Dr. Amber Batson is my guest for the season finale of The Bitey End of the Dog, and what a way to top off the amazing line-up of experts this year!
This episode is packed with mind blowing insights from Dr. Batson on some hot topics including the connection between microbiomes and behavior, rethinking the puppy socialization windows, and even the controversial topic of diet and aggression.
Amber's Facebook Page
And a very special thanks to all you who have listened to, shared or reviewed the podcast! Your support is greatly appreciated and truly motivates me to produce the show and learn along with you from the foremost experts on aggression from around the world.
You can help to support the show by visiting AggressiveDog.com, where there are a variety of options to learn more about helping dogs with aggressive behavior from industry experts.
And if you haven’t already registered, check out the second annual Aggression in Dogs Conference happening from Oct. 22-24th, 2021 via livestream. This will truly be a unique event that will be streamed from a TV studio in Chicago. Think of it like a talk show blended with a dog behavior conference and a cocktail party. You won’t want to miss this event. 12 amazing speakers, all sharing their expertise on helping dogs with aggression.
REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE HERE:
Dr. Amber Batson is my guest for the season finale of The Bitey End of The Dog. Now what a way to top off the amazing lineup of experts this year. This episode is packed with mind blowing insights from Dr. Batson on some hot topics including the connection between microbiomes and behavior, rethinking the puppy socialization windows, and even the controversial topic of diet in aggression. And a very special thanks to all of you who have listened to, shared, or review the podcast. Your support is greatly appreciated and truly motivates me to produce the show and learn along with you from the foremost experts on aggression from around the world. You can help to support the show by visiting aggressivedog.com, where there are a variety of options to learn more about helping dogs with aggressive behavior from industry experts. And if you haven't already registered, check out the second annual aggression in dogs conference happening from October 22 to 24th 2021 via Livestream This is going to be a truly unique event that's going to be streamed from a TV studio in Chicago. Think of it like a talk show blended with a dog behavior conference at a cocktail party. You won't want to miss this event, 12 amazing speakers all sharing their expertise on helping dogs with aggression. Go to the looseleashacademy.com to register. Hey Everyone, welcome back to The Bitey End of The Dog. I have a very, very special guest this week, Dr. Amber Batson who's graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 1999, and has worked in general practice ever since she has always had a strong interest in behavior and has undertaken a number of qualifications, and has been offering private consultations as well as teaching animal behavior for nearly 15 years. Amber strongly believes in looking at the whole animal, meaning that all aspects of the animal's life should be considered when a problem arises. And she spent most of the majority of her career managing her patients in such a way where possible, she has worked with dogs posing all levels of challenges. And we're gonna dive deep into the topic of aggression. And that is something both amber and I share a passion for, to welcome to the show Amber.Amber Batson:
Thank you, thank you for inviting me, Michael, it's great to be here.Michael Shikashio:
Let's jump right into the differences between, you know, you're in the UK. And we have some differences. And we were just chatting about this before I started the record button about the differences in between the UK and the US in terms of what we're seeing and trends of how we're looking at behavior. And one of the things that I've noticed is that we've become very focused on the external environment for dogs here, meaning we're looking very much through in ABA lens. So we're looking at the environment, the antecedents, which is really important, of course, for understanding dogs. But I feel that some of the looking at the inside of the animals. And that's where I'm going to be picking your brain on is about the neuroscience aspect and sort of the underlying motivations for behavior such as fear, anxiety, stress, arousal, and frustration. And I see that actually occurring more in the conversation over in the UK. Would you agree with that? And that sort of more centric to the conversation happening there?Amber Batson:
Yeah, I think so. I think it's certainly becoming so I mean, we're quite lucky, we've got a number of universities with larger behavioral departments now than they used to be. So you know, we're very lucky to have Daniel Mills heading up the team at Lincoln University, we've got John Bowen, you know, at the Royal Veterinary College, I'm going to miss some really important people out. So I apologize to those. You know, we've got some big behavior departments, and they're, they're publishing now quite a lot of good quality research that really is looking at how the inside of the animal, you know, is influencing the brain, which motivates the behavior. So, you know, I think that's probably why we're starting to see this, this bigger shift here.Michael Shikashio:
So were going to get into the meds next, let's talk about behavior meds. But just so the listeners have an idea of how things work out in the UK, trainers there have to be referred to for cases, Is that correct? Or is it can any trainer just take on any aggression case?Amber Batson:
Any trainer, anyone can call themselves a trainer, and anyone can take on a case. Under the veterinary surgeons act, we have legislation, which is that if an animal needs a diagnosis, you know, so if there's considered to be ill health, then a diagnosis needs to be made by a vet. And a treatment plan needs to be prescribed by a vet, though, but that only applies if there's considered to be ill health. We have what anyone might perceive to be a healthy animal and is showing a behavior problem that that's outside the remit of the veterinary surgeon. So anyone can treat a problem. I guess perhaps this whole thing about the intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation for behavior is highlighting that how unlikely it is that when you get a behavior, as extreme as aggression often can be, that our animal probably isn't totally healthy, you know, and that we really do need to be working with qualified professionals. And perhaps, you know, considering a multi team approach between vets and behaviorists, and perhaps some other professionals as well, as well, as you know, obviously, the dog.Michael Shikashio:
So it actually sounds quite similar to what's happening in the US, and that it's really anybody can take on a case. And, which it's a tragedy, sometimes when we're seeing dogs that are suffering from an underlying medical condition, that's not being diagnosed or at least worked with a veterinarian on in not being given the proper treatment. So I certainly advocate all the time for working with a veterinarian as a team approach. Do you have a lot of trainers who you work with and that you refer to in your practice?Amber Batson:
I do personally, Yeah, but then I guess, I've been working in this kind of integrative, you know, in grip, integrating the mind and the body of an animal approach for almost 20 years, really. Whereas that's, I don't want to say unique, because then that sounds, you know, egotistical, and I don't mean it like that at all. But it's not a common approach within perhaps just veterinary medicine or even behavior medicine as they stand alone. A lot of veterinary practices wouldn't therefore necessarily have even a recommended trainer or behaviorist. In the UK, though, you know, I do I have a number of people that I know of across the country, who I would work with, that serves me very well.Michael Shikashio:
Do you have, say, a number of veterinarians or veterinary behaviorists, as you would call them there that would work like you mostly focused on behavior? Or is it there's a long waiting line? So, you know, I find out here, you know, I see in the United States that there is a lot of weight to get into see a veterinary behaviorist.Amber Batson:
