CPT internal Training Seminar- Pack Behavior and Dog Day Care
August 11, 2008
In our continuing efforts to maintain the CPT training staff as the most educated group of pet trainers and behaviorists in the Atlanta area, we completed another in a sequence of internal training seminars designed to enhance each trainer’s knowledge and competency regarding canine learning theory, canine communication, new equipment and applications, and leading edge training methodologies. On Monday, August 11, CPT’s staff traveled to Ruff n’ Tumble Day Care in Alpharetta to engage in the fifth of a series of seminars. This seminar featured a lecture, discussion, demonstration, and hands-on participation pertinent to general pack behavior and dog day care.
The seminar was prompted by two primary influences. First, CPT Trainers are frequently asked about the legitimacy of Cesar Milan’s pack flooding training principles to enhance dog balance and stability. Second, CPT Trainers are often asked about the benefits of dog day care and to offer a comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of dog day care versus a community dog park. In our opinion, Cesar Milan’s training strategies may provide accelerated progress in an aggression reduction, anxiety reduction, or hyperactivity reduction behavior modification program or in a general puppy or adult dog training program, provided the animals used in the program are selected properly (both the subject animal and the volunteer animals) and that the immersion strategy is not used prematurely in the training process. Moreover, we believe some dog day cares can function as an adjunct to CPT’s treatment programs, private lessons, and classes. However, other dog day cares, for a variety of reasons, will be deleterious. Consequently, CPT Trainers need to learn to effectively evaluate dog day cares for suitability and when to incorporate a dog day care as a partner in a CPT behavior modification program or general puppy or adult dog training program.
We strongly believe that Ruff n’ Tumble Day Care is well designed for integration within a comprehensive CPT behavior modification treatment program or as a general utility to socialize puppies or mildly anxious adult dogs or to continue providing socialization to well balanced dogs of any age or dogs needing to expend excess energy while their owners are at work. Colleen Kane, Ruff n’ Tumble’s owner, has studied dog communication and pack behavior and observes such behavior on a daily basis in a pack of 40 or more dogs. Furthermore, the RNT pack brilliantly contains animals of various sizes (from Chihuahuas to Mastiffs) and ages in a cage-free, non-segregated indoor/outdoor environment that provides plentiful mulched outdoor space for safe play and appropriate hygienic elimination and indoor space to keep dogs clean on a rainy day. Moreover, Ruff n’ Tumble has no kennel time or “nap time.” The dogs are free to play all day, the lone exception being when an individual dog is temporarily isolated for exhibiting aggressive or excessively assertive behavior. Ruff n’ Tumble opened ten years ago as Atlanta’s first outdoor dog day care and continues to operate successfully. Therefore, for all the reasons listed above, Colleen Kane was the perfect speaker to educate CPT’s staff on pack behavior and dog day care.
Colleen provided a two-hour lecture, then moderated a one-hour open discussion of pack behavior and dog day care. During the lecture and discussion periods she adeptly used the Ruff n’ Tumble pack to support her statements and provide visual observation that enhanced the understanding of her audience. At the completion of the lecture and discussion periods, she invited participants into the pack to become temporary RNT human “pack leaders.” During this time, Colleen instructed audience members on proper human body communication to reduce or enhance the energy level of pack members, to communicate dominance and increase the probability of adherence, to make a nervous dog feel safer, to reduce jumping, and to deter potential conflict. The hands-on portion of the seminar provided an outstanding conclusion to the day’s events.
The highly successful seminar taught the trainers to better understand the following subjects:
- Pack behavior.
- The trainer’s role when amongst the pack.
- Canine body language.
- Play behavior.
- Different styles of play behavior.
- Breed tendencies in determining play behavior.
- How dogs select playmates.
- When differing styles of play behavior may create incompatibilities.
- When and when not to mix dogs of varying ages, sizes or temperaments.
- When and when not to mix dogs of similar ages, sizes or temperaments.
- The characteristics of a balanced pack.
- Factors or behaviors that may unbalance a pack.
- Appropriate equipment for creating and maintaining a safe pack.
- How to interrupt a potential dog-dog conflict.
- How to intervene during an actual dog fight.
- How to evaluate whether a dog is suitable for day care or a dog park.
- How to evaluate amongst day cares or dog parks.
- When to recommend a day care or dog park to a client.
- The differences, advantages, and disadvantages of a day care versus a dog park.
We believe our clients will observe firsthand the benefits of our internal training program and agree that CPT’s program, staff, and overall professionalism is unequalled in the Atlanta area.