No more waiting for their next walk !
Blog & News

July 30, 2012

ALL BOSTON DOGS GATHER ‘ROUND’!! CRATE ESCAPE’S COMING TO CHARLESTOWN!

Yes! It’s a go! Crate Escape will open it’s third daycare/ overnight/ grooming/ retail FULL SERVICE facility in Charlestown. We have been waiting forever for stuff to be signed and approved… and it’s finally! done. The address is 200 Terminal St. and we will open in November..

17,000sf of playspace, a room for our famous ‘ sleepovers’*, a grooming area and our reknowned retail shop with the BEST food, treats, collars, leashes, beds, etc. will welcome Boston dogs! Our stylish vans will be busy picking up new customers and taking them to FUN!
*famous because we host overnights in a large room, with chairs and beds for the pups to sleep on, and a person, who is with the dogs all night!

If you know anyone in Charlestown who has a dog– tell them about Crate. Then tell Nikki and if they come to Charlestown daycare, she will give you something. 🙂 Our email address is set up at: crate.escapecharlestown.com.
We are doing preregistration for Charlestown daycare at Crate Escape in Belmont on Saturdays in September. All dogs who preregister get a free day of daycare.

Y’know why we are so proud? The way Crate Escape has grown and developed is 95% word of mouth. How can you get a better recommendation! Thank you wonderful customers. Amen.

Improving Dog Reactivity on Leash
by Fern

This is a common issue, that is dealt with in various ways. This guy, Fern, does a blog that has experience and wisdom. This is what he has to say:

Many dogs are only “aggressive” on leash. The reasons for this could be frustration, possession (of the owner), fear, anxiety and/or a relationship issue with the dog owner. These dogs behave well in dog parks or doggie daycares, but become lunging, barking monsters when out for a walk with their owners.

Whatever the original reason a dog may have had for reacting at other dogs, through mere repetition he gets into a pattern of bad behavior. What I mean is that most dogs have no idea why they continue to react when they encounter another dog on leash (remember dogs are living in the moment), all they’re thinking is, “This is what I always do.” It’s like they’re on autopilot. What typically takes place when an owner walks their reactive dog is that a person walking another dog approaches, causing the reactive dog to react. Then, one of two things typically occurs: the other person thinks, “Wow, your dog is crazy,” and flees the scene, or the reactive dog owner pulls his dog away (and is probably embarrassed and disappointed).

In either scenario, the stimulus that caused the dog to react (the other dog) is presented, and he reacts. The stimulus is removed, but he’s still in the same reactive state of mind. He begins and ends the encounter in a crazy state of mind, which only reinforces the cycle. What we need to do is break the cycle by showing the dog that it is possible to behave differently around dogs. To do this, we need to control the environment, specifically the other dog.

My friend Bruce has a super chill Greyhound named Jake, and I use Bruce and Jake when working with all of my dog-reactive dogs. Bruce and Jake have helped countless dogs open their minds and make positive changes in their behavior patterns. The reason for being such a powerful team when working with reactive dogs is that Bruce takes direction well and Jake never reacts to the other dog – no matter what he does. I’ve had dogs that snarled, barked, lunged and basically looked like they wanted to have Jake for dinner, while he just stood calmly, ignoring their outbursts.

This is the kind of energy you want to have on your side when you first start working with a reactive dog. Remember, energy is contagious, so if Jake were to react to the dog’s antics, he will be much more difficult to calm down. On the other hand, Jake, Bruce, and I are calm, so the reactive dog is affected by that energy and is helped into a calmer state of mind quickly and easily. Once you’ve had some success working alongside a calm dog, you can try it with a more reactive dog.

When first introducing the two dogs you should make sure that they are far enough away so that the reactive dog notices the other dog, but is not going crazy. You then use the leash and your body to work the dog into a neutral orientation (not leaning forward) and a calmer state of mind. When using the leash you will want to gently give tension, then release it, up and down, repeatedly. You don’t want to snap the leash (the Cesar Millan method), but use it as a tool to reposition the dog. Your body should be positioned between the dogs, and you will want to move towards the reactive dog, forcing him to take some steps back. The goal of this is to break the dog’s eye contact and fixation, forcing him to notice you.

Once the dog has calmed a bit and is not totally fixated on the other dog (keep breaking any sustained eye contact), you can move him forward toward the other dog. For very reactive dogs, have the other dog and handler begin walking forward so that you are moving in the same direction. Walk so that you are parallel to the other dog but at a distance (how far from the other dog depends on the dog’s level of reactivity) and keep all eyes forward, not allowing the dogs to look across at one another.

As you walk, slowly move closer and closer until you are eventually walking side-by-side (dogs on the outside, humans in the middle). Then, just walk. There is something very therapeutic about a walk for dogs. Once they get into the rhythm of a walk, they progress more easily into a calm state of mind. By moving the dog’s body forward, their mind follows. The walk unifies the dogs and offers them a non-confrontational experience together, thus opening their mind to a new behavior pattern.

The walk is the most powerful tool to help dogs with reactivity on leash.

Walking is a very primal canine experience which seems to have a therapeutic power for dogs. The walk helps achieve a calm state of mind more quickly, and provides a new positive experience. By moving the dog’s body forward, their mind moves forward as well.

Every time you successfully calm the reactive dog’s state of mind around other dogs, you open their mind to a new way to behave and make any subsequent encounters easier. I’m always truly amazed at the power of the walk and how effective it is at helping reactive dogs realize a new state of mind.

A Word from our Rover Reporter, still on vaca…
C’mon you guys– YES, I’m excited about Charlestown, I have been waiting too, you know. Pleez! just give me a little more time on the beach!! THEN I will come home with all 4 feet on the ground and get this Charlestown thing OPEN! I’ve done it twice before you know!!

Later, Ernestine

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