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How Do I Let My Dog Know I’m The Boss?

By Christina Graham

If you find yourself asking this question, it’s probably because you are having problems controlling your dog. You find yourself following and adjusting to whatever your dog wants. If this is the case then you should keep on reading. I’ll tell you the reason why your dog is behaving that way, and what you should do to change this behavior.

Pack Mentality

Your dog may not have been born in the wild, but the pack mentality is still part of his instincts. He will sort out the social order by showing dominance and power. Because of that, he will either see you as his leader or his follower depending on how you act, behave and treat your dog. It could be because you have spoiled your dog and routinely give in to whatever he wants, he will start to think that he is the Alpha male, and you the follower.

What Should I Do?

You see, dogs are like children. You should be able to set rules for them to follow; lack of rules will just make your dog spoiled. If you try to use these few simple rules, it can help you, not only discipline your dog, but it will also teach him that you are the boss or the alpha dog.

You First Before Your Dog

Even simple things like this will let your dog know who is the Alpha male (or female) around the house. In the wolf pack, the leader always eats first. If you show that you are eating first before your dog, it will let him know that you are the leader of the pack. Don’t try to give in when he whimpers and gives you those sad puppy eyes. Try to also avoid giving him bits of food from your plate while you are eating. He should only eat after you have eaten.

Another rule that applies to this is when you are walking through the door. When you allow your dog to go through the door first, you are implying that he is the dominant dog. You should always keep this in mind. Leaders lead and followers follow. So whenever you are going through a door, make sure that you go through first to make him realize that you are the leader and he is just the follower.

Sleeping Rules

We have seen on a lot of movies and stuff on TV of pet owners letting their dogs sleep in their bed. That is a huge no no. Letting him sleep in your bed signals to him that you are both equal. Provide him a bed or crate that he will feel comfortable sleeping in. Make sure that his bed is placed on the floor. If your dog has been sleeping on the floor, do not walk around your dog. Dominant dogs sleep wherever they want, and lower dogs walk around them so they don’t disturb their sleep. So if you see your dog sleeping in the couch and you want to lie down, give him a gentle nudge to let him move out of the way. If he’s sleeping in the hallway and you have to walk through, wake him up gently so he will move out of the way, of course don’t try to step on him.

These are just few simple rules to let your dog know that you are the leader. Keep these things in mind and in practice all the time, and your dog will soon realize that you are the Alpha male of the house.

Christina Graham has been a veterinarian surgery tech and/or dog groomer for over 15 years. And in those years has gained an invaluable knowledge regarding all aspects of dogs. That’s why she created The Daily Pooch, a daily blog dedicated to dog lovers. She posts regular updates on all aspects of your dog’s life from training to health and nutrition and everything in between. Head over to to see what it’s all about.

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Jun 06, 2012 | 0 | Understanding Your Dog

Are You Ready to Have a Dog?

By Christina Graham

There are various reasons why someone would like to have a dog, including you. Maybe you want someone to go with you while you’re out for a run, have someone to sit on your lap and cuddle with you while you’re watching TV. Maybe getting a dog will help your kids learn the responsibility of taking care of one, or simply because you want your kids to have fun and play with the dog. Either way, getting a dog is a huge responsibility. Are you ready to commit to taking care of a dog for 10-15 years? Yes, that’s how long dog’s live, not to mention the expenses incurred while taking care of one. So what makes you think you’re ready to have a dog?

Basic Needs

Just like humans, you should also prepare for your dog’s basic needs. These are food and shelter. Supplying your dog’s food means giving him the food that will provide all the nutrition that he needs. Not only that, but you would also need to give him medications, and vitamins, to cure or prevent certain allergies or illnesses, and help boost your dog’s immune system to fight off other possible sicknesses. Shelter is also another basic need. Having him live in your home won’t be enough. You should also be able to provide him his beddings, and an area where he can run and play around. You should also make sure that you have baby gates to prevent your dog from entering restricted areas around your house.

Physical Activities

You should also be aware that dogs need to get their exercise, and play time as well. Dog’s who don’t get any exercise at all either become moody and lazy or even more hyper around the house. You should get them the provided exercise and play time that they need in order for them to develop a healthy lifestyle as well. Besides play time, you should also have the patience to train your dog. Training your dog will teach him discipline, especially when you have other people around your house or around your dog. You should have the patience to teach your dog how to behave in front of other people, adults and kids included. Training your dog would also help you from the headaches of constantly barking, and using the restroom in places he shouldn’t and so on.

