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395 – Is Your Dog an Introvert or an Extrovert?

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Is Your Dog an Introvert or an Extrovert?

Kristin Sandstede from Big Moose Dog Training provides summer time training tips.

Kristin Sandstede from Big Moose Dog Training joins host Laura Reeves to talk about setting dogs up for success and having a plan before your guests arrive for summer gatherings. Recorded before the lockdowns began, this episode also provides valuable insight for introducing new dogs to new groups of people, proofing for a return to gatherings and setting your dog up for success.

Dog Training for Summer Fun

Here are four training steps that take a dog who’s not necessarily an extrovert and allow them to deal in an extrovert environment, while showing respect for the dog to let them shut down at the end of the day and have their quiet.

“How do I set it up so my dog and my guests have a good time is the biggest thing,” Sandstede said. “Some of our dogs can’t handle a 10 hour 4th of July gathering where people are coming and going for hours and hours on end. They mentally and visually get tired. Just like toddlers, when they get tired everything goes sideways. (Get) to know your dog and know what they can handle and what they can manage … giving them a polite reason to leave the party and maybe having some downtime if they need it before they have a nuclear meltdown.

Up the payroll

“You always want your payroll to equal your workload. Having a bunch of people at your house that normally has zero people that don’t live there is a big workload. So high value treats (are critical)…

“We all have two parts of our brain. We have the hindbrain, which is the muscle memory, the reactionary, your lizard part of the brain, you’re fight or flight, that all lives there down by the spine. And then the front part of your brain, which is your linear thinking, problem solving, thinking part of your brain. So I wanted my dog in the front part of her brain where she was thinking and solving problems, not in the back where … there’s no thinking, it just happens. So I wanted her to know that ‘not only am I asking you to think, I’m gonna totally make it worth your while, ’cause look, hot dogs and chicken hot off the grill…’

Pillow talk

“I spend a lot of time teaching my dogs ‘on your pillow’ ….so I give my dog somewhere to be and something to do. Then it’s my job to strategically place the bed at a distance my dog can handle. So if I have a really shy dog or a nine month old dog who’s going through that second fear stage and maybe having some stranger danger, I’m going to put the pillow on the far side of the living room with all of my guests on the opposite side as my dog. We still have Direct Line of sight. I can sit next to my dog’s pillow for moral support. I can use my high value treats to reinforce staying on their bed. There’s no stress for my dog that somebody’s gonna come over and invade my personal space ’cause they’re all over there. ‘Oh, strangers aren’t so bad. I sit here and get hot dogs. Cool, I can do that.’ So I love ‘on your pillow.’

Stress relief

“Chewing is a great stress reliever. If you’re gonna ask your dog to make a public appearance and do great things, then in turn, give them an outlet to kind of relieve some of that stress. Chewing on whatever their favorite item is, a yummy Kong, an antler, a whatever it is that you already use in your house, it gives them an outlet to vent out some of that stress. All stress is not bad and all stress is not good. Let’s face it, when you host a dinner party there is a certain level of stress you feel as the Hostess. That’s not bad. That doesn’t mean don’t ever have a dinner party. It just means that it’s there. Why wouldn’t our dogs feel the same way?”

For more insight from Kristin, you can listen to previous episodes here and here.

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