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All Pets Ed News 

#2 April-June 2018

Welcome to the All Pets Ed quarterly newsletter.

CASE STUDY: Cheesie the Chihuahua - knee reconstruction

This little guy is Chorizo but he prefers to be called Cheesie. 

​Cheesie is a 7 year old desexed male Chihuahua.  He has had luxating patellas as long as we have had him, and until recently they did not cause him any problems.  However late last year he had a few seizures and we assume somehow got his leg caught during one of them - resulting in a much more unstable and sore knee.

​Previously Cheesie has been a very active boy, and completed a 34km walk over 3 days not long ago, however since his injury he was unable to complete even a small walk without pain.

​He went to surgery at Veterinary Specialist Services (VSS) on the 12th January this year to have his knee stabilised.

Following the surgery we were tasked with keeping our very active little guy quiet.  Thank DOG for crate training as over the next 10 weeks that is where he spent the majority of his time.

​So how do you keep a bright bouncy boy happy that is in confinement.

​We did lots of things that helped to enrich his world.

Things we did included:
  • ​Going to work and having one on one time
  • Taking him for a drive - this was a favourite of his
  • Lots of food enrichment toys
  • Target training
  • Physio training and balance work once we were allowed
  • Smelling things (either on a walk, or novel things you bring home for them)
  • Just sitting in the yard and watching the chooks and neighbours etc
  • Brain games - see Crate Rest Crazies liink

Read More

Training Exercise - Training a hand target

Target training is one of the most useful behaviours you can teach your dog.  In fact, this is a  behaviour that I use every day for all of my dogs, as well as most dogs I see in a training setting and in the veterinary world.
 
Have you ever wondered how Zoo animals are taught to present feet, teeth, shoulders etc for veterinary treatment? 
Or how the Dolphins are taught to jump high out of the water and through hoops?
 
Basically they are taught using a technique called targeting.  This means learning to put part of their body on something. 
 
In dogs we generally start with a nose to a hand.  And well, let’s face it, dogs are naturally nosey!

Using a nose touch can be a way to move your dog on and off couches, in and out of crates/cages, on and off the scales in the vet clinic, through doorways, and in and out of cars just to name a few.  It is also a behaviour that you can quickly adapt for teaching some cool tricks and also use in dog sports. 
Using a nose/hand target can be used to gain your dog’s focus, and with this, you know exactly where they are looking also.
 
How do you train a hand target?
 

  • Set your dog and yourself up.  Have your clicker (if you are using one), and treats ready.
  • Present your empty hand to your dog at a distance of about 10-20cm just below their nose level (hold it still).        
  • Dogs being dogs will naturally move forward to sniff/bump the hand
  • Click and Reward your dog (with a treat from the opposite hand). Repeat several times.     
  • Practice with both hands.        
  • Once the dog has successfully targeted their nose to your hand add a cue word. I use “touch”, you could also use “target”, “bop” etc.      
  • Start asking your dog to move toward the target at a greater distance and at varying heights.

 
Trouble shooting

  • If your dog is focused on your hand holding the food.  Put that hand behind your back.
  • If your dog is not moving toward the target hand, try taking the target hand away and represent it a little lower.

  
Things to remember

  • Don’t wave your hand around if your dog is not moving toward it. 
  • Don’t move your hand toward the dog – it must move toward you.
  • Check your timing – ensure you are marking the nose on the hand behaviour, not the nose moving away from the hand.
  • Keep your sessions short!


 

Making a Snuffle Mat

All the dogs are snuffling snuffling (think LMFAO Party Rock Anthem). 

A snuffle mat is a great easy to make (although a little time consuming) enrichment toy for your dog or cat.

This can be used for dry food or dry treats and encourages your pets natural skills at sniffing and snuffling food out.  

Snuffle Mats are great for dogs or cats with restricted activity and provide great mental enrichment.  They are also incredibly useful as a calming tool for dogs that are over threshold or distraction as visitors etc arrive or during veterinary visits.

Keep Reading

Treat/Food Test - Homemade treats

These little treats are great and really flexible.  They are homemade and can be pretty much made with anything providing you have a food processer or blender to make a batter consistency.

The trickiest part is finding the silicon baking trays with dome shapes vs pyramids.  I found mine on eBay through a UK seller.

Mix your flavour base (I used chicken skin from the roast chooks and some chicken meat - you could use tuna, canned food, meats etc) with an egg, water and tapioca flour.  Blend until you have a thick batter (think pancake mix).

Spread evenly over the silicon tray and scrape it so that all is in the holes.  Bake at 180 degrees centigrade for 10-15 minutes.  Check them regularly after the 10 minute mark.  When they are firm but not crisp remove from the oven.  Allow to cool and then flip out of the tray.

Mine just rolled out.  Store in the fridge for a few days and freeze what you won't use in that time.

They are great reinforcement sized treats, you know exactly what went in them and they work in all of the remote controlled food dispensers such as Train'n Praise or Pet Tutor.
 

Toy Recommendation

The Rogz Tumbler is available at Chew Chomp and Chill and is designed for those both experienced in enrichment and new to it.  It is durable and has 3 levels to suit dogs of all skills whilst promoting physical and mental enrichment.

Pets and Technology - Barking Dog Monitor (Bark'n Mad App)

Ok, this great little app should be used by all dog owners.  It is simple to use and will monitor barking when you are away.  It presents it in an easy to read graph and you can see at a glance if there was any barking.
This app is particularly useful for those monitoring their separation anxiety dog and ensuring there is improvement etc.  Also should be used for all new dogs and puppies just so that you know they really are ok when you are not home.
The only downside to this app is it is only available on iOS and I have not found an android version of equivalent.

Important Dates

30-3-2018 to 2-4-2018 Easter Keep the critters away from the lollies and have a Safe and Happy Easter.

20-5-2018 Million Paws Walk If considering going on this walk, reconsider taking your dog with you if they find crowds, noise, dogs or people stressful.

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