It is often a human reflex to scold or punish a dog for growling at someone or guarding objects. The multi-certified trainer and owner of Calm Canine Academy Karishma Warr, joins us from London to explain the more effective approach. This conversation is light and enjoyable for its difficult topic and parents of dogs of ALL ages will find takeaways to use right away.
Dog Growls When Petted or Picked Up?
If you're concerned about growling, you'll find answers to questions like what to do when:
– A dog growls when petted
– A dog growls when picked up
– A dog is growling and showing teeth
– A dog is growling over food, bone, or toy
– A dog growls then licks
How to Prevent or Stop Resource Guarding?
– Why is my dog growling at me all of a sudden?
– Why would a dog growl at someone?
– When a dog growls, what does it mean?
– How to get a dog not to growl?
– What does it mean when a dog resource guards?
– How to prevent resource guarding?
– How to stop resource guarding?
Congratulations to this week's Doodle of the Week- Ellio!
“Hi, my name is Elizabeth and I live in Denver, Colorado. My doodle name is Ellio and he is a double doodle, so that's a mix of a golden doodle with a Labradoodle. My fun fact is, Elio is a Velcro doodle. He loves to follow me from room to room at home all day long. He also loves to go on hikes and he'll run just a little ahead of me and then back and ahead and back.
Just checking in to make sure mom's doing okay. It's a lot of fun. Lastly, he loves to go to cafes or restaurants where he can sit outside and just be part of the action. I absolutely love my little Velcro doodle Ellio.”Ellio's mom
How to Respond to Hiding or Growling
How to Respond to Hiding or Growling
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: Does your doodle grab a tissue protect their bone? Or run away when you need to take something away they shouldn't have, or even growl snarl, show their teeth or try to bite. This is the episode for you. The methods we're discussing really come down to aggression prevention. My guests. And I know that even though your doodle looks like a real life, Teddy bear, they are still an animal. And if they are pushed too far or corner , they can and will bite.
This episode really digs into reading their cues. And the mindset you need to prevent aggression. If you hear a dog growl or snarl or bite. It is human nature to want to discipline and shut that down. My fantastic guest. Understands that and tells us what is actually more effective if your dog. Doesn't run away with things and doesn't try to protect or guard their resources. You also want to listen to this episode because it's going to explain how to prevent those issues from occurring.
I love the stories, our guest shares, and you're going to think of her story with their brother and pizza and a cupcake for a long time to come. This is a fantastic episode and a must listen for parents of doodles of all ages. Let's dive in.
This interview was too rich to condense into just one episode. So in this first part, we're going to be talking about growling, biting resource guarding. And then make sure you catch part two next week where we discuss in general reactivity barking on walks and how to help your dog with any fear or anxiety they might be experiencing how to advocate for your doodle. And yet again, charisma has a fantastic story
and you won't believe what happened when their home was recently burglarized.
This is a must listen interview, and I'm so excited to kick off the new year with this wonderful guest.
Doodle breed. Dogs are easy to love, but can be challenging to parent. I'm Doodle Expert Car Gearhart, also known as the Doodle Pro, and I'm here to help doodle parents have a more fulfilling and rewarding experience with their doodles. No one has professionally worked with as many different doodle breeds, or has more experience with doodles than I have, and I love to share my expertise in a fun, compassionate, and non-judgmental way.
From my years of work and education in the pet care and dog training industry, I have an incredible network of skilled training. Grooming and veterinary professionals to share their knowledge with you and give you the doodle specific answers you are looking for. I hope you enjoyed today's episode as I help you parent your doodle like a pro.
Today's doodle of the week is actually a double doodle Leo. Listen to his mom share why Leo is so deserving of this award.
Hi, my name is Elizabeth and I live in Denver, Colorado. My doodle name is Ellio and he is a double doodle, so that's a mix of a golden doodle with a Labradoodle. My fun fact is, Elio is a Velcro doodle. He loves to follow me from room to room at home all day long. He also loves to go on hikes and he'll run just a little ahead of me and then back and ahead and back.
Just checking in to make sure mom's doing okay. It's a lot of fun. Lastly, he loves to go to cafes or restaurants where he can sit outside and just be part of the action. I absolutely love my little Velcro doodle Elio.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: If you think your doodle deserves to win this award? Make sure you go to that. Doodle pro.com/doodle of the week. And let me know why they're so deserving. Leo congratulations. And your prize is on its way
Has your doodle ever growled or snapped or bared their teeth at you? It is normal to want to say no. And really think of discipline and I need to make sure my doodle doesn't do that again. Well, this episode is kind of, kind of blow your mind. Recently I wore a t-shirt I got from the aggressive in dogs conference that said we celebrate dogs that growl.
And lots of, our audience on Instagram was like, wait, what?
And then I thought, why not bring in one of the pros that can explain it even better than I can.
I saw a Christmas speak at the aggressive in dogs conference in 2022. And I just had to reach out and say, please come talk to our audience. It was just such a wonderful session. They're the head of training and behavior. I call them K9 academy. And there are a dog trainer international speaker training mentor.
And they join us all the way from the UK. I am honored as we have a lot of listeners in Britain, they also specialize in treating complex anxiety conditions in an urban environment through virtual coaching. If you live in New York city, you probably have heard of them.
As they were a very popular trainer for the elite in New York city.