Yeah, no, definitely. I mean, there's a definite real need for all that, to have that strong education background in behavior. You know, that's definitely you know, we just, we don't have enough of them right now. And yeah, there's a, if you have a dog with a suspected possible medical underlying issue, you know, then, you know, getting in to see someone you know, a vet, who understands behavior to get that animal seen can be tricky.Michael Shikashio:
Do you do a lot of consults with a clients veterinarian, where you consult with a client's veterinarian or trainer, or they have a vendor and they're working with and then that veterinarian is referred to you?Amber Batson:
I try, yeah, I mean, I will be honest, that, you know, sometimes, that I don't think we're still in a situation today where the majority of vets1 I think, don't really understand the possible implications of, of everlink, but between health and behavior. And that's one of the reasons why I try to provide education, which can be for veterinarians and for behaviorists and for owners, because I just think, actually, when we look at the amount of research that we have had available, say in the last five years or so, a lot of that is just it's not making it into the practical domain of veterinary surgery, or to the even the trainers or the owners. And, you know, that's really what I've built my business around trying to do is to raise awareness of the signs, the huge science that is in effect, we could call it veterinary Behavioral Medicine, Veterinary behavior science, better, you know, there's still a lack of knowledge about it. And so, actually, a lot of veterinary practices still wouldn't necessarily work that closely with behaviorists and behaviors are always telling me that they struggle to, to get that to understand their concerns. You know, I can think of three that I had last week, behaviorist contact me to say, I think the dog has got pain, or I think the dog has got gut disease, and actually, that's contributing to its behavior problem, but the vets aren't interested. What do I do?Michael Shikashio:
So lots of parallels there between that. So, you know, being over to the IAABC conference in the UK a few years ago, I was actually quite impressed with the progressive forward thinking. And maybe was just because of that conference where everybody was together with, you know, out of out of many, but out of many conferences in different countries I've been to I was I was really impressed with how much the UK and the trainers and the veterinarians knew about behavior and how they collaborated with each other. Although it sounds like you share some similar struggles in that regard with communication between vets and the knowledge that's shared between all of those communities.Amber Batson:
Yeah, I mean, obviously, we're a much smaller country than you, obviously. And you know, but we do have some real differences in regions. You know, and and approaches, kind of cultural, most of proaches within regions can vary considerably, even within veterinary medicine if that. You know, and sometimes that may be driven by the economics of an area, you know, maybe that the clients can't afford certain things. And so therefore, the vets don't really offer them because otherwise it seems unfair to offer them something that they blatantly can't afford, you know that I think that is changing a bit. But of course, we're always going to have those areas or kind of lower economic state. And you know, so depending on where you are within United Kingdom, you're going to get a different possibility of approaches.Michael Shikashio:
So let's talk for a moment about the regional differences a little bit more on how it relates to medication. Actually, and jumping into this topic of medication, you know, what I see is, in the cases, I work with aggression, it seems like the cocktail of choice, or at least most veterinarians here will start with fluoxetine or Prozac, or some other serotonin reuptake inhibitor, and then sometimes layer in something like trazadone, or an SARI. And those two are kind of the most popular drugs of choice to work with aggression here. Are you seeing the same thing? And do you find kind of follow that same route when it comes to medication?Amber Batson:
Oh, I would agree. That's what I typically see. I think that actually the majority of owners or behaviorists that contact me, their dogs aren't on medication. And they're often wondering whether medication is maybe appropriate, but their vet saying that they don't know enough about it, to make a prescription, actually, but the dogs that I do see who come to me a lot of the time, but the time they come to see me for an aggression with an aggression problem, that they typically are most commonly on philosophy of everything else. I don't see that who don't have any previous behavior training prescribing much else? To be totally honest. Me, maybe, occasionally, I get dogs come pick me up female, something like clomipramine, a tri cyclic antidepressant? Yeah, that's probably about it. We don't, I mean, I think there has been an increased awareness of using medicines to manage the aggressive dog who's aggressive at the vet, though there perhaps has been an increase awareness of trazadone as an example, for being administered just before a vet visit. But I wouldn't say that's common. But I don't see it being added in very often to fluoxetine unless that animal has been seen by a veterinary behaviorist. Yeah, I don't think so. So much, actually, I think that over the last, say, 10 years has been a huge increase in awareness of that. You know, and I think back to, you know, 20 plus years ago, when I was first graduating, you know, Ace protein was definitely the drug of choice for a dog that exhibited an undesired behavior, whether it was separation related problem, or a noise favorite fireworks or something like that. You know, I think we were kind of all parts of the globe. Were at that point, then, weren't we really, and then over kind of the last 10 years, there's been a shift away from using a spray machine in the UK, you still get the occasional practice that does it. But I would say it's actually, it's really quite rare now that typically, for that sort of thing, if we were talking about, you know, fireworks phobias, which is probably the behavior that the vets prescribe a medicine for, without referring to a behaviorist, then then typically, they're using some sort of benzodiazepine, you know, like, predominately diazepam or or alprazolam. And, you know, so that that has changed, you know, and I don't see, so I don't see them being used that commonly inappropriately, to be honest. I mean, I guess Personally, I might think, I don't know why you've picked that particular drug. But then, or do I really think that drug might help? Yeah, I mean, I can understand most of the time when people have made it to that sort of choice.Michael Shikashio:
Well, that's good news that it's making that shift there. So here's a question for you. That's, that's a very big, it's very big, but a lot of listeners I'm sure will want to know more. What do you look for? Well, actually, I should rephrase that if a client says, Do you think my dog needs meds? Or do you think meds will help my dog? What do you look for? How do you navigate that conversation?Amber Batson:
