The best in health, wellness, and positive training from America’s leading dog experts

Stress Signals

Touch/Restraint Desensitization Protocol

Touch dog’s shoulder with one hand, feed treat with other hand, remove both hands. Repeat multiple times until touch to the shoulder elicits an automatic look for the other hand to arrive with treat. Move touch process to various other parts of dog’s head and body until a touch anywhere on the dog elicits an auto-look for the delivery of a treat. Pay extra attention to any body part where your touch seems to elicit a more intense response from the dog.

What To Do if Your Dog is a Bullying Victim

So, what should you do if your dog is the victim of a canine bully? Intervene, by all means. Here are some of the signs to look for that tell you that you need to step in and break up the interaction.

Does Your Dog Pee When Meeting People?

picked up as a stray and being held at an animal shelter

Determining the Cause of Your Dog’s Panting

I’m awakened by the exhalation of my Border Collie’s warm breath on my face: heh-heh-heh. I slowly open one eye and focus on the nose just inches from my own. I may be anthropomorphizing, but I suspect he’s grinning. There it is again – a breathy heh-heh-heh. Wait a minute! Is he just panting or is he laughing at me? Given the way dogs are designed, panting is a very normal bodily function. Dogs don’t have sweat glands throughout their body to expel heat like humans do.

Guide to Stress Signals in Dogs

Stress causes the appetite to shut down. A dog who won't eat moderate to high-value treats may just be distracted or simply not hungry, but refusal to eat is a common indicator of stress. Appeasement and deference aren't always an indicator of stress. They are important everyday communication tools for keeping peace in social hierarchies, and are often presented in calm, stress-free interactions. They are offered in a social interaction to promote the tranquility of the group and the safety of the group's members.

Taking More Steps To a Calm Dog

Every behavior and training professional has seen her share of WCCS dogs. Some have developed their own programs to help humans help their dogs.

Help For a Dog With Car Phobia

Behavior issues, from simple good manners infractions to the more concerning problems of phobias and aggression, appear in dogs both large and small. But while training to modify behavior issues might look the same regardless of size, in other respects, the bigger the dog, the bigger the problem. When a Dachshund has a lapse in housetraining, the cleanup process is significantly easier than if an Irish Wolfhound has an accident. If a Havanese frantically jumps up on your elderly Aunt Tilly, the collateral damage is less than if a Great Dane does the same. And if a Yorkie is terrified of riding in the car and refuses to get in for an emergency trip to the vet, he can be picked up and placed inside – not so when a Newfoundland steadfastly refuses.

Behavior Modification for Itchy Dogs

Excessive self-licking and chewing can be caused by a medical issue. It can also be a behavioral problem, a classic example of an obsessive/compulsive disorder. Either way, it's annoying to the dog's human companion, and dangerous to the health of the dog. Here are tips for dealing with dogs who self-lick and chew excessively. To begin behavior modification, determine your dog's stressors and start eliminating them. Make a list of everything?you can think that is stresses your dog – even just a little bit, even if the stressors don't seem directly related to the licking. Your list might include thunder, small children, dogs on television, cats, riding in cars, visits to the vet, shock collars, medical issues, and many more. Most owners can identify between 10 and 20 stressors for their dogs.

Managing Your Dog’s Stress – A Holistic Approach

says Dr. Paul McCutcheon.üAfter taking a blood sample for lab testing, a holistic veterinarian uses acupuncture – the best of East and West.

5 Ways to Stop Dogs from Urine-Marking in the House

Marking is not the same behavior as my bladder is full and I have to pee." Housetraining is just a matter of teaching your dog when and where to relieve himself. In contrast

Solutions for Reactive Dog Behavior

At some point in our lives, some of us find ourselves living with a difficult dog, one whose behavior challenges our patience, and exhausts our training knowledge – and opens our hearts and eyes to a new, better way of training. This is the story of one such dog and her very knowledgeable dog owner. Together, they reached an entirely new and higher level of dog training skills, thanks to the owner’s life-altering experiences with a reactive dog who wasn’t fit to compete in the career intended for her: Flyball. Flyball is not the sport for everyone. It is a relay team event, which means you have to commit to training and competing with your dog and other dogs and dog owners as a team, and you have to have an appreciation for over-the-top dogs and the resulting cacophony of sounds. In flyball, a team of four dogs race, one after the other, leaping a series of hurdles, throwing their bodies against a spring-loaded box that ejects a tennis ball, snatching the ball, and hurtling their bodies back down the row of jumps to where their next teammates strain to be released for their turns. The fastest team wins.

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