Category Archives: dog behavior

Is Your Dog Always Excited to See You?

dog excited kizzzbethBy Linda Cole

One of the simple pleasures in life is the enthusiastic greeting I get from my dogs every time I walk through the door, even if it’s only been a few minutes. My dogs act like it’s been months since they last saw me, and each one has their own way of showing how much they missed me. According to a new study, science can explain why your dog greets you with excitement when he see you – no matter how long you’ve been gone.

There are two components that explain why your dog is always so happy to see you. The first one originated in the early years of domestication when the common wolf-like ancestors of dogs and wolves made a choice to begin interacting with our early ancestors. Friendlier and more social wolves sought out humans, evolving into dogs. The more antisocial wolves wanted nothing to do with us and stayed away. That decision is what makes dogs different from wolves, even though the two species share some common behaviors. The wolf we know today is essentially much different from their ancient ancestors.

Gregory Berns, a neuroscientist at Emory University, trained dogs to lie still inside an MRI machine. His research team wanted to see how the dog brain works to better understand our canine friends. From previous studies, he discovered their brain works in a similar way as ours. Berns found that dogs can recognize faces of humans and other dogs, and the region of the brain that lights up is the same area in our brains when we see someone familiar. He learned that canines recognize familiar scents and can distinguish between the smell of a human, another dog and familiar objects.
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Do Dogs Like to be Teased?

teasing Renee JohnsonBy Linda Cole

Playing with your dog has an important role in building a bond and earning trust. Plus, he gets to spend quality time with you and run off some energy. It’s not uncommon for dog owners to tease their pet, especially when playing fetch. Instead of tossing the ball, you hide it and watch as your dog tries to find the elusive ball. To us it’s all in good fun, but does your dog see teasing as part of play, and is it something he likes?

In some instances, teasing a dog can promote unwanted behavior. I used to have a neighbor kid who thought it was fun to ride his bike towards my dog Jack when he was outside in his pen. The kid raced his bike up to the fence before veering off and hitting his brakes. This infuriated and frustrated Jack to no end, and he would growl and bark whenever he saw the boy. Jack was a very friendly dog to everyone else. Mean-spirited teasing or harassment is never alright for people or pets. If you suspect someone is teasing your dog, it’s up to you to put a stop to it immediately, before your pet resorts to biting.
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Do Dogs Remember Their Canine Family Members?

dogs remember jeffreyBy Langley Cornwell

Because our dogs are so much a part of our lives, we tend to humanize them a bit, calling them our babies, saying they are brother and sister even if they’re not from the same litter (I’m guilty of this with Frosty and Al), etc. We think of our dogs as family members and we know they recognize us easily. The question of whether a dog remembers and recognizes canine family members, however, is another story altogether. Some people believe that their dog remembers their original canine family members throughout their lifetime while others claim there is no way for this to be true.

One of the reasons we can’t believe that dogs remember their canine family members is because, as humans, we tend to moralize many aspects of a dog’s nature. For instance, we believe that if a pup would mate with his mother or sister then there is no way that he realizes the other dog is a family member. Nature is a whole different story, and it is important for us to realize that our dogs are not the same species we are, and they do not hold to the same code of morality that humans do. Their drive is instinctual. When a female dog is in heat, the pheromones and hormones will lead any male dog—regardless of family relation, size or breed—to mount her. So that is not a logical argument for or against familial remembrance.
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Why is the Greeting Ritual of Dogs Different from Cats?

greeting tonyBy Linda Cole

Cats and dogs both see the world with their own unique perspective as individuals and from the way they evolved to interact with us and other animals. A dog isn’t shy about racing to meet you at the door the minute you walk in. A feline is typically more subtle in the way she greets you; a twitch of the ears or flick of the tail will do for some kitties. Have you ever wondered why the greeting ritual of dogs and cats is so different when saying hi to their owner?

Dogs are social creatures who evolved to be comfortable living within a family unit, and prefer the social company of other dogs and humans. Because of that preference, your dog has a small degree of stress when you aren’t around. Some canines have a much harder time dealing with their stress and suffer from separation anxiety. The degree of stress your dog experiences depends on his personality and environment. When you leave your pet home alone, he is forced to accept a non-voluntary detachment from those he has a bond with. When you finally return home, your dog is filled with relief and welcomes you home in his own special way. His expression of joy is one way of telling you he has a special attachment to you and is really happy you’re home.
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Does Your Dog Hog Your Bed?

dogs sleep joaoBy Laurie Darroch

Dogs love being close to their human companions, even when they sleep.  If your dog is allowed on the bed or furniture, they will very soon take it over and make it their domain as well as yours. In their minds it must be allowable to establish the most comfortable arrangement they can on their sleeping spots, even if it makes your sleeping arrangement uncomfortable. For our loved dogs though, we often make concessions that we don’t even do for our human companions.

Unerring loyalty is sometimes worth bending the rules for when it comes to rest time. The sense of safety and security humans and dogs get from each other is an added bonus, but dogs know how to push the limits of sleeping comfort if you allow them to. Sometimes they are quite humorous about their sleep time maneuverings. They have a way of wiggling in where they want to be, to sleep right next to the person they love most.
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2015 Top 10 Googled Dog Questions

google rexBy Linda Cole

For the last 15 years, Google has published a list of topics that garnered the most searches for that particular year. The total number is compiled from searches on YouTube, Google Search, and Google News. Curious humans searched for information about the “dress” (was it white/gold or blue/black?), movies, celebrities and diets – to name just a few popular topics. Our canine friends also have a category. So what dog questions did people search for most often in 2015?

10. How to Stop Dogs from Biting?

Correcting this behavior requires patience and persistence. When your dog bites hard enough that it’s painful, yell “Ouch” and turn your attention away from him for around five seconds. If he bites again, yell “Ouch” and move away. Ending your interaction with him is negative punishment to a dog. Repeat this exercise each time he bites hard. Reward with tasty CANIDAE treats when he controls his bite. He’ll learn through repetition about bite inhibition.
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