The Puppy Training Podcast

Episode #87 Cooperative Care

January 20, 2022 Baxter & Bella Puppy Training Season 5 Episode 87
The Puppy Training Podcast
Episode #87 Cooperative Care
Show Notes Transcript

Today professional trainer Emily Jolliff joins Amy to discuss Cooperative Care and how to get started in giving your dog a choice when it comes to body handling, grooming and veterinary visits. 

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Amy:

This is the puppy training podcast episode number 87 Cooperative Care. This podcast is designed to help you on your journey of becoming best friends through love and learning as you train your own dog from home, and I'm here to help you every step of the way. This is the puppy training podcast, and I'm your host, Amy Jensen. Hello, everybody, welcome to the puppy training Podcast. Today I have Emily Jolliff. Here with me. She is one of our trainers here at Baxter & Bella, and she brings so many talents to our team. So I'm super glad that she's willing to do this with me today. One in particular is her fear free certification and interest in cooperative care. So Hi, Emily. Welcome.

Emily:

Hello. It's good to be here.

Amy:

Thanks for coming. Before we dive into cooperative care, will you tell us a little more about yourself? Why dogs? How did you get into this?

Emily:

Yeah, so I kind of found dogs through doing dog agility. And that was something when I was like 14 or 15. I was watching a bunch of videos online. And I was like, This looks so cool. And I had studied we had like a Rottweiler mix when I was younger. And I thought he had the perfect body type to do it. I was doing all this research, I read all the books and watch all the videos. And we had someone at our church who I knew actually did dog agility. And so I got in contact with her. And she said, yeah, like let's do it, you can come and practice with my dogs. And we can start this and I think it'll be super fun. And so we actually ended up getting a lab mix who I started agility with. And that was it was super, super fun. I found my border collie that I have through an agility competition. He was there with an adopt me vest on him. And so I got him through that. A lot of Border Collies excel at agility stuff. So I felt like I was ready for the next step of that kind of a little bit more intense of a dog. And he's taught me a lot. He's kind of fear reactive. And so he's taught me a lot about body language and dealing with, you know, a dog who's not comfortable with a lot of things like other dogs and people and how to manage that. And then I was able to go to Bergen University, which I found through the agility trainer that I was working with, she had had other people go there and come back and say that it was a really amazing program. And I've met a lot of amazing trainers through there. So who, you know, come here and teach for you too, as well and, and are part of our team. So that's really fun that we all have this kind of collaborative background.

Amy:

Yeah, super fun. I noticed that you do other things with your dogs as well. Besides agility? I think you've gotten into some scent games as well, right?

Emily:

Yeah, I really like nose work and scent work. That was something that my agility teacher also did, as well as Bergen taught us. And we've, my family has gotten really into doing antler hunting. So shed hunting is what it's called. So when deer and elk drop their antlers in the spring, we've taught our dogs to find them. So they sniff them out and find them and bring them to us, which is super, super fun. And we just got a puppy who is a German Wirehaired Pointer, and he will be a shed hunting dog as well. So that'll be fun to kind of go through the process of teaching him that too.

Amy:

So happy to hear you have a new puppy and all of you listening in who are in our program, you can watch her videos, I bet Emily will be willing to share a few right?

Emily:

Absolutely.

Amy:

Awesome. Well, today we're talking about cooperative care. I think this is a great topic, something that I would love to educate more people on. I think as dog training has evolved over the years, we're to a point now where we are doing a really good job of recognizing them as living breathing creatures, and we try to form relationships with them. Instead of this, you will do what I say all the time robotic type training. And cooperative care is something I think that can help with, you know, dogs who are maybe a little more fearful or nervous or anxious about new things. So will you explain what is cooperative care?

Emily:

Yeah, so pretty much what it is, is it's teaching the dog to be an active and willing participant in husband husbandry behaviors. So that might be grooming style behaviors, such as teeth brushing, or you know, brushing their fur or doing their nails, those kinds of things, even ear cleaning, going to the vet. So they have to look at their ears and their eyes and maybe look at their feet or things like maybe when they're not feeling super well like if we train a lot of that it makes them feel more comfortable. And as well as just like handling body handling. You know if we want to do our own kind of like checks over their body at home, putting on harnesses those kind of things. Like if we teach the dog what the expectation is, then they're a lot more comfortable doing that instead of it all sort of being sort of like an unknown to them.

