This article from Wendy Nan Rees fit so well with what we are teaching here at Family Disaster Dogs that we wanted to share her sound advise here for all our followers and trainees.
This article also appears on Wendy's blogs, A Dog's Voyage Around the World here and Wendy's Animal Talk here . Be sure and subscribe to Wendy Nan Rees, Expert Pet Lifestyle Adviser for more pet tips.
Prepare Dogs for Earthquakes and TornadoesWith the increase in tornados and earthquakes around the world this year we thought it would be a good idea to post some fun activities to do with your dog from Wendy Nan Rees that can lead to your dog being your helper during an earthquake or tornado and in the event that a loved one is missing.
FUN ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH YOUR DOG
It is often stated that the more you play with your dog the more likely you both will stay together.
Just like a marriage or a dating relationship it’s up to us to make it a Friendship. Everything in our life is worth having and you have to be willing to put work into it to get what you want out of it!
I am asked every single day now that I have a new Puppy in training to become by personal service dog did you buy him this way or are you doing the work yourself?
My answer is, I am doing the work!
Why do I want another person to train my dog, if I am able to train him myself and I’m able to gain the bonding experiences?
Play also offers the bonding of the training and the mental triple threat to help tucker out Fido and to insure your both happiness. Exercise is as important for dogs as it is for people. It helps them stay healthy and helps prevent them from gaining weight. Well-exercised dogs are better behaved and less likely to test their limits indoors by chewing on furniture or releasing pent up energy.
Usually, those “bad” behaviors are a sign that your dog is antsy and needs a good play session or a long walk. Fortunately, exercise can be easily incorporated into your dog’s routine. Here are some ideas
As often as you can, take your dog for a walk instead of just letting him out into the yard to do his business. It’s great exercise for both of you!
• If you jog or run and your dog can keep up, take her along.
• Do you enjoy Frisbee? Let your dog play with you.
Try dancing with your dog, staircase sprints, tether ball, or monkey in the middle!
Today, they have an activity which now has a real name and many groups of people are enjoying this sport.
I personally have not tried this. I see groups of 3-4 people exercising with their dogs all the time. This fun activity it is called “Bikejoring “ and this is where you ride a bike and then Fido also pulls you along.
Now this I would love and gives me ride ideas.
Another growing sport is called “canicross” this is where you and your dog are doing a cross country course on a bike and attached by the waist using a harness that has the ability to also absorb shock.
And, a sport that is now growing again called “ Carting” this is where your dog pulls you and a very light weight cart. In some cases you race others as a group of carters out for a day of pleasure carting. This is something you can join classes to learn from beginning all the way up.
The wonderful sport of the “flying disk” and Fido catching it has kept on growing from the 70’s and today they have contests all over the world where you can learn and join in on many different levels.
Another interesting thing I learned is that there is even a sport type drink for your dog that is made to look just like our Gator Aide®. It is called Rehydrate Sports Drink for your Dog®..
Hunting and doing the field trials you do not have to kill to be involved in this sport as today they can and do use the dummy which has the scent of a bird and then you teach your dog to go fetch or point. Many of the different breeds offer different styles of how they retrieve.
Teaching Fido how to track a scent is one in particular that grabbed my interest and led to meeting Amber Higgins, founder of Family Disaster Dogs, who has since joined our team as my producer with her retired Bloodhound, Daisy.
Wrinkledpups Daisy Mayham
I did a little research and here is a sneak peak of what I found and suggestions for creating your own “Sent Hunt” at home.
If you are interested in learning more about scent training, I found that that there is not a standardized common name for “Scent Hunt Classes”, but rather they fall under some of the names listed below.
1. Nose Work Class
2. DOG TRAINING Utility Class – Scent Discrimination
3. Scent Tracking Classes- Dog
4. Practical Dog scent training
5. Bring the Scent Hound Out in Every Dog Classes
6. Getting Started Tracking Classes
7. Scenting with a purpose (my personal favorite)
8. K9 Nose Work Classes
9. The Dog Nose
10. Cold Nose College
11. Family Disaster Dogs
The wonderful thing about Scent work is that your dog is able to do what he loves and is naturally born to do. This is not only great exercise but also a bonding experience and gives your dog a mental as well as physical work out.
Here are a few common terms and resources you should familiarize yourself with if you’d like to start your own “scent hunt.”
SCENTING – this is actually the term for the sport and you may even choose to go onto competing against other dogs if your dog shows the interest and talent.
BOOKS-SCENT - K-9‘s Reason for being “, by Detective Steven White. It is an excellent resource that I recommend highly.
