Attention Dog/Animal Lovers!!! Awesome Show Gave Me Ideas

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    that might help with some of our kids.

    I found a show on that is show on tv on the National Geographic Channel. It is called Dogtown and is about the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the biggest animal sanctuary in the country (maybe the world?). They take in dogs that no one else will take, even ones that people think are untrainable.

    Before I watched it, right before, I read the post on General about non-stop talking. We endured that one for what seemed like eons. Wiz and thank you each did it for literally years. Right after Wiz outgrew it, thank you started it. They each even talked all night in their sleep. None of the docs believed it until they saw video of it (cause of course parents don't tell the truth, grrrrr).

    The episode I watched had a trainer working with a dog who barked constantly. In just a few months at the sanctuary he had been moved 5 times because he was just so hard to be around. Talk about something being put in front of you at a very good time!

    One thing the trainer did was ONLY interact with the dog when she was quiet. In this case the dog was emaciated and badly neglected when she was rescued. Her owners kept her chained outside and she had to bark to get any kind of anything.

    One of the trainers comments said something I wish I had heard back when I was in the thick of the problems. He commented that from the dog's point of view there was no problem behavior going on. He had to find out what motivated her and then use that to teach her that barking doesn't get what she wants.

    Given the emaciated state the dog was in when she arrived, the trainer thought that food would be what motivated her. Surprisingly, it wasn't. He walked around in one session with her food bowl. She was quiet, having already started to understand that he would walk away if she barked. Instead of keeping her attention on him and her food, the dog noticed her caretaker sweeping an area next to where they were working. The dog went nuts, barking and running along the fence, anything for that human attention and interaction.

    From that point they were able to make much more progress, to the point she was able to go on a home visit to see how she acted in a home setting, and other things.

    Maybe if we can remember this, keep it in our minds as we work with our kids on problems like constant talking and inappropriate attention seeking, we could make some changes.

    I KNOW this was about dogs, and they react differently than people in many ways. But I think some of these ideas could be helpful to us and our kids.

    The show also shows the dogs working and learning and how the people work and learn and care for them. I am positive that MANY of our kids would love the show. It is not fast paced like cartoons, anime, sitcoms, or whatever, so it could be a calm time to share as a family. Esp since we parents wouldn't have to worry about violence or sex or the other issues that come up in so many shows.

    Here is a link to the show on hulu - They have several episodes available right now, this is the episode with the non-stop barker, "Close Calls":

    There is another episode about a dog named Shaggy who was born in the Grand Canyon and somehow survived until he was 5 years old! It is amazing.
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Actually, since I "train" my dogs pretty much the same way I care for and raise up a very young child it makes sense Susie.

    A child doesn't usually do things to be bad or irritate on purpose. Some of it's learned behavior that was rewarded (even unintentionally) so it paid off, some of it can just be something they can't control, some of it is testing boundaries and limitations and the rules.

    Only Evan has made me re-think this. lol But not really. He will look both parents in the eye and tell them he'll do as he pleases and dare them openly to stop him. Katie will put him in time out. Doesn't phase him. And she's not always consistant about making him stay there the full time either which makes it non effective. Dad just ignores him or half heartedly tells him to stop. Sibs have been taught to give in to him because he's the "baby" (at almost 5 yrs old seriously?) If he does something wrong and they're not at school it's Kayla and Alex's fault. Haven't quite figured that one out yet. No discipline his parents put into place works. None. They know it going in so are less firm about standing their ground. Too much work I guess.

    Nana is sooooo a different story. Nana gives no warning to Evan. He's caught doing something and I swoop in, handle it in whatever appropriate way, am firm and confident and it's over. Done. And he's left standing with his mouth hanging open 99 percent of the time. lol He's discovered refusal to wear the seat belt in Nana's car means Nana's car does not move. Acting up in Nana's car gets the car stopped, situation handled, then we move on. Nana puts him in time out he does not move, does not talk, or his does not get up, even if Nana has to hold him on her lap the entire time and force him to sit there.

    Evan's motivation? Parental attention and a desperate need for rules and limitations. Evan has learned that Nana is no nonsense and can out stubborn him in a heartbeat. I'm also consistant, my rules don't change depending on my mood or how I'm feeling on any given day. Evan doesn't mess with Nana. lol ;)

    But if his parents don't get their act together quickly he's going to have a diagnosis of ODD and ADHD really soon. I see it in his near future. And he's not even hyper. They keep him in bed most of the day while they "sleep in" while the others are in school.......I mean he's not an infant.......what's he supposed to do with all that energy that is not being burned off? sheesh
  3. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I've watched that show often. There are some lessons to be learned that are transferrable from children to dogs and vice versa.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Dogs are like small kids, cats are like teens. That's been my observations.
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    HaoZi, too true! lol

    Susie, I totally agree. I try to use positive reinforcement in training my dogs (not that they get much, but what we do is positive as much as possible). It works for the horses, too. I dont see why it wouldn't work for a child.

    The lady who did Wee's fba recently (the the report was awful) suggested something very similar. At random intervals at school when Wee is being appropriate, she suggested giving him undivided attention, and to ignore as much of his "bad" behavior as possible. Its basically the same principal.

    Now its a matter of how to train that principal of what is really "bad"...hiding under the slide at the end of not bad.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My mother has always claimed that training husbands and children and dogs are the same. Simple, one word commands, lots of praise for positive things, and consistent consequences for undesirable things.

    The show presents the ideas in a very simple way, one that I think maybe our kids could understand and enjoy watching. Jess was dealing with a really bad night and a lot of anxiety the other night. She came in to me (husband often sleeps on on the couch because I toss and turn too much) and we watched an episode where a dog worked through handling anxiety. It calmed her and let her know that other creatures deal with anxiety and she can work through it also.

    We like to have a show to watch that is NOT CSI or Castle or whatever. Something soothing and calming. Dogtown is our new show. I still miss Touched by an Angel for this purpose. And 7th Heaven. Though we have 7th Heaven on dvd somewhere.