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Does My Dog Know I Love Him? How to Show Your Dog You Love Him

Does My Dog Know I Love Him?

Does my dog know I love him? You shower your dog with treats, toys and lots of belly rubs in the hopes that the dog understand the intentions behind the actions. You adore your dog, but how do you know that the feeling has been translated into doggy-friendly language?

Luckily there are doggy experts that have been able to bridge the “language gap” between humans and their four-footed friends.

Learn How to Speak Dog  

There are a few foolproof methods to make sure your dog feels loved and not just confused by the strange language you are speaking to it. In this case, actions really do speak louder than words!

#1 Ear Rubs Make Dogs High On Love

It’s not your imagination, your dog really zones out a bit after a few seconds of ear rubbing. The reason for this, is all the nerve endings found in your dog’s ears. By gently rubbing your dog’s ear, you are triggering the release of “happy hormones”, called endorphins. This potent hormone cocktail not only makes your dog feel giddy with love, it is also a natural painkiller. It’s a very easy and effective way to show your love for your dog in a tangible way that the dog will understand.

#2 Feed Your Dog By Hand

Experts recommend this technique to help puppies get rid of their food aggression. This also shows your dog that you are a food provider that it can trust. It’s a great way to build a strong and intimate bond with your dog. As your dog gets older, you can switch to using the hand feeding method to offer it treats during training.

#3 Train Your Dog

By using the modern training method of positive reinforcement, you can build a solid bond with your dog. Use a dog’s natural inclination to want to please its master and you can both reap the benefits from the training interaction. Take a moment to discover your dog’s favorite motivation reward such as a treat, words of praise or play time. It won’t be too difficult to spot, just look out for the highest level of excitement during training. Your dog will soon recognize you as the source of happiness.

Does My Dog Know I Love Him?

#4 Speak Your Dog’s Language

Dogs are more similar to humans than we realize. For instance, some dogs love getting hugs and others detest it. Also, most dogs don’t like it when you approach them directly. Your dog’s body language will give away a lot of clues as to what’s going on in its head. By being able to read your dog’s body language and responding appropriately, the level of trust between you and your dog will skyrocket. Read this article to understand your dog’s body language.

#5 Just Tell Your Dog You Love Him

Studies have recently proved that dogs understand some human language. Dogs were monitored in an MRI scanner to study them at their happiest. The results proved that it was not only the praising tone that got them excited, but the actual words of praise triggered a happy reaction. The tone of your voice definitely helps, but your dog might be understanding much more than you think.

Related: 10 Facts on How Your Dog’s Mind Works

The Flipside: How Do You Know Your Dog Loves You?

Now that you know how to tell your dog that you love him, how do you know whether the feeling is reciprocated? Again some clever researchers have managed to decipher the cryptic code of dog language.

#1 Going Crazy When You Arrive Home

It’s the easiest way to spot a dog in love with its human, that overly enthusiastic greeting after you’ve only been gone for a couple of hours. Your dog’s crazy tail wagging, jumping and possibly barking is its way of telling you how awesome you are. But then you get the over-eager dogs that reacts like this, regardless of who walks through the door, so you might have to take the seemingly loving response with a pinch of salt.

#2 Specific Facial Expressions

Mostly people focus on a dog’s tail to figure out what the dog is feeling. But a dog actually has very distinct facial expressions that you can learn to read. One study found that when a dog sees its owner, the dog lifted its eyebrows (especially the left one) When spotting a stranger, the facial movement was much less and focused on the right side. Read this article to decode your dog’s facial expressions.

#3 Staring Lovingly At You

Dogs are very selective with their eye contact. They won’t look you straight in the eye if they don’t trust you. Studies have shown that when an owner and dog maintain eye contact, oxytocin is released in both human and animal brain. This is the hormone that establishes a bond between a new mother and her baby. Try building up prolonged eye contact with your dog. But do it slowly, otherwise the dog will start feeling intimidated.

Does My Dog Know I Love Him?

#4 Yawns After You Yawned

You’ve heard the saying that yawning is contagious. But do you know why this is true? Psychologists have linked yawning to empathy. This is why you will most likely yawn after a friend of yours yawned in a conversation. Turns out, dogs are affected in the same way as humans by yawns. But dogs are little bit less generous with their empathy, they usually only mimic the yawn of their owners, not random strangers.

#5 Loves Sleeping or Cuddling with You

Doesn’t matter whether it’s just a short nap in the daytime on the couch, or at night when your dog insists on jumping on the bed with you. When a dog trusts you enough to sleep with you, it is a very good sign. It means that your dog senses that you are part of the same pack and accepts you as one of the in-crowd.

Does My Dog Know I Love Him? Share the Love

Dogs are usually unconditional in their love. You have to be a really terrible human being before your dog will decide not to love you. As long as you treat your dog with respect and use a loving approach in your training methods, your dog will lavish you with love.

Behavioral issues start popping up when a dog is mistreated. If a dog starts responding with an aggressive reaction, it means that the dog feels threatened and wants to protect itself. If a dog starts trashing the house or barking incessantly, it is usually an indication that the dog is frustrated and not receiving enough attention.

Treat your dog right and you will have a loyal companion for life. How do you know your dog loves you?

Siberian Husky Training – How to Master Your Dog

Siberian Husky Training

Want to find out more about Siberian Husky Training? The Siberian Husky is originally from North-Eastern Siberia, Russia. It’s a medium size working dog breed that belongs to the Spitz genetic family. The Siberian Husky has very distinct features, such as erect triangular ears, unique markings and a thick furred double coat.

Originally they were bred by the Chukchi people, a hunter-gatherer culture that relied on the dogs for help. They’re energetic, active and a resilient breed. Their ancestors lived in the extreme weather of the Siberian Arctic, a cold and harsh environment.

Quick NavigationBefore Starting With Siberian Husky TrainingSiberian Husky Training – Taming The WildnessThe Best Siberian Husky Training MethodThings to Remember During Siberian Husky TrainingSiberian Husky Training – The Biggest TrickSiberian Husky Training Videos

Before Starting With Siberian Husky Training

Before you start training your Siberian Husky, there are a few things that you need to know about the breed that will make the training process easier. Firstly, remember that they were originally bred to be helper dogs, this is a very important aspect of their temperament to keep in mind.

Hierarchy and Dominance

You have one of two options – either you become the leader of the pack or your Husky will gladly take the reins. All dog ancestors lived in packs, but when it comes to a helper dog breed, their sense of hierarchy is even stronger.

Challenges for the “alpha” male or female position will always occur, so you need to show your Husky that you mean business when you dominate, otherwise they will challenge your authority. This is the cornerstone of Siberian Husky training. Get this part right from the beginning and the other training steps will be much easier.

Aggression

Unfortunately this behavior trait is deeply ingrained in the Siberian Husky. Pack animals had to establish territories and defend them with great zeal. Anyone and everyone is seen as a potential threat. From a young age a Husky will tend to be snappy and nippy.

Don’t even think about beating your Husky into submission, this technique will definitely backfire on you and make the dog’s aggression worse. You need to constructively deal with this tendency from puppy age. Read this article to learn more about the different types of aggression in Huskies.

Food Protection

Another ingrained tendency in Huskies. You need to focus on food training to avoid your Husky becoming overly aggressive around feeding time.

Running away

This is linked to the survival trait of fight or flight. If your Husky feels threatened and decides it can’t handle the situation, it will choose the flight option. You need to make your Husky feel safe in your presence, reassure the dog that you can protect it at all times. Obedience training is crucial so that you can get your frightened dog under control with a simple command of “sit” or “stay”.

Socialization

Because dogs used to live in packs when they were wild, that sense of community is deeply engrained in their behavior. Consider buying two Huskies so that they can keep each other happy, otherwise you will have to keep your dog highly entertained when you are away. After being left alone for hours, it will become unhappy, depressed and bored. This will probably result in a destructive spree of chewing stuff to keep itself occupied.

They can be sociable with other dogs, but it is best to rather not mix two very dominant breeds. Read this article to find out more about dominant and submissive dog breeds.

Vocalization

How do dogs communicate? By barking at each other or at you. Siberian Huskies are incessant barkers and it can become very annoying if you don’t teach your dog to obey commands such as “stop” or “no bark.”

If you’re not giving your Husky enough attention, it might start barking just to get your attention. You need to give it enough attention before it resorts to barking. Otherwise a very annoying bad habit will be created. This is why it is so important to invest time in proper Siberian Husky training.

Siberian Husky Training Siberian Husky Training

Siberian Husky Training – Taming The Wildness

Siberian Huskies are a very demanding breed. They require constant attention, they have endless energy and are very curios and can get up to a lot of mischief if not trained properly. They are also prone to lots of barking and nipping.

You will have to be very strict in your training, as they are very strong-willed. In their minds the position of “alpha” male or female is always up for grabs.

Burn Up the Energy

Each dog breed has its own energy level. And each individual dog also has a specific energy level. For your Siberian Husky training to work, you need to figure out your dog’s energy level.

Just like human beings can be introverts or extroverts, your dog will lean more to the one side or the other. Siberian Huskies usually have quite high levels of energy, and you will have to figure out how to deal with this.

