Transcript recorded on December 2nd, 2020
AO Well, hey, I wanna welcome Josh Cropper from HPR Working Dogs of Wasilla, Alaska. Is that correct?
JC That is correct.
AO Outstanding. Well, as I mentioned, in the previous part of the show, you've become kind of my role model for dog training. So I've been kinda following you on Facebook and some of the other points of interest that you've put out there, and so it's a great honor to have you on the show today, Josh. I appreciate you taking the time to answer just a few questions that hopefully helps me and our listeners talk about keeping the dogs prepared. And primarily I'm focused on dogs because we all know cats don't listen to humans anyway. So primarily we're kind of talking about the canines. And, again, I just really want to thank you for taking time out of your busy day. I know the roads are really messy right now, so I appreciate you taking the time.
JC No problem.
AO Outstanding. Well, I gave you a kind of an outline as to what we were kind of looking at. So, what would you say? Do you think, in your opinion, is the most overlooked part of canine care?
JC Well, I'm very biased on this topic. As a trainer, I'm definitely gonna think that training is the most neglected component to animal care. I would say that there are two main things that I thought of before this phone call, this podcast, and that was training, and then healthy diet and body condition, and things like that. So when we come, and when we look at animals in the 1970s, a golden retriever will live to about average, about 17 years old. And now we're seeing an average age a 10 to 12 if we're lucky. And so I'm a really big proponent of a healthy diet, a proper body condition, and pre-active, proactive, training regiment so that we don't find ourselves in these situations that we easily could've been prepared for. So the vast majority of dogs eat a really processed diet. I'm big on trying to get the diet as natural and as healthy as possible. There's a website if people are interested in maybe just reconsidering the way they feed their dog, and that is Ketopetsanctuary.com, which was created for dogs that have cancer. You know, so they can go on there that you can get a formulation for your pet. And it's not just for dogs that have cancer. It's that's just one of the components that is created, for. They have all kinds of different information that you can plugin, and they'll formulate what I consider a superior diet. Then I also thought about right, for we started talking another element of this when it comes specifically to the topic of the discussion that we're covering today, which is preparedness, which is, how can we be proactive when it comes to natural disasters? And that is the concept of less is more. I often see people that really overextend themselves when it comes to animal husbandry. They've got chickens and goats and five dogs and three cats and a horse and a small sled dog team. And there's no way that they could really effectively manage that situation when it comes to a wildfire or a catastrophic earthquake and so much less, you know, civil unrest. So not saying don't have all those animals, but really take that into mind when it comes to developing your emergency plan of what do I do? What vehicle do I have that can be prepped? Maybe you have an old F150 that has a trailer that you can, in a pinch, put the animals on and get out of dodge. Try not to overextend yourself. We're having one dog. You have a great relationship. Is always gonna be better, in my opinion than having six dogs. A lot of times we like to start collecting because, well, dogs are awesome.
AO Well said, Well said. And just so that I can clarify and that we did it. Put down. That's ketopetsanctuary.com.
AO All one word, no dashes.
JC Yeah, they will create a formula for your dog based upon the criteria you put in there whether you're actually trying to fight cancer or whether you're just trying to really focus on more healthy longevity with your pet.
AO Outstanding. Well, I I definitely made note of that. So I'll keep that one down. I'll put that on the blog post for this so that they can also have that link. All right. So, following along with that train of thought. What would you say is the most important step to help following a natural disaster. Now, you covered some of it. When we talk about, you know, you and I have, I would say I wouldn't say diabolically opposed. But I will say a difference of opinions, and that's with America's all about. Right? A difference of opinion is, is about how animals are trained. Like I have a very old, she is a lab, Akita mix. A great big 105-pound horse dog, a wonderful dog. She's 12 years old, she's now blind but wonderful, and living the good life, right? However, at some point in her 12 years, I'm guessing there was an incident where there was gunfire or BB guns or nail guns in her past. I've had her since she was a puppy, so I can't imagine what happened, but she freaks out over fireworks. Absolutely will chew through a door to get away from the fireworks or get close to us anyway. And so when we talk about animals after a natural disaster thinking, tornado, thinking hurricane, thinking earthquake is great, you brought up the forest fires. These are great examples of how do we make sure we're helping the canine follow? You know, those immediate hours following a natural disaster?
JC Yeah, prevention is being proactive, and prevention is gonna be a huge element, but one of the things that I recommend, alright. Just with that mantra be prepared is to keep an ID collar on your dog. A lot of people, they just get out of the habit of it, you know, and having a nice, tight collar. That's not gonna be a snag issue that has your phone number printed right on it. Dangly tags are easily lost, and they easily get ripped off. So I have a nylon flat collar with your name and your number written across the outside, or they make on gundogsupply.com. I believe it is, one of the hunting websites. They sell a nylon flat collar with a brass plate, and it's super cheap. That you can order and just leave right there. It doesn't snag. It's just every day type of collar. Leave it on your dog and you take it off once a week? Yeah. Make sure that they're brushed out, you know, but really be proactive on having that ID and number is the fastest way to get your dog back in the case of a natural disaster, an emergency or even just regular life gets a hold of you. You know, your dog gets startled because of a fireworks or gunshots or but, you know, on those charges or whatever it might be, you know, really the fastest way to get your dog back. Sure. Microchipped. And that's an amazing thing also. But having that collar is the first thing that everybody looks for.
AO Well, yeah. And then, of course, the individual having that reader to be able to read the microchip, obviously.
JC Yeah. Especially in the time of the natural disaster. I mean, dogs, they're gonna be plenty of them. So, you know, that's gonna be low on the priority when it comes to public safety and the concerns of the public.
AO Correct. Okay, awesome. Alright.
