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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Understanding Prey Drive

 Discussions on dealing with aggressive dogs usually turns in the direction of how to deal with these situations when they occur but should be directed to prevention. People speak of correction and control in training when they should speak of refocusing and promoting correct behavior. As a long term Flyball team member, captain of a consistent top ten team, owner of several successful Flyball dogs, and mostly as a professional trainer who has a large amount of experience in solving aggression cases; I am going to put my two cents in.
First of all, let's clarify prey-drive versus chase drive. A prey driven dog will chase with a great deal of focus on the object it is pursuing and a definite goal of attaining access to its target. A chase driven dog will also chase but usually not with the same intensity or absolute drive to reach its target as the end goal. Many of you have done chase games with both types of dogs. The prey driven dog will drive as hard as it can until it reaches you and when it does you or your toy usually gets hit like a ton of bricks. The chase driven dog can be somewhat frustrating as it will chase you, but not with the drive or intense targeting behavior of the prey driven dog. This dog will often pursue the handler in chase games, but will run on by and not follow through to actually catch the handler. The chase driven dog usually does not exhibit the sudden increased burst of speed that a prey driven dog will when the handler increases their speed. Unfortunately, either tendency can lead to dog chasing and/or aggression (more so in the prey driven dog).

Secondly, let's apply this to Flyball training. All are born with different levels of pre-dispositions towards movement fixation. The funny thing here is that the dogs with strong prey-drive can potentially be some of the best Flyball dogs. Dogs very much learn what to fixate on. Unfortunately, many dogs learn to fixate on other dogs very early in their training. Practices such as letting the dog watch, or tying them to walls during practices, or running with a pack too much early in their career can be a major culprit. It is a known fact that a restrained dog watching movement go by will usually begin to fixate on the moving object. Everyone in Flyball knows this or why else would we build speed and drive through "restraint" recalls. Eventually through frustration, the restrained observing dog may become aggressive towards the moving dog. When a dog does not know the game and is watching, the most interesting thing is the dogs running by. So, those leaping, barking restrained dogs are not keen to play the game, but are keen to chase the dogs. Therefore, we must make these tendencies work for us and not against us. Do not let green dogs spend their time learning to develop a moving dog fixation; and certainly do not let already problematic dogs feed their fixation. In order to do this you may loose ten pounds, but the bottom line is the handler needs to get physical. My basic rule with a new dog or an already problematic dog is he is always playing chase games with me when he is around moving dogs. If a pre-existing severe focus problem exists then we begin around one non-moving dog and gradually build up. The idea is to develop a mind-set in the dog that the movement going on around him is insignificant and never involves him, and that you are the only interesting target . This takes a great deal of effort on the owners part as it is physical, and hard work to run around focusing your dog on your movement only(Tug games are excellent for this). It is certainly much easier to establish in a new puppy with no pre-conceived ideas. It can be a bigger project when you are trying to solve a pre-existing problem, but it is do-able. I am not saying that you would not use correction at all, but it is much more reliable to have a dog with this altered owner driven mind set than to rely on a negative consequence to make the dog restrain himself. I am also concerned over comments that the dog prey drives to get the ball and brings it due to the control you have on him. What all the top teams know is that the retrieve of the ball is only an activity en route to the drive to pursue and catch the handler. If the chase or prey drive is harnessed toward the handler; the other movement around is of little interest to the dog. One last note on this issue; I do not use the rest of my pack to exercise a new puppy. I go out one-on-one and play all those fun doggy games with him. He will be with the pack or other dogs enough to be properly socialized, but the majority of play time is with me. As I stated at the beginning, dogs learn what is fun to focus on; make sure that it is you. By, the way; for those of you worrying about having enough time to treat a new dog as an individual, I recently raised #12 of a pack of 12.
A final word: There are many roads to the same destination, I have just outlined one of them. These ideas are meant for a dog who has chase or prey driven problems; not for dogs with generalized offensive or defensive dog aggression problems which would also present other factors to be dealt with. I hope this helps some of you, or at least gives you some food for thoug

