As we’ve done six times prior—spanning nearly two years–today’s show involved setting aside the usual “Talking Animals” format in order to present the extended feature, “Ask The Trainer.” Listeners are invited to call or email questions about their dogs or cats, particularly involving behavioral issues or training concerns. The Trainer these listeners have an opportunity to consult is Glen Hatchell, the Behavior and Enrichment Manager at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, who’s also an accomplished dog trainer and behavior expert, having held the Certified Professional Dog Trainer certification for many years. He is also a former WMNF programmer. In today’s edition, before taking a listener question, Glen speaks to the notion of normal behaviors in cats and dogs, and what steps to consider taking when you’re not witnessing those behaviors in the animals who share your home. He notes, for example, the fundamental need for cats to have vertical and horizontal structures to scratch on, suggesting some inexpensive, everyday items that can serve as those structures and satisfy those behaviors. One of the initial callers inquired about his dog–estimated to be seven to eight years old—continually digging holes in the backyard. Glen first determined that the caller could live with one hole, versus trying to get the dog to stop digging altogether, then offered suggestions on how to persuade the pooch to focus on one excavation project. (Another listener later emailed in with a notion about the hole digging, based on their own experience with this situation.) Another caller, who lives on a family farm, posed a question about their two Catahoula mixes—one more Basset, the other Whippet, named Bangers and Mash—asking how to keep the Whippet from straying too far across the farm property. Glen outlined some strategies for encouraging the dog(s) to remain in a confined area, slightly expanding that area in phases. Gail Carroll, a longtime WMNF listener-supporter-volunteer, and also a longtime puppy raiser with Southeastern Guide Dogs, phones to add to the topic of food puzzles with a suggestion for making “Puppy French Toast,” which involved soaking kibble, placing it in a Kong, and putting that in the freezer. The result, Gail says, will keep a Lab puppy entertained for quite some time. The session continues, with a little higher proportion of cat questions than usual, as well as Glen recommending the website FearFreePets.com. Fear Free’s “mission is to prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets by inspiring and educating the people who care for them.” (https://humanesocietytampa.org/, https://www.instagram.com/humanesocietytampa/, https://www.facebook.com/humanesocietytampa/?fref=ts)
COMEDY CORNER: There was no Comedy Corner today.
MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals
NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: We didn’t play “Name That Animal Tune” today.
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