JC Another, Another element. That same train of thought. No, no problem is having, you know, I don't know about you, but you know, one of the main things when it comes to preparedness and prepper having to go back and really think of your animals in conjunction with that go back. You know, if you have a pack that has a pocket on the top, that's a perfect place for your leash for a couple of that leashes, for having a leash. Those are great not only for your own dog but if you have three or four leashes that they pass out at the vet for free, you can throw them in there. You can daisy chain them together, get a little more distance you can have them for when you come across another animal, whether it's a cat or whether it's somebody's dog. You know, a lot of times these dogs have gone through. We saw when it came to the Australian fires. Animals are just all kinds of hurt because they're going. They're walking through these coals and, you know, they went up a tree, but then they got flames licking on them. And if we just reach out to help them, if they're domestic animals. We don't know their temperament. And if they're wild animals, obviously that's gonna even be worse. You know, it's a lot easier just to throw a slip on them, drag him to a post or a tree or a stump, go around that and then be able to pin them down with your jacket and basically pick them up in a purse, drop them in a crate and try to alleviate their stress as much as physically possible.
AO Right, which is an awesome segway, I'm glad you brought that up, is you know, many injuries injured animals are gonna become aggressive when they are hurt. What are some tips? And it sounds like, you know, it kinda hurries up, tag and bag them and get them in a crate so we can get them to somewhere to get some help. But what are some tips from you to get past that aggressiveness and to actually get to them and to provide some care?
JC Well, it really depends on the dog, whether it's a dog that we own, that we can be proactive and really focus on training. If that's the case, having some of these elements of these building blocks in place is really important that One, we have food motivation, and we have a general understanding that we can communicate effectively with our dog. And what I mean by that is if I have food motivation and they're really food motivated and looking for opportunity, that's not going to alleviate their pain. But it will put it in more of a productive ratio rather than their pain being all they're focused on 80% of their attention on their pain. It helps us mitigate and really compartmentalized what's going on in the environment. So, you know, it's like, Yeah, that hurts, But it's not all they're focused on. And another thing is, we teach a dog pressure release, right? Watch Most people walk their dog, their dogs out there into their leash, and you're just going on this journey with your dog on the leash, and they're just kind of doing their own thing, and that's fine. That's fine for exercise. That's the normal way most people handle their dogs. But a more productive way from the training perspective is to teach the dog that when you apply pressure on em when? Whether it's a slip lead, whether it's on a prong collar, whether it's a flat collar or you touch the, you know, above their hips to get him to sit, teach them to yield to that pressure. And if that is understood, then when we have extenuating circumstances, we're gonna have a lot more ability to help them understand what we're trying to do. I already have that down. So we apply pressure. They already know how to yield to it. So while flailing around, we can apply pressure and kind of give em that common denominator when it comes to communication.
AO Excellent. Well, that's a great point. You know being able to have some level of communication, particularly with a scared and potentially injured animal. To be able to do that, that's a great point where the concern I would have, I guess, is when you approach the strays. You know, you mentioned before we really don't know that their temperament I don't want to reach out and try to apply pressure on an animal I just don't know is going to understand what I'm trying to do there.
JC For sure. Yeah. In a situation like that, you know, if we can get a good slip lead on them, you know, just a good slip lead, the quicker you get it on them and the quicker you redirect them, you're not allowing them to over-analyze the situation. You know, do good people with good intentions. You know, they wanna stick their hand out and let the dogs can smell you from across the room. They don't need your hand in their face. Get that slip on them, get them pinned down with a blanket. Do whatever it takes to do it as quickly as possible for a dog that you don't know. Don't let them over analyze it and cascade into more fear. Now, for a dog that you do know your neighbor's dog, your own dog, a dog that you're familiar with, Sure, we can expect the unexpected. They might be in pain. They might be scared. They might be whatever it is, but get that slip on them and then just pause and breathe and give them space. Don't keep crowding them. Let them calm down. Let them quit screaming. I mean, I have a dog that jumped up to get a disc one time out of the air and another dog did the same thing. And, you know, the other dogs clawed her eyelid, and she is just freaking out. And what did I do? Absolutely nothing. Because if I would have grabbed her and I would have got it would've just made matters worse. I waited until she stopped screaming. And then I had the, I got the confirmation that she didn't lose her eye. Right? So, like, the more that I would have done in that situation with the dogs that I know is stable and that I have a relationship with, I'm just gonna make it worse. She would say, I don't know how severe it is, but I'm not gonna start screaming. I'm not gonna panic. I'm just gonna stop and wait. So what we do when it comes to reaction really depends on the dog and our understanding of the dog. If we don't know that animals, it's a wild animal or if it's a strange animal, whether it's feral or whether it's just a stray, you know, we want it as soon as we can potentially get control of that animal, the better. We're not gonna allow them to, to panic and, like, throw in the towel and runoff. If we can get a slip-on them and then bam, hurry up and drag him into a create or time off or whatever it might be. A lot of times that's gonna be the best option, and then the opposite advice for the dogs that we do have a relationship with. Get that leash on them. But then give them some space. Let him calm down. You breathe and then reassess the situation.
AO Outstanding. Well, you kinda lead right into my next question, which was, is leashing, following a natural disaster. A good practice, in a previous show, I mentioned that you know, as I was putting together my emergency plan, I made sure that I assigned tasks to my children that they had some visual confirmation on the right so they could do something. We'd see that it was done and they could build that self-confidence. Hey, I got this done, and so we were able to build the confidence of the kids and make them feel like part of the overall operational team of our recovery from a natural disaster and their task My nine-year-old, his task is to get, our old blind, Labrador on a leash so that she's not panicking. There are sounds because there's obviously going to be emergency vehicles and all kinds of sounds going on. So we're gonna get her on a leash, get her kind of comfort. And our GSD, she's gonna get at least that's my 10-year-old job because she's a little bit more little wiry, the little fancy of foot and still a young dog. She's only four so still in the prime of her sprinting career. So, their job is to get them on leads. And so is that a good idea? In your opinion?
