Tag: dog behavior

6 ways dogs help us heal

6 ways dogs heal us

  1. Dogs show empathy.
  2. Dogs give us affection.
  3. Dogs give us their complete attention.
  4. Dogs give us physical comforting. They snuggle and lie in our laps.
  5. Dogs live in the moment, sharing enthusiasm and joy.
  6. Dogs possess sensory abilities  beyond our sensory capacity.

They hear into the distance beyond our hearing range. Dogs alert us to the approach of other people and animals. With their gift of night vision, dogs often guide us, just go camping with your dog or walk a dog at night.

Examples: Therapy dogs of every kind help the blind, the mobility challenged plus visit the sick and in-firmed. Dogs sniff out cancerous tumors, this field is now being explored by science with the goal of creating a laboratory replica of how dogs detect cancer. Many dog lovers witness their dogs seeking out members coping with illness. The world over has many truth stories of dogs comforting the sick or dying.

Dogs sensing seizeures before they happen so they can maneuver their person to a safe position, such as sitting or lying down.


Give back to dogs

Want to help homeless dogs and cats but can’t adopt?

Click here and visit The Animal Rescue Site. Through this site you can download an app, which gives money to feed needy shelterless pets. This app is called Pet to Give. Just like its title, every pet gives a selected shelterless funds to feed dogs and cats.

Check out the Greater Good. I like it because they respect my time. When I signed up for email updates, I learned that I could put in vacation holds on email updates. This is the only site informational source that I have never subscribed from.

Please share to spread the ways dog heal us. In this terrible time following the mass murder in Orlando, Florida. I hope we all will spread loving kindness and healing.

Don’t have a dog right now?

No problem. Make dog friends.

If you do not have a dog, take some fresh sugar snap peas (cut or break them up for small dogs) sit in a park. As dog walkers if their dog is friendly with new people. Once the dog’s person says it’s okay to greet the dog, LET THE DOG COME TO YOU. A friendly dog will wag his or her tail and slink up to sniff your hand. After you have a relaxed connection, ask the dog’s person if you can give him or her a treat. Show them the snap peas. Hold one in the palm of your hand and let the dog eat off your hand like a dinner plate. There you go. You’ve made a good friend. Now go make another.

For eight years we lived in an apartment and could not have any pets. I missed having a dog so much. Most dog lovers know that pain and will be sympathetic. Dogs always have enough love for everyone.Ready-set….Dachshund-Mix.jpeg

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Guilty or not guilty: what dogs understand


By guest blogger, Rosee Riggs

When I come home and find the contents of the rubbish bin spread around the floor, does my dog have a guilty conscience?

No, he doesn’t!

A dog does not conceive of behavior as a ‘deed’, let alone a ‘bad deed’. Let me explain by sharing a few quotations on this subject from scientist Alexandra Horowitz’ book, Inside of a Dog: How Dogs see, smell and understand.

“….the dog has associated the owner, not the act, with an imminent reprimand. What’s happening here? The dog is anticipating punishment around certain objects or when seeing the subtle cues from the owner that indicate he may be angry.”

I don't understand the word "guilty."
I don’t understand the word “guilty.”
 “The guilty look is very similar to the look of fear and to submissive behaviors. It is no surprise, then, to find so many dog owners frustrated with attempts to punish a dog for bad behavior. What the dog clearly knows is to anticipate punishment when the owner appears wearing a look of displeasure. What the dog does not know is that he is guilty. He just knows to look out for you.”


Can you read each dogs’ body language?

What will happen next?
Oh, my. Photo Credit: Katrin Bargheer

The white dog, then seven months old, seems to be enjoying taking the pillow apart. While the older, more experienced Collie, shows discomfort at the excitement when the owner entered the room. Ears slightly back, head low and turned away from the owner, body turned at a T to the other dog. The Collie’s gaze is slightly shortened.

That’s a LOT of body language and many people would say he looks guilty. However, he didn’t take the cushion apart; that was the puppy in the foreground, who is busy and perfectly oblivious.

Isn’t that sad?

The dog suffers confusion and may receive unkind treatment, perhaps even painful punishment for something he is not able to understand. This causes psychological stress and damages his trust in the owner.

The slow ‘slinking’ away and the ‘shifty’ turn of the head are not signs of guilt or deceit, as they might be in a human with a guilty conscience. The dog is not in fact slinking or being shifty. This Collie dog feels intimidated and is trying to calm the owner. The slowing of body movements and turning away the gaze, are in dog language appeasement signals.

Punishment is not only unethical, it will never help a dog to understand how we wish him to behave. Don’t tell the dog what not to do, but instead offer him an alternative. Then he can understand how we want him to behave.

The lesson for us who love our dogs?

– We can help our dogs lead happier lives if we learn to understand their body language.

– We can only treat them fairly if we learn to understand what they can comprehend.

– When we react appropriately to dogs’ body language, they will start to tell us whether they feel comfortable in a situation or perhaps totally overwhelmed.  That is the beginning of a wonderful relationship based on two-way communication.

-When we react to our dogs’ communication and support them, we gain their trust.

– We should also resolve not to (mis-) interpret dogs’ behavior too quickly. Some of their body language may mean something else in their culture than in ours.

Watch Alexandra Horowitz talk about her book.

For more on this topic: Try an excellent book by Rosie Lowry Understanding the Silent Communication of Dogs  documents the subtle body language of dogs.

Visit Rosee Riggs Good Dog Practice.  Share these unique insights with other dog lovers.

Visit Good Dog Practice
Rosee Riggs

Rosee Riggs, team member of a small organization called Friendship for Dogs, based in Germany and Austria. It exists to educate people about the needs of dogs. Through her rescued greyhound,  many people visit her Facebook Good Dog Practice page from Ireland. In  that country many dog lovers rescue privately, because the situation for animals in Ireland is, frankly, dire. Plus, there are the thousands of greyhounds dumped annually as collateral damage of the racing industry.