Amy:

Yeah, that makes sense. What is what would be your favorite thing to teach a dog when it comes to cooperative care what task or What skill I guess teaching the dog to do has been rewarding for you.

Emily:

Yeah, so one of my favorite things to teach a dog in general is teaching a chin rest. So what that looks like is, you can teach it either in your hand, so the dog comes over and kind of puts pressure with their chin on your hand and is taught to stay there for an extended period of time, either by way of they understand that they're going to get rewards for staying there and kind of putting up with things that you do if you want to look at their ears or their eyes. If you want to brush their teeth, you could also teach it on a stationary object. So something like a chair or a pillow, you can teach them to go over and put their chin on that and hold that position, as you can do some of those behaviors, grooming things you need to do.

Amy:

I love that, that gives them choice in the matter, I love that they then get to say, I'm ready. I'm ready for this to happen. Instead of you know, forcing of it to happen, which often kind of causes that fear for the animal? Will you explain for us in a nutshell, just how you would start that chinrest? If I was, you know, listening today, and I'm like, oh, that sounds like something I want to train my dog to do? How would I get started?

Emily:

Yeah, so use started with a lure, like you do with any other behaviors. So what that looks like is I'll have some treats on me. Usually, with with Cooperative care, I like to use a little bit higher value, especially if the dog already has some kind of hindrance of oh, I don't really like touching or, you know, I have some some reservations about this kind of behavior, you want to start with something higher value. But what it looks like is you have treats, and you have your hand obviously. And what you can do is you can put your hand out flat, kind of like you were you know, carrying a plate on top of it. And what you're going to do is you're just going to take that food, put it right on your dog's nose and lower them over your hand, and then just move down slightly, so that they have to kind of move their head down and put pressure on your hand. And so then, as soon as you feel that pressure, you can mark and reward. And it can be important to do the order of operations correctly, right. So you want to present your hand, then present the Lower, lower them over a little bit down and reward. And then as you do that a little bit more consistently, you can kind of transfer to Okay, let's try to do it with just a hand motion. So we're gonna do the same sort of version that you were doing with the law, except you're not really going to have a treat in your hand. So it's just like a pretend treat, gonna do that same motion, lure them over, and then reward after. And if you're doing that presenting the hand, first, the dog will start to realize that you presenting the hand means that they need to do that behavior. So then you can lose the lure, and you can lose that hand target until they are just putting their their chin in your hand based on the presentation of your hand.

Amy:

So what kinds of things do you use the chin rest for?

Emily:

Yeah, so with the chin rest, um, my lab right now she knows that if if she's to put, if I'm to put my hand out, and she goes to put her face right over my hand into that chin rest, she knows that some sort of touching is going to happen. So you can teach them to expect the unexpected. So I might look at her ears, I might look at her eyes, I might look at her teeth, I might pick up her foot, I might, you know, brush her, I might do any of those things. And she knows as long as she stays in that generous position, I'm going to touch her in some way. And she's going to get rewarded for it. Versus if she comes off of the generous but she's allowed to do in cooperative care, right? That that is giving her the choice to either participate or not. If she's choosing to participate, she's going to get a reward, if she doesn't choose to participate, I'm not going to reward her. So she gets the the reward of space of me not touching her. So as soon as she comes off of that chinrest. As soon as I don't feel that pressure anymore, I'm going to stop brushing her I'm not going to continue, I'm going to you know back off of looking at her ear, if she goes forward again to do the generous because she wants that food reward right. And then I'm going to do something a little bit easier. So if I was looking at her ear, and I wanted to, you know, put my finger in her ear, kind of like a vet would with an otoscope then I'm going to maybe just move her ear flap and make that that last repetition a little bit easier, and then reward her for that because if she's backing off from it, she probably wasn't ready for that step yet.

Amy:

I love this concept. I love that it's creating a communication channel between us and our dog. The dogs able to say Oh, I'm not quite ready yet. Okay, now I'm ready. I think that's so important and so fascinating. I think something that everybody can benefit from understanding.

Emily:

Yeah, it's pretty much the kind of teaching them like to have consent in these behaviors that we're doing for them and you can teach a dog to tolerate something. So if your reward is high enough, maybe if they don't even really like it, like she really doesn't like her ears mess with but she knows that she's going to get a pretty good reward for it. So she's like, Okay, I will do this for you because I get this wonderful reward. And then there's no need for her to say Oh, I you know, I I don't know like this because she understands that if she feels uncomfortable, she can back off and all back off versus her feeling like she needs to growl or snap, because I'm doing too much. So it takes it takes away the need for them to escalate behaviors, because there we are giving them different behaviors to show that they're not okay with what's going on.