JC Absolutely. There there's There are two things that are really imperative in a time of stress or of chaos, and that is a leash should always be the default in every situation. Whether you're starting your dog on a walk, start him on the leash. If they're great off-leash and it's appropriate after you start on it and then and your hike or your walk or your training session back on. So that's always just the normal expected way that the dog lives so that when we do need it, we can be proactive, productive, and effective when it comes to proper care and husbandry. Other. The other thing is, being off-leash should be a rewarding experience for the dog. So if we reward them for success on a leash, for being engaged and walking next to us rather than distracted and pulling us down the street, if we get success and then give them more opportunity, it amplifies that reward rewarding opportunity activity. The other thing is, yes, it's leash first and foremost always, you know, have that be a normalized part of your dog's life. You know, so many times with clients like, Well, I never really use the leash anymore. Well, it's like the seat belt, right? Just because I'm not 15 anymore with a learner's permit or 14, just because I know how to drive doesn't mean that I just don't use my seatbelt anymore, right? It's just I don't rely on my seat belt. It's there if I need it but I don't rely on it. So I have a leash. And even more importantly, is having good create conditioning and create that is readily available to use. You know, if you've got a great create trained dogs, sometimes when those soft crates soft candles are gonna be really, really convenient and productive and an opportunity like that or a situation rather that you can just have one fold it down. And it just is the common denominator between what's normalized to the dog to help them, succeed in this situation of stress you're paying whatever the situation might be,
AO Outstanding. Well, that is some great information. And I'm so glad that I'm following along with, many of it. Sounds like most of my emergency plan follows right into what you're suggesting. So I'm feeling like I followed the dog whisperer here and made the right choices. I, definitely want to tell you how much I appreciate all of this information and we got some more coming, but real quick, we're gonna take a real quick commercial, and when we come back, we're gonna continue to talk with Josh and kind of pick up some more pieces. I know he's covered a lot of it, but I really want to drill down on just a couple more pieces, before we let just back into the wonderful city that we've got here on our streets and Anchorage. So, we'll be back right after this message,
AO All right, and we are back. I definitely appreciate you guys taking that time with us. Helps us pay a couple of bills anyway. Still change, but, hey, every penny counts when it comes to this stuff. Absolutely alright. So when we left, we were kind of talking kind of finished up talking about leashing and how that is kind of a default action. This brings up another question, when you know, a lot of people have asked me, Oh, you know, my dog is a pet dog. It's not a working dog, and so I don't really do all that creating and the and the training and stuff because he's just a pet. What would be your kind of retaliatory, discussion points in that kind of discussion?
JC Well, they're considering their dog a pet. You know, the dog doesn't consider itself a pet. They consider themselves a dog. So a lot of times we look at these pets these animals that we live within love. We look at it kind of from a backward perspective, and I don't have this written down, so I'll try not to mess it up too much. But the kind of the way that we look at a dog is what is their name? And then what is their breed? And then what is their species? And then we realized that they’re an animal lastly, you know, and a lot of times that's just diabolically opposite of what we should be. Look, we should understand that they're an animal and that they can't understand all these human constructs that we put on them. So we know that they're an animal first and foremost, and then we look at okay, it's a dog that's their species. So it's an animal. Obviously, we can't just treat them like a human because that will lead them to fail because they can't comprehend all the construct of our society. So we look at my dog snoring in the background. Hopefully, she's not bad, so we look back. They are an animal. We understand that, Yes, we love them. Yes, they're part of our family. But we cannot lose sight that first and foremost they’re an animal. Then there's a dog. And then there is a certain breed, whether it's a husky or a lab or a German shepherd or a terrier, whatever they are a mixture of those. And then we look at them. Their actual personality. Last. If we look at it from that perspective, we're going to avoid a lot of issues because we're not gonna get derailed by the love that we have. We're not gonna get sidetracked with the fact that we care about them more than some other human beings.
AO Do you think that looking at it from that angle from the animal forward angle does that? Should that change the amount of and I'm gonna call it domesticated training? Only because I can't think of anything else but the things like creating and, you know, food sharing and playtime and those things that I don't want to use the word expect either. But I mean, that's kinda the best fit I can put. I mean, does that train of thought starting with the animal change, the level of training, or the dedication to training that we should put into our animals?
JC I really don't appreciate the difference between a working dog and a pet dog very much because, really, they have to understand how to succeed. And if we don't treat our pet like a working dog, then we're limiting their ability. Because whether a German shepherd has worked for a police department or a German shepherd lives in your house, it takes more ability to succeed as a pet than it does to be managed and handled and trained as a working dog. Like it takes a lot more ability for a hunting dog to be okay in your house and in the field rather than one or the other. So a lot of times when we have a Jack Russell, you know, they're very high. I just did a lesson with a Jack Russell client and one of my favorite breeds, but they're really easy to mess up on because we see them on the packages of dog food. We see them on the packages of dog diapers, you know, like these things that were marketed, too. So that influences our perspective of the animal. That really all they wanna do is jump in a hole and battle with Badger, you know, and you know, a lot of times we can neglect their genetics by, limiting our perspective. It's really easy for a pet dog. Actually, it's easy. It's really possible for a pet dog to succeed in the house and just annihilate it when it comes to working in the field. You know, it's really easy. I keep saying that it's not easy, but it's very possible for a police dog to go home and be part of the cop's family and really succeed at work, and the same thing with a service dog. You know, the same rules should always apply, but you're not as strict and precise when you're in your living room as you are when you're in Walmart. So it's really important that we don't limit our dogs by using that he's just a pet as an excuse. You know, they are very, very, very capable. But any working dog could be a pet. Not every pet dog can be a working dog, but it because of driving genetics and desire. But at the end of the day, it's up to us to create jobs for them as surrogate opportunities. So if I'm teaching my dog how to hunt, I don't need him going and find the neighbor's cat. If I don't have that job for them to do, I need to provide those opportunities.
AO Got it, and that's where you would make a duck and hide it somewhere. Or you would somehow invent opportunities for the animal to then engage in a skill set that they enjoy.
JC For sure. I'll give a few examples. You know, if we're not into guns and if we're not in the hunting and we have a retriever, then we the surrogate, is gonna be a bumper. If we have a Jack Russell terrier and we don't want them hunting Fox because it's not legal or it's not our gig, Then we provide that substitute with a tug with a rope whatever it might be. We have a husky and we're not running to Nome. We still give them that opportunity of running in a productive and effective manner through having a sled with us, you know, teaching them how to skijor or cross or whatever it might be. And so it's up to us to fulfill those opportunities. And it's even more, necessary. When our dog is just a pet because it's hard to be a pet, they just want to be a dog. And we're shoving him into this pet lifestyle, right?