Prey drive | Dogs

Whether you realize it or not, your dog playing with a squeaker toy could be them expressing prey drive. The same goes for them chasing a ball or fetching a stick. When a dog is staring down a squirrel or sniffing along the path where a cat has just been, that is many generations of carnivorous predatory behavior at work.
Prey drive is what motivates carnivores to continue to hunt for their next meal. While pet dogs rarely need to hunt for food, the silent staring, the stalking, the chasing, and the biting (whether to grab or kill) are all part of the prey drive. The prey is usually a small animal, such as a cat, frog, squirrel or bird, but some dogs will hunt deer or even other dogs.
Sometimes these normal prey drive instincts cross into behavior that is not appropriate for modern dog life. When your dog is chasing cats, deer, squirrels, or other small dogs, their strong sense of prey drive poses safety concerns. People, pets, and wildlife can be in danger if a dog’s prey drive escalates and causes them to bite or attack. The good news is, prey drive is quite manageable through safety precautions and training.
What causes prey drive?
Some dogs are more prone to stubborn and intense prey drive, but it’s logical. For example, Border Collies were bred to have a strong drive to spot, stalk, and chase sheep but stop before they bite. On the other hand, Terriers were bred to chase and kill rodents. Greyhounds, Pit Bulls, Hounds, and Retrievers have all been bred and trained to strengthen their prey drive over many generations to help people with various tasks and activities, such as hunting.
A high level of prey drive can be hard for the average pet parent to manage, but a dog with high prey drive may be well suited as a working dog.
Does prey drive mean my dog is aggressive?
Prey drive is not the same as aggression. While a dog with strong prey drive may also have aggressive behaviors, dogs with high prey drive are not necessarily aggressive. Aggressive behavior is when a dog acts violently due to emotion, such as fear or protectiveness. A dog guarding his food from the cat is acting aggressively. A dog chasing the cat to bite or kill it is displaying prey drive.
Normally, an aggressive dog is trying to get away from the thing that is causing the negative emotion or may try to scare it off by barking or growling. Prey drive is causing a dog to head towards their prey.
Is prey drive dangerous?
Dogs with low prey drive normally don’t pose a risk to those around them, but if you see signs of prey drive (stalking, chasing, or biting other animals) you should use extra caution. Consult with a positive reinforcement trainer to discuss training methods to help your dog moderate their prey drive. If your dog has shown any indication that they may bite, they should be muzzled when around other animals and never permitted to run off-leash. Be especially careful around small children in the home and outside on bikes or skateboards as they can be quite triggering for dogs with prey drive.
Nearly all dogs show some signs of prey drive and normally can satisfy their urges with a game of fetch or tug of war. However, if your dog is showing intense prey drive, it’s time to talk to a professional about remedying this potentially dangerous behavior.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

How to build the forever dog | Forever dog training Part III

On one side, the dogs ate the traditional diet of kibble the dry food in the bowl. Here's what's really cool. On the other side, they replicated that same bowl, but they just didn't cook it. It's the same bowl and cooked with fresh vegetables and fresh meat. And so what kind of impact would that have on animals under a microscope, the results were unbelievable. The animals that ate the bowl uncooked, not only had a better microbiome, but a more diverse microbiome. So when I traveled to the university in London King's College, Dr. Tim Spector, one of the most cited scientists in the entire world microbiologist, he told me, my friend, the more diverse that your dog and cat's bellies are, the longer they'll live. And if there's ever a time to add a little bit of fresh food at the good Lord put on this planet for all of us to share, share with your pets. Okay, the last tip of the day for you guys, what would it be? environmental factors. Now, this is a tough category to cover. This could be toxins, lawn pesticides, floor cleaners, candles. I wanted to pick one easy that you could all do. And what was that? exercise? It's an environmental factor. Some of you say, what's the big deal? If we took two of some of the oldest living dogs in the world, the 31 year old dog Maggie who just passed away a couple years ago God loved her and the 25 year old v talk named Bramble. What did these two dogs have in common? You see, if you asked an heritage brambles mother, she taught said the one thing that she did that was critical was exercise. Well, I like to walk my dogs 20 minutes around the neighborhood. That's a joke. She gave her dog two hours of exercise every single day plus women. My 20 minute walk is a joke. And she says even crazier. When they asked Brian McLaren, the man who put together the oldest dog in the world, and they said to him, Brian, how much exercise Did you give your animal? I remember exercise, lowers stress, lowers blood sugars, lowers insulin. It's the cheapest form of therapy today. Ryan McLean said, Well, I didn't really exercise my dog. You see, I would drive my tractor my dog would follow me from one end of the farm, it was only 10 kilometers, and then I would drive all the way back to the other side of the farm. It was only 10 kilometers, maybe about 20 kilometers a day, every single day.
Exercise is critical. Here's the thing. We need more tiggers on this planet. This list that I share with you, my friends, is not for those people who say