Now everyone can access calm canine academies, help. As they work mainly virtually. And if you stay on until the end of the episode, They have a special offer just for our listeners.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: So thank you so much for joining us Kushma.
Karishma Warr: Oh God, thank you for inviting me. When I got this message, I was like, oh my God.
Cause I'm a poodle parent, so I have my own poodle. And I was like, I have to come on. This is gonna be such a great opportunity for us to celebrate that, little thing. I feel like doodles sometimes I get a bad rep and I, love them. I love them and I'm, I was happy to be here to support them and answer about this really interesting topic as well, which is always fascinating I think to talk about.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: Thank you. Doodles are not different from poodles as in order to exist. At least half of them is a poodle. And my late dog Hershey was a standard poodle. And she really struggled with reactivity and fear. And I think if I recall that your poodle can be a bit reactive as.
Karishma Warr: Yes, in classic pood poodle vein that he can have some big feelings.
My, my boy has big feelings about yes. Many different things. Where you say behavior bingo, it's when you can tick off all the triggers. It's does he feel feelings about dogs? Yes. People, yes. Noises. Yes. . So yeah, he's one of the behavior Bingo poodles. I love. Oh, I love
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: it. . And people are often surprised because they know the poodle brings in the non shedding piece and oh, they're really, they're non shedding and they're really smart.
And then they look at the other half. Like I have a golden doodle. So they're really friendly and they love everyone. Yes. And just non shedding and smarter. But poodles, as we both know, are pretty high on the scale of anxiety and they were bred to be guarding which means that they were bred to be alert and listening for every sound and letting us know.
And that could be really difficult in a suburban environment. In an urban environment like you specialize in. Can you share more about that?
Karishma Warr: 100%, yes. So they are highly strong as a great way to describe them. I think that they, have been bred for many different, Jobs and they have a lot of sensitivities to stimulus, to noises, like you mentioned, noises around the home as hunting dogs, protecting dogs like that.
Very, likely for them to be sound sensitive. They need a great, ideal amount of time outdoors. They were spent to spend time in nature and when I'm seeing hundreds and thousands of doodles in central Manhattan, central London, I'm like, okay, so you're gonna get this dog out for an hour and a half every day in the parks in the ma.
Okay, good for you. Like leash. Yeah. Like not just walking down a sidewalk, literally. Yeah, exactly. Not just ceiling to get your coffee and then back to your house. You're gonna get the muddy and then wash them every day. Okay. Good luck. Have fun . Cause they're kinda hardcore dogs I think. I think they look sweet and cuddly and fluffy and like little teddy bear.
But they're not. I call Hira as my poodle. I call him a malon Pood, like a mair, but a poodle. Oh, do you know those videos of the cool dog trainers and they have their mairs and they're biting. He's exactly like that. But he's a moyen poodle. Like he's, the biggest, he's spicy. He's a spicy boy.
And I think that poodles and doodles should be celebrated for their spice, right? Like they are spicy and that's not gonna go away. If they're in a city, that's gonna be something you're gonna have to work on. ,
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: genetics matter and, but we don't stop there.
Karishma Warr: We talk about this ladder of aggression quite a lot in dog training, which starts off with these little behaviors. Oh, I'm a little uncomfortable. I'm gonna look away from you.
I'm gonna take a few steps away. If that doesn't work, then what are you gonna do? Maybe you're gonna stare them in the face, curl your lips, say I'm really, scary. And if that doesn't work well then biting and snapping and those sorts of behaviors tend to follow. And so when we see dog guardians who.
Are experiencing maybe the first time ever Fido ever growled at a kid or the neighbor or someone floor, and it takes you by surprise. And I've done it myself. Hey, what are you doing? Don't do that. Like you
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: have, it's like, it like breaks a law in our mind. It's
Karishma Warr: so instinct, right? Yes. It's so essential for us to do that.
And it's totally fine if you do, by the way, like I've done it as well. Like I, sometimes I'm like, Hey, and I'm like, oh, sorry dude, my bad. That was like bitching people rules. Yeah. Sorry, those the people rules again, apologies. Are you okay? And, that's of my whole vibe with, this sort of situation.
I, I, oh my God, are you okay? Is my first. Response Now after learning a lot about this, because what I've learned is that when dogs are growling or barking even, or snapping even, hell, even if they're biting, they're doing it because they think it's the safest thing for them to do in that moment. To them, they have no other options other than that option.
So yelling at them is not gonna be effective. , yes, but they have no other options. They're like this is all a half kushma, so what do you want me to do instead? In some cases, the worst cases we see dogs just of shutting down and going into themselves and unfortunately this was the case with my dog here, and he became this almost still statue of like fear.
Built up tension and he ended up with it getting worse whereby he would snap out of the blue out of nowhere with no warnings. He used to growl, he used to bark and I didn't get any of that after, repeatedly shutting down whenever he told me he was feeling uncomfortable. And so I have firsthand experience of seeing it with my dog, with clients dogs as well.
And so I'm really passionate about telling people that, you know what, we actually like that communication. And I'm this weird person that sometimes I'll get a client and they'll have a, dog bite for the first time. , but it's a very level bite. It didn't even break the skin. It was extremely inhibited.
