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Why Do Dogs Love To Roll In Stinky Stuff & Grooming Tips

Few dogs don’t have this habit to some extent—whether it’s a good shoulder-first roll in fresh grass with all its hidden secrets or a nosedive into a freshly manured field. The behaviour is called scent rolling and researchers speculate that it originated as a way to bring information back to the pack. Of course, dogs have had much time and adaptation to make the behaviour their own, so it’s likely dogs roll in grass and other interesting materials for a number of reasons. One is to get rid of unwanted smells, for example that doggie shampoo you enjoy but that Fido does not appreciate. Itchy skin can be another cause for frequent and vigorous rolling, so look out for fleas, tick bites, or tell-tale signs of skin conditions such as scabs, redness, rashes, or bald patches. Rolling in grass is not dangerous in itself. Just be sure your dog has

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The Shell Game

A positive push that has happened for me this year was to see how I could stimulate both dogs and owners during Stay at Home Orders due to COVID.  I’ve done this by having fun getting out of my routine and implementing brain games into my behavior repertoire. I have often told owners that mental exercise such as training, allowing your dogs to smell, and brain games can tire dogs out.  I have seen and gotten reports back from students how this is true. Students who have joined me in my Games class reported that they were spending more time with their dogs and their dogs took a nice long nap after class due to the fun mentally stimulating activities. In this post I want to share a simple, fun, interactive game for both you, your dog, and family,  The Shell Game.  Let me know if by adding The Shell

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3 Keys To Successful Dog Training

Setting boundaries/ guideline/ expectations/ rules, however you want to look at it can help dogs, adults, kids, animals thrive with knowing what is expected of them. Knowing that there are rules, keeps pure and utter chaos from ensuing. Boundaries/ guidelines/ expectations/ rules takes the guess work out of what needs to happen in various situations and in order to get attention. For example, I have found training your dog to ‘sit’ to get attention instead of them jumping can be life changing for both the dog and their owner. The best part of that? It’s not that hard as long as your consistent and follow through. In my son’s Taekwondo dog class their Black Belt Success Cycle is something I have always followed and implement with my students. I feel these are the 3 keys to successful training, setting boundaries, and obtaining goals in life. The key steps are: Know

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Building A Lifelong Relationship

The American Veterinary Medical Association defines the human-animal bond as “a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors that are essential to the health and well-being of both.” So, what are the behaviors in question? Being a responsible caretaker is at the foundation, of course, and includes providing food, water, shelter, and safety, as well as medical care when needed. But aside from that, what influences a person’s relationship with her dog? What takes it from good to great? In the human world, psychologist John Gottman spent four decades studying couples to find out what makes marriages happy and lasting. His major takeaway was that a deep sense of connection and trust is built between couples that make many “bids”—verbal or nonverbal requests for attention and connection—and offer positive responses to those bids. Positive reinforcement training shows us that the same principles apply

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Bichon Frise

This cheerful and companionable powder puff hails from the Mediterranean area; bichons traveled widely as companions for sailors, minstrels, and circus groups. Beginning in the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, they found favor with one royal European family after another, from Spain to Italy to France (King Henry III of France reputedly carried his bichon in a basket hanging from his neck). Bichons are the star performers of the dog world. Consummate entertainers, they love attention and can play and clown around for hours. The well-socialized bichon is friendly, resilient, and quick to learn. This, combined with a sturdy build, makes him an equally great buddy whether traveling or lounging at home. Despite his classification as a nonsporting dog, the bichon is a terrific little athlete that, with training, can excel at agility, K9 Nose Work, and Rally obedience. To give a Bichon Frise a home, search online for

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Tripods Don’t Stop

A common reaction when people see a three-legged dog is sympathy. (“Poor thing…”) Another is admiration. (“What a brave pooch!”) Both are entirely understandable. For humans, amputation can involve complex psychological and emotional issues. For dogs? Less so. Dogs have no notion of body image, no mental image of what they are supposed to look like. What they care about falls into two major categories: One, whether they are in pain. Two, whether they can do things they love: go for walks, play with toys, eat yummy food, get belly rubs, snuggle on the couch, etc. Nature is kind to animals in this way. A pain-free, well-fed dog with a loving home doesn’t give a hoot that her daily walk happens in the characteristic tripod hop instead of a lope. Amputee dogs, often called tripods, generally lose a limb either as a result of an accident or as a means

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Motivating Your Dog

  Does your dog’s response to cues seem lackluster? You may not have found the right motivation. Like humans, dogs work harder with strong motivation. Here’s how to turbocharge your dog’s drive—whether to come when called or break her agility speed record.   Find What Drives Your Dog We are all motivated to action by different things. Maybe it’s that afternoon caffè latte we promise ourselves if we finish the report, or the massage we feel we earned after a month of gym visits. But the wrong reward would leave us cold. If you wanted chocolate, would you toil for a carrot? What does your dog most want? If in doubt, parade different treats past your dog to see what really gets her attention. Most dogs go nuts for meaty, greasy, and smelly. A few dogs prefer bread-based items. Some dogs, particularly working breeds like Border Collies and some terriers,

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Size Matters

Your Chihuahua may love Boxers and your Rottie mix may adore Dachshunds. But when little and big play together, keep close watch. Big dogs can unintentionally harm small dogs—and on the rare occasions when friendly play escalates into a scuffle, the smaller dog is at risk for serious injury or death. If you let your dog play with very differently sized dogs, supervise vigilantly. No chasing. Don’t allow chase or wrestle games between a very large and a very small dog. If you see this happening, call your dog away with a treat. At the park, seek out areas with more dogs his own size. Why is this important? Dogs love to chase things—balls, cats, sticks, Frisbees, and other dogs. They get this love from their wolf ancestry, along with the instincts to stalk, and grab and shake small prey animals. But wolves are all about the same size and

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The Best of Dog Times

The Best of Dog Times It’s human nature to get sentimental about the past. When we imagine dogs’ lives 100 years ago, what likely comes to mind are idyllic scenes of working dogs herding sheep on green pastures or bouncing alongside horse-drawn fire engines (thank you, Disney). We forget—or never learned about—the popularity of dog fighting, the widespread animal cruelty of the 19th century, or the out-of-control stray problem that saw thousands of dogs rounded up and killed in inhumane ways. Today, fewer dogs do the jobs they were bred for, but they enjoy endless advantages never afforded their forebears. Take, for example, medical advances in veterinary science over the last 20 years. Not only are there more and better treatments available, canine pain management options such as acupuncture, massage, TTouch, and swim therapy mean that dogs with injuries, arthritis, or in post-op recovery suffer much less. Then there’s the

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Tips for Running With Your Dog

If your dog is healthy, loves to run, and is capable of running a respectable distance, you have the makings of a wonderful running partner—whether Labrador or toy poodle mix. Dogs don’t mind if you rouse them at the crack of dawn and never fuss about runny noses or side stitches. But unless you happen to share your life with a born side runner (like Dalmatians, once bred to run alongside fire engines), you may have to teach your dog the human version of running. Dogs like to go faster than people, check out interesting smells along the route, and chase the occasional cat. If you haven’t done so already, the first step is to teach your dog good on-leash manners during walks. Then proceed to walks interspersed with periods of jogging and finally graduate to full runs. Build distance and time slowly—in increments of 10 minutes, for example—to ensure

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