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Dog Body Language

Whenever you are around dogs it is important that you learn their body language to prevent getting bit, avoiding fights between dogs, knowing when your dog is calm, nervous or assertive. Dogs do not talk as you well know but they do communicate with their bodies. It is always a great idea to learn their language for than you will truly know what your dog is saying.


  • Ears up
  • Eyes moving, not fixed
  • Lips relaxed
  • Head up, hair down
  • Weight equally distributed
  • Tail stiff and horizontal
  • Tail moving slowly as aroused
  • Non-verbal



  • Ears up
  • Eyes relaxed
  • Hair down
  • Leaning back, weight shifted to rear
  • Front foot may wave a target
  • Tail wagging high, broad, fast
  • Animated, exaggerated, bouncing movements
  • May pant, bark or whine



  • Ears forward at first, out and down as escalates, back when attacking
  • Eyes fixed, staring at target
  • Lips raised, mouth slightly open
  • Nose wrinkled
  • Head high
  • Hair raised over rump and back of neck
  • Leaning forward, weight shifted to front
  • Body stiff, tense
  • Front leg may point a target
  • Tail stiff and high over back, tip may quiver
  • May growl, snarl and bark



  • Ears down
  • Eyes down
  • Lips down, retracted horizontally
  • Head down
  • Hair down
  • Leaning back, weight shifted to rear
  • Tail may wag horizontally, hang down or be tucked close to body
  • May whine


Passively Submissive:

  • Ears down
  • Eyes down
  • Lips down
  • Hair down
  • Head down
  • Lying on side or back
  • Tail tucked close to body
  • May urinate


Fearful: (displacement signals

  • Ears back and down
  • Eyes wide open and fixed (whale eye)
  • Mouth open slightly
  • Head down
  • Hair raised over neck
  • Leaning back, weight shifted to rear
  • Tail tucked tight under abdomen
  • May tremble and defecate or urinate
  • Makes fast moves if threatened
  • Looks for escape routes
  • Whines
  • Excessive sniffing the ground
  • Hair will start to fall out
  • Paws can start to sweat
  • May try to look small by hunching
  • Drooling

The Dangers of Dog Food

A few years back my dogs were dying of different forms of cancer and all four died at a very young age. It was devastating and from this experience I decided to find out why my dogs health was so poor. As I did my research I found out that a lot of the dog foods sold in America had poor ingredients. So I decided to find healthier dog foods and find out if my newest dogs would be healthier. Turns out 10 years later that my dogs are in really good health due to changing their dog food. Recently, I read an interesting article on dog foods in America at and was so impressed that I wanted to post the Http address so others could read this valuable article. I highly suggest that all dog owners read this article it will be helpful when selecting the best dog food for your dog. Please go to Http:// and read this very information article on dog food.

Treating Fear in Dogs Concerning Thunderstorms or Loud Noises

Monsoon season and the 4th of July is almost here and with that it may cause a fear response in your dog. Some of the signs of fear are the dog’s tail in tucked way under the dog’s belly, shaking, drooling, panting, pacing, barking, whining, etc. How can you treat a dog who is fearful of loud noises? What can you do to help your dog and stop them from being so fearful.

Below I have wrote a few suggestion on helping your dog overcome these fears.

If your dog is fearful of loud noises, make a recording of the noise and see whether the recording causes fear. If it does, you have a controllable stimulus to use in retraining.

Using food rewards, train your dog to lie quietly on a rug and once he is fully trained, expose him to the frightening sound but at a very low level, perhaps even below your own hearing frequency.

Reward him for showing no signs of fear. Gradually, increase the intensity of the sound, boosting it every five minutes over a period of 30 to 40 minutes.

Daily treatment periods of 40 to 50 minutes are best and you should expect training to consume around one month total before a dog is desensitized to 90 decibel noise.

Once your dog shows no fear to thunder, you should play your recording during the season when there are no naturally occurring thunderstorms, so that you can reinforce his or hers new behavior.


Aggression Dog vs Dog

One of the rules of canine learning is that you cannot make people or dogs like each other. Concerning dog on dog aggression both dogs are threatening each other and it has become personal and unless you take control of both dogs there is very little hope.

One of the main goals when working with this type of aggression is to avoid the situations initially which are creating the problems hence crating is essential.

You need to scramble your dogs world so nothing seems familiar you need to stop the patterns that activate the aggressive behaviors. You have to avoid any situations that create the aggression. Trigger points and how your dogs react to them are the key problems. You need to take away the trigger points and introduce them back together gradually over a period of time. This is where a crate would be essential. Your goal is to become the pack leader.

1: Crate when you cannot supervise your dogs (2 hours in the crate, 20 minutes out) your dogs are to be observed separately. Note: Your dogs are to be taken out separately and worked separately. When positioning the crates put some space between the crates but the dogs should be able to view each other. Over a two week period you should be able to move the crates closer till they are next to each other.

2: People are not to be challenged, played with, made to be friends or try to be the leader of your dogs that position is reserved for the dog owners.

3: Leadership does not come from punishment is comes from your attitude, your presence and your energy towards your dogs. Your dogs need to know that you are taking control that you are in charge and that you are going to deal with any situations unless you tell the dog or dogs differently.

