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Tuesday, January 28, 2020


General Information

The origin of the canine can be traced back with some certainty to the Eocene Miacids that existed nearly 55 million years ago. The modern day dog evolved from the Canoidea line (a coyote type of dog) that existed around 38 million years ago, which again evolved into a fox-like animal (the Leptocyon) and then into a wolf-like animal (the Tomarctus) about 10 million years ago. The Tomarctus was apparently native to the North American continent, and from there began expanding throughout the various parts of the world. The dog like Tomarctus was a dog-like carnivore that eventually evolved into the modern day dog.

Modern day evidence suggests that the dog is the closest relative to the wolf  experts have deduced this information based on genetics and behavior patterns.

These wolf like animals became domesticated as humans began raising the wolf pups as tame and social animals. Humans probably interacted more with these animals because of the shared interest in the same types of prey and habitats. Eventually these pups became dependent on the humans for food and adapted to living with humans. The modern day domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a descendent of these early wolf-pup domestications beginning around 10,000 BC.

DOG Scientific Information

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Canis
Species: C. lupus
Subspecies: C.l. familiaris

DOG Character Information

The dog has long been considered as Mans best friend. When dogs are properly cared for from the time they are puppies, they will grow to live a good healthy life. Proper care and attention will earn you undying loyalty from your canine friend.

Dogs are primarily different from other household pets for two main reasons: social attachment to humans, and physical temperament

Dogs are social creatures they bond they form with humans is uncommon to other domesticated animals . Their friendly and protective natures make them ideal companions to humans.

Dogs are varied in their temperaments and have been bred to enhance specific characteristics. Because of their varied physical sizes and temperaments, it is very common for a pet owner to find a type dog that meets their emotional needs  there is pretty much a dog for any type of personality out there.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

USA Standard German Shepherd Dog



The United Schutzhund Clubs of America Inc. is a German Shepherd Dog Breed Organization guided by the rules of the organization of origin of the German Shepherd Dog, the "Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde (SV)" in Germany and is strongly devoted to create and promote the German Shepherd Dog in its original breeding as a working dog. The United Schutzhund Clubs of America Inc. is a member of the "World Union of German Shepherd Dog Clubs" and accepts the bylaws of this organization in regards to the breeding rules of German Shepherd Dogs.
The following translation of the German Shepherd Dog F.C.I. Standard, MO. 166/23.03.1991/D translated from the SV publication 1998 has been submitted by Johannes Grewe and is recommended by the 1998 Breed Advisory Committee for approval by the Executive Board at their meeting in 1998.
The "Standard" is part of the USA Bylaws.
The following "Standard" has been approved by the Executive Board at the meeting inBangor, Maine, on May 6, 1998.
F.C.I.-Standard-Mo. 166/23.03.1991/D
Edition 1993
Short Historical Overview

In accordance with the official provisions of the German Shepherd Dog Club (SV) e.V., located in Augsburg, a member of the Federation of Dog Clubs in Germany (VDH) is the founding organization of the German Shepherd Dog and therefore, responsible for the breed standard. Work on this document was begun at the first membership meeting in Frankfurt/M on September 20, 1899 and is based on proposals by A. Meyer and v. Stephanitz. Additions and revisions to the standard were made as follows: membership meeting on July 28, 1901; 23rd membership meeting on September 17, 1909 in Koln; Board and Executive Committee Meeting on September 5, 1930 in Wiesbaden, and the Breeders Committee and Board Meeting on March 25, 1961 in conjunction with the WUSV (World Union of German Shepherd Clubs) and during the WUSV Meeting on August 30, 1976 where the standard was agreed upon, revised, and approved by the Board and Executive Committee on March 23 and 24, 1991.
Planned breeding activities began after the inception of the SV in 1899. The German Shepherd Dog was developed from herding dogs in service during that time in Middle and Southern Germany. The goal was to produce a high-performance working dog. To accomplish this goal, the Breed Standard of the German Shepherd Dog was created. This document addresses both physical qualities as well as character attributes.

General Appearance

The German Shepherd Dog is medium sized, slightly longer than tall, strong and well muscled, bone is dry, the whole dog presenting a picture of firmness.

