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Summary of 2021 – Dogology

In 2021, due to the ongoing pandemic, I had to focus mainly on my online activities. I was able to organize five free live webinars for you and the traditional Christmas Live. It also took me a long time to write my book and prepare for new webinars and a new online course for puppy owners. I hope that all these projects will see the light of day in 2022. If you want to be up to date with what is happening with me, I recommend subscribing to my newsletter. In it, I inform not only about all the news on the blog or the Piesology channel, but also about free webinars and other events that are often available only to people subscribed to my newsletter.

When it comes to numbers, the dogology channel on YouTube has over 147,000 subscribers at the moment. During the year, the blog was viewed by over 842,000 people. The fanpage on Facebook is followed by over 34,500 people, and Piesologia’s Instagram is followed by over 31,000 followers.

The most popular entries and videos

On the blog, you most read the entries:

On the other hand, the most watched films in 2021 were:

One world, many minds

If you have read my 2020 summary or follow my social media, you probably know that in 2020 I participated in the workshops. “Train your chicken first” organized at the Stokrotka ranch. There I had the opportunity to work with chickens using the clicker method and teach them a few simple behaviors. In 2021, I was able to return to the second part of the “One World, Many Minds” workshop, where I was teaching chickens a bit more complex chains of behavior. You can see the effect of my work below. 😀

Table Mountains with dogs

In June, we went with the dogs to the Stołowe Mountains. You can easily book a nearby accommodation with dog-friendly accommodation. The surrounding nature is beautiful. The biggest attraction is, of course, the Table Mountains National Park with many picturesque routes. However, equally beautiful and interesting are the surrounding mountains covered with beautiful spruce forests, which are located outside the National Park.

Hacker’s injury

The end of the year was less kind to us. A hacker unfortunately jumped over a ditch in a field while walking. He whined as he landed and began to limp. The next day, the right front paw swelled and a hematoma appeared. After some time, swelling also appeared on the left front paw. A visit to a dog’s orthopedist and examination revealed torn tendons. For the near future we are to drastically limit the movement, so we love the longer walks we love. I also ordered an orthosis made to measure Haker’s feet from the manufacturer of orthopedic rehabilitation equipment for animals, Admirał. This is not a paid collaboration. However, if you ever need orthoses, prams, prostheses, orthopedic collars or other specialized equipment, I can recommend the Admirał company with a clear conscience. They have a huge selection, fulfill orders quickly, sew to size and in terms of quality, everything is done perfectly. Now we are going to rehabilitate with Haker and I hope that in a few months we will return to our favorite long walks and running in meadows and fields.

Ways to Improve your Relationship with your Dog

Dogs see the world very differently than we do. Their senses work differently from ours. Their brains process information differently. Dogs also have their own means of communication that are often unavailable to us. All this makes trying to get along with the dog can be much more difficult than we think. Therefore, it is good to create a common language that will be understandable both to us and our dogs. Improve your Relationship with your Dog  can be very helpful in creating such a language.

What are markers?

In general, markers are all signals that help us communicate with the dog. These can be sound markers, e.g. words spoken by us or the sound of a clicker, visual markers, e.g. gestures, various objects and tactile markers. The latter are especially useful when working with dogs that cannot see and hear. For such dogs, touching the shoulder blade, ear, or mouth can provide the clearest signal.

The use of markers during training makes it easier for the dog to understand us. Thanks to this, he is less frustrated, better focused on the task and learns new commands much faster. Markers can be used both during training sessions and in everyday communication with the dog.

Types of markers

We can distinguish at least six types of markers depending on their function in communication with the dog.

Readiness markers

The readiness marker is usually the dog’s name. When uttering them during training, we ask the dog, “Hey, are you ready to go?” When the dog looks at us, we have a clear affirmative answer and we can give him an order. When we don’t have the dog’s attention, the chance that it will obey our command drops drastically. We also need to focus on the task in order to do it well. When our thoughts are elsewhere, we may not even hear that someone is asking us for something, and it looks similar in our dogs.

Readiness markers
These dogs are ready to go 🙂

For many dogs, a sachet of treats or toys can be a marker of readiness, i.e. a signal to start work. If these accessories always appear during training, the dog will quickly recognize them. Our clothes can also be a marker of readiness. Dogs know perfectly well in which shoes we go to work and which shoes are intended for a walk or training. For some dogs, entering a designated area is a marker of readiness. There are many possibilities here.

Award markers

Reward markers tell your dog that they are doing something right, may be finished, and that they will be rewarded in a moment. A popular marker for a reward is the clicker sound. It is very precise, so we can mark exactly the behavior we want. It is also unambiguous, repeatable and unique, so the dog will not confuse it with other sounds in the environment.

Award markers

We can also use short voiced words such as “yes”, “si” or “tak” as a reward marker. It is best to chant them differently from the words used in everyday life. We don’t want common words to get confused dog with a reward marker. It is also very important that this award always appears after the award signal. It doesn’t always have to be a treat. Many dogs prefer to work for example for playing with their handler.

You can also have many different reward markers depending on what the reward will be and where it will appear. For example, we can use a clicker as a food marker. The word “have” may mean that food will appear on the ground, and the word “catch” may be an announcement of a toy that we will throw to the dog as a reward for correctly carrying out a command.

No reward markers

The lack of reward marker is a signal for the dog that something went wrong and that this time it will not get the reward. The most commonly used markers of no reward are the words “no”, “ee”, or “ooh.” After saying these words, we simply do not give the dog a reward, which of course is a kind of punishment. It can be compared to playing with the heat of the cold, where warm means we’re getting closer and cold means we’re farther away. Likewise, in communicating with the dog, we can use a clicker or other reward markers to inform him that he is doing something right and markers of lack of reward when he does something carelessly or wrong.

On the one hand, the more feedback you give your dog during training, the better. Try to play with heat cold, using only the word “warm”. Achieving a goal this way is usually much more difficult and frustrating than in play where we get both pieces of information. On the other hand, many people misuse the no reward signal. Words like “no” and “ee” are usually characterized by negative emotions. The no reward marker should be emotionally neutral. You cannot take your frustration or anger out on the dog. If you can’t control your own emotions, you’d better not use the no reward marker. It will also not work for dogs with a very delicate psyche. For such dogs, any dissatisfaction on the part of the handler creates enormous pressure, which these dogs simply cannot cope with.

Also, the no reward signal may not be used when the dog does not know what is required of him or when he does not know what exactly he did wrong. Imagine a situation where you learn a foreign language from scratch and the teacher constantly says “no”, “wrong” etc. This method of learning will not be effective and will quickly discourage you. Imagine a situation where you read a longer piece of text to your teacher and the teacher says “no” at some point. Does it give you clear information when you made a mistake and what exactly was it? Without clear guidance from the teacher, it is not so obvious.

It is similar with the marker of lack of reward when training the dog. The dog often does not know what he has done wrong and how he can correct it. It only adds to the frustration and does not get any closer to achieving the goal. Therefore, when the dog is not following a command correctly, it is usually best to simply go back to an earlier stage in learning. Before demanding anything from a dog, we must make sure that it knows exactly what we mean.

Due to all the reservations and mistakes that are very easy to make, I advise you to be very careful when introducing no reward markers into your training. If you decide to use them, it’s best to do it under the supervision of a more experienced trainer.

Continuation markers

When training a dog, we often not only want him to assume a position, e.g. sit or lie down, but also to keep this position for a long time. This is where the continuation markers are very helpful, that is, popular praise such as “bravo” or “good”. Hearing these words, the dog knows that he is doing well and that he has to continue this behavior in order to get a reward.

