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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.

Boxer Puppy Training

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Boxer puppy training can be a challenge, they’ve been labelled the “Peter Pan” of dog breeds. They are only considered mature by the time they’re three years old, meaning that in the world of dogs they have a very long puppyhood.

On face value they might look very intimidating with their muscular build and square heads, but if you look closer, you will find a glint of mischief in their eyes. They have boundless energy and are always in the mood for a bit of playing.

Characteristics of a Boxer Puppy

Boxer Puppy Training

Boxer Puppy Training

A typical Boxer puppy is alert, fearless, intelligent and friendly. They are a loyal dog breed, but quite headstrong. Trying to use harsh training methods will not go down well with a Boxer puppy, you will get lots of resistance. The best way to describe a Boxer is exuberant. They can also be trained to become search-and-rescue helpers and they make excellent watchdogs. When trained correctly, they can excel in obedience.

Boxers are great with kids, showing immense gentleness and patience. Boxers are very adaptable, but need lots of exercise and mental stimulation, otherwise they will become frustrated and unruly. Because of their intense loyalty towards their families, Boxers can be distrustful of strangers. But they won’t be aggressive unless a threat is perceived. They are energetic, high-spirited and happy, amusing their owners.

Did you know? Boxers make a unique sound, called “woo-woo,” when they get excited or want something. Not quite a bark, it literally sounds like they are saying “woo-woo”.

Before you decide to buy a Boxer puppy, you need to decide if you can deal with their high level of energy and need for attention. Also, if you don’t like drooling dogs, a Boxer is not the dog for you. They snore loudly as well.

Prep for the Training Process

You need to keep the Boxer’s exuberant personality in mind when you decide what kind of training program you will be using. It is crucial to be consistent with your training method. Start with Boxer puppy training, before the dog gets too big to manage.

They are an intelligent breed and will respond well to firm training, as long as you make it fun for them. They have quite an independent streak, so won’t like you bossing them around or being treated harshly. Keep in mind that Boxers mature slowly, so you will be dealing with the rambunctious puppy style of interaction for quite a few years.

Don’t leave your Boxer alone for too long, or keep it cooped up in the backyard away from the family.  You will quickly be dealing with a destructive and ill-tempered dog.

Tip: find a responsible breeder to buy your dog from. Avoid a pet store or puppy mill. A reputable breeder will test their dogs to ensure that the puppies are free of any genetic diseases and also make sure that they have stable temperaments.

Reward-based Boxer puppy training works best. Give them a little treat for getting a new command right and your Boxer puppy will remain easy to manage. Keep your dog on its toes so to speak by mixing up the treats and the verbal praises. First start with the basic commands. Boxers enjoy a good challenge, so steadily increasing the difficulty level will keep their attention for longer.

Starting with Boxer Puppy Training

Boxer Puppy Training

Boxer Puppy Training

One of Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer’s, biggest secrets for dog training is that your dog needs to know its place in the pack. As soon as your Boxer puppy gets sniff in the noise that it can do whatever it likes and get away with it without any consequences, your task of training it will become extremely difficult.

You need to show your Boxer puppy that you are the pack leader and that it needs to know its place in the family hierarchy. Because Boxers are so loving, they are eager to please you, something that you can harness in your Boxer puppy training method.

The training process starts the moment you bring the new puppy home. From the beginning you need to react properly to whatever your puppy does, good or bad behavior. With an intelligent Boxer puppy you need to remain consistent.

The first step in your Boxer puppy training, is establishing good routines. This will be reassuring to your puppy adjusting to a new and unfamiliar environment. Find a special place for your puppy’s water and food bowls and stick to it. Create a special spot to place your puppy’s bed and take it to same spot for bathroom breaks each time.

Try to feed your puppy at the same times each day and try to create a consistent bed time as well. The daily routine is a very important step to start with. Your Boxer puppy is highly intelligent, teaching it to follow specific daily routines will help you raise a well-behaved dog.

Failing to set these boundaries into place will let your puppy turn to the alternative, it will set the pace of your home life, deciding how you should fit into its life. You will be dealing with a disruptive dog that will frustrate any attempt to relearn the basic home life behavior.

The Most Important Words Your Puppy Will Ever Learn

It is estimated that dogs can understand up to 165 words. What are the two most important words your dog must understand? “Good” and “No”. For anything that you like your dog doing, use “good” and for whatever you want it to stop doing, use “no”.

Incorporating praise and correction words into your Boxer puppy training should start from when your puppy is about two to three months old. It’s important to teach these words with the correct tone of voice and body language as well. Dogs can read emotions, human owners have claimed this for years, but there is now scientific evidence to prove this speculation.