Cabela.com: A website that sells food and animal scents as well as hunting supplies.
BEGINNING LEVEL ONE STARTING OUT FOR FUN
In terms of introducing your dog to “scents”, the type of scent you use is very important and you need to consult with an expert to learn how to introduce the scents to your dog.
The best way to begin teaching a dog to scent for fun and exercise is usually with a food scents and the most commonly used ones are Anise and Birch as well as clove. They are all in the form of essential oils. Some apply the scents on cotton some others use leather straps and some use linen stripes. They are then concealed in a of box or card board.
note: If your dog is doing serious scent work like search dog work, refrain from using food scents in training. Learn More
And now, you’re ready for your mock hunt. The Idea of the game is for your canine friends to find the hidden scent. As your dog improves their skills, they can move outside and step up to hunting a scented ball or a dummy and then, once he’s mastered the skill and honed in on his nose, you can even add an obstacle course.
When your neighbors and their dogs are ready, it’s time to compete and this is where the fun begins. Give your judges a badge, a pad of paper and a timer, and let the games begin. The team that finds the mock fox or bird first wins!!!!
Now you move into advance obedience and the start of basic agility work to get really to start compete, remember this is open to any type of breed from my Chihuahua and my Yorkie. I have personally chosen to keep Senny home, my trained Bird lab.
The Cost run from $ 50.00 dollars to $ 100.00 per class / Serious for training
When it comes to completion each one has its own entry fee that you will have to see with each show. For more info please go to the National Association of Canine Scent Work
The web Site is at www.nacsw.net
Search-and-Rescue Dog Jobs
SAR dogs are trained to specialize in certain search and rescue techniques, much like people choose a major course of study in college.
Air Scent Dogs: track by smelling shed human skin cells that float in the air
Trailing (Tracking) Dogs: search by smelling the ground for a missing person’s scent.
Water Search Dogs: work along shorelines and on boats with search teams.
Human Remains Detection (Cadaver) Dogs: find dead bodies by detecting scents rising from the soil, similar to how dogs find buried bones.
A game of fetch may bore a human after a few rounds of, “Go get it!” and, “Drop it!” Golden retrievers are tireless fetchers, as are Border Collies and German Shepherds.
For some dogs, there’s nothing better than racing after a flying ball or Frisbee, capturing it, and bouncing back to the owner, who really plays the role of a human catapult.
Your dog isn’t shy about requesting a game of fetch. Usually, the “please” comes in the form of him producing his favorite ball and dropping it by your foot or in your lap.
In our Family Cappy & Senny just go wild for any kind of Ball! So we do the ball in water to help them swim and “retrieve” at the sometime it is just by chance that Capp’s Love for the ball have over ridden his normal what should I say?
Non swimming nature to make him a great Yorkie swimmer with our labs, Go Figure- it is a sight you really have to see one that draws its own crowd at the beach especially when I add a Chula into this mix.
Why do dogs go crazy for a game of fetch?
The fetch instinct is part of dogs’ DNA. In a pack, the top dog would go out hunting with other senior dogs to collect food for the entire group. He would chase after prey, fetch and retrieve food, then return home with the bounty to share. Fetch sparks dogs’ evolutionary prey instinct to find the most basic need: food. Today, dogs get all they can eat at home and fetch is playful and a way of pleasing their owners.
Now, about those dogs who love to fetch, but have no interest in dropping the ball or Frisbee? “Drop it” is a command you must teach to your dog. Again, dating back to dog instincts of the olden days, the top dog as the “hunter” got first refusal on the meat he retrieved for the pack. The one who fetched got first pick. Since your dog is fetching one item, you as the “pack member” get what’s left.
Train your dog to fetch by teaching “Go get it!” or “Go fetch!” and “Drop it,” so the game doesn’t turn into tug-of-war.
Here is a great first timer web site to go to if you are interested in learning more about this sport go to the web site Fun Nose Work
Cheers, Wendy Nan Rees
A note from Amber and Family Disaster Dogs,
First off we want to thank you for reading these great pet tips from Wendy!
I would like to add that any dog and owner who learn to do any of these fun activities can use these play sessions to prepare for an emergency event like an earthquake, tornado, flood and the worst, a missing loved one.
To learn how to incorporate these tips into a disaster plan for your home and to learn how to teach your dog to find your family members or friends if they are lost you can read the lessons online at Family Disaster Dogs.
Here is What to pack in your pet's Go-Bag, Evacuation Gear
We wish you all Happy Trails,
Barking Bar Productions