Archive for March 2011
Many people are unsure of how to introduce their dog to another dog appropriately. Here are some guidelines for a safe and successful introduction.
At least two people to handle the dogs (one person for each dog)
Two leashes (one for each dog)
Good treats (hotdog pieces, cheese, and freeze-dried liver)
Choose a neutral location to introduce the dogs for the first time. Remove any items that could cause rivalry, such as toys, chews, or food bowls.
Enlist the help of a friend or family member. Have each dog on a leash, held by a separate handler. If you own multiple dogs, introduce only one dog at a time. During the duration of the introduction, the handlers should have a friendly, positive demeanor. Speak, in an upbeat, relaxed, happy tone of voice, and hold the leashes loosely.
Take your time and stay positive! Avoid letting the dogs run up to each other and meet head-on. Instead, have each handler spend a few minutes with their dog standing about 20 feet away from the other dog and handler. The handlers should have a supply of good treats, and they should reward their dog with a treat every time he or she focuses on them, instead of the other dog. Reward and praise extra when a dog looks at the other dog and then quickly looks at the handler.
Know that each dog may respond differently. The response of each dog will determine how you should proceed.
a) A dog may respond playfully, and display a wiggly body with face licking and play bows (the dog lowers its front legs and leaves the back end raised). If this is the case, praise the dog for its good play behavior and continue short introductions. If the dogs begin to play together, interrupt the play every couple of minutes and call them to you. If the play becomes rough, interrupt the play and call them to you.
b) Another dog may have a stiff posture, and may stare hard at the other dog, have raised hair, or bared teeth. Increase the distance between the dogs until both dogs begin to relax.
c) A dog may also appear scared and unsure, trying to avoid the other dog. If this is the case, move the dog that is not scared away. Reward the unsure dog whenever it looks at the other dog, and continue the short introductions, always moving the other dog away from the unsure dog.
Go for a walk! An excellent way to have dogs get off to a good start after meeting one another for the first time is to take them on a walk together. This will help them develop the sense that they are a team. Have them far enough apart that they cannot interact if they pull toward each other. Walk parallel until dogs begin to relax then move them closer very slowly and continue parallel walking until dogs are close enough to interact.
When both dogs are focusing well on their handlers, have the handlers move closer together. Each time you move closer, repeat getting the dogs attention after he or she looks at the other dog. Avoid having one dog stare at the other for more than a few seconds at a time.
Keep contact short and sweet! When you feel comfortable having the dogs physically meet, avoid having them rush towards each other head-on. Instead, have the handlers position themselves so the dogs will be more or less side-to-side. While speaking in happy, relaxed voices and holding the leashes loosely, let the dogs sniff one another for 3-5 seconds and then have each handler get their dogs attention and lure him or her away from the other dog. If a dog behaves well, offer praise and reward!
Prepare for a spat. At some point during the introduction process, the dogs may engage in a short spat. These short fights may be frightening, but most often do not result in injury. However, use your own judgment as to what behavior is acceptable. If at any point you feel a dog may get hurt (one dog is actually putting its teeth on the other, the fight goes on for more than a few seconds, etc), do not attempt to pull the dogs apart with your hands as you may be bitten. Instead, distract them with a loud noise, such as by banging two metal pans together. If this does not work, try dumping water on the dogs. You can also use the leashes to pull the dogs in opposite directions. Always have your own safety in mind, and never position yourself between two fighting dogs.
If one dog is a puppy, introduce the puppy to an adult dog in the same way as above, and be careful to supervise interactions. Adult dogs will correct a puppy with a growl or quick snap if the puppy plays too roughly, and these corrections are completely normal. It is important to supervise interactions between the puppy and adult dog, however, in case the adult begins to behave aggressively towards the puppy.
Good luck! If, for whatever reason, you are unable to achieve successful introductions between your new dog and resident dog, please contact an animal behavior expert.
- Dialogue is collaborative: two or more sides work together toward common understanding.
- Debate is oppositional: two sides oppose each other and attempt to prove each other wrong.
- In dialogue, finding common ground is the goal.
- In debate, winning is the goal.
- In dialogue, one listens to the other side(s) in order to understand, find meaning and find agreement.
- In debate, one listens to the other side in order to find flaws and to counter its arguments.
- Dialogue enlarges and possibly changes a participants point of view.
- Debate affirms a participant’s own point of view.
- Dialogue reveals assumptions for re-evaluation.
- Debate defends assumptions as truth.
- Dialogue causes introspection on ones own position.
- Debate causes critique of the other position.
- Dialogue opens the possibility of reaching a better solution than any of the original solutions.
- Debate defends one’s own positions as the best solution and excludes other solutions.
- Dialogue creates an open-minded attitude: an openness to being wrong and an openness to change.
- Debate creates a close-minded attitude, a determination to be right.
- In dialogue, one submits ones best thinking, knowing that other people’s reflections will help improve it rather than destroy it.
- In debate, one submits one’s best thinking and defends it against challenge to show that it is right.
- Dialogue calls for temporarily suspending one’s beliefs.
- Debate calls for investing wholeheartedly in one’s beliefs.
- In dialogue, one searches for basic agreements.
- In debate, one searches for glaring differences.
- In dialogue one searches for strengths in the other positions.
- In debate one searches for flaws and weaknesses in the other position.
- Dialogue involves a real concern for the other person and seeks to not alienate or offend.
- Debate involves a countering of the other position without focusing on feelings or relationship and often belittles or deprecates the other person.
- Dialogue assumes that many people have pieces of the answer and that together they can put them into a workable solution.
- Debate assumes that there is a right answer and that someone has it.
- Dialogue remains open-ended.
- Debate implies a conclusion.
Adapted from a paper prepared by Shelley Berman, which was based on discussions of the Dialogue Group of the Boston Chapter of Educators for Social Responsibility (ESR). National Adult Literacy Database
Behavior analysis is the scientific study of behavior. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the application of the principles of motivation and learning.
Behavior is anything an animal does that is observable and measurable.
Applied Behavior Analysis is the process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors to a siginificant meainingful degree, and to demonstrate that the interventions employed are responsible for the improvement.