AO Whether they want to or not. Yeah, awesome. That, you know, it does put a very different perspective on when you talk about, you know, uh, prepping as a survival lifestyle. You know you and I hear it all the time. Everyone. So we gotta get GSD. We gotta get, you know, these big, beefy Rottweilers, Dobies, you name it because we're gonna do this. And what I've always caution people against is that you may get, my German shepherd is an example of insane prey drive. Insane prey drive. She chases snowflakes, leaves, she loves ants, because they move. She's she has an insane prey drive. But once she gets it, she has zero treat drive or zero toy drive. If it's not moving, it's not important if it's moving. It's exciting when we talk about the survivalists out there who are getting these dogs based more on reputation, and then trying to hammer them into some role that they may or may not want to. So fail and exactly what you were just saying about. You know, I've never considered a pet as a role that I'm trying to force the animal into. I had never considered that before.
JC Yeah, yeah, and kind of the concept is, the stealth bomber, you know, great, great piece of equipment. You know, it's been around for, I think, over 30 years now. It's just an amazing airplane. You don't use that to learn how to fly. You don't use F15 much less than F22 to learn how to fly. You know you don't jump into a semi-truck that has, you know, 33 sets of gears. You gotta, you know, use a splitter and I mean, that's ridiculous. So if you don't know how to train the lab, please do not consider getting chesty If you don't know how to train a dog, probably don't consider a German shepherd, and definitely don't consider Malinois, it a lot of my favorite breeds are dogs that I appreciate that I would not recommend to other people. And the shortlist of those are Jack Russels, Malinois, and Australian Cattle Dog. I love all three of them, you know, absolutely. Love them, respect them. They are a joy for me to train because I just love to fulfill that drive. But I mean 60% of all dogs. That train is German shepherds. And it's not because of the German shepherds a bad dog. It's just because the people don't know how to train any dog, much less a German shepherd. It was really easy. Just a set ourselves up for failure by trying to learn on an animal that's above our pay grade. So who is the guy from Fast and the Furious is Paul Walker, I think.
AO Oh, yeah, that sounds right.
JC So you know he died. He was in his. I think he was in the passenger seat of his Porsche Carrera. I think it was called and he let his friend drive and his friend wrapped it around a telephone pole, pulling out of a parking lot and all fire, and they both perished. Well, that's a great car. There's nothing wrong with that car. It was just a car was too much for the driver, and that's really easy to do is just bite off too much, much for our ability getting a Malinois because its a tactical dog, getting a German shepherd or a feel for like, you know, something that's rare and exotic and sound, even a pit bull, You know, like pit bulls are amazing dogs. They really are. But a lot of times it's the owners that don't respect the dogs. They're on the top of the hill saying Respect, you know, don't bully my breed, but they don't even understand their breed. Act like a pit bull. It's like, Oh, that's the dud. Well, no, it's not the dud. That's what they were bred for. At one point for this tenacious attitude, this tenacious ability to fight through pain and stress. And if all your dogs ever did is lay on the couch? Well, then, when that genetic beast rears its head, it's like, Oh, my gosh, what happened? Well, you didn't respect the dog. You know you didn't train for the unexpected.
AO You didn't understand the the the breath of the beasts that live beneath the surface of the water. Yeah, yeah, I've seen it too many times. Unfortunately,
JC yeah, I take my, Malinois out, and a lot of people nowadays, it seems like everybody knows what a Malinois is. And that wasn't the case when I got him, and they're like, he's such an ambassador for the breed. No. No, he's not. The breed doesn't need an ambassador, because that breeds not right for everybody. So I don't need to use him to pitch the breed because I respect the breed. And you know what? I didn’t need a Malinois, I adopted him because he needed a home, not because I needed another dog.
AO The other direction Tradeoff? Yeah. No, I hear it a lot. Without going too much further down that hole, wanna just touch on the next two points. Real quick, keeping them on the normal diet. Is that a good practice? I've had a good experience. When my dogs, even when they go out and search and rescue and whatnot, we keep them on the same kibble so that their diets aren't getting all kinds of goofed up while they're out in the field, and, you know, So I've had a bunch of folks ask, you know what happens? You know, do have you considered not you personally, but do I consider a dog chow or whatever food I feed my dog to be a normal part of my prep? My answer is yes. Your answer. It sounds like would be.
JC Yeah, So there are two perspectives of this, so I will piggyback off of your perspective first, and then I'll give you a different perspective. So my piggybacking off of your perspective is don't change something up that your dogs gonna have an issue with. If it's the fall and my dad has a bunch of apple trees, there's nothing wrong with me eating an apple. But if I eat a whole bucket of apples or if I go hunting and I eat a huge grocery bag full of blueberries, that's gonna create a reaction in me that might be a little bit explosive. So, you know, moderation is a good thing. But if your dog doesn't have a varied diet, there's no reason to vary it in time of excess stress of the change of, you know, a new location, whatever it might be. So one element is Yeah, sure, keep him on a familiar diet. Now the whole other perspective is my dogs on a very, very, extremely, varied diet. So in their world, variety is the spice of life. So for them, their normal diet is very varied. So I prefer that I think that it makes more sense to keep their diet variable, just like we don't eat pancakes every dinner. You know, we don't eat breakfast cereal every morning. You know, we have a normal, varied diet, and sometimes sure, we might get diarrhea or whatever it might be. But our diet is variable and our bodies are used to that. So if your dog is on a normal kibble and you just don't rotate protein sources and you don't even switch brands, will then certainly be prepared with that formula when stuff is the fan. But at the end of the day, it really depends on the perspective. My dog's diet, you know, their proteins. Today it was a pig's head, and yep, yesterday it was fish. And the day before it was moose burger. And, you know, it's just their normal diet is varied. So if your normal dog's diet is varied. Then you need to be prepared for that because if you go from this meat-based diet to, like puppy chow, you're gonna have issues, you know? So stuff like that, Yeah, But if you go from puppy chow and then all of a sudden switch diets, you know, and you're going from a corn-based food to, wheat-based food well, then we can also see that create a big issue. The good medium, The good way to get around. This is in a time of need, where you don't have your normal dog's diet. Don't give him a bucket full of apples to eat right away. Don't shock the system. It is way easier to handle eating half an apple. If all you eat is protein, then it is if you try to overindulge. So don't give them a bunch. Spread it out throughout the day. And I've never seen an issue when it comes to dog switching diets because the way that I do it is moderation and small quantities at a time.