As mentioned above, if you don’t give your dog enough attention, it will start acting out. Siberian Huskies usually have short burst of energy. They need at least 30 minutes of focused exercise every day. Incorporate your training as part of the exercise time.

Because Siberian Huskies were bred to be helper dogs, they thrive on affirmation. You can turn the training into a game. Just make sure you always remain in charge. Exercise time does not just mean play time.

For at least 25% of the exercise time focus on training. A great concept to incorporate in your training is “nothing in life is for free”. Your Husky needs to learn that if it wants your praise or treats, it must obey you. The dog might try to manipulate you with a very sorrowful look when it doesn’t get a treat or attention. Don’t fall for it, indulging in it will have the same outcome as spoiling a child.

Focused Attention in the Right Direction

You need to pay constant attention to your Husky, not only when it’s behaving badly. To a Husky attention is attention, positive or negative. If you are not affirming the positive behavior, it will act out just to get some form of interaction from you, even if it entails getting reprimanded.

Using the power of attention in your Siberian Husky training can be a potent method. Instead of beating the poor dog into submission when it does something wrong, all you have to do is say “bad dog” and ignore it for an hour after the unwanted behavior. This method will be much more successful than the traditional belief that you should spank the dog to reprimand it.

Siberian Husky Training

The Best Siberian Husky Training Method

Combining the motto “nothing in life is free” with the focused attention, you are using a training method called “positive reinforcement”. Your dog needs to accept you as the leader for the training to be successful.

By earning the dog’s trust and respect, you can mold it into a pleasant four-footed family member. Be consistent in your training methods. The same as with kids, let your no be no and your yes be yes. Stick to the same rules every day.

Especially when your Husky is still young it will push the boundaries. If you show any sign of inconsistency, the dog will be hesitant to trust you. Start with all the basic commands such as sit, stay, speak, shake, down and roll over.

Make a list of the activities your Husky loves. Before a loved activity like petting, rubbing, playing or walking, let it execute one of the commands. The dog has to learn “no work, no play.”

Examples:

  1. You put the leash in place to go for a walk.
  2. The dog must patiently sit until you attach the leash.
  3. You feed the dog
  4. The dog must lie down and stay until you put the food bowl down.
  5. You play with the dog when you return home from work.
  6. The dog must sit and give paw each time you throw the ball for it to fetch.
  7. You rub the dog’s belly or scratch its head while watching TV.
  8. The dog must lie down and roll over before being petted.

Things to Remember During Siberian Husky Training

You should never attempt training when you are unwell. Also, don’t train while you are feeling upset, angry or negative. Make sure you are not low on energy or patience when you are busy with the Siberian Husky training.

Dogs are very sensitive to your mood, a dog will quickly pick up when you are not feeling 100% and respond negatively to your training attempt. Don’t train while your mind is distracted or when there’s lots of distractions in the training area.

Do not attempt a lesson if you are not confident about how to execute it. Rather postpone it until you’ve done some research about it or you’ve chatted with a professional trainer. 

Siberian Husky Training – The Biggest Trick

Stick to the two main rules: “nothing in life is free” and “no work, no play”. Remember, Siberian Huskies were bred to be helper dogs. If you can give them a sense of purpose, they will remain loyal. But you need to stick to the rules – once a command has been given, the dog must obey. Don’t cave in and still give the dog what it wants.

Your biggest training tool, is giving attention or taking it away. Show patience and persistence and your Husky will eventually submit to your leadership. But the biggest key is consistency. Don’t think that dog’s aren’t capable of manipulation. Your Husky will try to figure out what your weakness is and focus on taking over the alpha role through wearing you down.

Siberian Husky Training Videos

Below are some great videos that show you how to train your Siberian Husky.

​How to Potty Train your Puppy

How To Train Your Puppy To Sit, Lay Down and Stop Biting

Wrapping Up

Do you have a strong-willed Siberian Husky? Have you managed to tame the wildness? What was the most successful training method for you?

What is The Best Dog Food for Poodles? We Look At The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

What is the best dog food for poodles? When selecting the best dog food for your poodle, you need to focus on the correct balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Whether your poodle is still a puppy or already in its senior years, you need to make sure you continue selecting a high quality dog food throughout its life.

One way of making sure that you select the correct type of dog food, is to check the Guaranteed Analysis info. All pet food labels have to show this nutrient content analysis. It will give you an indication of the crude protein and fat content percentage, as well as the crude fiber and moisture content.

Why Should You Find the Best Dog Food for Poodles?

By feeding your dog the best dog food for poodles, you will be assisting its immune system to be as strong as possible. Other benefits of a good diet include good eye sight, a healthy coat and it can even affect your dog’s personality.

An important aspect to keep in mind, is that your poodle has specific nutritional needs at various life stages. Your dog’s general health, age, size and activity level can influences the choice of dog food as well.

Have You Considered BARF?

The Bones and Raw Food diet (BARF) is a new trend that has recently become very popular. It’s a great alternative to commercial dog food. All the ingredients you will need for this diet, can be bought at your local supermarket.

Add the following: fruits and vegetables; eggs; raw chicken, backs and necks plus other raw meats and bones. You can add all these ingredients together in your blender to create natural dog food. But when considering this diet for your poodle, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Firstly, it can be a very messy meal. So you might have to clean your poodle more regularly. You also need to take the strength of your poodle’s jaw into consideration. There are a few rules to follow when it comes to feeding your dog bones. Read our post Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones? to be aware of all the health risks involved in feeding your dog bones.

Please note: check with your vet before switching to the BARF diet.

Best Dog Food for Poodles: Pick A Brand and Stick To It

When deciding upon the best dog food for poodles, it’s best to find a brand that you trust and continue to feed it to your dog throughout its life. Most dog food brands have a specific nutritional mix for puppies, adults and senior dogs.

It’s crucial to switch between dog food stages at the correct times during your dog’s lifetime. At each life stage your dog requires a very specific combinations of nutrients. By finding a high-quality dog food brand, you can rest assured that all your dog’s dietary needs are fulfilled.

Unless your dog is reacting very strange to a specific brand or experiencing odd health issues after eating it, you shouldn’t be jumping around between different types of dog food brands. Your dog’s body needs to become accustomed to the specific dietary combination of a dog food brand.

What Should You Feed Your Poodle

Don’t simply pick the cheapest dog food brand because you want to save money. You might save money now, but selecting a low-quality dog food brand, can end up costing you more in vet bills later on. If you’ve bought your puppy from a reputable breeder, rather stick with the dog food brand they’ve selected to feed your little poodle.

If you do want to switch to a brand you are more familiar with, you need to create a diet transition period so that your puppy can become accustomed to the new food. Mix the new food slowly with the old food, starting with a high ratio of the old food and only a little bit of the new.

A good indication of a high-quality dog food brand, is the protein content. Check the ingredient list and see how much beef, chicken or fish it contains. Steer clear from brands with high quantities of cornmeal and flour. Also, preservatives are important to extend product life, but too many can be harmful.  Read this article about bad preservatives in dog food.

Just like humans, dogs can become bored with their diets. So make sure you don’t buy the same type of dog food from your preferred brand every time. You might also notice that your dog likes one type more than the other, for instance chicken flavor instead of turkey. Use canned food as an occasional treat, not the main source of your dog’s diet. They are usually made up of 70% water, so they don’t have very high nutritional value, but can spice up a boring meal a little bit.

Best Dog Food for Poodle Puppies

If you do decide to stick with the dog food that your poodle breeder was using, make sure that they did not opt for a low-quality brand because they want to save money when buying in bulk. When this is the case, rather switch to the best dog food for poodles recommended by your vet. Remember to change over to a new brand slowly, a fast change may cause tummy upset or digestive problems.

How Much Should You Feed a Poodle Puppy

A poodle puppy grows really quickly, so it needs to consume a lot of calories, especially in the first five months. During this time, you will need to feed your puppy twice as many calories per pound as an adult poodle. Your dog food brand will have a calorie intake indication on the bag that you can use. Once you have this information, use this handy dog food calculator to determine how much you must feed your poodle puppy.

How Often Should You Feed a Poodle Puppy

For the first four to six months it’s best to feed your puppy three times a day. Once your puppy turns six months old, you can switch to feeding it twice a day.

Tip: switch to adult dog food when your puppy reaches 90% of its expected adult weight.

Best Dog Food for Poodle Adults

A small poodle weighing 20 pounds or less can switch to adult food between 9 to 12 months. A medium sized poodle between 20 and 50 pounds should switch between 12 to 14 months.

How Much Should You Feed an Adult Poodle

Stick to the feeding instruction of your dog food brand. Or if you want to make double-sure that you are not over or under feeding your poodle, make use of the dog food calculator mentioned about. It’s all about getting the balance right, taking into consideration how much your dog weighs and its activity level.

How Often Should You Feed an Adult Poodle

Poodles are high energy dogs, so it is best to help them maintain a constant energy level by feeding them twice a day. This is especially import for small poodles, standard poodles can function on one feeding, but two feedings are more beneficial

Best Dog Food for Older Poodles

Some people debate that you should only switch to senior dog food if your dog has health issues. But as your dog grows older, its nutritional needs change. Dog food brands create special formulas to compensate for this.

How Much Should You Feed a Senior Poodle

Once your dog hits its senior years, when it’s between 10 to 12 years old, your dog’s metabolism will start to slow down and it will need less calories per day. The amount of food you feed it, will depend on whether you are sticking with adult food or switching to senior.