Isn't it really? I mean, I guess the dogs that come to see me, have almost always gone through the hands of at least one or two other behaviorist or trainers before they come to see me always. And sometimes it can be five or 10. Different trainers have behaviors before they come to see me. So I guess in a way, there are some clients who are coming with an expectation that maybe medicine is going to be this magic cache, that's going to finally fix the problem. I think I don't know if it's perhaps the way I advertise myself the connections I have with behaviorist, I'm not sure. But people don't tend to come to me thinking they're going to get given a drug, though. And I think that is different than perhaps, you know, some behaviorists in the USA, and maybe even some of the behaviors or vets in the UK, where, where clients just turn up. And they do think, although much, surely, there's a drug that can fix that. So it's I don't know, if it's just the way that kind of, I've marketed myself and I explained before a consultation, what I offer that makes people not turn up expecting a drug, really. But of course, if during the consultation, they are thinking that then, or I'm thinking there that could be driven, you know, today by a whole host of factors. And, you know, sometimes I think you might end up appropriate or not using a medicine on a drug, perhaps more for the benefit of the owner than the dog. But when I say that, what I mean is that, you know, some owners are so desperate for things to get better. And they're so wedded in the thought that actually the only thing they haven't tried yet is medicine, that if we don't go down that route, then they're kind of ready to relinquish the dog. And of course, here the most common way of that happening, if there's a problem, like aggression is just as euthanasia. You know, we do have was still a situation where the majority of vets in the UK would, you know, would agree that euthanasia of a dog show and even growling as a behavior. You know, and, you know, that is a difficult situation, isn't it, we can fully understand the kind of, you know, the human risk and, you know, human welfare issues and, and also the dog welfare issues, you know, I think that sometimes it's, it often is a little bit more client lead, you know, that they feel they're just, they're desperate. And, and I don't have an issue about that, if I feel that the medicines not gonna have side effects that I think are going to be obviously detrimental to the animal, if I can see how using the medicine is actually going to benefit the client and the dog as a combination. You know, because if helping the client really feel more comfortable about something allows us to buy more appropriate time with the dog, then I think that can be a positive thing. You know, but yeah, I mean, genuinely, it will come down to the history really, um, what's happened to the dog in the past? How effective have attempted behavior modification been before? And, you know, we were chatting earlier. And, you know, you mentioned right at the beginning about perhaps differences in between countries of using a more external approach, you know, how can we modify the immediate environmental study? How can we train the dog to behave differently, compared to a more intrinsic combination model where we think about what's motivated behavior? how healthy is the dog? And then how does the environment and training impact on that visual, and if we, you know, if majority of dogs who come to see me still today have have received that extra thick brooch, you know, they have received maybe a bit of environmental change, but predominantly training, you know, and, actually, that means when they come to see me, I'd normally get thinking, hmm, you know, I think there's other things that need to be addressed here, there's the underlying health of the animal, and how that impacts on the brain. That is the environment itself, you know, and then if we attempt that over the period of some weeks, and we're not getting anywhere, maybe, that's when medicine starts to become an appropriate issue.Michael Shikashio:
But let's look at the other side of the coin for a moment, if you have a client that's tried medication previously, under the direction of another veterinarian, and it had either no effect or a paradoxical effect, where it's made things worse. So if you actually if you think that that's, that's a two part question, how do you navigate that conversation with that client? And what do you do when, let's say, a dog has been on an SSRI, and then you've seen an increase in aggression? Or so how do you make changes in that particular type of case?Amber Batson:
Obviously, is going to vary is not on the, the owner. And I I'm a firm believer that, you know, people have to be, you know, we work as a team, and the personality of an individual owner is very paramount to the way I might approach an individual case, you know, so that has to be part of it. I consider us to be at least a triad, there's me, there's the owner, there's the dog. We're all valid in this relationship. But the client brings a lot to the table and their motivations, their understanding really impacts on where we might go with behavior modification. So it's a bit of a tricky one for me to answer directly, you know, as it were, but I it happens a lot. And it happens, perhaps most commonly, because, like you're saying, they've come in on something like an SSRI fluoxetine Most commonly, and there's been no improvement at all, some dogs I see, and they've been it for five years, eight years, and you know that the owner recalls there being some possible slight improvement at the beginning, which is why the dog still on it, but the dog is come to see me because they're still showing quite marked aggression in certain contexts. And, or, like you say, there have been some individuals, or maybe the dog was put on it three months ago, six months ago, and actually, the problems continued to worsen and not improve. And so that's kind of what I'm using, really, I will always go right back to basics with the client, you know, we'll start with why you're here today. You know, and, what's driven you to make this appointment with me? So I can understand their, you know, their immediate concerns, you know, and it will normally be what, because there was a severe bite incident, you know, last week or last month, or, you know, I just not seeing any improvement at all overall. But then once we've done that, then I'm going to take them all right, the way back there? Well, let's go back through kind of, you know, what's happened leading up to this point, you know, how long have you had the dog, when did the problem start? You know, so having done in the immediate period of time, we're going to rewind quite quickly and go back to where did it begin. So that we can kind of just try and build up this clearer picture of what actually has worked, what hasn't worked. And, for me, quite often, there are a lot of jigsaw pieces that are obviously missing, you know, quite often there isn't enough focus, then on the environment, stress reduction, there's been too much practicing of the behavior, you know, so that we don't get this kind of weakening of the pathways in the brain that drive the behavior itself. You know, and, and by the time we've kind of come to that sort of part of the discussion, I take it history, and it may take me half an hour, it may take me an hour. And then I'm going to actually give information back to the client and say, Well, look, you know, based on everything you've just described, I believe this is what's happening, you know, with you and your dog, and this is what's driving the behavior inside your dog. And, actually, the medicines that your dog is on right now probably are not enough, you know, to rebalance that situation. And at all, I might say, Actually, I'm strongly suspicious, there's an underlying other problem in the body, but my gut is unhealthy, or that skin is unhealthy. And then we're gonna have to explain why gut and skin health is relevant to aggressive behavior, maybe I'm in I see a number of dogs, or I'm suspicious, it's a focal seizure, as an example, or I believe there to be pain in their body. So the medicines in their own right, you know, they're not going to be able to get rid of that kind of that feeling of ill health for the animal and the imbalance that it creates chemicals in the brain. So, you know, that's kind of where we come at that discussion from really and say that, we've tried it. And so you know, it's not worked, you know, so that's a good thing to have ruled out. And it doesn't mean to say that drugs won't help maybe a different dose, maybe a different drug. But we've got to consider more than that the jigsaw puzzle pieces.Michael Shikashio:
And that's why they come to see you because they need help putting that jigsaw puzzle together. And you know, I'm not going to let you surpass that gut brain skin discussion that you had just mentioned. So talk more about that, and how it relates to behavior bent, or just aggression in general.Amber Batson:
