Educating the Community

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In September, I had the privilege of sharing my observation skills with the “average dog owner.” I was invited to present about dog-dog introductions. This is tough for many people because they want to keep their dogs safe, but the leash creates a frustrating barrier for many dogs. I started with basic body language observation skills – sniffing, head turns, lip licks – then discussed some warning signs – “T” posturing, direct hard eye contact – and had the whole group practice parallel walking and circling. From the feedback I received, it seems everyone learned a little something new about body language and introductions.

I believe getting out in the community is the best way to promote responsible dog ownership and positive reinforcement based training. Most of the time I can sneak in a few comments during a discussion about those topics without being too pushy. This presentation was held in a small dog park during a monthly meet up sponsored by Ay Chihuahua Rescue.

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The group listening to body language and introduction instructions.

 

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The group headed out to practice parallel walking!

 

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Me discussing how the leash inhibits natural movement and the “fight or flight” response.

 

Mini-individual sessions to practice circling and identify specific body language. This was everyone's favorite part!

Mini-individual sessions to practice circling and identify specific body language. This was everyone’s favorite part!

Over all, it was very successful. Everyone went home with new observation skills and some knowledge on what they meant. The chihuahuas did their part by showing off all those communication skills! I am so happy to be a board member for Ay Chihuahua Rescue which has welcomed me and my knowledge with open arms. I look forward to sharing my knowledge with their fosters and fans!

Here is one of my favorite pictures from the play time the Chi’s got to enjoy:

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