How Often Should You Feed a Senior Poodle

As your dog gets older, its bowl movements will also change. You can consider switching to feeding it only once a day, or you can give it less food at night to avoid any unwanted mishaps in the house if your dog sleeps inside.

Conclusion: Best Dog Food for Poodles

Because poodles are high energy dogs, it’s crucial to invest adequate time when you are searching for the best dog food for poodles. By finding a high-quality dog food brand, you can enrich your dog’s life quality, as well as save on unwanted vet bills.

Have you discovered a specific dog food brand that works best for your poodle? Or did you successfully switch to the BARF diet?

Dog Psychology – 10 Facts on How Your Dog’s Mind Works

Ten interesting facts on dog psychology you probably did not know!

What really goes on in the mind of a dog has been a great topic of discussion for many years. What do they think? Why do they think this way? How did they develop this manner of thought and behavior? While we may never be able to have a conversation with our furry companions, we have made several amazing advances in the study of dog psychology that help us understand them a little better. Here are ten of the most interesting facts about dog psychology.

#1 – Dogs Can Dream

Many dog owners have probably noticed their dogs twitching, moving their paws, gently barking or crying and huffing in their sleep. It was usually a minor musing that the dog may be dreaming, and the thought of whether or not an animal can actually have dreams was commonly discussed among dog owners. However, several studies in dog psychology now say with certainty that our canine friends do actually experience dreams. Dogs share similar sleep patterns as humans, and their brain activity while sleeping also resembles that of a human brain when asleep. Due to such similarities, it’s strongly believed that dogs actually can dream. In fact, they likely do it as much as any normal person does. Researchers also believe that the most common dreams are happy and involve activities such as playing, chasing an animal or simply running around. Studies also show that smaller breeds tend to dream more frequently than bigger breeds, and that recent events such as playing, seeing an old friend or going someplace new can prompt dreams when the dog goes to sleep.

#2 – They Understand the Power of Barking

Many forms of dog psychology can be linked to the world of human psychology. For example, in much the same realm as a baby understanding that its cry draws the attention of its parents, a dog also understands that a bark elicits a reaction from its owners. In addition, like an older child who gets rewarded after tantrums to get them to stop making noise, dogs also tend to become stuck in their ways and behaviors if this is consistently reinforced. Owners who tend to give into their dog’s barking, such as in instances where an owner will take a dog barking near the food bowl as an indication that they want to be fed, commonly experience difficulty in controlling their dog’s barking.

 

#3 – They’re as Smart as a Toddler

Even those without a minute of experience in studying dog psychology know that dogs are smarter than people tend to give them credit for. They may not be solving complex math equations, but they’re usually not easily fooled, and they learn very quickly. Exactly how smart do they commonly get in comparison to humans? Research indicates that many dogs have intelligence and understanding on par with a human toddler of about two years old. They have the capacity to learn how to count, understand around 150 words and they can solve problems as well as devise tricks to play on people and other animals.

#4 – They Understand Vocal Tones

While their vocabulary may never reach the complexity of even a young child, our understanding of dog psychology indicates that they can easily understand a wide range of vocal tones. For example, your dog may understand their name and react when called, but the tone of voice used when calling the dog can change their behavior when they come to you. Happy tones make a dog excited and playful while angry tones make dogs feel sad or frightened. If there is fear in your voice, the dog may believe that you’re being threatened and rush to protect you. Sharp tones of pain may prompt comforting behavior from the dog.

#5 – There’s More to Tail-Wagging Than Meets the Eye

One of the most basic and accepted pieces of dog psychology is introduced through the signal of the trademark tail wag. It’s widely accepted by nearly everyone from people who have never owned dogs to authorities in dog psychology that a wagging tail means that a dog is happy, but it’s a more complicated matter than you may think. It is true that when a dog is happy, they wag their tail. However, this is only true when the tail is being wagged to the right. If it’s wagging to the left, it’s indicative of fear. Low tail wags mean nervousness, and rapid tail wags mixed with tense muscles can be a sign of aggression.

#6 – Dogs Experience Jealousy

Researchers put dogs side by side and gave them commands. Both dogs would perform the same given command and only one would get a treat. The one who was not given a treat showed signs of agitation, avoided contact with the rewarded dog and scratched more often. This was further attributed to jealously as these signs of agitation appeared more frequently in the experiment with pairs of dogs than in times when a dog was alone and was refused a reward.

An interesting aspect of their feeling of jealousy is in the lack of importance of what’s being offered as a reward. If one dog is being given something great as a treat such as a piece of steak while another is given something like a small dog biscuit, the signs of jealousy are not present. They only care that they get rewarded, not what the reward is.

#7 – No Guilt in a Dog’s Eyes

Interestingly, dogs react the same way no matter if they performed the act or not. While it’s unlikely that one dog could actively frame another dog for a misdeed, there are the circumstances of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Merely seeing or hearing the negativity from their owners or anticipating punishment is enough to bring on that sad puppy dog face.

#8 – Dogs Learn from Canine Mentors

Many people turn to dog psychology books and guides to help them in training their dogs. However, the presence of a trained older dog may be the easiest way to teach them how to behave and react to commands. Puppies commonly model their behavior from older dogs in their household. If the older dog is trained well and behaves, the puppy can adopt the behavior of the dog quite quickly.

When the older dog is given a command, performs it and gets a treat, the puppy may be able to more easily understand what this command means and what to do when it is given through a form of mimicry.

#9 – No Need for Revenge

There are several times in a dog owner’s life where they could swear that their dogs are behaving badly as a way to get revenge for something. For instance, a dog making a mess on the carpet while its owners are gone all day or chewing up a pillow because its owners didn’t want to play outside can easily be viewed as vengeful acts. However, these behaviors can easily be explained through other more likely reasons.

For example, the first dog could have gone to the bathroom on the carpet because it was stressed out from being home alone all day or having a drastic change in routine. The second dog could have been frustrated due to pent up energy from not being played with and released the energy through tearing something up.

The major issue with the idea of vengeance in a dog is the fact that it requires some form of premeditation that dogs don’t seem to be capable of. Dogs can act in immediate retaliation such as when they’re attacked, but they don’t appear to have the mental capacity to purposely plan out and perform acts of vengeance against anyone. The bad acts should be addressed through proper methods such as stress management and alternative play time not punishment.

#10 – Dog’s Thrive on Love and Discipline

While giving your dog plenty of love and attention is an important aspect of raising a happy dog, studies in dog psychology state that this alone is not good enough to raise an emotionally and mentally healthy dog. Dogs need a healthy balance of affection, attention and discipline in order to feel secure, safe, happy and like a true part of the family.

If they don’t receive some form of discipline through effective and consistent training and their owners taking a dominant stance, they can easily become unhappy, confused in what is and is not acceptable behavior, emotionally unstable and insecure.

#11 – Do Dogs Fall In Love?

According to studies conducted by Paul Zak, a professor at Claremont Graduate University in California, a dog’s brain releases Oxytocin, which is the love hormone, when it interacts with humans and other dogs. Humans releases Oxytocin when we hug or kiss.

You can read a bit more about Paul Zak’s study right here.

Symptoms of Worms in Dogs – What To Look Out For And How To Treat It

5 Symptoms of worms in dogs

Are you worried that your dog might have worms, but do not know what the symptoms of worms in dogs are? If you’ve had your dog for any reasonable length of time, you would be very lucky if your dog had not had a bout of worms at some point.

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Worms are a very common issue with dogs. Despite it being common, if left untreated, worms can be very dangerous for your dog. And of course your dog could feel ill and uncomfortable, which is the last thing you would want.

So here, we’ll list the main symptoms of worms in dogs you need to look out for, how to treat your loved pet, and also how to prevent your dog getting worms in the future.

Quick NavigationThere Are Five Type of Worms That Commonly Affect DogsSo What Are The Common Symptoms of Worms In Dogs?Treatment For The Symptoms Of Worms in Dogs, and Prevention To Stop Future InfectionsHow To Prevent Symptoms of Worms in DogsConclusion – Symptoms of Worms In Dogs

There Are Five Type of Worms That Commonly Affect Dogs

Before we jump into the common symptoms of worms in dogs, we first need to understand what kind of worms a dog could have. Below are five common types of worms that could affect dogs.

Tapeworms – This type of worm is caused by your dog eating pests that are infected by tapeworm, or from your dog licking themselves when grooming and ingesting fleas that contain tapeworm eggs. This type of worm usually infects dogs with flea infestations, or hunting dogs. This is one of the easiest worms to spot as your dog’s faeces will resemble grains of rice. These worms attach themselves to your dog’s intestines, where they absorb some of the nutrients from your dog’s food, and therefore can cause malnutrition in your dog. A tablet or injection can kill tapeworms. Humans also get tapeworms, but this is not usually from an infected pet. If you like to know more about tapeworms, read this article.

