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Help! The Dogs Aren’t Getting Along! Presented by Ken McCort
CEUs: PPAB 2, CCPDT 2
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A presentation from PPGs 2017 Summit in Orlando, FL.
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Dogs are reported to be social creatures. They tend to live in groups that include other conspecifics to which they are socialized. This is true of even feral dog populations, as long as there is a good food supply. Along with other dogs, these groups usually include humans too. Other social group relationships with dogs have included cats, birds and a variety of other animals. Not all dogs, however, do well with other dogs. Even when socialized to them, there are other factors that can influence whether a relationship between dogs is going to be mutually beneficial.
There seems to be a preferred associate relationship within groups of dogs as well, and they often prefer to be in groups of two, or dyads. This session will focus on how to introduce dogs to each other. These can be short term encounters like meeting a new dog at a dog park, or they can be long-term relationships like adding a new dog into a household. Introductions and forming relationships is a process that has a number of steps.
The whole process can be enhanced when the human handlers understand the steps of introductions and to forming relationships. Rushing through the process, skipping any of the steps, or continuing when a step is not going well can doom a relationship. In addition, when relationships have problems and become less than mutually beneficial, we can often help the dogs to get along once again. Not all dog-to-dog relationships will be good for all concerned, but we can help increase the odds of animals getting along within the group when we understand their perspective.
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