Where Eagles and Herons Watch Dogs (32KB)

Articles by Friends

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Mind-bending Articles and excerpts

Excerpts from posts by
Turid Rugaas

from CSDogBookReview
A Yahoo Group
16 February 2005
Copyright 2005 by Turid Rugaas.
Thanks to Turid Rugaas for permission to post these.
On stress and arousal

Arousal is arousal when it comes to stress reactions in the body. There is no doubt about that. But fun arousal and scaring things trigger differenr parts of the limbic system: one goes to the positive center, the other to the negative.

The physiological things are the same.

    --Turid Rugaas

Original Message*

Replying to remarks saying a dog appears to calm down
when given a tennis ball to carry

I have seen the same thing in dogs, and had the possibility to observe short term and long term. It is like you say - they can seem to calm down because they have this object, but it is fake, because they have to concentrate on carrying. Dogs have difficulties in concentrating on two things at a time, so given a thing to carry can get them away from or out of situations. I have used the same in a few cases (emergency ones), and it is OK. But do not mistake it for calming down really ! Take the pulse rate on one of these carrying dogs, and I can tell you it shows no calming down - it is the concentration on carrying that looks like it.

I suppose you can use the technique you use, and it can be OK, but again it does not teach the dog anything. It is just a way of getting quickly out of something. In the long run I would prefer to do it otherwise. You also stand the risk of teaching a dog to higher guarding in also other situations. Too risky in my opinion. But you know your dog best.

    --Turid Rugaas

Original Message*

Reply to a comment from a human who cuts off very stimulating activity when she sees her dog beginning to get really overexcited

I agree to some extent, but the problem will in most cases be that when WE see the dog has had enough, it was too much long ago.

The most important part is still another:

When you have done something fun to let your dog play or run, and you think it is OK and positive for the dog, you must remember that the physiological things happening inside the dog is still there, no matter how fun it is. And the things happening is as follows:

Dog starts running, and gets "high" equals

  • adrenalin going up;
  • gastric juices up;
  • sex. hormones;
  • water balance out;
  • sets off long term stress hormones.

All this follows adrenalin flow.

That means often "high" from even positive stress makes dog:

  • "sour" stomach (health problems).

defense mechanisms higher which means they get

  • much quicker into defense (aggression) in tense situations, especially right after adrenalin flow;
  • needs to pee more often, and also poop;
  • often arousal means building slowly up on long term stress, which gives the most serious effects on health and behaviour.

Why ?

Because when adrenalin goes up (for fun) it takes several days to get down - in serious cases up to five to six days. If fun happens every day, they never get down to a normal level. At some point you might have a health problem or behaviour problem you do not understand where came from (easily triggered by movements, barking, getting quickly in defense, nervousness, stomach problems, heart problems, allergies, and much, much more). I see it all the time. When you are aware of it, there is no doubt.

    --Turid Rugaas

Original Message*

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