AO Got it. Okay, Great points, and I hadn't considered, you know, and again, I think I'm like, Well, many Americans, try to keep make sure the dog doesn't, beg or look for table scraps and food. So I've always kind of limited that, but thinking about where you're going. Now that's a great choice. Because as we vary things, this gives us a little bit more flexibility. You know, if we look at supply chain interruption or something, that's dramatic. Now at least we have some options. Whereas if obviously the kibble or, you know, his normal diet was interrupted for, a period of time, at least we can keep him going without adding any more stress to an already stressful situation. So no, that's good. That's good.
JC It'd be like if your dog is on a commercial brand of cable and you go by the coffee hut and they say, Can your dog have a treat? Made a dog biscuit? There's gonna be no fall out from that.
AO Yeah, they just pour the whole box in the window, right.
JC It's gonna be a real mess, you know? So So it really depends on making sure that we're not shocking their system, especially in the state, in time of more state of more stress to begin with,
AO Right? No, that's good practice. I like that. I'm going to I’m gonna change up a few things start slow. Of course. the next question, obviously, creating your good for stressful situations. We've always, always taught our kids that the crate is the dog's bedroom, and so you don't go in their room and they don't go in your room. That's the trade-off, kind of giving them their space when particularly when we have stressful situations going on or something high energy. They need time to decompress and kind of let things go. That's their place. How are your feelings on creating and, creating for a stressful situation?
JC I think every child should be crate trained. Um, you know, I mean, I mean, yeah. No, it really depends. So a lot of times, people never use the crate or they only use it when they need to, and then they kind of fade away from it. Well, it's just like wearing a seatbelt. I'm gonna use that analogy. Just a little angle off of it. I wear a seatbelt. I didn't even notice it's on. But, you know, I remember being a kid and having my grandparents say wow, you know, I know somebody who died that would have been fine without, you know? I mean, it's just what are they used to? So be proactive, Especially from day one. If you don't have a dog and you're gonna get a dog, crate train from the beginning and really have a plan and follow it, Otherwise, we're just creating a lot more work, stress, and certainly for situations for ourselves. So I would say that the most important thing in a dog's life is having an understanding of how to earn food, having the food be relevant so that we have a form of currency to pay the dog for what we wanna emphasize. And then the next thing is, we have what I call markers, and that is like a clicker would be one form of the marker. But I use verbal markers. So this word means this word means this. I have four main markers that mean different things that that I condition that I teach the dog. The next most important thing in the crate, and we teach that all at the same time. So food combined with markers in the crate that 12 and three all done right from the first time that I either start training the dog or when I get a dog. So don't give your dog more privilege when they're young. Then they're capable of succeeding with, you know, we don't have a kid, and then when they're six years old, drop him off the bar and say, We'll see you when you're 21 you know? So don't teach them as this puppy. That's still not even, you know, it's still mouthing and still learning to deal with the stress of being alone rather than being in a litter. Don't teach them they're gonna live on your bed. I'm not saying they should never be on your bed. That's a personal choice. But don't give them more privilege than they're able to succeed and handle. Good. A good rule of thumb is to use the crate at night. Use it during the day when you are home and you can build the value of it through reinforcement through awarding them with their normal daily diet for being in the crate and then, over time, make it variable if you choose so that you know, one day one night they sleep in the crate and they're just fine. And the next night they're loose and they're just fine. But don't jump the gun and provide more opportunities than they're capable of handling.
AO Got it piece by piece. It sounds like I'm the common rule of thumb I'm hearing throughout. Our discussion today has been kinda moderation
JC For sure. Less is more, you know, the more the less treats that we give, the more valuable they are. You know, the less physical attention we give them the more valuable it is when we do give it to him. The less we talk, the less that we become Charlie Brown won't you know? So we are verbal creatures. We over talk, we over-communicate, we overfeed, you know, 60 to 80% of dogs in America or clinically obese, like less is more, the fewer dogs we have. Better relationship, we have. The less, you know less is more of a concept that I talk about a lot when it comes to verbal communication. It really applies to everything. Why throw a tennis ball and tell your dogs is all right? I don't want it anymore. You can throw it 10 times and leave them wanting more and later on, and they throw it 10 more times rather than 30 times at once until they quit. Picking it up. You know, less is more is a really important concept. Is real important people. It's, you know if I try to hire a millionaire to come to my yard and pick up dog poop, it's probably not gonna work out too much. You know too well because you know less is more the less they have, the more motivated they are. So I don't really make sure that we don't overindulge just because we think our dog is awesome. I'm sure they are awesome. I know my dogs are awesome. So we have to really keep ourselves in check because we want to show our attention by signing up for those subscription toy boxes. And pretty soon they've got more toys than they could ever play within a lifetime, where they just learn to ignore him or destroy him.
AO Right, right.
JC Another thing is when it comes to crate training, there's something that we wanna try to emulate, and that is a den. So, yeah, sure, they're crate. Is there a safe place? You know, we don't use it for punishment. These are things that you know. A lot of people say and think and feel, and that's awesome. But what are we trying to emulate? We're trying to emulate a den, so if it's a little on, the smaller side is gonna be less stressful than if it's a little bigger. If it's enclosed like a den is and they go in there and they just kinda check out that's gonna be less stressful than if it's a cage. So think about if you go to a friend's house and their dogs in a crate and their dogs just chilling, laying down and not make a noise compared to when you walk into the animal control and it's just loud and noisy and stressful. Well, a small crate, it's gonna be awesome. That's why they don't allow these big wire cages on airplanes because it's a stressful experience and the dog's not very secure. And once they learn that they can break out of a wire crate, which really easy to break out of, well, then it's gonna be their mentality that I can get out of this metal box and they're gonna break their teeth trying, you know? So you know what? I really wanna make sure that they're motivated to be in their exercise, exercise, exercise, crate alright. Training session crate, you know, have that be the default. Just like the leashes, the default.
