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Resource Guarding

Resource Guarding – important details you need to know

Why do dogs resource guard?

Resource guarding is a natural canine behavior that serves to let other members of their social group know, “This item is mine, so back off!” To dogs, this is a normal occurrence and they tend to respect the warnings from each other. For dogs living in a human world, it could be an unsafe behavior, especially if there are kids around. Children can’t read dog cues as well as adults can. Even some adult humans don’t fully understand all the subtle cues dogs use to try to communicate with us, which can be dangerous if you are living with a resource guarder.

How do I know if my dog is resource guarding?

Dogs tend to resource guard food, toys, bones, water, beds, or any other items they find valuable. The dog may freeze when approached, start eating faster, place themselves between you and their item, lay on the item, pick it up and move further away from you with it, and in more severe cases will show the whites of their eyes, growl, snarl, and possibly even lunge to bite or actually bite.

What do I do if my dog is a resource guarder?

Some people take different approached to having a dog who resource guards. Some people understand this is a natural dog behavior and just let the dog be, and won’t bother it when it has something of value or while it is eating. This approach is fine if there are just adults in the house, but if there are young kids, you always run the risk of an unsupervised child accidentally approaching the guarding dog and getting bit. If you have young children and a guarding dog, you should only provide the dog the high-value item when they are safely blocked off from the children and then pick up and remove the item when you cannot safely supervise the interactions. You should also consult a trainer or behaviorist just to be on the safe side.

Another way to address this behavior is to teach your dog there is no reason to guard resources. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Never take an important resource away from your dog unless there is an immediate safety concern. Some people think that to prevent resource guarding you should occasionally go and take items from your dog, but this actually makes resource guarding worse because you are teaching them they do need to guard the item in order to not have it taken away.
  • If you have an established resource guarder, you can try to switch up the environment by providing new bowls, beds, and toys and switch up where these things are in the house. Then start positively interacting with your dog near these items so they know you are not a threat and not trying to take resources away from them.
  • NEVER punish a dog for guarding. This just solidifies that you are a threat and will make them want to guard more severely. Punishing a growling dog is “taking the tick out of the time bomb.” You will teach your dog not to warn you, and instead they will be quicker to bite.
  • For mild resource guarders, teach your dog that resources come from you rather than get taken away from you. Drop a handful of kibble into their bowl at mealtime, and then wait for them to look at you for more. Repeat this for the whole meal. While they are eating or chewing on a favorite toy, whenever you walk by you can throw some yummy treats by them. If you need to take an item, or want to teach them it is OK to relinquish an item to you, offer them a trade. Offer the yummiest treat you have by throwing it slightly away from the high-value item. When the dog goes to get the treat, pick up the item then offer it right back. You can also train “drop it” and “leave it” so that you can safely take high-value items away if you need to.
  • For moderate to severe resource guarders, consult a behaviorist or dog trainer.

Handling Your Puppy

The Importance of Puppy Handling Preparation

A crucial part of puppy socialization is making sure your puppy can be handled on a regular basis. Think about when you take them to the vet or groomers. Their paws, ears, mouths and bellies get poked, prodded, pulled and pushed. Some dogs can become anxious and defensive in this situation if they have not been handled in this manner before. 

As soon as you bring your puppy home, start handling. Frequently touching your puppy all over will desensitize him to being handled. Lift up paws and pretend to clip nails (or actual clip them if he needs it). Look into his ears and mouth. Make all these things very positive.  Reward your puppy for calm behavior. Young puppies may not put up much of a fight, but as they start entering new stages of development, they might begin to resist more. Continue with the handling. Make sure that you and your family members are able to clip nails, give a bath, and do routine body checks with minimal struggling. Ask visitors to do this as well so your puppy is used to being handled by different people.

Your puppy will likely have multiple vet visits during the critical periods of development, so bring your clicker and delicious treats along with you! Reward your puppy for calm behavior all throughout the visit, from the lobby to standing on the table. This will help build a positive association with seeing the vet. Many vets will appreciate your effort and won’t mind giving some treats themselves to help with this process. 

If you plan on bringing your dog to get groomed on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to bring them to a groomer during the critical periods, even if just for a bath or to do some training in the lobby. Do some research into the groomer, and make sure they are willing to work with your puppy a little to give them a positive, fun experience at the groomer.

