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Our Pack Is Growing!

Postado por admin em 12/Aug/2022 - Sem Comentários

We’ve Added Another Trainer To The Trail & Bone Team!!

Meet Jessa! 

Jessa is a Knowledge Assessed Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) who comes to us with over a decade of experience as a dog trainer and seminar presenter.

She has spent years working with owners and their dogs to create positive behavior modification for a variety of behavioral concerns including aggression and reactivity, but her speciality and passion is for raising and training service dogs for people with disabilities.

Jessa began raising assistance dogs while attending college at Texas A&M University, and began training for obedience and behavior modification immediately after graduation. 

She served as head trainer for an ADI (Assistance Dogs International) accredited organization starting in 2014, where she began developing her niche skills for training medical alert and mobility assistance dogs.

Training tasks such as retrievals is a favorite skill that she loves to share with all of her clients, as every dog benefits from learning shaping-based training and developing skills to be helpful to their humans. 

Dear Fellow Pack Members,

I am so excited to begin this awesome journey of working with you and your dogs to help you build your bond with your canine family members, and help your dog reach their dream-dog potential!

As a proud dog-mom to a multi-dog pack of mostly rescued members, and frequent foster home for feral dogs and puppies I’m well versed at working through some daunting behavioral challenges.

I am most passionate about utilizing trick training and lifestyle obedience skills to help dogs successfully navigate this human world, and supporting their dedicated owners to gain understanding and confidence for working with their amazing dogs. 

I am always striving to further my knowledge on dog socialization and behavior, and find new ways to make this knowledge accessible to every pet owner I work with. 

Every dog is capable of being the best dog ever when we can fairly communicate our preferences to them, and gain respect for their unique personalities. 

– Jessa, Training Director

Exciting News for us here at Trail & Bone!

Postado por admin em 18/Jan/2022 - Sem Comentários

We recently added a new member to our team, Ashley Dunham!

Ashley is Knowledge Assessed Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) with over a decade of experience not only as a dog trainer with a specialty in aggression & reactivity, but also as a veterinary assistant and a researcher at an Animal Behavior Lab at Arizona State University.

And now, for the foreseeable future, Ashley will be leading all of our dog training efforts, creating the curriculum, and being there to help all our amazing customers bring out the best in their dogs.

We’re super lucky to have her! 

Read on to get to know Ashley:

Dear Fellow Dog Lover,

I couldn’t be more thrilled to join Trail & Bone, because it allows me the opportunity to work with you and your furry friend!

My passion in life is working with animals and learning about their behavior, and I would be honored to be the guide that helps you navigate some of the difficulties that come with dog ownership.  

I believe education is the key to solving problems people encounter with their beloved pets, and I spend a lot of my time educating myself on the most ethical and up to date training techniques. My goals are threefold: 1) to pass my knowledge onto you, 2) to allow you to create the relationship you always envisioned with your dog, and 3) to allow your dog to become the best version of themselves they can be!

Looking forward to embarking (pun intended) on this adventure with you!

-Ashley Dunham

TRUE OR FALSE: “99.99% of aggression is fear-based.”

Postado por admin em 10/Sep/2021 - Sem Comentários

TRUE OR FALSE: “99.99% of aggression is fear-based. The other 0.01% is medical based”

A while back I got this comment from somebody on FB and I stashed it away planning to write about it someday. Well, I finally got around to it and today is that day!

So let’s dive in:

Quick Note: I’m not concerned about the exact percentages, just the general point of the message

First let’s address the medical based aggression claim.

It is irrefutably true that some dogs lash out aggressively due to some underlying medical issue that is causing them pain, frustrating them, or just making them not feel like themselves, and those emotions manifest themselves as aggression.

This is most common in older dogs, who in some cases, have been complete sweethearts their whole lives then as they age and feel aches, pains, etc and then that causes them to become aggressive and unpredictable.

That exact scenario happened with a cousin of mine’s dog, who we’ll call Justice. Justice was a pitbull who lived to be 15 years old and he was awesome his entire life. Great with other dogs, great with kids, great with all the visitors (they host a lot of parties).

Then, when he got older, I’d say around 13-14, he became a grumpy old man who occasionally lashed out unpredictably and bit a couple people, though nothing too serious from what I understand.

And I never actually saw him be aggressive in any way, because whenever I was there he was medicated (I don’t know with what) so he was always the same old sweet Justice, just grayer and slower ha.

So this kind of aggression is somewhat common and hopefully can be fixed through treatment of what’s causing the discomfort/pain.

But overall, I would agree with our friend the FB commenter that this type of aggression is far and away the minority of aggression/reactivity cases.

So with that settled, let’s move on to the more interesting part of his claim: he thinks that besides for the occasional medically-induced aggression, every other case of aggression is fear-based.

And my take on this is that’s just absolutely false.

I guess if you played some mental gymnastics you could maybe trace all aggression or reactivity back to fear somehow, but I don’t think so.

Let me give you some examples:

Cash, my brother’s Belgian Malinois, I talk about him quite a bit. Him and Gibson fought many times in the past and Cash has bitten Gibson before.

Cash also used to go ballistic when he saw another dog on walks or through the front window in their house.

And let me assure you, that dog has no fear or anxiety issues. He’s unbelievably confident and always has been. It was his overconfidence and his mischievous personality that were causing fights with Gibson.

