Dogs and cats are two species of animals that are very different from each other. They have different habits and ways of communicating. It is not without reason that the saying “live like a dog with a cat”, that is, arguing with each other constantly. Nevertheless, it is possible to lead to a situation in which the dog and the cat live in harmony with each other. In some cases, a deep friendship may even develop between them. While you can’t make animals like each other, you can at least try to get them to tolerate each other and not hurt each other.
It is worth remembering that every dog and every cat is different. Each pet has a different experience, character and may behave differently in a given environment. Therefore, there is no one good way to get your dog used to your cat. Methods of working with pets must always be selected individually. However, there are a few things that can be done and a few mistakes that can be avoided to ensure a successful introduction to your pets.
The biggest mistake you can make when introducing your dog to a cat is to let both pets loose in the hope that they will get along somehow. Unfortunately, doing so is usually a recipe for disaster. A frightened cat may attack the dog or run away from it. In turn, a sudden movement of a cat can awaken the dog’s hunting instinct and provoke it to chase or even try to catch the cat with its teeth. We should do everything we can to avoid these types of scenarios. Ultimately, it is our job to keep both pets safe and teach them to coexist peacefully.
Proper socialization of both animals is very helpful in building a proper relationship between a dog and a cat. During the socialization period, both puppies and kittens learn which animals are safe and which are potentially dangerous. If the dog during the puppy period was with cats, did not reprimand them and was rewarded for calm behavior with them, there is a good chance that it will accept the cat’s roommate without any problems. Similarly, a cat that has become accustomed to the presence of dogs at an early age and feels safe with them, will more readily accept a dog in its new home.
However, I must emphasize that for the proper socialization of both species, it is not enough for both dogs and cats to be in the breeding farm. The most important thing is the quality of their interaction with each other. If a breeder allowed dogs to chase cats and allow cats to attack dogs, it’s hard to talk about proper socialization.
If you would like to have a dog and a cat at home, the easiest solution may be to take a young puppy and a kitten home at the same time. Caring for two young pets of different species can be difficult. However, this solution gives us the best chance that the animals will get along with each other.
In what order to bring pets into the house
As a rule, it is much easier to bring a cat into a house where a dog already lives than the other way around. Cats get very used to their environment and don’t usually like change. Even a small change of furniture can throw a cat off balance, let alone the appearance of another animal in the house. Especially if we have an old cat at home who needs peace and quiet, introducing a frisky puppy can be especially difficult.
Select pets in terms of temperaments
When deciding on another pet at home, we should consider whether the temperament of the pet we want to adopt will be consistent with the temperaments of animals that are already in our home. As you know, temperament cannot be changed by training or upbringing. Therefore, it is worth considering it when choosing your next pet to avoid unnecessary chaos.
Learning to resign
If you already have a dog in the house and want to introduce a cat to it, you need to work on giving up. In this post, I show you step by step how to teach your dog to “leave”. When a cat shows up at home, the dog’s greatest temptation is to chase it. Therefore, simply practicing giving up eating is not enough. I also recommend practicing giving up the thrown ball or the stick. Your dog’s emotions when chasing a toy are similar to chasing a cat.
We start learning very much like giving up food. We take a stick, ball or other toy in our hand, say the command “leave it” and calmly put it on the ground. As soon as the dog tries to catch the toy, lift it up. When we manage to put the toy on the ground, we praise the dog and reward. After a few successful repetitions, raise the bar and instead of laying the toy calmly on the ground, drop it. If the dog moves towards her, we block him with a leash or with the body. It is also a clear signal that this task is still too difficult for the dog. So let’s go back to the previous stage and work through it better. The next stage is throwing the toy in front of you. If the dog is unable to give up the thrown toy, there is little chance that it will give up the fleeing cat.
It’s also a good idea to exercise a calm reaction to cats during walks. You must not let your dog chase them. It is best to redirect the dog’s attention to yourself from a distance. If we have a developed “leave” command, we can use it here. If the dog still has problems with giving up cats, it is better to walk in the opposite direction or pass the cat along a large arc, than to provoke the dog to chase.
Bringing your dog or cat home
Regardless of whether we bring the cat into the house where the dog lives or vice versa, we must properly prepare both pets and our apartment. It is best to temporarily remove any items that may lead to a conflict. So we hide bowls, toys and lairs. The cat litter box is best placed in a place where the dog cannot reach. If your pooch has a problem with defending resources, it is worth solving it before the cat or other pet appears in the house.
It is also extremely important to provide your cat with at least a few safe hiding places. A tall scratching post or a booth in a place inaccessible to the dog will work well here. You can also install gates for children or special cat doors that will make it easier for him to escape if necessary. Before the introduction, it is worth taking the dog for a long walk, where he can sniff and run as much as he wants. A runaway dog will react much more calmly to a cat appearing in the house than a dog charged with energy. During the walk with the dog, you can ask family members or friends to take the cat into the empty apartment. Thanks to this, he will have time to calmly familiarize himself with the new space and new fragrances.
Stage 1 – insulation
Our priority when taming a dog to a cat should be to ensure both pets’ safety. Therefore, it is best to isolate the animals from each other in the beginning. The cat can be locked in a separate room with a place to rest, a scratching post, bowls, toys and a litter box. You may allow your dog to see the smell of a cat through the door, but do not allow the dog to hit it with its paws or bark loudly. We don’t want the cat to get stressed unnecessarily. To better control your dog’s behavior, it’s best to keep your dog on a leash at home. As soon as the pooch starts to show undesirable behavior or become overly excited by the smell of the cat, we immediately redirect his attention to ourselves or, for example, to olfactory toys. On the other hand, we catch, praise and reward all the dog’s calm behavior.
