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Golden Opportunities for Independence
Service Dog Program


Sociability vs Aggression in Dogs

Seminar June 9 & 10


A new, expanded and vastly more nuanced look at temperament - in shelters and homes
DAY 1: 
The role of pet dogs
Assessing for Sociability & why it is critical
Distinguishing high from low aggression thresholds
Resource guarding & aggression thresholds
DAY 2: 
Puppy & adult mouthing behavior
Keeping Safe: Defensive handling strategies. 
What to do if you are bitten or attacked
Leash handling & quick muzzling

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Sunday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (1 hour lunch break) 

1. Puppy & Adult Mouthing Behaviors
Normal puppy mouthing and what role it plays
How temperament influences mouthing behavior
2. Defensive Handling Strategies: Safety Around Aggressive Dogs
True aggression is fast - much faster than a human can process.  By the time you become aware that a dog has decided to bite, you will likely have been bitten
Plan A: What to do when you are being bitten or attacked:
What should your first response be
Learn how to minimize the damage
Learn how to diffuse the dog as soon as possible
Plan B: Leash Handling Skills:
Quick muzzling techniques
Protecting yourself when it's too late to talk the dog off the ledge

3. Your Bite Map
Once bitten or seriously threatened you develop a "Bite Map" - a permanent awareness in the presence of dogs and when & where you could be bitten
Saturday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (1 hour lunch break)  

Understanding Pet Dogs and their Relationship with Humans
The role of today's pet dogs
Sociability - what is it; what does it mean & why it is critical
Testing for sociability
Observing & assessing sociability
2. Understanding Highly Problematic & Dangerous Dogs
Low aggression thresholds
Categories of aggression & observing aggression:
towards family; with handling; unwanted demands; resource guarding
towards strangers; territoriality
3.  Resource Guarding Behaviors
Ethogram of resource guarding
Assessing for resource guarding aggression thresholds
Effects of low aggression thresholds on the dog, the shelter, the owner, care takers & other dogs
Resource guarding towards humans
Resource guarding towards other dogs
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Natick, MA (Boston Area) 

Courtyard by Marriott Boston/Natick
342 Speen Street
Natick, MA 01760
(click here for map)

About 25 miles- 1/2 hour -West of Boston & 1/2 hour to 45 minutes drive from most Boston suburbs. It’s right at Exit 13 of the Mass Pike (I-90).

From Boston:
The Hotel is about 25 miles (25 minutes) West of downtown Boston via Mass. Pike (I-90) to Exit 13 (1 mile from Hotel). Take Rte. 30 Commonwealth Rd. east to first turn on right (Speen St.). Hotel is about 1/4 mile down Speen St. on the right and directly across from the Home Depot.

From Most Boston Suburbs: Take Rte. 128 (I-93 / 95) to Mass Pike, or take Mass Pike (I-90) directly, and go to Exit 13 and follow directions above.

From Points West
Take Mass Pike (I-90) to Exit 13 and follow directions above. 

From Points South or North: Take I-495 or Rte.128 (I-95 / 93) to Mass Pike (I- 90). Go to Exit 13 and follow directions above.

From Route 9 (Worcester St.) Natick: Enter Natick Mall area at Natick Mall Rd. Follow that road around the Mall to the right to intersection with Speen St. Turn left onto Speen St. Hotel is about 1/2 mile up the street on the left after EZ storage.