What this new research also implies, is that your dog is much smarter than you think. Same as with a human baby, you can’t just think “it’s just a puppy, it won’t understand”. It probably understands much better than you could ever imagine.

You can use your Boxer’s temperament to your advantage, by playing on its need for acceptance in your family. Show it the rules of the house that it needs to obey for acceptance, and your Boxer puppy training project will be much easier.

It might be tempting to almost bribe your Boxer puppy into submission with biscuit treats as rewards, but this will backfire. The problem with this style of training, is that your puppy can then decide when it wants to obey, based on how hungry it is.

Only using treats will make your puppy believe that it’s in charge of the training process. You can use it per occasion when you’re teaching it a special trick, but for basic obedience, you need to focus on respect training.

Respect is linked to the concept of establishing a pack hierarchy in your home. Your Boxer puppy training will be most successful when your puppy learns that it needs to submit to your authority if it wants to live in happy co-existence with you.

The opposite of successful training, is your puppy understanding the routines and command words, but deciding when it wants to follow them. Again, you need to remain consistent with your Boxer puppy training to ensure that you have a well-behaved adult dog.

Your Boxer puppy will love the challenge of trying to understand you. Slowly add new words to the obedience training and watch it trying to follow your instructions closely until it gets them right. By giving it the reassurance that it’s doing the correct thing that you want, you will be training a submissive puppy that obeys your every command.

Creating a Safe Space for Your Puppy

When you decide to buy a puppy, you need invest in a good bed for it. Taking the Boxer size into consideration, a crate is the best of option for it. This will be its safe space, a secure den. During your Boxer puppy training you can use it as a time-out, telling your puppy to “go to your bed”.

Boxers might be on the big side of the dog breed spectrum, but they are very sensitive to weather extremes, so it is best if you can create a space for your dog to sleep indoors. Managing a medium size dog in your home, you want it to understand the command “go to your bed” when it becomes too excited. The crate will serve the purpose of a safe space for the dog to calm down again. You might soon notice that your puppy seeks out the crate on its own to unwind.

Another good thing of making your Boxer puppy comfortable with confined spaces, is that you will have less hassles transporting it to the vet in a dog cage or cooped up in the backseat of your car.

Other Boxer Puppy Training Tips

There are many other aspects to Boxer puppy training, but you first need to get the basics in place before moving on to the next phases. Once you’ve created a steady routine for your new puppy and established the general behavior boundaries, you can move on to more complex training aspects.

You need to start handling your puppy from a young age to make it familiar with grooming routines such as bathing and clipping nails. Before you start taking it for walks outside, place the collar on your puppy so that it can get used to walking on a lead. First walk with the lead on in your garden so that it can get used to you gently yanking on the collar to redirect its exploration.

The training you instill while your Boxer is a puppy, will determine what kind of adult dog you will be dealing with. You can teach your dog to have basic good manners, such as not jumping up against visitors. All you need is consistency in correcting the unwanted behavior. And you don’t have to whack the bad behavior out of your puppy, use the word “no” with a firm tone of voice and a loud clap of your hands so that your puppy can make the association with the unwanted behavior.

The most important thing to remember with Boxer puppy training is that your Boxer is very intelligent and wants to gain your acceptance at all cost.

How do you know if your dog is pregnant? 6 Signs To Look Out For

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Many owners plan for their dog to breed, and may even have been present during breeding. But sometimes, even the most responsible owners can accidentally fail to keep their dog confined when she is in heat, and breeding may have occurred without the owners knowing. It is worth knowing what the signs are that your dog is pregnant, so you can give her the support and attention she needs.

So how do you know if your dog is pregnant? Look for these signs:

Change in appetite

During the first few weeks of a pregnancy, some dogs will lose their appetite. You may find that she goes without food for a day. Don’t worry about this and don’t force her to eat. By all means you can make her food more appetising. Try adding some boiled beef mince and rice to her food. However, forcing her to eat is only going to stress her out, which is the last thing she would want during pregnancy. You only need to worry if she does not eat for more than 3 days. It’s also worth knowing that this dog version of morning sickness does not happen to all dogs. And some dogs will have the opposite symptom; increased appetite. You may find your dog wolfing down her food in record speed and then remaining near her bowl in the hope you will give her more food. Try not to over-feed her. It is best to feed your dog 2 – 3 times a day rather than one big feed as it will keep her satisfied all day as well as give her pups all the nutrition they need. Generally, what you are looking for is a change to your dog’s normal appetite, and this can be an increase or decrease in normal appetite when a dog is pregnant.

