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Agility Possibilities

Agility Possibilities Agility Possibilities believes every dog has what it takes to become an Agility Superstar!

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04/05/2022

Have a dog that loves to play in the "crazy zone"? Take a look at Julie Daniels' class FE445: Crazy Good! Self-Control Games for the Wild Child, registering now!

Sample lecture:

WHAT COLOR is Your CRAZY?

Red, Yellow, or Green? It's a simple concept with a straightforward purpose: to gauge your dog's state of mind. This is about what kind of energy your dog is feeling, and how we can use each of the three energy zones. The Green Energy zone is calmer and operates from the prefrontal cortex. Green energy is necessary for learning new material. The Yellow Energy zone is transitional. It is responsible for shifting from one zone to the other, so we must learn to notice it and use it. At the other end, the Red Energy zone is impulsive and operates from the amygdala. Red Energy responses are automatic.

When your dog can automatically and correctly perform a skill set in your sport of choice, that skill becomes a Limbic Superpower. Any high-arousal sport will require Limbic Superpowers in order to perform without errors. Click here to continue: https://www.fenzidogsportsacademy.com/index.php/courses/25621?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Sample+Lecture#sample-lecture

Timeline photos
04/05/2022

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BRAIN UNDER CONSTRUCTION – DEALING WITH TEENAGE DOGS
Those cute, adorable puppies don’t stay that way for long and soon grow up to be adult dogs. It’s often the stage in between this period that owners find the most frustrating and wonder what on earth has happened to their pup’s lovely personality. Just like people, the stage between childhood and adulthood - those often-dreaded teenage years, can be exasperating. There’s a saying that I’m sure will resonate with many parents who have gone through the teenage years with their off spring - “Parents with teenagers understand why some animals eat their young!” Many dog owners are unaware that dogs also go through a teenage stage and are frustrated and unprepared for the changes this may bring. It’s a sad reality that this is the age that many dogs are surrendered to shelters as their owners no longer “like” the way their dogs behave.
The adolescent dog has to cope with surging hormones and a brain that is reorganizing itself. The most pronounced behavioural changes are usually seen between 6 to 12 months old. Although hormones play a huge part in the change in behaviour, the brain is also going through big changes as it develops and rewires itself. All of these changes may cause dogs to be easily distracted, finding it more difficult to learn and retain information and they may seem to have forgotten everything they’ve been trained to do. They may also begin to develop a need to be more independent and engage in more risk taking or excitement seeking behaviour.
Although this stage may be challenging, remembering that it’s just a phase and “this too shall pass”, makes it easier to cope with. Understanding, awareness, patience and consistency will help you both get through it.

03/21/2022

Shake it…shake it off…

A recent study by two researchers in France looked at sniffing, pulse rate, and leash length on walks. Sixty-one dogs were taken on three separate walks, five minutes each walk, once with a 1.5m leash, once with a 5m leash, and once without a leash at all (walk order was randomized for each dog). Off-leash dogs sniffed the most, more than 3x as long as the dogs on short leashes. Dogs on long leashes spent nearly as much time as unleashed dogs sniffing, almost 3x as long as dogs on short leashes.

This study also found that sniffing resulted in lowered pulse rates, and the more intensely they sniffed, the more their pulse rates lowered. Pulse rate was also lowered when dogs “shook off” during walks on all leash lengths. The “shake off” behavior was often seen when the dog’s pulse rate was particularly high.

Read more about it below!
http://www.dogfieldstudy.com/node/1

https://thebark.com/content/dog-walks-sniffing-shaking-and-pulse-rate

What else can we learn about dogs from their walking behavior? Take your best friend on a Sniffari and see what you observe!

Timeline photos
03/16/2022

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LOTS of teenage dogs out there! Here are some tips to help you get through those tough months. Remember that patience builds the healthiest relationships, not punishment. Deep breaths everyone. We were all "that" teenager once too!

Photos from Canine Arthritis Management's post
03/11/2022

Photos from Canine Arthritis Management's post

03/07/2022
03/06/2022

If you've ever tried to stop biting your nails, or start going to the gym you know that it can really difficult to start and even harder to maintain. This is true of any big behaviour change!

For change to be sustainable, it must also be achievable.

Be patient, be consistent, and don't be afraid to reassess if things don't go according to plan.