Roundworms – Roundworms are basically worms the live and feed inside your dog’s intestines. Most dogs will have some roundworm at some stage of their lives. You can usually spot if your dog has roundworms by looking at their poop (or their vomit If they are throwing up). If you see light brown or white things that look like spaghetti that are a few inches long, chances are that it is roundworm. Roundworms are quite common and puppies are usually at most risk of getting the worms and becoming sick from it. A puppy can usually get the worms from their mother, either while they are still in the whom or even by drinking her milk. Other ways your dog might get roundworms is by eating poop that has roundworm eggs in it, or eating smaller animals (such as mice) that are infected with roundworm. Take note that roundworms can be transmitted to humans through contact of faeces or contaminated soil. If you want to read more about roundworms, read this article.

Heartworms – This type of worm is mainly spread by mosquitos, so you need to keep in mind where you live. Areas where there are a high chance of your dog being infected by heartworm in the USA are Midwestern and Southeastern states, and along the Atlantic coast. This worm is often the hardest to diagnose as the infection process is slow, and your dog will show only minor and very subtle symptoms until the infection passes onto a more advanced stage. Once it infects it host, it lives in the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the lungs, as well as the heart itself. Symptoms include your dog coughing a lot and having problems breathing, amongst other symptoms. At an advanced stage, heartworms will affect how your dog’s heart works and cause blood clots, which could be fatal. Treatment is usually two to three arsenic-based drugs injected into your dog, and then around a month of rest. If you would like to know more about heartworms, read this article.

Hookworms and Whipworms– These types of worm propagate in wet or damp soil. Therefore, if your dog is kept on grass runs, and even more so in humid, warm environments. These types of worms are much more common in dogs that stay in kennels where they have access to communal grassy areas. Adult dogs are usually infected when they are cleaning themselves, or through their skin. A very unpleasant type of worm, it will live mainly in the small intestine of your dog and sucks the blood from their host. Once infected, your dog will feel weak and malnourished. As with roundworm, this worm can also pass from mother to pup, and it can lead to the death of puppies. A couple of rounds of deworming medicine will usually do the trick, but if you have a puppy, they may need further treatment. It’s worth noting that humans can also get hookworms, but that’s usually from eating unwashed vegetables, or walking on damp soil or sand barefoot. If you would like to know more about hookworms, read this article, and if you want to know more about whipworms, read this article.

So What Are The Common Symptoms of Worms In Dogs?

So no that we know what kind of worms can affect our beloved dog, we can start looking at the symptoms of worms in dogs:

Symptoms of Worms In Dogs – Checklist

  • Diarrhea – Loose, soft stools can be a symptom of your dog having worms. If there is blood in your dog’s stools, this could be a sign of hookworms.
  • Vomiting – Your dog vomiting may be a symptom of worms. Check the vomit, as roundworms can actually be vomited up by your dog.
  • Lethargy – Dogs infected with worms tend to appear overly tired. Has your normally active and sprightly dog lost its energy?
  • Coughing – This can be an advanced stage symptom of heartworms, as these worms infect the artery taking blood from the heart to the lungs. Coughing can also develop in dogs who have roundworms or hookworms.
  • Weight loss – Keep an eye out for your dog losing weight rapidly. Fast weight loss can be a sign that your dog has tapeworm or whipworm.
  • Dull coat – If your dog’s coat, which should normally be shiny and thick, starts to become dull and dry, start losing their hair, or develop a rash, they may have worms.
  • Sudden increase in appetite – This can be a symptom of roundworms, as this parasite feeds on the nutrients in your dog’s food, which means your dog is not getting all the nutrients it needs.
  • Lack of appetite – The opposite can also be true, as dogs who suddenly lose their appetite may also have worms.
  • Developing a pot-belly – This is much more common in puppies than adult dogs. If your dog looks bloated, or has developed a pot-belly, they may have worms. If you spot this in a puppy, there is a good chance it has picked it up from its mother.
  • Itching skin – If your dog is constantly itching itself, there could be quite a severe infestation of worms.
  • Worms seen visually on faeces or fur – Roundworms can be seen in dog stools, as can tapeworms. Tapeworms may also be spotted as small moving worms in your dog’s fur, or around their anus.
  • Rubbing bottom on ground – A dog infected with worms may find their anus extremely itchy, and will try to rub their bottoms on the ground to relieve this itching.

Treatment For The Symptoms Of Worms in Dogs, and Prevention To Stop Future Infections

It is good knowing what symptoms of worms in dogs to look out for, but what can we do about it? Below we list some possible actions to take if you notice symptoms in your dog:

  • No one dewormer will get rid of all types of worms, so try to find out what kind of worms your dog has using the above information. If in doubt, check with a vet, who will be able to ascertain the type of worm infection.
  • Products effective on roundworms, hookworms and whipworms (worms that are round in shape) are not usually effective on tapeworms (which are flat shaped), and vice versa.
  • Treatments can come in many different types, depending on the type of worm infection your dog has. Medications are available as capsules, tablets, chewable tablets, liquids, granules and topical creams.
  • If symptoms persist, consult your vet as soon as you can.

Our Pick – The Best Dog Dewormer Options

If your dog is feeling really sick and you are worried about your dog, you should definitely take it to the vet to get it properly diagnosed. However, if you want to treat a mild case of worms there are dewormers available to buy over-the-counter. When looking for a dewormer, make sure you get the right options to suit your dog’s size and that will be effective for the specific type of worm that your dog has.

Merck Animal Health Panacur C Canine De-Wormer

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​This dewormer helps treat hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms. Treatment using this dewormer is to give your dog one packet of powder each day, for three days. You can mix the powder in with some dogfood to make it easier to get your dog to take it. There should not be much side-effects when your dog takes this dewormer. They might have some loose stools though.

Naturpet D Wormer

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What I like about this dewormer is that it is a natural dewormer that does not have a bunch of chemicals in it.​ It contains some healthy ingredients, such as Black Walnut Green Hull, Black Seed, Sage Leaf, Fennel Seed and Papaya Leaf . This dewormer helps treat pinworm, roundworm, giardia, tapeworm, whipworm and ringworm.

​Take note though that this dewormer takes a bit of time to work (usually a few weeks!).

If you also have cats, you can use this to deworm them too, which should save you some hassle and money!​

8 in 1 Safe Guard Canine Dewormer

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This is another powder based dewormer that you can mix in with your dog’s food. It treats tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms and whipworms. Similar to the Panacur dewormer, this is a three day treatment and you can adjust the amount you give your dog based on their size.

Take note thought that this dewormer is only intended for dogs that are 6 weeks or older. So do not get this for a new born puppy!​

Editor’s Choice – Dog Dewormer

If you are concerned that your dog has worms, there are some great dewormer products that you can try. One such a product is Merck Animal Health Panacur C Canine De-Wormer, Net Wt. 12 grams, Package Contents Three, 4 gram packets. It helps treat hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms.

How To Prevent Symptoms of Worms in Dogs

We all would prefer having a healthy and happy dog! So what can we do to prevent the symptoms of worms in dogs? Below we list some actions you can take proactively:

  • Puppies need to be dewormed as a matter of course, and not when you spot symptoms of worms. If you have a puppy from birth, start the first deworming treatment 2 weeks after birth, and then every 2 weeks till the puppy is 3 months old. After 3 months of age, deworming can be downscaled to monthly until 6 months of age, when you can deworm every 3 months.
  • If you have adopted a puppy, start deworming straight away and don’t wait for 2 weeks. Then treat as above.
  • For adult dogs (6 months or older) you could opt for a faecal test. We don’t recommend them though, as many of these tests will show negative results (i.e. no worms) when your dog may still be infected. Instead, opt to deworm your adult dog every 3 months as a matter of routine.
  • Tapeworms are caused by fleas, so keeping your dog free of fleas is important, apart from the fact that fleas in themselves are not pleasant for dogs. There are medications that combine heartworm medication with flea treatment in one tablet. Bear in mind, though this is a good option if you know your dog is susceptible to heartworm and tapeworm, it will not help against other worms. We recommend routine use of topical flea treatments instead.
  • Ensure your dog is restricted from certain environments – Try to keep your dog away from grassy, warm areas which are shared by other dogs (especially if you know these dogs are not regularly dewormed). Do not allow your dog to touch wild animals, or prey. Try to avoid humid climates that attract mosquitos (although this is easier said than done if you live in this type of climate). Lastly, do not allow your dog to eat or rub themselves in faeces left by wild animals or other dogs.
  • Get into the habit of disinfecting your dog’s food and water bowls regularly. Make sure you only use disinfectant that is dog-friendly.
  • Be a responsible owner and ensure you clean up after your dog, and dispose of faeces carefully.
  • Always have regular check-ups with your vet. Remember, your dog may have worms and not be showing any symptoms yet, or you may have simply overlooked the symptoms. Check-ups mean your dog is seeing a professional regularly, who is well placed to spot signs before you can.

Conclusion – Symptoms of Worms In Dogs

If you notice symptoms of worms in dogs, take action! Do not wait too long hoping it will just go away. We listed some possible actions you could take to address the symptoms of worms in dogs, but if the problem persists take your dog to a professional veterinarian that can properly diagnose the symptoms and prescribe a treatment.

  • March 13, 2022
  • Blog

What Are The Best Dog Toys For Chewers? What To Get Your Dog If It Really Likes A Good Chew!

