I promise to not ramble on so much today. :)
Some of the other things I learned this past weekend from Suzanne Clothier were:
- The dogs are always telling you what their truth is. They can not lie.
- If a dog’s gaze orientation is constantly changing, they are unsure.
- Play is the first thing to stop if a dog is uncomfortable.
- It is very rare for a dog to not be food motivated – it is probably more stressed out than we think.
- Books worth reading – Why Zebra’s Don’t Get Ulcers, and The Invisible Gorilla
- Being in motion can help the recovery of a stressful situation
- You can decrease arousal by getting a dog to sit or down. – We use this all the time at the daycare, but I had always thought that putting them in a sit was just a way of getting them to stay in one place until they calmed down, not that the sitting itself was contributing to the calming. I wonder if that is what makes Stand Stays harder than down or sit stays?
- Attention or alertness is often the first shift in increasing arousal.
- Fine motor control isn’t as good when aroused (may notice this in the way they take cookies – while they can sometimes take them gently, as they get more excited they tend to be rougher)
- Arousal can narrow your focus so you may miss other things – that goes for the handler and the dog.
- If too aroused they’ll see threats in things that don’t exist.
- Be the Birthday Cake, not the Rice Cake! :)
- If they can’t sleep, they aren’t comfortable.