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Dogs + Behavior

  • Most dogs’ ears are a lot larger and their ear canals are much longer than ours are. They are certainly a lot more sensitive. We usually only need to clean them when there is a problem; however at this point they may already be sore, so that the dog learns that handling around the ears is painful and tries to avoid it.

  • Despite the fact that recent studies have re-evaluated hierarchy models and have modified our understanding of behavior in the wild wolf, the concept of a hierarchal relationship among dogs and humans continues to be perpetuated. To ensure a well functioning family group, a family needs to know more about canine behavior than outdated strategies focusing on pack structure.

  • Dogs are social animals whose evolutionary history makes them willing and able to live in groups. Group living enabled the dog’s ancestors, wolves, to work together to obtain food, raise their young and defend their territory.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Many behavior problems have a component of fear, anxiety or excessive arousal so that retraining cannot begin until a calm, relaxed state can be achieved on cue. Training should focus on both the behavioral response (sit, down, walk, stay on your mat) as well as the emotional state (calm, relaxed).

  • Exercises that use gentle and positive handling can help to increase the enjoyment and decrease any fear associated with handling and restraint.

  • The goal of training is to teach your dog a desirable behavior and to associate a command word with that behavior. To be successful, you must first be able to get the pet to exhibit the desired behavior reliably before adding the command.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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Altoona, IA 50009
Phone: (515) 967-4281
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