And maybe the dog was pushed, maybe the guardian was telling the dog off, or doing something pushing past their boundaries in an obvious way. I always surprise people because I'm like, that's her. That was a good bite. Good dog. And they're like, what? What do you mean? The dog was growling at me.
And I'm like no, They tried not to there was inhibition there to some yes, they growled at you and it was very scary, but you were leaning over them when they had a bone and it was 2:00 AM and they'd never met you before. And I think that they did a pretty good job under the circumstances.
And yes, I would likely say if that happened to my thank you here for telling us. Thank you so much. Okay, let's go over there. Off we go. We're gonna move away. We're gonna diffuse the, I'm the adult . I'm gonna diffuse the situation, make sure everyone's safe. And we'll talk about this in therapy in a few days.
That's usually what I say to him when I've all calmed down time. Yeah. I'm like, we'll talk about in therapy this weekend. It's got the time now, but right now we're just gonna do soothing practices. We'll re we'll reconnect and we'll talk about it later. Yeah, I say that all the time to him. Like when I'm like by myself with him, I'll talk for you too.
I'm finished with table this for a few hours and we'll deal with it later. But that is always my number one thing is even if you have that reflex, you can just say, oh, sorry I'm, hearing you, I'm listening to you. We're gonna move you away and then we're gonna figure out what happened. Maybe bring a professional in like us who can give you another set of eyes and go from there.
So yeah, I think that's my big thing is even the professionals have that instinctive, reflexive reaction. It comes from just like human conditioning. It comes from society and culture. It can be very unnatural to change that. And it can feel very, wrong, but also liberating for me. Once I realized I didn't have to do that, my nervous system started to not explode.
When the dog had a reaction, I was like, oh, it's a reaction. Okay. Nervous. I
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: hear it as a stop. I hear it as the dog saying, stop. And if I kept ignoring somebody, as they keep saying, stop louder and louder, first the looking away is the stop. The lip licking or yawning is a stop. The frozen stare is a stop.
And they keep saying it louder and louder. I also like the description of if you take away the growl, you take away the tick. And that's when you see they bit out of nowhere. Yeah. Like they didn't give any warnings. We punished the warnings out of them.
There's a common suggestion just from pop culture. People watch a couple episodes on TV of a popular dog trainer and they need to know they're in charge, and that's not allowed. So a dog will have a bone. They need to take away that bone and put them on their back, or just if they growl, they lose the bone.
Can you explain to our listeners why that actually doesn't work? Yeah.
Karishma Warr: It's it's, so triggering for a dog trainer to hear that advice because I know, I'm sorry. No, please. I hear it every day. But it's you see it in your head, that imagery and my whole body just goes, I get so tense and I get shivers down my spine because to me that's such a scary lesson that dog is learning a lesson that could end up.
Really shooting you in the foot in the long run in terms of what you want. What do you actually want? And I, always come from a really goal-oriented like position here. So you want to be able to take your dog's bone. Is that's the goal, right? Surely the goal is not to be in charge.
That's a very that's a wishy-washy goal. I want to be on top. I wanna be in charge. What does that mean? You wanna be able to take your dog's bone. Yeah. Okay. That makes sense. Fair. You want to be able to walk past your dog while they have their bone? Fantastic. I have a solution for you.
Okay. It's if, you continue to put your dog on their back, likely we are gonna get further away from that end goal, because your dog is gonna learn that when you approach them, what happens. Exactly the thing that they're scared of. It's just not a smart training plan like . That's my my main thing.
It's not gonna get us to the goal that we want your dog and resource guarding. I think of personally as a fear response. It's a fear of losing control over something that's important to them, right? If you just immediate. Tell the dog, yes, you were right. You should be scared. I'm in charge. That's it.
Full stop. Your fears are true and you live in this world where that greatest fear is a reality and just get over it. To me, that's like not a super smart lesson, right? I think we can do better than that. . We can do much better. We, how about we do instead? Okay. I'm gonna make sure that there's nothing wrong with you.
Make sure that you are physically healthy. Yes. Make sure that you are feeling good and comfortable in your body, because we know that those sorts of things can really impact resource guarding behaviors. So let's start there and then let's teach you that when we approach you, really good things happen.
Soon you'll have a dog that happily leaves that bone and lays on their back for you to accept belly rubs and cuddle. Is it gonna be an upgrade? Yeah. They want to, not because they're scared and the body language would look very different. It won't be like you're mentioning these, this kind of avoidance, stiff behavior.
It'll be loose and wiggly and floppy. And, happy. and we are talking about doodles, we're talking about dogs that are likely to guard resources, . They have a
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: huge level of resource guardian compared to some other breeds. Yeah.
Karishma Warr: A hundred percent. Another lovely pet dog trait for us to, work with our guardians on, and I think it's all those big, fluffy faces that can make it harder for us to spot low level aggression signs.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: That lip girl's really hard to see when you've got the teddy bear beard. Go the
Karishma Warr: tightness in the face, you can't even see it. My, my, poodle here, he's a black poodle and so until I got the most fancy equipment, he was just like black blur on every camera. Yes.
Really hard for. Cameras to pick up hard for even me to see those small levels. I remember when I shaved his face properly away from the teddy bear all the way down for the first time, and I was like, damn, you have so many more feelings than I realized. And they were all there, all the stuff. And then I learned and I, figured it out.