#canineology #behaviourchange

02/26/2022

Resource guarding is when a dog controls access to food, objects, people and locations that are important to him through defensive body language or overt aggressive display. This is a relatively common canine behavior and is influenced by a number of environmental and situational stimuli, including a dog’s natural instinct to survive. If this behavior sounds familiar to you, do read on for help.

https://positively.com/dog-behavior/aggression/resource-guarding/

02/23/2022
02/16/2022
Instagram Photos
01/16/2022

Instagram Photos

Samoyed Excels in Dog Sports Despite Losing One Eye
01/16/2022
Samoyed Excels in Dog Sports Despite Losing One Eye

Samoyed Excels in Dog Sports Despite Losing One Eye

When most people first see Hex, a 7-year-old Samoyed, they might think she's just really good at winking. Here's how Hex competes with only one eye.

01/15/2022

Too many people have been taught that the goal of Dog training is to achieve obedience, here’s some truth: The goal of Dog training is to learn how to be a better learners, better teammates, better at communicating together and to enjoy being a Dog, and sharing our lives with Dogs.
Guide, nurture, and shape, problem-solving flexible thinking Dogs.

12/29/2021

If I had a nickle for every time someone told me that R+ training doesn't work because "life is punishing" then my dogs would have a lot more chews than they are already do.

Can we prevent every negative situation from our dogs? No, absolutely not.

R+ isn't about a life full of rainbows, its about being a shelter for your dog to take refuge in during the storms. Its about supplying that soft place for your dog to land in a big, wide world full of negatives that no one can predict or prepare entirely for.

R+ is a mindset. Its an understanding of how to approach life with the best intentions, but also how to navigate things when they go sideways.

Life is punishing, but that doesn't mean that I have to be too. I'll be the one who brings the rainbows, thanks.

#rplusdogs #mentalhealthmattersfordogstoo #rainbows #dogsareawesome #dogsarethebest #positivereinforcement #fearfree #forcefree #rewardyourdog #snackleadernotpackleader #positivedogtraining #dogsneedsupport #dogsneedlove #alldogsaregooddogs

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12/22/2021

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12/18/2021

"So it's just like our feelings not being validated then" our client said today. Yes, exactly. What a brilliant way of putting it.

It is so so so so important to recognise when your dog is communicating they are stressed, unhappy and want an interaction or situation to stop. If you communicate discomfort to your partner and they continue to do whatever it is you've highlighted as an issue, how do you feel?

When we don't listen to dogs we are forcing them to shout louder. The unfortunate reality is most of us don't mean to ignore our dogs' signs of discomfort, we just don't know them!

Please get it out there as much as you can - dogs don't WANT to resort to biting - but every dog could IF we ignore their communications. Stick it on the fridge, teach your kids it, show it to friends and family.

The canine ladder of aggression is THE MOST IMPORTANT knowledge you can hold as a dog owner.

Timeline photos
12/10/2021

Timeline photos

WHAT DOES LOOKING AWAY MEAN IN DOG BODY LANGUAGE?
Just like a hard stare or prolonged eye contact may be a precursor to a dog that’s about to react in a negative way, looking away is usually meant to calm a situation down. I suppose that’s what we humans do too, if you think about it.
The head position when looking away can vary – a head turn from side to side, turning the head in one direction and holding it there or a subtle quick turn are all common variations that happen, all while any eye contact is avoided.
I have often watched in fascination when one of my dogs uses this form of communication with an insect! Her favourite thing to do is to hunt, catch and then play with a Parktown Prawn (King Cricket). She means them no harm (I think) and just wants to engage in a game of how high can you jump before I can catch you. She will carefully carry the cricket in her mouth without hurting it to the middle of the garden where there are no bushes where it may escape to. After a quick play bow (from her, not the cricket!) the games begin. The game can go on for some time and when the cricket gets tired or plays dead, she will stop playing, sit quietly, avoid eye contact and keep looking away before starting the game again. By this time, I usually feel really sorry for the cricket, will rescue it and put it out of reach, but I think this is a good example of how she uses the body language of looking away to try to calm the situation down, even if her intentions are selfish! I don’t know anything about the body language of crickets so have no idea if the cricket understands what she is trying to communicate.
Body language can be subtle and fleeting, but with careful observation and knowing what to look for most of us can learn to recognize and interpret what our dogs are saying. It’s always important to look at the context, the situation and especially what the rest of the body is doing when deciphering this amazing language. Being able to understand a dog’s emotional state helps to predict behaviour, prevent potential problems before they happen or allows us to just enjoy observing their way of communicating.