Important Measurements

Height at the withers for males: 60 - 65 cm, bitches: 55 - 60 cm. Length of torso exceeds height at the withers by 10 - 17%.


The German Shepherd should appear poised, calm, self confident, absolutely at ease, and (except when agitated) good natured, but also attentive and willing to serve. He must have courage, fighting drive, and hardness in order to serve as companion, watchdog, protection dog, service dog, and herding dog.


The head is wedge-shaped and in harmony with the dogs size (length app. 40% of height at the withers) without being coarse or overly long. The head should appear dry, and moderately wide between the ears. Seen from the front and side, the forehead is only slightly domed, the center furrow is either absent or only slightly visible. The length ratio of skull to face is 50 : 50%. Skull width approximately equals skull length. Seen from above, the skull slopes into a wedge-shaped muzzle. The stop should not be pronounced. Upper and lower jaws are strong, the bridge of the nose should be straight, not a Roman nose or dish-faced nose. Lips are taut, well closed and of dark color.

The Nose

The nose should be black.


The teeth must be strong and complete in number (42 teeth as per formula). The German Shepherd has a scissor bite, where the upper incisors must meet the lower incisors in a scissor grip. Level bite, overshot and undershot teeth are faulty, as well as widely spaced teeth. A straight incisor tooth line is also faulty. Jawbones must be well developed, to permit deep rooting of the teeth in the gum.

The Eyes

The eyes are medium sized, almond-shaped, set slightly oblique and not protruding. The color should be as dark as possible

The German Shepherd has medium-sized, upright ears which are carried erect and perpendicular to one another, pointed and open to the front. Tipped ears and hanging ears are faulty. Laid-back ears are not faulty when the dog is in motion or resting.


The neck is strong, well-muscled, and clean cut (without folds of loose skin). The angle of neck to torso is approximately 45 degrees.


The top line extends from the point where the neck meets the skull past the well developed withers and the gently downward sloping back to the slightly sloping croup without a visible break. The back is firm, strong, and well muscled. The loin is broad, well developed, and strongly muscled. The croup should be long and have a slight downward slope (approximately 23 degrees from horizontal) and should merge smoothly into the tail set.


The chest should be of moderate width, the underchest long and pronounced. Chest depth should be approximately 45 to 48% of height at the withers. The ribs should be moderately sprung. Barrel shaped or flat ribs are faulty.


The tail reaches at least to the hock joint, but not past the halfway point of the hock itself. The coat is slightly longer on the underside of the tail. The tail hangs in a soft, saber-like curve. When the dog is excited or in motion, the tail is somewhat raised, but should not reach past the horizontal line. Surgical corrections are not permitted.

Limbs Forelegs

Seen from all sides, the forelegs are straight and absolutely parallel when viewed from the front.
Shoulder and upper arms are of equal length. Both are held snugly to the body by strong muscles. Angulation of shoulder blade to the upper arm ideally is 90 degrees, but up to 110 degrees is permissible.
Elbows may not turn out when the dog is standing or in motion or be pinched inward. The lower legs viewed from all sides are straight and absolutely parallel, dry, and well muscled. The pastern measures about 1/3 of the forearm length and is angled 20-22 degrees to the foreleg. Pasterns with an angle of more than 22 degrees or very steep pasterns (less than 20 degrees) reduce working capability especially, endurance.


The paws are rounded, tight, and arched. The soles are hard, but not brittle. The nails are strong and dark.

Hind Legs

The rear legs have a pronounced rounded knee or turn of stifle which projects the dog's rear quarter well behind the point of the pelvis. Seen from the rear, the hind legs are parallel to one another. Upper and lower thighs are of approximately the same length and form an angle of 120 degrees. Thighs are strong and well muscled.
The hock joint is strong and dry and the hock stands upright under the joint.


The paws are tight, slightly arched, the balls of the feet are hard and dark, nails strong, arched, and dark.


