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Dogs + Behavior

  • Dogs are not wolves living in our homes. But even if they were, dominance theory and alpha theory would not apply, just as they do not apply to wolves. Dogs do the behaviors that work and using management, prevention, supervision, and positive reinforcement is the best way to create a dog you love.

  • Before making the decision to bring a new dog into your household, there are some important factors to consider, including compatibility with your current dog, how they will be introduced, and what additional training will be required to ensure a harmonious multi-dog home.

  • Play with owners and with other dogs provides your dog not only with an outlet for physical exercise, but also helps to fill your dog's social needs.

  • Sometimes, what we want our dogs to do is, well, nothing! Learning to settle and be calm in a variety of environments is a life skill many owners appreciate from their dogs. Training using positive reinforcement is an excellent way to teach calm and settle.

  • An increasing number of pet owners are taking their dogs with them when they travel by car or airplane rather than leaving them behind. On a day to day basis, there may be some places where your dog may accompany you, whether you are visiting friends, going to work, or taking the dog to the groomer, veterinarian or doggy day care.

  • Most male animals (stallions, bulls, boars, rams, dogs, and tomcats) that are kept for companionship, work, or food production are neutered (castrated) unless they are intended to be used as breeding stock. Since castration will influence a dog's behavior, every dog owner should consult with their veterinarian about the health impacts of castration for their individual dog.

  • Chasing and running after prey, nipping at heels and herding are normal dog behaviors. These behaviors are more strongly motivated in some breeds of dogs than others. In addition, some dogs may be motivated to chase off intruders (people, other dogs) from their property and, when the intruders leave, the behavior may appear to the dog to have been successful.

  • While most cases of coprophagia appear to be purely behavioral, there are indeed numerous medical problems that can cause or contribute to coprophagia. These problems must first be ruled out before a purely behavioral diagnosis can be made.

  • Sometimes it is necessary to use a special type of collar to prevent your pet from attacking a particular area (e.g., a wound or bandage dressing). They take two forms: Elizabethan collars and tubular collars.

  • There are numerous reasons that a dog might soil the house with urine and/or stools. Determining the specific reason is essential for developing a treatment program. Dogs that soil the home continuously or intermittently from the time they were first obtained may not have been properly house-trained.