Yeah, well, I mean, it's a fascinating subject. And obviously, it's something that we really still need to learn an awful lot more about specifically in veterinary medicine. But we have had, you know, a couple of really good papers or certainly interesting papers anyway, even if we think they might be preliminary papers in the last few years. Which haven't looked at the fact that the guts of the animal, which houses a large community of living beings, which is predominantly bacteria, but there's also other things in there like funky, like viruses, and no one wants to say that word anymore, do they? And, but they're all these living things in the gut, and they are a community and what we know is that they will be finally starting to understand that community of living things in the gut actually creates the neuro chemicals or the neurotransmitters that we think about carrying message around the brain that we've just been talking about a drug serotonin, serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which of course is having an effect on serotonin, which is one of the main key messengers in our brain. But we know that 90% of the serotonin in the body and brain of an animal is in the gut, it's in the gut cells itself. And you know, we know that including a Cuban medicine that if the gut is unhealthy, then those individuals tend to suffer with behavioral disorders that are often linked with lower serotonin activity. Though anxiety disorders, irritability, sleep disorders, you know, and irritability, of course, also aggression. So we've had, you know, growing amounts of evidence in a variety of species, including the human, but now also in the dog itself to link changes in that community of bugs, you know, different ratios of different bacteria that should be there, or depression in total amount of bacteria compared to other things in the gut, impacting on behavioral change, so, the papers suggesting that dogs who have dogs who show aggressive behaviors have a different microbiome community than dogs who don't show aggressive behaviors. Now, we need to understand and unravel that a bit more. And Mondo last year published a paper mother and colleagues published a paper looking at how the gut microbiome actually seems to influence not just aggression, but also phobias as well. So in the dogs specifically, so we definitely need to understand more about it within the dog, we definitely do not have all the answers, but what we do know is that there is a constant communication between the gut and the brain. And what is going on in the gut is very much influencing the brain to kind of release, produce, and manage its chemicals in a different way. And that no doubt drives behavioral change, you know, with the greater amount of power that I say, really. And so when we think about medications, perhaps we're at a point now, I think, in human psychopharmacology, where we're starting to acknowledge that actually, these medications may be crossing the blood brain barrier and getting into the brain and having an effect directly on, you know, the sign apps, and that the chemicals that are in between those those individual brain cells. But actually, it may also be happening because those drugs are having an effect on the community of bugs that live in the gut. And therefore it's influencing that constant telephone conversation that's going on between distractions. And then just to kind of complicate things further, since 2016, we got out a growing mountain of evidence, including in the doc that the mic, there is a microbiome that's slightly different than his last skin, and the microbiome that's on our skin, and the near all the bugs that live there. They're also communicating to the gut and to the brain. And so probably in the last three to five years, we've started to talk more commonly about the gut brain access. But now it's starting to be suggested, we should be talking about the gut, skin brain access, because it's just, it's all part of the same thing. It's the same chemistry. And, you know, that's being influenced by these different bugs. And I think that's a very important part of the jigsaw puzzle that we need to start considering these animals.Michael Shikashio:
So you know, I have to ask you the next question, I'm sure many of the listeners are wondering a lot about nutrition and how at least, how much research Have you seen on that topic related to what we were just talking about? You know, because there's some research out there and some older research on nutrition and aggression. But what do you what have you seen on this topic in mind with the microbiome topic?Amber Batson:
Not enough? Really, I mean, interestingly, we've just got brand new paper come out this year, and some work from last year, looking at the development of the microbiome in the puppy, and trying to work out how what influences that? Because that's where it's starting, you know, that's our founding population, really, how much does that influence the long term community of bugs? And therefore, how does that actually influence the long term development of behavior in an individual. And we know that the founding population of the gut in dogs as well as it is in humans, comes from the vagina of the mother, you know, which because of the birthing process, and but also from the placenta, the placenta has bugs in it, too. So there's actually a colonization of the of the gut already. Prior to the birthing process. There's a really nice study looking at kind of what bugs were already present in puppies when they were born, whether they were born by cesarean section or whether they were born vaginally, and, you know, and then what happens to them individually, basically, and at the moment, that's kind of been a little bit more focused on kind of weight gain that immediate post birth duration. But but we are acknowledging that the microbiome is different than if you were born by cesarean section. How might that actually influence you in the long term compared to if you were born vaginally? And on top of that, the very importance is what dogs did your mom have to populate your gut in the first place. And that is very much influenced by stress. So if the mom is stressed in pregnancy, then that affects the biome that she has in representor in a vagina, and therefore, that has a knock on effect on the puppies, too. So that founding population is probably going to be really important, but we need a lot more kind of research about about that, to be honest, moving forward. And, yeah, when it comes to diet, that's what you asked. So I will get there, I promise. And but you know, then obviously, there's gonna perhaps be a difference. And this needs further research between formula fed puppies and the breastfed puppy, you know, so now I appreciate that most puppies, of course, are being breastfed by their mothers. But for how long? You know, we have puppies that are routinely being taken away from their mothers between the weeks of four and six, because a lot of readers perceive that they need to be on solid food, totally ready to move into their new home by week eight. So it's not uncommon in a lot of countries across the world. I mean, I teach, you know, currently a very multinational. So I'm used to these discussions in different countries about different cultures. But you know, all the breeders I speak to, you know, yes, of course, we get some who are leaving the puppies with man until week 10, or week 12. But they're very much in the minority, the majority of breed is often actually taking the puppies away around about week six, and some organizations and breeders a bit earlier than that. And so how much does that influence the microbiome of the puppies in the longer term in it, because we've got in that that microbiome is being constantly added to as the puppies stuck, because they're consuming in effect bacteria from the skin of the mother, but also through the milk itself, that's unpasteurized milk. And, you know, and how healthy she is, you know, what she's kind of eating and her stress levels, and all those things are going to actually influence you know, what's going on in them, and how long they take that for, you know, we know with the free ranging studies, and we've got some really good data on this, that puppies continue to drink their mother's milk albeit in of course, decreasing amounts until they're around about 13 weeks of age. You know, that's the normal weaning age of the puppy is this model, when we say weaning got to be careful weaning, meaning to move from milk feeding to solid feeding. Because when we talk about weaning, quite often in a veterinary community, or in a pet ownership community, we often refer to the breakdown of attachment between a mother and puppy because we get to move the animal somewhere else, and then not the same thing. You know, weaning is about moving from a milk feed, diet, milk, milk fed diet to a solid diet. And of course, when we see that happening in the histogram, you know, that normal behavior repertoire of the free ranging dog, then that