MuzzleUp! Dispelling the Stigma of Muzzles, a Workshop by Maureen Backman

MuzzleUp! Dispelling the Stigma of Muzzles, a Workshop by Maureen Backman

  Imagine a fearful dog gaining confidence and weaving around agility poles while wearing a muzzle. Or a shy dog running toward the muzzle from across the room in order to place her snout in the basket, eagerly anticipating her reward. These aren’t just pipe dreams; training makes them possible for dogs of varied breeds, backgrounds and temperaments. When done the proper way, muzzle training can increase the trust in you and your dog’s relationship. In the world of dog behavior, one of the most essential but misunderstood pieces of safety equipment we have is the muzzle.Dogs wear muzzles for a plethora of reasons.Unfortunately, their appearance and the judgments associated with them prevent their usage, sometimes with tragic consequences. This workshop will cover the how-to’s of muzzle training, including working through common trouble spots, as well as incorporating tricks, games and activities so that dogs feel comfortable and happy wearing a muzzle. We’ll also discuss how to tailor dogs’ muzzle training for specific scenarios like the veterinary office and leash walks. Demo dogs will be present to demonstrate muzzle conditioning, training and usage. WHAT YOU’LL LEARN Dog Owners Learn how to implement a muzzle training plan, troubleshoot tricky spots, and provide muzzle enrichment activities Learn how to be proactive and set your dog up for success, including fear-free vet visits and early intervention for aggression and fear Education on what types of muzzles work best, how to modify for best fit, and how to combat stigma with muzzle art and games Dog Trainers Have an expanded skill set to offer clients Learn ways to incorporate muzzle training into training packages to...
Fourth of July Hideaway – 2016

Fourth of July Hideaway – 2016

Are you and your dog staying in town for the July 4th holiday? If your dog does not like fireworks, consider our Fourth of July Hideaway. Bring your dog and hang out for the evening in our quiet space and watch movies to boot! We had a great time last year and look forward to it again! The Hideaway is a unique opportunity to avoid the firework fears that many dogs experience, in a safe and quiet space. We are able to accomodate dogs who are comfortable with people and dogs, and dogs who are uncomfortable with other dogs. One of our attendees last year said that it was the most relaxed July 4th that she and her dog had ever had! What: Fourth of July Hideaway Where: Synergy Behavior Center (2127 NW York St, Portland, OR) When: Monday July 4th, ~8pm to ?? (last year we went past midnight!) How Much: $30 per dog ($15 for an additional dog in the same household). Space is limited to a maximum of 4 reactive dog stations and 6 non-reactive dogs. Registration: Please fill out our online Registration Form. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. CLICK HERE To Pay. If you prefer to pay by check, please mail it to Synergy Behavior Solutions, 2127 NW York St., Portland, OR 97210. Your spot  in this workshop will be reserved once we receive your registration form and payment. Cancellation policy – Cancellations before June 15th: Full  refund. Cancellations after June 15th: Fee is on-refundable. Includes human treats (popcorn, sodas, and so on), as well as doggie treats, and supervision (and relaxation tips) by our staff...
ThunderCaps – Calming an Over-Stimulating World

ThunderCaps – Calming an Over-Stimulating World

In our modern densely-populated and noisy urban society, dogs can often live much of their lives outdoors in a state of high visual stimulation. Surprising encounters at close distances and limited opportunities to escape are part of this picture also. The ThunderCap™ is a tool that can be used to reduce the stimulation of these environments. They can also be helpful in the environmental management program of dogs who have reactivity. Who can they help? Reactivity and stress are common situations that many dogs experience, even more so in cities. For some dogs there may also be a genetic predisposition toward over-arousal with things visually appearing suddenly or moving quickly, such as sight-hounds or herding breeds. For others, anxiety can also contribute to a need for additional space or reduced trigger intensity for successful training to happen. For a reactive dog owners, using a ThunderCap™ can lessen the likelihood of their dog being triggered by these surprising situations. It can be helpful for a person with a larger reactive dog and a smaller car, since putting them in a covered crate to reduce triggering in the car is often not possible. It can also be useful for a person living in a high-rise with their reactive dog, where getting out of and into the building is a bit like “running the gauntlet” past dogs in the environment. Don’t they blind my dog? Having had the opportunity to hold up the ThunderCap™ and walk around looking through it, I would describe the experience as being similar to looking through a thin and dark tee-shirt. Closer objects are more distinct and identifiable and further ones are less clear....

Human-Directed Reactivity

Human-Directed Reactivity Attendees: Limited to 4 dogs Length: 6 weekly sessions Time: 1 hour per class Tuition: $250 Prereqs: Consultation with Dr. Valli Having a dog that barks and lunges at people is a stressful thing. It can also be difficult to treat because helpers can be difficult to find. That is why we developed this class. This supportive group class gives structured and safe opportunities for clients to practice behavior modification to reduce their dogs’ reactive behavior towards unfamiliar people. It is one of Synergy’s Behavior Therapy options for Dr. Valli’s clients. Please note that, because of the nature of this class and safety considerations, attendees are required to have a Behavior Health Assessment with Dr Valli prior to class. Note that the cost of the assessment is not included in the class fee mentioned here. For more information about general class policies please visit our Class Policy page. For other commonly-asked questions, please visit our Class FAQs page. Sign-Up for an Upcoming...

Reactive Rover 3a: Open Air

RR3: Open Air Attendees: Limited to 6 dogs Length: 4 weekly sessions Time: 1 hour per class Tuition: $180 Prereqs: RR: Skill Building or by Invitation You’ve practiced your training skills in the Foundations and Skill Building classes, now it’s time for a challenge! Our one-of-a-kind Reactive Rover: Open Air class will give you a chance to practice your dog’s training in an outdoor group class setting. We help provide safe opportunities for you and your dog to explore different neighborhoods and parks around Portland, with a supportive group of like-minded students. Your dog may also practice closer-distance skills, potentially on-leash greetings, depending on your dog’s skill levels and readiness. Our professional trainers lead the walks, run training exercises, give you feedback on your training, while also keeping an eye out for dogs in the environment. The locations change each of the four weeks to keep things interesting and fun for you and your...