Amy:

I love that. Yeah. And I think they understand Oh, they are listening to me, which is really important.

Emily:

Yeah, that's pretty cool.

Amy:

So cool. So why would you say cooperative care is important. We kind of already addressed it. But in a nutshell, what would you say?

Emily:

Yeah, I mean, I think it just helps to really keep in solidify, that bond that you have with your dog like, gives them another way to communicate with you, it gives them that, that understanding that you are listening, and that they don't feel like they need to have any fear around you. Because you're really paying attention to their body language and paying attention to how they are reacting to certain things so that they don't have to have any fear involved.

Amy:

Well, I can see lots of people now listening in going and teaching their dog that timorous today, if you guys haven't tried it, go, give it a try. I bet your dogs will love it. And I think you'll see some improvement in the grooming exercises that you do in the handling exercises that you do. And if you have a dog that struggles at the vet or struggles at the groomer, this could be a really important first step. So thank you, Emily, for sharing all of that great information.

Emily:

Yeah, definitely. And you'll see a lot of videos coming with with the puppy of how I teach him kind of going through those steps. So that'll be fun, too.

Amy:

Fantastic. We'll make sure that we get those added in so you guys can have access to all of those as well. Before we go, you do a lot of work, Emily helping clients here at Baxter &. Bella, what would you say is your most commonly asked training question and what's your reply to it?

Emily:

I think that something that we get a lot is just kind of introducing that separation. So Oh, my dog is having a tough time in the crate or the pen and they're, you know, howling, or they're barking or they're fussing and all that kind of stuff. And I'm going through it right now where I've brought home a brand new puppy who's never been alone, right, that's how they start is they've never been alone. And so what we're doing is we're just introducing it to him pretty frequently, but keeping it kind of really positive. And I've already seen even in the four days that we've had him a huge difference or what at first, when I put him in the crate, he just immediately started howling like it was just zero to 60 I you know, I don't want to be in here. This is crazy. But you know, he wasn't panicking, he was doing very, very normal puppy behaviors of kind of demanding to be let out. This isn't fair, this is dumb. But we did lots of back and forth of treats in and out feeding meals in there, and giving him a lot of like short repetition. So I'd put him in there, wait for that kind of few seconds of calm and let him out. And if he was doing all of that barking, howling, whining, I just kind of sat there and really didn't give him any attention. Let him Let him kind of figure it out. And as soon as he was quiet, let him out. And right now he's sleeping in his pen quite contentedly. Which at first he started by howling in there for 20 to 30 minutes. So it's something where it's really, really normal. And so don't be afraid to you know, kind of put in those earplugs as long as you're sitting right next to them and they're not, you know, completely completely alone where they have never been alone before. You can, you know, set them up for success and saying okay, I'm right here next to you. I'm not giving you a lot of attention. But you know, you're you're kind of having a meltdown when you don't really need to be and so just letting them kind of figure that out. Is is helpful with the process.

Amy:

Yeah, I agree that the puppies we don't always recognize Oh, this puppies never been alone and it's teaching them Oh, it's you're actually okay if you're by yourself, but you know, bridging that gap for them and sitting next to them I think really does benefit them those first few days. Well, good job with your new puppy. Thank you. All right to end it if you had a day off Emily with just you and your dogs How do you spend it?

Emily:

Usually we go hiking and hunting for a waterfall. I love to take pictures with them when and set them up. They know there's it stays pretty well, we I think they get tired of it. But I love it and the pictures turn out good. So that's it. Well go do and they get the enjoyment of going off leash and getting to run around and explore.

Amy:

Super fun. Yeah, if you guys need some good photos, check out Emily. You can follow her. She's post some great adventures up in the mountains. So Emily, thank you so much for joining me today and sharing your training knowledge with us especially on cooperative care. I hope you guys enjoyed this podcast and learn something new. That's our goal is to help you have a healthy, happy relationship with your dog. Happy training you guys. I'll talk to you next week. If you have a question about anything you heard on this podcast or any other Puppy Training questions, visit my site Baxter & bella.com to contact me