Hot Fall Trails : Wordless Wednesday

 Hot autumn days

Oak savanna of Marin County hills
Oak savanna of Marin County hills

Autumn in northern California: Wordless Wednesday

Off-leash dog on California Trail
Off-leash dog on California Trail

 Blog Paws Community

Pet blogger friends I have made online and through the Blog Paws Community .

Please sign up for a free profile and connect with other pet lovers.

More fun than Facebook or Twitter because instead of selfies we do pet-zes. Yes, photographs of our pets.

Get closer so I lick you.
Having fun is my job.

I give you two photographs and a blog hop.

This is a Blog Hop!






Help a homeless mutt, donate  a meal a day at Pet360

Dogs hate July 4th so keep them calm

Fireworks frighten dogs

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Protect your dog inside

Keep your dog inside because more dogs go missing on the 4th of July than any other day of the year.

Watch out for dogs running away from the sound of fireworks.

Tips for keeping your dog calm during loud noises

“In response to a question about thunderstorm anxiety, in his June 24, 2008, column, well-known veterinarian Michael Fox suggests, “Wrapping a dog quite tightly in a thin towel or small blanket can do miracles, giving anxious dogs a feeling of security. Cut an old cotton sheet and get your dog used to being wrapped around the torso like a mummy. This action can help many dogs cope with thunderstorms and fireworks.” Why I Hate Fireworks by All-Creatures.org

Read more: http://www.peta.org/living/companion-animals/hate-fireworks/#ixzz36WvnOhH6

Calm your dog all year

“University of Washington psychologist James Ha, a specialist in animal behavior, has several suggestions, each with its own set of pros and cons.

Ha, an associate professor with a side business as an animal behavior consultant, says there are three main ways to handle noise phobias: management, treatment and drugs.”

 For readers who live with worried or scared dogs, read more on Science Daily Calming Your Dog’s Anxiety

By Deborah Taylor-French on Dog Leader Mysteries

What works to calm your dog?

Please share any tips with my readers.

Stop Your Dog From Biting

“Stop messing with my paws!”

Stop your dog from biting. We had to learn the hard way from experience with our adopted Cockapoo dog, Sydney.

One day as I trimmed Sydney’s nails, he started a low growl. Then he opened his jaws wide, showing all his teeth. He looked me right in the eye then, he bit me!

If you have read Sydney’s Spot on this blog, you know we found our cockapoo from an animal shelter. At one-year-old, he had lost two homes and was owner surrended to a shelter. Sold as a puppy, Sydney’s owners had fail to house train him. By the time he ended up in the shelter, Sydney bit everyone who tried to put their hands on him.

His biting, a natural self-defense for dogs, showed willingness to self-defend. Sydney had learned to outrun his people. He fled conflict at every chance. So he never attacked people. He responded by fear biting, due to not being taught to inhibit the impulse to bite. Plus he never had learned to trust people.

Being part poodle, Sydney came ‘bloody” smart as the British might say. He also came with a nickname, Sid Vicious. Due to being only 14 pounds, shelter staff and volunteers learned to manage his anxiety biting, and his habit of chewing on fingers. He really meant no harm.

Playful as a puppy, Sydney brightened people’s days with his brash BIG personality. His main problem seemed to stem from his breeder selling him  too early. Dogs need to feel emotionally secure.

Puppies need to learn when not to bite from their mothers.

Years later dogs can still revert to bad puppy habits.

So I was ready with a quick, “NO,” and a growl.

Then I put on a muzzle and finished the job. He got the message. Biting means unpleasant experiences for him. I still do not let strangers pet my dog. Too scary for him, he’s so tiny that his legs look like chicken legs when wet.

Muzzles make me pant. When you going to take it off?
Muzzles make me pant. When you going to take it off?

“What’s in my mouth stays in my mouth!”

Most dogs would say that (if they could talk).

If you have a new dog, a dog that refuses to share his toys or a dog that guards his food dish try these suggestions and follow the seven steps.

If you have more than one dog, be sure to take your dog away from other dogs so that his lessons in trading are not interrupted. Make sure there are no small children around for their safety.

Happy dogs understand fair trade.

Photo credit: dogs of WOOFSTOCK by Ryan from Toronto, Canada

7 Steps to Teach Your Dog to Trade

  1. Cut up small bites of your dog’s favorite treat. Chicken, hot dogs (in little odd pieces not round slices that can block his breathing) or dried meat dog treats work well.
  2. Keep the treats in your left hand.
  3. Give hand signal cues with your right hand.
  4. If your dog doesn’t like sharing his toys bring them and set them up high where he can’t get them. If your dog guards his food, do this lesson at mealtime and use his food bowl, but don’t fill it. Put just a few bites in his dish because you want to trade five to ten times in his first lesson.
  5. Say your dog’s name and ask him to “Sit.”
  6. Then tell him to “Stay.” Give him one of his tiny, yummy treats and say “Good dog.”
  7. Give him his toy or food dish then quickly say, “Drop it” or “Trade.”

If your dog stops eating or drops his toy, reward instantly and praise.

  • Repeat and use the same cue word each time.
  • Keep practicing trading
  • Stop after 5 to 10 trades.

Repeat everyday or several times a week until your dog loves trading. He should quickly drop a favorite toy or leave his food dish on your cue word. Soon, he will not need a treat every time; your praise will remind him of the fun of trading.

Dogs understand fairness and trading. But most dogs need to be taught that trading their favorite thing is a good thing.

Soften Your Dog’s Bite

What methods have you used to teach a dog not to bite? Please share, I love true stories.