Praise is very useful when we want to prolong a dog’s behavior.

Unfortunately, many dog ​​handlers forget about these praises. They say, for example, “sit down”, the dog sits down for two seconds, but nothing happens, there is no human feedback. The dog may feel that he is doing something wrong. So she gets up and sits down again. Nothing again? This begins to give the paw, lie down, and display other behaviors that previously rewarded. This way the dog tries to guess what you really mean. If your dog is behaving this way, it is very possible that your communication during training is not the best and it is worth introducing continuation markers.

Release markers

Another very useful marker is the release marker. I wrote a little more about him in this post. The release marker tells the dog that the exercise is over and that he can do something else. For example, when we teach the dog to sit down and extend this position, it is worth teaching him that a speed marker will appear at the end of the exercise. In my case it’s the word “ok”, but you can also use other words like “already”, “can” or “run”. Thanks to this, the dog does not get impatient, but calmly waits for the release marker. Without this marker, the dog may break commands frequently, as it will never know when the exercise is over.

Ending markers

The End Marker can be used at the end of a training session or at the end of a game. An excited dog may not know when a training session is over and will demand our attention long after it is over. Therefore, it is worth introducing an end marker, which means “This is the end of training / fun. You are free, do what you want. ” For me, it is the word “end”, but I also encountered the command “free” or “thank you”. After issuing the end marker, we hide the treats, toys and do not take care of the dog. We don’t play with him. We don’t give any orders anymore.

How to enter markers

It is possible that you are already using some of these markers in a more or less conscious way. It is very important to systematize them and create your own dictionary of communication with the dog. Think in what situations and why you want to use the marker. What word, sound or gesture will the marker mean. If this is not clear to you, how is your dog going to get it?

Of course, all people training with a dog should use the same dictionary. Dogs are very intelligent, and even if one person uses a marker and another doesn’t, the dog will figure out what’s going on over time. However, this is an additional difficulty for the dog, which significantly extends the training and may be a source of unnecessary frustration for the dog. It is as if he had to speak a different language to each member of the family.

It is also important to teach each marker that we use in communication with the dog first. Dogs aren’t born knowing what a clicker sound means or words like “ok”, “bravo” or “finished”. At the beginning, all these sounds are neutral for the dog and only we, during appropriate training, give them meaning.

I am very curious, which markers do you consciously or unconsciously use in communicating with your dogs?

Top 10 mistakes in clicker training

The clicker training method is based on marking and strengthening the behaviors we want. A clicker is used to mark selected behaviors. It is a small box with a plate which, when pressed, produces a characteristic sound. One of the advantages of the clicker method is that we do not use any physical or mental pressure on the dog. We can also teach the dog to carry out new commands remotely. You can read more about the clicker method in my post Clicker method – how to start? Today I wanted to focus on the 10 most common mistakes in clicker training.

1. No clicker condition

At first, the clicker sound is something neutral for the dog. It’s just another sound that occurs in the environment and means little to the dog. So we can’t buy a clicker and start training the dog with new commands right away. In order for the clicker sound to become a prize announcing marker, we must first condition it. Conditioning the clicker is very simple. All you have to do is give your dog a reward with each click. During conditioning, we do not expect any particular behavior from the dog. We just want to pair the click stimulus with the reward. After a few short series of conditioning, you can usually see that the dog is expecting a reward after hearing the telltale clicker sound. This is a clear signal that the clicker has been conditioned and that we can start working with this tool.

2. Poor reflexes

A clicker is a very precise tool that allows you to select exactly the behavior you want. The problem arises, however, when we have poor reflexes and click too fast or too late. Poor timing causes us to send the dog the wrong signals. It is difficult for him to find out which behavior we mark and reward. This can lead to a lot of confusion and a lot of frustration for the dog. Such training will be ineffective. So, before you start using the clicker while training your dog, it’s a good idea to practice dry. You can drop the ball to the ground and try to click exactly when the ball touches the floor. You can also toss the ball up and mark the moment when the ball is highest with the clicker. I also recommend exercises with an assistant who, for example, can tap a finger on the wall, and you can click this behavior with a clicker.

A simple exercise to improve your reflexes

3. Clicking as a command

Some people use a clicker to get a dog’s attention or to call it to them. When we condition the clicker sound well and the dog already has a long history of amplification associated with it, it will of course respond enthusiastically to the sound. However, we cannot use the clicker as a command. A click should always be a signal to the dog that it has done something right and that its reward is about to come.

4. The dog is afraid of the clicker

As I mentioned at the beginning, the clicker sound should be a neutral signal for the dog. However, there are dogs that are extremely sensitive to sound stimuli and are simply afraid of this sound. If you have such a dog, you cannot train with him with the help of a classic clicker. Changing a dog’s association with its sound to neutral or even positive may prove to be too difficult. The alternative is to use a clicker, which makes a quieter sound, or to use a marker in the form of a short voiced word, eg “yes”.

Classic and silent clicker
On the left, a classic clicker, on the right, a silent clicker.

5. Clicking without rewarding

One of the basic principles of training a dog with a clicker is that there must always be a reward after each click. Even if we sometimes make a mistake and click at the wrong time, or if we accidentally select the wrong behavior that we want to teach the dog. The dog should not be held responsible for our mistakes. If we do not give the dog a reward after clicking, we will weaken the clicker. Over time, its sound will cease to be of any importance to the dog and will lose its usefulness in training the dog.

6. Reaching for a treat too quickly

Another principle of clicker training is that the behavior that we select with a clicker must always appear first, and then the reward should appear. Dogs can be very fast, so catching all the desired behaviors is not that easy and requires a lot of reflexes. Additionally, we often want to provide the dog with a reward as quickly as possible, so that he can associate it with his behavior. As a result, it may happen that the dog shows a behavior, our hand starts reaching for the treat and only then clicks. If we repeat this pattern several times, the dog will quickly learn that the announcement of the reward is not really the clicker sound, but the movement of the hand towards the treats. Of course, this will weaken the clicker’s performance over time. To avoid this mistake, I recommend keeping the treat container a little further apart. Thanks to this, in order to reward your dog with a reward, you have to get up, take a step or two, and then reach for the treat.

Clicker errors - Reaching for a treat too quickly
First, I select the behavior with a clicker, and only then do I get the reward.

7. No feedback

At the beginning of learning a new command, we should give the dog a lot of feedback when it is going in the right direction. However, it may happen that for a long time the dog will not display any behavior that we could mark and reward. Long breaks like these without clicking or being rewarded can be very frustrating for a dog. The doggy has no idea what we mean and what he has to do to get the award. In such a situation, it is best to stop training and think about changing your strategy. Perhaps we are asking too much of the dog and need to break down the behavior into even smaller pieces? Or maybe you will have to consider a complete change of the criteria that we click?

8. Clicking for the same thing all the time

Another common mistake is clicking repeatedly for the same behavior and not raising the bar for the dog. If we teach the dog to lie down, at the very beginning we can mark and reward a slight deflection of the front paws. As soon as we manage to achieve this, we should choose and reward only such bending of the paws that lead, for example, to the chest touching the ground. So we are changing the criteria. We no longer click on the deflection of the front paws, but touch the floor with the chest. If we stop there, the dog will think that this is the target behavior. So he will not try to bend his paws more and put his buttocks on the ground, because this is not what he is rewarded for. So we will get a beautiful bow, not a lying position. Raising the bar too quickly will make the dog confused and will not know what we mean. On the other hand, not raising it at all and constantly rewarding it for the same, will make it never progress.