But it was God. It was it's different. You see all these resources on dog body language. There almost needs to be a separate one for fluffy dogs. I
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: agree. You can't even see hackles, the curls and the kinks. You can't see it, and other dogs can't see it either. That's how they're talking to each other.
Yes. And people, I'm going on a tangent, but people will say, my doodle gets picked on at dog parks. A lot of their cues and body language are totally missed by the other dogs.
Karishma Warr: 100%. Yeah. Absolutely true. Yeah. And darker dogs especially, I find the darker black fluffier doodles which is mine as well.
Yeah. It's yours. Yeah. Yeah. You do. I've seen, yeah. You have big, black fluffy. Yeah, same. It's hard for the, for them. Blessed. Yes. Little social priors. They're
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: So if we're to talk a little bit more about resource guarding, when people get a new puppy, a common technique that they're told to prevent it is make sure you take away and give away their food a lot. Or put your hand in their bowl while they're eating. You want them to feel comfortable with you approaching and taking away their food.
Yeah. I feel strongly about this, but I'd love to highlight your thoughts.
Karishma Warr: Oh, I feel so strongly too. And the first thing I'm gonna latch onto is we want 'em to feel comfortable with you taking their food. Totally. Think that. Do I actually agree with that? Gosh, I'm like having a philosophical moment here.
It would be it's, good to be able to take your dog's food bowl, right? You want, that's a skill that you wanna be able to, cultivate ethically. Whether we should expect that of dogs is another thing. But yes it's a skill. We want to, build right with our pet dogs.
Let's think about it this way. You are really hungry. You have a slice of pizza and you're eating that pizza and let's say, do you have a sibling? That's an annoying person for me. My brother always does this. He comes, he'll sit near me and then maybe he'll be like, he calls it the 20% brother tax
He'll take 20% of my food, and I think that way that he does it, he just comes up to me, he takes my food, he goes, so it's the tax. It's the tax. That's like this training method, right? We'll just get to get used to it. I can tell you from experience, it has not worked. Now when my brother enters the room, I pick up my pizza, get away from me.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: You're literally turning like a dog would take the and run into another part of the room. ,
Karishma Warr: I get my spoon, I'm like back away. You don't even think about trying to take my pizza. It's done the opposite of getting me comfortable. It's actually sensitized me to his presence around food. And I really think that's what lots of guardians end up doing with their dogs when they just put their hands in the food bowl all Willy ni.
And if you're anything like me, you are really wanting to do it right? So maybe you do it just an extra few times for good measure and oh God that dog's really pissed off now, right? Because you're grabbing its pizza and you're shoving it. It's, to me, again, it doesn't make sense that's gonna be effective because from my experience I've seen it fail.
And it also just if you very wrote it down mathematically, it doesn't add up, right? Yes. Almost there. But instead of just putting our hands in the bowl we might do something like approach the dog once a day while it's eating, give it five pieces of chicken and then bugger off again. Because that single adding, to the resource.
Yes, I'm adding to it. I'm adding to it once or twice and I'm making it really freaking good, right? Yes. So I'm coming over once or twice a day and I'm saying hey kid, look at this. And I'm slipping them 20 bucks or a hundred bucks a piece of roast beef, some chicken, some liver. And then I go, I leave again.
I don't touch their bowl actually. I just approach them, give them something good and then leave very quickly. We get dogs that upon you approaching them, they just stop. Yeah. What have you got for me today? This is awesome. And they come to you. They've tried an upgrade. Yeah. Your presence is a cue, right?
You are here and that means I'm gonna get something. You see this with Street dogs all over the world, , ah, you see this all the time. But the thing is, we have to give them their freedom. We have to give them this time, we have to give them their privacy when they're eating and not bother them. So I always give puppies their own little space.
I try even to create some sort of physical marker around it, A gate, even just duct tape on the floor. This is the puppies eating space. We're not gonna go in there. The most important thing I think is that management and then adding and don't be my brother because trust me, it will not end well for you.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: And if we were to use your brother as the analogy, please let him know. He is been highlighted International Podcast. But if you had tried that before, the other direction could be your brother comes over to your house and brings a cupcake that's your favorite flavor and he walks up to you while you're having that pizza and he delivers the cupcake and walks away.
And how that would
Karishma Warr: change. I'd be like, thank you so much, would you like some pizza? That's legit. Would be my response. And so simply we fix the problem. I Obviously it's not gonna be that quickly for the dogs. Yes. But just like you're saying, there'll be a change in my brain from fear response.
From anticipation of a punishment of me losing something to anticipation of a reinforcer, me gaining something and it solidifies my feelings of safety. It makes me feel comfortable, like I have control over the resources that I need to stay alive. And so ultimately that will make me.
Precious about these resources because that's what resource guarding is. It's an anxiety, it's a fear. Yes. It comes across as a challenge, right? As this really aggressive thing. But it's actually the most people often like, oh, that God dog's resource guarding. What an alpha. I'm like, are you kidding?
That dog's anxious as hell. Like it's the chill. They don't think they're in charge. Yes. You think that dog's in charge, that dog's a nervous wreck. We're screwed if that dog's in charge. No, that's the anxious dog. That's the dog that's actually struggling. of my favorite resource guarding analogies is when at the beginning of the pandemic, everyone hoarded toilet paper.
