(SAMFL) Learning Activity: Pet Handling Discussion and Practice

Home Forums (SAMFL) Learning Activity: Pet Handling Discussion and Practice (SAMFL) Learning Activity: Pet Handling Discussion and Practice

  • nisbet.erin@gmail.com

    Member
    May 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.

  • Rebecca Harrison

    Member
    August 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.

  • LOLA

    Administrator
    October 8, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    Nice job!

  • Chris Herman

    Member
    March 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.

  • Naeree Lee

    Member
    January 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.

  • Alexis

    Member
    July 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.

  • Catherine

    Member
    January 7, 2024 at 9:22 am

    What did you learn that was new to you?

    I had never heard of the technique where you lift one of the hind legs off the ground and use your body weight to urge the dog to sit.

    How did the dog respond to your approach?

    All the dogs I worked with were from my neighborhood, so many of them were already familiar with me. All the dogs I worked with were in a positive frame of mind and had relaxed body postures.

    What facial expressions, postures, or gestures did you notice, and how did you interpret them?

    One neighbor has a Golden Retriever as well, so when I approached him, he was doing the full body wiggle and grunting while he showed me that he had a tennis ball in his mouth. I interpreted that as he was very happy to see me because he wanted to play. It took 3 verbal commands before he was calm enough to sit.

    My dogs, Nemo and Sally, have been trained well and they respond to my first commands. Evie has only been with us for a month and it is clear that she had very minimal training. She is very willing and has learned to sit easily. We are still working on down and stay. No stress indicators observed.

    If you are experienced in canine behavior and handling, what aspects of the material do you feel are most essential?

    I think it is essential to reinforce the idea that canines are, in fact, predators. Their reactions will be determined by how they perceive their environment and if they feel safe. Practitioners need to be aware of even the most subtle stress indicators and be prepared to manage any escalation in a safe manner.

    Do you have a story about an experience with behavior and handling that exemplifies the importance of proper equipment and handling?

    I was working as a technician in a veterinary clinic when I was in college. We had a woman call and ask if we had any availability to vaccinate her “extremely fear aggressive” border collie. The dog was a working dog and spent the majority of his time in the fields working sheep and cattle. She warned that she had been requested to “not return” to 3 other clinics throughout the years. We agreed and early one Saturday morning, before other clients arrived, we opened the clinic to this woman and her dog. I had already set up all the vaccines and had the tubes ready for the blood draw. The doctor gave the woman Ace to give to the dog before bringing him into the clinic. The dog already had a soft muzzle on and he was well behaved for the owner when getting the weight. He had strong verbal commands and listened well to the owner’s instructions. I went into the room and elected to utilize the ear thermometer instead of a rectal thermometer (which was more common at the time). I entered the room and began asking questions so the dog would have a chance to adjust to me. I had the owner give a series of basic commands to ensure his attention was on her. I then approached from the side and gently touched him on the side of the neck. I was able to get a temperature even with the growling and posturing. His pupils were fully dilated, he was panting rapidly, his muzzle was completely soaked, his body was trembling, and he was lunging at me as I moved away from him. The owner requested that we fully sedate him, so I stepped out of the room to consult with the Vet.

    During this time, another technician had entered the room to make sure everything was set up. I walked into the room to let the owner know that the vet was drawing up a sedative and would be in shortly. The other technician assumed that I wanted to draw blood and get a fecal sample before the vet arrived. She grabbed the dog and swung him up onto the exam table. In this process, she did not keep the dog pressed close to her body and the dog got one of his front paws loose and clawed her face. It split her lower lip open from the top to just below the curve of her chin. I assume there was a lot of adrenaline going through her system because she seemed unaware that she had been injured. I stepped to the opposite side of the table and told her she needed to step out of the room and clean up because she had some blood on her. I was attempting to get her to relinquish control of the dog, but she second guessed my hold and during the exchange the dog managed to turn his head and bite the pinnae of my ear despite having a muzzle on.

    The other technician and I both ended up getting stitches to take care of our injuries. Over the course of the following year, I started helping the woman with some farm chores. By the time vaccinations were due again the dog was accustomed to me. I had one of the vets meet me at the farm and we did the annual physical in one of the stalls. The dog still had a muzzle on, and we still gave him oral sedation before the vet arrived, but because we were not lifting him up and he didn’t have to suffer through a car ride and go into a strange building he was much better behaved that year.

    How has knowing how to read dog behavior kept you and the dog safe?

    I have been working with animals in one form or another for the past 30 years. Being able to read body language and understanding an animal’s motivation has allowed me to safely manage most situations. Making sure that I am aware of the potential environmental stressors as well as the stress response signs various animals exhibit has given me the ability to try and mitigate problems before they become a crisis.

  • Traci Johnson

    Member
    January 17, 2024 at 6:08 am

    What did you learn that was new to you?: Methods for having a dog sit.

    How did the dog respond to your approach?: I practiced on my own dog. He was lying on the bed (human bed) and followed me with his eyes but did not lift his head or change his body position.

    What facial expression, postures or gestures did you notice, and how did you interpret them?: My dog was tired and maybe a little bored lying on my bed so he didn’t have much of an expression but he did follow me with his eyes, so he was engaged or intrigued with whatever I was doing.