1 Best Dog Toys For Chewers

Editor’s Choice – The Best Dog Toys For Chewers

What are the best dog toys for chewers? For me the best dog toy for chewers has to be from Kong. They make dog toys from quality material and are designed to be not only durable, but also entertaining for your dog. The KONG Classic Dog Toy is durable, fun and can be stuffed with a treat. It also comes in various sizes, so you can choose the best size to suit your dog!

What are the best dog toys for chewers? Dogs like to chew on things. Especially younger dogs that still have itchy gums! That is just the way it is. So rather than your dog destroying your furniture, shoes, pillows and who know what else, a better option is to get a chew toy that will not only satisfy their chewing needs, but also hopefully keep them entertained for a little bit.

Chewing is a natural thing for dog. Puppies chew to learn about the world around them (much like human babies like to put things in their mouths and taste it) and to help itchy gums. Adult dogs chew to keep their masticatory (chewing) muscles strong, help clean their teeth or sometimes just to pass the time. So really, it is in your dog’s best health interest that you give it a chew toy that they can chew to their heart’s content.

Quick NavigationTypes Of ChewersHow To Choose The Best Dog Toys For ChewersOur Pick – The Best Dog Toys For ChewersWhat Do You Think – What Is Best Dog Toys For Chewers?

Types Of Chewers

All dogs chew the same, right? Well, apparently not. Dogs can actually be divided into three different categories in terms of their chewing habits.

Gentle Chewers – These are the dogs that are easy on their chew toys. They usually like to lick or even suck on their toys, rather than trying to destroy it!

Average Chewers – Average chewers like most types of chew toys! They usually like their toys so much that they tend to carry the toys with them where ever they go. These dogs might be destructive on softer chew toys, such as plush or fabric toys, but will not necessarily be very destructive on harder toys, such as rubber chew toys. 

Power Chewers – These are the dogs that make it their mission to chew things up as quickly and as thoroughly as they can! They are what I like to call determined chewers. For these dogs you will need to choose a dog toy that is durable and interactive. If your dog is a power chewer, you might want to look at something like the KONG Extreme Dog Toy. It is specifically made for dogs that are powerful chewers.

For some tips on how to ​teach your dog to stop gnawing on everything in site, check out this article from The Humane Society.

How To Choose The Best Dog Toys For Chewers

So it seems chewing is a natural thing for your dog. It is actually even good for them! But how do you choose the best dog toy for a chewer?

Key Characteristics For The Best Dog Toys For Chewers

When I look for a chew toy for my dog, there are a few important things I look for in the toy. Every dog is different of course, so you need to think about how old your dog is, how big it is and how heavy a chewer it is.

Dog Chew Toy Checklist

  • Hardness – If your dog is a heavy chewer, you might be tempted to get a chew toy that is really hard, because it will last longer, right? Too hard a toy is not good for your dog as chances are it might actually break its teeth in the toy! To test if a chew toy is too hard, you can employ the “Thumbnail Test”. Basically you test the toy by pressing on it with your thumbnail. If there is not a little bit of “give” when you press on the toy, it is too hard and should be avoided.
  • Softness and Durability – While a toy that is too hard is bad for your dog, a toy that is too soft is not good either. If it is too soft and not very durable, your dog will chew it apart in no time! But the big problem with too soft toys is that pieces of the toy can come apart, with your dog possibly swallowing it. A piece of chew toy in your dog’s digestive tract is not a good thing!
  • Coating – Sometimes chew toys have a coating on them for flavoring. However, sometimes these coatings can cause your dog to have an upset stomach.
  • Size and Shape – You need to be practical and think about how big your dog is and how big the toy is. If the chew toy is too small, your dog might accidentally swallow it and choke on it. If the chew toy is too large, your dog might not be able to play with it effectively and get bored with it.
  • Ease of Cleaning – While my dog is the one enjoying the chew toy, I am the one that needs to make sure it gets cleaned every now and then to keep it hygienic. So typically I like chew toys that you can easily throw in the dishwasher or the laundry washing machine.
  • Entertainment Value – A chew toy should just be that, a toy! I want a chew toy that will not only satisfy my dog’s desire to chew something, but it needs to also keep them entertained and busy. A bored dog can be a mischievous dog!

Dog Chew Toy Options I Would Avoid

Rawhides and Pig Ears – You probably see a lot of these and they are usually an affordable option to consider. But I would not pick this is the best option when it comes to dog toys for chewers. The simple reason being that these rawhides can get lodged in your dog’s trachea (“windpipe”), which could cause choking. A piece of rawhide could also get stuck in your dog’s stomach, a resulting in digestive obstruction.

Edible Chew Treats – Your dog will probably really like these, but if you have a serious chewer on your hands then this is not a good option for you either. Simply, it will not last very long! You could however give your dog these as a treat in combination with a more durable/traditional chew toy. The benefit of these treats are that they usually help with your dog’s dental health. Give your dog too much of this, and it will of course get fat!

Cow Hooves – Cows hooves are also a common and affordable option for you to find, but as they can be quite hard they can break your dog’s teeth or even splinter. Splinters can cause injuries to your dog’s mouth or digestive tract. Even though they are affordable, I prefer to stay away from them.

Elk/Deer Antlers – There are some good reasons for antlers being really popular as chew toys for dogs. Antlers are natural (so no need to worry about suspicious chemicals) and are sustainably harvested (Deer and Elk shed their antlers naturally, so no need to feel bad for the Deer or Elk). But…similar to Cow hooves, antlers can break your dog’s teeth (antlers are really hard!). In fact, antlers have caused so many injuries to dogs that plenty of veterinarians and veterinary dentists have started issuing warnings to pet owners about antlers as chew toys for dogs.

Bully Sticks – This is another chew toy for dogs that is popular. You will probably see these sticks in most pet stores. Dogs love them and a lot of dog owners swear by them. But, there are some pitfalls to using these sticks. This includes an increase in your dog’s calorie intake (making them fatter than they should be). Some of these sticks can also have some nasty bacteria on them that will make your dog sick. Oh and by the way…these “sticks” are actually bull penises!

Dog Chew Toy Options I Would Consider

Rubber Chew Toys – Rubber dog toys are usually the safest and most durable dog toy option for chewers. You need to make sure that if you do go for the rubber option, that the toy is made from quality rubber, and not flimsy cheap rubber. Cheap rubber will not last nearly as long and might contain ingredients that are not very healthy for your dog. There is also a much smaller chance with quality rubber toys that a piece will come loose from the toy and get stuck in your dog’s digestive system. I also like that I don’t have to worry much that my dog’s teeth might break.

I usually like to look for a toy that is hollow so that I can put a treat or maybe some peanut butter inside. You will be pleasantly surprised how long this can keep your dog entertained!

Rope Chew Toys – I like rope chew toys because they are not hard, so less chance of your dog breaking its teeth. It is also the typical toy that your dog enjoys tugging on with you, which makes for fun play time for you and your dog. However, I would be careful to give a rope toy to a younger dog. The simple reason being that I am a little paranoid about a puppy possibly trying to swallow a piece of the rope, which will result in a panicked visit to the vet! If your dog is a heavy chewer, a rope chew toy might come undone quickly.


Our Pick – The Best Dog Toys For Chewers

Okay, so now that we know what to look for in a dog toy for chewers and what kind of chew toys to avoid, we can look at some toys that might be excellent choices for our little chewers!

Kong Classic Dog Toy

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Kong is one of the best known brands in the pet industry and is known for making high quality dog toys. A lot of dog owners only ever buy Kong toys for their dogs.

This particular toy is something that ticks most, if not all, the boxes for what I look for in a dog toy:

  • It is made from quality rubber, so it should last you a long time.
  • It is not too hard, so you don’t have to worry about your dog breaking its teeth when it plays with it.
  • It is hollow, so you can stuff treats inside the toy. Your dog will be entertained for a long time as it works to get the treat out of the toy. Some folks like to put peanut butter inside.
  • The design of the toys gives it another dimension of being a bouncy toy, allowing you to use it when you play fetch with your dog. So it is a fun toy for the both of you!
  • It is easy to clean.

You can order this toy in different sizes, so you can order the size that best suits your dog. What I also like about this toy is that it is specified as being made in the USA!

Dog Chew Rope Toys for Tug of War

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If you want a dog chew toy that you can also use when you play with your dog, this chew rope package is a great option. It is a pack of three, with three ropes of different sizes. So you can pick the size of rope that works best with the size of your dog. The shortest rope is approximately 10 inches, while the longest rope in the pack is approximately 20 inches.

It is made from recycled cotton rope and is designed to not easily fray. As it is made from cotton, it is easily cleaned by throwing it in the washing machine.

I like to play tug-of-war with my dogs, so this rope toy is something I really like. I also like the design of the toy where the knots in the rope helps to clean your dog’s teeth while they chew on it.

If you dog is a power chewer, a rope chew toy might not be the best option as they will likely manage to unravel the rope pretty quickly. I would rather get this rope toy for gentle chewers or maybe average chewers.

Benebone Bacon Flavored Wishbone Chew Toy

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Remember how I mentioned in the checklist to be careful of dog chew toys that are coated for flavoring, as it might upset your dog’s stomach? If I was looking for a flavored toy for my dog, this is probably the toy I would pick. It is flavored using real ingredients in order to give a real bacon taste! While I cannot guarantee that this toy will not cause your dog an upset tummy, there is little to no feedback from folks who have used this toy that it caused their dog any issues.