Sunday, March 21, 2021

How to build the forever dog | Forever dog training Part II

 The second tip we were talking about, and this one is really important. caloric restriction. If you talk to the top scientists in the world, you said How did we go from 11.3 years all the way to 10? How did we do that? Scientists will tell you it's caloric restriction. That's the problem. Why? If we were to look at the pet obesity statistics worldwide right now, let's take the top eight countries in the world, my friends, we are seeing a huge increase in pet obesity. If you were to average all the major countries around the world, over 51% of animals, dogs and cats are overweight or obese today. That's a huge problem. So what can we do? In the first study of its kind, scientists wanted to know what would happen if they took two groups of dogs. One group is the way that we all feed our dogs. Just put food in the bowl he'll eat when he wants to eat. And then the other group, let's just take 25% out of the bowl. What did that do to the overall longevity of the animal 35%. After the lifetime study from birth to death, the scientists found that just by reducing food by 25%, you could increase the lifespan of your animal by two extra years. Remember, longevity experts say that animals age seven times faster do the math. So it's hugely important that we don't feed our animals out of love, because we can shorten their lifespans dramatically. Food should nourish you, but it shouldn't hurt you. Okay, the third tip that I could give you today is insulin signaling. This one's tough. I had a hard time with a lot of scientists with this one. But here's what we know. Eat a lot of sugar, eat a lot of starch, your blood sugars are going to go up. And when your blood sugar goes up, your body does something and releases something called insulin. Now here's what we know today in science, you release a lot of insulin can be toxic, too much insulin When can be inflammatory. Too much insulin can aid you and can sell replicate. Now he just mentioned to you that eating a lot of sugars and starches, what's the big deal? You can't make pet food, kibble. Without getting the stick try to make a cookie without starch can't do it. So the pet food manufacturer has to add starch to the food. The problem, pet owners have no idea how much is in it. These starches, aka carbohydrates are major macronutrients. 

So if the pet owner looks up and down on a bag of food, he's not going to see it. The pet food manufacturer will tell you how much fats in there, that's a macronutrient. They'll tell you how much protein is in there. That's a macronutrient. But what about the macronutrient that can fuel your animal you should know about that. The entire bowl over 50% of the bowl is a macronutrient that feeds your animal and that's carbohydrates. And let me tell you consuming that many carbo hydrates, according to science can aid your pet dramatically. Now there's an equation that the pet food manufacturers will tell Hey, it's online, you just go in there do the math yourself. Who on earth does that? Here's the thing. I sat down with Dr. Richard Patton. 40 year nutritionist, the man who helped formulate all of these foods. And I asked them Dr. Patton, how much starch is too much starch. And he said to me, right, if you go back in time, before the pet food revolution of 100 years ago, dogs ate meat, seeds, nuts, berries, you name it, add it all up is 4% carbohydrates. Today's dog and cat is consuming anywhere between 50 to 70% carbohydrates. And unless you're testing your dog's blood sugars every single day, my friends, unless you're picking your animals, and you're taking them into your veterinarian, you're testing their insulin levels. You could be agent and very quickly. So it's very important as pet parents around the world, we learn how much starches are in our foods. The fourth tip is repair of damage. Now this one's big. If you damage your cells, you have to fix yourselves. And how do you do that? Talk to any health expert in the world. And they'll tell you that your entire immune system is your gut. And when you have a healthy immune system, you're going to repair cells, whether you're human whether you're a dog or whether you're a cat. But what helps a healthy immune system. I traveled all the way to Idina, the University of Utah and a very tough one for being Italian word where these scientists were doing something unbelievable. To scientists Dr. Lisa sandry. And Dr. Bruno Stephen on. And these scientists wanted to know if feeding dogs a certain type of food would help their microbiome make their immune system healthier. So we went through a lot of crap. But not literally like a lot of poop. Analyzing the microbiome of animals, the bacteria that's inside the poop. And what they found was fascinating. What these scientists did was they took two panels of dogs.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

