My siblings and I are out early from school this week since we were exempt from Mid-Term Exams… The doodles are definitely enjoying us being home and spending more time with them! Christmas Break is going to be full of snow-covered ski slopes, frost-covered, fluffy fur, and a happy, healthy home!
Snow is on the ground and the doodles are absolutely loving it!
Question: Should I allow my dog on the bed, couch and other furniture?
Allowing dogs on the furniture will not necessarily make them believe they are in charge. It will not suddenly cause aggression or dominance. However, if you inadvertently reinforce certain behaviors, you will be sending the wrong message. Any dog that growls or snaps at you when you try to sit down should be removed from the furniture. If your dog refuses to move when you approach, he should be removed. Finally, if your dog “hogs” the bed or sofa, leaving no room for you, he should be removed. Making the furniture off-limits can be a temporary or permanent arrangement, depending on your preference.
Health and Safety Concerns
Many owners prefer to keep their dogs off the furniture because of the mess (e.g., hair, dirt and debris). Taking this a step further, some people are concerned about the potential for the spread of disease. There are a handful of diseases that are considered zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted to humans from animals. A few examples include Rabies, parasitic infections, fungal infections and even plague. However, if you keep your dog healthy, the risk is very minimal. Whether you allow your dog on the furniture or not, all dogs should visit the vet every 6-12 months for an overall wellness check-up. A dog that has been vaccinated, is kept free of fleas, and is regularly checked and/or treated for parasites poses very little threat. You can minimize the amount of outdoor germs and debris your dog brings in the house by wiping the paws, spot-cleaning as needed, and occasional bathing.
Keeping Your Dog Off the Furniture
To keep your dog from getting on furniture, some basic training is necessary. Begin by teaching your dog the off command. Next, he should be taught the go to your place command. If your dog tries to jump on the bed or sofa, simply say “off” followed by “go to your place”. Reward him when he complies. It is equally important to be sure your dog does not have access to the furniture while you are away. This is where crate training becomes helpful. While you are gone, keep your dog in the crate or confined in a small room away from the forbidden furniture.
After successful training, you may choose to conditionally allow your dog on the bed or couch. However, he will need to earn it. After all, it is a privilege – not a right. Before jumping on the furniture, your dog should be made to sit. Once he has obeyed one or more commands of your choosing, you can pat the couch or bed, allowing him up. If he oversteps the boundaries, he will need to get off the furniture. You must be consistent for this to be affective, otherwise, your dog cannot understand what you are asking of him.
Some owners prefer to keep their dogs off the furniture as a household rule. This might be for the purpose of cleanliness, to prevent damage, or for other reasons. As long as he has his own spot, he will be just fine. Be sure everyone in the household understands and enforces the rules. Inconsistency will confuse your dog and make the training process very difficult.
Do you know why dogs chase their tails? Why do dogs run in circles? This dizzying behavior makes dog lovers curious. What could possibly cause a canine to twirl around this way, nipping at part of his own anatomy?
A dog chasing its tail can seem like a random, somewhat silly activity. Researchers aren’t sure exactly why so many dogs pursue this fruitless pursuit. One reason dogs chase their tails may be simply because they are bored and their tails are moving. In this case, provide some mental stimulation for the animal. Since a hyperactive dog might resort to tail chasing, providing more physical activity may provide a solution since a tired dog is less apt to chase its tail. However, there are certain breeds that have a higher tendency to show spinning, circling or tail chasing behavior, among them, Bull terriers and herding breeds. It could be that the dog learned to chase its tail early on in its litter with all the other puppies. Tail chasing can also be caused by stress, discomfort from an itchy infection, or because of underlying genetics or medical conditions.
Always report to us any unusual behaviors as they may indicate medical or behavioral problems that can be treated. We have facilities for boarding dogs and cats. Our practice includes acupuncture and laser therapy to reduce pain and promote faster healing. Payment plans are available through CareCredit, and we can help you with pet insurance claims.
P.S. If tail chasing becomes a problem, contact the veterinarian to rule out something serious.
Here are some fun and interesting dog facts. Did you Know…
- A dog’s heart beats between 70 and 120 times a minute, compared with a human heart which beats 70 to 80 times a minute.
- A dog’s normal body temperature is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
- A female carries her young about 60 days before the puppies are born.
- According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the smallest dog on record was a Yorkshire Terrier in Great Britain who, at the age of 2, weighed just 4 ounces.
- The longest lived dog, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, was an Australian Cattle Dog, named Bluey, who lived to be 29.
- An adult dog has 42 teeth.
- It is a myth that dogs are color blind. They can actually see in color, just not as vividly as humans. It is akin to our vision at dusk.
- If never spayed or neutered, a female dog, her mate, and their puppies could produce over 66,000 dogs in 6 years!
- The only sweat glands a dog has are between the paw pads.
- In 1957, Laika became the first living being in space via an earth satellite
- The world’s smartest dogs are thought to be (1) the border collie, (2) the poodle, and (3) the golden retriever.
- Chocolate contains a substance known as theobromine (similar to caffeine) which can kill dogs or at the very least make them violently ill.
- Dogs’ sense of hearing is more than ten times more acute than a human’s
- More than 1 in 3 American families own a dog.
- Dogs don’t like rain because the sound is amplified and hurts their very sensitive ears.
- The ten most popular dogs (AKC, 2007) are in order: Labrador Retriever, Yorkshire Terrier, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Beagle, Boxer, Dachshund, Poodle, Shih Tzu, and Bulldog.
- Dogs were the first animals domesticated by people.
- A greyhound can run as fast as 45 miles an hour.
- Spaying/neutering your dog before the age of 6 months can help prevent cancer in your dog.
- Puppies acquire a full mouth of permanent teeth between four and seven months old.
- Small dogs live the longest. Toy breeds live up to 16 years or more. Larger dogs average is 7 – 12 years. Veterinary medicine have extended this estimate by about three years. However, some breeds, such as Tibetan terrier live as long as twenty years.
- Eighty percent of dog owners buy their dog a present for holidays and birthdays. More than half of them sign letters and cards from themselves and their pets.
- The dog name “Fido” is from Latin and means “fidelity.”
- The U.S. has the highest dog population in the world.
- Most pet owners (94 percent) say their pet makes them smile more than once a day.
- Dogs are mentioned 14 times in the Bible.
- It has been established that people who own pets live longer, have less stress, and have fewer heart attacks.
- All dogs can be traced back 40 million years ago to a weasel-like animal called the Miacis which dwelled in trees and dens. The Miacis later evolved into the Tomarctus,a direct forbearer of the genus Canis, which includes the wolf and jackal as well as the dog.
- Seventy percent of people sign their pet’s name on greeting cards and 58 percent include their pets infamily and holiday portraits, according to a survey done by the American Animal Hospital Association.
- A dog’s whiskers are touch-sensitive hairs called vibrissae. They are found on the muzzle, above the eyes and below the jaws, and can actually sense tiny changes in airflow.
- The origin of amputating a dog’s tail may go back to the Roman writer Lucius Columella’s (A.D. 4-70) assertion that tail docking prevented rabies.
- Dogs can smell about 1,000 times better than humans. While humans have 5 million smell-detecting cells, dogs have more than 220 million. The part of the brain that interprets smell is also four times larger in dogs than in humans.
The Labradoodles may appear cute and cuddly on the outside, but they are sturdy enough to go everywhere with you! Here we see the dogs taking a hike through the Wyoming mountains at 8,400 feet!