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Dog-Dog Engagements Between Unfamiliar Dogs DVD
What is it about? In this workshop, you will look at the most common behavior patterns displayed by groups of unfamiliar dogs. These include: Mobbing, Bullying, Targeting, Hunting and Group Chase. Not unlike unsupervised schoolyard kids, dogs can engage in mentally, emotionally and sometimes physically abusive behaviors. Sue uses extensive video footage of dog park observations, and examines why the healthiest play seems to occur between only two dogs and familiar dogs.
More about Sue- Sue Sternberg is the founder and director of Rondout Valley Animals for Adoption, a local not-for-profit open admission animal shelter in upstate New York. Sue is an expert in dog aggression and an innovator in the field of shelter dog welfare, and she develops programs to prevent pet relinquishment and overpopulation, to match families with safe pets, and to help shelters attend to the mental health of the animals in their care. With more than 23 years of experience, she shares her knowledge of dog behavior on radio and television shows, as a popular speaker at national humane and dog training conferences, and through books and videos.
When was it released- 2013
Who produced it- Tawzer Dog
Running time- 1 hr 51 mins (plus an additional 50 min demo DVD)
IN DEPTH REVIEW
~~Many owners believe that taking their dog for a walk in a place full of other unfamiliar dogs is a special social treat for them. They would undoubtedly be shocked and surprised to hear that the majority of behaviour that goes on in these situations is often mentally, emotional and physically abusive.
In this DVD, Sue Sternberg, expert in dog aggression and innovator in the field of rescue dog welfare, explains to us the most common behaviour patterns displayed by unfamiliar dogs, also examining their consequences. Using extensive video footage taken at dog parks around America, Sternberg shows us how to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy play, telling us why engagements between unfamiliar dog can potentially be so risky.
Sternberg begins by explaining what she believes to be some of the key flaws of dog parks. In her experience she believes that problems normally arise when there is a lack of space, too many dogs and a subculture amongst owners of not interrupting or intervening in their dogs' activities.
Sternberg continues by telling us what led her to begin filming at dog parks. She shows us some of her footage, beginning with a fight between a number of dogs. Sternburg points out which dogs are culpable, who the main players are and what role they played. She also plays footage taken before the fight, showing the unresolved issues and mounting tension between the dogs that led to the incident. Sternburg argues that in all her years of filming at dog parks she has seen almost no healthy interaction between dogs. It is her belief that dogs should not play in large unfamiliar groups and she tells us some of the reasons why it doesn’t work.
Next Sternburg looks at five of the most common behaviours seen at dog parks, examining each one in detail. These are;
• Group Chase
She continues by explaining that mouth wrestling and chase are the most common forms of play, and that there are both healthy and unhealthy versions of these game, demonstrating how to recognise the difference between the two with video footage.
Sternberg then looks at bullying in more detail. She disagrees that bullying is a play style but instead argues that it is in fact a form of aggression. We are then shown footage of bullying, and Sternburg points out how the bully in these scenarios is a pushy and overpowering dog with little regard for others. She explains how we can learn to differentiate between play and bullying, also examining why some dogs are bullies. Sternburg then discusses how owners often respond to bullying, showing us footage of an owner responding correctly and incorrectly to the situation.
She shares with us some techniques for separating dogs if games are getting out of hand, as well as how to control arousal levels. Sternburg also demonstrates how the manner of play changes when there are more than two dogs, explaining why, at her rescue centre, she likes dogs to go out in pairs only.
Sternburg next examines play as it relates to practicing what the dog already has in his skill set. She explains that wolves play in order to practise hunting, and although the domesticated dog doesn’t hunt any more, playing still gives him an opportunity to perfect these techniques. We are shown footage of two pitbulls playing with each other to show how in play they practise going for one another in the jugular. Sternburg also shares with us a story about an Alaskan Malamute that ripped open a Doberman’s flank at dog park, showing in slow motion how this happened. She uses this story to demonstrate how she believes that genetics influence where a dog will bite, discussing this concept in more detail.
Finally, Sternberg tells us about her experiences with her own rescue herding dog to explain to us that its our job to look at what our dog seems to be practising during play and ensure that he doesn’t ever repeat those behaviours at a public place in an unhealthy way.
Also included is a 50 minute demo DVD showing how to conduct meetings between unfamiliar dogs.
Although centred around dog parks in America, this DVD is equally as relevant for any dog owner who walks a dog in places where they are likely to come across a variety of unfamiliar dogs, for example, exercise areas at shows. Sternburg is clearly very passionate about her subject matter and her explanations of the footage shown are both incredibly educational and interesting.
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