At this stage, we spend time separately with the dog and separately with the cat. Thanks to this, none of the animals feels lonely. Pets also have time to calmly familiarize themselves with their smells and associate them positively.
Our emotions are very important when introducing a dog to a cat. Animals can read them very well and adapt their behavior to them. When the dog sees that we are being nervous in the presence of the cat, he too may start to act like that. Therefore, staying calm is essential.
Stage 2 – gradual familiarization
When the dog ceases to be interested in a cat in a separate room, we can proceed to the next stage. We install a gate for children in the door to the “cat’s room” and slightly open the door. The gate for children will allow both the dog and the cat to safely learn about their appearance and movements. At this stage, we also constantly control the behavior of both the dog and the cat and strengthen their calm behavior. We do not force the cat to the dog and do not force contact. However, if he decides to approach or pass through the gate himself, we allow it. He will always be able to escape to his safe hiding place when he feels insecure.
At the same time, we do not allow the dog to chase the cat and keep it on a leash for safety. As soon as a cat appears in the field of view, we direct the dog’s attention to ourselves. You can offer him a short training in the basics of obedience or simple olfactory games. We want to show the dog that when a cat shows up, nice things happen, but you can’t chase him. At the same time, the cat learns that it can feel safe with the dog, because its attention is focused on the person, not on him.
When something goes wrong
If, during the entire process, you happen to have the dog chase after the cat or the cat suddenly attacks the dog, don’t panic. Also, don’t punish the pets if something goes wrong. Remember to remain calm. We want the dog or cat to be associated with the dog or cat as positively as possible. In the event of a sudden attack or chase, simply isolate the animals again, give them more time to get acquainted. After some time, when both the dog and the cat behave calmly in their presence, you can gradually open the door from the “cat’s room” more and more, until finally you can also remove the gate for children.
Even if the relationship between the dog and the cat is perfect, it is worth ensuring that each pet has its own, safe place to rest. I also recommend placing the cat’s bowl and litter box in places inaccessible to the dog.
How long can it take to get your dog and cat accustomed to it
There are cases when both the dog and the cat get on well with each other almost from day one. However, it is better to prepare for a scenario in which each stage of getting your pets accustomed to each other will take several days or even several weeks. There are also cases of animals so badly matched to each other that their peaceful coexistence will never be possible. Therefore, you should have a “plan B” prepared for such an eventuality and consider whether we are able to isolate the animals from each other for the rest of their lives, or it is better to look for another, safe home for one of them.
I am very curious about your experiences in introducing your dogs to cats. Let me know in the comment how this process looked like for you and how long it took. Or maybe you are just getting ready to bring your next pet home?
In the 19th century, Frederick Wilhelm Hohenzollern, the German emperor, issued a decree limiting the possibility of having a Weimaraner. From then on, the owner of a dog of this breed could only be a person of noble origin, documented for four generations. So a pedigree dog could only be in the hands of… a pedigree human. Today it is an obvious anachronism, and the Weimaraner is a popular and liked breed, especially by hunters.
For more advice and information, check out the purebred dog articles here.
Weimaraner (Weimaraner) – the origin and description of the breed
Historical overview of the breed
There are many hypotheses about the origin of the Weimaraner. The only established fact is that in the early nineteenth century the dog appeared at the princely court of Weimar. It was slightly different than modern Weimaraners, it was mainly used as a tracker. Only when these dogs, as “purebred” dogs ceased to be “reserved” only for hunters and foresters, began breeding focused on hunting versatility. This took place in the mid-nineteenth century in central Germany, mainly around Weimar and Thuringia.
Breeders began to associate tracking dogs (Leithund) with birds for birds (Hühnerhund), and the resulting offspring became the “base” for subsequent generations. At the end of the 19th century, the breeding books of the Weimaraner were established and pure breed breeding began, without adding blood from other breeds, focusing only on the utility and exterior values of subsequent generations born in the existing genetic pool. That is why the Weimaraner is considered to be the oldest of all German breeds.
Meanwhile, at the beginning of the 20th century, long-haired puppies began to appear in breeding farms. Since long hair is recessive (giving way) to short hair, its disclosure is always the result of the offspring meeting in one pair of genes, one from both the mother and father, who carry the long hair gene. Initially, they were single puppies, but over time, when they began to enter the breeding, a population of the Long-haired Weimaraner was formed and now it is a separate breed. The Weimaraner in both types of hair is a typical hunting dog, subject to work duty.
Weimaraner – exterior description
The Weimaraner is a fairly large dog with a well-proportioned build. The brain is quite wide, wider in a dog than in a female. Marked frontal furrow, occipital tumor poorly or moderately developed, zygomatic bones well developed. Very slight stop. Nose large, protruding above the lower jaw, flesh color changing to gray. Long, strong muzzle, strong jaws. Nasal bridge straight or slightly convex, not sunken. The dentition is complete, scissor bite. The eyes of an adult dog are light or dark amber, blue in puppies (a characteristic feature of the breed), with intelligent eyes, round, slightly oblique. The ears are long, wide, reaching the corner of the lips, set high and narrow, wavy, rounded at the ends. The tail is set slightly below the topline, strong and well covered with hair. Lowered when at rest, carried horizontally or higher in action. It may be copied in working dogs, but only in countries where it is permitted.
The Shorthaired Weimaraner has a very dense and strong coat, longer and denser than most shorthaired pointers. There is either no or very little undercoat. The long-haired Weimaraner also has a soft and long undercoat without or a negligible amount of undercoat – 3 – 5 cm on the sides, slightly longer under the neck, on the chest and on the abdomen. A distinct feather on the tail, feathers and pants shortening downwards on the back side of the limbs. Short hair on the head and ears, velvety on the ears, long and wavy at the base of the ears, straight on the rest of the body, with a slight undulation allowed.
