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

How To Stop Your Dog From Licking You

Dogs don’t just lick you for flimsy reasons, when they do; there are cogent reasons for the act. She’s probably doing this to communicate submission or express deep affection, as an indication that she respects you as her master. Licking you once in a while is not a problem, in fact, it can be so endearing. But it could get tiresome very quickly if she gets obsessive with licking you or your guests every now and then. Obsessive licking could often be a sign of high level of anxiety, and should be addressed not only for the sake of your dog, but for your own sake as well. Learning and mastering the techniques of curbing the tendency of your dog licking you may assist you in determining if it’s just an outpouring of affections, or signs of something more serious. So, here are some techniques that can be of great...
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6 Reasons Your Dog Needs an Interactive Dog Toy

In many ways, dogs are just like human children.  They require mental stimulation, quality time with a “parent,” and can be destructive when bored.  Interactive dog toys, which force a dog to solve a puzzle in order to earn a reward, can provide all of the above mentioned needs. Interactive dog toys come in many sizes, shapes, and difficulty levels.  Perhaps the first and most well known interactive toy is the KONG, which forces dogs to figure out how to get all of the cheese, peanut butter, or kibble out of the rubberized toy.  A more difficult toy may hide treats in compartments that the dog must figure out how to open in order to find the tasty reward.  No matter your dog’s skill level, there is sure to be a toy that fits his or her needs. Mental Stimulation Dogs require mental stimulation throughout their day in order to...
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My Dog Thinks He’s The Pack Leader

Does he really? What makes you say that? “Well, he’s the pack leader because he walks in front of me, he growls when I get near his food bowl and he refuses to get off the couch when I tell him to.” Or maybe you can say “He’s the pack leader because German Shepherds are dominant dogs.” The answers may be very different and varied since no one really knows what a dominant dog is. In fact, every single person would give me a totally different answer if asked them to define dominance. What is a dominant dog, after all? Does your dog fit into that category? First of all, the dominance theory is just a myth. Why? Well, due to several factors. The dominance theory came up after a succession of occurrences and ideas that were wrongly applied and extrapolated. First mistake: people observed wolves living in captivity and...
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Is My Dog Normal?

Dogs can act strange, sometimes. They hump pillows, they eat their own poop and they chase their own tails. We may look at them and wonder if they’re normal. “Are dogs supposed to do that? Is my dog normal?” Well, a “yes” or “no” answer may not be adequate when it comes to explaining dog behavior. Some behaviors are quite normal whilst others may be the result of a problem. In order to understand which behaviors are normal and which aren’t, we need to make sure we have the correct definition of “normal”. A behavior is considered normal when it offers the animal who displays it an evolutionary and adaptive advantage; when it allows the animal to cope and deal (in a more effective way) with its surroundings. However, when such behavior is used in an inadequate situation, intensity or frequency and it jeopardizes the animal’s ability to maintain his...
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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...
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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?...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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