The German Shepherd is a trotting dog. Length and angulation of front and rear legs must be in proper proportion to one another to permit the dog to move the rear leg underneath the body, matching the reach of the rear legs with that of the front legs and at the same time, keeping the topline over the back relatively undisturbed. Any tendency for over-angulation of the rear reduces firmness and endurance of the dog and therefore, working capability. Correct body proportions and angulation result in a ground-covering gait which moves close to the ground and conveys the impression of effortless movement. With the head held slightly forward and the tail slightly lifted, the dog trotting evenly and smoothly, we see a softly moving topline which flows without interruption from neck to tail tip.


The skin covers the body loosely, but without folds.

Coat Characteristics

The correct coat for the German Shepherd is a stock coat (outer and under coat). The top coat should be as tight as possible, straight, coarse, and clinging closely to the undercoat. The head, including the inside of the ears, the front of the legs, the paws, and toes have short hair. Neck hair is longer and thicker. On the rear side of the legs, hair length increases downward to the pastern and hock. The rear of the thighs is covered show moderate "pants".


Black with reddish brown, brown, tan to light-grey markings. Solid black, grey with darker overcast, black saddle and mask. Inconspicuous small white chest markings, as well as lighter pigment on the inside of the legs is permitted, but not desirable. All dogs, no matter what their color, must have black noses.
Missing mask, light to white markings on the chest and inner leg sides, light toenails, and a red tail tip are signs of faulty pigmentation. Undercoat has a slight grey cast. White is not permissible.


Males: Height at the wither 60 cm to 65 cm
Weight 30 kg to 40 kg.
Females: Height at the wither 55 cm to 60 cm
Weight 22 kg - 32 kg


Visual inspection must show two normally developed testicles fully descended into the scrotum.


Any deviations from the above listed points are considered faults. Points deducted must be in accordance with severity of the deviation.

Severe Faults

Deviations from the breed characteristics described above which compromise the working ability of the animal.
Ear Faults: ears set too low, tipped ears, overset ears, and soft ears.
Considerable lack of pigment.
Firmness strongly compromised.
Faults of Dentition:
All deviation from scissor bite and number of teeth, unless they are disqualifying faults.

Disqualifying Faults

a) Character weakness, nervous biters, and dogs with a weak nervous system;
b) Dogs with documented "severe hip dysplasia";
c) Monorchids and cryptorchids as well as dogs with testicles of visibly uneven size or shrunken testicles;
d) Dogs with disfiguring ears and/or tails;
e) Malformed dogs;
f) Tooth faults as follows:
1. Missing 1 #3 premolar and one additional tooth;
2. Missing 1 canine tooth or
3. Missing 1 #4 premolar, or
4. Missing 1 molar #1 or #2 or
5. Missing a total number of 3 teeth and/or more;
g) Dogs with bite faults: overbite of 2 mm or more, or undershot; level bite;
h) Dogs that measure more than 1 cm over or under regulation size;
i) Albinism;
j) White coat (incl. those with dark eyes and nails);
k) Long stock coat (long, soft loosely fitting outer coat with undercoat, flags on ears and legs, bushy pants and bushy tail with flag on underside);
l) Long coat (long, soft outer coat without undercoat). This coat type frequently is parted along the center line of the back, has flags on ears, legs, and tail.



Increase the Life of Your English Bull Dog

A dog is a man’s best friend. If you have a dog at home, then you feel needed and loved. Commonly, dogs have a lifespan that is of nearly 8 years. English Bull dogs are not the longest lived, but they aren’t either the shortest lived.
The lifespan of bull dogs may increase to 10-12 years, rather more. This is very much possible provided you pay proper attention and look after them well. They need extra care, because of the sensitive health that they keep.