The color of both types of hair is different shades of silver-gray, the head and ears are a bit lighter. Basically no white, only slight white markings are allowed on the chest and toes. A darker stripe along the back is allowed. The most appreciated color is uniform all over the body, with only a slightly lighter head and ears.
Height at the withers – Males: 59-70 cm. Females: 57-65 cm. Weight – Males: approx. 30-40 kg. Females: approx. 25-35 kg.
No gender stigma
Height at the withers above 2 cm from the reference point
Weak or heavy build
Baldness, bald ears or stomach
Color other than gray, shades of yellow or brown, tan, shades of blue
Pointed muzzle, concave bridge of nose
Entropion, ectropion, other eyelid defects
Dental gaps other than 2 x P1 and / or 2 x M3
Aggressive or shy.
Weimaraner – disposition, care, health, nutrition, hunting
The nature, care and health of the Weimaraner
Weimaraner is a breed of typical hunting dogs. His hunting passion is very strongly developed. It is a dog that is cut in relation to the game (although it never attacks), but it shows unlimited devotion to the owner and loves him above all, of course also other household members. She does not like loneliness, but loves to rest on the couch with her guardian. He shows friendly interest in his guests, shows a friendly disposition towards strangers, although he can also be distrustful. He gets along with other domestic animals, for example, he will not treat a cat as an “exercise toy”, but if he is to live with him under one roof, it is better to socialize it as early as possible, while at home, puppy breeders should have contact with other animals.
Activity, high demand for movement and love of water are typical breed features of the Weimaraner. Therefore, even living in the countryside or in a house with a garden, you need to provide him with at least two-hour daily exercise. This movement should be of an exertional nature (running) and it is worth taking the dog outside the city, e.g. to a meadow or lake, where he will be able to swim. Note: in the forest, it is strictly forbidden to let the dog loose in situations other than hunting. The Weimaraner is a good companion for a bicycle trip, after proper fitness preparation it can easily cover even 10 kilometers at a trot.
Weimaraner care is not complicated, only daily combing is needed during the molting period. Outside of this period, a soft brush or rubber glove every 2-3 days is sufficient. However, systematic ear control is very important. The Weimaraner has drooping ears and loves to swim. Moisture and heat favor the development of fungal and bacterial infections. After each trip, the ears should be cleaned with a cotton pad soaked in an antibacterial ear wash. From time to time, the condition of the eyes is checked, claws that are too long are trimmed (if the dog does not rub them himself), and the teeth should be cleaned of plaque to prevent the build-up of limescale. A Weimaraner bath is not necessary if it is not produced in the waste. Or maybe you will also be interested this article on the blue pointer?
Nutrition, hunting work, breeding issues
As a dog that likes an active lifestyle, the Weimaraner should receive valuable food. Dry food is best if it contains about 30 percent. proteins (you must read the description on the label!). The price of good food is not low, but you should not save on proper feeding of your dog.
Some owners prefer natural nutrition. It is perfectly correct as long as the meals contain all the necessary nutrients and are properly supplemented. Remember, however, that food is given to the dog at least 2 hours before exercise (portion with a majority of carbohydrates) and at least one hour after exercise (portion with a majority of meat). Exercising on a full stomach and eating immediately after fatigue promote a stomach twist, which is directly life-threatening.
The Weimaraner, like all pointers, is a dog that primarily displays and retrieves birds, from land and water. Nevertheless, there are hunters who arrange Weimar pointers as tracking dogs, and these dogs also gather positive opinions here. But by nature, water and the field are the element of this race. The obligatory work of every pointer is, among other things, hitting the field and swimming after shooting. Weimaraners cope well in such conditions.
Only dogs and female dogs over 18 months of age, having passed shows with appropriate marks or a breeding inspection at the parent branch of the Kennel Club in Poland are allowed for breeding. There are different opinions about the point of going to shows, since you can pass a breeding qualification at once. However, it is worth taking into account that puppies from titled parents find buyers faster. In general, their price is also higher.
Gray Elkhund, also known as the Norwegian elk dog (Norwegian. elk – moose), is one of the oldest Scandinavian breeds. This dog was used for hunting and guarding by the Vikings. Archaeologists have found dog skeletons with high probability that they belonged to the Elkhunds, and their age is estimated at around 4,000-5,000 BC.
Probably the elkhunds evolved from the associations of the first domesticated dogs, brought by the Vikings from numerous expeditions, with Scandinavian wolves. Over the course of many centuries, several breeds and varieties of Nordic Spitz developed. However, it was not until the 19th century that planned breeding began. The modern Elkhund has been “improved” by mating old Scandinavian Spitz with newer European breeds, but has retained a strong hunting instinct. He can track and preach animals perfectly.
The elkhund gray was first presented at the Oslo exhibition in 1877, and in 1901 the British Kennel Club recognized it as a separate breed. At that time, the first breed standard was also created. The modern FCI standard has been in force since 1999 under the number 242. Currently, the Gray Elkhund is considered by the Norwegians as a national breed and is the most popular family dog in Norway. To this day, it is used for hunting there, and in the Scandinavian countries this breed is under the obligation to work. The first elkhunds came to Poland at the end of the 1980s, but they did not gain popularity and are bred only for amateurs.