initial shift is also made through predominantly regurgitation. And congrats produce some really nice work in 2019, not very long ago at all. Looking at how many adult pets dogs regurgitate for the offspring, and fascinating to see how many mothers and unrelated adult dogs they lived in the household for the puppy is actually regurgitated for the puppies across a whole wide range of breeds. I can't remember now in my head, how many breeds were on their list, but I think 30 something, something like that. So it's not just a breed specific thing, either. And so of course, partially digested food food that's got some of the microbiome, perhaps from the stomach in it, maybe even from the gut, maybe a little bit of backflow, certainly the saliva, all those things would be the initial populating, you know, off of the guts in terms of solid food. So when we start thinking about, you know, should I feed raw food? Should I feed dry food? Should it be 70% protein? You know, I think sometimes we're just we're looking in the wrong place. You know, we're asking some of the wrong questions. And and it's not that we shouldn't ask those questions at all. But we've got to ask some other questions, as well. What's the founding population of the gut? How do we make the gut healthy to start with, you know, and then how do we follow that through with a diet. And when we get to that, or following it through things, this is also new that we haven't got any real data on that. We know the microbiome of dogs that are fed raw is different to the microbiome of dogs that are fed cooked, you know, because obviously, you'll get things like more salmonella or Campylobacter or E. Coli and in the guts of the raw fed dog. And of course, you know, that raises some biohazard kind of concerns in its own right. And to do with, you know, what's in the food when it exits the dog and how do we handle that in our communities, not human communities. And but, but in terms of, you know, kind of how does that the diet influence the microbiome to influence behavior. We're gonna have to find out moreMichael Shikashio:
All right, so I need a moment to put my brain back together because it just exploded. There's just so many things to unpack there, you know, the thing I was I was really thinking about, too is just how much human intervention has screwed up a lot of dogs and contributed to behavior issues and what we've done. So, so many ways, from what you were describing the processes of the puppies, and even in the topic of, let's say, in utero, pregnancy and stress, and in utero, and the hormones involved there. And the developments of puppies, it's just, you know, it makes me really sad about how much human intervention has really caused a lot of these behavior issues. And maybe not in a direct way, but indirect way over the way we've interacted and raised dogs in our cultures.Amber Batson:
And I think it's interesting, actually, just literally, I don't know, what COVID-19 has done to researchers and publishing papers, but there has been an explosion of papers come out in the last year. You know, also, I'll mentioned it at the end, but I recently launched my first puppy course, I've done a lot of online education. But, you know, I was asked by one of my Belgian hosts, lady, and called else who runs free dogs in Belgium, she asked me some time ago, would I consider creating a puppy course for, for a mixture of owners, breeders, and professionals. And, and so we actually just started that a few months ago. And when I was putting together the kind of final details of it at the beginning of this year, I was like, every single day having to read 5 or 10 new papers, because there's just been an explosion, there really has. What's happened, I think one of the things that's very notable to me, and I'm really pleased to see it, but absolutely, it can be quite emotive, and is, we're finally starting to take the focus off of when we think about dogs bonding with humans, you know, and that's been so much research ever since, you know, gotten fuller back in the 60s, you know, all this kind of when's the optimal time for the puppy to leave the mother so that we bond it to the human on them? Should I say to the human, and, you know, finally, just in the last year, 18 months, we've started to get some lovely papers that saying, well, hang on, we're asking the wrong question. What we should be saying is, how much does the bond between the puppy and the mother and the puppy and the other puppies influence that puppies behavior? And, actually, let's stop worrying about the focus about bonding with humans. I mean, it's not forget it, clearly, we want the and that's what we've got, you know, we've got to have a bond with them. But huge amounts of evidence that suggesting that if we leave them with their mother for longer, they're actually much better off. And it was, I think, 2017, but because it was cat related, kind of snuck along without too many people noticing. But this paper got published in 2017, looking at cats that showed the if packet if kittens stayed with their mothers, until 14 weeks of age, they showed phenomenally lower levels of aggression towards people, then if they moved into the home before 14 weeks away. And also, in within that same study, they found that kittens that stayed for at least 12 weeks of age, were far less likely to develop other abnormal behaviors, like stereotypies, compulsive disorders, excessive grooming, those sorts of things. And that's really interesting, because if we look at the behavior repertoire of the cat, kittens typically are actually kind of becoming more independent quicker than, than dogs. You know, dogs do seem to stay dependent on their parents for a much longer period of time, but then kittens do, but actually, but making sure that the kittens stayed with that mother for a longer period of time had a real significant effect on the aggression. And of course, that will be multifactorial, you know, maybe they will have breastfed for longer, the diet may have been different. There's observational learning around the mother, you know, attachment theory and what that does to the oxytocin. And I think, you know, obviously, again, another huge area of science more recently has been the value of oxytocin as a hormone and chemical in the brain, and how that is a pretty major anti aggression chemical, certainly from a social kind of aggression, you know, when we're talking about aggression towards same species, or perhaps humans, and you know, oxytocin circuitry is all developed, you know, by your initial bonding with your mother. So if you break that down, and then how are you going to get normal brain circuitry development with normal oxytocin that can function in life to allow this individual to be non aggressive in social context? You know, so, so much exciting stuff, and and it's so much deeper than, you know, than we ever perhaps would have thought about. And finally, someone's highlighting actually, why don't we ask these questions about what's the role of the bond between the mother and the puppy and how would it normally develop and how might that influence their behavior in the long term? And of course, we understand that, you know, if we want them to bond verse and we want them to kind of be okay with living in a house and all the stimuli that come with that, you know, the TV and the vacuum cleaner and going in a car and all that stuff, then they need exposure to that, of course, no one's trying to say that we're dropping habituation or socialization programs in the first 12 weeks because they just need to stay with Mum, you know, a nice study showed that puppies that live outside of a home sort of in a, a yard or a barn or a stable, struggled far more behaviourally, you know, in family homes, than the puppies that were raised at, you know, inside a home. So just because of early exposure to those stimuli. So lots of things to think about.Michael Shikashio:
