DOG TRAINING AND BEHAVIOR

dog

Can Dogs Help Prevent Schizophrenia?

Having a dog as a child might reduce the risk for schizophrenia in adulthood by as much as 24 percent, but not for the reasons you might think. Rather than keeping the psychiatric disorder at bay via steady companionship and the emotional well-being a pet confers, a dog may ward off schizophrenia by influencing the […]
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Their Facial Expressions Do More Than Express Emotions. Theyre a Form of...

People show their emotions with facial expressions all the time, even if theyre alone. Its involuntary. Not so dogs. Particular facial expressions they make are intentional and occur only when you make eye contact with them. That is, theyre more than shows of emotion. Theyre forms of communication.

Dear Doctor: The dog has started acting out

I have an 8-year-old male dachshund who is usually good, but in the last 2 weeks he has been shredding everything in sight. He is also defecating on the floor, which he never did before. I work 10 hours a day, but I feed him and take him out to go to the bathroom before I leave. I also give him plenty of hugs and love before I go. Yes, hes spoiled! But still, this behavior is not like him. Im wondering if, since I took some time off recently, this is the problem. I love my dog more than anything else and also need him, as I am almost deaf and he hears for me. Anything you can say to help me would be greatly appreciated. I cant drop him off at doggy day care because he doesnt get along with other dogs.

Can Dogs Get PTSD?

Warriors with nightmares and other symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were described as far back as the Bronze Age in Assyrian literature. Fast forward 3,600 years to 2009, when researchers found that some military working dogs were unable to go back to their jobs as bomb sniffers following exposure to combat in Afghanistan. The researchers, a combination of PTSD experts in human psychiatry and psychology along with veterinary behaviorists, came up with a strict set of criteria for canine PTSD in those military dogs. They included escape or avoidance of work-related environments; changes in rapport with their handlers; and interference with critical tasks, including controlled aggression.
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Even Mild Punishment Has a Negative Impact

You consider yourself a loving dog owner who would never hit your pet or otherwise cause harm. But did you know that even mild forms of punishment you might inflict regularly without thinking could damage your dogs psyche and create behavioral issues?
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Four Steps to Relieving Separation Anxiety

Owners dont see separation anxiety in action. After all, theyre not home when a dog panics over being alone. But they sure see its aftermath - the destruction of household objects, elimination in inappropriate places, escape attempts that lead to broken teeth and nails, and neighbors who complain about excessive barking in their absence.

Eco-Friendly Dog Products

In our increasingly environmentally aware society, more and more people are becoming concerned with how their purchases are affecting our ecosystem. With that in mind, here are some carbon footprint-friendly options for your dog, whether youre buying first-time items or replacing some staples in your dogs collection of accouterments.

Dog Bites: Costly In More Ways Than One

Dogs dont bite to show that might makes right or to make clear how scary or nasty they can be. Most dogs bite out of fear, stress (including stress that leads to resource guarding), self-protection or protection of their human family members, or severe pain.

How the Animal Behaviorist Should Make You Feel

Aggression is the number one reason people bring their dogs to animal behaviorists, and these owners are often in an agitated emotional state because they are afraid they cant control their pet in dangerous situations. Now a new study out of the University of Bristol in the UK demonstrates that owners emotional needs need be addressed as well as those of their reactive dogs so that they can effectively apply positive reinforcement rather than punishment when training their dogs not to act aggressively.

Getting Your Dog Over the Hump

Many people have a strong negative reaction to seeing dogs humping. They interpret it as a sign of sexual aggression. And if its their own dog doing the humping, they feel embarrassed by it, as if its somehow a reflection on them. They start yelling at their pet and trying to pull it off the other dog, which backfires because dogs like attention - even negative attention - and your strong reaction could only prove positive reinforcement for the behavior. So what should you do?

Is It Cognitive Decline?

All of us, dogs included, lose some mental agility as we grow older. A gradual reduction in brain size coupled with the loss of neurons as the years go by translates to a slowdown in cognitive ability. But is it senility or, as its called in dogs, canine cognitive dysfunction? If the drop-off in mental acuity is fairly precipitous, with noticeable differences taking place over months rather than years, theres a good chance it is.

Is An Electric Fence the Right Tool for Letting Your Dog Play Outside?

It might seem like an electric fence is a great idea for all dogs. Unlike an actual fence, it keeps a dog safely contained without obstructing his view in any way.