Could Your Dog Be a Therapy Dog?

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As dog lovers we all know how wonderful it feels to come home to a dog who is thrilled at our arrival. I admit I am flattered by my dogs’ enthusiasm. As their bodies wiggle with excitement and they ‘wooo’ hello I can’t help but smile, no matter how awful my day may have seemed before I walked through my door. I would be hard pressed to aptly describe the positive impact my dogs have on my life. Aside from making me smile, my dogs keep me physically active. Their soft brown eyes have only to glance my way and I will reach for their leashes to make a dash to the local park. Anyone who is devoted to their dog will attest to the positive impact their dogs have on their lives, both physically and mentally. When I was a child I couldn’t imagine an adult who wouldn’t have.

The Dalmatian: Beyond Dogs101

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One of the great things about Animal Planet’s hit show Dogs101 is that it will hopefully help people considering a purebred dog to understand how carefully they should research the breeds they are most interested in. Choosing a dog is a long term commitment (hopefully at least 15 years). As a follow up to some of the dogs featured this season I want to comment a bit further on the particular breeds. The first dog on season two was the Dalmatian which was ranked the 74th most popular purebred in America in 2008 according to the AKC. This is compared to a ranking of 30th in 1998. This peak of popularity was probably due in great part to the 1996 release of the movie 101 Dalmatians. Unfortunately, many of those who chose this type of dog as their canine companion after seeing them on the big screen didn’t do adequate.

Breed Profile: The Boykin Spaniel

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I am a big fan of traveling for many reasons, not the least of which is that it provides me an opportunity to meet dogs from all over the world. While New Yorkers may be a bit jaded about the fact that we have just about every breed and mix walking our streets, it always catches my attention when I pass a New Guinea Singing Dog in Greenwich Village or a Norwegian Lundehund on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The Singer hails from Papua New Guinea and is listed as a Canis Lupus Dingo as opposed to my dogs who are in the Canis Lupus Familiaris group. They are extremely flexible and can rotate their paws which allows them the ability to climb trees. They also have a distinctive howl and make a bird like trilling sound, hence the reference to singing in their name. The Norwegian Lundehund may.

How Do Dogs Perceive Time?

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Most of the pet parents I work with express great concern over the guilt they feel for leaving their dogs alone during the day while they go to work or school. Nobody wants to imagine their dog sitting idly for hours on end watching the clock tick slowly along while they are away. So, I am often asked ‘What’s the real deal about dogs’ concept of time? Do they know if I’m gone for 30 minutes shopping or eight hours to work?’ Dogs are such wonderfully social creatures, that it is no surprise most of us consider our dogs to be members of our family. As such, we treat them with all the love, kindness, and respect they deserve. But, we also sometimes find it hard to remember that as amazingly compatible with people as dogs are, they are not people themselves. Dogs have a very different view of the.

Is Your Dog a Pushy Pants?

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Two things happened recently that made me think of pushy dogs. First, I went to a conference this weekend that included a buffet lunch (I suspect at least some of you can already see where this analogy is going). Secondly, I was driving into work today and had to cross over a bridge that had construction and was tapered down from two lanes to one. In the case of the latter, cars merged together smoothly because each car in the remaining lane allowed a car from the lane that was being shut down to move in front of them. This procession went along swimmingly until some guy in a van decided to shove ahead and try to squeeze in before it was his turn. From the traffic stall that ensued, it was obvious that this act of impoliteness and not following general merging rules had infuriated the fella in the.

Do Dogs Feel Guilty?

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Most people have walked into their home at least once and found their dog waiting for them with a look they interpret as guilty for some not yet discovered doggie misdeed. Did she eliminate on the carpet, chew up a favorite shoe, bark all day and disturb the neighbors? It could be. Or maybe, just like an innocent person sitting in front of a jury in a courtroom, the dog is worried about the situation and exhibiting body language that is meant to say something along the lines of “I’m happy you’re home, but nervous you’re going to punish me for something because you have in the past,” rather than “I am feeling so guilty for what I did.” If dogs had lawyers, they would surely advise them that a jury might be more likely to convict you if they think you look guilty, so hold your head up high,.

Dr. Ian Dunbar says Play Games With Your Dog to Instill Manners

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Approximately 15 years ago I met Dr. Ian Dunbar and my life with dogs has an entirely new, dog-friendlier route ever since. Dr. Dunbar is a veterinarian, animal behaviorist, and author of numerous books including, How To Teach A New Dog Old Tricks, the Good Little Dog Book and a series of Behavior Booklets—separate educational booklets on each of the most common pet behavior problems. Additionally, Ian has hosted eleven videotapes on puppy/dog behavior and training, including SIRIUS® Puppy Training, Training Dogs With Dunbar and Every Picture Tells A Story. All his videos have won a variety of awards. The famous SIRIUS Puppy Training video (the first dog training video ever produced) remains the all-time best selling dog video. For three years running the SIRIUS® video has been voted the #1 BEST DOG TRAINING VIDEO by the Association of Pet Dog trainers-the largest and most influential association of dog trainers.

Housetraining a Puppy in the City

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For a dog lover like me, I find it easy to see qualities in each dog that are unique and appealing. With that said, my friends have gotten used to walking down the street with me and having me point out just about every dog we pass and giving a little synopsis of the breed or potential mix, age, and of course, behavior. In fact, most of my friends, even those who don’t have dogs, have become experts at this game themselves. One even commented recently that a dog we passed was “Clearly an English Cocker Spaniel, not an American. Just look at the length of the muzzle and body.” My appreciation for dogs runs the gamut from little, scruffy terriers (my dog Nora being one of the most exceptionally cute ones out there, of course) to the sleek, athletic types (hello Vizslas and Italian Greyhounds), to the big, powerful.

Choosing a Dog: Test Drive

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Once you have narrowed down your search and are meeting some individual dogs for consideration, you would be well-advised to take each dog for a ‘test drive’ to find out a number of important things before you invite him into your home: 1. The first item on the agenda is to determine the degree of the dog’s sociability. Some dogs have not benefited from early and ongoing socialization and/or may be genetically predisposed to be more cautious and reserved. This type of dog deserves a loving home as much as any other. Just be sure you have what it takes to help this dog develop a broader circle of friends. Of course, you should also consider your lifestyle and your own family and circle of friends. Ask yourself if this dog would do well in this regard (especially if you have children). While dogs are generally superbly adaptable creatures, they.

Choosing a Dog: Research, Research, and More Research

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So, you have decided to welcome a dog into your heart and home? How wonderful! Keeping in mind that there are hundreds of breeds of dogs to choose from as well as innumerable mixed breeds, your choice can be a wee bit perplexing. No doubt, your decision will be strongly affected by other dogs with whom you have previously shared your life and friends’ or neighbors’ dogs will also have a great influence on your current choice. However, don’t restrict your choice because of your interactions with a few very special individual dogs. Broaden your horizons and learn about as many options as possible so you have the best possible chance for making a wise choice. Research dog breeds, mixes, and most importantly, individual dogs very carefully. After all, this is going to be a 10 or 15 year commitment to a new family member. Before you head out the.