That's it. That's resource guarding. That is, I'm anxious about something that I can't control, an external situation. My safety is compromised. The humans en mass decided to hoard toilet paper and hand sanitizer cuz that's what was important to them. Yes. At the time, for your dog it might be their favorite disgusting toy or that sunny spot on the couch, but that's what's happening.
And I think it's important to just be real that yes, lots of aggression looks scary and challenging, but ultimately we're all just little babies inside and the dogs are the same. They're just little, baby puppies trying to get their needs met and not knowing how. And that's where we come in.
That's where our dog trainers come in.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: I love the toilet paper analogy cuz it's something that you didn't think had value in your life at all. Like it was just a basic, but by the limited resource and our hand anxiety, it became like the most valuable thing for a couple months for all of us.
And you would've protected it like people were getting in fights in grocery stores. . It's just relatable because we guard our resources too. We lock our car door, we lock our front door. We don't like our partner to grab stuff above our plate while we're eating.
Let's say it was a bone for a dog. that would look like to me, your brother coming over at the cupcake saying, can I hold your pizza for you while you eat it? You know he's not gonna eat it and then returns it to you, so you got an upgrade and then you know you're gonna get that pizza back. And that's what we do with the bones.
Karishma Warr: Exactly. Yeah, absolutely. Exactly right. So we had a rupture. Whereby I wouldn't even let my brother anywhere near the pizza and to repair and heal we would start this system exactly like you're saying, whereby we start to rebuild that trust. And importantly, my brother is not taking the pizza and going psyche and running away with it.
Like he's giving it back at the end. Because what we are dealing with is a a rupture in trust. So he has to put those repetitions in to repair that trust. And I reckon this is very arbitrary at this point. I'm 29, we've been doing this dance for a long time, me and my brother. So I think at this point he'd have to give me a hundred cupcakes.
Yes. Before he could take pizza , I think I need a hundred cupcakes. And then maybe then I'd be ready. He's filled up that bank account enough that he could withdraw occasionally. And that's when your dog picks up a battery. Something they really shouldn't eat. Chocolate. A grape something like that.
That's, when you, withdraw. And we would sometimes withdraw big amounts. Your dog picked up a poop and your dog loves to eat poop. You ask them to drop it or something like that. Or you do small amounts, just tissue that they don't care about. But we're always replenishing that bank account.
So if, my brother does watch this and decide to enact this experiment if he does withdraw, I'm expecting another 50 cupcakes to replenish bank account afterwards. So it's like a conversation. We're like always giving and receiving.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: And when I say trade to my doodle Nestle, I always pay.
and it's not a bribery. I don't show him the delicious thing that's coming. I don't have to have even the pouch of treats on me. He knows mom will walk all the way to the fridge Yeah. And pay me back for that.
Karishma Warr: 100%. Yeah. We, definitely can't lie to them. So don't say you're gonna do something and then not do it.
That's, one thing that I see a lot of the time. Or you say, can you do it? And then you only follow through when you have the cookie and you don't, when you don't have the cookie. So they become dependent on you holding the cookie. It, really has to be consistent.
Definitely follow through cuz otherwise you are gonna be literally degrading the power of these cues that you are training by, by lying to them. And they're not gonna trust you. And I see a lot of dogs that become suspicious of treats, suspicious of training because there's this kind of, this like distrust in the relationship.
So those things are, yeah, don't, yeah, definitely don't lie to your dog. , they'll figure it out good of them
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: One of, and I'm blanking on her name. I think, was it Linda? She did a session at the aggressive dogs conference about husbandry. But she gave a story about. rewarding walking away your dog using the choice of walking away.
And I love that. Her analogy was, when you go to Thanksgiving dinner, we all have the uncle, wherever you stand, there's always the uncle that is on the other side of things. And you might be able to do 10 minutes. If I keep talking about politics with Uncle Bob, I'm going to be over my threshold and lose control and I'm gonna walk away.
Yeah. And that, was a good choice of, it's like doing a quick greeting if they choose to, and if they move away before they're over arousal, that's a good choice.
Karishma Warr: I love that. Yeah. And moving away is the first step to self-regulation is identifying when you've had. And being able to express that in a way that's non-violent, right?
And I did the exact same thing for Hira. One of our biggest challenges was husbandry. Him being a poodle. Obviously it's, that's challenging. And it was exactly when I started doing exactly that tip, which was rewarding him for saying no in the softest ways, because I didn't realize, but I had punished that no.
So many times before I'd punished the no out of him. So all he could do is scream at me, and bite me, right? Because I had told him that no is unacceptable to me. Many times he'd growled at me when I was dressing his hair and I'd say, shush. Now that's really silly. And he went, oh crap. That doesn't work.
What am I gonna do next? That's all I've left. All he had left was to bite me, and I don't blame him even slightly. I'm like, yeah, def, yeah. That I really, that really made sense that you did that because you told me it so many times and. It took literally reinforcing him with treats and play when he said no in every context in so many contexts.
And then developing a management plan for when he, I weren't, wasn't able to fulfill that. No. Because there are some times where, and that's where I think things get a little bit trickier sometimes. There are some times when you have to do things right.
Like for example, I needed to groom here . Like he would've developed serious skin problems, if any issues if I hadn't cut his hair and given him baths. Similarly, you might have to walk your dog and you don't want to punish them, or you might have to take their food away from them at some point.
