All About Dogs 2016

Food Bowl AggressionThe MAC 2016 “All About Dogs” Meeting Sunday, April 3rd 

“SEND MORE DOGS HOME” – Modifying guarding behaviors, working with fear-based triggers, and building confidence!

Over time we have seen a change in the behavior of our dog population in MA.  Animal groups today are able to help many dogs who in the past may not have had a chance at finding a home. Trainers, behaviorists and veterinarians say they are seeing different ‘problem’ behaviors.  Come and learn about these challenges and go back to your organization with tools to help these deserving dogs.

When: Sunday, April 3, 2016

Time: 9:00 Registration & Continental Breakfast; Meeting starts promptly at 9:30

Where: Agnes Varis Lecture Hall (behind Foster Small Animal Hospital – NOT the Agnes Varis Campus Center), Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, Grafton. (PLEASE NOTE:  We are guests at Tufts and dogs are not allowed on campus – in classrooms or in cars.)  Campus Map

 Registration: Open now for Everyone! $20 for MAC members; $30 non-members

Not a member? You can join and register at the same time! Individual memberships are just $10. Join and then pay $20 to register for All About Dogs. So your $30 will buy you member benefits for a full year! Click the registration link below.

Organizational members: There may be free meeting passes available to your organization as a membership benefit.  Also, staff and volunteers can register through your org membership, during members only registration and at the member price of $20. Please email us at [email protected] for information on using organization passes or to register your folks through your organization.


MORE DETAILS: There will be a small raffle so bring a few bucks to buy tickets! We will serve a vegetarian / vegan lunch.

About Our Speakers:

Seana Dowling-Guyer, MS, Associate Director, Center for Shelter Dogs, Center for Animals & Public Policy, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University – Seana will talk about food guarding studies of shelter dogs that suggest it’s time to ‘send ‘em home.’  How do we define food guarding?  What’s the difference between that and resource guarding?  Is there a relationship between the two?  What types of food guarding in dogs may be safe to send home?  Seana will also discuss different methods for evaluating for food guarding, what the research says about how predictable the results are, and how this new understanding of testing for food guarding might change what we do now.

Kim Melanson, CPDT-KA, behavior counselor – Kim will discuss how to create a behavior modification plan for food bowl guarding when your shelter doesn’t have the luxury of a full time behavioral staff.  How can you identify levels of food bowl guarding and what they mean for a dog’s suitability for adoption?  Does size matter?  How can you teach adopters to manage food bowl guarding?  What about tools for resource guarding?  What do we do when a dog only guards high value bones?  How adoptable is a resource guarder?

Debbie Jacobs, CPDT and CAP2 (Kay Laurence’s program), author of “A Guide to Living With and Training a Fearful Dog” – Debbie will talk about how to handle and manage any dog in shelters or foster/adoptive homes, but especially shy, anxious or fearful dogs, to achieve the best outcome after rehoming. Changing a dog’s fear-based behaviors often begins by changing the way we think about the dog. How do you keep dogs safe and under the threshold in a multiple dog setting? How do you help a dog focus so they can learn new behaviors? What’s the most important thing you can do for a fearful dog?   Debbie has trained and studied with Jean Donaldson in her Academy for Dog Trainers, Bob Bailey and Dr. Susan Friedman. She is committed to helping people learn about the most effective and humane ways to work with this vulnerable and at-risk population of dogs.

Jean McCord, CPDT and Canine Good Citizen evaluator, Dogs’ Learning Center, Hudson, MA – K9 Nose Work™ is a wonderful sport based on scent detection techniques. Created in 2006 by professionals in drug and explosives detection, it emphasizes safety and fun for all involved; even very shy or reactive dogs, who often have a difficult time in classroom settings, can participate and feel welcome. Nose Work™ is fun and beneficial for any dog but it’s especially great as a tool for fearful and stressed dogs. Learn how to do Nose Work™ in your shelter and foster and adoptive homes.  Videos galore!

MAC thanks our generous sponsors of the All About Dogs meeting:

Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF)

How I Met My Dog