Yes, my brain is swirling in with thoughts, again, as the behavior community we focus on, you know, all that all important, you know, I'm putting up big air quotes here, that eight to 12 weeks of, you know, socialization, socialization, socialization, and get the dogs exposed and habituated to many different things in that eight to 12 week or eight to eight to 16 week timeframe, depending on who you talk to. And there hasn't been a lot of focus on pre eight weeks. So what happens before eight weeks, because it's, it's trainers and consultants and people working behavior, we'd often don't have much influence in that pre eight week period, but perhaps we should be leaning more of our influence towards that direction. You know, the other thing I was thinking too, is that, in pandemic times, the demand for puppies has been untold of in history. And when with demand, and with commercialized puppy type of operations, you're seeing puppies Go on, at least in my experience a bit earlier, sooner than we'd like to see at six or seven weeks. So I'm seeing dogs or puppies being purchased and adopted. And you have to think about the long term impact in that what what kind of impact that's going to have?Amber Batson:
Well, yeah, and obviously, Frank Mcmillan, you know, is published quite a lot of data on that, you know, the, the concerns about the puppies that come from commercial outlets, you know, and again, it is multifactorial, and it's part some of its to do with how long they stay with Mum. And some of its to do with what stimuli and some of it, of course, will be genetic, to know, you know, what kind of stock are we actually selecting for in those outlets, you know, there's commercials, etc. But, but, you know, he's published quite a few papers, you know, highlighting that sort of commercial setup is detrimental to the long term behavior of the dog, including the development of aggression. And yet, you know, people, there's a market isn't that so people want these puppies, and you know, and everyone wants a puppy when it's young, because it's cute, trying to persuade people that actually it would be better they want a dog, you know, to do what they want it to do when it's one year old, two year old, five year old, and that it would be better if it stayed with mum for longer, and no one really wants to listen, because everyone wants that, keep that baby, they want the baby effect. But then that really bothers me as a behaviorist. Because if, if that's what I could sometimes call myself but someone would behavior interest. Because, you know, when we look at what Mum does, and the emotional responsiveness that she would have to her puppies, and how she takes care of them, and, and how the group gets involved in that, you know, when she's part of a social group as she would normally be, and then we take them home, and it's all very lovely in the daytime, but then at night time, you know, go in your crate in the kitchen, you know, to meet by yourself, that or maybe this is a nice link to the sleep thing. But, you but now sleep by yourself. And so what you see some of these puppies are six weeks old, seven weeks old, eight weeks old, they can't still thermo regulate properly, you know, they get cold really easily. Normally, they'd be speaking on Mum between littermate you know, and how that actually influences the development of their whole bodies and brains. You know, so, you know, yeah, we really, really do need to be thinking more about that kind of preventative element, I think, of aggression, rather than just trying to fix it later. As we know, fixing it later is with a whole host of issues.Michael Shikashio:
It's making me reminisce about some of the conversations I've had with some of the other guests on the show, such as Sue Sternberg, or Tricia Milan, who brought up the point of thinking about where we're getting our dogs from inside in society. And thinking a little deeper into that. I mean, that can be again, a whole conversation on its own. But just as a side note for the listeners to think about when we're looking at, you know, where we are getting our dogs, thinking about how we're spaying and neutering all of the good population out of society and getting dogs from sources that may be going to create issues in the long run. So let's shift here. Let's, we've been discussing focusing on the internal part of the behavior. So we've talked plenty about times about the external environment in many other episodes. But let's segaway to that. We're just talking about sleep and why that's so important. So let's talk talk more about that.Amber Batson:
Yeah. So you know, I mean, obviously, it's funny, isn't it to think about sleep as a behavior, because we often think we're not doing anything, you know, but, but sleep is an absolutely crucial activity, even if we think of it as a lack of activity, but it's an absolutely crucial part of life, we can't sleep, we can't live without sleep, you can't go on sleep deprivation. And actually, you know, unpleasant scientific studies have been done, including on the dog, which have shown that if you prevent the, you know, animals, including the dog from sleep, then they die really quickly. And they die faster than if you starve them, you know, if you take if you don't feed a dog, and you know, and unfortunately, I work as a legal expert witness from time to time. So, you know, I get the unpleasantness of seeing, you know, neglect cases, for a whole variety of reasons, as well as spending time in puppy for homeless as well. But the, you know, when you look at a dog who perhaps has had all or pretty much nothing to eat, maybe they've, their owner has died, you know, and they nobody knew about them, and they were locked in that flat for maybe three weeks. And, you know, they literally, they started off the first few days being able to scavenge what they could off the counters, and etc, but obviously, they they ran out of food, they're still alive by week three. Whereas, you know, the research has shown us that if you take an adult dog, and totally deprive them of sleep in the way that you're totally depriving that dog of food, then they'd be dead by day 10. And, and research showed on puppies, you know, that when they were several weeks old, maybe a little bit older, that if you deprive them totally of sleep, they died by day four, day five, you know, so to sleep is a absolutely crucial part of our day to day kind of a balance really, of our body and our brain tissue. And, of course, total sleep deprivation is a rarity, of course, but then lots of studies have looked at what we call sleep fragmentation, you know, or sleep deprivation or sleep reductions, perhaps it's better terms, the production, where we know perhaps what might be ideal for an individual within that species, but then we're not getting you know, quite that amount, maybe we're getting three quarters or 80% of that. And, you know, we've had, again, some nice new research literally just published in the last one papers, not even, it was just about to be published. And looking at causes of sleep fragmentation and sleep reductions in the pet dog, which include disorders like sleep apnea, you know, where we've got brachiocephalic dogs in particular, and you know, the short face dogs, because they have over long, soft palates, and that they kind of slight abnormalities of their upper airways, that when they sleep, like some people, they actually go into these spaces where they can't get enough oxygen, they actually stop breathing. And because they stopped breathing, they wake themselves up. And so actually, sleep apnea has been shown to be a significant cause of reduction of sleep patterns in the pet dog. Just as one example, there are plenty of other medical disorders that contribute to that as well. So you know, when we think about why kind of it can all get a little bit complicated, but lots of things happen when we're sleeping, both in our brain and both in our bodies. And again, unsurprisingly, sleep has an impact on our gut microbiota. So it may well be that some of the changes are coming from their sleep, a lack of sleep influences our stress patterns, or our stress pathways in the brain. So they become more reactive, we end up with more stress chemistry when we don't get enough sleep. And there are other kinds of chemicals and brain electrical activities that change as well. You know, when we go into what's the most common type of sleep, what we call slow wave sleep, we end up with this electrical activity that is, as it describes real slow waves Delta activity. And, at that point we have because we have so much reduced electrical activity in the brain, and we're not using as much energy in the brain that means we can afford to do other things in the body to repair things in which would include the microbiota and the gut, you know, tissue having to be to be kind of boosted chance. So if that's not happening, then if we're if we're dropping out amounts asleep, then we may get unhealthier guts or certainly microbiota. And