AO And I can definitely tell you my GSD started her life in the crate when she came home, we gave her her space and now she sleeps in her crate with the door open. But that's her spot. Yeah, that's her spot. The kids know they don't go in there. So, with grandkids over this week, my boys are kinda corralling keeping little ones away from dog crate saying Hey, no, that's their room. You can't go into their room. So it's been an interesting exercise. Also, that's Yeah, that's perfect. What can you think of? We've covered. We have covered a lot here today, what can you think of that? Would the best benefit? I'm gonna speak to two groups. Okay? The first group will be beginners. The folks who have just had the lights dawned and they want to become prepared for a local natural disaster, the zombie apocalypse or whatever, but they're going into this preparedness stage in their lives and, you know, somewhere another. They read some article that a dog is man's best friend and feel they need one. And what? What advice do you as a trainer? Give them, they haven't chosen the dog yet. No breed. No nothing yet.
JC Yeah. I mean, as a trainer, I wanna tell everybody don't get a lap because it's probably not gonna hire me because most labs don't need training. But at the end of the day, you know they're the number one breed in America for a reason. You know, they are the most common police dog. A lot of people don't realize that. You know, there's more sniffer dogs out there than there are dual trained bite dogs. You know, like so picking the right breed for the job is gonna really stack the cards in your favor when it comes to success. And if you do wanna really up the ante and get a Malinois, German Shepherd, Jack Russell, any of these breeds you know, you know, whatever it might be. If we really want to up the ante, then be proactive. Be prepared, you know, prepared for preparing, train for the unexpected. Expect the unexpected and have a plan in place before you run into issues. You know, the best time to train the dog is from 8 weeks to 16 weeks. That is the most critical and important time of a dog's life and the most neglected. That's when we're treating him like a puppy and we're missing all that imprinting period, which the imprinting period is like when a duck sees the person that thinks a person's mom, right? Well, everything that the dogs learning in that early imprinting period is becoming part of their brain doesn't mean we can't change it in the future. It means that it's gonna be a very prevalent concept. The dog if they sleep in the bed from Day one in there warm and they sleep all night versus they make a little noise in the crate and learn to accept to crate like it's really easy to neglect the most important period of the dog's life, which is that imprinting period of 8 to 16 weeks.
AO Awesome. Well, that's relevant because again, we're trying to think like Josh and that we're saying we're thinking of them as animals first. So it really doesn't matter if you know you've gone out and you've bought a $100,000 working breed, or you went to the animal shelter and got a puppy. Yeah, I use a puppy because I want to be in your window that you just described. It matters not either of those two scenarios. The idea is the same. It's 8 to 16 weeks. Those are the times a relevant of where they literally where they come from.
JC For sure. I'm going to give a scenario that I run into a lot, and that is the rescue mentality. I cannot stand the term. He's a rescue or she's a rescue or we rescued. You're limiting your dog. Your dog doesn't look at itself as this charity case. It looks at itself, is a dog. And if it came from a bad past, whether it's real or just potentially imagination, whatever it might be, don't limit your dog by mislabeling them and limiting them. He's a rescue that's just putting a badge of honor on your chest and really is just not productive. A rescue dog goes and finds lost people, the highly trained member of society. And so if we have a puppy and we think, Oh, we're gonna get a puppy so we don't have any behavioral issues, well, then you better know how to train, because otherwise it's better to get an adult dog that you know what you're walking into rather than a puppy, and you can't determine the future. So if you don't have a training plan, if you don't have training experience, if you're not confident that you're gonna succeed, either considered an adult dog that you can, you know, go to one of these rescue group and you can foster it and see if it's a good fit for your family. And if not, you find one that is, you know, or you say, All right, I'm gonna start training from day one. Don't get a dog before they're eight weeks. Please don't do it. Don't support people that are, you know, getting rid of the dogs. That's a critical period of their life that they need. They called bite inhibition, which means basically, they get bit by their mother to learn about biting. If they latch onto the nipple too hard, she might nip them. And a lot of times that's like, Oh, they pull the puppies away from the mom and they're six weeks, and that's a critical learning period. Don't get them before eight weeks and really consider not taking a dog that let me rephrase that also consider the fact that when we're trying to get a dog, we're trying to build a relationship with it. So if we get two puppies or we get a puppy that's been in a litter until it's four months old, it's also like it's creating this pecking order, and it's creating this unproductive like the dogs are a team versus, like the team is us and the dog. So before it's eight weeks, we're kind of shooting ourselves in the foot, and if we leave them together for four months, then we're also limiting ourselves. So there's that sweet spot, you know, a good puppy. Ideally, especially if we're getting one from a breeder is 8 to 10 weeks is when it comes home with us, not before and ideally, not after, got it. But if we have that opportunity, it doesn't matter because at least we can see and we can train and training works at any age. It really does. It's just super easy when they're really young,
AO Right, and it has the potential of lasting longer because it becomes part of their for lack of a better phrase, personality. Almost.
JC Yep, it's just imprinted right into their motherboard.
AO Yep, that's awesome. Then the other group was those seasoned veterans, who, and I'm gonna call them preppers or the prepper subculture, which are the doomsday, the extreme prepping. And now we're talking about having a canine as part of our emergency plan. What tips can you give that says, You know, these are some of the things that you really need to make sure you think about when including a canine in your plan, even if it's a familiar dog, even if it's your, you know, being your dog since it was a puppy. These are some ideas. That you should make sure you include in your emergency plan. What would those be?
JC I would say having a leash if your dog is the caller trained, Um, having a knee caller having a way to charge that having food, whether you know, for me, if I'm a raw feeder and I feed my dogs, meats, and vegetables, you know, maybe I need to have some dehydrated meat just for the rare occasion or some freeze-dried meat or something like that, just really making sure that you have the ability to grab and go and set yourself up for success. So and create a create train dog, a leash, any collar. You know, having your go bag, having the brain of your pack dedicated to your fight.
