Here are some Notes for your review 

Fear Periods

A new #palpack puppy owner just recently sent this text, “Sorry for the late text, but my dog broke house potty training 2 times in the last two days while both of us were present, he is also now barking at all passersby.”

The Labrador mentioned above is just over 6 months of age, unaltered, exercised daily, and very well trained in his basic obedience. He is on his way to becoming the perfect companion.

The response from trainer #AlphaLauren was simple: “Your pal is experiencing a fear period.”

This pal above is experiencing the second fear period in his life. To learn more about fear periods and how to #trainplaylove correctly read below.

What is a fear period?

Fear periods are episodes of a dog having what we consider irrational fears or a lapse in the understanding of “the rules.” This can be a laundry hamper that has been moved, a statue you and your dog pass on a walk everyday, a person in a hat, sunglasses or carrying an umbrella. It can also be a rake, leaf blower, or even the vacuum. The list of what can be fearful is different for every dog, but it isn’t about what is scaring your companion, it is about how you work with your pal so they have the greatest of success.

When do fear periods happen and what should I do?

8-11 weeks is the Fear Impact Period

It is imperative as a new dog owner NOT to frighten a puppy during this time, traumatic experiences during this time can cause behavioral concerns as your dog develops. This is the time we must be ever mindful of other adult interaction, animal interaction and children interaction. These fears can either be malicious or inadvertently. Your dog’s learning during this time is permanent.

All interactions should be closely supervised to ensure that there is minimal adverse conditioning. The best way to introduce your dog to others is a basic obedience course, frequent guests in your home, or utilizing a doggy daycare service.

13-16 weeks is the Seniority Classification Period

This is frequently termed the “Age of Cutting,” wherein during this period, your canine is cutting their teeth, exploring how to relieve the anxiety of the pain from this change, and also the time when your dog will start testing their dominance and leadership. During this time your cuddly companion will start exploring how they can use their defense mechanism (their teeth) on everything in sight, often times including you.

During this time it is imperative for you to discourage undesirable behaviors with corrections, but more imperative that you give meaningful praise during good choices of release.

4 to 8 months is the Flight Instinct Period

If you are not in a basic obedience course by this time your dog will be turning a deaf ear when called. This fear period could be a few days, or several weeks. It is necessary for you to paws’itively praise your companion during this time to minimize the negative behaviors. During this stage your dog will also be reliving the anxiety from the pain of teething.

Please see the note https://www.facebook.com/notes/pawsitive-pals-dog-training/why-does-my-pal-destructively-chew/881893308668735/ for more suggestions.

6-14 months is the Second Fear Impact Period

During this time your companion is growing in spurts. Dog size does directly correlate when your companion will experience this fear period, smaller breed dogs experience it earlier than larger breed dogs. During this time is necessary to ensure that negative behavior is not reinforced. Be aware FORCE can frighten a dog. This is not the time to use choke and cinch on your dog, this is the time to use soothing tones, encouragement, and praise to overcome a fear. All fears should be handled with patience and kindness. What you do during this time with your dog is what makes or breaks the self-confidence in your dog.

10-12 months is your Sexual Exploration Fear Period

Just as humans experience sexual maturity, so do our companions. Your companion will start to explore themselves and others around him/her. This is the time where you will teach and control the social order of the natural drive for your dog to procreate and dominate with other dogs. If you are not in a socialization class and are utilizing a dog park to meet your social and exercise needs, be mindful of your dog’s communication and stimulation from other companions. Your companion learns how to interact with others from you and also from other dogs (ever more so). Be sure that you are an active participant in these scenarios, (at times silently observing, at times encouraging and practicing recall, and at others correcting or removing your companion from the stimulation.)

14-18 months is your Maturity Fear Period

Larger breed dogs can experience this fear period later, as it takes longer for them to be their full size and maturity. This period is often marked by a dramatic increase in aggression or a renewed testing for leadership, as you see in Seniority Classification Period. However, both periods are handled differently. Unlike, during the Seniority Classification Period you gave more praise, in this fear period you will affirm your leadership role and use your size and strength to reaffirm your lack of tolerance for “bad behavior.”