    If you are experienced in canine behavior and handling, what aspects of the material do you feel are most essential?: Approach methods and body language are most essential, in my opinion. I also appreciate the mention of not giving treats/excessive treats.

    Do you have a story about an experience with behavior and handling that exemplifies the importance of proper equipment and handling?: One of our training dogs was nervous and would hide in the back of her kennel if someone approached. My boyfriend was trying to get her our to take on a walk outside so he reached into the kennel with the slip lead and the dog peed and bit his hand. Later in the day, I was able to coax her out and put on the slip lead to guide her outside by sitting about 10 feet away with the kennel door open. I had to sit for about 20 minutes for her to come to me. I let her sniff my feet and retreat and return as much as she needed, and then I was able to place the lead over her head while I was petting her neck.


  • Amanda

    Member
    February 26, 2024 at 2:19 pm

    What did you learn that was new to you?

    While I have seen vet technicians practice lifting and restraining a dog (one hand around the head, the other over the back and underneath) I have never practiced it myself. I found the movement a little awkward and will continue working with it to find a rhythm.

    How did the dog respond to your approach?

    Both dogs are my pets so were very happy about my approach. Dog 2 is a little more high-strung and was good to work with during this practice. Dog 1 usually listens and had no problem sitting or standing.

    What facial expression, postures or gestures did you notice, and how did you interpret them?

    Dog 2 seemed a little uneasy. He maintained a stiff posture and would not sit. I used the method of placing pressure against one leg. He sincerely didn’t like this, but sat which was the goal.

    How has knowing how to read dog behavior kept you and the dog(s) safe?

    As mentioned dog 2 is a little high-strung and seems to have a button that when pushed, places him in fight mode. Being able to read his posture and uneasiness helps me to never push the button in the first place and maintain control of the situation.

  • Nikki

    Member
    March 25, 2024 at 2:51 pm

    What did you learn that was new to you? You can use your forearm behind and just above the hocks to press it into a sit. Who knew!

    How did the dog respond to your approach? My dog looked at me like I was crazy when I approached to his side. I knelt beside him and asked for a sit. He did not. I used the forearm trick and it worked!

    What facial expression, postures or gestures did you notice, and how did you interpret them? My dog looked confused, ears back, tail down. I believe he was feeling defensive and unsure (his nature is that he’s a very insecure dog).

    If you are experienced in canine behavior and handling, what aspects of the material do you feel are most essential? Watching body language and not ignoring the results.

    Do you have a story about an experience with behavior and handling that exemplifies the importance of proper equipment and handling? My anxious dog that I was just working with, often gets very “amped up,” running and barking. He cannot seem to calm himself. I have found that I now call him to me, put on a calming wrap and have him on leash near me until he calms down.

    How has knowing how to read dog behavior kept you and the dog(s) safe? One of my hounds is intermittently aggressive towards the others and has attacked them in the past. I watch for lip licking, stiff tail, and pupil dialation. I make the others give him a wide berth as he does not like to be confronted head-on.

  • emmajeannotte

    Member
    April 25, 2024 at 5:30 pm

    What did you learn that was new to you?

    Using one arm and wrapping it around the chest of the dog, while placing my forearm behind the dog’s hock to help guide them into a sitting position.


    How did the dog respond to your approach?

    When trying to approach the dog from the side, the dog proceeded to freeze, but continued to keep his eye on me. When I asked for the dog to sit, the dog stared at me blankly, so I proceeded to kneel down beside him and once the patient was comfortable with me, I placed one arm around the chest and the other arm behind the hocks and encouraged the dog to sit. At first the dog was a bit confused, but once in the sitting position I positively reinforced the dog with a “good boy” and received a tail wag in return.

    What facial expression, postures or gestures did you notice, and how did you interpret them?

    The dog I tried the approach on was very nervous. The dog was lip licking a lot, pacing/trying to turn in circles, the patient was panting a lot and had his ears pulled back. I could tell the dog was nervous, so prior to approaching him I allowed the dog to roam the exam room and get used to me by allowing him to smell me and smell the room.


    If you are experienced in canine behaviour and handling, what aspects of the material do you feel are most essential?

    Knowing and understanding canine and feline body language and how to respond appropriately.


    Do you have a story about an experience with behaviour and handling that exemplifies the importance of proper equipment and handling?

    Working in emergency, sometimes we get so caught up in trying to get things done in a timely manner that we forget the importance of watching a dog’s behaviour/posture before restraining an animal for an injection. A coworker of mine was assisting a doctor by restraining a dog for an IM injection. The dog’s ears were pulled back, his tail was tucked and he was giving my coworker the side eye. Both the doctor and my coworker were in such a rush that they decided to give the dog the IM injection and when the injection was given the dog reacted and turned to bite my coworker. If my coworker and doctor took a bit more time to observe the patient, they may have considered muzzling the dog to protect them both from being bitten.


    How has knowing how to read dog behaviour kept you and the dog(s) safe?

    It has allowed me to know when a dog is requiring a break before the dog reaches its breaking point and tries to bite people.


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