Fall Safety Tips for Your Dog

Fall Safety Tips for Your Dog

The onset of fall brings beautiful fall colours but also some hazards for dogs. Here are some tips for keeping your dog safe over the fall season: In many areas, it is legal to hunt certain species of animals in the fall. Keep your dog safe by avoiding the areas where hunting is allowed. To be extra safe, ensure that your dog is visible by dressing him in a high visibility vest. Fall is also mushroom season and many mushrooms are toxic to dogs. If you suspect your dog has ingested mushrooms, take the dog and, if possible, a sample … Continue reading

Learning Your Dog’s Language

Learning Your Dog's Language

Dogs use their whole bodies to communicate how they are feeling. Groups of signals indicate whether a dog needs more space from something (distance increasing signals) or would like less space (distance decreasing signals). Sometimes a dog will display a mix of these signals when they feel conflicted or ambivalent in a situation. Groups of signals can also tell us when a dog is feeling stressed or playful. These behavioral signals can be limited by whether or not the dog has a coat that allows him to raise his hackles or whether he has surgically cropped ears or a docked … Continue reading

Working on Impulse Control With Your Dogs

Working on Impulse Control With Your Dogs

Impulse control in dogs: Working on impulse control and arousal levels helps a dog become calm and self- controlled.   Impulsive individuals are usually characterized by rapid responses to stimulation, accelerated action and difficulties with inhibiting their responses (Miklosi, 2015). Arousal levels can look different in different dogs. Some dogs respond more quickly and intensely to a certain stimulus than other dogs (Overall, 2005). Individual variation is seen in the reaction to a positive stimulation (food for example) or in aggressive behavior. In aggressive behavior, a more impulsive dog may bite sooner and more forcefully and escalate a fight faster … Continue reading

Simple Tips for Teaching Your Dog to Come When Called!

Simple Tips for Teaching Your Dog to Come When Called!

As a trainer, I often get calls from people who want to know how to teach their dog to reliably come when called. To teach the dog to come when called (or improve a less than stellar recall in a dog), start with some basic exercises and avoid doing things that take away from the training. Initially, train in a safe, fenced, distraction-free area. Make a note of what your dog finds rewarding. It might be high value treats like dehydrated meat, or toys or a game of tug. Build a strong relationship with the dog by using rewards in … Continue reading

How to Help a Stressed Dog…

How to Help a Stressed Dog...

We often recognize stress related behaviour in members of our own species but do we recognize stress related behavior in dogs? Once we learn to recognize indicators of stress in dogs, we can help a stressed dog.   Dogs can feel stressed by a variety of things. Stressors can include threatening or aggressive behavior (perceived or real) from other dogs or from people, use of punishing equipment, play periods that are too long and overwhelming, or too much or too little activity day after day. Stress can also be caused by pain or illness, hunger or thirst, or nutritional deficiencies. … Continue reading

Simple Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Training Time!

Simple Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Training Time!

Fitting in time for training can be a challenge for many people so here are some tips to help you get the most out of your training time. Teach new skills in an area that is free of distractions so your dog can focus easily. As your dog progresses, strengthen the training by adding one of “duration”, “distance” and “distractions.” “Duration” refers to the length of time a dog can stay in a sit or a down for example. “Distance” refers to the distance from the trainer at which a dog can do an exercise. “Distraction” refers to things that … Continue reading

Just How Similar Are Dog’s Emotions to Ours?

Just How Similar Are Dog's Emotions to Ours?

Many people have experienced behavior in their dogs that leads the owner to believe that dogs are capable of feeling emotions similar to those felt by humans. Not only do dogs appear to experience a wide range of emotions, studies show that dogs recognize emotions in other dogs and in humans. The results of a study by a team of animal behaviour experts and psychologists from the University of Lincoln, UK, and University of Sao Paulo, Brazil led the researchers to believe that dogs truly recognise emotions in humans and in other dogs and can discriminate between positive and negative … Continue reading

What “Play” Between Dogs Means…

What "Play" Between Dogs Means...

Lots of interesting research is being done on dog behavior and one fascinating field of study is on play.   Play is thought to serve several functions. For dogs, coyotes, wolves and foxes, play is important for the development of social skills, for the formation and maintenance of social bonds, to provide exercise and to teach hand-eye coordination. Play fighting and other play behaviors can provide practice for the real thing (Bekoff & Pierce, 2009). To solicit play, dogs frequently offer a “play bow” (a pose where the animal crouches down on the forepaws and sticks their hindquarters in the … Continue reading

Important Tips for Avoiding Dog Bites

Dog Bites Issues: How to Avoid Dog Bites

A recent survey indicated that 54.4% of US households own a dog and that there are a total of 77.8 million dogs owned in the USA (Industry Trends, 2016). A 2014 survey of Canadians revealed that 34% of Canadian households contain at least one dog, resulting in an estimated population of 6.4 million dogs in Canada (Canadian Animal Health Institute, n.d.). While dogs are generally cooperative and social animals who live and work in harmony with people, sometimes dogs bite. Statistics indicate 4.5 million dog bites occur in the USA each year and that, among children, the rate of dog bites is … Continue reading

Fun Tips for Tracking and Trailing with the Family Dog!

Tracking and Trailing Benefits With Your Pet Dogs

It’s no secret that the scenting ability of dogs is amazing. Dogs have been instrumental in assisting humans whether it’s searching for missing people and animals, identifying gas leaks or bombs, indicating early medical changes in people and in helping resolve criminal cases.   Some dogs have even more unusual tasks like the trained beagle who has been trained to identify whether or not a female polar bear is pregnant and who has a reported 97% accuracy rate in his work. Another dog is trained to detect the presence of the bacteria “C. difficile” in the hospital environment. When he indicates … Continue reading