Historical overview of the breed Elkhund gray
Gray Elkhund – exterior description
The Elkhund Gray is a dog with a compact build and square body. The head is typical of a Spitz – wedge-shaped, wide between the ears. The length of the skull and the craniofacial skull are identical. Skull slightly arched, with a moderately marked foot. Black nose, tapering muzzle – seen both from above and from the side. Scissor bite, complete dentition. Dark brown, non-bulging eyes. The ears are set high, erect, pointed and small, very mobile. The tail is strong, set high and carried, curled tightly over the back, and must not be carried on either side. In an adult dog, the tip of the tail must not be straight.
The elkhund’s robe is two-layered. The outer coat is of medium length, straight, profuse and dense, the longest on the neck, thighs, tail and back of the legs. On the front of the limbs and head, the hair is short and smooth. The undercoat is dense and soft. Color – as the name suggests – gray in various shades. Black tops of top hair. So it is not a uniform color, as in some other breeds (e.g. Weimaraner). On the chest, abdomen, limbs, underside of the tail and on the waist from the withers to the elbow (the so-called harness, a similar one has a Swedish vallhund), about 5 cm wide – lighter hair, without black tips. Dark mask, delimited by a line running from the eye to the base of the ears. Light gray undercoat.
Elkhund is a medium-sized dog. The ideal height at the withers for dogs is 52 cm, for female dogs – 49 cm. The body weight of the dog is 25 kg, female dogs – 22 kg. Norwegian elk dogs live an average of 12 – 13 years, although older animals can also be found.
Undershot or overshot
Blue or yellow eyes
Residual tail, in some other Spitz (e.g. Swedish Vallhund) acceptable
The dewclaws of the hind legs
Color other than gray
Height at the withers below 3 cm or more than 4 cm from the reference point.
Serious defects that affect the show rating are:
Round skull, too short and / or pointed muzzle
Pincer bite, missing teeth
Light eyes, ears large and too wide
Tail not tightly curled, carried to the side
Dark undercoat, too short or too long
Color giving the appearance of dirty
White tip of the tail, white markings on the chest – acceptable in some other breeds of dogs (e.g. Weimaraner).
Character and disposition of a gray elkhund
The Norwegian elk dog is very social, has a strong herd instinct, which is why it feels bad to be separated from humans. It shows patience with children and tolerates other pets well. However, males may not tolerate the presence of other males. He is gentle and sympathetic towards people, although he is extremely vigilant, so he is perfect for a home guardian. When something disturbing happens nearby, the Gray Elkhund immediately starts barking loudly and intensely, alerting the household. On the other hand, being at home, he is very calm (not to say phlegmatic) and likes to rest alone, without excessive cares. Nevertheless, it needs a daily dose of exercise in the fresh air, regardless of the weather, because it is protected against cold and moisture by thick, double-layered hair.
In Scandinavia, the gray elkhund is a typical working hunting dog. His job is to track down, trap and hold the game until the hunter arrives. It is a very difficult task, requiring both a lot of courage and careful behavior of the dog. It also needs to be agile enough to be able to jump back, so it is very important to feed the hunting elkhund properly to avoid becoming overweight.
The Elkhund Gray is a very independent and independent dog, who likes working in the company of a human. He is intelligent and amenable to stacking, but can be quite stubborn, so he needs a patient, persistent and consistent guide. Socialization as early as possible is also important – puppies should be subjected to it while they are still in the breeding farm with their mother. Starting socialization too late can make training difficult or even impossible.
Dogs of this breed feel best in rural areas, where they can freely go out to a fenced property. Experts believe that elkhund does not feel well in an apartment in a block of flats, as do many other dog breeds that used to be typically working dogs and are now mainly family dogs, such as the schoolboy. Note: elkhund, who cannot bear boredom, left to himself, will find a job – “demolition” in the apartment. If you’re looking for more advice, check out too articles about spitzers collected here.
Elkhund gray – care, health, nutrition, breeding
Gray elkhund care and health
Elkhund gray is not difficult to care for. However, you need to take care of its thick hair. The dog should be combed regularly with a brush and comb with varying (adjustable) tooth spacing. Elkhund – unfortunately – sheds a lot, especially after winter and autumn. You can then see clumps of undercoat coming out. Although it is not a long-haired breed, such as the schoolboy, usually brushing twice a week is sufficient, while in the period of spring and autumn moulting, the dog needs to be brushed daily. Otherwise, the soft undercoat may become tangled, blocking the airflow to the skin and risking local inflammation. Especially pay attention to the fine hair behind the ears, in the armpits and in the groin, where it is softest and where the most tangles form. These cannot be combed out, it is necessary to carefully cut them out. Before the brushing procedure, you can spray the dog’s hair with a special antistatic preparation that prevents unpleasant “sparking”.
An elkhund bath is not necessary as long as it is regularly combed. Of course, the dog should be bathed if it “gets perfumed” in the impurities. Bath water should be lukewarm, and for washing, a special shampoo for dogs is used, which does not affect the pH of the skin. After bathing, you must dry the dog, and before drying, apply a conditioner that restores light lubrication of the skin and prevents static electricity. Skincare cosmetics are available at good pet stores.
Ears, teeth and claws should also be checked regularly. The ears are cleaned with a cotton pad soaked in the canine ear cleanser. Scaling can be prevented by giving your dog a dental treat to chew on, but if the dog does not cut the claws himself, it is necessary to periodically shorten the claws with a guillotine. “Sleepyheads” from the corners of the eyes are removed with a cotton swab moistened with warm water.
The Elkhund Gray is a healthy, strong and resistant dog. Sometimes, however, some individuals suffer from PRA (progressive retinal atrophy) or cataracts and such animals must not be allowed to breed because they are genetic diseases. Renal and thyroid diseases, as well as hip dysplasia, are sporadic. The Breed Dog Breeding Regulations do not oblige the breeder to screen dogs for dysplasia, but every kennel caring for a good reputation performs such tests.
