hand in friendship. It's not the fault of dogs that their cultural norm is at odds with our greeting preferences.
The key to training dogs not to jump up is to strongly train an alternative behavior that is mutually exclusive to jumping. The dog cannot jump up and sit at the same time. Nor can he dig through walls while working on a chew toy, lie on a mat and annoy dinner guests, or hold eye contact while chasing cars. The applications of this technique - DRI (differential reinforcement of an in compatible behavior, or "operant counterconditioning") - are limitless.
- Excerpted from The Culture Clash
TIP #2: COULD IT BE HIP DYSPLASIA?
A lot of puppies - especially big, gangly ones - have a clumsy, bumbling gait, and this does not mean they have hip dysplasia. If your puppy had a hip dysplasia, you might notice that she limps sometimes, especially after strenuous exercise. You might hear or feel her hips "click" in and out, or notice that she stands and walks with her hocks or hind feet very close together. You might notice her struggling to push herself up into a standing position when she's lying down, or she might have trouble climbing stairs.
The way vets assess a puppy for hip dysplasia is by looking for a limp as the puppy walks and runs, then checking whether the hip can easily be pushed out of position in the socket (this feels like a "click" and is called the Ortolani sign).
If there's a suspicion of a problem - or if owners simply want more information - x-rays can be taken to check for hip dysplasia. Although a six-month-old puppy whose hips looked normal on plain x-rays might still develop hip dysplasia later, signs of the disease are often visible at this age.
If you have a puppy of a breed that is known to have a high incidence of hip dysplasia, ask your vet to evaluate the puppy for hip dysplasia. If her hips are normal, you'll be reassured, and if they are abnormal, you'll have surgical options for correcting the problem before arthritis sets in.
- Excerpted from Complete Healthy Dog Handbook
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Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, IAABC-ADT, FFCP, CTDI