9. Too long sessions

The training session cannot be too long. It is difficult to come up with one correct length of session that will work for all dogs. Much depends on the dog’s age, health, ability to concentrate on the task, motivation or emotions. In some dogs, the session should last several seconds, in others – a few minutes. Of course, prolonging training sessions indefinitely can lead to mental fatigue in the dog. It can also be frustrating or over-agitated your dog. All this worsens his cognitive abilities and makes training less effective. Training with a clicker is also very demanding for you as trainers. You have to be very focused on what your dog is doing, picking up, marking and rewarding the right behaviors at the right times. With too long training sessions, not only your dogs’ concentration deteriorates, but also yours. So it is definitely better to do too short sessions than prolong them too long. I know that during clicker training, keeping track of the length of the session is particularly difficult. We focus on the dog and on clicking at the right moment and giving him a prize. At the same time, we stop paying attention to the passing time. When the dog starts to do something, we want to do one more repetition and one more … and finally there are too many repetitions.

10. Too long use of the clicker

Dog training can be divided into three stages. The first is the obtaining of preservation stage. At this stage, we train the dog to perform a given behavior on our verbal command or gesture. Then we have the behavioral consolidation stage in which we train the dog to obey the command in various distractions and situations. The third step is to maintain the behavior, that is, from time to time remind the dog of the previously learned behavior. The clicker is useful in the first stage of training, which is obtaining behavior. It helps us clearly and precisely explain the behavior to the dog. However, once we have obtained the behavior and teach the dog to perform it on a verbal command or gesture, there is no reason to continue using the clicker in the next stages of learning. Using this tool for too long can make the dog stop trying and start obeying the command more and more carelessly.

Of course, there are many more training mistakes that can be made when working with a dog. In this post, I tried to focus on errors related directly to the clicker method training. I am very curious, which of these mistakes you made, and maybe you still do? I recommend recording and analyzing your training sessions here. When we look at ourselves from the outside, we can see many more mistakes. Or maybe you make other mistakes that I have not listed here, and about which you would like to warn others?

I comment on TikToki with aggressive dogs

I was browsing through Tik Tok recently and found a lot of funny and really cute dog videos, but I also found quite a few videos that shocked and saddened me. Unfortunately, many people, including those professionally working with dogs, still cannot read the signals sent by them. Ignoring calming signals, also known as early stress or threatening signals, leads to many unnecessary conflicts. So I thought it might be a good idea to give you my comments on some of the movies I found on Tik Toku.

The golden retriever is trying to bite the groomer

In the first video, the groomer looks after a 9-month-old Golden named Brooke as if nothing had happened. She bathes it, dries it, combs it, trims its fur … nothing unusual. However, already during drying, the dog jumps on the groomer, which was a big surprise for her. Later, when the groomer grabs the dog’s mouth with her hand and brings the scissors closer to him, Brooke tries to bite her. This behavior was also not expected by the groom. As he says in the film, the dog hadn’t shown any signs of aggression before, but was it really so good for the dog to take previous grooming treatments and suddenly tried to bite without warning?

Dog Tiktoki - The Golden Retriever is trying to bite the groomer

Not! The video clearly shows a series of calming signals that indicate the dog is stressed. Brooke clearly avoids eye contact with the groomer, turns her head, panting nervously, licks her nose. Additional stress may result in the dog being immobilized on a special grooming table and it is impossible to escape. We also do not know if Brooke was used to all these grooming treatments and grooming before. A dog will behave completely differently when the treatment is performed by a person he knows and trusts well than when it is done by a stranger.

Unfortunately, all signs of Brooke’s stress have been ignored here. If we do not react, when the dog calmly “talks” to us, it begins to “scream” loudly. In other words, when we ignore the calming signals, the dog may begin to show threatening or even aggressive signals, as with Brook.

Rottweiler likes to kiss?

In the next movie we see a girl trying to kiss her little bitch on the face. The bitch clearly does not like it and after a moment of threats she attacks the girl’s face. This scene is juxtaposed with a rottweiler growling loudly at a man kissing his face. The difference is that the Rottweiler does not attack him. In the description of the film, we can read that the dog’s growling is not even a warning signal.

tiktoki with dogs - Rottweiler likes to kiss?

In my opinion, however, this is a clear warning sign. The Rottweiler is tense, avoids eye contact with a man, licks his nose, shows proteins in his eyes, the so-called “Moon eye”, of course, it growls and shows its teeth. So it presents a series of calming and threatening signals at the same time. The only difference is he doesn’t attack… this time. The dog apparently has more patience with this type of human behavior than a small female, but that doesn’t mean it won’t attack in a similar situation in the future. And the consequences of a rottweiler attack can be much more serious than for a small female dog.

Child and German Shepherd

In the third film, we have a small child seated on a dog in the form of a German Shepherd. The child is very happy and so are his guardians, but what about the dog in this situation? You could say that the dog is also happy, because he smiles so widely, does not growl, does not attack the child … Unfortunately, from my perspective as a dog trainer and behaviorist, and from the dog’s perspective, it looks a bit different. The wide “smile” presented by the dog in this film is nothing more than nervous panting. When a child pulls his dog’s ears, bends over him, grabs his head, puts his fingers in his eye, the pooch shows a series of stress signals such as avoiding eye contact, turning the head, “moon eye” or licking his nose.

tiktoki with dogs - Child and German Shepherd

Unfortunately, many dog ​​parents and guardians fail to pick up on all these little signals or consciously ignore them. Because more important than the emotions of the dog is that the child has fun. Because you have to take a funny picture on social media, etc. Fortunately, in this video the dog did not attack the child, but if this happens again, it may eventually lose its patience. Unfortunately, the consequences of such an attack will most likely be borne by the dog, and not by its irresponsible guardians and guardians of the child.

Below I am throwing you a video with my full analysis of these three ticks. If you are interested in the subject of dog communication, please click and watch.

How often do we hear or read in the media that the dog has bitten without warning? Dogs send us various messages all the time. We just need to learn to read them and respond accordingly. I hope that posts like this one will help you understand your dogs even better and avoid the situations that I am describing here.

Why does the dog growl? – dogology

Growling is one way of canine communication. Depending on the context of the situation and the dog’s body language, it can mean different things. This can be a warning sign, but it can also be a sign of normal excitement while having fun. In today’s post, I will try to describe the causes of different types of dog growls and how to deal with a situation when a dog growls.

Warning signal

Growling can be a warning or a threatening signal. The dog says “stay away because I’m ready to attack you” or “stop what you’re doing because I might bite you.” So it is a clear message that something is happening that the dog dislikes very much and is causing him nervousness or fear. A dog never sends out warning signals for nothing. There can be many reasons for a growl, and it can be accompanied by a variety of emotions.

Many dogs growl when they feel anxious or fearful. These emotions can arise when we do something unpleasant for the dog, when we act by force or by surprise. That is why proper socialization and getting dogs used to different situations is so important. Without it, the dog may perceive an attempt to pick it up, put on a harness, bathe or cut its claws like an attack. Many dogs also growl in defense of their territory, their family members, or exceptionally valuable resources. Such resources can be tasty teethers, a bowl of food, but also a favorite toy or, for example, a bed. Some dogs also treat their guardian as such a valuable resource and are able to actively defend them.

the dog growls in warning

Dogs can also growl in frustration when their basic needs are not being met. For example, a dog that is very social, but has no contact with other dogs because it is kept on a leash or behind a fence, may respond to the sight of another dog with a snarl. It is not anger but frustration. However, such a growl can turn into aggressive behavior both towards the stranger and the handler. Some dogs relieve tension in such situations by biting the nearest thing or person within reach of their teeth. You have to be aware of this and be very careful in such situations.