Like every dog, Gray Elkhund requires regular deworming and preventive vaccinations. The first deworming is carried out by the breeder when the puppies are about 3 weeks old, and the first vaccination is usually at 8 weeks of age. Then the dog is dewormed and vaccinated according to a calendar set by a veterinarian.
Nutrition and breeding issues
As a primitive breed, the Elkhund likes fresh, raw meat the best. So it can be successfully fed BARF. Animal protein should be the staple food, especially for working dogs. With natural nutrition, you can also occasionally serve raw egg, cottage cheese, offal and fish as well as fish fats, as well as vegetables and some fruit. Note: natural meals must be supplemented with vitamin and calcium preparations.
Elkhund can also receive dry and wet ready feed. The price of good food is not low, but it is worth buying from reputable producers who care about the right composition and content of nutrients. When buying ready-made food for an elkhund, you choose the one for medium-sized dogs, and for working dogs – the food for dogs with an active lifestyle, which is more energetic.
You feed your dog twice a day – morning and evening. Regardless of the type of food, the dog should have access to a bowl of water around the clock.
A dog or female dog with passed show marks or breeding inspection may be allowed for breeding. For both sexes, the lower breeding limit is 18 months, although the optimal age for a bitch is two years. A female dog may be mated once in a calendar year, and the last time in the year when she turns 8 years old. There is no age limit or mating limit for a stud dog. The price of a puppy is relatively high, because it is a very rare breed in Poland and the purchase is often associated with going abroad. On average, a puppy costs about 1000 euro plus costs of transport, possibly vaccinations and pedigree – it depends on the contract with the breeder.
Cavapoo, also known as cavoodle, is a hybrid, created from the crossing of two breeds: cavalier king charles spaniel and miniature or medium poodle. These breeds are included in group 9. FCI – Decorative and Companion Dogs. Currently, these crossbreeds are becoming more and more popular, although there is no future for them – they will certainly not be recognized as a separate breed. Let’s meet cavapoo.
If you’re looking for more advice and information, check out the purebred dog articles here.
Cavapoo – is it breed, history, how it was created, features
The idea and the appearance of a hybrid
The idea to create a cavapoo hybrid originated in Australia in the 1990s. The breeders who came up with such a combination wanted to get a small, compact dog with non-shedding, hypoallergenic hair and an attractive exterior. The first litters born were very varied in terms of external features, but they liked them so much that soon hybrid lovers in the United States became interested in them. This is where cavapoo made his greatest career.
The name of the hybrid – cavapoo or cavoodle – comes from the combination of fragments of the names of the original breeds: cavalier spaniel and poodle, in two configurations that function essentially equally, although cavapoo is the more known and more frequently used name. The names of other hybrids are created in the same way. For example, a cross between a Maltese and a miniature poodle is maltipoo (maltese + poodle), and a cross between a Labrador and a poodle – labradoodle (labrador + poodle). In all cases, however, it is a crossbreed and not a new breed.
In Poland, hybrids are also enjoying increasing popularity, and their breeders (although it is difficult to apply this term to them) have established their own association – the Hybryd Breeders Association, where you can learn how to breed dogs from crossbreeds of various breeds. Cavapoo is also bred under the name of this organization.
Cavapoo – characteristics
There is no cavapoo pattern. This hybrid was created, like all the others, not by biologists specializing in genetics, but by amateurs, not quite able to define in detail what features a hybrid should have. Everything happens by chance. Only a few breeders, having any assumptions, use breeding selection and leave individuals for further reproduction that – in their opinion – meet the expectations.
A Cavapoo can be small or medium-sized, with a slight or slightly bulky build, with poodle-curly hair, or with a long and wavy coat like a Cavalier Spaniel. The starting breeds have drooping ears, so the cavapoo cannot have any other ears. Pendulous ears are recessive (yielding) in relation to standing ears, the gene for hanging ears must be present in both parents, and this is what happens in this case. The muzzle, on the other hand, may be of normal length as for a poodle or flattened as for a cavalier. Brachycephaly (shortening of the muzzle) is also inherited recessively and obtaining a cavapoo with a flat muzzle is possible only in the F2 generation.
Other features of the cavapoo appearance:
Height at the withers: 22 – 35 cm
Body weight: 3-11 kg
Coat: dense, soft, wavy or curly
COLOR: May vary according to parents’ colors. The most common are black and fawn (as in vizsla). Spotted and black and tan individuals can be obtained in the next generations.
Cavapoo – does it make sense to create hybrids?
Creating new generations
Creating a new breed is a laborious and lengthy process. It starts with the theory – defining the goal and methods and ways to achieve it. This requires many years of work, supported by scientific research, based on a thorough knowledge of the principles of genetics, methods of inheritance, properties of individual genes, methods of consolidating the desired features and eliminating undesirable ones. Only then does the selection of ancestors who can give offspring with the expected characteristics begins.
It should be realized that by mating two individuals of different races, you will never obtain in the first generation (F1) offspring with the characteristics you want to obtain. To understand this, you need to understand the basic principle of inheritance. Well, the descendant always receives 50 percent from each of the parents. his gene pool. Genes are arranged in chromosomes arranged in pairs. There are 39 pairs, which means the dog has 78 chromosomes. In each of them there are places strictly defined for individual genes. In each pair of chromosomes (one from the mother, the other from the father), these places correspond to each other – the genes located in them are responsible for the same features. Such a place is called locus (pl loci). For example, in a dog at locus A there are coat genes, e.g. red and black and tan. If you associate a ginger (like a Vizsla) bitch with a black and tan (like a Polish hound) dog, then in locus A the puppy may have the red gene from the mother and the black and tan gene from the father. What will the puppy’s color be?