So developing a plan while you are working on the training and on that trust building is really important. So the here that looked like me, anxiety, medications and a muzzle, when I wasn't able to listen to that, no. I was like, all right kid. Once a month we're gonna just do this. And every other time, I swear I'm gonna be so good.
But it is once a month, we're gonna just give you the help you need and get it done. And, that sometimes I think when people get a bit confused and the boundaries can get blurred, it's like, when is it a choice moment? And when is it a no choice moment? And that, that's another kind of part of that conversation as well.
But the muddy in between place is when we get a lot of problems occurring. I think.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: The doodle or poodle that's scared of the brush or the high velocity blow dryer, that can look like going down to a really short clip. Sacrifice your favorite teddy bear look and give yourself more time to build up a different association for them.
One, if it's really short, they could shake off the water. Like they don't actually need the high velocity blow dryer then, and you can't just have them happy when they see the brush. You don't even have to put the brush on them, but you have some options then of delaying the must do.
Karishma Warr: God. Yeah I, called him the trash poodle for a while because he just didn't look great.
We sacrificed him looking great for a period of time, and I made that decision he didn't have his beautiful haircut. He didn't look the way that I wanted him to look. And I just went, you know what? It's worth it because I'm gonna have the next 15, 16 plus years of my life with you.
Let's get this sorted. And we really worked on it for about a year, and we've got to the point now where I think he every time anyone sees him, they're like, oh, he's just getting handsome or handsomer by the every groom. It just gets better and better. We're in that upward stage. But there was a long period of time where I'd be like I he, looked bad , he was shaved so short.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: I do it once a month. Can they get flat little heads with the
Karishma Warr: ridge run of the litter as well? So he's got that. Squished head, like his head's a little too small for his body , and so when he's shaved down, oh, it's really bad. He does not look at his best, I have to say. That's fine.
Sometimes I don't look at my best and that's totally okay. Yeah, totally fine. But yeah, the sacrificing that it it's a, it was a challenge, but I go to the point where I was like, was ultimately for me with Hira, his behavior was really suffering off the back of him being uncomfortable because his grooming wasn't good enough.
And I was like, this needs to stop. Like we need to, just prioritize this. And I put it to the top of my list and. The change that I've seen. This is, we completely gone off a talent tangent, but it's a good one because the change that I've seen since getting his grooming down like this, our relationship is better.
He feels better in his body. It's been very cool. Yes. And I'm starting to see him learning to say, no, not just with me, but with other people as well, with other dogs in and this kind of learning to say no and not just explode behavior is starting. Yes. Cause he doesn't feel trapped anymore.
Yeah. He's not trapped anymore. It's so cool. Yeah. He's got a voice. Like he can say he is I feel like he's a little boy and he's going, no, I'm not comfortable. And mommy says I should say that when I'm, when I don't feel good, and I'm like, that's right. My son. You tell them it's, a 90.
Speak up for yourself. Yeah. Speak up yourself and don't worry. And, but I guess another point. Just to continue this ramble. Yeah. is to ad is that advocation piece, right? I think he knows Mommy's got his back. That was the hardest thing for me. Yeah. And it's down on this kind of going down this road again where there's this social pressure, when. . He would go up to people and he wanted to gather some information, but he didn't want his fluffy hair rubbed. He didn't wanna be grabbed. And everyone knows the doodles everyone wants to grab them. Yes. And I would have to be like, no, don't touch him, please. And really push that boundary.
If anyone tried to touch him, I would literally step in between the two of them and be that kind of helicopter parent that was like, I'm not letting you teach him that. His no doesn't matter because his no does matter. And if he says, no, I will now be that person because I made this mistake. I'm gonna step in between the two of you and go, I will not let you do that.
Because yes, the hardest was with my family. I'm sure you've experienced this with clients of yourself. That was a challenging one. I actually hired a dog trainer for my parents so that they could learn . Oh.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: Cause it can't be You like it? Yeah. Oh my God,
Karishma Warr: be the black chief of the family. Like I'm the troubled child.
No one listen to me. It doesn't matter how many conferences I speak .
You fool those people. Yeah, they're trainer.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: It's the same with my husband. I, like, let's play this podcast in the background, and so it's someone else besides his wife being the teacher there.
Yeah. So it's the same thing. When you say that you made that mistake before, you were advocating so strongly for him by stepping in between, how did that play out with your poodle?
Karishma Warr: It played out with me not listening to low level signs and waiting for the big shouting behaviors before I stepped in, and it was me taking risks and saying, I don't know, but let's see.
And it wasn't the best attitude to take with a sensitive dog like Hira. I, should have, and I do now say I have these points. They're almost like red flag points in my head. I'm like, when he does this, that's it. There's, that's a hard line for me. And I give my clients these these mo these, kind of moments to think about.
So for here, it's if his ears go back and he gets a little bit of whale eye, where you can see the whites of his eyes and his head lowers he stays still for a few seconds. He won't do anything more than that. He'll just, he doesn't have to now. Oh God. Like that. And I'll immediately say, okay, let's go.
And he'll go, whew, thank God. And he'll move himself away. And, he's learning to do it himself now. But I'm not waiting for the growl. I'm not waiting for the snap. I'm not waiting for anything more than that. I'm listening at that point. And the, kind of details that I go into with my clients, one of the dogs, I work with her, Nope.
