A Look at Interactions Between Dogs in Public Dog Parks
With Sue Sternberg
This presentation will be a video tour of public dog parks around the nation. In viewing these parks, we will be looking at not only the physical layouts, but also the most commonly seen dog-dog interactions. Learning from the use of extensive video footage showed in real-time and slow-motion, we will identify common engagement behaviors between unfamiliar dogs, and show a range of responses from healthy to downright dangerous (and everything in between). Some of the questions we'll be exploring are: 1. Is it the physical lay-out of a dog park that most influences the interactions between the dogs? 2. Is it the owners' behaviors that most influences the interactions between the dogs? 3. Is it the dogs' behaviors and temperaments that most influences the interactions between the dogs? 4. What makes a safe and healthy dog park?
- To increase trainers' abilities to observe detailed behaviors and body language during dog-dog engagements.
- To define and categorize these behaviors into healthy, slightly risky, and most risky responses.
- By using extensive video footage and slow motion as well as real-time viewing, help trainers easily recognize behaviors that require human interruption.
Sue Sternberg is founder and owner of Rondout Valley Animals for Adoption, a small, open admission dog shelter which serves both the local (upstate New York) community as well as runs national programs. These national programs are dedicated to helping shelters ensure safe and lasting dog adoptions through behavioral and temperament assessments, quality of life for dogs in shelters, and to encourage innovative and proactive community outreach programs. Sue has over 30 years of dog behavior experience, including as a dog control officer, kennel technician and animal care technician at various shelters, dog trainer and behavior counselor, a dog training instructor and temperament evaluator at the ASPCA, a boarding kennel owner, veterinary assistant, is a successful competitor in a variety of dog sports, and a teacher of dog trainers. Sue was the subject of an HBO documentary called Shelter Dogs, which aired in January of 2004, which takes a hard look at quality of life issues in shelters. She is the author of Successful Dog Adoption (Howell Book House, www.amazon.com) many DVDs on dog behavior and aggression. Sue’s two newest books, Out and About with your Dog (training and evaluating dog-dog behaviors) and Serious Fun (a guide to teaching your dog to play, training tricks and more) are available through www.greatdogproductions.com. Sue has four dogs, one adopted from a shelter in Oklahoma, one transferred into RVAA from a shelter in southern Virginia, one adopted off a working cattle ranch in Utah, and the newest was transferred in from Second Chance Arkansas to RVAA--a young conglomerate of all Sue's dogs, current and past, and they are all ruled by one awesome cat, Sanjay Gupta. She is an accomplished fiddle player, an avid mineral and fossil collector, loves Earl Grey tea, and is a major Star Trek fan.
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