Time and Understanding

Your dog also needs your companionship. You should also always have time to spend with your dog. Some dogs also have separation anxiety from their owners. It is essential for you to train your dog, to alleviate separation anxiety, or if you are going to leave for an extended period of time, make sure you can find a dog sitter who can take care of your dog. And most of all, you should understand that your dog will also make mistakes. He will chew on your shoes, pee in the carpet, and accidentally break your most expensive vase and so on. You have to understand that these things aren’t things that he does purposefully to get on your nerves, he just needs a little bit of your training to teach him what he should and shouldn’t do, most of all, he needs your forgiveness. Just because he made a mistake you shouldn’t abandon your dog. Forgive him and in order for him not to make the same mistake again, teach him.

Christina Graham has been a veterinarian surgery tech and/or dog groomer for over 15 years. And in those years has gained an invaluable knowledge regarding all aspects of dogs. That’s why she created The Daily Pooch, a daily blog dedicated to dog lovers. She posts regular updates on all aspects of your dog’s life from training to health and nutrition and everything in between. Head over to to see what it’s all about.

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May 24, 2012 | 0 | Choosing your dog, Tips, Understanding Your Dog

Some Tips To Help Train Your Dog Out Of His Separation Anxiety

By Sari Crossman

Because dogs are pack animals, they are genetically predisposed to be highly social. This is part of the reason that most dogs bond so well with their owners and want to always be at their side. Unfortunately, most owners have to leave their dogs at some time during the day either to go to work or just to the grocery store. Some dogs experience tremendous separation anxiety when their owner goes away and can show some very destructive behavior because of it.

Most people like to think that their dog just lies peacefully on the couch and waits patiently for their return whenever they go out. The fact of the matter is that most dogs will experience some degree of separation anxiety. This may be expressed in the form of repetitive barking or crying which may be disturbing for your neighbors if you live in an apartment. If your dog typically likes to chew on toys, you may return home to discover that he has chewed up your favorite pair of shoes or even part of your sofa!

This doggie behavior can cause tremendous anxiety for owners as they flounder around trying to find solutions. There are some tried and true methods to help train your dog out of his separation anxiety that will work relatively quickly if you are consistent with them.

Help your dog relax before you get ready to leave the house

One of the best ways to ensure that your dog will remain calm when you leave the house is to tire him out. If he is tired enough when you leave, chances are he will just lie down on his bed and go to sleep. A vigorous walk or an extended game of “fetch” in the park will give him some exercise and tire him out. Exercising your dog will allow him to burn off some energy that might otherwise be channeled into chewing up the cushions on your couch.

Try to get home at lunchtime to exercise your dog

If it’s at all possible, try to steal a little bit of time on your lunch break to go home and be with your dog. You can get him out for a quick walk and spend some quality time with him. This will help teach him that even though you do go away, you always come back. If you aren’t able to get back home at lunchtime, consider hiring a dog walker to come in and get your dog out so he will have a break and have a chance to relieve himself. There are often neighborhood looking for odd jobs and this kind of job is perfect for them.

Buy some toys for your dog that will challenge him

Many dogs act out because they are extremely bored when their owners aren’t around, not just because of separation anxiety. Be sure to always leave your dog’s favorite toy for him to play with while you are gone. There are also many other kinds of toys that will challenge his mind such as food balls which are stuffed with food. The dog has to roll the ball which will then release one piece of food at a time. A kong toy which can be stuffed with peanut butter and bacon bits is also a great diversionary toy for a dog. They will spend hours licking the toy to get at the peanut butter stuffed inside.

Another companion dog might or might not help

Many dog owners rashly think that getting another dog that will keep their dog company is the best solution. Sometimes this will work, sometimes, it will simply add to the problem and make it worse. There are a number of issues you must consider before introducing another dog to your home such as your dog’s breed, size and temperament. Your veterinarian might be able to advise you about whether or not he or she thinks your dog will be able to adapt to a new dog in the house. You want to avoid a situation in which your first dog is fighting with a new dog and you have to re-home to new dog after just a short period of time.

