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(SAMFL) Learning Activity: Pet Handling Discussion and PracticePosted by David on April 22, 2020 at 3:09 pm
Discuss what you did, and what you learned, briefly by replying below.
MemberMay 27, 2020 at 6:20 pm
What did you learn that was new to you? I learned that you should let the cat come out of the crate on it’s own time. I’ve only experienced the vet pulling the cat out. Practiced entering and exiting with the cat and then picking her up from the side with support for her front and back upon exit.
I also practiced handling OAM#1. OAM#1 is mostly blind, diabetic and has arthritis. upon approach I speak to him so he can hear me and I offer my hand for smell. I asked him if he wanted up before I reached under his chest and hind legs to lift him up.
How did the dog respond to your approach? OAM#1 will vocalize when he hears my voice and willingly approach. He accepts my hand for smell and allows me to stroke his chest. When asked to come up he turned his body to put himself in position to be lifted.
What facial expression, postures or gestures did you notice, and how did you interpret them?
I interpret OAM#1’s vocalizations as excitement they are the same as the ones he uses when he hears the word walk. He moves quickly and in an erratic pattern as well which is in contrast to his usual saunter. Maneuvering himself into position to be picked up I interpret as willingly accepting the handling.
How has knowing how to read dog behavior kept you and the dog(s) safe? Knowing how to read behavior offers the foreshadowing necessary to avoid discomfort for the animal, as well as avoid a situation where i get bit. It helps preserve the relationship, and creates an enjoyable experience for everyone.
MemberAugust 20, 2020 at 10:01 am
The new thing that I learned was approaching a dog for massage for the first time. The “HUG” approach seems like a nice way to start. My dog responded very excitedly but that’s nothing new for her. She took as an opportunity for snuggles and kisses. My dog was submissive by showing me her tummy. This seems more out of respect than fear.
It was informative to learn how a pet may feel discomfort or unwillingness as first but small breaks may help the animal calm down.
AdministratorOctober 8, 2020 at 8:34 pm
MemberMarch 23, 2021 at 10:37 am
I contacted my neighbor and asked if I could meet up with her two-year-old Poodle named Maggie. Maggie is a happy and excited dog. We met on the sidewalk between our homes. Maggie was in an offensive stance when I approached. Her facial expression seemed curious of me. Maggie was interested to see me and lunged towards me excitedly. The neighbor had Maggie on a leash, so Maggie did not make contact with me. As I walked up and greeted my neighbor and Maggie, I avoided direct eye contact with Maggie. Knowing that Maggie is an excited dog, I engaged with my neighbor for a few minutes while Maggie got acquainted with me on her own. Maggie did acknowledge me by rubbing/pushing her snout against my body. When I turned my attention to Maggie, she became excited and attempted to jump on me. I had an assertive leadership mindset and told Maggie with a firm “no” that jumping was not needed. I directed Maggie towards a blanket I had setup by my front door. Maggie followed me to the blanket but was not interested in sitting on the blanket. I then got a grip on the leash and escorted Maggie to the blanket. As I got down at Maggie’s level, she seemed to calm down quite a bit. While down at Maggie’s level she seemed to want affection. When I was on the ground, Maggie got closer to me while I petted her. When I stopped for a moment, Maggie pawed at me and seemed to indicate she wanted more petting. I obliged and Maggie seemed to become more relaxed and at ease. During the initial approach, Maggie was wide eyed and excited. Maggie calmed down after I engaged with her owner a bit and she was able to sniff me. When I was petting Maggie she seemed to be in a relaxed state due to semi squinting her eyes and her breathing was more calm and steady. Maggie remained calm and relaxed with me until the petting session was over and I got up. The moment I got up Maggie became her usual excited two-year-old self.
MemberJanuary 11, 2022 at 1:29 pm
I practiced this on three of our dogs, Orckers (American Pitbull Terrier), Aewie Kiwi Bird (Pomeranian), and Ollie Dingo (14 lb. mutt).
I got each of them to come up to their play bed on the floor.
Orckers initially did not want to engage (he wanted to nap on his favorite chair), but with some scratches on his back, he obliged and sat on his bed. He kept wanting to stand up, but he is a very good boy and followed my “sit” command to sit back down each time. Giving him his favorite back scratches and scratches behind his ears got him to relax and let me pretend to give him a massage.
He yawned a couple of times (unsure if it was a stress yawn or relaxed yawn, but I think it was the latter since he was enjoying the scratches he was getting). He had soft eyes, and his ear positions alternated between moving toward back a little bit and relaxing to the side of his head.
Aewie the Pom is on the hyper side so I was a bit worried to get him to sit still. He usually darts about looking for activities. He calmed very quickly after receiving some back scratches and stayed still in the upright sitting position. His eyes were soft, his ears were flat toward the back, and he air licked a few times while getting his back scratches.
Ollie Dingo is typically a very calm one, so it was easy to get him on the dog bed and sit still. He also enjoyed his back scratches and I could feel his skin twitch. His eyes were soft, he lifted his nose up in the air a little. His ears that are typically erect upward were sort of down each side. His tail curved toward the back at times but would be relaxed down, alternating between.
I practiced observing each of their body language as I interacted with each. I tried to pay attention to their movements, their facial expressions, eyes, ears, whether they were tensing up or relaxing.
MemberJuly 29, 2023 at 8:00 pm
-What did you learn that was new to you?
I learned to effectively read a dog’s body language before approaching it. I look for offensive /positive behavior such as having the ears forward, tail is relaxed or wagging, and the dog seems comfortable in my presence. I was able to observe a canine massage first hand where the masseuse gently guided the dog to the floor before she started her therapy session. The dog seemed very comfortable and willing to let her massage him.
<em style=”background-color: var(–bb-content-background-color);”>-How did the dog respond to your approach?
The dog responded well, exhibiting positive behavior (no hackles, growling, etc.)
<em style=”background-color: var(–bb-content-background-color);”>-What facial expression, postures or gestures did you notice, and how did you interpret them?
<em style=”background-color: var(–bb-content-background-color);”>There were no visual avoidance, body seemed very relaxed, and the dog was allowing tactile touching without incident.
-If you are experienced in canine behavior and handling, what aspects of the material do you feel are most essential?
Most essential aspects are being able to recognize when an animal is under stress or is uncomfortable. This behavior can cascade into a serious, potentially harmful situation that can be avoided reading body cues.
-Do you have a story about an experience with behavior and handling that exemplifies the importance of proper equipment and handling?
A colleague of mine did not understand the importance of understanding behavioral body cues and was unfortunately bit in the face after she faced a large dog head on, looked him in the eyes, and leaned her face in to say hi to him. He was nervous and holding his ears back and tucking his tail.
-How has knowing how to read dog behavior kept you and the dog(s) safe?
I have worked with animals for 15 years and have only been hurt once because I understand when it is appropriate and inappropriate to approach and handle a dog or cat. Sometimes it is inevitable to avoid a bite or scratch but most of the time you can avoid it by practicing safe judgement.