Puppy Development Stages

Critical Periods of Puppy Development

Human Socialization Period

7 to 12 Weeks of Age

The pup has the brainwave of an adult dog. This is the best time for a puppy to go to a new home. We recommend letting your pup stay with mom and his littermates until at least 8-10 weeks of age. Mom and littermates are useful tools in teaching proper manners to your pup, especially with nipping. At this stage puppies can begin to learn sit, stay, come and housebreaking. Puppies at this age learn best by association so it is a great time to introduce clicker training. Permanent human bonding begins to be formed in this stage, so be confident and gentle with your puppy, especially with disciplining. 

Fear Impact Period

8 to 11 Weeks of Age

Fearful situations can be extremely traumatic during this period, and can cause fear that lasts a lifetime. It is important to socialize your puppy with other dogs and other people during this phase (some trainers say 100 people and 100 dogs by the age of 12 weeks). It is not enough to just introduce your puppy to new people and dogs during this stage, you have to make sure those experiences are POSITIVE. Closely supervise all interactions to make sure your dog isn’t being stressed or hurt inadvertently. Be especially mindful of interactions with children during this time and ensure children are being gentle and careful with the puppy. This is a great time to start puppy training and/or socialization classes. 

Be sure to provide your puppy comfort and positive reinforcement when they are being brave in new situations, especially vet visits or during thunderstorms. Un-addressed fear during this phase can lead to phobias and anxiety later on. 

Seniority Classification Period 

13 to 16 Weeks of Age

At this age, your puppy will begin to test you. Make sure you establish your role as leader confidently long before you reach this phase, and especially during. Start implementing ‘nothing comes for free’ and continue doing positive training on a regular basis to keep your puppy on the right track. Praise for good behaviors is especially crucial during this period. Make sure you are not inadvertently rewarding bad behaviors, such as barking for attention. Continue to ‘handle’ your puppy, like you are clipping nails or cleaning ears. Touch your dog everywhere and do not tolerate any biting. You want to make sure your dog is able to be handled safely by veterinarians and groomers (and yourself). 

Flight Instinct Period

4 to 8 Months Old

This is the stage where you feel like all your puppy training was a waste of time, but have faith! If you laid down a solid foundation you’ll be able to get your sweet puppy back quickly and smoothly. They begin to feel more independent and will think everything else is way more fun than you are. Prevent your puppy from practicing bad behaviors and always keep in mind what is rewarding them in every situation. Do not let your dog off-leash since they will likely not come when called, which is not a habit you want to encourage. Continue praising good behaviors heavily and conducting regular training sessions. If your dog has no interest in training sessions, start using their kibble mixed with yummy hot dogs as their meals (instead of feeding in a bowl). This might help refocus your puppy’s attention on you, at least for a few minutes! Teething and puppy biting might become especially bad during this period, so provide plenty of appropriate chew toys and keep any inappropriate items well out of your puppy’s reach to prevent bad habits from forming. 

Second Fear Impact Period

6 to 14 Months Old

Similar to the first fear impact period, any fearful situations can be eternally scarring to your pup. This fear period seems to be more related to situations, whereas the first fear period is more related to humans and other dogs. Even situations your dog has experienced before might suddenly become frightening. Be extremely patient and gentle with your dog during this stage. Try to make EVERY experience fun and exciting, no matter how many times your dog has been in that situation before. Reactive behaviors can become set during this period, so it is especially important to use positive reinforcement and to continue socializing your pup in situations that set him up for success. Punishing your dog in those situations where you think your dog should know better (like if they are barking or growling at someone on a walk) can make the behavior worse. This is a good period to always have your clicker and very delicious treats on you. Try to catch your dog before fear sets in. If you notice they seem slightly nervous, don’t just brush it off, start clicking and treating for any calm behavior and keep commands easy (like sit).  

Maturity

1 to 4 Years Old

Most dogs can be considered fully mature by 2 years of age, sometimes earlier or later depending on the breed. This is the period where you will begin to notice any ingrained bad habits that weren’t addressed earlier on, like reactive or anxious behaviors. Continue to train and build positive associations with people, dogs, and situations throughout your dog’s life. Continue to enrich your dog with daycare, training classes, and plenty of exercise to have a well-balanced, happy dog. 