The toy is made from nylon to make it strong and durable, while having a curved wishbone design to help your dog get a good chewing position!

Take note that the manufacture does not recommend this toy for dogs that are more than 70 pounds in size.​

KONG Rubber Ball Extreme

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One of my favorite things to do on a beautifully sunny day is to play fetch outside with my pup. He gets some exercise and we spend some quality time together.

If your dog is a power chewer, then this rubber ball from Kong is an excellent option to consider. It is from their “Extreme” range, so it is specifically designed for power chewers.

​It is made from rubber, which makes it very bouncy….and that makes for a lot of fun! It is 3 inches in total length (making it roughly the size of a tennis ball) and has a hole drilled through the center, which gives your dog some nice grip when it has a chew on it.

This toy is intended for medium/large dogs. So if your dog is still just a tiny puppy or a small dog, then this is perhaps not the best dog toy to consider (it is a little heavy, so a small dog might struggle with it)​.

What Do You Think – What Is Best Dog Toys For Chewers?

I am sure you have tried a bunch of different toys for your little chewer. What have you found works best? Are there other toys that you think are the best dog toys for chewers, which is not on our list?

Please share your experience of dog chew toys with us by commenting in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!

Why Is My Dog Shaking Its Head So Much? We Investigate Causes And Solutions

dog shaking its head

Your dog shaking its head can be a sign of an ear issue. Occasional shaking of the head is fine, but if this becomes more than just an occasional habit, you need to investigate the cause.

Dogs love shaking themselves after being bathed or taking a swim. But your dog shaking its head could also be its way of showing you something is wrong.

Dog Shaking Its Head: What It Could Mean

The following is a list of the possible causes for your dog shaking its head:

Dog Shaking Head – Checklist

  • A foreign body such as grass seed lodged in the ear canal
  • An ear infection caused by ear mites, bacteria or yeast
  • Allergic reaction
  • Excessive ear wax
  • Fly or tick bites at the ear tips
  • An immune disease
  • Sign of polyps or masses in the ear canal

Should You Be Worried If Your Dog Is Shaking Its Head A Lot?

Yes, if you don’t treat the cause of the head shaking, permanent damage can be done to your dog’s ears. This can lead to a hearing loss or a ruptured eardrum. Persistent or aggressive head shaking can cause an Aural Haematoma.

Plus, a chronic inflamed infection is very painful. You know how horrible an ear ache can be, imagine how much worse it feels if you can’t do anything to make it stop.

In Doggy World, Hearing Is Very Important

Dogs experience the world mostly through their senses of smell and hearing. This is why you can’t just ignore your dog shaking its head. Your beloved four-footed house member’s quality of life depends on you investigating what is causing the problem.

If it happens only once or twice, you can ignore it, or simply rub your dog’s ears to help get rid of the itchiness. As soon as the dog does it nonstop, you have to take it to the veterinarian to check what is causing the problem. If you want to treat the itch at home before visiting the veterinarian, rather use a proper ear cleaning product for dogs to assist you with the process.

Things to Look Out For

Check your dog’s skin for signs of infection, irritation, dryness, wounds or parasites. When your dog is shaking its head, it can be a sign of an allergy attack and general skin problems can be a further indication of this. Even a mild yeast infection can cause excessive head shaking.

Discomfort can also be caused by an injury, not just infections inside the ear. When your dog starts shaking its head on a regular basis, check his head for any bumps or cuts. Head trauma can also be a cause for the shaking. If the shaking doesn’t stop after a few days, rather visit the veterinarian to be on the safe side. If there aren’t any physical evidence of a bump or cut, that will be an indication that the problem lies inside the ears.

Inner ear infection, head trauma, a stroke or vestibular syndrome can all be reason for excessive shaking of the head. If your dog seems to be off balance, that can be a further indicator of problems inside its ears.

Has your dog been exposed to any unusual chemicals or medications? These foreign toxins can have an effect on the dog’s nervous system. Abnormal behavior such as the dog shaking its head or other neurological symptoms can occur. If you know what harmful chemicals or medications your dog has been exposed to, call the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center on 888-426-4435 for immediate assistance.

dog shaking its head

How to Determine the Problem

A dog’s ear canal is shaped like an L, making it difficult to spot a problem hidden out of sight deep down in the canal. Plus, irritations in the ear canal can cause the epithelium lining to swell, reducing the size of the dog’s ear canal. This combo often causes discharge to become stuck in the inner ear, never making its way out to the external part of the ear you can view.

On top of the obvious sign of your dog shaking its head, look out for the following signs:

  • Foul smell or a discharge leaking from the ear
  • Excessive ear scratching
  • The dog holding its head in a strange position
  • Sensitivity and irritability when you touch the dog’s ear
  • A redness or swelling of the ear flap
  • Difficulty hearing you

WARNING

Do not poke around in your dog’s ear with a cotton bud! You can cause more damage than you realise.

How to Treat the Problem

Firstly you can try to alleviate the discomfort by administering an ear cleaning product for dogs as mentioned above. But this should be a temporary solution while you wait for your veterinarian appointment. Your dog’s ears need to be examined with a professional instrument.

This process will determine what is causing the discomfort and your veterinarian can prescribe the most effective solution to deal with the problem. These can include anti-inflammatory or antibiotic tablets, ear drops or ear wash, or an ear mite treatment.

If the dog shaking its head indicates an allergic reaction, a dietary adjustment needs to be done. Read this article to be aware of the most common food allergies in dogs. In the worst case scenario surgery might have to be scheduled to fix the cause of the ear irritation.

When it comes to dogs any minor itch, tickle, irritation, or sting is enough to prompt them to shake their head a little in order to bring relief. When you see your dog shaking it usually isn’t a big deal. But if the shaking persists it should be a cause for concern.

dog shaking its head

Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears At Home

If you feel brave, you can attempt to clean your dog’s ears on a regular basis at home. This is more of a preventative measure, though. When your dog is shaking its head excessively, that means there is a serious problem to attend to.

There are three important things about dog ears you need to be aware of

  • The ears are very sensitive, regular maintenance can prevent infections
  • Dogs don’t like it when you clean their ears, so it will be a tricky job
  • If you do it wrong, you can cause severe damage

Make It a Positive Experience

It’s best to get your dog into the habit of cleaning its ears from a young age. Do not force your dog into submission, it will only give you more resistance if it doesn’t feel comfortable with what lies ahead. Try to give it a treat every time it cooperates with you, this way the dog will be more inclined to relax during the process.

Use the Correct Tools

No, cotton buds are not suitable for your dog’s ears. Rather use cotton balls or gauze wrapped around your finger. The type of ear rinse you use is very important. Find a product that doesn’t contain any alcohol, antibiotics, steroids or other toxic materials.

Keep Everything Close At Hand

Make sure you’ve got everything set up before you start the cleaning process. There won’t be time to fiddle around and find what you’re looking for once you’ve started. You want to keep your dog as calm as possible once you have gotten it in a secure position.

Stick To the Rules

Start on the outside and gently work your way in. No forcing, only clean until you start feeling resistance. This is crucial, if you push further, you can cause damage. Rather stay on the safe side than trying to clean too deep. Wet your gauzed finger or cotton ball with the ear rinse and start wiping the outer flap which is visible to you. For the inner ear, replace the gauze or cotton ball and wet a new one in the rinse.

If you want to undertake this cleaning process on your own, try to do it at least once a week. When you notice that the gauze or cotton ball is excessively dirty, schedule an appointment at the veterinarian for a check up to see if everything is in order.

Conclusion – Why Is My Dog Shaking Its Head So Much?

There are a number of reasons that can cause excessive head shaking. It is best to keep a close eye on your dog to see if the symptoms disappear within a day or two. Otherwise you will have to visit your veterinarian to ensure that your dog is not in any pain and to determine what is causing the problem.

When it comes to your dog’s hearing, you should rather stay on the safe side and take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible for a checkup. Hearing loss is a terrible impairment for your dog to suffer from.

Has your dog ever started shaking its head excessively? How did you manage to determine the problem?

Training Golden Retriever Puppies

training golden retriever puppies

How do you train a Golden Retriever pupppy?

Golden Retrievers are a medium to large-sized dog breed and were originally bred as gun dogs to help retrieve ducks and other waterfowl as part of hunting parties. Hence the name “retriever”. They love water and, fortunately for us, are very easy to train!

The breed is often used as guide dogs and even as a search and rescue assistants. But the Golden Retriever is too friendly and gentle to be a professional guard dog. They are very popular as family dogs – third-most popular breed in the United States, fifth-most popular in Australia and the eighth-most in the United Kingdom.

They need a lot of outdoor exercise, but can adapt in suburbs. The Golden Retriever has an instinctual tendency to explore, so they must be kept behind proper fencing if you do not want your pup wandering off. The breed is very fond of playing and this natural inclination to seek out human attention and affirmation makes it highly trainable.

Quick NavigationWhy Training Golden Retriever Puppies Is ImportantThe Most Used Training Method – Operant ConditioningClassical ConditioningWhat Benefits Does Training Offer For You And Your Golden Retriever Puppy?