Some tips to get your dog ready for your departure

To desensitize your dog to your departure and his separation anxiety, practice leaving your dog for short periods of time. Go out the door and go several feet away from the house or apartment door. Wait to see if he starts barking. If he does not, re-enter the house or apartment. Do not greet your dog when you go in. Act as if everything is completely but give him a dog treat and praise him for being quiet. Try to vary your routine prior to leaving so that you do not give unconscious signals to your dog which will tell him that you are getting ready to go. Do not make a big fuss over the fact that you will be leaving. Just say, “stay here and be good!” and go out the door.

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May 02, 2012 | 0 | dog behavior, Training, Understanding Your Dog

Do You Understand Your Intelligent Dog?

By Teresa Ray

Are you enjoying your relationship with your dog? Have you thanked your pet for all that your pet means to you? Are the two of you spending enough time together? You should be aware that your dog will enjoy life more with an opportunity for learning and the discipline that accompanies learning. If you allow your dog to use its intelligence and love of play in interaction with you, its best friend, then teaching and entertaining your dog will be easy for you. Improve your relationship and the quality of your life by setting goals for your pet and for yourself. Your pet will be rewarded for the company it provides for you, and you will enjoy the learning experience.

Controlling Your Dog’s Behavior

Don’t think that you simply have to tolerate your dog’s undesirable behavior or bad habits. You can find proven techniques that will create a shared understanding for you and your dog and rebuild your relationship. You should take pleasure in your dog’s company, and you cannot do it if you spend your time trying to control behavior without having any success. If you take the time to learn to effectively manage your dog’s behavior, your dog will show a happy and positive response to handling and training. You have to allow the dog to understand what you want from it, and your teaching methods have to make it possible for the dog to achieve understanding.

How To Teach Your Dog

In order to teach your dog how to share training and constructive play with you, you need to take advantage of the experience and techniques familiar to other people. Learn to use their training methods. A good training program will make it possible for you to teach yourself how to encourage your dog to accept new ideas and learn new things, and you will add an important new dimension to your dog’s life and to your own. If you want to make it possible for your dog to help you reach your goals as a dog owner and trainer, you will need your own learning experience.

You And Your Pet

Your pet deserves your time and attention. You deserve the pleasure of having your pet become more disciplined and cooperative. Make life more fun and rewarding for you and your pet and learn something new. Learning is fun, so try it for the fun of it. A few minutes a day will be enough to make your relationship with your pet a more important part of your life. Your dog will be a better pet and you will be a better companion.

Appreciate and enjoy your dog. For a good training program, visit this site.

Teresa Ray

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Feb 27, 2012 | 0 | Understanding Your Dog

How Talented Is Your Dog?

By Ron Ayalon

Maybe you have seen them on the television or on YouTube: dogs who act, paint, sing and do other tricks that a dog shouldn’t know how to do. The latest of these incredible canines is Uggie, a dog who is said to know how to act. Well, if you are one of those people who just isn’t buying that dogs are actually talented, consider yourself to be pretty darn smart! But if just can’t let go of the idea of your dog’s name on the marquee, read on.

The Truth About Talented Dogs
Dogs aren’t actors. They certainly aren’t painters and they cannot sing. That is just the bottom line. Dogs are animals who must be trained to perform specific jobs. Just like you train a dog to sit and roll over, you have to train a dog to play a specific part in a movie or to paint a masterpiece. While it is possible for a dog to pick up certain skills on his own, it is highly unlikely without considerable training.

Training a Dog to Show Off a Talent
When Uggie was training to become an actor, he spent upwards of 15 hours a day working on his skills. The skill that took him the longest to learn was the one that got him the Golden Globe. Learning how to play dead and stay dead was the last skill Uggie mastered before his audition. The training he needed was so intense that Uggie left his humans and moved in with his trainer to get the job done.

Teaching a dog how to paint isn’t really all that difficult, especially when comparing it to playing dead. Of course this depends on how you want Picasso to paint. If you want him to paint with a paintbrush in his mouth, you will have to teach him how to hold the paintbrush and how to dip it into paint. The way to do this is through repetition. You have to place the paintbrush in Picasso’s mouth, move it to the paint and then onto the canvas. The easier alternative is to place thick socks on Picasso’s two front paws. Have him walk into some paint and then walk around the canvas. You can even teach him to drag his paws to make lines.

