Look at the little sweethearts!!
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.