Ruminations

Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

About Dogs, dog Behaviour Assessment Scale
Dog Behaviour Assessment Scale

Dog Behaviour Assessment Scale

Introduction

Our Dogs, Our Selves

Most of us humans are not born leaders -  we must consciously work hard to acquire leadership skills  – the same is true for our canine companions.
We can become anxious and stressed in the absence of well-grounded structure and guidance – the mentoring that we require as individuals to become confident, stable beings.  The same is true for our dogs. Dogs thrive on structure. Dogs require physical and mental exercise, just as we do. Very few dogs are born leaders – most are born followers, which means that a dog is most comfortable when he /she has someone to rely on as a mentor and guide.

What Happened?

The most common trigger in the development of behavior problems is the lack of access to well-grounded mentoring and guidance. Sudden traumatic experiences can cause dog behavior problems. Poor diet can cause and contribute to dog behavior problems as can health issues that result from poor diet. Medicinal drugs can also trigger or add to behavioral problems.

Accumulated Effect

Behavior that seems inconsequential to the untrained eye, can lead to very big problems as issues can grow exponentially, resulting in very stressful incidents, for both the dog and the human. The seemingly inconsequential behavior may even be something that the human or the dog did, or did not acknowledge, see, sense, etc. But in-time the compounded consequences of the missed observation, missed guidance takes its toll.

A Simple Scale to Help You Understand Behavior Zones

Dog Behaviour Assessment Scale

Behavior Zones

Dog Behavior Scale Zone 3, Level 2Zone One is within a normal range of behavior where you simply want to ensure that healthy behavior is enabled and unhealthy behavior is not encouraged and/or does not develop.  Your puppy or dog should be happy and able to express a full range of emotions and activities without becoming anxious, stressed and otherwise reactive.
Zone Two represents the preliminary stage of adverse stress-induced behavior. Signs of insecurity, anxiety, obsession start to evidence. These type of behaviors develop due to a combination of factors including – lack of grounded structure, lack of other guidance, poor diet, traumatic events, etc.
Zone Three can occur due to a traumatic event or becasue the dog was not supported in staying within Zone One and once in Zone 2 appropriate and timely guidance was not provided – as a result escalation to Zone Two and then Zone Three occurs.
A dog that is in zone 2 or 3 is not a ‘bad dog’. A dog in zone 2 and 3 simply needs access to understanding and guidance.

Zone 1 – Low Intensity

Obedience Training Required

Dog Behaviour Scale Zone 1Zone 1 behaviors are typical of what you might expect from a puppy, teenage or adult dog who is fairly well-adjusted but does require that both you and your dog obtain some additional guidance and mentoring. By doing so you will ensure your dog acquires and maintains a normal, healthy range of behavior. You and your dog require assistance with obedience training.
A few examples of habits to be addressed and replaced with healthier behavior:
  1. Counter surfing
  2. Constant pulling on the leash
  3. If you drop an item on the floor, your dog moves in and
    grabs the item before you can pick the object up
  4. Jumping up on people or other dogs to greet them
  5. Pushing past you through door ways
  6. Passing you as you go down the stairs
  7. Running out an open door without permission
  8. Poor recall
  9. etc.
For examples of a dog experiencing Zone 1 behavior you can read:
  1. Carmen the Chihuahua’s Bio
  2. Shanny the  Alaskan Malamute x German Shepherd’s  Bio

Zone 2 – Medium Intensity

Behavior Modification and Obedience Training Required

Dog Behavior  Scale Zone 1Zone 2  presents typical behaviors exhibited by puppy, teenage or adult dogs that are not getting the guidance needed to instill a sense of ‘normal’. In the absence of this guidance he/she is starting to escalate to higher levels of excitement on a regular basis in multiple situations throughout the course of a typical day. Your dog is not showing aggressive-reactivity, he/she is simply lacking boundaries, may be over exuberant and appears (to you) to be not ‘listening’ to you. You and your dog require assistance with behavior modification and obedience training.
A few examples of habits to be addressed and replaced with healthier behavior:
  • Items as listed in Zone 1 or similar behavior…
    • Counter surfing
    • Constant pulling while on-leash
    • If you drop an item on the floor, your dog moves in and
    • grabs the item before you can pick the object up
    • Jumping up on people or other dogs to get to them and to greet them
    • Pushing past you through door ways
    • Poor recall
    • Passing you as you go down the stairs
    • Running out an open door without permission
    • Barking at people or other dogs when they pass by
    • Mild separation anxiety  – dog is not destructive, but is anxious when left alone
    • etc.
  • And one or more of the behaviors listed below or other similar behavior…
    • Dog exhibits insecurity, anxiousness – but not aggression, around specific inanimate or animate objects
    • Demanding – insists on getting attention  on demand
    • Intense pulling on the leash when your dog sees another dog, cat, squirrel, etc. – exhibiting excitement, but not aggressive-reactivity
    • Impulse to chase bicycles, cars etc.
For examples of a dog experiencing Zone 2 behavior you can read:
    1. Abby the Belgian Shepherd x German Shepherd’s Bio
  1. [highlight]Stevie the Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) x Pomeranian’s Bio

