Preventing dogfights and other aggressive behavior.

robinswoodWhat does it look like when a dog is about to start a fight? Other than really knowing your dog and understanding their body language there a couple of signs that everyone can look for, in your own dogs and others as well.

Stiff body/neck; watch your dog play with a friend and then watch when they see a new dog that they’re not so sure about, what do you see? Stiff, slightly raised neck, stiff legs, raised shoulders and hackles, if they get close enough, you could see bared teeth as well, or just wrinkled lips. These are the most obvious signs and can roll over into the next one;

Change in play behavior; let’s say the dogs are already playing, pay attention to their body language to see if attitudes are altered along the way.

Dogs actually have pretty strict rules about play behavior. The play bow is an invitation to play, as well as an apology if one dog was too rough as in “sorry, didn’t mean to nip so hard”. Dogs, coyotes and wolves all ostracize others who don’t play by the rules. Biting too hard, nipping too close to the eyes and excessive roughness in any form are all a part of the canine “moral code”.

So now you know what to look for, what do you do when you see it?

The quickest, easiest and safest way to diffuse a potential fight is to remove the threat of proximity; that means, if you’ve trained your dog well, a sharp “this way” or “come” or “here” in addition to you moving rapidly away as well, is all it would take to change your dogs direction, moving him away and almost guaranteeing that there won’t be a fight. If you don’t have that ability to get your dogs attention, maybe throwing a ball or toy could do the job for you.

Picking up the smaller dog. This is a fast way to move a dog you trust not to bite you and again remove the threat and cool down aggressive behavior. But. You could get a nip form the little dog, or worse, make yourself a target for the other dog. That said, I would always err on the side of the little dogs safety and pick them up. Unless they’ve already engaged in a major way, you will most likely be just fine, especially if you turn your back on the other dog.

Lastly, I have been able to grab the attacking dogs’ collar while straddling it from the back. This has a lot of risk to all parties, including becoming the focus of the attack, losing control of the dog and lastly, not finding a way to let go. Yeah, I said it, because at some point you’re going to have to let go and I’m hoping you’ve been able to come to some sort of an understanding by then.

Whatever the situation, I can only hope that you and your dog can better navigate the complex social world of dogs after reading this, and please write in with questions or comments.

Diesel DNA Contest

Diesel Dog

Enter the contest in “reply” area below. Good luck!

 

We have been receiving requests for some more Diesel info to help with your contest guesses. If you’re just joining us now, let me get you up to speed. Periodically, we run a “guess the ancestry” kind of contest on one of the dogs who has been DNA tested. This isn’t just for fun, it also allows our readers a chance to win a FREE luxury dog bed! The rules are as follows; look at the photos, take your best guess, enter your guess in the “reply” section of this blog site (adogslifereview.com) & the first, most correct answer gets to pick a designer, earth-friendly dog bed from Allhailthedog.com! How easy is that?

Anyway, we’ve had some comments that people would like some more info on the Dog Himself; otherwise know as Diesel. First of all, you can read up on his incredible story right here at adogslifereview.com, as well as hearing about Juno’s adventure into DNA land, (a very interesting story as well). Second, you can read up on some Diesel stats; Diesel is approximately 11 months old, weighs 37 pounds and is just about a perfect square with a ground to shoulder height of 20” as well as a shoulder to butt measurement of 20”. Cute huh? He’s an amazing athlete like his owners and has the super powers of adoration. Literally. Everyone who meets him falls in love with him, not kidding.

So join in on the fun and win your pet the best dog bed he or she will ever have (cats love them too)!

 

Wildlife and Dog LIfe

Best dog beds

I See You

 

How many of us can’t wait for the warmer weather to take our dogs on a hike or even just a quick walk in the sunshine? As much as we try in the winter, it just doesn’t happen as often. In my area, we’re lucky to have bike/ski trails where we can stroll in the winter; a nice and quick alternative to snowshoes and a lot of clothes.

Still, come spring, we’re all glad to get out and really stretch our legs. This can be very exhilarating for the dogs and we have to remember to be on the look out for seasonal dangers like wild animals and swift water.

I get such a kick out of seeing the abundant wildlife in my area and obviously my dogs do too, however I certainly don’t want them getting too up close and personal since this could be bad for all parties involved. No matter where you live, the chance of your pets coming into contact with wildlife is pretty high, even if that only means squirrels, mice and rabbits. My neighborhood has an abundance of elk, deer, raccoons, skunk, song birds, hawks, owls, eagles, fox, coyote, wolves, bear, moose and mountain lions. As you can probably figure; mixing up with any of these could be bad for either party, whether it’s my cats, dogs or chickens. And don’t think that it only matters one way or another, I have to disagree; we have a responsibility to our pets and our wildlife equally.

So how do we keep everyone safe and separate? Good question, start with some forethought. If I’m keeping chickens in a rural area, I have to be as prepared as possible for the animals that could eat them, so their fencing and housing have to be as raid-proof as possible. I have to keep bell collars (safety release of course) on my cats because the depredation of songbirds by domestic cats alone is devastating. And my dogs, well they have to be trained to recall on command, no matter what is running by and if they can’t be trusted, then they can’t be loose, period. Chasing deer and elk can stress out the herds as well as put them and the dogs in danger from vehicle traffic. Moose, mountain lions and coyotes can easily kill a dog, whether I’m out hiking or they’re passing through our yard, so again, I have to be careful. For instance, I never leave my dogs out in the yard unattended for more than a minute or two and I don’t let my cats out at night; they’re just not equipped to deal with the predators out there. I’ve heard of several pet owners in my community who acted very irresponsibly and left their pets out to fend for themselves, with tragic results. Not only for the pet, but also for the wild animal that was only doing what comes naturally as a way to survive and then was killed because of that. So you see how everyone was harmed by one person’s inattention? And anyway, who doesn’t sleep a little better at night knowing their beloved pets are right where they belong, snuggled in a cozy pet bed…… inside?