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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
Dave T
 
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Social Referencing Dogs

We've all witnessed this. Julie's condensed version of study . http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/...green-monster/

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Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-07-2015, 10:57 PM
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I not only believe dogs respond to our reactions in situations, I believe they respond to our personalities. I have, over the years, discovered people who are happy go lucky have happy dogs. People who are nervous and negative have similar dogs and so on. I knew a woman once, that I had to stop socializing with, because she was so negative with everything. She was depressing to be around. We would walk our dogs together and I felt awful by the end of the walk each time. We both had Bearded Collies. Her dog became skitterish, fearful and a fear biter, something very against type in a Beardie. I swear it was because of her. She worried and stressed over everything. She was toxic.








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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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right on. We need to watch closely our dogs to realize when they are looking to us for guidance and assurance ,especially in scary situations. They do this at a very early age. One of the greatest connections I've had with Molly is due to her looking to me when she is uncertain of something. I could give you hundreds of examples but my typing is poor today. lol. One of the first memories was over ten years ago and she was just ten weeks old. For two weeks prior we took her outside to eliminate every hour. But one morning when we went to go out for the first time, it was extremely windy cold and hailing. I can still picture her face when I opened the patio door. She looked outside for three seconds, sat down and then looked up at me. I thought oh no this doesn't bode well . Still in my pj's I thought to myself at least she wasn't showing real trepidation. , so out I went in a happy playful mood and without hardly any balking she followed me into the back yard. I played with her like a loonatic and she quickly forgot about the scary weather . After 5 minutes she did her business and totally soaked , we took the act inside.
From that experience she learned to look to me for guidance and we made a connection of trust that has always blossomed. To this day , she will go out in a snowstorm you wouldn't send a dog out in. lol . So long as I lead the way once in a while just to reassure her that it's not a scary thing but something that can actually be fun. I know not to push this method if her body language is showing too much anxiety. She reads me , and I read her. She's my girl.

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Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 01:07 PM
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I can relate to that Dave. When we got Ollie it was spring and all the landscape companies were out in full force doing aerating, lawn cutting and power raking. Big, loud machinery. I would walk Ollie past all this loud equipment and be very cheerful and stop and play in front of the yard with this going on and act like it was great fun. Ollie has absolutely no fear of any kind of loud noises to this day. Vacuums, thunder, construction equipment. No problem. Anything that seemed scary was handled the same way. He is pretty bullet proof.







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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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yep , classical conditioning rocks.

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Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 12:26 PM
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I've seen Willow do this too. If uncertain about something she'll look up at me. If I know it's ok I just proceed onwards and try to seem like it all is fun and games.



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