Whoever thought that the puppy would be a color between the two would be wrong. In this example, the puppy will be red after its mother. Why? Because some genes are dominant, some are recessive (retreating), and the red color gene is dominant over other variants (alleles) in this locus. So, no matter which allele the maternal ‘red’ allele encounters, the F1 pup will be red, and the other allele (paternal black and tan) will be dominated and invisible, but may be passed down to the F2 offspring. If it is met in a subsequent mating with the black and tan allele, black and tan puppies may be born. This principle is illustrated in the tables below.
Ay – the ginger gene
At – black and tan gene
AyAy – red mother
AtAt – black and tan father
AyAt – red (heterozygous) offspring
AyAy – Homozygous Ore (Dominant)
AyAt – heterozygous ore (carrier of the black and tan gene)
AtAt – black and tan (so-called recessive homozygous).
This is just one feature and the principle of heritability. But you should be aware that there are thousands of these features and they inherit – to put it very simply – according to this pattern, but not always the same. Hence, in hybrids in the F1 generation, a large “spread” in appearance, also occurring in the next generations. That is why it is so important to establish the goal to be achieved, mentioned earlier, and then to strictly select breeding and leave for further reproduction only individuals that are close to the intended one. In this way, at the end of the 1980s, the breeding of the Polish hunting spaniel began. It has been going on for about 40 years, and this breed is still not recognized by the FCI and is present at shows in the group of unrecognized breeds, without the right to titles.
Therefore, if someone, when asked how to start a breeding of cavapoo dogs, replies that it is enough to cover a cavalier bitch with a poodle or vice versa – he is very wrong. Unfortunately, this is how hybrids arise – without any scientific basis or practice. And this is not limited to knowing when you can bathe your puppy and what to feed him. Also check this article on dog breeds with hair instead of fur.
Character, care and health of cavapoo
In terms of character, a Cavapoo is a great unknown, because it inherits its features from both the Cavalier and the Poodle. It is not known which of these features the puppies will have, because each breed is different in this respect. Poodles are very intelligent, mobile dogs, willing to learn and in need of exercise, after all they were hunting dogs. The Cavalier Spaniel is a typical sandworm, very attached to its guardian and with a sensitive psyche. Of course, hybrid puppies will certainly not be defense dogs, but it is not known what traits will prevail in them – an energetic, quick-witted hunter or a “subterrier”. In any case, puppies need to be socialized in order to have good contact with humans and to be easy to manage.
Cavapoo care also depends on the type of coat inherited. Anyway, its structure can be assessed only in an adult dog. It is not known whether it will be curly and without an undercoat or straight or wavy with an undercoat. It is not always known what color the puppies will have. However, brushing is always good, and if an adult dog needs it – also periodic haircut, like in a poodle. Regarding when a puppy can be bathed, the answer is that it is better later than too early. There is no need to bathe the dog, if it has not got dirty, for example, with paint or has accumulated in impurities.
The risk of acquiring cavapoo is considerable. Well, the parent breeds are prone to a variety of health conditions. Therefore, you never know if these inclinations have not accumulated in a given puppy. After all, no one does tests for parents, these are not dogs registered with the Polish Kennel Club. So this is one more reason not to drive the hybrid market and definitely buy pure breed puppies, with birth certificates, from tested parents.
You double up and try to please your pet. Once again, however, what you hopefully gave him in the bowl was sniffed, possibly licked, and then ignored? Dogs, like humans, have their tastes and preferences. Perhaps the pet simply does not like the food you give it. However, there are many reasons why the pooch does not want to eat! We suggest what are the most common.
Why don’t dogs eat meals?
If the situation in which the dog does not want to eat happens sporadically, and in the meantime he has not eaten anything during a walk or has not been served with anything by household members or guests, there is probably nothing to worry about. Dogs, like humans and other animals, also have their better and worse days. As a rule, skipping one meal is not a cause for concern.
Perhaps the doggie got fed during the day and is full, or has had a hearty dinner so he isn’t just hungry in the morning. Similarly, in the case of dinner – if the breakfast was solid, the dog may be simply full, so he does not want to eat dinner.
However, if the dog refuses to eat what it has liked so far, consult a veterinarian to rule out possible health causes. If he ate something while walking and then refuses to eat – for his safety also go to the vet.
Usually, however, the reasons why a dog refuses to eat or to eat casually are more prosaic and harmless. Most often, the dog does not eat because:
he is not hungry – the smaller the size of the dog, the lower the daily caloric requirement. If he is calm and not very active – even more so. Often, however, in terms of food, we treat our dog friends “humanly” by serving them meals or snacks several times a day. If the dog ate his normal portion in the morning, and during the day he was served with delicacies – it may be full by evening, hence the reluctance to eat dinner;
has constant access to food– a meal put in the dog’s bowl in the morning stays in it all day, so the pooch has constant access to it at all times? So it probably eats a little bit, you just can’t see it. This way you eat too – and a portion spread over the day can fill him up enough that he just does not want to eat a second meal;
is overfed – each pet food manufacturer determines the daily amount per dog, taking into account its weight and activity level. If the pooch is very active, his portion may be increased. Often, however, we put the food “on the eye” and it may turn out that the less active animal is simply overfed and therefore does not want to eat another meal – because it has not had time to digest the previous one;
he doesn’t like his food – dogs also have their favorite flavors! So it is possible that the dog does not eat or eats very little (just enough to satisfy its hunger) because it simply does not like what you give it. To confirm or rule out this, try another food: wholesome, wholesome and with delicious flavors: Venison and Lamb, like Empire. It is a brand of premium food known for its unique, even legendary taste. The delicious taste of our food is one of the things that our customers value very much!
the way of serving meals is… boring for him! Yes! Dogs, even the smallest, sweet sandwiches, associated more with teddy bears than conquerors – are also! Dogs instinctively need to get. So if your pet’s food is always served directly under the nose and always in the same form – it can be simply boring for him!