 

Puppy Socialization

Get Your Puppy Ready to Socialize

Properly socializing your puppy is the MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU WILL DO. Proper socialization is more important than obedience training. Training can occur at any age, but once puppies reach a certain age, socialization is much more difficult. It’s VERY important to socialize your puppy before they are fully vaccinated. The socialization window closes around 12 weeks old, and the first round of vaccines aren’t completed until about 16 weeks. If you wait until 16 weeks, your puppy will have missed the crucial socialization period and be prone to behavior issues. The best way to prevent disease and socialize your puppy is to attend puppy classes, or other events where the health and vaccination status of other dogs is known, like friend and family dogs, vet clinics, etc.

The key to socialization is to make sure your puppy experiences as many places, people, and dogs as possible, but also to make sure those experiences are POSITIVE. It’s not enough to just bring your dog to a dog park once a week and let them run around, you need to be actively involved in the socialization process to ensure your dog is having a good experience wherever they are.  Always let your dog experience the world at their own pace. Encourage them to be brave using treats and praise, but never force an experience on them if they are afraid or unsure. Giving them a few minutes to acclimate and build up the courage gives them more confidence. Forcing them into a situation when they are afraid makes them feel as if they have no control over their environment, and can lead to reactive, aggressive dogs.

How to Help Your Dog with Grooming

Training Your Dog To Be A Good Grooming Clientdog groomed

People often wonder why they pay more to get their dog groomed than they might for their own haircut. One of the many reasons is that grooming dogs is hard! Groomers spend their days wrestling dogs into bathtubs, trying to get dogs to stay still while trimming their coat, all while trying not to get bitten, scratched, peed or pooped on.  If you want to become your groomer’s favorite client, work on teaching your dog some of these husbandry behaviors. Husbandry behaviors are behaviors you can teach your dog that allow them to voluntarily participate in their own health care in a less stressful way.

Here are some behaviors you can train to make them a better grooming client:

  • Stand: We often teach our dogs sit and down, while heavily rewarding our dogs for offering these behaviors, but teaching them to stand on command can be just as important, especially at the groomers. Watch this video to see how to train your dog to stand on command.
  • Stand Still: Great, you got your dog to stand, but that does the groomer no good if your dog stands for a second then sits back down or becomes all wiggly and excited. To teach your dog to stand still, start extending the amount of time between when your dog stands and when they get the treat, and then keep treating while they stand to encourage them to stay in the position and not move. While treating to keep your dog to stand still, introduce the command for the behavior, such as “still” or “stay.” When you are done, use a release word to let them know it is OK to move.
  • Nail Trims: Train your dog to be a pro at nail trims using the tips in this video! The trick is to take it slow and make the experience positive and relaxed. If you are experienced with a clicker, it’s highly recommended to use a clicker to train your dog to be comfortable with nail trims.
  • Handling: Groomers usually have to touch your pet all over in order to properly bathe and clip them, so it is important to desensitize your dog to being touched in different parts of the body. Many dogs are sensitive to their ears, faces, and paws, and some dogs don’t like their stomachs or parts of their back to be touched if they were not properly socialized as a puppy or if they had a painful experience in the past. Identify your dog’s sensitive areas and then use clicker training or other positive reinforcement methods to get them used to being touched in that area, similar to the methods seen in the nail trimming video. Again, take it slow and keep it positive! Be sure to let your groomer know if your dog has sensitive areas so that they can approach them cautiously.

Finally, one of the most important things you can do at home to ensure your dog is a good grooming client is to stay on top of your dog’s grooming! Many dogs learn to dislike the groomers because they may go in matted, tangled, or with overgrown nails. This can make the grooming process painful for the dog and create a negative association with being groomed. Regular brushing at home, keeping nails trimmed and filed down, and keeping your dog on a grooming schedule appropriate for their breed and coat type will help make grooming a more positive and relaxing experience for everyone.

