Flying dogs? No, I am not talking of soaring canines, racing off diving platforms after tossed toys. I love watching dogs in action. Mutts racing and jumping for fly balls and agility competing hounds that run through tunnels and climb steep ramps.
This week I reblogged on seat belts for dogs because I want to make our world safer for drivers, car passengers, and dogs in cars. And if your dog loves sticking his head out a window while he rides, it is far safer to strap him in then open a window just a few inches.
Keep your dog safe by buckling him up-every time.
Each year thousands of Americans die in car crashes. Half of them did not have to die. Three-seconds would have saved their lives.
Seat belts can save your dog’s life too. They are easy to locate and buy on the Internet, at feed stores, and at pet shops. When I bought Sydney’s, I purchased one with a money back guarantee so we could see if it fix and worked right.
In this photograph see his black seat belt also functions as a harness (in case I forget to pack one).
Please share. Help Sydney and me save dogs’ lives. Thanks!
Keep your pets away from firecrackers and the boom of fireworks.
“If dogs could vote, I’m sure they would support a ban on the sale of firecrackers — nothing fun about them for animals,” writes Mickey Zeldes, Rohnert Park Animal Shelter Supervisor. “The Fourth of July Is No Fun For Animals” shares excellent tips on keeping pets safe and calm on Independence Day.
I’ve never had a dog who loved July 4. Although our town has a ban against firecrackers, people set them off at odd hours, loud and close enough to startle us. So we’ve learned to keep our dogs indoors for the entire weekend with soothing music playing.
I know our dog, Sydney, would put all four paws up to ban loud noises of any kind, especially fireworks and firecrackers. Sydney’s acute hearing continues to astound us. He hears neighbors quietly walking down our street. From the upstairs office, he barks to alert us when mail carriers drop our letters in our mailbox. And he runs and hides when anyone yells. Some days, I wish I could help him wear ear plugs!
“All dogs…can learn how to control their anger, but they have to learn.” Temple Grandin, Animals Make Us Human.
Socialization needs to be a part of your daily routine with your dog. Yet this can be full of danger and stress when dogs lack the social rules of the road. And because many dog breeds and mutts have lost their wolf submissive behaviors that avoid fights, dog owners, dog parents and Dog Leaders must get to know their dogs and supervise dog-to-dog greetings, both on and off the leash.
For further details on the differences in dog social smarts and supervising your dog at a dog park or first meeting, fetch my post called Wolfish or Puppish? Dogs Speak.
Dog Leaders watch dogs. By watching, Dog Leaders pay attention to social cues that signal friendly or aggressive behavior in dogs. Dog safety always comes first. Dog Leaders keep an eye on dog-to-dog greetings because first meetings between dogs can turn into fights.
Wise dog parents and Dog Leaders teach their dogs to sit or wait before greeting new people or new dogs. In the social world of dogs, the language difference between aggressive or dominant and puppyish or submissive dogs may turn dangerous. Plus due to size differences in dogs, a greeting might turn life threatening for a young or small dog. Dog Leaders supervise their dogs before they greet one another and during the greeting ritual. A dog-to-dog greeting can turn to a sudden dogfight due to mixed messages.
Here is a friendly greeting. Both dogs look relaxed. They notice each other without aggressive stares, neither dog is puffing itself up, straining or standing rigid with tail held straight up. One dog sits, showing respect for the slightly more dominant dog. The closed mouth on the Mohawk dog is a neutral expression. The husky is panting, showing excitement or a need to cool off. The body language of both dogs is saying, “We’re close to being equals.” and “I recognize your polite behavior.”
Tell your dog to sit before greeting another dog. Teach your dog to wait for your signal or special words like, “Okay” or “Say hello.” This gives you time to scan you dog’s body language and look at the new dog.
A Dog Leader looks at his or her dog, thinking:
•Is my dog relaxed?
•Is my dog wagging his tail slowly?
•Is my dog showing any fear?
•Is my dog showing any aggression?
If your dog is showing fear or aggression, it is best to skip greeting.
What confidant, calm and friendly interest looks like:
Ears pulled back against the head
Tail held high, not rigid
Relaxed open mouth or mouth closed, leaning a little forward
Tail level with body, not stiff yet pointing away from the dog
Tail held lower than body yet off the legs, sometimes swishing
Do not risk an aggressive or fearful greeting.
Dog Leaders keep dogs from fighting or getting hurt.
What fear looks like:
Ears pulled back flat with wrinkled forehead, teeth bared
Eyes turned away to avoid direct eye contact
Hair bristles only on shoulders
Tail tucked between legs
Tail bristling only at the tip
Licking the air
What aggression looks like:
Ears forward with bared teeth and wrinkled nose
Direct eye-to-eye stare
Lips curled up to expose some teeth
Lips curled to show most of the teeth, wrinkling above nose, mouth open
Lips curled showing teeth and gums, nose wrinkled
Tail straight out or straight up and stiff
Hair bristles on shoulders
Body slightly forward, feet braced
Upright body with stiff-legged stance
How to Speak Dog by Stanley Coren inspired this post. You will find a link to this book on my page Books for Dog Lovers.
What do you do to keep your dog safe when you are walking by other dogs?
Is your dog relaxed and confident when he greets new dogs?
Do you visit dog parks or public parks with your dog?
How do you keep your dog safe if another dog displays aggression?