There can be more reasons why dogs do not want to eat their meals. Remember that any behavior change that is not episodic in nature requires a medical consultation. In the event that the dog refuses to eat at all, no matter how attractive it is – such consultation is advisable immediately. It may be a sign of health problems, often even very serious ones.
How to encourage a dog eater to eat?
If you suspect that your pooch’s average appetite may be due to one or more of the situations listed above, the easiest way to find out is to change your approach to feeding your pet.
Some dogs, used to being given different treats during the day – often much more attractive than food – are just waiting… for better!
To encourage your dog to eat, it is worth:
serve meals at a fixed time– regardless of whether you feed your pet once or twice a day. Do not leave the food bowl within reach of the pet. Share it at mealtime, for a while, then take it away and give it only at the next feeding time. This will help discipline a slightly picky and comfortable pet;
vary the way food is served – dogs are conquerors! Therefore, try to give him part of the meal in such a way that he can … hunt him down. Feeding dry food in a olfactory mat or a toy that he needs to shake it off is a great way to spice up a dog’s meal – even one he loves on average;
test other flavors – sometimes the food is simply not very attractive: both in terms of taste and smell. Perhaps unpalatable food is a significant cause of your doggie’s hunger strikes. So try another, attractive in terms of taste and smell – like the Empire food, consisting of 80% fresh meat: venison and lamb;
reduce portions – a person, when they eat a lot at once, often doesn’t feel like eating more for the rest of the day. So if you suspect that the dog is simply overeated – divide the daily amount into several portions, and then the problem may solve itself;
give food in the form of a reward– dogs are craving for praise and prizes, and they can do a lot for their treats! Serving food instead of treats is one way to make it gain value in the eyes of your pet. It’s also a great way to serve up a portion of the meal: as a reward and in fun!
Remember that each dog is different, although each has a lot in common with the rest of its species. Both the Little York and the Big German Shepherd have a similar instinct: hunting and capture. It is therefore worthwhile to diversify his meals: delicious, healthy and fragrant food, as well as the method of its administration. Your pet will like it!
Dogs are wonderful creatures that do not deserve suffering. If you have an unwanted pet or you are experiencing problems and cannot care for your dog, do not hurt him or leave him in the woods or on the road. Find out what you can do to find another loving home for him or how to return your dog to a shelter and whether it is paid. The article presents the procedure for the return of the quadruped and other important facts.
If you’re looking for more advice and information, check out the dog questions articles here as well.
A new dog house – what instead of a shelter?
A dog can be troublesome. Both puppies and adult quadrupeds can show aggression and destructive behavior. It happens that the guardian has difficulties with keeping the animal due to the change of financial situation or his illness. In addition, it may also be a problem to provide a chronically ill animal with proper care. There are many difficult situations.
Dismissing your dog at a shelter is better than ditching it, but by taking a moment of your time, you can find a much better solution. Try to put your dog up for adoption thanks to the help of numerous animal foundations. Perhaps their activists will organize a temporary home for the dog and take over looking for a new guardian for him. In this way, the animal will avoid at least some of the stress and discomfort. You can also use social media. There are dog lover groups or visible hand communities where you can find people who can adopt your pet or help you find one.
Nothing came of it? In that case, it’s time to consider putting your dog in a shelter. We check how it can be done and what the cost must be.
How to return a dog to the shelter? – procedure for returning the dog to the shelter
There are state and private shelters in Poland. The largest of them are located in cities such as:
However, there are more small establishments. When looking for a place to return an unwanted dog, consider not only the nearby location, but also your opinion about the place.
The dog is handed over to the facility after it has appeared in person. It will be necessary to give up the dog and sign the relevant documents, which will contain the data from your ID card. The procedure for returning a dog is as follows:
Contact the representatives of the respective shelter. During the conversation, you will be asked to provide a reason for wanting to relinquish your pet’s rights. It happens that volunteers help if the reason for the donation is, for example, behavioral problems.
The shelter staff will also ask you for the dog’s medical records and fill in a questionnaire.
After the shelter’s approval, you bring your dog to the facility and sign the relevant documents.
In some establishments it is payable and costs several dozen or several hundred zlotys. Ask in advance for the cost at the chosen hostel.
After completing the formalities, the dog is taken into the care of the shelter.
If you have such an opportunity, also leave the dog’s toys, bedding or food that he has eaten at the shelter. Also check this article on adopting a dog from a shelter.
Returning the dog taken from the shelter – what is worth knowing?
Another issue is whether and how you can return your adopted dog from the shelter. When deciding to adopt a dog for adoption, you need to be prepared for various problems. Lots of animals are out. Some of them have never lived indoors and may find it difficult to learn to do things outdoors. Others have experienced violence or starvation, so they eat greedily and may defend their bowl aggressively. You have to be ready for all of this. This is one reason puppies find new homes faster. With adult animals, there are times when certain situations overwhelm the new handler.
What to do then? Contact the shelter. It’s free, and you might get help or advice. It is usually possible to put your dog in a shelter, but losing another home is a huge harm for the animal. This is a high price that we often forget!