Reading further may help to update you with the varieties and the life span of dogs. There will be some tips mentioned too for how to look after your #dogs.
Some facts
There was a time when in Great Britain, bull dogs were used for bull baiting. They were bred in a way that made them resistant to pain and to be ferocious. After a while, a time came when bull baiting got banned. This banning led people to love them. They were looked after in a way that made even the non smiling faces to smile.
Some of the facts associated with bull dogs are:-
  • They turn lazy in adulthood
  • They need outdoor walk daily
  • They need not undergo excessive exercise daily
  • They are the best for apartment setups
  • They are the best for indoor keeping
  • The best climate is temperate climate for them
  • Height on an average that they attain is from 12-16 inches
  • Weight on an average of a male dog is 53-55 pounds
  • Weight on an average of a female dog is 49-51 pounds
Some dos and don’ts
  • Feed a nutritional and high quality diet, preferably all natural
  • Do not opt for food choices that are mentioned in commercials
  • Be proactive with the health of bull dog. Look for any minutest of symptoms
  • Do your research. Make sure that the dog is not from a diseased clan
  • Yes the life span is short, but that should not be hindrance, get a pet today
Having a pet at home makes you feel welcomed when you reach home after work. It may be a real good idea if you have been thinking of adopting a bull dog, as they make you smile always. But! You must do your homework / research well to be able to look after the pet once the pet is home.
You should know the nitty-gritty so that every day is celebration for you. You may conveniently visit our website to learn how to look after bull dogs.

Some instances may be challenging, but do not worry. There are vet doctors who are educated and licensed to treat them. Do not wait for tomorrow, bring your English bull dog home today. Celebrate your every moment of happiness and spend the moments that cause sadness with your pet.

Monday, January 20, 2020

The French Chartreux

Don’t mistake Chartreux cats for British Shorthairs. With their plush blue-gray fur and round faces, the two cats look a lot alike.

The French Chartreux is one of the oldest domestic cat breeds. The exact origins of the breed are somewhat uncertain. There are a number of theories as to its origins, most of them suggesting the breed came from the middle east, Russia, Syria, Siberia or Northern Europe.A type of wool called Pile de Chartreux was imported to France from Spain and it is suggested the cat derived its name from this.Whatever its origins, the Chartreux became of interest to French breeders in the 1920’s and in 1928 they wrote a breed standard. The Leger sisters of Guerveur Cattery who lived on the island Bell-Ile began selectively breeding these cats. The foundation pair being a male called Coquito and a female named Mariquire. However, the second world war put a stop to this and decimated Chartreux numbers. By the end of the war, the breed barely existed, which was common among other breeds of cat also.The Chartreux arrived in the USA in 1970, imported by John and Helen Gamon. Some of these cats coming from Guerveur lines. US breeders worked hard to keep Chartreux lines pure and due to their hard work, Chartreux lines in the US are some of the purest in the world. The breed was awarded Championship status with the CFA in 1987.
The Chartreux remains unchanged from that of the champion Mignonne de Guerveur a female Chartreux named the “most beautiful cat” in a 1931 Paris show. This is quite unusual when you look at how other breeds of cat have changed in the past 50 or so years.
A unique naming system is used with the Chartreux where each year a specific letter of the alphabet is used. This runs on a 20-year cycle, as the letters K, Q, W, X, Y, and Z are omitted. So, if your cat is born in an F year, only F names are used. Felix, Fred, Freya etc. This makes it easy to know the exact age of the cat by the letter its name starts with.


Don’t get a Chartreux if you don’t want a cat on your lap every time you sit down. The smiling Chartreux is highly affectionate and will follow his people from room to room. With his sweet, personable nature, he gets along well with other pets and is suited to homes with children who will pet him gently. The Chartreux is quiet, some rarely making a sound, but don’t let him fool you. He has a quick brain and is capable of figuring out how to get into cabinets or out of louvered windows to go exploring.
Like most cats, the Chartreux loves to climb, and he has also been known to perform acrobatic feats as he chases a fishing pole toy. And if you have mice? Well, they’ll be packing their bags if a Chartreux moves in. These cats have a reputation as excellent mousers when given the opportunity.
The Chartreux coat is easy to groom with twice weekly brushing. You’ll need to brush him more often in the spring when he sheds his winter coat. Trim the nails as needed.
According to legend, the Carthusian monks selectively bred Chartreux cats so they wouldn’t interrupt the monks’ meditation. This explanation for the felines’ muted meow is likely more fictional than fact-based. However, the Chartreux isknown for being a quiet breed. They rarely make noise, and when they do, they chirp and trill.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Can I wash my own dog?

"Can I wash my own dog? It can't be that hard can it?" These are the words that I hear everyday as I go about my business working at the Pooch Parlor in Northern Idaho. Each time I walk a customer through this process, I find myself wondering why in the world something so simple is so doggone hard to explain. Washing your own dog may seem simple, but - only if you think and speak 'dog' - the language of your own dog.