Medical problems can also be another cause of the warning growl. When the dog hurts something, and we touch this sore spot, the dog may react by growling. Dogs are reluctant to show that something hurts them, so if you notice unusual behavior of your pooch, it is worth taking him to the vet and thoroughly examining him.

How to react when a dog growls warningly?

When your dog growls in warning, it’s best to stop doing what’s provoking him and walk away calmly to a safe distance. If a dog growls at people or dogs while walking, avoid them at a wide berth or even change the walking route to avoid unnecessary confrontation. Of course, just avoiding the dog growls will not solve the problem. Therefore, you also need to consider what caused the dog’s growling and work on it best under the supervision of an experienced behaviorist and veterinarian.

how to react when a dog growls sharp

You must not punish the dog for growling. By applying penalties in such a situation, we enter into an open conflict with the dog and we can provoke him to attack. The penalty will not solve the root cause of the problem either. It can, however, teach the dog that this form of communication is unacceptable and that the next time the dog attacks without any warning.

Unfortunately, many people still believe that the dog is trying to dominate us by growling. It’s hard to say, however, that a dog that hurts something or is afraid of touching, lifting, putting on a harness, grooming or neighbors’ dog thinks about domination. There is also no the domination theory to explain each dog’s behavior, which I wrote more about in this article.

Growling while playing

Growling is not always a warning sign, however. Dogs may also growl when playing with people or other dogs in excitement. Play is mock hunting or fighting. It exhibits the same behaviors as in real hunting or combat. The difference is that the dog is in control of its behavior and does not want to harm anyone.

The dog growls while playing with a jerk

Dogs growl especially when wrestling with other dogs or when dragging a shark. Growling while playing is not aggressive. The dog does not want to dominate its guardian in this way. Such a growl shows that the dog is having a great time and is very aroused.

How do you react when your dog growls while playing?

On the one hand, we should be glad that the dog is deeply into the game and will snarl. When a dog likes to play with us, we can use it to learn the basics of obedience. Play is a great way to reward your dog during training. On the other hand, you should always be careful not to over stimulate the dog. The line between having fun and over-excitement leading to aggression can be thin. Therefore, we should control the dog’s excitement level, so that this limit is never exceeded.

It is worth introducing clear rules when playing with the dog and observing them consistently. It is helpful here to enter commands such as “have”, “let go” and “end” while playing with a jerk. By teaching your dog to catch and release a shark when prompted by word, and by communicating clearly when the game is over, it is much easier to keep his emotions at a safe level. I wrote more about how to teach a dog these commands here. I also recommend introducing the rule that each catching the human body with your teeth means the immediate end of the game. Many dog ​​handlers allow the dog to pinch them or even chew them while they play. Some people find it funny. Others say their dog grabbed the hand by accident. Unfortunately, tolerating such behavior and rewarding it with more fun can lead to unnecessary aggression.

As you can see, the signals sent by dogs can be ambiguous. Growling can be a warning sign, but it can also be a sign that your dog is having a great time. If you are not sure what the intent of your dog’s growling is, it is always safer to assume that it is a warning snarl. I also recommend consulting a behaviorist who can help you identify the exact causes of your pooch’s growls.

Do dogs feel guilty? Commenting on TikToki

Nobody would like to see a mess or a large pool of urine in the middle of the living room when they return home. Unfortunately, dog handlers sometimes have to face this reality. Many people get angry in similar situations. They tell the dog that he did wrong, they put bitten objects under his nose, etc. The dog reacts in such a situation with fear and shows a number of so-called calming signals, also known as stress signals. The dog crouches, avoids eye contact with the handler, puts his ears back, licks his nose, yawns. Some dogs raise the front paw or wag their tail nervously. If the stress level is very high and the dog feels that his life may be in danger, he can trigger one of five survival strategies. Most often, the pooch will just try to escape from a difficult situation, but he can also noticeably slow down his movements or even freeze motionless.

I have recorded a video for you with my commentary on tiktoków in which dogs show such behavior. However, do they prove that the dog feels guilty and knows that he did wrong? Will he exhibit undesirable behavior in the future when we punish him?

Do dogs feel guilty?

Dogs possess most mental abilities, including emotions, about the level of a two-to-a-half-year-old child. So they feel excitement, anxiety, contentment, disgust, fear, anger, joy, shyness, or attachment. On the other hand, emotions such as guilt, shame, pride or contempt are completely alien to dogs. What we often read as a dog’s guilt is actually fear. The dog, seeing our reaction, knows that something is wrong. However, he does not necessarily associate our anger with his previous behavior.

The development of emotions in a dog - graph

It is worth remembering that for the punishment to be effective, it must occur when the undesirable activity is performed by the dog or a few seconds later. Punishing a dog a few minutes or hours after the fact does not make any sense. The dog simply will not associate its behavior with its consequence, i.e. punishment. However, he will learn that when the guardian comes home and is very angry, it is better not to get in his way.

Research on guilt in dogs

Professor Alexandra Horowitz conducted an interesting experiment. The dogs’ keepers would put the treat on the ground and forbade their pupils to eat it, after which they left the room. Only the observer, who filmed his behavior, remained in the room with the dog. The dog could obey the guardian’s prohibition and leave a treat, or disobey and eat it. In addition, the observer sometimes took the treat from the ground himself without the knowledge of the dog’s handler. Before returning to the room, the handler was informed whether his dog had broken the command or not. This information was not always correct. Upon hearing of the obedience, the guardian was to greet the dog in a friendly manner, while the disobedience was to be punished with a verbal reprimand.

The dog gives up the treat

It turned out that the dogs’ behavior did not depend on whether they were obedient or not. It depended, however, on the behavior of their guardian. When the handler greeted the dog in a friendly manner, the dog was happy even when he ate the treat lying on the ground. On the other hand, when the handler punished the dog with verbal reprimands, the dog displayed behaviors interpreted by many people as guilty even when the dog obeyed and did not eat the treat.

Based on a similar study by a team of researchers in Hungary and Scotland, it has been established that the behavior of dogs when greeting a handler cannot be a reliable indicator of whether the dog has committed a “crime” or not. What about punishing dogs for destroying, pampering themselves at home or stealing food in our absence?

Destroying various items

When a dog has not been taught to be independent and stays home alone for many hours, it will look for ways to cope with increasing stress and anxiety. When biting or tearing objects apart, serotonin is released in your dog’s body. It is a hormone responsible for improving the dog’s mood, among other things. Destroying objects is therefore one of the stress coping strategies for dogs. If, after returning home, we scold the dog for the damage, we will not teach him this behavior. We can, however, increase his stress level and intensify unwanted behavior in the future.

The dog destroys the pillow on the bed

The dog can also destroy objects in the house out of sheer boredom. If we do not provide him with the right amount of movement and mental stimulation, he will be looking for ways to meet these basic needs. In this case, punishing the dog will also not stop it from destroying the apartment. Disease can also be a cause of chewing things. Many dogs find solace by chewing on various objects when they have digestive problems. Biting is also more severe in puppies who replace their teeth permanently. Neither punishing a sick dog nor a teething puppy will solve the problem of destroying items in your home.

Taking care of yourself at home

Another problem that dog handlers face is killing a dog while the handler is absent. There can also be many reasons for this behavior. Perhaps the dog has never been properly trained to clean and simply doesn’t know that he shouldn’t pamper himself at home. It is also possible that the dog had to wait too long for the next walk. Often, changing the diet, times of meals and walks causes the pooch to relieve himself at other times than usual. Many dogs kill themselves at home in the absence of their owners due to stress. You cannot forget about the diseases that make the pooch have to go outside more often.