Because the way it always would go is Gibson and Cash would be playing together, and they’re both very high energy dogs about the same size, and they would play pretty hard.

But eventually, Gibson would have enough. He’s 3 years older than Cash and he’s not a Malinois! So he’d be the first to have enough of the playing.

But Cash wasn’t done. Even after Gibson would walk away, sometimes even hide under a table or chair to get away from Cash, it didn’t matter to Cash, he would just badger him and badger him to try and get him to play. And he knew it was ticking Gibson off, Gibson let him know many times, and of course we would stop him.

But eventually he would keep doing it and Gibson would have enough and then they’d fight.

Now some people, like our friend the FB commenter, might think that Cash’s behavior isn’t aggressive, so that’s a bad example. But I disagree. Cash knew that his behavior was leading toward a fight and he’d do it anyway. I call that aggressive behavior.

And certainly it wasn’t fear based.

Let’s move on to Cash’s reactivity. It’s a much simpler case.

Cash, at the time, was horrible on walks. One of the worst I’ve ever seen. (I used to be a dog walker and I walked 1 dog worse then Cash… another story for a different time)

He would pull crazy hard, he would sprint to the end of the leash, and if he saw another dog, he’d go crazy barking and lunging.

Cash was a prototypical case of leash aggression. Some dogs only behave aggressively on the leash, and like in Cash’s case, it’s often because of frustration.

Dogs like Cash, extremely confident, playful, social, and high-energy, when they’re not being properly led and trained, they hate that they’re constricted to the confines of a leash.

When Cash was going ballistic on the leash, if my brother would’ve just let him go, he would’ve sprinted to the other dog immediately and tried to play. It’s what he loves to do.

So when he wasn’t able to do that, because he was so confident, so independent, he got extremely frustrated and lashed out.

Besides frustration, overconfidence, and mischief, there are other reasons not rooted in fear that can cause aggression.

One is dominance. Some dogs who have the same overconfidence and independence that Cash has, they don’t also have his social personality.

So when you get an independent, overconfident dog who only listens to himself, that can easily manifest itself into that dog wanting to dominate other dogs or even people, which of course leads to severe aggression.

You could argue this is rooted in fear, but I think that’s mental gymnastics.

A dog like that, you wouldn’t fix it by boosting their confidence, teaching them their triggers aren’t dangerous, and all the other things you do to fix a fearful aggressive dog, that would do nothing.

So no, I think that’s a completely different issue than fear-based aggression.

Aggression and reactivity could also be the result of a very strong prey drive. That’s not based in fear either.

One other extremely rare cause, but it does happen, is some dogs are truly aggressive and truly malevolent. There’s no cause, it’s just their nature to be mean, mean, mean.

I’ve never met a dog like this, never known anyone to have one like this, but they’re out there.

So to wrap this up, while I 100% agree that the strong majority of aggression and reactivity is rooted in fear, my verdict on the comment:

“99.99% of aggression is fear-based. The other 0.01% is medical based”

is without a doubt FALSE.

Comment with your thoughts! True or False, what do you think?

Big Announcement! Greenwood Dog Training is now: Trail & Bone.

Postado por admin em 16/Aug/2021 - Sem Comentários

Name Change! We are changing our identity, brand, and name from Greenwood Dog Training to Trail & Bone.

When I first started Greenwood Dog Training, I didn’t put much thought into the name or what I wanted my company to represent. I just wanted to help dogs and their owners.

And while helping dogs still is, and will always be, my first priority, I want this company to be a symbol of the mission we’re on: to perfect our relationships with our dogs.

And I felt that Greenwood didn’t represent that goal as well as I would have liked.

So now, we are Trail & Bone.

I chose this name because it demonstrates my core beliefs about how we should be living with our dogs.

Trail: For us, Trail represents adventure. Trail represents exploration, pushing ourselves and our dogs to new heights and facing new and exciting challenges together.

This is something that is severely lacking in 95% of relationships between dogs and their people. Dogs aren’t meant to be confined to a house and backyard 24/7, they want to see, smell, hear new things, be in new places and have different and unique experiences.

Living an active and adventurous lifestyle with your dog brings them so much fulfillment and nothing brings a human and their dog closer.

Bone: Bone represents health and vitality. Bone represents what a huge difference diet makes in our dogs’ lives.

It’s something that the vast majority of dog owners don’t even think about. They just grab a bag of food that looks good from the grocery store and then fill up the dog bowl with it every day.

Our dogs deserve better. They deserve a natural and real diet that makes them more vibrant, more lively, more confident.

Those 2 words sum up what I believe we need to be doing with our dogs every day, that as a society, we’re lacking.

And I don’t blame the everyday dog owner for the state that we’re in with our dogs, because it’s not their fault.

It’s the dog industry as a whole that encourages us to ignore the things that bring dogs real and lasting fulfillment and health, in exchange for our own convenience.

So I believe that where big-box pet stores, name-brand food companies, and ignorant training franchises have failed us, there needs to be companies that promote a message of living active, healthy, and fulfilling lifestyles with our dogs.

And that’s what I want Trail & Bone to be.

So, Greenwood, you served me and many other dog owners very well, but it’s time for a new chapter.

Now I’m proud to say, we are Trail & Bone!

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