I run a shop for full service and self-service dog grooming and bathing, and I LOVE it! There are dogs, and owners, of every size, every breed, and every temperament that come in to use the self-service doggie wash. Most owners are excited, some are scared, and some are cocky, but no matter who they are, or what they do for a living, there is nothing quite as intimidating for them as washing their own dog in public! The thought of doing this can give even the most confident person, performance anxiety, and for good reason! It is a true test of trust and tolerance and friendship for the person and dog companion. And, on a very basic level, it is an honest mirror for the owner, and how he or she deals with life, and with conflict. The likelihood of a successful experience for both is completely dependent upon the psychological relationship that exists between them, and, to a large extent, the ability of both to comprehend the body language of the other. You may be surprised to know that I have found that dogs are supremely better at reading their humans than their humans are of reading them. It is this relationship between human and canine, that shows itself without modesty during bathtime, and, keeps me coming to work day after day with a smile on my face.

My clients have been giving their dogs baths in my shops for 10+ years now, and, each year is more entertaining than the last when it comes to watching regular people washing their own regular dogs. The average person that comes through our doors is highly successful, which usually means - intelligent - and, because like attracts like, so is their dog. And, so why oh why, they ask me, should this simple task of cleaning their dog be so difficult? I ask them time and again, "Well, how well do you speak dog?" Invariably, their reply is a blank stare. So, this is the time to ask yourself, "How well do YOU speak dog?"

There is a lot to say about the theories of why dogs and humans behave the way they do, but I'm going to get back to the practical things to look for while bathing your own dog. The bottom line to remember is that your dog's energy and personality traits are a mirror to your own. Take this into consideration when attempting to get him into the tub and have him be happy about it.

1. Deciding when to bathe your dog. Timing and Personality traits: Timing is important. Look at your own needs regarding timing to know how your dog will react. Are you the kind of person that is up for anything anytime? Or do you need to accomplish your day in a scheduled, systematic way? How do you do with new experiences? Do you find them refreshing and fun, or do you feel fearful until comfortable with a new activity? Your dog is going to deal with the bathtime experience in the same way you deal with life experiences. Remember that your dog is going to reflect your own personality traits - not necessarily the traits you show the world, but the traits that are truly inside you.

a. Fun-loving, extroverted, and social humans. If you enjoy regular physical activity, then so will your dog. For this type of person and dog, I suggest you take your dog out for a bout of exercise before the bath. In the city where I work, we are fortunate to have a designated beach on the lake just for dogs and their humans - dogbeach. There is a long path to run or walk on, and there is a large beach area to swim and play in. This is the perfect scenario for pre-bath timing. The dog can choose to get muddy, run, socialize, or just enjoy being outside. In any case, the dog is able to spend big reserves of energy outside in a fun way, just like letting human children play before naptime. If you love exercise, do something like this with your dog before taking him into your own tub or a professional facility for a dog bath. A common fault of the social dog and owner: Just because you are friendly, out-going person does not mean everyone wants to accept your friendly, and out-going gestures. It's hard to fathom, I know, but it is true. If you have a very social dog (if you are a social person), it is easy to forget that many dogs (like their owners) are not social and do not appreciate the social requirements (like butt-sniffing) of others. Please remember to respect their space when in public or otherwise. Keep your dog restrained and under control, even if your dog has the friendliest intentions.