The puppy took care of the carpet

Punishing a dog that is relieved of stress, because he is ill, because he has not been taught cleanliness or because he is taken too rarely for a walk will certainly not solve the problem. It can, however, aggravate your dog’s stress and make him pee at home even more often. A dog that is punished for taking care of himself in the house may also learn to eat his droppings. When there is no excrement, the person is not angry and there is no punishment. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to teach your dog this behavior later on.

Food theft

Some dogs just wait for the handler to disappear from sight to steal food from the table, kitchen countertops, or the garbage can. It’s important to know that this is a natural behavior for many dogs. In the canine world, as long as the dog eats or stands over food, the food belongs to him. However, when the pooch leaves him and ceases to be interested in him, everyone can come and take them. In the human world, the rules are slightly different. When we leave the sandwich on the table and go to another room for a while, we expect food to be waiting for us when we return. Due to these differences in human and dog habits, we often have unnecessary conflicts.

Of course, you can teach your dog not to move any food that is left for a while. However, it should be remembered that this behavior is not natural for the dog. We also cannot expect the dog to guess what rules prevail in the human world and to follow them perfectly. We cannot demand behaviors from the dog that we have not taught him before.

The dog wants to steal a chicken from the kitchen counter

If we have a dog that has experienced hunger in his life, his need to constantly get food can be very great. Punishing a dog for this behavior will not make it stop stealing food. Some dogs are constantly looking for food because they are just hungry. If we feed our dog with highly processed, poorly digestible food, even giving him large portions will not satisfy his nutritional needs. Punishing a dog that is hungry, lacking in its diet, or is sick will not suddenly make it stop stealing food.

How to fix the problem?

If your pooch destroys various items, takes care of things at home or steals food, the key to solving the problem is always finding its causes. Only when you know the causes of your dog’s undesirable behavior, you can try to change them. If the pooch destroys the apartment because he suffers from separation anxiety, it is worth taking him to the vet and to a behaviorist who will develop an individual plan for further therapy. On the other hand, if the dog destroys various objects at home out of boredom, increasing the number and intensity of walks and introducing additional mental stimulation in the form of olfactory games or learning the basics of obedience should solve the problem.

Likewise for dogs that mess around in the house or steal food. We first identify the causes of the problem, and only then consider how we can change the dog’s undesirable behavior. We will work differently with a dog that has not been trained to clean, and differently with a dog that has a sick bladder. One thing is for sure, yelling at your dog will not solve the root cause of the problem and will not change its behavior. However, it can negatively affect your relationship and your dog’s sense of security.

Sources

Coren S. (2013). Which Emotions Do Dogs Actually Experience? Psychology Today

Hecht J, Miklósi Á, Gácsi M (2012) Behavioral assessment and owner perceptions of behaviours associated with guilt in dogs. Appl Anim Behav Sci 139: 134-142.

Horowitz A (2009) Disambiguating the guilty look: salient prompts to a familiar dog behavior. Behav Process 81: 447–452.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp And Is It Healthy For Them?

Can dogs eat shrimp? The short answer is yes. But there are some technical details that you need to be aware of. And as with all things in life, you should only be giving your dog shrimp in moderation. It can be a nice treat for your dog and beneficial to its diet.

Is It Okay for Dogs To Eat Shrimp?

The most important thing to be aware of, is that the shrimp has to be cooked properly. Raw shrimp contains dangerous bacteria that can cause shellfish toxicity. Your grocer might try to convince you that the shrimp is safe for sushi use, but this doesn’t mean it’s safe for your dog to consume.

Also, keep the amount of shrimp per feeding small. It’s only really an exotic treat for your dog, there are other much better protein sources such as salmon or tuna. But it is low in calories and dogs can digest shrimp quite easily. Shrimp is high in minerals that can help to strengthen bones and teeth, plus speed up a dog’s metabolism. Minerals found in shrimp include calcium, iron and phosphorous.

Another potential danger to be aware of, is that shrimp contains high cholesterol levels. If your dog is already struggling with its weight, rather stay clear of shrimp. It can also negatively affect your dog’s cardiovascular system.

Health Benefits of Shrimp

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp

Can dogs eat shrimp and how healthy is it for them? Although shrimp is not a great source of proteins, it has other useful traits such as being high in antioxidants, including copper and selenium.

Plus a very special one, namely astaxanthin. This is a potent anti-inflammatory carotenoid. In animal studies it has been shown that this special antioxidant offers support to the nervous system as well as the musculoskeletal system. Research has furthermore shown that intake of astaxanthin decreased risk of diabetes and colon cancer. On average a single 4-ounce serving of shrimp can contain between 1 to 4 mg of astaxanthin.

Other vitamins and minerals contained in shrimp: vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin E, iodine, omega-3 fats, pantothenic acid, zinc, choline and protein.

Preparing Shrimp for Dogs

Keep your dog’s dietary needs and restrictions in consideration when preparing the shrimp. Stay clear of seasoning as excessive salt intake can be dangerous for dogs, causing their blood pressure to spike or leading to dehydration. Don’t fry the shrimp or cook it in butter, the fat can cause digestive upset and even inflammation of the pancreas. Do not add any garlic or onion powders.

Shrimp is not a dietary necessity for your dog. It can be a nice snack from time to time, but only in moderation. Check with your veterinarian first before feeding your dog shrimp on a regular basis.

Peel and Devein the Shrimp

Remove the veins before cooking. Use a knife or scissor to cut along the shrimp’s back and carefully pull out all the veins. Unpeeled shrimp can be dangerous for your dog. Try peeling it only after it’s cooked to make sure the shrimp doesn’t lose any nutritional value and to make sure you remove all of the shell.

A trick for pulling off the shell in one piece: slip your fingers under the shell, at the end of the shrimp head and carefully pull the shell away.

Take note: Always feed freshly cooked shrimp to your dog. The cooked shrimp will only last for about a day or two when refrigerated.

Can A Dog Eat The Tail and Shell?

No, it’s not recommended. They can create a stomach blockage or potentially be a choking hazard. Your dog’s ancestors did not have access to shrimp, so a dog’s teeth and digestive system is not equipped to deal with the outside of shrimp. Cleaned shrimp is much easier for your dog to digest.

Also, make sure you buy high quality shrimp. If the shrimp has any rings or black spots on the shell, it means the flesh has begun to deteriorate and break down. Stay clear of gritty or yellow shells. This indicates that chemicals such as sodium bisulfate has been used on the shrimp. If the shrimp smells like ammonia, it is spoiled.

Shrimp isn’t poisonous to dogs when prepared correctly, but your dog might be allergic to it. And if not cooked properly, it can cause shellfish toxicity. Read this article to be aware of dog allergy symptoms.

Your Dog Has Eaten Raw or Too Much Shrimp: What Now?

Can dogs eat too much or raw shrimp? In excessive amounts or when not cooked properly, your dog’s body will reject the shrimp. Your dog will most likely experience stomach discomfort, vomiting and diarrhea. The dog’s body will deal with the shrimp on its own. These symptoms should only last for about 24 hours. If they continue for longer, you will should consult your veterinarian.

You need to keep your dog hydrated while its body fights the foreign substance consumed. Make sure it has continues access to fresh water. Other than that, there’s not really anything else you can do to assist your dog. Read this article before you try inducing vomit in your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Shrimp – The Disadvantages

Shrimp contains lots of healthy vitamins and minerals, but there are a few drawbacks for your dog’s nutritional needs. As mentioned above, your dog’s ancestors did not have access to shrimp years ago, so their digestive system is not truly compatible with it.

