(VICT) Re: Buckley being aggressive......

  • From: "Diane & Raven" <dlshotwell2@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <vi-clicker-trainers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2007 11:24:48 -0400

Greetings Ridge,
You speak in your last post about the two other dogs you were partnered with 
that had the same issue.  Did they have this issue when they first were 
partnered with you or did the issues develop after a prolonged partnership 
Could this previous experience or personal concerns be making you anxious 
around children of that age bracket?

It has been my experience that we as the human partner often communicate with 
our canine partner in ways we are not aware of in some situations.  Stress and 
anxiety create physiological changes in the human partner that are often 
detectable by the canine partner.  Many dogs that are perceptive and sensitive 
to these types of changes are used for seizure and alert dogs.  The difficulty 
is that these talented and perceptive creatures can often misunderstand the 
cause of these distress signal they are picking up.  With this in mind, and by 
no means in judgment of any kind or meant as any offense.... I would like to 
share some thoughts I had in reading your previous posts.

Do you get apprehensive, nervous or anxious when this age group of children are 

Some writers and trainers will speak of this as the handlers emotions 
"traveling down the leash".  The dogs often are aware of these changes before 
we are...that is why they can alert/respond to physiological changes in advance 
of a seizure or other medical condition.

If a person is anxious in a situation the perceptive dog may, after repetition, 
perceive this change as some thing to be concerned about and not like that a 
situation distresses the person the dog is bonded to through partnership.  It 
may over time sense the change and respond in defense wanting to help correct 
or avoid the distress it is sensing from its partner.  What than happens is the 
stress is increased by the partners reaction to the dogs behavior and this 
increases the dogs response.  The dog may think "ah ha, I was right this small 
child is causing distress in my person"...

This is just some thoughts and experiences I thought might be worth 
If this type of response is not conditioned to a high level the person and the 
dog, one can implement measures to help extinguish the unwanted behavior and 
developed a wanted and more appropriate behavior.

I hope you find my thoughts helpful and not offensive or a cause for distress.  
I find that the more information and tools available to us when trying to work 
through difficult issues the more likely we are to be prepared.  

I wish you well... 

Best Wishes & Wags,
Diane & Raven
"My Assistance Dog is not my whole life, but she makes my life whole" 
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." 
~Anatole France
"*People are who they are by what they do, think and believe.. not by how 
they  look, what they weigh or what they are or are not able to do..*

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