AO Outstanding, and you brought up before, and I'll just add just to reiterate with before and that was transportation. Making sure that you know, you've got enough room. You brought up having a whole barnyard of animals and making sure that, you know, you had a plan that should you see wildfire or a massive quake? Or, you know, if you were in the South, or hurricanes or floods or what? Not being able to responsibly take care of all those animals and not just say, Oh, yeah, I've got him because I just got them. Yeah, I know. I need a plan. What's the plan? And so and I know on quite often on my shows here we talk about the plan always going back to the plan because I tried to promote folks having a written plan so that you know when it really hits the fan and things are really ugly. We have a tendency to kind of our brains lock up and panic for sure.
JC Yeah, and just have that good plan. We can look at the plan, follow the plan, have a plan, use the plan, and change the plan. When you find a better way, you know, that is the best formula that I can. That I can offer somebody to consider is when, when I'm training a dog, it looks nothing like it did 10 years ago. Like it looks nothing like that. But my training 10 years ago worked, I had a plan. I followed the plan and I've changed my plan as I found better ways. It's the same thing with our emergency preparedness or life preparedness, whether it's a natural disaster or not. We have a lot of things in Alaska, you know, a lot of different things to consider. We have crazy people. We have a lot of dependency on substance abuse up here in Alaska. When it comes to drugs and alcohol, you know the winners get dark, we have mental illnesses. We got a high prevalence of veterans we have a lot of things to consider when it comes to people. We also have wildfires, earthquakes, strong winds, potential flooding situations. There are just a plethora of things to consider, so we can't prepare. We can't expect everything that could go wrong, but we can have a plan to be ready for when things will go wrong when they do go wrong,
AO Right? And that's critical, and we've talked about that. Josh, I know our backgrounds matching that we both know about adapting, overcome, and how that whole mantra kind of forces us to think a little differently when it comes to emergencies and where. But we've also come to know that you know those first critical steps that we make following the natural disaster, the actual event, and I'll use the seven quake we had back, what year and a half two years ago? A perfect example is once the shaking the initial shaking stop. What were your first steps? And we've covered in previous shows. So but we knew that here is step one. Step two. Step three. We were walking down through our list, and it allowed our brain to be able to focus on those so that as things dynamically happened, as we all recall, what was it like? 18 minutes later, we had the first aftershock. Okay, adjust, adapt. Okay, what's happening now and move forward, and we kept that process going. So I'm making sure that folks understand my listeners, and, all of those who support the show really understand that that not only do we need to be prepared mentally and physically, but we need to have a plan for our partners. Our teammates, our furry four-legged teammates who may not have the wherewithal and understanding of what exactly is happening. They understand the earth is shaken. They get that good, but I'm trapped in a wooden house. I'm not free to just wander around where I need to be to get away from this thing. Um, I'm trapped within a certain boundary, and I've got these other things. These two-legged things that are running around me screaming like their hair's on fire,
JC Right, just makes matters worse. You know that. It's when when when we have dopamine when we have adrenaline when we have, you know, existential stress, environmental stress. Rather, when we have all this going on, it's really difficult to be able to not excite our animals in a nonproductive way or our spouses or our children. And even though I can't say, Don't panic, because then you're gonna think about panicking, the more that we have prepared and the more plan that we have, the easier. Just like Alright, well, this is what I needed to focus on. I need to focus on getting to the basement, grabbing our 72-hour kit, making sure all five kids are accounted for and running them to the neighbor's house, checking on them, and then proceeding to our predetermined location. Whatever plan might be. But if we don't prepare, if we don't have a plan, then, of course, we're gonna be overwhelmed. It's like, Oh, my gosh, the world on fire! And it is and it is. So rather than focusing on the fundamental building blocks that we can use to keep ourselves focused, we're gonna be screaming, and I mean It's just really difficult to stay calm. The more prepared, the easier that is, if I just look at Yeah, right now I'm living in, you know, the edge of Wasilla. And if I just look at that general area of Willow, the valley, since I was a kid even before I moved to the valley, we there was a big lake fire, you know? And then there was a Sockeye fire, and then there was the fire of last summer, the summer before, you know? I mean, there's a lot of opportunities that we know we can expect. Wild disasters, wild neighbors, wild animals, wild whatever it might be, that we have to be more prepared than those people that live in suburbia.
AO Agreed, and yeah, you guys are definitely and I say that for my listeners who are not in the state, Wasilla is about 45 miles by the crow flies from Anchorage. Anchorage is a population of probably about what, 380,000. Just in Anchorage, and then Wasilla, with probably population 20,000 or 30. Maybe,
JC City limits are, you know, pretty low. 20,000 to the general borough area is gonna be in the 50,000 or more,
AO That's my point is when we talk about Matanuska/Susitna (MatSu) Valley. Um, while Josh and I are here saying, Oh, yeah, it's right down the street. I understand that Valley is the small is the size of several states within the United States.
JC Yeah, the borough, which would be for the listeners, is the equivalent to a county is absolutely mind-boggling. Big. I mean, I can drive so far and still be in the borough. So basically, as far as population goes, we have half the state a little more than half the state that lives in Anchorage Municipality, which is like the borough. So the municipality, from Girdwood to, the edge of the MatSu borough. About half the state population lives there, and then right next to it is the borough, which is a huge chunk of the state. And between those two areas of Alaska. Man, that's three-quarters of the state population. I mean, when we look at them when we look at Juneau, which is the capital, it's minuscule compared to the population of even So you know, I mean, we're like Kodiak Island, the second largest island, you know, besides, the main island of Hawaii, Kodiak Island is the biggest island in the country besides the main island of Hawaii. And the population of the town is 56 7000 people. You know, the whole island, maybe 8000. We've got space up here.
AO We have lots of it and that enhances the real reason that I want to keep addressing and I hope, Josh, I hope I can count on you to visit with us again in the future. Because I really see a need, and again, this all stems from, as I mentioned in an earlier part of the show when I watch the news, and I see the stray animals and I just know in my heart that the owners, just were not prepared, they may have prepared for them and their families and they too often the animals are left out of the emergency prep. And so and it's either, you know, we're not thinking about them from a security perspective or injury perspective. We're not thinking of them from lost and found, adding taxation on the first responders who now may have an injured dog, aggressive, injured dog between them and someone they need to help.