Change in behaviour

As with appetite, your dog’s behaviour can also change. She may became increasingly clingy, needing to be by your side at all time, and wanting to be petted. The polar opposite can also happen where she has the grumps, wants to spend time in her own company, and may even shun being touched. Again, look for changes. If your dog is naturally affectionate, and she suddenly hates being petted, she could be pregnant. If your dog is normally quite independent, and suddenly starts to follow you around everywhere, she could also be pregnant. It’s a change you need to look for.

Change in activity

Your normally lively and sprightly dog may suddenly become lethargic. During pregnancy, dogs, just like women, can feel exhausted due to their changing hormone levels. Don’t try to make her go for walks when she doesn’t want to. Trust that she will know what is best for her and her developing pups.

Nipple development

When not pregnant, the nipples on female dogs are usually small, with the areola generally flat. However, when a dog is pregnant, the nipples and areolas become enlarged slightly in preparation for milk production.  This happens around 2 weeks after breeding, so it is a good early indicator that your dog is pregnant. Also, the colour of the nipples will also change, especially the ones closest to your dog’s back legs. When not pregnant, the nipples are either a slightly grey or light pink. When a dog is pregnant, however, her nipples will become a darker pink as they will have an increased blood flow. This all happens around 3-4 weeks after breeding. The breasts, themselves, will start to look swollen from about 40 days after breeding

Enlarged abdomen and body weight increase

From about 35 days after breeding, your dog’s body weight will increase, in some cases by over 50%. The abdomen is likely to be swollen too, although first time mums may not show as much as older dogs who have had litters previously.

Possible discharge from vulva

Some dogs will get a slight mucus discharge around a month or so after breeding. If you notice this, then this is a sign your dog could be pregnant.

Conclusion

How do you know your dog is pregnant definitely? Your dog could display some of the above symptoms, and not be pregnant. So if you want a definite answer, it’s worth going to your vet to get her checked out. She could be pregnant, or she could be ill with something else, so never delay in seeking a professional’s advice if you spot some of the above signs in your dog.

  • March 13, 2022
  • Blog

Why Does My Dog’s Breath Smell Like Fish?

why does my dog's breath smell like fish

Why does my dog’s breath smell like fish? When something’s fishy in your home and you pinpoint your dog’s mouth as the culprit, you need to investigate what is causing the problem. There are a few things that could cause this.

Where Does The Fishy Smell Come From?

Your dog’s mouth will never smell like a bed of roses, but as soon as you notice a strange odor hovering in the air after your dog enters the room and yawns, it’s best to try and figure out where it is coming from. This is not just so you don’t have to deal with the stinky smell, it’s to keep your dog’s health in mind.

Excessive Biting and Licking

Dogs might not groom themselves as much as cats do, but they still enjoy a bit of nibbling to deal with itches and issues on their bodies. If your dog’s anus gland is blocked, your dog will try to deal with the problem by licking and biting it. This will transfer the fishy smell from your dog’s bottom, to its mouth.

Your dog will be in great discomfort from a blocked anal gland. What basically happens when your dog uses its teeth to ease the discomfort, is that the anal sac is pierced and some of the liquid is transferred into your dog’s mouth.

Fixing the Issue

If you trace the fishy smell to your dog’s bum, you need to deal with the problem as quickly as possible. Some people prefer treating this problem at home, others prefer going to the vet. Read this article to find out how to express your dog’s anal gland at home and this one on how to prevent the issue from occurring again in the future, by changing your dog’s diet.

Tip: if your dog drags its bum across the floor, it can be a sign of a possible blocked anal gland.

Your Dog’s Diet Can Cause the Fishy Smell

Why does my dog’s breath smell like fish? It might be because of the food you’re feeding it. Oftentimes dog food brands use fish products to enhance the product. If you find Omega 3 or 6 listed on the label, your dog might acquire a fishy breath after its mealtime.

Many commercial dog food brands use whitefish or salmon as Omega sources, which is very good for your dog’s general health. Other fish-based ingredients include fishmeal, Docosahexaenoic acid, Eicosapentaenoic acid as well as actual fish oil. Depending on the quantities of these ingredients, it can cause a fishy smell.

Related: Can dogs eat tuna?

Fixing the Issue

If the intense fish smell becomes too much for you to bear, switch to a dog food brand that doesn’t contain any fish-related ingredients. But do remember that Omega 3 and 6 are important for healthy cell growth. Plus, in certain cases dogs have shown an allergy to animal protein and a fish-based diet can be more beneficial in this case. Before making any drastic changes to your dog’s diet, first consult with your vet. Read this article to find out how to clean dog teeth without brushing.

why does my dog's breath smell like fish

 

Sign of Liver and Kidney Issues

Why does my dog’s breath smell like fish? If you can’t pinpoint the problem to something as simple as your dog’s excessive bum nibbling or its diet, the cause might be more worrisome. Some speculate that bad doggy breath, with a hint of a fishy smell, can be sign of kidney or liver failure.