How to build the forever dog | Forever dog training Part I


And if Tigger could explain herself very quickly to you guys, she probably tell you, she loves pizza. She hates cats. And there's a scuole family that's on the other side of the fence. Every morning, they tease her. She hates them too. But that's not the most incredible part of the story. This dogs pet parents, Julie Morris and Brady unknowingly had no idea. They were raising the 10th all this dog in the world today, a 22 year old Pitbull. Which is incredible, he still going strong. And so for a lot of pet parents today, when we say 22 We're like, jeez, Holy smokes. You know, we've heard of like the 14 or the 15 year old dog, but 22? Is it achievable? What if I told you, my friends that once upon a time, the 20 year old dog may have been a natural thing. You see if we go back 8000 years ago, before the Bible. In the second oldest surviving piece of Western literature, there was a story that was written by Homer. And the story was called the Odyssey. In what you're seeing is a metal etching that sits above my desk was the first interaction between man and dog. But the clue that was in this not a lot of people picked up on you see, Odysseus left his house when his loyal dog Argos was just a baby. And he came back 20 years later to return to his old dog. Now, I'm not saying that the story The Odyssey is a true story. But what I'm saying is the clue for the age of the dog, could have been the fact of that time when Homer was writing it. But are we seeing that today? Are we seeing 20 year old dogs? In 2010, the British small animal veterinarian Association put together a study done on a survey. And today if you ask how old is the typical dog look for 11.3 years as your answer. But that's 2010. Has there been anything updated? 10 years later in 2014, that Kennel Club did a study on a survey of dogs over cohort. But they went back one year, one year you talk to longevity experts, they'll tell you that the dog ages seven times faster than what to go cats, you got to talk about cats. Banfield state of health on over 400,000 cats in their database found that the typical cat lives to be 12. So as pet parents today, should we settle for 10 year old dogs and 12 year old cats? Should this be the norm? Or is there something we can do about it. And according to the top scientists in the world, my friends, there's something that we can do about it. You see, I spent the last few years of my life collecting information. Because I want my dogs to live a very long time you see, I get to sit down with the top scientists, PhDs, geneticists, microbiologists, the best of the best in cancer research, collecting data.
And I do this, to share it back to the people. And today Facebook tells me that I have the largest pet health page in the world. But that's not my driver, my driver, these guys, the loves of my lives. And science tells me today that two of these beautiful dogs have reached the end of the line. If this is it, I should get ready to lose my dogs. But the information that I've been collecting from these researchers, is profound information that will not only slow down the aging process, but will increase longevity, according to the top scientists in the world. But if I had to take five simple things that all of you can do for your dogs, your cats and yourselves, what would they be? five tips to help you increase your longevity. Well, the first thing is stress resistance. We're all stressed out all the time. My coffee is too cold this morning. Wi Fi is not working, I got one bar, we stress about the silliest things in the world. And stress can really affect us. In fact, if we looked at some of the oldest pets in the world, Jake Perry, who set the Guinness World Record twice for 38 and 34 year old TAs, when they said to Jake, what on earth did you do Jake, he said, Well, you know what, I built my cats movie theater. And if they're stressed out, they watch movies at the end of the night. may seem crazy, but look what he's achieved. In fact, as researchers right now, traveling around the world, we see string Rottweilers, Rottweilers die of cancer really early to see around eight or nine. And what the researchers want to know, the Rottweilers that live to be like 15, or 16, what was so special about them had no stress in their lives. Now, we can come home, and we can say, I get a fight with somebody this morning, they pissed me off, I'm so angry, but I'm over them. I can't tell. But not according to science.

According to science, your dog can smell if you had a fight earlier on in the day or the day before. And what's worse is they can adapt to that emotion that you're feeling. You see, I had to travel all the way to the other side of the world, to the University of Naples, where I got to sit down with Dr. biagio, Daniela and his team of scientists. And they were conducting a mind blowing study that literally made major media headlines all over the world. They were collecting sweat samples, people who watched happy movies, and people who watched scary movies. And they collected this sweat and bottles. And then they did this unbelievable study in a small room, where there was a pet owner on one side and a stranger on the other. If they were to take the sweat of somebody that was happy, and a person and put it in the middle, how would the dog react, and it was unbelievable. The second, the dogs smelt the happy sweat, the dog instantly became happy and wanted to meet the stranger on the other side. But what would happen, if they put the sweat of the person who watched this scary movie, instantly, when the dogs would smell it, they would run they would hide behind the owner, some dogs would be so scared, they would press up against the wall. And they would want to make no interaction with anybody. And what the scientists found was that these dogs were not only smelling these emotions, but they were also adapting into those emotions. And so it's hugely important. And the one tip that we can talk about is man, try to get rid of some of the stress in your life. do some yoga, meditate, go for a walk, whatever you can do, it will affect your pet dramatically and yourself. Believe me, when I asked the scientists, what piece of advice would you like to give to the world?