12/09/2021
12/02/2021

A post came across my feed the other day and it stated something like letting a dog be a dog would create this monster of a creature who filled a person's life, day and home with pure chaos.

That letting a dog be a dog was code for letting your dog run wild to do whatever they wanted whenever they wanted with blatant disregard for anyone else.

I indulged myself and read the post to see if perhaps it was satire or maybe they had some valid points, however I found neither.

Every healthy relationship has boundaries. The relationship that you have with your dog is no different.

For instance, there are lots of things that my dogs can do, but there are also things that they simply can't do - and I won't compromise on.

Letting your dog be a dog is not a free-for-all, it's understanding what your dog's needs are and finding ways to fulfil those needs, safely and constructively.

The humans in this household matter just as much as the dogs. We are a family.

Society also matters, to a degree. I will advocate for my dogs but I also must respect laws and the comfort level of others.

And regardless of whether you recognize it or not, your dog's life is already completely controlled by you. Letting your dog be a dog for what is essentially a fraction of the day is the best gift that you can give them.

So, #letdogsbedogs

Because if you don't like the way dogs behave do yourself (and dogs) a favor and get a pet rock!

What are your thoughts?! ⬇️

12/02/2021
12/02/2021
12/01/2021

CUE OVERLOAD, CONTEXT, AND HYPERMNESIA

When dealing with anxious or aggressive dogs, it is important to understand the antecedent conditions that contribute to a specific behaviour occurring.

In many cases, these are contextual cues – e.g., if the dog goes into the street in which they have previously had scary experiences causing them to respond aggressively, simply being in that street will make them more likely to display aggressive behaviour because the contextual cue of the street, the smells, and any other contextual factors will promote the memory retrieval of that past solution (Mcnamara & Diwadkar, 1996).

This is due to associative memory processes. The dog associates being on that particular street (and any other contextual cues) with scary experiences and the way they have dealt with this in the past. This means, by the time something the dog perceives as scary comes along, they are already prepared to respond with aggression.

Contextual retrieval cues are key for the process of searching associative memory – this is predicted by a couple of really cool models of memory – Encoding Specificity Principle (ESP) & Search of Associative Memory (SAM) – see Lieberman (2012).

The number of contextual cues is also important, the more there are, the more effectively the memory will be triggered. So, by the time the dog is on the same lead, the same harness, the same street, at the same time of day, with the same smells, the dog could be experiencing hypermnesia (unusual levels of memory enhancement). See Otani et al. (1999).

Biologically, the street itself will trigger the release of the neurochemical noradrenaline which is involved in increasing vigilance, and adrenaline, which will physically prepare the dog for that fight response by increasing heart rate, arousal, etc. (Carlson, 2013).

However, the use of contextual retrieval cues does have a caveat, which is really important to understand when we are trying to reduce the association between the contextual cues and bad past experiences.

The greater the number of events a retrieval cue is associated with, the less effective it will be at triggering a particular memory.

This is an effect called "cue overload" (Lieberman, 2012). In other words, the more positive and varied memories we associate with the scary street, the less likely it is to trigger the fear memory the dog has currently associated with the street.

How can we do this?

Set up lots of positive and varied experiences in that particular street while managing the situation to prevent the dog associating any more bad memories with that street. For example, one day go there and scatter feed, the next day go and play with the dog’s favourite toy, the next day bring a kong or a puzzle toy the dog likes, and keep repeating this process with anything else the dog finds fun.

Even if you can’t do this with the street, think about the other contextual cues such as being on the lead, being on the harness, stepping out the front door. How can those be associated with lots of different things to weaken their effectiveness as a fear trigger?