we're also going to get changes in our brain electricity, because if you don't get those kind of the want of a better phrase, I know there's some neurophysiologist will listen and they'll cringe a little bit, but let's call it a timeout for the brain. If we don't get that timeout, and then the effect we're over stimulating our brain all of the time, and then potentially be an issue in its own right. And serotonins involved in this process, you know, along with other, you know, plenty of other chemicals, Gaborone common chemical, which does control all that brain electricity in the first place, you know, so we can start to get potentially abnormalities in some of the brain chemistry and the brain function as well as the body. Sugar is very much affected, I suspect most of us can relate to the fact if you do go one or two nights without having a good night's sleep, you get a lot hungrier there plenty of research, which also shows us what role sleep plays on, on sugar balancing, you know, call that technically glucose homeostasis, but the ability to balance our sugar levels. And of course, we know that aggression can be worse when our sugar levels are out of balance. You know, if you're hungry, and your tissues think they haven't got enough sugar, then you know, rather than being able to cope with a frustrating situation or disappointing situation, we don't we lash out, and to sleep involved in so many ways in terms of potentially aggressive but you know, impacts on aggressive behavior that it just cannot be underestimated.Michael Shikashio:
Do you think that's one of the reasons we're seeing, at least anecdotally, and from my students, especially, they've seen a tremendous increase in the amount of aggression cases, especially with the owner directed aggression cases? Do you think sleep deprivation is part of that? You know, because the kids are home from school, the adults are home not working. And the dogs are being disturbed all the time and not getting that sleep during the day that they previously would have gotten?Amber Batson:
Yeah, it's a really interesting question, isn't it? And I don't, I don't know. And I think every household is going to be a little bit different. But you know, Rachel Kinsmen, produced this paper last year about, about sleep in the dog. And she would say herself, not a perfect study, it's an owner based questionnaire. So of course, you know, all around, you know, but in terms of making kind of, you know, really detailed, appropriate observations, it can be hard to look at a dog from a distance and know is that dog actually asleep, or is that dog resting is that dog withdrawn? So you know that there are some kind of flaws of it to the data, but to one of the real remarkable findings that her colleagues reported, was that were dogs had access to a social figure in the house. And predominantly, that was another human because obviously, most dogs do live in a household by themselves, that in the UK, which is where the study was done, and where they had access to a social figure, predominantly a human 86% of them chose to sleep in the proximity of that individual. We know dogs are social sleepers. So this concept that they'll sleep better when the house is quiet, and nobody's around. That's pretty flawed, isn't it actually when we stop and think about it. And when we look at separation related problems, you know, we've got studies suggesting that separation related problems might exist in at least 50% of dogs, potentially, but because it quite a lot of them are showing behaviors that are withdrawn, almost depressive, like states, when the owner is away rather than howling and destroying, etc, that were missing, you know, a fair percentage of those separation related problems. But that withdrawn depressed dog, you know, in a depressed state, perhaps isn't a more appropriate phrase to say at work known as a way may appear to be resting or sleeping, but isn't necessarily undergoing any form of sleep? So I totally agree, you know, and, I know what our household was like, during lockdown, I have a young child, we've got two dogs, you know, me and my husband are home, the childs home, dogs are home, you know, we could totally appreciate it, particularly if you've got two children, three children, and everyone's shouting about using the printer and trying to do whatever they're doing that that can be a really disruptive environment for the dog. But actually, in comparison to the fact that that, you know, three months earlier, the dog was being left eight hours by themselves all day while everyone was at work and school, you know, is the dog in a better or worse place in terms of sleep, it's probably very individual, isn't it? And whether that dog can kind of cope and switch off or not, but that will depend on the behavior of the adults, the children how much the dog is actually being physically disturbed. And the really, really interesting point, and I think clear, like everything is probably multifactorial. I think people were really stressed, aren't they around COVID, and particularly in lockdown periods, and we know that dogs, you know, through the pheromones that stress people give off and also, of course, are our facial expressions or body language. You know, of course, that is going to hugely impact on the dog itself. So, you know, perhaps it's more the behavior of the humans affecting the kind of reactivity and stress of the dog rather than, you know, the lack of sleeping opportunities itself. And if maybe those people could sit down quietly to do their work from home, or mineral that they're learning from home and the dog could actually live next to them. on the sofa, the dogs probably in a better position to get more sleep than they were when everybody was out of the house. Arguably.Michael Shikashio:
So let's shift to the opposite side of the coin, we talked about sleep and the lack of, but what about arousal, a lot of the conversation, it's been great in the behavior community about FAS, or Fear, Anxiety and Stress, which is wonderful, because there's a lot more understanding of that. And if we look at some of the other underlying emotions and factors that can contribute to aggression, or factors, we're assessing for aggression, frustration, being one of them, arousal, could be another, we talked about pain, we haven't talked too much about arousal in the community or on the show. So I'd love to hear your thoughts on that, and its contributions to aggression.Amber Batson:
Yeah, well, when we think about, you know, I'm going to do a very quick potted view myself of what drives aggression as a kind of a baseline within the brain, really, you know, we have a kind of core aggressive, almost aggressive circuitry, you know, and realistically, we kind of recognize two main circuits, one that is related to predatory behaviors, and one that is related to kind of fear based or defensive behaviors. And, you know, the, they are located in the middle of the brain, right in the middle of the brain. And we think about the middle of the brain, the structures are in there, the behaviors that that tissue kind of creates, because our our behavior is dictated by our brain, whether we like it or not bringing a behavior is, is created within our brain tissue. And the middle of the brain is a kind of involuntary kind of reflex center, really. And it's that forebrain, you know, the front of the brain, that kind of gray matter that we often talk about it, you know, that we think of looking at the brain, which has these other kind of elements, some of them are still unconscious involuntary, but obviously, we tend to think of as more of a kind of conscious brain. And it's difficult to know, fully, and I think we're reevaluating that in science all the time. But obviously, different parts of the brain have kind of different functions. And when we think about aggression, and we think about aggression, are often being predominantly driven by reflexes within certain specific pathways, like predatory pathways, or within our emotional centers, you know, whatever emotion it is, that kind of drives that predominantly fear. But I'll come back to why frustration and fear might be linked in a moment that the middle of the brain is driving there. And then we have this kind of outer core of the brain, which is kind of inputting into that. And it has what we might call a hierarchy of control, it recognizes that the middle of the brain is driving this behavior, but then it's thinking, you