Her, nope. Is not eating food off the floor. Oh. So if you cross a cookie for her, if she doesn't take it off the floor, she'll likely still take it from your hand. But if she won't bother to put her head down and get it off the floor, that likely means that she doesn't care about it. . And I said to that, particular client, I'm like, okay, so when she doesn't, when she doesn't feel motivated to get that food off the floor, that's her saying no.
Cuz she's about to say no in a big way a second later. Yeah. So let's listen to that first little sign and, immediately respond and she'll start to learn as well that she doesn't have to escalate. So every dog's different that's why it's so useful. Like you, you were saying in your podcast that I listened to, to, you even had a trainer thinking your puppy so important to get that like outside perspective. But yeah, those, they're thinking about about that advocation and about listening, listening to those low level signs and then just not allowing people around your dog if they can't listen to that. It's really that simple, right? Like I, I've got a rule where it's if you're not gonna listen to me, then you just don't have access to him.
And that's it. That's the end line. So yeah, having those boundaries and sticking to them and, honestly if he's struggling with it, Take your education outside of dog training and buy some books or podcasts on boundaries, and boundary setting in general. Yes. That's what this is. It's boundary setting.
And I have no idea how to do this. I was never taught, so I've had to learn and write scripts, , and it works. It's just like learning the skill. So just take some time to strengthen your toolkit in that area.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: That is brilliant. That's very touching to me actually, because I had a harder time as a person setting boundaries.
And it wasn't until I had my human children that I was like no one's gonna treat them that way. Yeah. And then I learned how to set boundaries on their behalf. If there was someone in my family that had really mistreated. they're family, but that wasn't going to happen to my children.
And that really parlays well into your doodle. Yeah. Even though you might let people violate your needs or not do as you need. Yeah. Are you gonna let them do that to your dog? I think that's brilliant. Yeah. I say
Karishma Warr: it, I say this a lot because I, feel like having a, sensitive dog or even just a super intelligent dog, who you have a, good bond with, for many people that I know, it's really forced them to learn skills that have then benefited their other human relationships, the other interspecies relationships. So for example, Learning. I would never have gone and sat down and read books about setting boundaries for myself.
But I would hopefully read, I have 50 right here that I would read to help here, cuz that's my individual trauma.
us caring, people. We'll learn and it'll be easier for us to learn and change our behavior for someone or an animal or a person who is under our care. And learning how to then advocate for them can help us advocate for ourselves and other members of society and other people who need to have their voices amplified.
And I think it's a very healing practice for me as a child who often felt misheard and or not heard to be able to say. That dog is saying that they don't want you to touch them. And I'm here with my voice to use it to make sure that they're heard it, it feels good. And I see other people doing it too.
Now I'm, people are learning about body language and starting to step in and be the voice for the voiceless. And I, think it's a very cool it's like a kind of cultural movement that's happening right now.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: Being your dog's advocate, it isn't just for a reactive, aggressive, fearful dog, so no matter we are on the spectrum of that, your doodle lies, they still are turning to you to advocate for them.
So they don't need to show these big feelings, and the feelings don't have to get that big.
Karishma Warr: Would you agree?
No, a hundred percent you are absolutely right. So we, don't wanna wait until there's a fire in the kitchen. If we can put out that fire first before it becomes a big problem, that's gonna be the best thing to do. Every animal has the capacity to show these behaviors. I think that's really important to recognize.
I get lots of folks being like, oh, but our dog's never done anything like that before. I think it's important to remember that it's not like a dog gets to be an adult and then stops. Their bodies, their brains are constantly changing. Your dog's gonna be going through many different adult developmental stages and then it's older years where it's health and body.
Their, health and body will literally change. So we need to always be prepared for there to be changes. And whenever people say to me, oh, I don't have to worry about that with my dog, he's totally fine. And has always been totally fine. I'm like, So far, , they've already they've been fine with it up until now, and there might be a chance that they change their mind at some point.
Maybe their back starts to bother them when they hit. It is just something that I'm really conscious of with all of the people that I speak about with dogs, is that we have this often idea that. . If we have a good dog and we have a bad dog, and good dogs don't bite. Yes and bad dogs bite. And there's this dichotomy, and that's just not the reality of any living organism.
Any dog has the capacity for their behavior to change quite suddenly in many cases, especially if they're contributing health factors. And even adult dogs, their behavior changes so much as they go through different adult developmental stages and then their body changes as they start to age. Increase chronic pain, neurological problems, so many things could come into play.
So never say never. , always be questioning your dog, asking them, are you okay? How would you feel about this? And then listen to the response that they give you. It sounds like the most simple advice, but it's actually like low key genius advice because it's something that I didn't know for many, years and I got this wrong.
Yes and, simple rule, but if you put it in place and you actually just ask them, how are you feeling about this? And then they responded. You listen. , that's the best thing you can do. And it's been helping me so much with Hira. People often say, oh, is he friendly? And I'll like, oh, let's, I dunno, HIRA, do you wanna say hi?