Zone 3, Level 1 – High Intensity

Psychological Rehabilitation, Behavior Modification, Obedience Training Required

Dog Behavior Scale Zone 3Zone 3  presents typical behaviors exhibited by puppy, teenage or adult dogs that are not getting the guidance needed to instill a sense of ‘normal’. In the absence of this guidance he/she is frequently escalating to high levels of reactivity on a frequent and even constant basis. Your dog may be showing aggressive-reactivity, may appear to be ‘hyper active‘, appears (to you) to be not ‘listening’ to you – zones out. Your dog may be threatening to bite, may even have nipped, but has not actually bitten anyone (human or non-human animal). You and your dog require assistance with psychological rehabilitation, behavior modification and obedience training.
A few examples of habits to be addressed and replaced with healthier behavior:
  • Items as listed in Zone 1 and Zone 2 or similar behavior…
    • Counter surfing
    • Constant pulling while on-leash
    • If you drop an item on the floor, your dog moves in and
      grabs the item before you can pick the object up
    • Jumping up on people or other dogs to get to them and to greet them
    • Pushing past you through door ways
    • Poor recall
    • Passing you as you go down the stairs
    • Running out an open door without permission
    • Dog exhibits insecurity, anxiousness – but not aggression, to the point of intentional biting
    • Demanding – insists on getting attention  on demand
    • Intense pulling on the leash when your dog sees another dog, cat, squirrel, etc. – exhibiting excitement, but not aggressive-reactivity
    • Impulse to chase bicycles, cars etc
    • Barking at people or other dogs when they pass by
    • etc.
  • And one or more of the behaviors listed below or other similar behavior…
    • Complete inability to settle down the majority of the time
    • Dog exhibits insecurity, anxiousness that comes across as aggression, around specific inanimate or animate objects
    • Demanding – insists on getting attention  on demand and frequently
    • Extreme separation anxiety
    • Intense pulling and vocalization on the leash when your dog sees another dog, cat, squirrel, etc. exhibiting excitement, but not aggressive-reactivity
    • May have obsessive compulsive disorder behavior (OCD)
    • Your dog is becoming acutely destructive even when you are home
    • Your dog is chewing/destroying your boots, shoes, furniture, wall molding, etc.
    • Your dog is destroying his/her crate, chewing through drywall, doors, etc.
    • Your dog is injuring his/her self
    • Starting to be possessive / guarding – food, toys, space, people, your dog ‘owns’ you or another family member, etc.
    • Intense ‘play’ with other dogs that borders on aggression
    • Behaving in a dominating fashion with other dogs
    • Pestering, bullying and not respecting your cats 0r other non-canine animals
    • etc.
For examples of a dog experiencing Zone 3 – High Intensity behavior you can read:
  1. Tasha the Australian Shepherd’s Bio
  2. Jordie the Alaskan Malamute x German Shepherd’s Bio

Zone 3, Level 2 – Red Zone (over threshold)

Psychological Rehabilitation, Behavior Modification, Obedience Training Required

Dog Behavior Scale Red ZoneZone 3  – Red Zone presents typical behaviors exhibited by puppy, teenage or adult dogs that are not getting the guidance needed to instill a sense of ‘normal’. In the absence of this guidance he/she is escalating to high levels of aggressive reactivity resulting in biting and other injuries. Your dog may  appear to be ‘hyper active‘, appears (to you) to be not ‘listening’ to you – ‘zones out’, fixates and gets into a state-of rage. You and your dog require assistance with psychological rehabilitation, behavior modification and obedience training.
A few examples of habits to be addressed and replaced with healthier behavior:
  • Items as listed in Zone 1, 2 and 3 above or similar
  • Plus the following or similar behavior
For examples of a dog experiencing Zone 3 – Red Zone behavior you can read:
  1. Robbie the Boxer x Pit Bull’s Bio
  2. Sarah the German Shepherd x Siberian Husky’s Bio
  3. Buddy the American Cocker Spaniel’s Bio

Labels: , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

 
()() Follow @rheytah Tweet