Dog Licking: Are Canine Kisses a Good Thing?

Lanies Dance Recital 6-07

Kissing is high on many people’s list on New Year’s and for some dogs it ranks high among their every day priorities. I recently had an adorable puppy stay with me for a few days. Each morning as I carried her downstairs to go potty she tried with all of her puppy might to wash my face with kisses. It was hard to resist her, but I kept my face away so that our journey outside was kiss free. While I am a fan of dog kisses (within reason of course!), I hadn’t discussed the matter with her family and therefore didn’t want to encourage a behavior they might not like. And from what I had seen so far, she was ready to make a fortune running a kissing booth. Licking is a natural behavior which begins in puppyhood. Puppies lick their littermates as a social bonding function as well.

Become a Dog Detective

MokaChair2

Most days pass in a fairly ho-hum way for dogs. There is the early morning ritual of waking up and stretching in preparation for a walk to go potty and release some energy. Then, it is usually back home for a tasty breakfast and hopefully another walk as a potty break before the rest of the family leaves the house and heads to work or school. At this point, a typical dog’s day tends to consist of lounging about and finding ways to pass the time until a dog walker arrives midday and then the family returns in the late afternoon or early evening. But, what exactly is your dog doing while you are away? When we hang out at home, we can pass the time with reading, surfing the internet, watching TV, or spring cleaning. But, what does a dog do with all this time on their paws? You.

Chew On This! Teach Your Dog to Have a Chew Toy Habit

Chew On This! Teach Your Dog to Have a Chew Toy Habit

Your dog’s tendency to chew on anything he can sink his teeth into is a pretty normal canine behavior. However, like many normal, natural and necessary dog behaviors, unfocused chewing (i.e. chewing on things you don’t approve of) is not likely to win your dog many household fans. When dealing with a chewing problem, it isn’t about stopping your dog from chewing (that would be like trying to stop them from wagging their tail!). It’s what your dog chews on that counts! So, the focus should be on helping your dog develop a strong chew toy habit so that he is not inclined to choose illegal items. Many people try to teach their dogs not to chew on inappropriate items by punishing them every time they chew on unsuitable objects. This is not only unpleasant for both dog and person, but supremely inefficient when you consider how many unsuitable objects.

Coprophagia: How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Poop

IMG_8788_2

If one were to make a list of all the dog behaviors we love it would probably be quite long. A deliciously happy tail wag, a bow to solicit play, and a soft sigh before resting their head on your lap would surely make the list. But, those are just a few of the many reasons why dogs bring us immense joy every day. On the other hand, my list of dog behaviors that are not so favorable is rather short. For me, like most, one of the few things on that list would surely be coprophagia. Coprophagia is the consumption of feces. This can include the feces of others as well as thier own. Some species ingest the feces of their mother as a way of ingesting required bacteria in order to benefit from the nutrition of plants. Other species ingest their own feces as a possible source of.

How to Deal with Dog Growling When Asked to Get Off the Bed

bigstock_Angry_Chihuahua_Growling__Ye_7629174

It is no surprise that people are distraught and perplexed when their otherwise lovely dog behaves in ways they deem egregious, specifically when they growl at or bite people. A gentleman with a 3 year-old Jack Russell Terrier, Lido, contacted me regarding his dog’s tendency to growl at him. He explained that this happened only in the evening and was curious why his dog seemed relatively mild mannered during the daytime hours, but switched into another state of mind altogether in the evenings. After a bit of investigating it became clear that Lido’s night time growling had more to do with the fact that the evenings were when he was most likely to be in the situation that seemed to trigger these incidents. That is, Lido’s growling was limited (for the time being anyway), to those times when he was resting on the bed and his owner came in to.

Ivory: The Underdog to Wonderdog

UNDERDOG TO WONDERDOG 2

Being a part of Animal Planet’s show Underdog to Wonderdog has been one of the best experiences of my career with animals. Not only do Ali, Ryan, David and I get to rescue dogs who might otherwise not find a home, but we also got the opportunity to meet amazing families who opened up their hearts and homes to these dogs in desperate need. Ivory was the first dog we rescued in season two. A pit bull who was the result of an irresponsible and cruel person who bred her mother for profit and kept her and Ivory in a concrete yard for their entire lives. Human contact seems to have been very limited and as a result Ivory came out of this small world with an intense fear of just about everything, especially people. At our first meeting, Ivory’s entire body was shaking and we realized quickly that she.

Food Bowl Guarding

bigstock_Dog_Food_4075517

Some dogs, like people, learn to live by the code that what is theirs is theirs and what is yours is theirs as well. Resource guarding exists because the dog sees a vital resource and is attempting to keep it for himself. It also exists because it is, in great part, a learned behavior. While a dog may have a genetic predisposition to have a stronger personality, most aggression is learned. A dog is reinforced for low level aggression (usually unintentionally) and therefore learns that it works. A young dog who squirms, screams and nips when someone tries to groom him, is often rewarded by the person stopping. As a result, the dog learns that behavior works to make the grooming stop. As the dog matures, this squirming and screaming may progress to growling, air-snapping or actually biting. The dog has learned to behave aggressively. If a behavior is unpredictable,.

Should You Let Sleeping Dogs Lie…In Bed With You?

bigstock_Happy_couple_laying_in_bed_wit_15695993

I get the distinct impression that most people think dog trainers believe dogs shouldn’t sleep in bed with their people. However, most of my dog trainer friends are like the approximately 62% of the pet parent population (according to a survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association) and spend their nights finding a comfy spot to snuggle in between their animals. In fact, one has five dogs and each one fits on her queen-sized bed. It’s a bit like a dog jigsaw puzzle. While this probably doesn’t bode well for her being able to stretch out, she looks well rested to me, and her dogs do not suffer from any misconceptions about what sleeping in the family bed means. This is a good example that sleeping in your bed will not necessarily be detrimental to your dog’s overall behavior. But, when deciding if you should snuggle up at night.

Stereotypes and Generalizations of the Pit Bull

Lola-1_2

Generalizations and Stereotypes of the Pit Bull Generalizations are a tricky business. On the one hand, they are necessary in order for us to more easily understand our complex world. On the other hand, by definition, generalizations don’t provide detailed information, nor are they always accurate. When it comes to dogs, people seem to be wildly fond of generalizing. Trainers frequently hear people complain that their dog isn’t behaving as well as their previous dog of the same breed. This is one of the many examples of how we often assume that a grouping of dogs by breed or type is a surefire blueprint for behavior and personality. But, you know what they say about making assumptions. Or in this case, generalizations. Certain generalizations are harmless. “Dogs are cute” is one that I can really get behind, because it’s implications could never result in anything problematic (except for maybe a.

Teach Your Dog to Rollover for Examination

Teach Your Dog to Rollover for Examination

Teaching Your Dog to Rollover for Examination: Teaching your pup to roll on their belly for examination is often confused with an Alpha Roll whereby the dog is physically forced to lie on their back in an effort to make them submit. This approach is likely to create an adversarial response from a pup, not because the dog is being obstinate or ‘dominate’ as much as responding to a threat in a very normal manner. Imagine if someone grabbed hold of you and attempted to pin you to the floor. Odds are your heart would be racing and you would panic (mildly or extremely depending on many variables) as you attempted to be released. Teaching your pup to willingly rollover is an entirely different matter and a surefire way to ensure that future examinations by you, your veterinarian or groomer will be as easy as possible. It is also a.