Home » Archive by category "Behavior" (Page 3)

From Birth to Adult: Phases and Changes

Dogs go through a few different sensitive periods during their lifetime, when it comes to their physical and behavioral development. Some of these periods are quite important, due to the impact they’ll have on the dog’s personality and behavioral health. We can identify nine different phases; in this article, we’ll discuss some of the particularities of each of them. Phase One The first phase is the fetal period. This includes the development of the fetus up to parturition. During this period, the puppy will be influenced by the mother’s experiences. If she’s exposed to high levels of stress, the puppies will be prone to develop anxiety and fear. It is also during the fetal period that the male’s brains will go through a masculinization process, due to the production of testosterone. This will make them more likely to exhibit typical male behaviors such as urine marking, roaming, inter-male aggression and...
Continue reading »

My Dog Thinks He’s a Kangaroo!

Some dogs look like authentic kangaroos. They jump at everyone! If you just got home from an extremely intensive workout at the gym, you probably wouldn’t mind to have your dog jumping on you. You’re going to shower anyway so a bit of dog hair and drool won’t hurt. However, if you’re an 80 year old lady, who suffers from painful arthritis and can easily break a bone just by sneezing, things are very different, especially if your dog is a half-a-ton Great Dane. Most dogs will begin to jump at people when they’re puppies. They are small sized and they try their best to stay a little bit closer to their owners. Also, they’re just so happy to see them! They get so excited they end up jumping on them when they walk through the front door. And who wouldn’t like to be welcomed by a tiny, happy puppy?...
Continue reading »

Puppy Biting: What Can I Do?

Puppies bite. In fact, sometimes we may even wonder whether we’ve adopted a baby crocodile instead of a dog. After a week with our new puppy, our hands are marked, our clothes are filled with wholes and our minds are desperate! Does this mean we’ve adopted an aggressive dog? Will he bite people in the future? The truth is, this is a perfectly normal behavior for puppies. Just like human babies, they discover the world with their mouths. Since their mouths are filled with tiny, pointy, sharp teeth, it hurts. If it didn’t hurt, they would miss the opportunity to learn an extremely important life lesson: bite inhibition. Imagine the following scenario: two young puppies are happily playing with each other. They nibble, mouth and bite each other. All of the sudden, one of the puppies enthusiastically bites his sister; she yells and moves away from him. The young puppy...
Continue reading »

Walking The Dog: Is It Really Just Walking?

So your alarm clock wakes you up at six a.m. You decide to open your eyes and the first thing you see is your dog, staring at you while waving his tail with excitement. He’s waiting for you and you know he won’t wait much longer; you better take him out… You put on your robe and shoes, grab his leash and walk towards the front door. When you open the door, your heart misses a beat: it’s dark and freezing cold, the wind is so strong your and it’s raining in a way that would make Noah cry in despair. Well, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do… Okay, After all, your dog needs to pee! Okay, this may be a little over the top but I’m sure you get my point. For most people, walking the dog may feel like this! It can be seen as...
Continue reading »

Do Dogs Speak Chinese? How Dogs Communicate

Sometimes we think they do. Humans have been sharing their lives with dogs for approximately fifteen thousand years, according to some studies. Since we’re different species, we behave, communicate and see the world in a lot of different ways. Humans communicate essentially through speech, although non-verbal communication skills (such as knowing how to interpret body language and facial expressions) can also play a vital role in our lives. Dogs, however, focus their communicative signals on body postures. They can also communicate through sounds and scents, although these can be harder for us to correctly interpret and understand. However, the majority of dog owners can tell the difference between the various types of sounds their dog produces; they can also link a particular meaning to each one of those sounds: the high-pitched barking means Uncle John has arrived from work, whilst the repetitive whining means he’s hungry. Dogs can also howl...
Continue reading »

Behavior Modification for Dogs

Dog behavior modification can be a relatively complex subject. Unfortunately, many dog training shows make it look easy and simple; the majority of them are based on outdated and counterproductive methods that are responsible for the suppression of the dog’s communicative signals and may also severely damage his welfare and mental health. Real behavior modification should only be done by trained professionals who understand and know exactly what they are doing. It can be done using techniques such as systematic desensitization, counterconditioning, LAT, BAT and others. These techniques are based on the use of positive reinforcement, which means they respect the dog’s well-being. In systematic desensitization, we expose the dog to the stimulus that scares him in a gradual and controlled way; the purpose of this technique is to decrease the intensity of the dog’s response. For example, if the dog is afraid of hair dryers, we’ll start by showing...
Continue reading »

Activities to Do Indoors With Your Dog

On cold, rainy, or snowy days when you and your dog just can’t be outside for extended periods of time, how can you keep your pup entertained? While you may want to cuddle up on the couch with a cup of coffee and a good book, your dog may have other plans. Avoid this situation by arming yourself with a few tools to entertain your dog and wear him out, leaving you with some time to yourself. Hide and Go Treat For the nosy hound in your life, “hide and go treat” is a fun game that can keep a dog entertained for hours. Simply hide treats around the house (the tougher to find the better), and leave it up to your pup to find them. You can make the game even more difficult (and entertaining) by hiding a treat filled, frozen KONG somewhere in the house. Once your dog...
Continue reading »

Canine Coprophagia: Poop Eating (and How to Stop It!)

Yuck – there’s nothing more disgusting than seeing your furry friend eat their own poop, and what makes it even worse is when they come over to you afterwards looking for a great big doggie kiss! So why does your dog do this, and how can you stop this revolting habit? Well, fellow dog lovers – read on to find out. Poop eating (or coprophagia) is the practice of eating stool – for our dogs, this may mean that they chow down on their own poop, their littermate’s, or even the poop of another pet in the house. In certain situations, coprophagia is perfectly normal for our canine companions; mother dogs will clean up their puppies’ feces to keep the nesting area clean and odor free, for instance, and most puppies go through a stage themselves where they naturally investigate everything with their mouths – yes, even poop! Most dogs...
Continue reading »

Help! My Dog Ignores Me!

Have you ever been utterly embarrassed by your out of control dog as he continues pulling on leash and ignores your every command? Now is not the time to give up! Your dog is ignoring you for a reason, and it is something you can change in a relatively short amount of time! Why Does My Dog Ignore Me? Simply put, your dog has no positive emotions that he finds more reinforcing than whatever it is that he is doing while he ignores you. Don’t feel bad, though! It is not that your dog doesn’t love you, he just doesn’t know what else to do when you are trying to get his attention. Instead of giving up, it is time to give him a reason to pay attention to you! Dogs that have been rescues or gone through trauma are especially prone to ignoring their humans. This is because they...
Continue reading »

Better than a Gym Membership: What Energetic Dogs Do to Motivate You to Exercise More

“Take me for a walk, instead.” Those appeared to be the thoughts of my beagle when he sat down in front of my Health Walker Plus machine. He refused to leave. I could not use the walker. If I did, the steps on it would bump into him. So I chose to get off of it for his safety.   After numerous occasions of Rocky repeating this behavior I realized I needed to change my exercise routine. I had to get outdoors more with Rocky. Fast forward 12 years – and although I still have my walking machine – Rocky has continually shown me outdoor walks is more fun. It’s more rewarding too. I mean, just look at this smile: If you’re looking for more motivation to stay fit, choosing an energetic dog breed such as the Siberian Husky, Dalmatian, Border Collie, or Australian Shepherd – will certainly get you outdoors more....
Continue reading »