In recent years, scientists have realised that the impact of testosterone on dog behaviour is more nuanced: in a poorly socialised, timid dog, there’s a possibility that testosterone may have the useful effect of increasing a dog’s confidence. So for a dog with fear-based aggression, neutering could even make things worse. The right answer to the question “castrate or not” depends on the details of the individual dog, so if in doubt, it’s best to discuss this with your vet.
Tail chasing can be classified as a stereotypy. It falls under obsessive compulsive disorder, which is a neuropsychiatric disorder that can present in dogs as canine compulsive disorder. In one clinical study on this potential behavioral problem, 18 tail-chasing terriers were given clomipramine orally at a dosage of 1 to 2 mg/kg (0.5 to 0.9 mg/lb) of body weight, every 12 hours. Three of the dogs required treatment at a slightly higher dosage range to control tail chasing, however, after 1 to 12 weeks of treatment, 9 of 12 dogs were reported to have a 75% or greater reduction in tail chasing. Personality can also play a factor in tail chasing. Dogs who chase their tails have been found to be more shy than those who do not, and some dogs also show a lower level of response during tail chasing bouts.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour found that dogs trained using aversive techniques are far more likely to show signs of stress than those trained using positive methods. The research involved monitoring two dog training schools. One used corrections where dogs were trained using force, such as having their collar jerked. At the other school the dogs were rewarded when they performed the desired behaviour. The findings in the study suggest training methods based on positive reinforcement are less stressful and better for the dog’s welfare (Deldalle & Gaunt 2014).
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Animal behaviorists assert that using dominance to modify a behavior can suppress the behavior without addressing the underlying cause of the problem. It can exacerbate the problem and increase the dog's fear, anxiety, and aggression. Dogs that are subjected to repeated threats may react with aggression not because they are trying to be dominant, but because they feel threatened and afraid.
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Whether you're looking for an awesome fitness partner or someone to cuddle up with on the couch, it's important to choose the right breed for your lifestyle. If you're struggling to make a decision, set aside a little time to do some homework. We've provided multiple articles filled with helpful information on breed characteristics, personality, living requirements and history. While each breed has a unique disposition, one is bound to be a perfect fit for you and your lifestyle.
Derived from the theories of symbolic interactionism, relationship based training exploits the patterns of communication, interpretation and adjustment between dogs and their trainers. Building on a positive relationship between them, the method sets out to achieve results that benefit both the dog and the trainer, while at the same time enhancing and strengthening their relationship. The basic principles include ensuring that the dog's basic needs have been met before beginning a training session, finding out what motivates the dog and using it to elicit behaviours, interpreting the dog's body language to improve communication between dog and trainer, using positive reinforcement to encourage desired behavior, training incompatible behaviors to replace unwanted behaviours, and controlling the dog's environment to limit the possibility of unwanted behaviours. A relationship-based approach to dog training is not reliant on using particular training aids or treats, the relationship is always there, and the connection between dog and trainer is sufficiently powerful to achieve the training goals.
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From height and weight to exercise requirements, there are many physical characteristics and personality traits to consider when selecting a breed. If you want a large dog who is laid back and needs only 20 minutes of attention per day, then a Basset Hound or Leonberger could be a good match for you. Or if you prefer small dogs and want to boost your fitness level try a Jack Russell Terrier whose energy is very high and requires 40 minutes of exercise a day. Sift through our breed profiles to find a personality that matches yours.
Designed to give your dog the best possible start to their training, this course allows our trainers offers time to cover the foundations of dog training - from the basics right to your dog’s unique behavioural problems. For 18 days, your dog will stay and train with their dedicated educator, who is committed to helping your dog progress and overcome their individual challenges.
Dogs evolved from wolves and are therefore primed to defend what is theirs. They have an attachment to their home territory and the resources within it. Dogs have no way of knowing that the dogs and human we invite around to our home, for example for a play-date, are ever going to leave. They can be forgiven for thinking that this is the way it is going to be from hereon. So it is to be expected that they will often try to lay out the local ground-rules and put the new arrivals in their place.
The term "observational learning" encompasses several closely related concepts: allelomimetic behavior or mimicking where, for example, puppies follow or copy others of their kind; social facilitation where the presence of another dog causes an increase in the intensity of a behavior; and local enhancement which includes pieces of social facilitation, mimicking, and trial-and-error learning, but is different from true observational learning in that the dog actively participates in the behavior in the presence of the other dog and/or other environmental cues. Four necessary conditions for observational learning are: attention, retention, motivation, and production. That is, the dog must pay attention to the dog or person performing the modelled behavior; retain the information gathered about the behavior during the observation; be motivated to reproduce the behavior in a time and place removed from the original; and finally, produce the behavior, or some reasonable facsimile thereof.
Research has shown that there are individual differences in the interactions between dogs and their human that have significant effects on dog behavior. In 1997, a study showed that the type of relationship between dog and master, characterized as either companionship or working relationship, significantly affected the dog's performance on a cognitive problem-solving task. They speculate that companion dogs have a more dependent relationship with their owners, and look to them to solve problems. In contrast, working dogs are more independent.
Dogs have become closely associated with humans through domestication and have also become sensitive to human communicative signals. Generally, they have a lot of exposure to human speech, especially during play, and are believed to have a good ability to recognize human speech. Two studies investigated the ability of a single dog that was believed to be exceptional in its understanding of language. Both studies revealed the potential for at least some dogs to develop an understanding of a large number of simple commands on the basis of just the sounds emitted by their owners. However the studies suggested that visual cues from the owner may be important for the understanding of more complex spoken commands.