4: Keep talking to a minimal the only time you should talk is to give commands.

5: Praise will be minimal, quietly and given only when a special behavior has been seen.

6: NO shouting or smacking or jerking when your dog is triggered. Steady “pressured” attitude from your body, a verbal warning and take your dog away from the trigger which may just be going towards the crate of the other dog.

7: Feed in the crate and place water outside. Put in crate the prepared food and than feed do not stand, watch, praise, or pet. Leave your dogs to feed 15 to 20 minutes than remove the bowl even if there is food remaining. After you remove the bowl you can store the remaining dry food than clean the bowl and put it away till next use.

8: No toys, treats or food are to be in sight or available except at feed times in the crate.

9: On a daily basis you should have structured obedience, walks and structured play. If you work your dog just before feeding please make sure your dog cools down in their crate for 20 minutes before feeding. If you want to work your dog after they eat make sure your dog has digested their food for 20 to 30 minutes.

10: No wrestling or tug games. No petting your dog if they ask for it. If your dogs are quiet and laying down – leave them alone- let them rest in their crates.

11: Do not be tempted to train or walk or have in the same common area till their crates have been together for two weeks. At first you are going to have your dogs on leash each with a handler. You will be working with distance in between the dogs than throughout the weeks you will slowly close in the gap. Do not rush this exercise take your time.

12: When visitors come put your dogs in separate rooms or crate. Visitors are not to talk to your dogs, make eye contact, pet them, or have any interaction.

13: Work on you becoming the “force” of control.

14: If your dogs look tense at all when crated or are barking at the other dogs throw a tennis ball or sneaker at the crate do not let them see you doing this. Do not pick up the item immediately and do not challenge them personally.

15: If your dog demands attention or bump you for attention turn into them or turn away and do not pet them.

16: When your dogs are relaxed you can call them to you and give them a gentle stroke on the shoulder area and then ignore them. Do not get carried away with petting.

17: If your dog leans on you while you are sitting or lies across your feet move your legs away.

Obedience, control and confident leadership are the keys without physical aggression from you. Separate, take control and over a period of 30 days begin to bring them together slowly and gradually as they accept each other. Do not rush anything or you may set back training take your time. Final note, have the dogs vet give him or her a thorough physical sometimes an illness can cause aggressive behaviors.


Dogs vs The Hot Weather

The High Temperatures Have Arrived
Today the temperature will hit 103 degrees and it is a time to be more aware of the heat vs our dogs. Please be careful dogs have died in these temperatures and below I have listed a few precautions to be aware of.
• Do not leave your dog in the car for any length of time.
• Do not leave your dog in the backyard during the hottest time of the day bring them into the cool home.
• If your dog swims please read my blog on this website on water intoxication.
• Walk your dog very early in the morning or late at night.
• Do not run your dog in the heat.
• Bring water on the walk.
• Wet your dog down before the walk or use a cool vest.
• Train your dog to wear boots and wear them on walks.
• Provide plenty of fresh cool water inside and outside the home.
• Keep your dog inside as much as possible.
If your dog suffers from heat exhaustion get your dog to the veterinarian immediately

Ideal Weight for a Dog

Having your dog at their ideal body weight is very important for their health. This is a very simple statement yet I see more dogs that are overweight and more owners making up excuses for their pets obesity. Dogs that are overweight have risk of heart disease, diabetes, their joints are stressed making it harder for them to move around more freely, and the dog’s life is shortened. In this article I have listed how to tell if your dog is too thin, has ideal weight or is too heavy.
Too Thin:
• Ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones and all bony prominences evident from a distance. No discernible body fat. Obvious loss of muscle mass.
• Ribs, lumbar vertebrae and pelvic bones easily visible. No palpable fat. Some evidence of other bony prominence. Minimal loss of muscle mass.
• Rib easily palpated and may be visible with no palpable fat. Tops of lumbar vertebrae visible. Pelvic bones becoming prominent. Obvious waist and abdominal tuck.
Ideal Weight:
• Ribs easily palpable, with minimal fat covering. Waist easily noted, viewed from above. Abdominal tuck evident.
• Ribs palpable without excess fat covering. Waist observed behind ribs when viewed from above. Abdomen tucked up when viewed from the side.
Too Heavy:
• Ribs palpable with slight excess fat covering. Waist is discernible viewed from above bit is not prominent. Abdominal tuck apparent.
• Ribs palpable with difficulty: heavy fat cover. Noticeable fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist is absent or barely visible. Abdominal tuck may be present.
• Ribs not palpable under very heavy fat cover, or palpable only with significant pressure. Heavy fat deposits over lumbar area and base of tail. Waist absent. No abdominal tuck. Obvious abdominal distention may be present.
• Massive fat deposits over thorax, spine and base of tail. Waist and abdominal tuck absent. Fat deposits on neck and limbs. Obvious abdominal distention.

Please if your dog is overweight make a veterinarian appointment as soon as possible to discuss a healthy eating plan for your dog and an exercise program. In no time your dog will get their energy back and be healthier and happier.