b. Non-social, active, or inactive humans. If your personality is not conducive to social interaction, then I still suggest that you walk your dog or do something that is comfortable within your life that involves light exercise before bathing your dog. Taking a walk with your dog does wonders to alleviate excess tension or stress for both human and dog. By getting rid of stressful energies during a walk, it does not present itself during bathtime. Getting exercise is especially important for those humans,( I mean dogs), that are highly nervous. I recommend giving your dog Valerian root (liquid form) or Rescue Remedy (liquid or spray) orally 30 minutes before the bath. Both of these products are natural remedies to calming down jittery nerves- and it works great for humans too. If timing is important in your life, take your dog to a self-service bathing facility when the least amount of people are there, usually early or late in the day. A common fault of the non-social dog and owner: they communicate poorly within their own species and with other species. Many people that tend towards isolation, often do this because they never figured out how to communicate effectively in human society. Their dogs typically have the same problem. I have seen it happen many times that owners of aggressive dogs unwittingly encourage their dog's unwanted behavior, when they think they are doing the opposite. They do this by projecting their worrying thoughts about the 'what-ifs' of a social situation. Dogs of this type of owner act out their dog interpretations of their human owners signals. The dogs often pick up the 'what-if' fears of the human as the request of their human, actually creating the 'what-if' behavior to occur. Without human intervention and boundary setting by the owner (requiring advanced communication skills), it is quite common for this type of dog to exhibit increasingly aggressive behavior. Most owners are dismayed by their dog's aggressive behavior, but they simply lack the skills required to communicate what behavior they will and won't allow from their dog. I recommend that if you have a dog that is displaying increasingly aggressive behaviors to consult a professional dog behaviorist or trainer. Just a few simple tricks will convey an accurate message to a dog that is most likely misunderstanding your expectations.


Language barriers for humans and dogs. Its no surprise that miscommunication between owner and dog happens often. If you are a human that is finding you don't understand why your dog does what he does, remember, you are learning a whole different language and culture. Give yourself time and give your dog time to understand each other. Just don't expect your dog to act like a human, especially during conflict. It takes time and practice for anyone to learn a new human language. It's no different learning dog language. We all know how to interpret a human smile in society. When a dog pulls his lips back over his teeth, it typically doesn't mean he's happy! Would a human dream of greeting a new acquaintance by sniffing their butt? Right! But, in doggie language, that's the equivalent of shaking hands. A dog that shakes his head to get the slobber off of his mouth is no different than a person smoothing his slacks or dusting off his shirt to look more polite. The differences are huge, so give yourself and your dog a break if you have hit a communication block wall.

2. Deciding where to bathe your dog: There are not a lot of choices when it comes to bathing your dog. A. You can use your own bathtub at home which requires no human socializing - hard on your back, it's very messy with extended after cleaning, and potentially traumatizing to human and dog. B. Bring your dog to a self-service doggie wash shop - easier on your back, requires some basic social skills by owner and dog, can be noisy and hairy, requires no after cleaning, and it does cost more than just the shampoo. C. Tie the dog to a fence and wash him with a hose in the yard (hopefully on a hot, sunny day) - not easy on the back, hard on the dog with cold water, potentially traumatizing for nervous dogs, but does not require human or dog socialiaing. D. Wash the dog in your nearest lake -which is very popular in my neck of the woods - hard on the back, requires advanced human and dog social skills, is potentially harmful to the environment, and how clean can you really get a dog in lakewater?

Regardless of where you wash your dog, take into account your own physical limitations, and your dog's physical limitations. Is it worth wrecking your bathroom and hurting your back to wash your dog at home? For the clients I see, the answer is a definite, no! Emotional requirements are often a factor for dogs. For instance, (in general) Labrador retrievers have no issue being bathed in a lake (even though they don't get clean), but they often resent being restrained in a tub with a sprayer hose pointed in their direction. For a farm dog that has never been away from home, tying them to the fence is a better solution than trucking them to the city and asking them to have manners in a grooming shop, or in a populated lake. At least next to the fence, even with cold water, they are comfortable with where they are and what is expected of them.

My vote is, of course to find a self-service doggie wash facility. The equipment is professional and easy to use, the water is warm (most of the time) and typically the dogs get treats when they walk out the door, which makes them happy campers. So, for those that want to know about washing your dog at a laundradog facility, here you go:

2. Getting your dog in the tub and getting him to stay there! At this grooming shop, the average dog that comes in for self-service is around 100lbs. All the dogs are washed at waist level where they stand on a grate in the tub. Getting them in the tub can be a trick. It's kind of like asking a human to put ice skates on, and stand on the ice and not worry about how to do it. The easiest way for dog and human is to not give the dog time to decide whether or not he wants to. (Not the easiest task for shy or overprotective owners). The owner is given a large choker chain or cloth noose which goes around the dogs neck.

