Illustrated Articles

Dogs + Behavior & Training

  • Is there any truth to the old adage, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks?" Even though young pups may be more actively curious, dogs never stop learning. In fact, adult dogs are often easier to train than their younger canine friends specifically because they are not as active. Older dogs are not as easily distracted as pups and can focus for longer periods of time. This ability to concentrate helps them learn new routines more easily.

  • Dogs are indeed smart and we see examples of this through both scientific research and everyday real life situations. They can learn by watching, cooperating with another dog or person, or just by being in their environment over time.

  • It is important to understand your dog's body language for your dog's emotional comfort as well as to assure safety. Dogs use subtle signals to reveal their comfort in social interactions. Through their body language, dogs communicate fear, anxiety, and frustration. When signals are not recognized, dogs may become frustrated or anxious and their communication can escalate to more overt threats.

  • The birth of a baby or the adoption of a new child can be associated with both excitement and stress. It is important to prepare your pet for the new addition. Before the baby arrives, introduce novel sounds and scents, and be sure your pet has access to safe resting spaces. Socialize your young pet to children from the start. Children should be directly supervised by an adult when they interact with pets.

  • It is important to prepare your dog for a new baby, particularly if the dog has not been exposed to children before. Most dogs readily accept infants after an initial period of adjustment and curiosity. Even the friendliest dog should be supervised when the baby is nearby.

  • Getting a new puppy is an exciting time and there is no perfect science to picking the perfect puppy. Have a brief look over them physically with their littermates as well as seeing how they interact together and with you. Be sure to take your puppy to a veterinarian as soon as possible to check for any health problems. 

  • Clonidine is a medication that is used to treat behavioral disorders in dogs, particularly anxiety or phobia-related. Give as directed. Side effects are generally mild if present and include sedation, lethargy, agitation/excitation, aggression, and constipation. Monitoring blood pressure as well as heart rate and rhythm is recommended with chronic use. If you suspect an overdose or an adverse reaction to the medication, call your veterinary office immediately.

  • Choosing the right collar or harness for a dog requires understanding how each device works and what is best for the dog and the owner. Correct selection, fit, and use are crucial for any training tool's success.

  • Compulsive disorders are repetitive behaviors done so frequently that they interfere with a dog's daily life. Some behaviors performed compulsively can cause physical injury. Compulsive disorders may reflect underlying behavioral illness, medical illness, or a combination. Treatment programs should address the behavioral and medical causes. Some aspects of behavioral treatment may need to be continued for the life of the dog.

  • Dogs tend to pull ahead and lunge forward for a number of reasons. The primary reasons for most dogs are that they are exploratory, playful, and social. They are motivated to investigate new areas, new odors, new people and new dogs, Loose leash walking is a complex skill and it requires patience, planning, and persistence.