You already know how to return your dog to the shelter. However, think carefully about your decision. The dog will pay for her as she waits for her new home and experiences stress and fear. Whenever possible, look for a new home for him among your family and friends, or ask appropriate foundations for help. Also remember that behavioral problems can be combated! If you are considering donating your dog because he is showing separation anxiety or is defending his resources, seek help from a behaviorist first.
When looking for a Purebred dog, many people only think about one dream breed. The offers of small dogs of such breeds as pinscher, westie, york, chihuahua and pomeranian (i.e. miniature spitz) are very popular. The problem, however, is that normally well-run dogs are expensive. Discount seekers will always, however, find an opportunity and hit an advertisement where purebred dogs are offered for free or at least half free. So let’s see how to spot real scam ads.
Holy Grail – purebred puppies for free
Legends say that there are cases of free donation of purebred puppies. The problem is that while browsing through hundreds of ads, we’ve never seen a 100% real offer of this type. Usually it turned out that something was wrong with the advertisement after all.
There is a demand for purebred dogs, there must be advertisements and attempts to cheat. Some of the ads are real, others are not. Moderators on classifieds websites try to catch the more suspicious ones, but sometimes something passes. Let’s see what to expect and how to spot a scam!
Unfortunately, most of the ads that grab the attention of all bargain hunters are, unfortunately, fiction. Such advertisements are added to extort personal data or “obtain” an advance payment for a puppy’s reservation. There are also cases that theoretically the dog is completely free – you only have to cover the costs of shipping from some country to Poland. For example, $ 100 payable before shipping. The content of the advertisement depends only on the creativity of the adder. You have to be careful not to be deceived!
How to recognize a fictitious advertisement?
Most often, the content of the advertisement is written in broken Polish. Reading the description, it’s easy to spot strange statements. If something sounds unusual – read it a second time.
Below is an example of the content of an advertisement that has been rejected by site moderators:
“Wonderful puppies Pomeranian Teacup, 1 male and 1 female, AKC registered. Parents are the family’s pets; both mum and dad weigh 4 pounds. They are all loving, friendly and very fun. They grew up with children and other animals. Knotted tails and dewclaws removed, veterinary check included and first set of kicks for the dog. “
“Beautiful puppies of West Highland White Terrier breed The puppies were veterinary tested, potty trained, wormed with microchips. “
Another example (this time labrador puppies for free):
“Top quality puppies with all health information and toy accessories for puppies. They stay up to date with shots that do well with children and other pets. These cute puppies are waiting for you “
As you can see, you don’t even need to be particularly vigilant to notice that something is wrong here. Also pay attention to how the sender writes back the correspondence with you. Any strange statements should make you alert!
The second thing is photos. They usually do not represent the dogs that are actually for sale. These are photos taken from some source. Easily verify the origin of the photo with the help of Google’s image search engine.
In the case of the advertisement from which the first cited description came, the photo was copied directly from a facebook profile:
Another important point – always check who is issuing the advertisement. Usually, suspicious content is displayed by people without a Polish name, such as John Cosworth, Millano, Antonio, Margaritha and others.
Adult purebred dogs to donate or at a low price
These are ads that are usually true. In general, they are not pedigree dogs (although there are also pedigree dogs), but dogs that are of the breed type or very similar to them. In the case of an adult dog, we can already see the end result and it is easier to judge whether it is this breed or another, and whether we like such a dog or not.
Advertisements with purebred dogs for donation are most often issued by shelters. Larger facilities share information about the breed – if identified. It also happens that people want to give the dog back for some important reasons and look for a good home for him. At the Seller, as of the day of writing the article, we have over 780 offers of dogs to give away for free: https:// Sprzedawacz.pl/zwierzeta/psy/psy_zwierzeta/ Most of them come from shelters. If we look for purebred animals (or in the type of a given breed), it turns out that most dogs are between 5 and 10 years old! Dogs of the type of selected breeds currently account for about 10% of advertisements.
Adopting an adult dog is also a very good idea. Perhaps sometimes even better and simpler than raising a puppy. On the one hand, we already know what will grow out of him or her. On the other hand, during adaptation visits, we can get to know the character. From the third, we help and we can make a great friend and give him a new home. There are several more reasons for choosing an adult dog, but you still need to know if you want a dog that is already several years old.
Almost purebred dogs and puppies without pedigree
If the father and mother of the dog are known and both animals are of the type of a given breed, there is a chance that, despite the lack of a pedigree, you will be able to occasionally buy a dog of the breed you want – although formally it will not be purebred. Remember, however, that if a dog is cheap, all possible breeding costs are probably cut. Alternatively, someone actually does does not deal breeding and simply the female dog gave birth to puppies that need to be distributed or sold cheaply. Check what is the real source of such a dog.
Almost purebred puppies are those where we can be sure that the mother is of the X type and the father is unknown. The question is whether the person issuing the advertisement will tell you about it? As a result, it may turn out that the father was a dog of a larger breed than the mother was. What if York weighs 15 kg when he grows up? When buying or taking such a dog for free, you must take this possibility into account. If you accept that the dog will be different, that’s great. If his raciality was the key to you, then don’t go this way!
True purebred dogs (with pedigree)
When the breed of a puppy is a priority for you, do not compromise, just pay the market price and be sure that the dog will be exactly what you expect. Pedigree dogs are, unfortunately, expensive. The cultures have to meet the standards and all the associated stuff costs more. Only registered dog kennels together with the dog provide the owner with a birth certificate. The price is higher, but you can be sure what will grow out of a puppy!
Interestingly, if you decide to choose a fully purebred dog, you will also get to know its family tree. Yes, you will know who your dog’s grandfather was!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.