Why Training Golden Retriever Puppies Is Important

The importance of dog training is to help your puppy fit better into your home. Left to their own devices dogs will take over your home in no time. Because dogs are pack animals, they need to know who is in charge. You need to be the pack leader, otherwise they will gladly grab the title.

golden retriever puppy training

Golden Retriever puppy training offers you the opportunity to create a well-behaved dog that you can take with you anywhere. It will also save you lots of embarrassment when you have visitors at your home. Golden Retrievers often have strong personalities, so you need to train them from a young age when it’s time to play and when it’s time to be more docile. The training is especially important if you are going to allow your dog to be indoors with you.

The Most Used Training Method – Operant Conditioning

This type of dog training takes advantages of a dog’s natural love of rewards. Combine that with the Golden Retriever’s natural love of pleasing people, and you have a winning formula for Golden Retriever puppy training!

You know the story of Pavlov’s dogs? If you repeat the sequence of rewarding a certain type of behaviour often enough, your Golden Retriever’s clever brain will make the connection. Same goes for bad behaviour. If there’s negative consequences to not listening to you, they will stop doing whatever it is that’s annoying you.

There are four different ways to implement this kind of training. The combinations are: positive reinforcement, positive punishment, negative reinforcement and negative punishment.

To elaborate on the concepts, a reinforcement means an action that will increase a behaviour and a punishment means an action that will decrease certain behaviour. Positive means that something has been added to reinforce or punish, and negative means that something has been taken away.

Positive reinforcement – For example, when you praise your dog for bringing the ball back and dropping it at your feet. The more fuss you make over the accomplishment, the bigger the chances are that they will do it again next time.

Positive punishment – For example, spraying your dog with a water bottle when you catch it digging in your flowerbed. The fright it gets from the unexpected squirt will eventually make it stop digging. It might also make the connotation between the water bottle and getting a fright, so you could even try just placing the bottle between the flowers after a while.

Negative reinforcement – For example, while saying “sit” you press down on your dog’s bum until they sit and then release the pressure while saying “good boy/good girl!”. Eventually the word “sit” will remind them of being forced to sit down and they will do it themselves.

Negative punishment – For example, if they do something you don’t like, turn away and ignore them. Because Golden Retrievers are so people-orientated this will be torture for them, so they will soon learn to stop doing whatever it is that causes you to ignore them. You can add the words “bad dog” before turning away and ignoring them to make the punishment even more concrete.

DID YOU KNOW?

Studies have concluded that the average dog can understand up to 165 different words. You can increase this amount with proper training. Source: animalplanet.com

Classical Conditioning

This training method harnesses Pavlov’s experiment and it’s perfect for training golden retriever puppies. Golden Retrievers were bred to follow instructions, so they learn very quickly if you are consistent with your training.

You can use little things to train them, such as the sound of their bowl being filled with food. Or making a big fuss over getting the leash when it’s time for their daily walk. In modern dog training a concept called “charging the clicker” is used.

What Is Clicker Training?

A clicker is a small hand-held device that makes a distinct clicking sound when pressed. It’s a great tool to use to “mark” a behaviour that you want to reward at the exact time. Basically it works on the same concept as the bell that Pavlov used with the dogs that he conditioned in his experiment.

First off clicker training uses classical conditioning and thereafter it moves into the operant conditioning method of positive reinforcement. You “mark” the good behaviour with praise and a reward while clicking the clicker.

The reason why the clicker is so useful is because getting the “marker” timing right can be quite tricky. Say for instance you’re training your Golden Retriever puppy to sit and it obeys you for a moment, but then jumps up for the reward, the clicker can help you to train it which behaviour you want to reinforce.

By clicking the moment your puppy’s bum touches the ground and immediately giving it a reward, it will understand that the sitting is the important behaviour to master. But for this to work, you need to “charge the clicker” so that your Golden Retriever puppy understands it’s an important sound to take notice of.

What Does It Mean to Charge The Clicker?

This is where the concept of classical conditioning comes into play. You need to train your puppy’s brain to make the connection between the clicker sound and the feeling of getting a reward. It’s very easy to do. You click, reward, click, reward, click, reward until the sound evokes the pleasure of getting a reward.

The best way to charge the clicker is in a quiet room with just you and your puppy. Find somewhere to sit with a container of treat rewards close by and the clicker in your hand. Click and immediately give the reward.

Wait until the puppy loses interest and then repeat. Do this for several minutes. Make sure that the dog is not repeating some behaviour, you don’t want it to associate to a specific action or pattern. At first all you want is the association between clicker and reward. Repeat at least 20 times. Start the process again with about two hours between sessions.

Below is an adorable video of a Golden Retriever puppy getting clicker training. It takes a few minutes into the video before they get to explaining clicker training, so if you want you can skip to somewhere around minute 4:17 into the video to skip right to that part.

Once the puppy has successfully made the connection between the clicker and a reward, you can start using the clicker as a marker for specific behaviours. Implement one training goal at a time so as not to confuse your puppy.

What Benefits Does Training Offer For You And Your Golden Retriever Puppy?

When embarking on the journey of Golden Retriever puppy training, you should realize the importance of investing time in the training process. If your dog is well-trained, you can keep it safe from troubling situations with just a simple command.

For instance, you can train your dog to know what it means when you shout “drop!” if they want to chew a hazardous object. Or to obey “stop!” if they are about to run into a busy road. These two points can save you lots of unwanted vet bills.

After the Golden Retriever puppy training is completed, you will have a well-adjusted dog that fits into your home-life without being disruptive. You will be able to take your dog on walks and you won’t be dragged around the neighborhood.

Because Golden Retrievers were trained to assist humans, your dog’s life will be more enriched when it’s trained properly. The training will strengthen the bond between you and your dog, it will feel that it is serving a purpose in your life. And you won’t have to worry about coming home to a destroyed garden or house!

Conclusion – Training Golden Retriever Puppies

All dogs should be properly trained, but it is especially important to invest time in Golden Retriever puppy training because of its heritage as a helper dog. Your dog will become very frustrated if it doesn’t have a set of clear-cut rules to live by.

Yes, it is a big time and energy commitment, but the long term rewards you will reap are definitely worth the effort. You will have to be patient and stick to a regular routine. You might even have to learn a new set of skills yourself. Visit totallygoldens.com to read up more about the breed.

What method have you been using for training golden retriever puppies?

What Are The Best Dog Toys For My Pit Bull?

pit bull

What are the best dog toys for Pit Bulls? To prevent Rover from turning your sofa into fake snow, maybe you should get him some toys! However, Rover is an American Pit Bull Terrier (or Pit Bull for short) which means you need the toughest toys known to man, or do you?

Although Pitt Bulls rate highly on jaw strength and bite force, they do not have the strongest bite of all breeds as is often thought. Amongst others, German Shepherds and Rottweilers trump Pit Bulls in the “how hard can you bite” stakes.

Nevertheless, for their size Pit Bulls do have one of the strongest bites of all breeds, are exceptionally energetic, persistent and rank highly in intelligence too. Choosing a toy to cope with all these demands may not be easy, so, let’s take a look at what toys are best for my Pit Bull.

Pit Bull Puppies

First up, Little Mr or Miss Bully may prefer your favourite pair of Hush Puppies over his expensive designer toys, because your shoes have interesting smells from the places you’ve been or because they contain your scent. As a side note, the simplest way to prevent unwanted damage is to keep “no-no” items out of the reach of Jimmy Chew.

Moreover, if you catch your pup in the act of gnawing on your favourite pair of Uggs, try to take the shoes away without making eye contact or talking to your dog. Scolding may be perceived as attention (good or bad) which could reinforce bad behaviour. Do however make a big fuss, when your pup opts for an appropriate toy instead.

The first thing to do before choosing a toy is making sure it is safe. One of the most common risks is choking, particularly if to toy is too small or pieces can separate or break off. But what is the right size?

Some toy manufacturers put indications on the packaging, stating the size or weight of the dog for which the toy is suitable. As a simple rule of thumb, if the entire toy fits into the dog’s mouth easily, it is too small.  Keep in mind that your Pit Bull puppy will grow at a rapid rate, particularly in the first 40 weeks (+- 9 months) of its life, and could continue to grow up to age of 2 years, although your puppy should be close to adult size after a year.

Thus, it may be wise to opt for a toy that may seem too big, as many Pit Bull owners have discovered, as long as your puppy can handle the toy, a seemingly oversized toy posing a challenge to handle offers excellent stimulation. An old partially deflated football or soccer ball is generally enjoyable for the puppies to drag around and get in to. However, be mindful of pieces of ball that may tear off and cause problems if ingested by your pup.

For teething puppies there are freezable dog chew toys such as the:

Mushroomcat Arctic Freeze Cooling Teether Dog Toy – It is filled with 100% purified water and can be placed in the freezer and it has a cavity to place a treat in which is tricky to extract, to pep up interest in the toy.

SHENNOSI® Arctic Freeze Fetch Food Cooling Puppy Teether chew Toy – Under the tough outer layer is a sponge that can absorb water. The toy can be frozen and will gradually release water as your pup chews on it, whilst the coolness soothes teething aches.

Lukove Pet Dog Chew Toy and Teething Chew Puzzle Training Dumbbell Arctic Cooling Freeze Fetch Food Rubber Chew To – Like the other Artic Freeze toys, it is filled with purified water. This option comes with an additional puzzle toy to hide snacks which Pittie can try and pry from the toy, keeping him or her occupied for a while.

