My dog crops grass like a cow. He eats it with gusto whenever he encounters it, to the extent that my friends have begun to refer to him, jokingly, as ‘The Ruminant’. This habit of his doesn’t bother me at all, since it seems to have no ill-effects on him whatsoever – although, when I’m standing outside in the cold waiting for him to relieve himself during one of his infrequent small-hours toilet calls (normally his timing is much more considerate), it’s hard not to hop impatiently from foot to foot while he enthusiastically tears out the mandatory five to seven mouthfuls of grass, chews thoroughly, and swallows, instead of just getting on with the task at hand.Unless your dog’s digestion is suffering unwanted upheavals from his grass-eating habit, it’s not really a problem. Dogs have been eating grass since the dawn of time (or at least, of the species) with few ill-effects, aside from the odd bout of vomiting – and really, this is one of those things that seems to bother owners a lot more than their dogs; most dogs, will simply re-ingest the vomitus and go about their day unfazed.
Separation anxiety is one of the most common problems that dogs develop. It’s an anxiety disorder, and is defined as a state of intense panic brought on by the dog’s isolation/separation from her owner(s).
In other words: when you leave for work in the morning, your dog is plunged into a state of nervous anxiety which intensifies extremely quickly.
Dogs are social animals – they need plenty of company and social interaction to keep them happy and content. No dog likes to be left alone for long stretches of time, but some dogs do a lot worse than others: these are the ones most prone to separation anxiety.
There are a number of contributing causes to the condition:
– Some breeds are genetically predisposed towards anxiety and insecurity, which is something you should consider when deciding which breed you’re going to go for (particularly if you’re going to be absent for long stretches of time). A few of these breeds include Weimaraners, Springer Spaniels, German Shepherds, and Airedales
– A significant proportion of dogs from shelters develop separation anxiety. Most of these ‘shelter dogs’ have undergone significant trauma in their lives – they’ve been abandoned by their previous owners – and thus they have little trust that their new-found owner (you) isn’t going to pull the same trick.
A dog’s aggression may take many forms. Read Daniel Steven’s, renowned trainer and author of SitStayFetch – Dog Training To Stop Your Dog Behavioral Problems, consultation to a client dealing with one such form of aggression in their dog.
Our beagle, Benny is showing signs of aggression (we have noticed this for quite a while and have tried a number of ways to combat this but nothing seems to work) and we are at a bit of a loss as to how to deal with this.
The problems we have are listed below:
He becomes aggressive if you try and take something from him that he doesn’t want to give you i.e. if he has pinched something like a sock. He will refuse to give it back to you and if you try and take it away from him he will attempt to bite you.
We feel tremendous love for our dogs, and our dogs sure seem to love us. But is a dog really capable of emotions? Or are we just projecting our feelings onto our dogs?
Scientists avoid the subject because part of what sets humans apart from the animals is our ability to experience feelings. To say that animals actually have feelings, in the same way we do, would change everything, perhaps disrupt our entire position and standing in the animal kingdom.
However, any dog owner knows that dogs love completely and have a greater capacity for love than most people. If one were to describe the main characteristics of a dog, they would have to be:
- strong affection
- warm attachment
- unselfish loyalty and benevolent concern for others
The act of chewing seems to be a matter of individual preference among dogs: some have an innate desire to chew as a pleasurable activity in itself, and some seem to have no need to chew whatsoever unless they’re driven to it out of sheer boredom.
The phrase “destructive chewing” may sound redundant, because – by its very nature! – all chewing is destructive. Your dog has strong jaws full of sharp, pointy teeth: just about anything she starts to chew on is probably going to show the effects of it inside of a minute. So just to clarify, when I use the phrase “destructive chewing”, I’m referring to inappropriate chewing: the kind of chewing that’s focused on your own possessions and household items, instead of on your dog’s own designated toys and chews.
The three main reasons why dogs chew:
– Most dogs have a natural desire to chew. It’s fun, it passes the time, and it’s a self-rewarding, self-reinforcing activity (for example, if she’s chewing on something that tastes good.)
– Chewing provides a nervous, bored, or lonely dog with an outlet for her emotions. To an anxious dog, the repetitive act of chewing is soothing – it’s the doggie equivalent of comfort food.
– Underexercised dogs often use chewing as a way of burning up nervous energy and giving themselves something to do.
This is not really a ‘natural health’ article but is an article that having the knowledge may save a beloved pet’s life. Too many dogs lose their life and freedom because of biting and if you are armed with the knowledge, you may be able to do something.
This is from For the Love of the Dog; read and learn, the life you save with the knowledge may be your dog’s or a child’s. Don’t take a chance!
The idea of being bitten by an aggressive dog is scary for anyone, even dog lovers and dog owners. If you Google ‘dog news’ you will see stories of maulings and bites and attacks. My impression has always been the most dog bites could be attributed to owner negligence or improper training (actually training a dog to be aggressive), victim instigation, or in the case or stray dogs, pack behavior. Dogs can and do bite. Smaller dogs actually dish out the most bites, statistically, but there is seldom much, if any damage, which is why when you hear ‘dog bite news,’ it will most often be larger breeds because the damage they can do is much more significant. Due to a recent study that I read, it looks like I really am not off the mark but there was at least one surprise. Read on for more…
Recently there was a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and published by the Journal of Injury Prevention, looking for the answer to the question, ‘Why do dogs bite?’ They study, encompassing four years of analysis, looked at 111 cases involving 103 dogs that bit children. The data came from a one specific veterinary behavior clinic and looked at bites involving children under the age of 18 and included such data as age, familiarity with the dog and the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Their findings show that what prompts dogs to bite children is generally underlying anxiety, pain and other behavioral or medical problems. This study was not confined to specific breeds, showing that all dog breeds have the potential to bite. The most common triggers, according to the study in the journal Injury Prevention were “guarding of resources and territory.”
It actually is funny how few people really realize something so basic as this. If your dog does not trust you enough to come to you on an every day basis, what will happen when you are in a situation when it is important for you to be able to get the attention of your dog and get them to come to you.
Just a quick tip on building trust with your canine companion…. whenever your dog comes to you, always be nice and welcoming. This way if there is ever a problem and you call, he won’t be hesitant to come to you.
When something unpleasant is involved, giving a pill, clipping nails or bath-time, anything your dog would be averse to, go to him, give him a treat first then the bath, pill, etc. Otherwise if you call him to you then proceed to do something he doesn’t like he will be hesitant to come next time you call.
This is something I know from experience. My Jezzie needs to have her ears cleaned quite frequently and obviously this is not a treatment she is fond of. Being the softie I am with my little girl, I passed this chore to my other half. For a time he didn’t understand why I told him to go to her rather than call her to him and it didn’t take long before she hid every time he called her. Finally he understood and it’s taken a while, and an awful lot of pampering and treats on his part, but now he goes to her for her ear treatment and she doesn’t run when he calls her to him anymore.