One of the biggest drawbacks of shrimp, is the high cholesterol value. Four ounces of shrimp can contain up to 220 mg of cholesterol. So you need to keep it as an occasional treat, not a regular snack. The biggest health risk of shrimp is the potential shellfish toxicity it can cause, so you need to take extra precaution when preparing it. Make sure it is cooked properly before offering it to your dog. Introduce the shrimp gradually as a new treat to prevent stomach upset.

After feeding your dog shrimp for the first time, you need to keep a close eye on it. If it starts acting strange or showing allergy symptoms, immediately go to your veterinarian.Some dogs might love the taste, but others will just pull their noses up and refuse to try it.

Other Seafood That Are Safe for Dogs

Adding a little bit of seafood to your dog’s regular diet can be very beneficial. But emphasis on the “little bit”.

Salmon

A great extra source of protein. But it also needs to be cooked properly to deal with a parasite that causes Salmon Disease.

Tuna

Another great source of protein, but you need to keep in mind its high mercury and sodium content. Read this article to find out more about the health benefits.

Crab

Part of the shrimp family, but it contains a lot of iodine. Some dogs can be allergic to it and you don’t want to overdo it, the verdict is not quite out if it is truly safe for dog consumption.

Lobster, Clams, Oysters

Some more shellfish that can enhance your dog’s diet. But remember to not feed your dog the shells. The shells can cause puncture holes in your dog’s digestive system.

Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?

Feeding your dog shrimp can be a nice little healthy treat. Just make sure you follow the cooking instructions as described above. And remember to first test your dog’s reaction to the shrimp. It’s always best to first chat to your veterinarian to make sure a new addition to your dog’s diet will be beneficial.

My Dog Sleeps With Its Eyes Open – Should I Be Worried?

Why Does My Dog Sleep With Its Eyes Open

Should dogs sleep with its eyes open? Seems like it can’t be possible, but you might have noticed your dog deep in dreamland but yet with eyes a little open. Before you get completely freaked out and race to the vet with your dog, let’s investigate what causes this.

Why Does It Happen?

Basically it’s a type of defense mechanism that dates back to your doggy’s wild heritage. Back in the day, dogs needed to be on constant alert to ensure their survival. So evolution gave them the ability to sleep with their eyes open, and some dogs still have this super power.

Are There Any Other Reasons For This?

Why does my dog sleep with its eyes open? Open eyes and severe twitching can be a sign of a seizure. But if your dog is simply twitching lightly, the dog is probably just having a dream of chasing the neighbor’s cat or digging for some bones. There’s a big difference between twitching and convulsing.

The big difference can be spotted by carefully looking at your dog’s eyes. If the dog is simply dreaming, its eyes may be open a little bit, but the dog will look peaceful and relaxed. This happens when your dog moves into the REM sleep phase. If you feel concerned, call your dog’s name in a quiet voice. If the dog is simply dreaming, it will snap out of it and continue sleeping normally.

You need to become concerned when your dog’s twitching becomes severe and it is staring blankly into space and not responding when you call its name. When a seizure occurs, there’s nothing you can do to help your dog, except make sure that it is comfortable. You have to wait for it to pass over. Your dog might also start moaning or howling when a seizure occurs.

Related: Why Is My Dog Shaking Its Head So Much?

What to Do When a Seizure Occurs

If the open eyes plus twitching seems like a seizure there are a few steps you can follow to help your dog. Firstly, do not try to wake your dog up, you won’t be able to. Rather make sure that there are no objects close by that could hurt your dog during the seizure.

Once the seizure passes over, make sure you keep your emotional reaction neutral. Overreacting in this moment will simply worsen the situation. Gently soothe your dog, giving it lots of TLC. You will need to make an urgent appointment at the vet to investigate what caused the seizure.

Why Does My Dog Sleep With Its Eyes Open

A Seizure vs A Dream

The main way to tell the difference, is looking at your dog’s eyes. As mentioned above, a dreaming dog will simply look peaceful. If it’s a seizure, the dog will have a scary blank stare. When your dog’s eyes are open during normal sleeping, the eyes will only be open partially. During a seizure, the eyes will be wide open. If you suspect your dog is having a seizure, make sure that you monitor it until the seizure passes.

While dreaming your dog might make a few small yips or a short bark. A seizure will cause your dog to moan, howl or even make a screaming sound. If you start feeling concerned about your dog’s behavior, rather make an appointment with your vet for a checkup.

During a dream you will notice your dog twitching or shaking, almost as if it is running in one spot. A dog’s movements are much more rigid and stiff during a seizure. You will be able to easily wake up your dog from a dreaming session by simply calling its name. If it’s a seizure, you won’t be able to wake your dog from it.

Once your dog wakes up from a dream, the dog will be fully alert. After a seizure your dog will seem disoriented and confused. During a seizure you will see foam at your dog’s mouth, it will be drooling excessively and possibly also bite down on its tongue. While sleeping you will notice your dog’s breathing remaining normal. With the onset of a seizure, your dog’s breathing will become heavy and difficult.

Trust your gut feeling when you are trying to figure out whether your dog is simply dreaming or if it is having a seizure. A dog’s dreaming state is similar to a human’s, peaceful. To see your dog having a seizure is a frightening experience.

Conclusion: Why Does My Dog Sleep With Its Eyes Open? 

If you regularly notice your dog sleeping with its eyes half open, this is simply a sign that your dog is one of the special ones that still has a strong link to its primal heritage. You can gently wake up your dog if you feel worried that it might be a sign of possible seizure disorder.

But in general it only means your dog is enjoying dreamland. This said, it is best to not ignore troublesome signs. Rather stay on the safe side and take your dog for a checkup at the vet to rule out the possibility of a seizure disorder.

Why does my dog sleep with its eyes open? Most likely because millenniums ago it was a fierce hunter that had to be prepared for anything, at all times. This is a much less scary reason for the behavior. Luckily not all seizure disorders are life-threatening. Once you have visited your vet, you will be able to deal more effectively with the problem.

Your vet will be able to assess whether your dog needs chronic medication to keep the seizures under control. It is important to take your dog for a check-up after it had a seizure to rule out the possibility of a dangerous disorder.

It will feel very frustrating to not be able to help your dog during a seizure, but the best thing you can do, is to simply stay calm and assist your dog afterwards to recover from the scary moment. Read this article to find out how to help a dog after a seizure.

Does your dog sleep with its eyes open? Is your dog one of the special ones still in tune with its primal nature, or did you discover a more troublesome reason for the habit?

Best Dog Food for French Bulldogs: When Is Pudgy Too Fat?

best dog food for French bulldogs

What is the best dog food for French Bulldogs? French Bulldogs are one of my favorite dog breeds, because they can be so entertaining and comical (I just love those silly bat ears they have!). Not to mention, they are generally a friendly and affectionate breed! But if you have a Frenchie, what is the best dog food to feed it?

French Bulldogs are a small dog breed, but they can vary in size from dog to dog. Frenchies can range from 16lbs to even 28lbs in weight, and 11 inches to one foot tall in height! This means you will need to give what you feed your French a little more thought. as well as how much and how often you feed your pup.

Besides varying in size, you also need to be very aware that Frenchies can often suffer from allergies. So you need to be vigilant about what they are allergic to and try to cut those out of your Frenchie’s diet.

Quick NavigationCarbs, Protein and Fat for French BulldogsPotential Health Issues To Be Vigilant OfSpecial Considerations for French BulldogsWhat Should You Feed Your French Bulldog?Best Dog Food for French Bulldog PuppiesBest Dog Food for French Bulldog AdultsBest Dog Food for Older French BulldogsWrapping Up – The Best Dog Food for French Bulldogs

Carbs, Protein and Fat for French Bulldogs

These are the three big ingredients to look out for when you are searching for the best dog food for French bulldogs. Find a dog food brand with a selection of high-quality meat sources as the main ingredient. A general rule of thumb to follow is about 25% protein or more.