Dogs who sing, well, that is just plain old silly. Many dogs will howl and make noise when a song is played. If you play the song enough, the dog will start to pick up on the melody of the music and over time, his howling and noise will start to sync up to the music. There really isn’t anything else to this masterful display of ‘talent’.

When Talent and Natural Instinct Meet
There are some dogs who have ‘talents’ that fall in line with their natural instincts. Sasha, a Labrador mix competed in a talent show by leaping over a moving obstacle. Sure, it was cute, but that wasn’t really talent. Sasha’s natural instinct is to jump over obstacles. Dogs who are roaming the wild have to jump over obstacles frequently to avoid getting injured while on the move.

Using Your Dog’s Talent for Good
There are two upsides to teaching your dog a talent. The first is that using his talent gives your dog a purpose. Dogs like to stay busy and they like attention. As long as you are showing Pascal your approval when he performs, he will be glad to do so and will enjoy showing off. If you keep praising him, Pascal will do it over and over again.

The second way to use Pascal’s talent for good is to train him to be obedient so that he can be a Canine Good Citizen. When he becomes a Canine Good Citizen, he can participate in programs in your area to help people benefit from his love. He may be able to go to nursing homes, hospitals or hospice as part of a companion therapy program or he may be able to work with organizations as part of an effort to show that not all dogs are wild or mean. If this interests you, simply Google Canine Good Citizen and see how you can Pacsal involved. Now that’s putting a talent to good use!

Ivan’s Puppies has been breeding and training puppies for over 30 years. Our hard work has been paying off, as now we are proud to be breeding Bulldog litters with excellent quality, with little to no health problems and good temperaments. For English Bulldog Puppies, visit our website at

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Feb 19, 2012 | 0 | Dog tricks, Understanding Your Dog

Allowing A New Pet To Get Used To Its Owner

By Leah Williams

Going to a pet store to purchase a pet is something that should only be done with a great deal of research in advance.

Anyone looking to purchase a new pet should first ask himself or herself if it is really the right thing to do. A pet should not simply be purchased based on the way it looks. Yes, there are numerous great looking dogs, cats, hamsters or rabbits in a pet store, but purchasing one without knowing anything about it is a mistake.

Prospective owners need to know how large a pet grows after it reaches maturity, what accessories it needs, how much food costs, and more. Even a small hamster requires much more than a hamster cage, and even reptiles need more than vivariums in which to live.

After purchasing a pet, finding accessories and purchasing them from a regular pet shop or from an online pet shop is not a problem.

Arriving home with their pet is usually the moment when new pet owners realise if they have made a mistake or not. It is the first couple of days that are the most important time, as these are the days when a connection between pet and owner is formed.

The pet, regardless of its type, starts to understand that there is nothing to fear from the owner, and that he or she is also feeding and caring for it, while the owner starts to understand exactly what his or her new pet is like and what it likes doing.

This accommodation period, as it is called, can last much more than a couple of days though. Suspicious pets such as hamsters and rabbits will require much more time with their new owner to get to know him or her. This can take as long as six months, and this is a period in which there will be little to no contact between pet and owner, except for the regular feeding.

Dogs and cats have a much smaller accommodation period, and it is not unusual for cats to start bonding with their new owner after only a day. Dogs can do the same, but there will be a difficult period with puppies crying after their mother at night. New pet owners will sometimes feel scared, especially if they spot something wrong with their pet. Panic is the first reaction, but that should be avoided, as it does not help the owner or the pet.

A trip to the local vet is mandatory after getting the pet, and whenever a problem is spotted or suspected. Only the vet can tell for sure if the pet is actually ill, or simply sad and depressed. Pet owners who do not spend a lot of time with their new pet may discover exactly how much this hurts it, as depression sets in and causes the pet to become lethargic.

Pet owners may think that buying a lot of toys for their new pet is enough to keep it occupied and that it will not notice the large amount of time it spends alone. This is not true, and all pets will notice it, but each will react differently. Cats may be pleased to be left alone for long periods of time, as they will simply sleep or watch out the window, but dogs on the other hand will severely dislike being left all alone for longer periods of time, and will either start barking or will start breaking and chewing things in the house.

Toys purchased from an online pet shop may keep a pet happy for a short period of time, but what keeps it happy for long periods of time is constant interaction with its owner. A pet needs to play with its owner regularly, and feel cared for and loved. Even a small hamster, locked in its hamster cage will be happy to see its owner, not only because it knows it is feeding time, but also because he is hoping for a pat or to be left outside to wander a little. Reptiles in vivariums will likewise be happy to see their owner, but this is generally strictly because they know it is feeding time, and not because they are keen on too much interaction.