Be Aware of your dog’s body language. You can visit this note at https://www.facebook.com/notes/pawsitive-pals-dog-training/fear-periods/1059882890869775/ for images of your dog’s language.

What is your dog saying when speaking with other dogs? If you are seeing any of the yellow or red behaviors it is necessary for you to contact a trainer or animal behaviorist.

Remember you are your dog’s teacher. The skills your dog learns are your responsibility to teach, just because your dog goes to class does not mean that they will learn the skills if you DON’T do your homework.

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Why does my pal DESTRUCTIVELY CHEW?

Just like a baby explores the world as its maturing, so do our furchildren! As the furrent (fur parent) of the relationship you need to know.

It’s normal for puppies and pals to chew on objects as they explore the world; puppies, rescues or poorly trained adult pals can be destructive.

What does chewing accomplish?

Chewing is a perfectly normal behavior for pals of all ages. All wild and domesticated canines spend hours chewing on sticks and bones. They chew for fun, to be stimulated, and they chew to relieve anxiety. Chewing is a form of stress relief, pals who chew to relieve the stress of separation anxiety usually only chew when left alone or chew most intensely when left alone. Does your pal also exhibit any of these other behaviors? Whining, barking, pacing, scratching, sneezing, relentless urination, and pooping?

Where is your focus when they are a puppy?

Puppies need to investigate! The discomfort from teething, which is usually done by 6 months of age, leads them to finding their own solution to alleviate the problem, and when left unattended will entice what we consider “destructive.” However, how fair is it that we punish or scold a pal for something that we did not teach. As your puppy grows you need to instill the behaviors so desired, give your pal a safe and comfortable space to get away that is safe, crates work nicely, and give gentle guidance can teach your puppy to restrict chewing to appropriate objects, like his own toys. Once trained you can even leave the door open---or multiple beds throughout your home once properly trained.

What do I need to do as the furrent (fur parent)?

Pal Proof your house, just like your child proof your home for a toddler. Put your valuable objects away until your pal understands (trained) that their behavior is on restricted items. Keep your shoes, papers, cords away, keep books on shelves, laundry in the hamper, and personal items attended, or behind a closed door. It is your job to make it easy for your pal to succeed.

When you can’t supervise your pal, you must find a way to prevent them from chewing on inappropriate things in your absence.

For example, if you work during the day, you can leave your pal at home in a confinement area for up to six hours. Use a crate or put your pal in a small room with the door or a baby gate closed.

Be sure to remove all things that your pal shouldn’t chew from their confinement area, and give them a variety of appropriate toys and chew things to enjoy instead. Keep in mind that if you confine your pal, you’ll need to give them plenty of exercise and quality time with you when they are not confined.

Make sure that you provide your pal with plenty of their own toys. The Nylla Bone is a good choice. Pay attention to which toys your pal has preferences to; those are what you offer! Change up the toys every few days and explore with your pal, see that they do not get bored!

Note from the dog: Better than the shoe you left out last week. I just need to learn, please be patient and kind, you are my teacher as I investigate the world.

Note from the dog: Teething hurts, it causes stress too---please get me some toys.

Give your pal some edible things to chew, like bully sticks, pig ears, pig skin rolls, carrots, squash, or other natural chews. pals can sometimes choke on edible chews, especially if they bite off and swallow large hunks. If your pal is inclined to do this, make sure that they are separated from other pals when they chew so they can relax.

Note the times a day that your pal is chewing, often puzzle toys with edible treats, or training during that time will ensure the companionship and reverence your pal has for you.

Do your best to supervise your pal during all waking hours until you feel confident that their chewing behavior is under control. If you see them licking or chewing an item he shouldn’t, say “Ut-Nah,” remove the item from your pal’s mouth, and insert something that they CAN chew. Then praise them happily.

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Mosquito Season/Heartworm Prevention

Mosquitoes hibernate during the winter and re-emerge when the weather begins to get warmer, the species that are found in our area come out around 50°. Mosquitoes thrive on hot weather, and as the temperatures increase, likewise so does this slapping pest population!