Fixing the Issue

It’s best to stay on the safe side with pet health issues and rather visit your vet for a general checkup if you suspect there are underlying problems. Read this article for signs of liver disease in dogs and this one for signs of kidney disease in dogs.

Doggy Poop Munching

It’s a horrible habit, but unfortunately some dogs do it. When asking yourself why does my dog’s breath smell like fish, the reason could be as simple as ingesting its own poop. Sometimes the pressure of defecation is strong enough to deal with a blocked anal gland. But with the anal sac bursting the fishy smell will accompany it. Even if your dog doesn’t eat the poop, licking its behind after a pooping session will cause the smell to be transferred.

Fixing the Issue

Dealing with a blocked anal gland before it becomes serious will be the first way to avoid this from occurring. Then there are a variety of health-related reason why dogs indulge in the disgusting habit of munching their own excrement. Read this article to find out why do dogs eat poop.

Why Does My Dog’s Breath Smell Like Fish?
Your Dog Might Be Suffering From Halitosis

This is the medical term to describe the fishy smell coming from your dog’s mouth. The cause for it can come from a few different sources such as periodontal disease, occurring from bacteria in the mouth. It can be linked to plaque and cavities as well. Small dog breeds, especially the flat-faced brachycephalic breeds, suffer from this disease most often. Mostly because their teeth are closer together than bigger breeds.

Symptoms of Halitosis

The foul smell is the biggest indicator of this disease. If the initial bad breath goes over into more severe diseases of the mouth other symptoms can include pawing at the mouth, inability to eat and excessive drooling. If the drooling includes traces of blood, you need to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

Causes of Bad Breath

A few different conditions can lead to halitosis such as sugar diabetes, inflammation of the nasal passages or nose, sinusitis as well as gastrointestinal problems. A trauma to the mouth can also cause it. Infections including viral, bacterial or fungal can also play a factor. Dietary problems is another possible reason. Other health issues such an inflammation of the pharynx or throat (pharyngitis) or tonsillitis can also cause halitosis. But the biggest culprit is a plaque bacteria buildup.

why does my dog's breath smell like fish

How to Detect Halitosis

If you suspect the fishy smell coming from your dog’s mouth is caused by this disorder, you need to book an appointment with your vet for a proper examination, which will include X-rays. The tooth mobility will be checked as well to determine whether sulfide concentrations are present.

How to Treat Halitosis

Treatment will be linked to the cause of the problem, whether it be periodontal disease or a foreign object stuck between teeth. Your vet will be able to recommend the best method to deal with the fishy breath issue. Methods include a proper teeth cleaning session or extraction of affected teeth. There are also medication available to control the bacteria.

Conclusion: Why Does My Dog’s Breath Smell Like Fish?

When you notice your dog’s breath consistently smelling bad, it’s best to not ignore the issue because it can be a sign of bigger underlying health issues. Or for instance in the case of a blocked anal gland, it can cause your dog to experience unnecessary discomfort. In the case of halitosis, it’s your responsibility to keep your dog’s mouth in tiptop shape. By brushing your dog’s teeth every day, you can reduce the likelihood of the issue getting out of control.

Has your dog’s breath ever smelled fishy? What was the cause in your case? Were you able to deal with the problem effectively?

 

Can Dogs Eat Apples? A Delicious but Potentially Poisonous Treat

Can dogs eat apples? An apple is a very nutritious fruit, containing lots of vitamins and minerals. You can give your dog an apple as an occasional treat, but there are a few things to be aware of. And as with all things, moderation is key.

Quick NavigationAre Apples Good for Dogs?Feeding Apples to DogsHow to Feed Apples to DogsMy Dog Ate Too Many Apples! Now What?Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Apples?

Are Apples Good for Dogs?

Feeding your dog apples can be a great way to clean its teeth, especially if your dog is struggling with bad breath. The high fiber content is also a handy tool to assist your dog’s bowl movements.

Apples are considered a super food because of all the daily health benefits the fruit offers. They are rich in vitamins A, C and K, calcium, antioxidants, phosphorous, essential fatty acids and pectin. Apples are also a rich source of fiber.

