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Is My Dog Depressed?

When a dog is suddenly no longer interested in their favorite activities, whether it's playing Frisbee in the park or chasing squirrels in the backyard, most animal behavior experts will tell you to look for a physical explanation, not a mental-health recommendation. Taking your four-legged friend to the vet for a physical exam should always be the first response to what seems like depression. A change in behavior can usually be attributed to underlying physical conditions like arthritis or pain.

Houseguest Etiquette for Dogs

Those of us who love dogs tend to assume that everyone else in our circle of friends and family does, too. Sadly, that's not always the case. In fact, even those who do share our passion for canine companions don't always appreciate the over-enthusiastic attentions of a happy hound, especially when they are trying to enjoy the company of human friends in the comfort of a private home. Whether you are a visitor bringing your own beloved dog with you to someone else's house, or a host greeting friends at your own front door with your canine family members milling about your feet, here are some tips to help you make sure your dog/human visits go well.

Dog DNA Tests: Mixed Results

While some of the early mixed-breed identification tests used a blood sample, all of the products on the market today extract DNA from cells swabbed by the dog's owner from the inside of the dog's cheek. The swab is sealed in a container provided by the company and mailed off to the company's lab. There, technicians extract your dog's DNA from the swab, and use computers to identify and compare specific bits of it to bits taken from dogs of known lineage.
separation anxiety in dogs

How Long is Too Long to Leave A Dog Home Alone?

Few people today would admit to leaving their dogs home alone for 24 or 48 hours or more, but leaving the dog home for 10 to 12 hours is not at all uncommon – and questioning this practice can sometimes lead to social ridicule. If an owner decides that after being gone all day, she'd rather not confine her dog or leave him alone for an additional few hours in the evening, she might be met with less-than-understanding responses. You're not coming out because you want to be home with your dog? That's crazy! You're letting your dog control your life!""

Training Your Dog to ‘Wait’ and ‘Stay’

can save your dog's life.
Thanks to Morgan Macy, training assistant at The Canine Connection in Chico, CA, for demonstrating these techniques.üStart teaching the food bowl wait" with the food bowl held high. Look for your dog to shift her eyes from the bowl to your face.üClick (or use another marker) to indicate she's doing it right

Letters and Corrections: April 2018

There are many ways to add mental stimulation to a simple game of fetch. For example, we can ask the dog to jump onto a platform and lie down before we throw a disc for him. We can ask him to go through an agility tunnel before catching the ball. The important thing to recognize is when the dog is getting over threshold and stopping the game or reducing its intensity until the dog calms down. If you know the signs of hyperarousal, depicted in the infographic in the original article, then you will be more able to help your dog.

Training an Over-Aroused Dog

It's true that dogs like Australian Shepherds, a breed commonly referred to as high drive" and thought of as "needing to work

How Can You Know What Your Dog is Feeling?

Dog body language can be quite difficult to read, so it's important to consider the context when interpreting behavior. Not only do you need to consider the environment (for example, dogs will pant when they're hot, but also when they're stressed), you also need to look at all of the body parts together. Although many people attempt to correlate each type of movement with a specific emotion, the easier approach is simply to compare the overall pictures of a distressed dog to a happy dog.

Your Dog’s Behavior: When to Manage, When to Train

How do I stop my dog from stealing food? How do I get my dog to stop drinking toilet water? Why does my dog run off all the time? These are just a few of the countless things dogs do that make their guardians run to professional trainers for help. The reality of dog behavior modification is that often the solution to a dog's bad habit is not through training the dog, but through carefully managing every opportunity the dog has to practice unwanted behaviors.
Dog on leash

The Emotional Lives of Dogs

Traditionally, dog trainers have spent little or no energy considering a dog's emotions when training or changing behavior; indeed, trainers or owners who did talk about emotions were often ridiculed and accused of anthropomorphizing. But when emotions are driving behavior, a dog cannot simply choose to stop doing the behavior without ramifications. The reality is that animals (including people) are quite often not rational actors. If that sounds counterintuitive to you and you believe that behavior is largely chosen rather than the result of emotional experiences, perhaps a few examples will help you understand.

Do Electric Shock Collars Harm Dogs?

Do you use an underground electric shock fence to contain your dog? Are you considering having one installed? I hope reading this will change your mind. More and more neighborhoods prohibit or limit the useof fencing, and as this occurs, the use of these non-visible electric shock perimeters has drastically increased. Manufacturers and retailers claim that these products are humane, effective means by which to safely confine dogs without disrupting the aesthetics of neighborhoods.

Put A Stop to Door-Darting Dogs

Door darting is an impulse-control problem. It's also incredibly self-rewarding. Remedying the issue requires teaching the dog to exhibit self-control around an open door, while employing diligent management to prevent the rehearsal of unwanted behavior. The following tips can help.

Latest Blog

Disaster Readiness – Yes, Again!

If you have been following the weather news, you might have guessed what this post was going to be about, am I...

Having hands would be helpful, but he does okay. (I think he deliberately drops his ball into places that will sometimes elicit my help...but I wasn’t helping, so he had to deal.) ...

"You're leaving us again, aren't you?" Spending long days at the emergency animal shelter, where pets displaced by local fire are being cared for by volunteers. It's hard on our own dogs, but at least they have homes. ...

One dog is enjoying our evacu-cation in a hotel more than the other.

Our neighborhood is under a mandatory evacuation due the the #bearfire, but we don't think our house is actually in danger currently. The fire went FAR, FAST, night before last, so they wanted folks out of the way. The wind has died down and the fire line is holding. In the meantime, like Woody, we will try to enjoy ourselves, until we can get back home.

My thoughts go to those who lost homes and animal friends. Best local relief org:

#noon #nofilter #cafires #smoke ...

If I was half as brave as this pup, there isn't anything I couldn't do.

Dogs are the best, man. Surgery 24 hours ago and he is doing great. Thanks for the well wishes.

Stuff that's wrecked. Surgery day tomorrow. Send us good juju! ...

I know, it's a *terrible* idea to let the 70 lb pit-mix play with the puppy with the broken leg... but for crying out loud!

Vet has ascertained that the puppy's left hock was broken weeks ago, and is beyond reasonable or certain repair. So the little guy is going to have it amputated soon. In the meantime, he is a puppy... and Woody is golden. Ah, my heart. This puppy is killing me!

Fortunately, he has an adopter lined up and ready to take him.

Rip out your heart and hand it over. This tiny foster guy, found in a ditch and covered with fleas, has a badly broken rear leg, needs amputation. Working with a local rescue to get his surgery scheduled STAT. Hosting until he has surgery, recovers, and can find a perfect home. ...

He's a fishing dog, belongs to a fisherman. (He is actually fishing for crawdads, his dad says he catches as many as a dozen a day!) ...

When the forecast is over 105 for the next week... ...

Grandson watched an episode of Stranger Things with his older cousin and was too scared to go to sleep last night. We called in the sleep specialist for help. Woody is a champion snuggler...problem solved. ...

One dog worries about me more than the other. ...

JUST found out it's National Mutt Day! Celebrate your mutt! Woohoo! ...

You don't need to see his eyes to read their message: Come outside. Now. ...

Made it through the war, I mean the night. Thank dog for modern pharmaceuticals. ...

The lip *and* a dork ear. This guy just slays me with his cute. ...