Leading: We have the owner quickly lead/pull the dog up the stairs with another person on the other end of the dog to give a quick boost on the butt end. The dog is on the grate, and in the tub before he has decided to be worried about it. Once the dog is in the tub, the owner hooks them in (not something you can do in your tub at home) to a variety of metal hooks inside the tub.

Choking: The dogs that are new to having a bath will sometimes turn in the tub and pull on the choker chain. We prefer the choker chain to a regular noose because the dog quickly learns with a choker that he is in control of whether or not he feels the choking sensation. The second the dog realizes he controls his own choking, AND realizes his owner is going to allow him to learn this (this is very difficult for the overprotective and/or mother types of owners-most all of us!), the pulling behavior stops. With a regular cloth noose, or one that does not self-regulate, the dogs will pull and pull and often never learn that they have the control over their own pulling more than any other behavior during the bath. Owners feel like they are directly causing their dog injury and should rescue them immediately when they hear them coughing and sometimes gagging. It is natural to feel concern over your dog choking, but it helps to think of the dog's pulling and coughing similar to putting a toddler into his crib for a midday nap.

Many human toddlers HATE taking a nap and will cry hard enough to cough and gag. If parents rescue them from their cribs when this happens, they are reinforcing this coughing behavior for their child. Parents that monitor the crying, and coughing from a safe distance where the toddler cannot see them, soon find that their babies submit quietly to naptime without expecting to be rescued each time he utters a sound. Naps and baths may not be pleasant to begin with, but they are both essential habits of life. Dogs have the same learning behaviors regarding rescue. Owners that react with excessive concern over the pulling (as the dog is expecting), or crying and screaming tantrums, find they are only encouraging more pulling and tantrums from their dog. This point is so crucial that it is worth repeating. The more upset and worried the owner gets over the dogs behavior, the more they get of that dog behavior. If the owner is calm and without fear - and projects this to their dog, it is not long before the dog understands that pulling on the chain is only hurting himself, and that tantrums are a waste of their energy. When the owner believes everything is fine despite pulling and tantrums, the dog does too, and he stops the undesirable behavior accepts that today is bath day!

So many nurturing owners find this part difficult, but try to remember, when you expect your dog to learn how to control his own anxiety, he will learn, but it requires that you LET him learn. The best ways to learn to control ones own anxiety is to actually go through the experience of having the anxiety and dealing with it. If you are the type of owner that cannot allow your dog to experience this emotion without taking over and stopping the experience, your dog will learn to go into an anxious state more and more easily because of the reaction that he can expect from his owner. This becomes upsetting for both dog and owner and as you can see becomes an escalating cycle. If you allow your dog to go through this experience of the bath, anxiety and all, you will see that they will calm down and before you know it, you have a dog that allows you to bathe him! And having clean dog is essential to most dog owners. When your dog does calm down, i.e. quits pulling on the noose and allows the bath experience, that is the right time to express heightened emotion of happiness through praise and treats. If you take this time to praise your dog, it won't be long before your dog asks to be washed with a happy, wanting-to-please attidude.

However, as with any rule, there are a few exceptions: old, very young, asthmatic, and dogs with neck or throat problems should be closely watched if they exhibit excessive pulling on the choker chain.

Ignore or not to Ignore: Most of the time, I recommend to owners to simply and quietly ignore their dogs protesting to get the behavior to stop (and it does), with the only exception being a small puppy (like a yorkie) or an old and fragile dog. Both the young and the old dogs that are not used to baths can injure their tracheas or create a medical problem (like asthma) if their nervous behaviors are allowed to escalate. It is in this circumstance that I tell the owners to use a harness to hook the dogs in the tub or in the case of a small and wild puppy, to use a sink or bucket in which they can immerse the dog in warm, soapy water. Puppies are wired to swim and that's what they do if they find their bodies in water. Swimming is easier to work with than a freaking out jumping bean. If you do choose to ignore your dog's protesting to the bath, REMEMBER to give lots of praise when the dog show's signs of acceptance and/or begins to calm down.