All three of the aforementioned toys have received good reviews, for the most part, from people who own “heavy chewers”. These toys will withstand reasonable abuse, whilst providing distraction and relief.

Best dog toys for Pit Bulls available online or at the shops

Here are some of the top toys that regularly feature in toy reviews that are particularly suitable for Pit Bulls, due to their toughness:

The Kong extreme range which includes:

  • The Kong Extreme “dog toy”
  • Kong Extreme Goodie Bone
  • Kong Extreme Ball

These Kong extreme dog toy comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, with holes in which you can put peanut butter, a treat or even your dog’s pellets, that your Notorious D.O.G can try and get out. Although the aforementioned toys are pretty tough, some owners have reported their new Kong not lasting 30 minutes when left to the mercy of their Pitt Bull’s chompers. Nevertheless, many a Pit Bull owner has asserted that their Pitt Bulls love these toys and that the Kongs have withstood weeks or months of punishment.

The Nylabone range of play bones, which include:

  • Flavoured bones such as this non-edible Philly cheesesteak flavoured bone
  • Nylabone Dura Chew “x” Bone Beef Flavored Dog Chew Toy

The Nylabones are renowned for their toughness. Furthermore, the flavoured range is good for dogs that are not interested in “ordinary” toys but that are more food driven. These bones, as said in the names, are non-edible and thus carry no nutritional value, yet will keep Rover occupied for hours.

Should your dog accidently ingest a small piece of the toy it should pass through his / her / it’s system harmlessly due to its design and the non-toxic material it’s made from.

The Unbreakoball.

These balls are described as ultra-durable, are perforated so your dog can get a grip with its teeth and come in 6”and 10”options.

The West Paw design Zogoflex Tux.

The Zogoflex is made in the USA and according to the manufacturer it’s “as close to indestructible dog toys you’ll find.” The manufacturer also provides a refund and replace warranty, if the toy does not perform as expected. Similar to the Kong range it features cavities to hide treats in. West Paw also has a large range of other durable dog toys in all shapes and sizes.

The GoughNuts Stick Maxx.

It is also manufactured in the USA and according to its makers “virtually indestructible”. One of its unique features, is that it comes with a built in replacement indicator, as can be seen in the picture.

The manufacturer states as follows: “If your dog chews through the outside wear layer of any GoughNuts Ring or Stick, Green, Black, Yellow or Orange, to expose the indication layer, Red, GoughNuts will replace your toy.  GoughNuts, “Chew Toy Safety Indicator” is a mechanism for the dog owner to see a clear indication of when to take the GoughNut from the dog.”

Pitt Bulls tend to enjoy tugging toys. There are many tough rope and ball-n-rope options to choose from that are great for a bit of ‘tug-o-war’. Some of the options include:

  • The Mammoth Flossy Chews Cottonblend Color 3-Knot Rope Tug.
  • The Jolly Pets 8-inch Romp-n-Roll Ball

For the Pit Bull that sees itself as a tire (tyre for our non-USA readers) connoisseur, TireBiter PawTracks makes chew toys, shaped like real vehicle tires. Made from heavy-duty, natural rubber, with 2-ply nylon flossing fibres embedded in the rubber to help remove plaque build-up. The tires come in small (6 Inch), medium (8 Inch), and large (10 Inch).

Stimulation for my Pit Bull

There are plenty of dog toys designed for brain stimulation, particularly for when Sherlock Bones is left home alone. These toys require the dog to figuring out a puzzle in order for the toy to dispense a treat or do something else such as shoot a ball etc.

Such as:

  • The A-Maze-Ball, made with translucent and pliable outer shell and an harder inner maze
  • The Nina Ottoson, casino, which can be arranged in varying degrees of difficulty. It contains secret compartments which the dog has to find by pulling and opening various the flaps.
  • The Aikiou Interactive Feeder with 14 hidden food compartments to challenge your dog and allow them to eat more slowly.

 A word of caution: Your Sherlock Bones may prefer to “solve the puzzle” by simply breaking open the toy to get to the treats inside. These puzzle toys are not made to cope with the demands of aggressive chewers. However, as a training aid, such puzzle toys can still be very useful when used under supervision.

As an alternative you may also look at something tougher, such as:

  • The Kong Wobbler toy. The toy sits vertical until pushed or prodded and then sporadically dispenses treats in the course of its movement. It unscrews for easy filling and cleaning.
  • The Aussie Dog Home Alone, a hanging bungee ball that you can attach to a tree. Made to encourage play time and tug-o-war, the ball also rattles and dispenses treats.

Some final thoughts

Tennis ball are great for playing fetch with your Pitt Bull, however, it is best not to leave your dog unsupervised with a tennis ball. Although old tennis balls may seem durable and chewy, keep in mind that, unlike all the toys mentioned earlier in this article, tennis balls are not made from dog friendly non-toxic materials and could be harmful if ingested.

In addition, a tennis ball is a choking hazard as it can split in half and get lodged in your dog’s throat. The same goes for tires. Tires are usually steelbelted and could cause injury. So please keep an eye on your Pitt Bull, if he or she likes to swing from a tire hanging in the back yard.

Staying on the topic of things to avoid, you should not to give your dog cooked bones to chew on as cooked bones have a tendency to splinter risking harm to your dog’s gums, teeth and even internal injuries.

Lastly, please keep in mind that a toy shouldn’t substitute play time between you and your dog. Put some time aside to play with your furry friend and remember to take Woofie for regular walks, as walks are great for stimulation with exposure to different environments and interesting smells and alleviate doggy stress.

Is Gatorade Good For Dogs?

Top athletes in all different types of sports adorn the commercials for the sports drink we all know as Gatorade. The beverage, which comes in dozens of different flavors, was originally created as a way of replenishing the fluids lost by football players for the University of Florida. In time, all kinds of major sports teams started to adopt this drink to give to their players to also replenish their fluids.

Over the years Gatorade has even grown into something that people drink when they are not feeling well. Getting this fluid back into your system can help a person who has been experiencing symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting. Since it tends to help out so much for human beings experiencing those types of symptoms, some have wondering if Gatorade is good for their dogs as well.

Dehydration In Dogs

Dogs don’t sweat like human does, but they can still be dehydrated. They still lose fluids through other means and they can start to feel ill the same way that human beings do when we do not have enough water in our bodies. Thus, it is a good idea to check on your dogs from time to time to ensure that they are getting the proper amount of water in their diet.

In some cases dogs simply over exert themselves while playing, particularly in hot Summer weather. They can start to fill sick if they are not given the opportunity to cool down and regain their composure so to speak. It can lead to other health problems down the road if they are exposed to being dehydrated on a regular basis.

Is Gatorade A Good Idea For Dogs?

Since Gatorade is so commonly used to help humans who are experiencing dehydration wouldn’t it stand to reason that this would be something that we should also give to dogs who are experiencing the same thing? After all, replacing water and electrolytes in a dog is very important too. That is what Gatorade is known to do, so shouldn’t we give this to our lovely fur babies when they are not feeling so well?

The quick answer to this is “Yes”. You can in fact give your dogs Gatorade without fear of adverse impacts. Dogs are able consume Gatorade just fine, and it may in fact be one of the best things to give them if they are dehydrated. Water is perfectly fine to give to a dehydrated dog as well of course, but if there is no easy access to water but you have some Gatorade on you for some reason, then this is something that can be given.

What To Watch Out For

The Gatorade is going to do the same tricks for your dog that it does for you in terms of replenishing fluids. However, there is a big difference between a dog drinking Gatorade and a human drinking it. The major difference comes in the fact that Gatorade has a lot of sugar and sodium in it. That is not that big of a deal for a human being to drink, but the dogs has a much smaller body. What may be a reasonable amount of sodium or sugar for a human to consume could be way too much for some particular dogs. Always be mindful about portion control with anything that you might give to an animal.

How To Safely Give Your Dog Gatorade

It is best to try to dilute the Gatorade that you give to your dog in order to reduce some of the potential harm of the sugar and sodium in the beverage. The mixture should be fifty-fifty between water and Gatorade if at all possible. You can also throw in some ice cubes to help dilute the drink a little bit more.

A lot of dogs tend to like cubes anyway, so this may encourage them to come check out what those ice cubes are doing in their Gatorade beverage. Since Gatorade is going to be a brand new drink for the vast majority of dogs, it is nice to let them warm up to the idea of consuming it at all. They may have some reservations about it in the beginning, but with time most dogs come around.

Make Sure To Treat Dehydration Right Away

Dehydration is not something that you should just ignore. One of the worst things to do if your dog is in destress with this is to ignore it or hope it passes. It is also not the time for you to do Gatorade experiments just to see how it goes. Your dog can have Gatorade and you already know that now. Don’t wait until your dog is experiencing dehydration to see how it goes on your own.

A dog that remains dehydrated for too long can go into shock in some cases. If left to go on for too long, the dog can even die from this. The canine is similar to human beings in this way. Since you would certainly not leave a human being to see how they fared with dehydration, you should also not do this with a dog. Make sure to take care of them as quickly as possible.

Keep stored in your memory bank somewhere the fact that you can give a dog Gatorade to help with dehydration. It may just help to save a dog’s life at some point.