Corner Post – April 2021

Newcastle All Breeds Dog Training Club Membership

CHIEF INSTRUCTOR’S MESSAGE

MOTIVATIONAL TRAINING

Motivational Training is the modern method of training and the preferred method of obedience training as recommended by Dogs NSW (previously RNSWCC), RSPCA and Vets.

  1. This is an eight-week course – although we encourage our handlers to continue on with their training after this time.
  2. Individual instruction given by class instructor where a bond develops between instructor, handler and dog.  Exercises taught are Heel, Sit, Stand, Down. Stays, Recall, Sit For Examination Exercise & also ways to overcome separation anxiety.         
  3. Small classes with up to eight dogs in each class with dog socialisation and people socialisation being covered.
  4. Very gentle method of training using food to motivate the dogs and to            teach the exercise – once the dog understands the exercise the food is reduced.
  5. Talks are given on Motivational Training Techniques, Pack Leader, Dog Problems, Dog Health, Children & Dogs, Games to Play with dogs, Grooming, Doggy Toys and Trick , Solving Boredom in Dogs and Car Safety.

At the end of the eight weeks the handlers are presented with a Certificate after they demonstrate the trick that they have taught their dog and the class is then promoted into Upper Green Class where they join with the general obedience classes to go on to do more advanced exercises in these classes.

“THE WATCH” – gaining your dog’s attention.

We teach “the Watch” in all Motivational classes but can be used in any class.

To demonstrate gaining attention using food.  Attract your dog’s attention with the food at the same time as you call his name. 

Move the food towards your eyes and while he is looking at you move the food back to him and reward him.

If he looks away, begin the exercise again.  Gradually increase the amount of time you hold his gaze before rewarding. 

It is important, however, to cut down the amount of food in the dog’s diet if you are using food as a motivator. 

Remember that it is best to train before you feed your dog.  Do not bring your dog to training on a full stomach, he will not want to work.

Gaining your dog’s attention (the Watch) can be utilized right throughout the dog’s training from Beginners to our top classes (Blue) and also trialling. 

When your dog is Heeling with you and looks away or sniffs the ground, you can tell him “Watch” and if he has been rewarded properly throughout his training he will look at you.  The same applies in any exercise and any time that you need the dog’s attention.  So please don’t underestimate the value of the “Watch” exercise and it is very easily taught and used.

DOG HARNESSES.

A reminder, particularly to our newer members, dog harnesses are generally not suitable for training a dog.  The harness with the lead attached allows the dog to be half a dog length in front of the handler when he is supposed to be at the Heel position.  It is also very difficult to control a dog whilst heeling or when they get into a fight with another dog. A harness is fine for the car or taking the dog for a walk.  The only harness that can be recommended is the front-clip type where the lead can be fastened to the front of the dog.

A soft collar, martingale or other collars can be used for training.

Electric or spiked collars are forbidden.

COVID – STILL WITH US …..

 We now have a Service NSW QR Code – hopefully this will make signing in much quicker for all of us.

 Any feedback, please approach any of the Committee members, usually somewhere around the shed or at the entry point.  Covid is likely to be with us for some time yet.

All volunteers and handlers are required to abide by our current Covid-19 Safe Plan.  This document was updated 5 April 2021 in line with NSW Government and Dogs NSW guidelines (Annexure B)  for affiliate clubs.

In short:

  • Only one entry point
  • Scan or sign in, sanitize your hands
  • Maintain your distance please – At least 1.5 m between people and dogs
  • Limited spectators on the grounds
  • Bring your own chair
  • Do not share any equipment
  • Only one exit point
  • Leave after training asap

EQUIPMENT STORE

The Equipment Store has a range of items (subject to availability) which are reasonably priced.  Items include:

  • Leads, tracking leads and double ended leads
  • Collars and martingales
  • Dumbbells – range of sizes
  • Articles (for scent discrimination)
  • Gentle leaders (halter style)
  • Treat bags – Several colours (pink, purple, red and grey), three compartments (one with a zip – good for keys) The bags are comfy, sit flat against your body and are a bargain at $20.

Please see our Equipment Officer Giselle at the club house before training.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

New Members

We welcomed 38 new members in March 2021.  We hope you enjoy your dog training journey with us.

MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS ARE STARTING

Membership renewals are due by the end of June.  You will need to provide:

  • a copy of your dog’s latest and current vaccination certificate
  • a completed membership form

See Ros at the Registrars window to pick up a form at the moment.  Once our new website is up and running you will also be able to download from there.

INSTRUCTORS SEMINAR

Sat 24 April 2021 8am-9.15am

All instructors and handlers from Blue and Advanced Classes are cordially invited.