Why does this concern you as a dog owner?

Once a dog is bitten it takes about 7 months for the larvea to mature into adult heartworms. They lodge in the heart, lungs, and surrounding blood vessels and begin reproducing. Adult worms can grow up to 12" in length, can live 5-7 years, and a dog can have as many as 250 worms.

What can you do to prevent heartworm?

Be sure that you discuss this with your veterinarian, there are many over the counter medications that you can purchase that are not approved by the FDA. It is also imperative to do this, as some medications work for specific types of worms other than heartworm.

Oral Monthly Heartworm Medications

Monthly Topical (Spot-on) Heartworm Medications

Injectable Heartworm Medication every 6 months administered by a veterinarian

What are the symptoms of heartworm?

1. A soft, dry cough

The parasites make their way to the lungs and start multiplying in the lungs and surrounding veins.

Coughing may be most noticeable after exercise and may end with fainting. Even light exercise can cause fainting.

2. Inactivity or lethargy

Your pet suddenly seems tired more often, doesn’t want to go outside, or avoids all physical activity.

Dogs with heartworm infection are weakened and find it difficult to be active even when performing small tasks.

3. Weight loss or anorexia

Even minor physical activities, such as eating, can become difficult and exhausting chores.

4. Rapid or difficult breathing

Along with coughing, breathing problems occur when the worms inhabit the lungs and surrounding veins.

Fluid can also build around the blood vessels in the lungs, making it difficult for the lungs to oxygenate the blood.

5. Bulging chest

The ribs may seem to protrude, and the chest has a bulging appearance as a result of adult heartworm infection.

This symptom can result from weight loss and anorexia caused by heartworms. This can also be caused by fluid buildup in response to the parasite’s presence.

6. Allergic reaction

Although allergic reaction is more common in cats, it is possible for dogs to show symptoms similar to an allergic reaction or asthmatic symptoms in response to the heartworms or their offspring.

7. Collapse

Large numbers of heartworms invade the heart and cause blockage of blood flow (known as caval or vena cava syndrome).

Collapse is usually accompanied by shock and red blood cell destruction. Death can follow within days.

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Seasonal Q and A

Why worry about your pal dragging in the mud?

Why worry about the responsibility of exercising your dog when the inclement weather strikes?

What does PAWS’itive Pals Dog Training do during such weather?

Please continue to book your appointments online at www.pawsitivepalsdogtraining.com, after you book you will receive a confirmation email the night before class. Even those that are on a regular schedule, please do this.

Below are the answers to commonly asked Questions:

Are you open when it rains?

Yes.

Dogs never stop needing exercise and training. Staff dresses appropriately for this weather, and should the pals need a break from the rain we seek refuge for indoor games in Davinci's Haven. It is covered and heated. We play indoor games and really harness the skills of basic obedience in close quarters.

Do you permit rain jackets and boots?

Yes, clothing is permitted, however please note that pals do play, clothing enters does at your risk, as it can be torn while the pals are active.

*This is not the place to learn how to wear these items, if you need to teach your dog ask us for suggestions.

How do the dogs respond to the rain?

They play like any other day. The pals that tend to not enjoy the rain learn to do so from the other pack members.

What do you do if there is thunder?

The Pal Pack immediately goes to Davinci's Haven, all pals are tethered to the benches in the gazebo and engaged in indoor activities. Pals that are experiencing anxiety will be provided food/treat related games. As always, the pals will all be monitored closely.

What about the mud?

We will rinse and lightly towel dry your pal (this is not a bath, it does not incude soap), please note the pick up time of your dog to the handler when dropping off your dog. Please give us a 10 minute grace period for this part of your service.

What do you do about snow?

Dogs love the snow, and so do we! We base our closures with the Grass Valley School District, tune into your local media radio station (Star 94.1FM, KNCO, and KVMR, or on yubanet.com)

At what temperature do you close?

The temperature in Davinci’s Haven is just like that of your home.  If we or the pack start to get too cold, we retreat and refresh.