Frenchies are sensitive to the type of carbohydrates they take in, so stick to sweet potatoes and other complex plant sources. Stay away from soy and corn, as these are tough to digest.

Because of their short coat, the fat sources aren’t so vitally important. But too little fat will cause their coat to become dry and brittle. Fat content should be about 5%.

Potential Health Issues To Be Vigilant Of

Allergies. French Bulldogs are prone to allergies. This means that you should avoid foods that will make it worse such as corn, grain and soy. If your dog seems overly sensitive, try to cut out all grains from its diet.

Allergy Symptoms To Look Out For

  • Hot Spots or “Moist Dermatitis” (flaming red pimples with puss coming out)
  • Bumps and hives
  • Constantly itching that’s not flea-related
  • Watering and swollen eyes
  • Chronic ear infection
  • Constantly licking paws
  • Butt scooting or twirling
  • Face Rubbing on the carpet or against furniture
  • Constantly stinks even after a bath
  • Interdigital cysts located between toes
  • Chronic wrinkle inflammation
  • Abundance of yeast growth

Allergies can be caused by environmental factors, but low quality dog food will also cause allergic reactions to surface. This is because of the high content of filler products found in poor dog food brands. A new trend has surfaced called the BARF diet. The Biologically Appropriate Raw Food diet is the practice of switching over to a diet consisting mainly of raw foods. Read this article to learn more.

Farting. Another ailment most Frenchies suffer from! If your dog food brand contains lots of low-quality fillers, the flatulence problem will become even worse. Search for the best dog food for French bulldogs with more natural and high-quality ingredients to avoid this issue. You could even consider adding extra fiber to your dog’s diet. But first consult with your veterinarian before doing this.

Hypothyroidism. This is a condition that inhibits the thyroid from producing enough hormones. It can cause your Frenchie to excessively gain weight. The best diet to avoid this, is low in simple carbs and high in protein.

Special Considerations for French Bulldogs

Because of its stocky build, a French Bulldog can very easily become obese if the correct dietary steps are not followed. Once your dog moves into the obese weight zone, it will be very tricky to get them back to a healthy weight, plus other health issues might arise.

Frenchies do have fast metabolisms, but you need to maintain the correct feeding amounts to monitor the dog’s weight at all times. Make sure you follow the feeding recommendations found on your dog food brand. If you feed your dog too little, his energy levels will drop too low and the dog might start losing weight as well.

Find the best dog food for French bulldogs that has been specially formulated for small-breed dogs. This is especially important while your Frenchie is still a puppy, as they grow quicker than large-breed puppies. During the first few months of its life your dog requires a diet that will fuel its development and energy levels.

What Should You Feed Your French Bulldog?

The amount of food you feed your Frenchie depends on its age, activity level, metabolism as well as weight. A complete and balanced dog food brand is the best dog food for French bulldogs, ensuring your Frenchie’s nutritional needs are fulfilled.

Some French Bulldogs can be hyperactive, but in general this dog breed doesn’t need that much exercise. In the beginning it might take a bit of trial and error to figure out the correct amount to feed your Frenchie. You want to strike the balance between your dog being too underweight and too overweight.

It’s important to constantly monitor your Frenchie’s weight. To get it to a normal weight is much easier from being underweight than overweight. You don’t want your dog to suffer because of its diet.


Best Dog Food for French Bulldog Puppies

As mentioned above, make sure you buy a dog food brand specially developed for small-breed dogs. Selecting the best dog food for French Bulldogs while your dog is still a puppy means that you can find a dog food brand to stay loyal to throughout your Frenchie’s lifetime.

How Much Should You Feed a French Bulldog Puppy

When your puppy is 10 to 12 weeks old, you can feed it 1.5 cups of puppy food in total. Spread this out over three meals, about half a cup each feeding. This way your little Frenchie won’t experience any intense energy spikes and blood sugar drops between meals.

How Often Should You Feed a French Bulldog Puppy

It’s important to help your Frenchie puppy maintain a constant energy level throughout the day. You could even split the feedings into smaller portions throughout the day, but at least three meals a day is recommended.


best dog food for French bulldogs

Best Dog Food for French Bulldog Adults

You should switch to a small-breed adult formula once your Frenchie reaches about 80% of its adult size. This could be around 6 or 7 months of age. Switching over at the right time is crucial to reduce your Frenchie’s risk of becoming obese.

How Much Should You Feed an Adolescent French Bulldog

The basic formula to figure out how much to feed your Frenchie is roughly 25 to 30 calories per body weight pound, per day. Example: a 16 pound Frenchie who doesn’t exercise often should receive between 400 to 480 calories per day. A Frenchie weighing 28 pounds should get around 700 to 800 calories per day. Read this article for a French Bulldog weight guide.

How Often Should You Feed an Adolescent French Bulldog

You can decide if you want to stick to feeding your Frenchie three times a day or switch to just two feedings. Some people argue that three feedings a day is better for the dog’s digestive system and its energy levels. Keep an eye on your Frenchie’s reaction to switching to only two meals, it can lead to gastric dilatation volvulus.

Because French Bulldogs can become obese, a self-feeder is not recommended.

Tip: If your Frenchie is gaining too much weight, reduce its daily food intake by 5 to 10 calories per pound until it is down the ideal weight again.


Best Dog Food for Older French Bulldogs

Once your Frenchie starts to age, you should switch to a senior dog food brand. Check with your veterinarian when you should switch to the senior dog food. Older dogs have more specific nutritional needs to keep them in tiptop shape, so you shouldn’t just continue feeding your dog adult dog food.

How Much Should You Feed a Senior French Bulldog

Older dogs need less calories per day. Between 470 to 400 calories per day is sufficient to sustain them and maintain good energy levels. This means the calories count drop to between 20 to 25 calories per pound.

Play around with the amount of food until you find the ideal quantity for your dog, between 1 to 1.5 cups in the morning and evening. If your Frenchie leaves some food over after the morning feeding, leave the bowl out for it to snack on during the day.

How Often Should You Feed a Senior French Bulldog

You can decide if you want to split the total amount of food between two or three feedings. The older your Frenchie gets, the less active it will be, so you don’t have to be so concerned about its energy levels anymore.

best dog food for French bulldogs

Wrapping Up – The Best Dog Food for French Bulldogs

By finding the best dog food for French bulldogs while your Frenchie is still young, you can offer it a high quality life from puppy age to senior citizen. Search for a dog food brand that you can trust and become loyal to, one that has been approved by your veterinarian.

The two extremes of underweight and overweight need to be avoided. Frenchies are naturally pleasantly plump. Underweight means that you can see its bone structure too clearly. You need to also avoid your Frenchie becoming overweight, this happens when it becomes uncomfortable for the dog to move around.

Both extremes can lead to health issues, but especially overweight can be very dangerous. Issues can include difficulty breathing and heart disease. The best way to avoid these issues from occurring, is to constantly monitor your Frenchie’s weight. Consider regular veterinarian appointments to make sure your Frenchie remains at a healthy weight.

Do you have an active or docile Frenchie? Any tricks you’ve picked up over the years to maintain a healthy weight for your dog?

  • Updated March 14, 2022
  • Blog

Can Dogs Eat Tuna?

Can dogs eat tuna? The simple answer: Yes, you can feed your dog fish. But there are various hidden factors to be aware of. Fish bones can be very dangerous and when selecting canned tuna you have to make sure you pick one that has been packed in water and not oil.