Clicker Training for Your Dog

Clicker TrainingDog clicker training

We talk a lot about clicker training at TGDS so you might be wondering what it is and why you should use it when training your dog. Clicker training is a form of classical conditioning, where a neutral stimulus (click) is paired with an unconditioned stimulus (food). It is a positive reinforcement training technique where you use the click from the clicker to “mark” the behavior you want from your dog. For example, if you want to teach your dog to sit, you would wait for your dog to place their butt on the ground then click the moment they do to let your dog know that is the behavior you want. In order for the clicker to work, it has to be “charged.” In other words, the sound of the click has to be paired with a positive reward, such as a treat, to build the association that a click means the dog did something good. To charge the clicker, you click and treat multiple times in a row. Your dog will quickly learn that the click means a treat is coming, and then the clicker will become your most powerful training tool. To maintain the power of the tool you must always pair the click with a treat, even if you make a mistake in clicking. In more advanced training, there can be a longer time between click and treat, or during a sequence of behaviors, but for novice trainers you must always pair a click with an immediate treat.

Many animals, including dogs, learn by the consequences of their behavior and they will only do behaviors that work for them, meaning behaviors that give them some sort of reward or gain. Whenever your dog is doing a behavior, think about what he is gaining by doing it. If your dog is doing a behavior you don’t like, ask yourself what is rewarding about that behavior. For example, if your dog jumps on you, do you pay attention to him? That is rewarding whether you pet the dog or yell at him. Why does your dog pull on leash? Dogs pull to get to a spot them want to sniff. If they get to that spot, then you just rewarded the pulling. Clicker training helps you accurately target the behaviors you want your dog to do more of and provide a reward with the behavior. The more your dog gets rewarded for those good behaviors, the more he will offer them and the less he will offer behaviors he does not get rewarded for.

Learning by consequence is called operant conditioning. There are four quadrants of operant conditioning: positive reinforcement, positive punishment, negative reinforcement, and negative punishment. Positive reinforcement is defined as adding something to the environment to increase the occurrence of a behavior (e.g., treat for sitting). Positive punishment is defined as adding something to the environment to decrease the occurrence of a behavior (e.g., bark collars that adds a shock to decrease barking). Negative reinforcement is taking something away from the environment to increase the occurrence of a behavior (e.g., releasing pressure on a choke or prong collar when your dog stops pulling). Negative punishment is taking something away from the environment to decrease the occurrence of a behavior (e.g., removing your attention when your dog jumps on you or gets mouthy). Scientific evidence shows that positive reinforcement training methods are as effective, if not more effective than aversive training methods (those that rely on positive punishment and negative reinforcement, e.g., shock collars or choke collars), and are better for dog welfare.

One of the main concerns with using clicker training is that you will always have to have treats on you for your dog to listen. This is not true. Clicker training is merely a tool to teach your dog the behaviors in a quick, efficient manner that they understand, and then you can gradually remove the clicker. It still helps to have treats on you for the occasional reward, but once the dogs learn the behaviors they will continue to offer them even without the click and treat. They usually do so enthusiastically as well, because they have a positive association with training and are excited to work with you.

If you are interested in implementing clicker training into your training, there are many great online resources or you can sign up for a local class with Exercise Finished or Dakin Humane Society. The staff at the TGDS is also experiences with clicker training, so feel free to ask us any questions! Happy clicking!

For more information on clicker training visit Karen Pryor’s website.

Other sources:
Ziv, G. 2017. The effects of using aversive training methods in dogs – A review. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research. 19:50-60.

Rate Changes To Take Effect In 2018

To our valued TGDS family,

Effective January 1, 2018, there will be changes to our rates, packages, and memberships. These price increases reflect our commitment to providing you with the best possible pet care available, delivered to you by knowledgeable and adept staff. We live in a society that values people. 2017 was the final stage of the $3/hour minimum wage increase which has been great for new employees but also devalued staff who have been with us for a longer period (unless we increased their pay as well). The Earned Sick Time laws provide all staff with necessary time off, however, it comes with a price tag to maintain adequate staffing levels to keep your pet safe. We value your business and love your dogs!

What makes The Good Dog Spot the best spot for your dog?

Let’s look at some of the ways!