Drying Your Dog: Drying a dog depends on the type of hair, type of temperament and grooming experience the dog has. If you have a shorthaired dog, towel drying is generally adequate. In the grooming shop, we use high-power dryers that blow the water out of thick or double-coated dogs like shepards, collies, and huskies - and in this case - standard poodles.

Put cotton in the dog's ears before you begin as the dryer is loud. Make sure there is a minimum of play in the noose or chain that connects the dog to the tub, as the more room the dog has to throw a tantrum, the more room he'll use. Start the dryer on the back end of the dog and aim the dryer side to side moving towards the head until the water is not dripping off the dog any longer. Most private owners go home with their dogs still dripping because of the tantrum factor. This is where the above information comes into play. The majority of dogs are nervous at first, but they quickly learn that the air is only loud, not painful. If the owner stays calm, the dog will quickly find this state during the drying process.

There are a few more minor steps that do occur in the grooming shop, such as brushing, nail trimming, anal expression, ear plucking and cleaning, teeth brushing and scaling and more. Regardless of who you are or what you do for a living, the chances of your dog having a pleasant experience during the bath is highly dependent upon the ability of the dog's owner to understand his or her own needs regarding life and society. Consider all the factors, energy reserves of your dog - spend them before the space wherever you go will increase your odds for success. Consider how much you actually do know about dog language. Above all else, remember that you, the owner, are in charge, and that if your dog is temporarily distressed with a new situation, you have to stay calm long enough to allow your dog to understand and accept the experience. It's a curious notion that a human would have to delve into the basics of his or her own psychological needs to give their dog a great bath experience, but if you do that, you and your canine friend will have many years of happy and successful bathing experiences.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Wolf puppies, like domesticated dogs, love to play fetch

When you play a game of fetch with your dog, they're picking up on a human social cue to retrieve the ball. Now, researchers have observed the same behavior in wolf puppies, meaning they also have the ability to understand human communication cues, according to a new study.
A dog's ability to play fetch and other activities with humans is a learned behavior that likely occurred over time after humans domesticated dogs from gray wolves 15,000 years ago. Researchers believe dogs only began to interpret cues from humans after domestication happened.
Modern dogs differ greatly from wolves not only physically and genetically, but behaviorally as well.
    Researchers decided to test 13 wolf puppies born in three different litters. Their goal was to determine if wolf puppies exhibit the same behaviors as domesticated puppies, which would help them pinpoint the origin of the behaviors. Their study published Thursday in iScience, a Cell Press journal.
    Spontaneously, three of the 8-week-old wolf puppies were intrigued enough by a ball that was thrown to retrieve it to a person they didn't know. It was the last thing the researchers expected.

    "When I saw the first wolf puppy retrieving the ball I literally got goose bumps," said Christina Hansen Wheat, study author at Stockholm University in Sweden. "It was so unexpected, and I immediately knew that this meant that if variation in human-directed play behavior exists in wolves, this behavior could have been a potential target for early selective pressures exerted during dog domestication."
    Hansen Wheat studies the effects of domestication on behavior. She and her colleagues raised both wolf puppies and domesticated puppies from the time they were 10 days old.
    Then, both types of puppies went through a series of tests. One of those included a stranger throwing a tennis ball while encouraging the puppy to fetch and return it. None of the puppies, wolf or domesticated puppy, had experienced "fetch" before this.
    The first two litters of wolf puppies weren't interested in the ball, and the researchers didn't expect them to be. They included the test because it was used for domesticated puppies.

    But the third litter of wolf puppies ran after the ball. Two wolf puppies each retrieved the ball twice. One ran after the ball and returned it to the person three times.
    "It was very surprising that we had wolves actually retrieving the ball," Hansen Wheat said. "I did not expect that. I do not think any of us did. It was especially surprising that the wolves retrieved the ball for a person they had never met before."
    Previous research has shown that domesticated and non-domesticated species will follow human gestures if a food reward is given, according to the study. But in those cases, the animals were previously trained to follow the cues or knew the person conducting the study.
      The researchers acknowledge a limitation of their study is how small it is, but it causes them to reassess that interpreting human social cues came from domestication. Instead, it's possible that this behavior can be traced back before wolves were domesticated into dogs.