Saturday, June 28, 2008

Break the Habit of Jumping


Dogs jump on people for a variety of reasons. They want attention. They want to be closer to you, and jumping gets their face closer to your face. It can be a very pushy friendliness. And it can be a dominance gesture. But this can hurt a child, or an elderly person, during the collision.

If you push a dog away, he is being rewarded by getting your hands on him. If you yell “get down”, that is also attention. To discourage jumping, ignore your dog, also turn your back, or walk away when he jumps.

This removes the reward, and incentive, and prevents jumping from being a successful behavior. When a dog sits, praise him, or give him a treat. Withhold all attention (even eye contact, or speaking), until all four paws are on the ground. Ask visitors to pet your dog only when he sits. This teaches your dog to associate good things: attention, praise, treats, with sitting.

There’s no quick and easy cure. Be consistent. Your boisterous dog will learn to be calmer and more courteous.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What is your Dog Saying?

Shakes toys back and forth in his mouth. This simulates predatory behavior in the wild, shaking the neck of prey to kill it.

Keeps the hair on his back standing on end. Dog’s hairs have little muscles attached, reactivated by fight or flight reactions, to make them look bigger and fiercer. If your dog is very cold, the hair stands up, and traps an insulating layer of air, so the cold cannot get to the skin.

Circles before going to sleep. Dogs in the wild create a safe spot to sleep in. Dogs today are genetically programmed to create a nest.

Whines. Dogs whine if they are cold, hungry, or separated from their pack. Dogsare born pack animals. They want to be with their pack. They can be taught, by brief absences, to cope with being alone.

Licks you. Licking you is an attention ­seeking gesture. It can be a submissive gesture, to demonstrate that they accept you as the leader.

Sniffs other dogs’ behinds. Hormones generated from the anal
glands let another dogs know the sex, mood, and sexual status of another dog.



Sniffs around to find the “right spot” before eliminating. Eliminat­ing is more than urinating for a dog. It is a communication to other dogs, after sniffing to “read” their communications.

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