And it's up to him and he either says yes or he says no. And then I say, no, he doesn't. And or yes he does. It's
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: just like us day
Karishma Warr: by day, literally. It's just like us. it's, it sounds silly. Such a big change. The difference I have with her is when I was younger with him, I feel like, that experience you have when you go to a family gathering and they're like, hug Uncle Bob.
You have to hug, Uncle Bob, or he won't know that you love him. Give Uncle Bob or kiss on the cheek and you're like, oh, hugging uncle. But now I'm like, do you want to say hi? I don't know if she doesn't wanna say hi, she doesn't wanna give you a hug. It's a very different kind of way to interact.
And to teach an, animal to interact with the world, one is based on making sure they feel comfortable and the other is based on pleasing everyone else around you. And I think we really have to think. It's a wider conversation about how we want to do through the world. Which, one do you want to embody?
And I've definitely made the switch and I, can say I'm sold. I think we should all join me. . .
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: Yes. And that, philosophy has really shifted with child rearing and parenting of our human children. Of people know more that you don't force the child to hug Uncle Bob, that they have autonomy over their body and they are allowed to say no.
And that's okay. And I see dog training follow behind child rearing in so many ways. Absolutely. People would say, go get your switch to the kid. Yeah. And they needed to obey because I'm the adult and now we are giving our children the ability to voice their feelings and naming their emotions and we are respecting them as fellow people.
Yeah. And we still expect certain behaviors are okay or not okay. Yeah. But we're not really beating it out of the child anymore. Yeah. . And so being respectful of our dog's needs doesn't mean permissive. I'm going on my own tangent here. It doesn't mean per permissive, it means that you expect some behaviors and some not.
But you're going to tell them what behaviors you want them to. Yeah. As opposed to no, or your will or force or pain being how you stop the behaviors you don't like, would you
Karishma Warr: agree? A hundred percent? Yeah. A positive, not permissive is something I say quite a lot. So yes. A positive, not permissive or, maybe a non-violent, but definitely not permissive.
I'm actually like relatively a hard ass, like people I know people would look at me and be like, oh, you're quite strict, actually. We would've thought that you'd be like, oh, cookies. And I'm not like just, it's boundaries. Like I know what's okay, I know what's not okay.
I'm not gonna get mad at anyone. If they don't do that thing, just like I said, I'm gonna manage that situation and then say, all right, we've got something to discuss tomorrow or the day after. And I love that we'll talk about it in therapy line because it just really, it really helps me in those moments when I'm just really pissed off I'm just really annoyed. I'm just like, listen, we'll talk about it in therapy on the weekend. I don't even wanna look eat right now. Just take, we need to take a minute. And it's the same with your human relationships, right? It's not always gonna be perfect but we're looking for consistently less violent than the generations before us.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: yes. With everything. Yes. I agree completely. And it sounds like you have high standards for your poodle. Like you didn't say, my poodle has big feelings, so I give up on him, or he just can't go anywhere and he needs to be created and kenneled anytime somebody comes over. It sounds like you kept your standards and expectations high, but you helped build him to meet them.
Would you say that matches
Karishma Warr: it? A hundred percent true. Yes. I think I also have big feelings, so I get it. I'm not expecting him, to not have big feelings. I don't even need him to know how to handle them straight away. Uhhuh . And I do, I have incredibly high standards in the sense that I want him to be a part of my life and I wanna see both be happy and fulfilled.
But a really big part. our success was me meeting him where he's at and slowing down. So it's like high standards, long-term outlook. Yes. Like I'm really thinking years, not months. And I'm for, a dog like here, or not for all dogs obviously, but especially for a dog like here. But let's be real.
If you have a one year old adolescent golden doodle, chances are you're gonna be working on things for a few years. You may be probably, we'll be dipping in and out for the whole life, but there'll be like minor catastrophes here and there for the first few years, as is normal when raising any animal and to be expected, right?
But that timeline I think is really appropriate with many of our dogs. We are working with like multiple things, right? So here was scared of people and dogs and noises and grooming and all sorts of other things. He's scared of so many things and so many of my clients, and I know people with sensitive dogs, their dogs have multiple things that they wanna work on. And we have this idea in our head the perfect Disney dog who'll like, come to the cafe with us and all of this stuff. And a big part of it with here was yes, high standards.
Yep. He's absolutely gonna be a part of my life. And that might take multiple years to fully get get down. It might take a really long time and I, touched one, but one, one kind of problem at a time. Not trying to overwhelm him and going at his pace. But yeah, it's been, and that by slowing down, it's sped up my progress more than I ever thought it would.
It's been so cool to see. And it's something that I've been singing from the rooftops, honestly. . Cause it's been great. Oh, good to see. Yeah. Very cool.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: You both should feel very proud of where
Karishma Warr: you've gotten to. He's such a good boy.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: And I know you've been really generous and exclusive. Lee, for our listeners, you have a discount for our listeners if they wanted to work with you virtually.
Karishma Warr: I absolutely do. I totally forgot about that. And so I'm very excited now to say, cause it's a surprise. Should I give the discount code now? That would be great. And I'll put it in the. Amazing. Yeah, so you can use the discount code in Capital's Doodle Pro and our team are setting that up for you folks.
You're gonna get 20% off your first service with us, and that could be like a group class for fear and reactivity or an initial consultation where you speak to a specialist and talk through what a plan might look like and get the first steps up and.
Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: Wonderful. Kma, I so appreciate you joining us.