  • Our daycare is a behavior-based daycare. We are dedicated to improving your dog’s behavior both here and at home. Throughout the day, your dog is asked to perform commands in and out of the group. If he doesn’t know them, we teach him! This improves compliance to you at home. Think about it; if he will sit, lay down, stay and come while playing with all of his best friends, it is simple for him to respond to these commands at home in a less distracting environment.
  • Our educated staff knows dogs. We are members of the Dog Gurus, an Association for our industry that places an emphasis on dog safety in off-leash play. Our staff is trained in the Dog Gurus’ Knowing Dogs program during their first 6 months of employment to ensure they are educated on subtle cues and body language that allows them to understand your dog’s mental state and make good decisions regarding his playgroup and routine. Staff watch for signs of stress and anxiety so that they can adapt the situation to best fit your dog’s needs. This knowledge allows them to prevent issues and altercations before they arise. Likewise, we use our knowledge of behavior to choose appropriate play groups which are both safe AND fun for your dog and his friends. All staff completes a Pet First Aid and CPR class within 9 months of employment with us.
  • Safety is our number one priority. Your dog is supervised at all times by trained, knowledgeable staff. He is in a playgroup suitable for his age, size, and personality. He plays without a collar or equipment that could lead to injury or entrapment. Our entire facility is designed around a double gate system to ensure there are at least 2 doors or gates between your pet and the outside to prevent escape.
  • We care about your relationship with your dog and value it. If we can help in any way, we will. We know your dog is your best friend and a member of your family. He’s also a member of OUR family and we care about his best interests above all else.
  • We know each and every dog that walks through our door; everything from the sound of their bark to their favorite playmate to their favorite spot to be scratched. He’s not “just a dog.” He’s your dog, and he’s our friend.

All of us at The Good Dog Spot wish you a happy and healthy New Year. We look forward to serving you and your dog this year and for many years to come. Rate cards and info will be available soon in both our locations. If you have any questions or concerns about our rate increases or any of our practices, please don’t hesitate to talk to us. As always, we welcome your input!

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Staples,
President

Cory Staple,
Director of Operations

Get Certified in Pet CPR & First Aid

We all remember learning CPR and basic first aid in health class, but have you thought about taking a course which covers this topic as it relates to your pet? As a pet parent, it is important to know the appropriate steps to take in an emergency.  Jim Helems of Pet Tech has made it easier for pet owners to understand first aid with his PetSaver Training class. Jim travels throughout the Pioneer Valley offering this training class, and next month he will be offering this course at The Good Dog Spot!

With this one-day training course you will know what to do when Rover steps on a nail or Molly misses a step while running down a flight of stairs. The tips offered in this class will help you learn how to react and potentially save your pet’s life! The course also offers information on how to prevent these horrible accidents from occurring in the first place.

Pet CPR

Emergencies happen and sometimes rushing to the veterinarian is not as effective as performing CPR right away. When it comes to Pet CPR, it is much different than human CPR. It involves 30 compressions, two breaths and will need to be repeated four times. During the PetSaver class, you will learn how to deliver these effective compressions and breaths, thus allowing for you to be prepared during any situation.

Pet First Aid

When your dog steps on a tack or breaks a toenail, it is important to know how to assess the injury appropriately. Wounds are often hidden by fur and can be small, making it difficult to locate. When these wounds are not tended to right away it can lead to major infection. Recognizing the type of bleed is also important as each wound is different. Cleaning the wound with antiseptic and appropriately covering it is imperative. In some cases this method is only a temporary fix and you may need to immediately book a visit to the veterinarian.

Take action as a responsible pet parent and sign up for the PetSaver Training class. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of the one-day course. The cost is $120 and will take place at the Chicopee location on January 14th and at the Northampton location on January 21st. You may register online by following the links below.

Chicopee PetSaver Training Class

Northampton PetSaver Training Class

Canine Flu

We have begun to receive calls and have pet parents picking up and dropping off their loved ones start asking about Canine Flu.  We wanted to provide this information to provide answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.  

Possible Prevention

If your pet has a weakened immune system, is a young puppy, or is a senior dog, refrain from bringing him/her to social settings where they will come into contact with large amounts of dogs. Boost your pet’s immune system at home by supplementing plain full-fat yogurt, a probiotic, Colloidal Silver, or Colostrum to their diet. Lastly, speak with your vet about a vaccination plan that is best for your dog’s individual needs.