It is almost impossible to guess how many contextual retrieval cues our dogs might be aware of, but predicting at least some of them is key to addressing the vigilance that precedes anxious and fearful behaviour. And for more content like this, check out our upcoming webinars! 😊

Full references available on our website. https://animalbehaviourkent.co.uk/our-blog/f/cue-overload-context-and-hypermnesia

And for more dog behaviour content, check out our upcoming webinars https://animalbehaviourkent.co.uk/future-events

11/27/2021
Timeline photos
11/25/2021

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JOLLY JUMPERS - HOW TO STOP DOGS FROM JUMPING UP
Dogs jumping up on us can be a common problem, but it’s one that’s relatively easy to solve as long as our reaction is consistent and everyone in the family follows the same rules. Understand that if your dog has been jumping up on you for a long time, probably since a puppy, it will take time to teach an alternative behaviour and won’t happen overnight.
Allowing your dog to jump up when you have an old pair of jeans on because it really doesn’t matter, but getting annoyed when you’re wearing smart clothes, will only cause confusion. As with all behaviour we want to change, consistency is really important.
Dogs will continue to do what they find rewarding and we often inadvertently encourage and reward this behaviour by our reactions. Pushing our dog away, shouting, scolding or interacting with our dogs when they jump up is still providing a dog with attention, even though it is “negative” attention.
We need to show our dogs that jumping up = no attention, no matter how hard they try, but putting four paws on the floor = reward and attention.
It’s not uncommon for dogs to try harder and jump up even more when we start doing this – your dog may think - “I’m not getting the attention I usually get when I do this, it’s not working so I need to try harder!”
This is part of the learning process and although it can be frustrating and may seem you’re not making progress, persevere, be patient and consistent and your dog will soon understand what behaviour you are looking for.

Address

446 W. Rawson Avenue
Oak Creek, WI
53154-1414

Telephone

(414) 267-7539

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Join me on Sunday, October 20th at Agility Possibilities in Oak Creek for their annual Howl-o-ween event from 11-4pm! Bring your dog, and enjoy a costume contest, photos by Pawparazzi, snacks, games and fun for everyone! I will be offering appointments during this event in a private room. Call 414-436-9878 to reserve your time! 🐾🎃👻😍
Ever wanted to try your hand at agility? Judi from Agility Possibilities will have a course set up at Walk for Paws to try. Have no experience? No worries! She can guide any skill level through the course! We are so excited to welcome her back!
My terrier Roscoe working with Judi at an agility workshop on 5/25. He is totally enamored with her and loves working with her. 📸 Courtney Seal
There are still a few slots left for your small animal to be seen by Dr. Robin at Thrive Wholistic Veterinary Care on Friday 5/31, or at Agility Possibilities on Saturday 6/1. Call 414-436-9878 to schedule!
Good news! Companion Animal Chiropractic will now offer occasional appointments at Agility Possibilities in Oak Creek! Our first scheduled treatment date is next Saturday, March 30th from 9am-12pm. Call today to reserve your appointment slot! 414-436-9878😄🐕🐾
Forrest recognized this familiar face, our previous trainer, Kathy, on TV this morning! Forrest looks forward to enrolling in another class soon!
Check out the upcoming Nose work demo opportunity, given by Joy Nonnweiler at Agility Possibilities! Email [email protected] for information and to register.
ALERT! A spot has opened up for the Intro to K9 Nose Work class that starts on Thursday, October 25th. Email [email protected] to register; additional details are below! ***** - Intro to K9 Nose Work® Part 1 - Starts Thursday, October 25th from 5:30-7pm - Meets every Thursday (skipping Thanksgiving day) - Cost: $185 per dog/handler team - Class location: Agility Possibilities (446 W. Rawson Avenue, Oak Creek, WI) More info: https://www.connectingwithdogs.com/k9-nose-work
Love this place! Great trainers, clean facility, positive approach. I have done rally O, an agility workshop, and pet ambassador classes with them. I have been completely satisfied with my experience there and I have done a fair amount of dog training. Try them out!!
Frank is SO happy to be back to agility that he's literally jumping for joy! Thanks for the new location, we love it!
We are sooo happy Judi is back in business and is now located in Oak Creek! Our pooch loves working with her and the group we are in.She is a wonderfully caring person.She gives us homework as well to work with our dogs when we are not in class.!! She motivates all that work with her and her business is top notch! I recommend her highly. We live in the Racine area and have visited other agility opportunities closer to home but we we stick with Judi because she is simply the BEST at what she does! 😍
Great big congratulations Judi! Bodie has been bored all summer and is excited to see his classmates soon.