Tag Archives: #dogs

Dog Park Fights (hounding is aggressive behavior)

Dog Park Fights (hounding is aggressive behavior)
Illustration by Britt Spencer.

How to Deal With Aggressive Dogs at the Dog Park

Dog parks aren’t just for the four-legged. They’re also places for the humans to network, chat with neighbors, and, increasingly, catch up on e-mail or Twitter.

“People think ‘the dog’s having fun so I don’t have to pay attention,’ and they start Facebooking or texting,” says veterinarian Sarah Bowman, owner of CityPaws Animal Hospital in DC. But just as texting and driving can turn disastrous in seconds, so can letting your attention drift.

While dog-park fights are often blamed on aggressive animals, experts say inattentive people are usually the real culprits. “By the time dogs are fighting, you’ve already missed several signals,” says David Schmucker, owner of DC’s Sidewalk Dog Training.

I know firsthand the dangers of letting dogs off-leash. My greyhound, Bandit, was mauled in a park where he’d played peacefully with his friends for years. Three weeks and $7,500 in vet bills later, he died.

Mine was an extreme case. The dog who attacked was new to the park, his owner inexperienced. Maybe it’s hard to believe, but I’ve since resumed visiting off-leash parks with my blue heeler, Kolii. She loves nothing more than wrestling with her friends, and logically, I know they’re mostly safe places for dogs to socialize and burn energy.

But since I lost Bandit, I’ve also learned a lot about how to minimize the risks. Below is advice from vets and trainers.

How To Avoid Trouble

  • Stay off your phone.
  • Familiarize dogs with a new park when it isn’t crowded.
  • Never let your dog rush the gate to greet a newcomer, who may turn defensive if she feels cornered.
  • Scope out potential threats, such as unneutered dogs or breeds that your dog may fear. (Mine hates huskies for some reason.)
  • Remember that even timid dogs can get defensive or attract aggression with their submissiveness.

Canine Warning Signs To Stay Alert To

  • A stiff body.
  • A steady stare.
  • A closed mouth. Dogs in attack mode want to focus on their most acute sense—smell. Breathing through the mouth distracts from that.
  • A tail that’s pointing upward and unmoving.
  • Raised hackles. Though they sometimes simply indicate playfulness, they can signal aggression.

What to do if a Fight Breaks Out

  • The safest way to end it is to come from behind. “Don’t break it up from the head or you’re going to get bit,” says Schmucker.
  • If a hose is available, spray the dogs with water.
  • Grab the aggressor by the back legs to prevent putting more pressure on her jaw.
  • Puncture wounds don’t always bleed, and fur can obscure injuries, so take your dog to the vet even if she looks okay.
  • Exchange contact information with the other owner for possible follow-up.
  • If your dog is seriously injured, call animal control.

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Best Friend, Look-Alike, Or An Alter Ego?

Best Friend, Look-Alike, Or An Alter Ego?

The Dognosis:

Your dog does behave like you, scientists prove

For years dog owners have sworn that their pets come to look like them
Picture: REUTERS

By Stephen Adams

For years dog owners have sworn that their pets come to look like them.

Now scientists have discovered the first hard evidence that the animals actually behave like their masters too.

Just like children, they adopt a ‘look and learn’ approach which means they cannot help but mimic humans’ actions when going about canine tasks.

The results have been seized upon by dog trainers as proof that owners can “positively influence the behaviour of our pets”.

So hard-wired is ‘man’s best friend’ to learn in such a manner, said the academics, that this could have had a greater effect on how they behave, than their selective breeding by humans over at least 10,000 years of domestication.

Biologists and psychologists at the universities of Vienna and Oxford collaborated to design an experiment to test the theory that dogs do have a “social” capacity to copy what they see, using a simple wooden box.

In the study, 10 owners showed their dogs how to open the wooden box, sometimes using their heads to push a handle and sometimes using their hands.

In the first part of the test, five dogs were rewarded with a piece of sausage for copying their owners’ actions.

The other five were rewarded with food for not copying, and using the alternative method.

With each dog the experiment was repeated hundreds of times, and the time taken for a dog to get it ‘right’ on 85 per cent of attempts (17 goes out of 20) was recorded.

The dogs encouraged to mirror their owners reached this point almost three times sooner, on average, than those rewarded for not copying them.

In the second part of the test, all the dogs were only rewarded for copying the method their owner used.

The five dogs previously rewarded for copying their owners reached the 85 per cent mark more than twice as quickly as the other five.

Writing in a paper published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society, they concluded: “This suggests that, like humans, dogs are subject to ‘automatic imitation’.”

Like humans, dogs cannot help imitating actions they see.

The dogs break down what they see into an “order of elements in a novel sequence of body movements”, they explained.

Critically, “observation of each element automatically activates a corresponding motor programme”.

Going further, they said the results “suggest that the imitative behaviour of dogs is shaped more by their developmental interactions with humans than by their evolutionary history of domestication”.

Caroline Kisko, from The Kennel Club, commented: “The findings confirm what many owners and people involved with dogs have known for years.

“A dog’s behaviour is influenced much like that of a child; through socialisation, learning right from wrong and adopting similar patterns of behaviour.

“We hope that owners understand the importance of their actions and use this knowledge to set good examples and therefore positively influence the behaviour of their pets.”

However, she was less convinced that copying behaviour could lead to animals mirroring their owners in appearance too.


“Regarding dogs looking like their owners, we have thought that people choose dogs to suit them and may inadvertently choose a dog with a similar look to themselves,” she said.



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“The Howling Dog Food Restaurant (an international dog deli?)”

Originally posted on: AmericaOnCoffee


The Courtesy of Pinterest

“It’s hard to Imagine any kind of canine restaurant,” says Orman Fitzpatrick, choreographer for a prestigious dance company. “It would be nice to have dog food restaurants, particularly with international dog food menus. My dog, Zepee has a taste for Mexican and Thai food. I see no reason why dogs should not have more food choices. Now, I am just lucky to dine out weekly at a restaurant that has outside tables. My dog is always a welcome companion.”


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Adventures & Treats! 🏔🍗

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Posted by on 04/10 in trails



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