H3N2 Symptoms & Facts

  • Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, fever, lethargy, eye discharge
  • and reduced appetite
  • 1 case has been confirmed in Hadley, MA at Valley Vet (December 1, 2017)
  • It cannot spread to humans
  • H3N2 is very contagious, and can spread from dogs to cats
  • Puppies, elderly, pregnant, and dogs that travel or socialize with other dogs are at the highest risk for H3N2

If your Dog shows Flu Symptoms

  • Keep your dog separate from healthy animals.
  • Call your vet to alert them, and use a side entrance (not the waiting room)
  • when visiting the vet.
  • Tell your vet if your dog has been to kennels, dog shows, daycare, dog parks,
  • or other events with many animals present.
  • Change clothes after interacting with your sick animal.
  • If your dog is diagnosed with H3N2, tell the owners of any other pets your dog has potentially exposed to the virus.
  • Also, if your dog has been diagnosed with the H3N2 virus, notify any pet care/ training facilities your dog has attended in the last two weeks.

Also, as a reminder, the Vaccination Policy at TGDS will remain the same (we require only the rabies vaccination and suggest clients have an in-depth conversation with their veterinarian about their personal needs, lifestyle and beliefs regarding vaccines). We encourage anyone who receives a live virus vaccination (for canine cough or canine flu) to refrain from attending daycare for at least 3 to 5 days after vaccination to prevent spreading the virus or contracting a mild case themselves.

For a printable copy of this information sheet please click here.

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Here is a list of holiday items to be mindful of to ensure you and your pets make it through the holiday season in one piece.

Holiday Treats

Many traditional holiday foods contain ingredients that are toxic to our pets. Make sure all food, sweets, and adult beverages are kept out of reach of pets and instruct your guests not to share. Be especially mindful of young kids. Little kids are at perfect sharing height, so your pet will quickly learn to hover to get lots of yummy, but potentially dangerous treats. Small dogs and cats are especially at risk, as they only need a small amount of ingredients to start feeling the negative effects. If your dog is a counter surfer or likely to get into the trash, it might be in their best interest to keep them put away during the party or arrange a sleepover for them at TGDS! Better to have them miss out on the party then have to rush them to the emergency room. It is a good idea to have the phone number for your local emergency vet clinic and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center phone number (1-888-426-4435) on the fridge in case of an emergency.

Foods your dog should not eat include chocolate, grapes or raisins, onions, garlic, turkey bones, xylitol sweetener, excessively salty foods, yeast dough, seasoned meats and gravy, and alcohol.

Signs your dog may have eaten something toxic include drooling, lip licking, vomiting, lethargy, refusing to eat, diarrhea, constipation, and any other abnormal behaviors. 

Seasonal Decorations

Dogs and cats are curious, playful animals, which means they can get themselves into a lot of trouble over the holiday season. To prevent any disasters, here are some tips:

  • Secure your tree to prevent any climbing cats from knocking it over.
  • Place valuable tree decorations towards the top. Playful paws or happy tails will likely knock off any low-hanging decorations.
  • Avoid decorating your tree with tinsel to prevent your pets from swallowing it.
  • Skip the holiday plants if you have a plant chewer. Poinsettias, holly, mistletoe, amaryllis, lilies, and the Christmas tree can all pose a risk to your pet if ingested (particularly to cats!).
  • Monitor your pets around any new plants and the tree to make sure they aren’t chewing and swallowing them.
  • Many pets enjoy drinking the Christmas tree water, which can contain bacteria, mold, or chemicals from the tree. Many retailers offer pet-proof tree stands to prevent your pet from drinking or playing in the water.
  • In general, monitor your pet for the first couple days after putting out new decorations to see how they will behave. This will help you identify any problems sooner than later.

Guests

Busy holiday seasons and frequent visitors often disrupt our pets’ normal schedules and training routines. Monitor your pet for signs of stress or for inappropriate interactions with your guests. Not all guests are pet savvy or recognize signs of discomfort. Be especially mindful of interactions with children. Even if you have the most patient dog in the world they need to be given their space and the ability to get away when they are uncomfortable. All interactions with children should be monitored closely, especially if the dog has food or valuable toys or bones around. Children should be instructed to be calm around any pets, and be taught to pet nicely, rather than to pull tails or ears, sit on or hug. The last thing anyone wants to do on a holiday is to rush a child to the emergency room because of a bite or scratch from a stressed-out pet. To prevent any problems, give your pet safe places to go away from the commotion and instruct children to leave the animal alone if they go to their safe space. This could be a bedroom, their crate, or a bed. Don’t be afraid to give your guests guidance on how to interact safely with your pets or to encourage them to follow your training protocols. If you have a nervous pet, it may be best to keep them away in a separate room or to board them with us at TGDS to prevent any disasters.