There are a variety of fish-based dog foods on the market, so research does show that it’s safe to feed your dog tuna. Dogs can handle both cooked and raw tuna.

Is It Safe to Feed Your Dog Tuna?

Can dogs eat tuna? As always, the golden rule is to do things in moderation. In long-lived fish like tuna heavy metals accumulate over time and the percentage of some metals present in the fish, such as mercury, can raise health concerns.

Dogs are carnivores, so their digestive system is more geared towards processing meats, which is good news if you want to treat your dog with a bit of tuna. But it is not advisable to feed your dog raw fish. Fish can carry various parasites that are usually killed by cooking. Your dog might have a robust digestive system, but it’s better to not take the risk.

The Health Benefits of Tuna

Tuna is a great protein alternative for dogs with a sensitive constitution. It is easier to digest and less likely to cause digestive upset. You will spot it in the ingredient list of many specialized foods. You could feed your dog salmon or mackerel as well, but tuna has just as many health benefits and is bit more affordable.

When buying canned tuna, check that there are no additional seasonings, especially not onions or garlic. These two ingredients are toxic to dogs. Also, canned tuna based in oil can cause unpleasant stomach upset in dogs. Look out for the water-based ones.

Tuna includes many minerals beneficial to dogs including phosphorus, selenium, magnesium and potassium. It also is a great vitamin source with B12, B6 and B3 as well as omega-3 fatty acids, promoting good heart health. It’s a great option for dogs with food allergies. Read this article to check if your dog is allergic to anything

Disadvantages of Tuna

Can dogs eat tuna?  Yes, but it’s best to keep tuna as a rare treat because of the high levels of sodium and mercury. The main health risk, is the high mercury content. Also note, a tuna steak usually contains more mercury than canned tuna. And canned white albacore contains more mercury than white canned or chunked light tuna.

Canned tuna contains a high level of sodium, which can cause pancreatitis when consumed in high quantities. The salt content can also make your dog excessively thirsty, it will then gulp down lots of water that can lead to a bloated stomach or in the worst case scenario a twisted stomach, which can be fatal if not treated.

How Much is Too Much?

Rather keep pure tuna as an occasional treat instead of working it into your dog’s daily feeding routine. When used in homemade dog food recipes, you will notice that the quantities will always be low in comparison to the other ingredients.

You could spoil your dog with a tuna treat once a week if it is not already present in its daily diet. There are various factors to keep in mind when feeding your dog tuna, such as its age and general health condition. If your dog is leaning towards the overweight side of the weight spectrum, rather steer clear of feeding it tuna.

The Best Way to Feed Tuna to Your Dog

Can Dogs Eat Tuna?

Can Dogs Eat Tuna?

Keep it simple and as close to the tuna’s natural form as possible. When using canned tuna remember to buy the water-based one without additional seasonings. Drain the tuna before feeding it to your dog and don’t give it the leftover juice from the can.

There’s no need to season it or spice it up, you can give it to your dog bland, the dog won’t taste the difference. The tuna flakes can get stuck between your dog’s teeth, give it dry kibble or a biscuit to scrape off the lingering fish from the dog’s teeth.

It is best to first check with your veterinarian before incorporating tuna into your dog’s diet. Can dogs eat tuna? Yes, but some dogs don’t like the taste, so you have to first see how your dog responds to a little bit before incorporating tuna into your dog’s diet.

Warning: don’t ever feed your dog raw salmon. Dogs are the only known species that can catch salmon poisoning disease from consuming raw salmon. If untreated, a dog will most likely die within two weeks of digesting raw salmon.

Other Fish Safe for Dogs

Tuna is definitely the easiest fish to incorporate into your dog’s diet. You can conveniently grab an affordable tin of it at the supermarket. Some other fish types that you will find in fish-based dog foods: Ocean and Lake Whitefish, Flounder, Walleye, Herring, Salmon Pike and Arctic Char.

If you spot any of these in the supermarket and you feel like giving your dog a special treat you can bake, grill or steam these types of fish. Just remember to buy boneless fillets and don’t add any seasoning. Plus, steer clear of excessive greasing with oil sprays, butter or oil.

Homemade Dog Food: Tuna-based Recipes

Can dogs eat tuna? The conclusion is, most definitely, yes. The following are a few recipes that you can prepare at home to spoil your dog on special occasions or to enhance its general diet.

Tuna, Egg, and Greens

Ingredients:

½ cup of canned light tuna, water-based

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons of sprouts, Alfalfa or Clover

½ teaspoon of Nutritional Yeast

½ cup of cooked brown rice

Directions:

Chop the sprouts up finely. Mix the egg yolk, nutritional yeast and sprouts together and then add the tuna.  Add the mixture to the brown rice. This recipe is enough for one meal for a dog of between 20 to 25 pounds.

Tuna Roll

Ingredients:

1 small can of tuna, water-based

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 celery stick

1 carrot, large if possible

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

4 tablespoon of cottage cheese

Directions:

Chop celery stick and carrot into small pieces. Mix all the ingredients together, adding the lemon juice last. Place the mixture in blender and blend until fine pulp. Mold and shape the mixture into a tuna roll and cut into small pieces when chilled. Add one piece of tuna roll to your dog’s kibble once a week.

Detox Tuna Recipe for Skin Health

Ingredients:

1 cup of light tuna

¼ cup of Cottage cheese
(alternative: 1 raw or boiled egg)

1/8 cup of sprouts, Clover or Alfalfa (a handful)

½ cup of lettuce

½ cup of cooked barley

½ teaspoon of ginger powder

1 teaspoon of Nutritional Yeast

1 teaspoon of Parmesan cheese

1 Omega 3 fish oil capsule (1 000mg)

1 Evening primrose oil capsule (500mg)

Directions:

Squeeze out the liquid of the Omega 3 fish oil capsule and mix with the evening primrose oil capsule. Add the tuna to the oil mixture. Finely chop the barley, lettuce and sprouts. Mix into tuna mixture. Sprinkle the Nutritional Yeast and Parmesan cheese unto the mixture. Feed ½ a cup per 10 to 15 pounds of body weight to your dog once a day instead of its regular food.

Please note: this mixture is not recommended if your dog is prone to food allergies.

Tuna Training Treats

Ingredients:

2 small cans of tuna, water-based

2 eggs

1 to 1 ½ cup of flour, preferably rice flour

Handful of Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Do not drain the tuna. Mash the tuna in a bowl to remove clumps. Place in blender to liquefy. Add a little bit of water if needed to liquefy completely. Pour the blended tuna into a bowl and add the flour. The consistency should be close to a cake mixture. Spread into a lightly greased or sprayed pan. Sprinkle lots of Parmesan cheese on top. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. When ready the edges will pull away and the texture will be like putty. Cut into small squares, about the size of a penny. Can freeze the treats. Use as rewards when teaching your dog a new trick.

Tuna Fudge

Ingredients:

2 small cans of tuna, water-based

1 ½ cups of whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

2 lightly beaten eggs

¼ cup of parmesan cheese

Directions:

Do not drain the tuna. Mix all the ingredients together with an electric mixer or in a blender until well blended. Spread the mixture onto a lightly greased cake pan. Cover and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Cut into small squares. Store in the refrigerator or freeze. Give to your dog as little treats or mix a few squares into its kibble once a week.

Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Tuna?

In moderation tuna can be a healthy addition to your dog’s general diet. But before adding it, make sure you have checked with the vet if it’s safe to do so. Most dogs will be very pleased with the delicious treat per occasion.

Have you tried adding tuna to your dog’s diet? What reaction did you get?

Read more about other human foods that are pet friendly:
sweet potatoes
– pineapple
Brussel sprouts