Health benefits include:

  • Prevention of joint and bone diseases
  • Can improve a dog’s gastrointestinal system.
  • Apples help to fight off free radicals, preventing cancer from forming.
  • Can keep your dog’s teeth clean and ensure a fresh breath.
  • The essential fatty acids such as Omega 3 and 6 help to prevent skin allergies and keeps your dog’s skin and coat in a good condition.
  • The dietary fibers help to improve bowel movement.
  • The combo of antioxidants plus Vitamins A and C prevents various illnesses in older dogs. A few studies show that these vitamins can assist with hip dysplasia.

Feeding Apples to Dogs – The Health Benefits

Apples are a great substitute for expensive commercial dog treats. They are high in antioxidants, high in fiber and low in protein. The low protein count is especially good for aging dogs. Younger and more active dogs can benefit from the gastrointestinal help and apples can also fight various degenerative conditions.

Dogs are carnivores, but they should not eat too many meaty treats that are high in saturated fat. This is why apples are such a great alternative. Apples are low in saturated fat, calories and sodium. So you can rest assured that you are feeding your dog a very healthy snack.

Can dogs eat apples? Ideally, yes. The apples they are ingesting is good for their health, as well as the process of chewing on the apple. Instead of wrestling with your dog to brush its teeth, just offer it a little treat to chew on.

Can Apples Be Bad for Dogs?

There’s no doubt that apples can be a healthy treat for your dog, but there are a few limiting factors to be aware of.

Firstly, you need to make sure that your dog does not ingest any of the apple seeds. Rather remove the whole core, as it contain traces of cyanide in the form of a compound called Amygdalin. The amount is small, but taking into consideration the size of your dog’s body, it can be very harmful. If your dog is continuously exposed to the seeds, the build-up of the toxin can be detrimental to your dog’s health.

Also, do not feed your dog dehydrated apples. The nutrients are intact, but the lack of water can be dangerous to your dog’s digestion. Your dog can suffer from an upset tummy when eating these. Even too much normal apples can cause bowl movement problems.

Check with your veterinarian before incorporating apples into your dog’s diet. Feeding apples to dogs suffering from diabetes can be dangerous. The natural sugar content of apples are very high. If your dog is suffering from kidney disease, you should also steer clear of apples. The high levels of Omega 6 fatty acids, calcium and phosphorus can put your dog at risk.

How to Feed Apples to Dogs

Make sure you cut away all the core from the apple pieces you intend to feed your dog. You might be tempted to give your dog a whole apple as a chewy treat, but the apple seeds are very dangerous. If you want to give your dog a whole apple to chew on, make sure to use a high-quality core remover.

The only thing to keep in mind when giving your dog a whole apple to munch on, is the size of the dog. A whole apple can be a choking hazard, so not advisable if you know your dog loves gobbling down its food.

Make sure you wash the apple before slicing it up, removing any potential harmful chemicals from the fruit. Keep the skin of the apple intact, it’s the part of the apple high in fiber as well as nutrients.

Slowly introduce the apple into your dog’s general diet and only give it to the dog in moderation. Remember, dogs are primarily carnivores, so their digestive system is not geared towards processing lots of fruit and vegetables.

If your dog eats too many apple pieces, it can affect the dog’s bowl movements. Keep an eye on your dog’s reaction after feeding it apples for the first time to make sure that it’s good for your dog. Not all dogs will like apples and some dogs have more sensitive constitutions than others.

My Dog Ate Too Many Apples! Now What?

If your dog ate way too much apple, your dog will most likely start vomiting or suffer from diarrhea. This is your dog’s body dealing with the foreign substance that it has ingested. If your dog has ingested lots of apple seeds, then you need to take immediate action as the toxicity levels can become dangerous very quickly.

If your dog only ingested too many pieces of apples, without the seeds, you can just closely monitor it for 24 hours and make sure it has access to lots of water so that the dog does not become dehydrated. Try giving your dog a probiotic to help calm its upset tummy. Your dog’s body should deal with the excessive intake of apples on its own, but if the symptoms persist for longer than 24 hours, you will need to visit the veterinarian.

Conclusion – Can Dogs Eat Apples?

Is it safe for dogs to eat apples? If you only give it to your dog as an occasional treat, apples can be a great addition to your dog’s diet in general. Just make sure you do not feed your dog any apple seeds. Rather remove the whole core. But first check with your veterinarian to find out if apples will be beneficial for your dog in particular.

The high sugar content makes it a risky treat in big quantities, so be careful to not over-feed your dog. Apples can be a great nutritional snack for your dog with many health benefits. Just keep in mind that any fruit or vegetable should be given to your dog in moderation, keeping its carnivore digestive system in mind.

What is your dog’s favorite fruity snack? Have you noticed a change in your dog’s overall health after incorporating fruit and vegetables into its diet?