Why are You Getting a Dog?

You decided that now is the time to own a dog but, not sure what type of dog to choose from. Choosing a dog is not as simple as it sounds. You need to really take a look at your life style before you make this decision. Do you work a lot of hours and could only spend quality time with a dog on the weekends, and even that is questionable with all of the chores? Would your dog be alone during work hours? Are you getting the dog because your children want a dog? Below I listed some ideas that could help you in making that decision.
• Make sure you are getting a dog because you want one not because someone thinks you should have a dog.
• Evaluate your week be honest do you have time for a dog.
• Research the different breeds and choose a dog that would meet your life style.
• Please rescue a dog from a shelter.
• Dogs can be expensive, food, toys, dog beds, training equipment, dog training classes, grooming, and veterinarian bills, can your budget handle the extra expense?
• Do you travel a lot for business and can you afford pet sitters or dog boarding?
• Socializing and exercise is important for a dog. Do you have time to daily exercise your dog?
• Are you getting a dog because you are lonely? Sometimes this is not the best decision.

There are many reasons people get dogs but what it really boils down to, “Do you have time for a dog”. If the answer is no than the answer would be simple don’t get a dog.

Dogs vs Rocks

Often I hear from my clients, “how do I get my dog to stop eating rocks”. The answer sounds easy just don’t let your dog be alone in the back yard or the area where he or she is eating rocks. But, it can be difficult to up hold especially if someone in the house lets the dog out without you knowing it. Eating rocks can be very life threatening for a dog and can be very expensive if your dog needs surgery to remove the rocks. Dogs also may eat bottle tops, diapers, toys, paper, or plastic the list can just go on and on. Below I have listed some ideas that can be helpful in preventing a dog from eating harmful things in the yard or home.
• Make sure all trash cans are secure in the home and yard.
• Close all bedroom door.
• Baby gate the dog in an area that is more easily managed.
• Remove all rocks from the back yard.
• Build an outdoor kennel area for the dog to run in.
• Crate your dog whenever you leave your house.
• Teach your dog the “leave it” command.
• Muzzle your dog.
• Every time your dog goes outside someone goes with him or her. This way you can correct the dog in the moment thus teaching them not to eat something in the yard.
• When you are in the back yard with your dog leash them this way they cannot sneak away and eat a rock.
• Make sure you are feeding your dog enough food.
• Make sure your dog is getting enough exercise and training, sometimes a bored dog will be destructive and eat things.
• Hire a dog trainer to help you with this situation it may save you money considering vet bills can be in the thousands.


The ideal age to pick your puppy up is 6 to 8 weeks of age. It is a good idea to have several things ready at home:

Þ Crate, which is a safe place for a puppy to sleep and to start house breaking lessons. A crate properly used can teach a puppy bladder control.

Þ Toys for play. A “Kong” with a small amount of peanut butter is a great distraction. Balls made of hard rubber are better than tennis balls, the fuzz can create a mess and a possible hazard to your pup’s health. Be careful when selecting toys. Some popular toys look and feel like shoes and slippers. Your puppy will not know the difference and may go after your shoes and slippers.

Þ Water and food bowls. Either ceramic or stainless steel. You may want to consider a bowl that is weighted to discourage a playful puppy from tipping it over and causing a mess.

Þ A small collar with identification and a leash. Remember to take off the collar when you place a puppy in a crate. Check often and adjust the size as your puppy will grow quickly in the first 6 months.

Þ Grooming Tools. Brushes and nail clippers. The sooner you start grooming your puppy the sooner he’ll become used to this type of treatment.

Þ Puppy food. Research you dog food carefully. Make sure it does not have corn as an ingredient. Many puppies are allergic to corn. Try and stay away from discount foods as these may not meet the special nutritional needs of a growing puppy.

Þ Veterinary service and puppy shot records. Arizona is notorious for Parvo. Make sure your puppy has the right amount of Parvo shots to protect him/her. Discuss a puppy shot record with your vet . Even though it is thought that the southwest is not typical heartworm country, it is safe to include this medication to your puppy’s monthly regimen.

Dog Sit Command

• Place your dog on your left side

• Give the command “(dog’s name) – sit” and use the hand signal as you give the command. The correct hand signal is to raise your left hand, bending at the elbow, palm facing you.

• Than ask your dog to “(dog’s name) – stay” the hand signal palm facing dog swing gently back and forth.

• If your dog sits, then praise him by saying “good sit”

• If your dog does not sit, gently hold the collar and give a gentle push on the rear end as you say the command “sit”.

• Another method to having your dog sit is the treat reward, grasp the treat firmly than put your hand near the dogs nose slowly move your treat hand between your dogs eyes when he sits give him the reward.

• Practice at least five sits with each training session

• As the week progresses, your dog should begin to sit automatically

• Practice the sit/stay command whenever possible. When feeding your dog this would be an ideal practice time. Have him sit/stay before he gets his dish. Be sure to use the release command, “OK” before he is allowed to come out of a sit.

• If your dog spins to look at you when you ask for the sit practice in a hallway having your dog against the wall and blocking the other side of his body with yours.