JC So I'll give a couple of different scenarios, and that is Katrina and the flood of Houston. In these two scenarios that we saw tons of dogs and animals in general, like horse horses that were tied defenses and the water is about to go over their head. I mean all kinds of scenarios. But then I'll tie it back into an everyday situation that we might find ourselves in. And that a couple of summers ago I saw some black smoke and I just told the guy I was with I say, Hey, drive to that black smoke. It's probably just the neighbor burning trash or, you know, a stump pile or something. But let's just check it out and we pull around the corner and there's a house on fire, and so we fly down the driveway. The poor owners are standing in the driveway trying to spray a house fire out with the garden hose. And I knew that they had dogs. I didn't know these people, but I knew they had dogs. So I'm like, where are your dogs? Where are your dogs? And they're like, three of them are in the house, and one was running around the yard with them. And so I broke out the back window, climbed in this burning house, like, went through the house, and I couldn't find the dogs because I didn't know their layout and they weren't willing to go in, you know, which I don't blame them, and I couldn't even locate these dogs before they ended up perishing from the smoking. And it would have been so much easier to say. It's against this while they're in a crate or they're downstairs, you know? I mean, I went up and down, up and down, and I couldn't see I couldn't figure out where these dogs were. It's been a lot easier if they just said this is where they were.
AO That brings up. A great point is several years ago, um, there was a big rush, and I know I have them here at the house, little stickers that go on the window that says your child's room so that, you know, if our house were to be engulfed in flames, um, the firefighters would know. Okay, here's the Children's room. If they're not standing at the street post, then we need to go in. And this is where we can make our entry. So and having some type of, you know signage that says, you know, pets, pet room pet and, you know, location here. Now that I'm talking to you and saying it aloud, I might get some stickers for the window. The back window of the house, which is where the dog's crates are and say dogs great inside to the left. So should again
JC Perfect. Having them create trained is gonna calm them down. Having them in the crate is obviously gonna be easier when it comes to location, locating them, and handling them. You know, it's really gonna be productive, but, you know, there's a lot of other things we have to worry about. Like somebody breaks into our house, shoots our dog because it's barking at him because they got criminal intent, or just let it run out the door and we don't know. You know, a cop knocks on the wrong door, and all of a sudden the dogs, you know, trying to attack them. It doesn't happen much in Alaska, but they kill dogs frequently in the lower 48 for barking at them for chasing them for threatening them, you know? And so we have to understand that maybe the fire department's gonna show up. We can't have these aggressive dogs, so let's be proactive before it becomes aggressive. We don't wanna cop shoot it out of self-defense because they didn't come to work to get mauled by a dog. You know, like there's just so many different things, that man, we can't prepare for them all, so we kinda have to prepare in case of them all.
AO Yeah, and kind of a generalist preparedness. When we talk about you know, you bring up a great point when we talk about animals, aggressiveness towards what it sees as strangers, and how do we handle that? How do we deal with that? And obviously, there's nothing we can do about the criminal intent piece. You know, the overall objective there would be to just keep them out of the house. But you can as the dog can give you two barks That gives me enough time to get around in the chamber, and hopefully we can remedy just some other way to where the dog doesn't get hurt.
JC Right, Yeah. Don't have an aggressive dog. It's just gonna be, it's gonna lessen their likelihood for success. But feel free to put warnings dog on-premises. You know, like, feel free to do that. Not because you need it, but because people don't realize that your dog is friendly. They don't know, you know, like, let it be known, you know, have a security sign at the end of your driveway. Have one on your door. You know, all of these little steps that we can do a ring doorbell. Amazing, amazing thing. You know, like, you know, some sort of security system. There are so many things that we can do to lessen the likelihood of becoming the victim,
AO Right, and with the rise and technology and the reduction of costs, it really now is becoming a lot easier to protect your home, without having to put a life at risk, whether that being animals or your own. So absolutely great advice. I can only begin to express my appreciation. You've taken a whole hour with me. Josh, I can't begin to appreciate. I know your busy schedule
JC I am not driving back. I'm not driving home tonight.
AO All right, well, then you'll be all right. Anything else? Anything else that you think could help, as kind of a parting shot,
JC Train today. Don't delay. If you need help with your canine. I obviously work in Alaska, but I also work in Canada. I work throughout the U. S. I train all over the place. I do phone consultations. I'm more than happy to work you into my schedule to give you a good understanding of how to overcome a pre-existing behavior or, more importantly, how to prevent aggression, how to prevent fear, how to mitigate fear. How to address aggression, fear, stress, anxiety, all of these different things and a lot of it's gonna boil back down to having that food motivation. Having those building blocks of communication in place that I call the markers and having that create implement, conditioning, and implement to create into their life is just super important. If you need to get a hold of me, I have a website HPR that sounds for hunt, point, retrieve. So HPRworkingdogs.com I'm on Facebook, Instagram. I'm not using social media as much as I used to, but I have a website. My phone number is 9073511771 if you want to shoot me a message, that's cool. Or you can send your questions in and I'll be back if there's a need for it.
AO Awesome. Well, and that brings up a great point. All these links that we brought up, uh, we talked about pets sanctuary. We talked about dogs dot com. Um, we talked about, uh, certainly HPR working dogs. All those links will be available on the blog post for this, and so you can check them out there. Uh, I will also include a link of, uh, Josh is uh, site on my site at h t t p s ://akoutlaw dot com. Which, you know, you can get all the media that, we've talked about today and, uh, the Associated blog poster all there. So, um, you'll be able to get them all there.
JC That that website for the gundogsupply.com. They have a lot of stuff that's related to hunting, but they also have thought of here. That would be, uh, good for everybody.
AO Alright, Well, I will make that. I just put that on there so I will make sure that link it's on the blog post so that, uh, everybody has a direct path of that. Josh, I appreciate your time today, man. You have been so informative. Uh, actually, even as I've told everybody before, uh, we picked up the phone today, Um, the dog whispers the real one, not the one in LA, I've taken away some tips for my own, that I'll use. I will be implementing here with my dogs.