Leah Williams writes articles for Supapet, an online pet shop offering an extensive range of pet food, accessories, healthcare treatments and more, suitable for animals of all types and sizes. When it comes to reptiles, Supapet have a variety of different vivariums for both climbing and terrestrial lizards, as well as a selection of terrariums. Supapet also caters for traditional childrens pets, including goldfish tanks, guinea pig hutches and a wide hamster cage range.

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Feb 18, 2012 | 0 | Understanding Your Dog

Overcome Dog Separation Anxiety


Dog Separation Anxiety and Possible Causes

Dog separation anxiety is an affliction brought on by the angst of being left alone. Like wolves, dogs are pack animals and naturally do not like to be separated. Canines associate their human family as members of the pack. A dog with separation anxiety will become exceedingly hyperactive and quite upset. This will manifest in desperate attempts to reunite with other pack members and finally on some level, devastation of the home.

To begin the cure, good training and socialization must be achieved. If not properly socialized, a dog will assume the position of pack leader. They will be upset with you for leaving, because this action was not on their authority. They will extend this behavior to times of play and in demands for attention. Of course, it is endearing when a dog wants to initiate play. This is fine as long as they understand that the human family ranks higher in the pack. Also, whatever their place in the hierarchy of the family (perhaps surpassing a cat), a well-trained dog will be happy, accepting and confident with their rank. Uncertainty breeds destruction and fear.

Their distress, however, may be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. In this case, medication for such problems as depression, anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) can be prescribed by a veterinarian. These medications will ease their levels of anxiety, and your pet will be able to cope. Your animal will not be permanently drowsy and some training techniques need to be applied as well. Genetically, certain breeds are predisposed to separation anxiety. These include German Shepherds and the Border collie. Both of these herding breeds are highly intelligent and quite aware of their environment.

Assess The Symptoms of Dog Separation Anxiety

Initially, a dog owner must diagnose the situation of chaos. Did the dog destroy the house because of boredom or teething? Are they suffering from a severe psychological disorder? Are they physically ill and trying to get your attention? Were they fearful of a disturbance to their environment such as a loud passing thunderstorm? Remember, dog separation anxiety is no one’s fault including your pet. You must help your loyal pet overcome their fears. Aside from damage to the home, the poor dog may hurt themselves in the process.

Some basic analysis follows. In many cases of separation anxiety, a dog will be with you constantly. They will be unnerved when you leave the room even just to go outside for a few moments alone. A dog will cry and whine when they sense you are leaving. Often they will try to beat you out of the house. A dog will win this foot race. After the melee of leaving, the dog will scratch at the door or window if within reach. Upon your return home, they are beside themselves with hyperactive glee. With separation anxiety, your pet may drool incessantly. They may go to the bathroom all over the house. These symptoms can be very stressful to the family as well.

Tips To Overcome Dog Separation Anxiety

There are options to try before seeking professional advice. Since dogs are quite habitual, try varying the doors and duration of time in which you leave and come home. Practice this. Limit the level of excitement upon exit and entry, so the dog will not feed on the energy. Make sure your dog has had a nice meal and walk before leaving for many hours. Always make sure your dog is not dehydrated. Like humans, water balances melatonin and serotonin levels in the brain which help in sleep and well-being respectively. Have some toys for your dog to occupy their time. Most likely, they will nap after being well fed, hydrated and tired from their exercise. Dog separation anxiety will be eased.

Many health conditions such as dog separation anxiety can hinder your progress in dog training. Learn more about successful dog training techniques at

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Oct 25, 2011 | 0 | dog behavior, Understanding Your Dog

What Wolves Tell Us About Dog Behavior

By Gary Clint Walker

Any study of dog behavior has to start with an analysis of the behavior of the wolf, ancestor of all domestic dogs.

Wolves have developed over millions of years to become the ultimate co-operative pack hunter. Their bodies and brains, senses and abilities have become adapted to communicating with each other, and they have developed the complex behaviors required to succeed as a social animal.

It is broadly accepted that the wolf is the one and only descendent of the domestic dog, and it therefore standards to reason that dogs have similar instincts and drives to wolves.

