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Shiny Happy Pets Issue

barks feature | sights set on a match made in heaven One interesting finding was the significant correlation between the owner’s personality and his or her dog’s behavior. Owners of certain personality types were more likely to not only apply corrections, but also to perceive their dogs as not responding to corrections. Dr. Serpell surmises that in some cases, the timing of the corrections might be off, which confused the dog and led to behavioral problems. “The dog doesn’t know what the owner expects, so this could produce learned helplessness in the dog,” Dr. Serpell says. Sometimes a dog becomes so frustrated it stops working and must retire early, he says. striking a match Dr. Serpell says his findings could help service dog organizations in two ways. First, if the organizations could evaluate students’ personalities, they could identify which dog might work best with each student. Second, they could use that information to improve student training. Organizations could help students who are prone to being more critical understand that certain behaviors in their dog are normal and not cause for anxiousness. This could help eliminate confusing corrections. Gibbon agrees the study findings could be helpful in identifying dogs that may not be able to handle the stress of guide work, or personality factors in a handler that would require a dog with a certain temperament. “Making the right match is really essential,” Gibbon says. “If we could use this information as a predictor for a match, it could help avoid the financial and emotional challenges for a team that doesn’t work out.” Not to mention, it could add many years of wagging tails for these special four-legged friends! For more information on the studies funded by Morris Animal Foundation, visit MorrisAnimalFoundation.org. 25% of the guide dogs in Dr. Serpell’s survey have been attacked by other dogs, with many suffering physical injuries and/ or behavioral changes as a result. When you come across guide dog teams, follow these tips: On walks, keep your dog on a leash. Loose dogs are the biggest threat to guide dogs. Don’t leave a dog tied up outside where he could reach passing people and pets. Don’t allow children to approach guide dogs without asking the owner (and remember, they often can’t see you coming!). Don’t let your dog approach a guide dog, even if your dog is friendly. It’s a huge distraction to a dog who is trying to work. If you are passing by and your dog is interested, alert the person with the guide dog that you and your dog are there. If you see someone with a guide dog being harassed by another dog, try to help or get help. Cost The estimated cost to create and maintain a guide dog partnership is between $45,000 and $65,000, depending upon the school and how long the dog works. Lifelong Care Maintaining good health and a high quality of life benefits both the dog and his handler. Most dogs work for about eight years, and the schools remain in contact with the handlers throughout that time to make sure the relationship is going well. 44 the shiny happy pets issue


Shiny Happy Pets Issue
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