Joy Deith will be facilitating a 1-hour dog handling seminar to be held before the instructors meeting in April.  Joy has a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services through the Delta Institute and will be covering clear communication, engagement and use of the long line in recall work

Time: Be there by 7.50am (Covid-19 sign-in)

Venue: NABDTC club grounds

Seating: Bring your own chair please

PROMOTIONS Feb 2021

UPPER GREEN TO LOWER RED

Tahlia Rich & Apollo

Libby Balsdon & Vienna

Margaret Fitzgerald & Cora

Di Wood & Monty

Tania Lydiard & Koda

Mark Davie & Wilbur

Trevor Clarke & Spencer

Patricia Robinson & Orla

Eliza Wheeler & Willow

Emily Webb & Jimmy

Sonia Bulzoni & Coco

LOWER RED TO UPPER RED

Dianne tanner & Jazz

Renee Haisell & Sunny

UPPER RED TO BLUE

Tony Blanch & Aura

Jim Mewes & Dyson

BLUE CLASS TO ADVANCED CLASS

Karla Lemmett & Teddy

Lyn Mahaffey & Chester

Reba Cawthorne & Teesha

Karen Gibson & Marble

Roger Kelly & X

Sandra Feltham & Rubi

Linda Anslow & X

Mary Webster & Scout

Janice Davis & X

Denise Fenzi

Denise is a highly regarded dog trainer based in the US and has titled dogs in obedience, tracking, schutzhund, mondioring, herding and agility.

She is currently training a lovely Belgian Malinois named Dice for competition. Train early and trial late.

She regularly posts on Facebook and the videos and commentary are a great free learning opportunity for anyone interested in dog training.  Training does not always go smoothly, and she will post these sessions as well. Well worth a watch.

Dice is a stunning dog but he is still a teenager.  Check out this YouTube  0nly 4.30 minutes – lots to learn here!

Behaviours – Teenaged dog brain in action

SNAKES AND TICKS are still around

SNAKE BITES

Snakes that commonly cause problems on the Australian east coast include the black, the brown and the tiger snakes.

And we have a few red-bellied blacks living around the grounds near the waterways – watch out for those large twigs!

Time of year, areas to avoid

Snakes particularly love hot dry weather and a dry sandy, rocky terrain. As cold-blooded reptiles, snakes need to cool off in very hot weather by going towards water and other damp areas. Under tank stands, near water features eg dams etc are high risk areas.  Snakes are also attracted to birds as part of their natural prey, so if you keep birds, keep any aviaries well away from any dog kennels or yards.

Snake Bite Symptoms

These can vary slightly between the various types of snake. Signs of snake bite include:

  • lethargy, trembling, vomiting and profuse salivation, progressing to inability to stand, rapid respiration, bluish mucous membranes (of the gums) and/or sudden collapse.
  •  Some dogs may collapse, recover, then go down again within 1-2 hours.
  • The various actions of the venom include an anti-coagulation effect, a paralysis effect and a neurotoxin.
  • There may be a hypersensitivity to noise and light in the form of minor fitting and/or muscle twitching.
  • Additionally, there may be blood in the urine.

Signs can vary according to the type of snake, the time that has elapsed since the dog was bitten, the amount of venom received and where the dog was bitten (over a blood vessel etc)

Treatment

Take the animal to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Treatment can differ according to the presenting signs and the amount of knowledge as to the cause and time of the incident.

  • The majority of cases will show signs of being affected by the venom within 2-4 hours.
  • Some snake bites can take 12 or more hours to manifest with owners, often erroneously, thinking that because there are no obvious signs within 1-2 hours, that the animal may not have received any poison. These dogs are often found collapsed or severely depressed, are often jaundiced and passing blood in the urine.
  • Do not delay getting the dog checked by the closest vet as precautionary treatment is preferable to being too late. The longer the delay from the initial incident, the lower the survival rate.
  • Diluted antivenom is given as soon as possible in affected dogs.
  •  Other treatment with snake bites involves using adrenaline, intravenous fluids, short acting cortisones etc. Vitamin C in high doses has been anecdotally reported to be helpful in some circumstances.
  • *It is presumed with all snake bite victims  that a full dose of venom was received, therefore all victims receive the same amount of anti-venom, regardless of size.

Types of Anti-venom

  • Newer anti-venoms have been developed that are a combination of anti-venom for the black/brown and tiger snake. This combination covers the majority of common snake bites including the red bellied black, brown and tiger snakes, so some of the challenge as to which type of snake has bitten the animal has been removed.
  • Death Adder bites are particularly lethal, generally killing the animal within the hour. These dogs rarely survive long enough to get to the vet.

Prevention

  • In known high-density snake areas, keep dogs away from dams or cool damp areas such as under tank stands. These areas should ideally be fenced off from the dogs.
  • Keep open areas clear of long grass by regularly mowing the running yards. Close of any drains or small entrances into cool kennel blocks. Fence around the dog running yards and kennels with bird wire netting from the ground to at least 3 feet up.
  • If you live in an area with a reasonable incidence of snake sightings, it is well worth getting a book on the subject so that you can learn to distinguish between the various types

PARALYSIS TICK POISONING

Paralysis tick poisoning of dogs (and cats) as a result of Ixodes holocyclus tick bites is commonly seen during the warm humid periods of the year. And April still counts!