Once you accept this, a lot of your dog’s behaviors will begin to make sense.

Here are some of the “wolf-like” behaviors you may notice in your dog.

Pack Hierarchy: The wolf pack has a simple, but effective hierarchical structure. At the top is the alpha male and his mate. The rest of the pack is usually made up of their offspring, although it may include other, non-related wolves. All however, unquestionably follow the alpha male.

In the same way, a dog will instinctively follow someone who displays the right leadership qualities. But if he feels that leadership is not present, he’ll try to take up the role himself. This is particularly true of breeds with high dominance.

Body Language: Wolves (and dogs) use a complex body language to communicate and usually, this “language” carries more weight than any form of vocalization. Body language uses the tail, ears, eye contact, body movements, posture and facial expressions to get the message across.

These signals are often misunderstood by humans. For example, many assume that a dog who wags his tail is happy, when he may, in fact, be highly agitated and ready to bite.

Territorialism: When a wolf pack stakes out a territory, they’ll patrol it and chase off any intruders. You’ve probably noticed the same behavior in your dog, as he patrols your garden and barks at the gate. He’ll also protect other “territory”, like his food bowl, favorite toys, or even a person he sees as his “own”.

Socialization: Social interaction is very important in a wolf pack as it helps to develop the strong bonds that are vital to the survival of the pack.

You can simulate this with your dog through play, walks and obedience training. But you need to go further, socializing your dog with a broad spectrum of people and other animals, so that he doesn’t start to see everyone outside his immediate circle as a threat.

Chasing: The wolf’s style of hunting is to run after its prey until the animal becomes exhausted, so they instinctively follow anything moving away from them.

Dogs have this same instinct which is why they love to chase cats, cars, and cyclists.

Fleeing: Even powerful, apex predators like lions, would rather back off than get involved in a fight where they could be seriously injured. Likewise, a wolf or a dog would rather flee than fight if the odds are stacked against him.

Vocalization: A wolf has the same vocal abilities as a dog and contrary to popular belief they do occasionally bark. However, as vocal signals would frighten off prey or alert enemies, wolves tend to use their voices sparingly.

Dogs have no such concerns and employ an extensive vocabulary that includes barking, whining and howling to express their feelings.

Visit for more dog training tips and dog obedience training advice.

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Oct 13, 2011 | 0 | Understanding Your Dog

Hearing, Taste, and Perspective

By Kashif Razaa

As well as differences in their senses of smell and vision, dogs have very different powers of hearing and taste to humans. Their small height, relative to us, also gives them a very different outlook on the world.


The sense of hearing is much better developed in dogs than in humans, and they can hear noises at a much greater distance from the source than we can. Sounds that we can only just hear can be detected by dogs from four times as far away. In addition, they can hear higher frequencies of sound, such as the ultrasonic squeaks made by small prey animals. The frequency range of a dog’s hearing is 40-60,000 Hz, whereas we can only hear sounds in the range of 20-20,000 Hz. This is why dogs respond to supposedly “silent” dog whistles, which are only silent to us because they are beyond the frequency range of our hearing. It was advantageous for dogs that were bred to herd livestock to be able to hear well, so that they could respond to instructions shouted or whistled from some distance away.

Sound of silence

A “silent” dog whistle sounds like any other whistle to a dog, but we do not hear it because our ears cannot detect noise at such a high frequency.

For this reason, many of the modern descendants of these dogs have extremely sensitive hearing, and it is not uncommon for herding dogs to develop noise phobias when exposed to loud noises, such as fireworks.


Humans have nearly 9,000 taste buds in the mouth, whereas dogs have less than 2,000, so their sense of taste is less sophisticated than ours. Scent is more important than taste to dogs. The taste buds of these carnivores are designed to favor meat and fat, rather than the sweet and salty foods that humans prefer.

A dog’s perspective

Being smaller than us, dogs see the world from a different perspective. To find out how life in our homes appears to them, get down on your hands and knees and you will see that it seems a very different place. This is equally true when we take them out in busy towns and cities.

In a land of giants

For puppies and small dogs, humans are as tall as a double-decker bus. Sometimes this “land of giants” will seem an intimidating place to them.

To dogs, cars seem huge and lorries are like roaring monsters, emitting exhaust gases at nose-height. We often overlook dogs as we hurry through crowded streets, but it is easy to imagine how hard it must be for them to weave their way through a forest of moving legs. For puppies and small dogs, humans must seem like giants. Hands coming down from above may seem threatening to a small dog, especially if he is not sure of our intentions.