know, obviously, to itself in some magical way, hmm, should we apply the brakes to this, you know, we should perhaps modify the way that that behavior is coming out in terms of what the body is actually doing. So we might apply the brake a little bit, and maybe it'll be less intense behavior, and it won't last as long. Or maybe we fully apply the brake and we don't show it at all. And one of the things that tends to happen when we're in an aroused state, now, when we talk about arousal, predominantly talking about catecholamines, which are these chemicals in our heart that are produced in our brain and in our blood stream, like noradrenaline and adrenaline. So when we're in an aroused state, and we're entering, you know, within milliseconds, actually, the increasing amounts of those chemicals, what we know is it does create a shift for the brain to be more driven to the reflex involuntary behavior is dictated by the midbrain. Because of an evolutionary point of view, when you're in it. If you're moving faster, and everything around you is happening quicker, React now, things later in so when we're in an aroused state, and whether that's an a positively aroused state, like I've just been playing with my another dog in the park, or I'm having a wonderful over exciting time. Or I just been running away from a dog in the park, who was really, really scary. Both of those situations cause an increase in arousal chemistry, predominantly dopamine in our movement based circuits, and adrenaline and noradrenaline in both our brain and in the bloodstream that make everything move faster. But the impact of those move faster chemistry is that we end up relying in that moment on our reflex action, rather than on the input from, you know, the front brain, which is saying, whoa, hang on, maybe this isn't the best way forward, we lose that kind of risk assessment that our brain would be making, you know, that kind of rationality, you know, and, and that's a big problem whether we're in a positive aroused state or a negative aroused state. Now, of course, positive arousal has its benefits and so does negative arousal. know those stress, chemicals, chemicals or arousal chemicals are there for good reason, they're there to make us be able to move our body faster. And they help us make memories stronger as well, you know, acute stress very well shown, you know, elevated noradrenaline, adrenaline very well shown in dogs to enhance memory making, we've got some nice studies that show that if you want a dog to learn a new task, that having a nice play for game with them at the end of the task, you know, might actually really enhance their ability to remember that task learning because the game has just released that adrenalin. And so that's a really useful thing to have, isn't it, and, you know, but the difficulty is, if we're getting into that state with an individual who's perhaps already got a greater tendency to exhibit aggression as a behavior, because they're out of balance in their body and brain, you know, with their gut brain access, or because they're not getting enough sugars appropriately, or because they're in pain, or they're unwell. Because they've been practicing that behavior for a long time, you know, practicing a behavior makes pathway stronger in the brain, we call that long term potentiation. And if they have been strengthening those pathways, you know, I say to, you know, a lot of my students and to my clients, that is like walking a footpath across a grassy field, you know, the more you walk it, the stronger the pathway becomes. And it becomes harder and harder, really, for you to take an alternative path, because there's a lot of energy to push your way through the long grass on that side, the more you walk a path, the stronger that path becomes, it becomes the path of least resistance, we say. And of course, that's exactly what happens structurally at the brain, if you practice and practice that behavior, get whether it's a conscious behavior or involuntary behavior. So a whole combination of those factors and individual who has a tendency because of, you know, strength and pathways or, you know, pain disease, influences in terms of, you know, being out of balance in the gut brain access, perhaps, you know, now is in a state of arousal, whether it's positive or negative, with kind of just creating a shift towards them being more likely to offer that undesired behavior. Because if something goes wrong, in the moment, you know, you've got you're really excited, positively aroused dog. But then a new dog appears on the scene who they've never seen before they just attack, you know, rather than if they weren't in that highly aroused state, you know, then they probably perhaps would have had to let them try to walk away. But in the moment, they kind of can't control themselves because they're being driven by this involuntary kind of reaction from the middle of the brain to self defense. And so is that that's probably my take on arousal.Michael Shikashio:
That's a really excellent take, you know, the analogy or graph I use for some of my students is looking at the old Yerkes Dodson law or the graph, that's way back from I think, 1908. And it's just, you know, an area where you're at, you're seeing undesirable decisions, or impaired cognitive processes, depending on where you're landing in that curve of arousal. So it's like the antecedents you're throwing at a dart in that range of arousal when it starts to the impaired decision making processes that are happening. And so sometimes you're seeing undesirable behavior surface, but you know, it's part of that arousal factor, where they're going to have a more difficult time making the choices that are desirable for us in that particular context. So you've sufficiently Fried my brain with this podcast episode, I'm sure the listeners are going to enjoy this one. Where can people find you and learn more about the brewing conversation that we've had on topics that we've been talking about?Amber Batson:
The best place to find me really is on Facebook, I'm old enough and just emba rassed enough behave that I ha en't expanded into, you know, websites, etc. It's busy, som times they are trying to shuffl with clinical life and a beh vioral life other than an expert witness life and being a parent. So Facebook is the best plac to find me and you'll find me a my page called understand a imals. And that's the best pla e and I typically keep on a in ermittently pinned post with ev nts that are coming up or, you k ow, publish, you know, show t at you publications and discuss hat they may mean for us with ur interactions with with pr dominantly it's predominantl dog orientated page, but yo know, I care about other specie too. And then I also have a ook which I'm co-offering s me chapters of, which should be ut for publication later this year, which is going to be edit d by a lady called Suzanne Ro ers, and it's called canine beh vior in mind. And that's bas cally it's got a quite love y lineup of different authors, i cluding myself who are explor ng kind of the different ays we interact with dogs. Thro gh activities through taking the to the vet, you know, thro gh different life stages and training, and then looking ho we can be behave really min ful when we when we get to kin of that modality, that activ ty, that service. So you know, t should be it should be an inte esting book.Michael Shikashio:
I will put that at the top of my shopping list for sure. And we'll be sure to promote that once it comes out. Amber, thank you so much for joining me for this episode. You've been brilliant. I'm sure this will get lots and lots of wonderful reviews. So thank you again for joining me.Amber Batson:
Well, thank you very much for hosting me. It's a pleasure, as you could tell me to just chat about about behavior and aggression. So I'm really grateful for you giving me that platform. Thank you, Michael.Michael Shikashio:
It's been a pleasure. Thanks for joining me for the by the end of the dog. If you liked the show, please feel free to subscribe, share and give a rating and hop on over to aggressivedog.com, or the looseleashacademy.com for more information about webinars, courses and conferences, all dedicated to helping dogs with aggression issues. And don't forget the aggression in dogs conference will be happening from October 22 to 24th. With 12 amazing speakers all streaming from a television studio in Chicago. It's going to be a truly unique event in 2021.