Affected cases are seen along the entire coastal belt of eastern Australia, from Bairnsdale in Victoria all the way up to lower Queensland. Affected cases are seen from spring through to autumn.

Paralysis ticks can kill affected dogs within 3-6 days of contact. Ticks like to crawl to the top of long grass and low shrubs and will attach to the coats of animals as they brush past.

About 80-90% of ticks are found around the head, neck and shoulder regions. Ticks do not have a separate head, merely a mouthpiece. Where they are attached to the skin, there is an allergic reaction to the tick saliva, resulting in a ‘crater’.

Description of ticks Paralysis ticks look like small slate-grey coloured warts and the legs all come out close to the mouthpiece.

When the tick is fully engorged, it can be nearly as big as your little fingernail.

Bush ticks are brown and the legs are well spaced out down the sides of the body.  Cattle ticks are bluish and have legs spaced down the sides. 

Symptoms

Very early signs are easily missed but, if you are living in a tick area, you should be alert for any change in the dog’s habits.

  • Initially the dog may appear reluctant to walk very far, refuse a feed and be slightly off balance when turning. Their bark or breathing may be ‘husky’.
  • Further signs are incoordination of the hindquarters, weakness of the hind legs, husky cough and loss of voice, loss of appetite and a rapid respiration rate.
  • The further the dog walks, the worse it becomes. This progresses to a total paralysis with laboured breathing and bluish mucous membranes (gums). Death results from paralysis of the respiratory muscles and lung congestion.
  • Note: It takes several days for the effects of the paralysis tick to start showing and 3-4 days for the effects to wear off.

Treatment

  • Involves removal of all ticks. If no ticks are found, they may already have dropped off. There should still be a crater, which is an allergic reaction in the place where the tick was embedded.
  • Removal of ticks is easily done by placing your thumb and first finger on either side of the tick, pinching down and almost taking a small piece of skin, and then give it a quick half twist. The tick will pop out. Ticks do not have a definite head; removal and/or killing the tick is the initial primary concern.
  • The effects of the tick are still wearing on over the next 48 hours, so vet advice must be sought on all cases that are showing any signs of paralysis.

Where there are respiratory difficulties, the dog should be seen by the vet as soon as possible. The vet will administer tick serum (from hyperimmune dogs). The dog is hospitalised and preferably kept very quiet and covered up to reduce external stimuli ie. light and noise. Treatment for any respiratory and cardiacsymptoms is also initiated, including diuretics to decrease the amount of fluid in the lungs. Sedation is used to keep the dog calm.

Severely affected dogs must be kept at normal body temperature as the lack of movement can result in them becoming chilled.

Treatment must be kept up to these dogs around the clock. It can be a very tense time over the period of the next 2-3 days until the breathing becomes easy and more relaxed ie. until the dog stabilises.

 Once this occurs, the dog is usually out of danger. Aftercare then becomes the same as described below for mild cases.

Tick dogs are handled as little as possible to minimise respiratory distress.

Source: adapted from Karen Hedberg BVSc https://www.gsdcouncilaustralia.org/gsdcacontent/uploads/2015/04/Stings-Bites-and-Ticks.pdf

COMPETITOR PROFILE

Gretel De Vries

Gretel has been a long-term member of NABDTC. She started straining in 1982 and was trialling by 1986.  Her highlight was at the Sydney Royal Show when she won the Open Obedience and won Winner of Winners. She has also competed in Rally.  She has trained and trialled about 20 dogs and every dog has a title, mainly up to CDX level at least.

Gretel dogs have been mostly German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs).  She has trained 3 GSDs to Utility Dog (UD) level.

Gretel believes that all dogs need and benefit from training.  In her early days of training, it was hard corrections for the dog. Nowadays it is more reward based for the dogs.  Gretel trains her dogs to ‘deal with situations’ and that you need to show your dog what is safe.  This safe area will be close to me with rewards all the time.  Correct your dog if necessary and reward when they turn back to you

Gretel currently has 8 dogs – 5 GSDs and 3 little dogs.  The most she has owned was 10 dogs and they have plenty of space for the dogs to move.

TUNA FUDGE – TRAINING TREAT

Ingredients

2 x 400 g tins of tuna in spring water

2 eggs

3 cups of tapioca (arrowroot)  OR 1.5 cups tapioca and 1.5 cups of plain flour OR other suitable binding flour depending on allergies

  • Put everything (including water from cans) in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Pour into a biscuit tray lined with baking paper.
  • Bake at 160 degrees until firm – about 25-30 minutes. This mix will not rise
  • Let it cool on a cake rack before cutting.
  • Cut into small squares about the size of a pea. Pack into ‘snack’ size ziplock bags and freeze
  • These treats will defrost quite quickly and can be easily broken into smaller portions for smaller dogs