Not paws but jaws

Dogs lack delicate fingers and opposable thumbs. Because they need to stand on their paws, manipulating objects has to be done with the mouth. This helps to explain why puppies pick things up with their mouths during exploration, and bite and chew to find out about their world. Unlike human jaws, dog jaws can only move up and down, and they lack the ability to move from side to side.

Threatening hand

Always bear in mind how a dog sees you. From a dog’s perspective, a huge hand coming down to give a pat on the head can seem very scary.

Sixth sense

Some of the unusual abilities of dogs cause people to wonder if they have a “sixth” sense. For example, there are many recorded incidences of dogs finding their way home over thousands of miles. Dogs have also been known to locate their owners even though they have moved to a place the dog has never visited. Even more surprising is the ability of some dogs to predict when their owners are coming home: they will go and wait by the door from the moment the owner sets off for home. It may be that dogs have sensory abilities of which we are not yet aware.


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Sep 27, 2011 | 0 | Understanding Your Dog

A Rewarding Relationship

By Kashif Razaa

A good relationship with your dog, which is based on love, trust, and respect, is essential to harmony, good behavior, and to maximizing his potential in the many different aspects of your life together.

Essential elements

Dogs are pack animals and, as a result, they seek out and rely on their social connections. A special relationship with at least one member of their human family is essential to a dog’s well-being and good behavior. If that relationship is strong and solid, the dog will be well-adjusted, more resilient to change or adversity, and better equipped to behave in a way that is acceptable for everyone. To build this sort of relationship, however, you need to work hard to be loving, trustworthy, and kind. All dogs have a strong sense of injustice, so it is very important to be scrupulously fair in all of your dealings with them. Positive training methods will help to keep your relationship on track as they rely on making your dog want to do as you ask rather than forcing him to comply. Spending time with him on a regular basis is essential to making him feel loved, wanted, and cared for. If you are too busy to give him the social care that he craves, he may become withdrawn and depressed or exhibit unwanted attention-seeking behaviors.

Establishing trust

The trust that develops during the formation of a good owner-dog relationship allows youto perform all maintenance tasks easily.

Strong bond

A good social relationship is essential to your dog’s wellbeing and will bring contentment and happiness to both of you. However, you have to work at it and put in time and effort.

Working partnership

Partners in a successful relationship help each other out. Mutual trust and respect will reduce your reliance on rewards when you ask your dog to comply with your wishes, and he will then respond to your requests willingly.

Positive training methods

Positive training, which can be achieved by following the methods that are set out in this book, will enhance your relationship with your dog, and this, in turn, will bring the two of you closer together. As you train, each of you will find out about the other. You will both learn what you are good at, what makes you frustrated, what pleases you, and how each of you can make the other happy. As training continues, and your relationship becomes stronger, you will find that your dog will work harder for you and feel more closely bonded to you. Regular training sessions, especially if they are interspersed with play, will result in your dog becoming a well-trained, well-behaved, willing friend and partner.

Bad parenting

Using only positive methods for training, educating, and building a relationship with your dog may be difficult if you were brought up by parents who were very negative towards you, as you may pass this attitude on. It can be difficult to train at times when you are angry or stressed. Although your dog will forgive the occasional slip, prevent damaging your relationship further by avoiding training sessions when you are feeling less positive. A negative approach to training will only lead to resentment and fear.


Humans have bred dogs selectively to be sociable and biddable. Because their ancestors once lived in packs, dogs benefit from having a leader that they can respect and follow, and, much like children, they can become unruly and difficult without one. Dogs need to be taught how to behave appropriately, and boundaries of acceptable behavior need to be set and maintained. To be an effective leader, you need to be kind and encouraging most of the time, but, when necessary, you must also be tough and uncompromising. Taking the lead by making good decisions about what to do next is an essential leadership quality that your dog will recognize, as is keeping members of your pack safe and leading them out of danger when difficult situations arise. Of course, it is possible to force your will on your dog, but he will not regard you as a good leader if you do so-you are more likely to inspire fear. You have to earn your dog’s respect through your actions and decisions in daily life. This is the recipe for a good relationship.


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Sep 26, 2011 | 0 | Tips, Understanding Your Dog