Yoda is a member of a tactical unit from El Paso, Texas. The American Kennel Club calls the Belgian Malinois a “smart, confident, and versatile” breed that works hard and forms unbreakable bonds.
A wanderpup is a curious dog with an insatiable desire to explore, and WANDERPUPS is here to accompa Dog Walks: $17 for a half hour and $25 for an hour.
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Yoda is a member of a tactical unit from El Paso, Texas. The American Kennel Club calls the Belgian Malinois a “smart, confident, and versatile” breed that works hard and forms unbreakable bonds.
Who's a good boy!! U S Customs and Border Patrol K9 Yoda who detained escapee. This convict stabbed his girlfriend 38 times in front of her 3 & 7 yr. old kids. Convicted & escaped. After 14 days on the run, stole a van, stole a .22 rifle with scope & flashlight, stole boots & clothes, broke into several homes, shot at a farmer, in the end, no match for HERO K9 YODA!
After a decade in the dog business, a training certification, and a masters in canine science, I’ve learned a LOT about dogs. But the one thing that really jumps out at me is how little, we as a society know about dogs. I’m still learning things every single day. I’ve seen even the most well meaning and committed dog owners completely miss signs of distress in their own dogs. All. The. Time.
Needless to say, I think there is a huge gap in awareness and education. Many people send their dogs to basic obedience training and call it a day. That’s great, but training really only teaches you how to tell a dog what to do. It doesn’t facilitate two-way communication or emphasize the importance of understanding your dog’s language. Something pretty important since you literally have a live animal with free will, instincts, and sharp teeth living in your house 😬
Kinda crazy if you think about it.
Anyway… Wanderpups is expanding its scope from a midday dog walking company to a brand committed to spreading awareness and education to average dog owners who want to live the best lives possible with their dogs. Because that’s most of us.
To get the ball rolling, I’ve created a simple list of 5 signs you may be missing that your dog is uncomfortable and does not want to interact.
These are signs I see exhibited by dogs and missed by people every single day just on walks around my neighborhood.
Click the link below and drop your name and email to access those five signs and stay with me if you want to continue basic dog stuff in an easy to digest way.
We’re starting waaaay simple to gauge interest and for me to get the hang of all these apps and tech. All feedback welcome. Just don’t be a troll cuz you’ll be deleted or outwitted. Or worse, just ignored.
Dogs have their own language, drop your name to learn more about dog body language.
Jax desperately needed his hair cut, but I do think the temporary lack of scruff totally throws off his signature f u vibe. Kinda like if I all of a sudden lost my RBF. But no haircut could do that, obviously.
Thanks for taking such great care of my brown-eyed boy yet again.
Has your dog ever had a big reaction to something seemingly benign that he usually would barely notice? Then “trigger stacking” is probably what happened.
If your dog is normally fine with scooters but one day he gets highly reactive when he sees one, think of there was anything leading up to that point that could have made him more sensitive. A loud ambulance going by, an uncomfortable encounter with a dog, and then maybe a child approaching him head on. All these things would have built up and out the dog on edge. So the next thing to happen, no matter how small, was always going to cause a bigger reaction than if that thing happened without the build up.
This is especially important to notice if you are taking your dog to interact with new people or dogs or children. Petting that your dog might normally tolerate, could turn into a growling or biting situation.
Trigger stacking happens in humans too so I’m sure you can relate.
The takeaway? Know your dog and know the their signs of distress.
If you want to learn more about this and other basic dog behaviors and body language, try out my course!
Link in bio for more info.
A little reminder that management is just as (if not more) important than training. Dogs are dogs. They are doing the best they can, but they are not human and should not have human expectations put onto them.
A dog doesn’t know that chewing the couch is bad and expensive. They know they are bored or anxious when you leave, or chewing the couch is just plain fun. If you know your dog engages in inappropriate chewing, SET THEM UP FOR SUCCESS. don’t give them access to those things unsupervised. Give them appropriate things to chew instead. Make sure their other physical and mental needs are being met. MANAGE the situation.
You know your dog has lots of energy at 5pm and tends to be overly energetic at the dog park, and this leads to altercations. SET YOUR DOG UP FOR SUCCESS. exercise them before taking them to the dog park. Don’t take them at the busiest time. Make sure they are calm before they enter. I personally don’t like dog parks, but I know many people take their dogs to them. So MANAGE THE SITUATION to ensure a positive experience for all.
Those are just two examples, but the bottom line is you have all the power to control your dog’s environment. Management is just as important as training. And, honestly, some things will have to be managed forever because you can’t train the dog out of the dog. And that’s ok.
This doughnut-eating racc**n proves that everyone runs on Dunkin’.
Sundays are for Slothy.
This actually ddoesn’t surprise me at all…
ER visits because of fractures, sprains, head and other injuries from walking a leashed dog increased in the past two decades, a study shows.
Thinking about how e-collars are now officially banned in England.
So look. E collars, when used 💯 correctly with impeccable timing and amazing precision can be a useful tool, so I’m not bashing without acknowledging that.
BUT the fact is, most trainers (remember the training industry isn’t regulated), and definitely most average pet owners, do not possess the knowledge, training and skill required to use an e collar effectively. Because of this, e collar use often results in a negative association and increased stress and anxiety for dogs.
What scares me most is that some research has shown that e collars cause dogs to shut down, which means they don’t exhibit any behavior because they don’t understand what they are being punished for or what behavior will cause the punishment. Shut down dogs are not happy, healthy dogs. And they have learned that it isn’t okay to communicate. So they don’t. Sounds like a ticking time bomb to me.
Bottom line: MOST of the time, E collars are abused and slapped on dog’s necks for a quick fix (and quick money for the “trainer”). Be very weary of trainers and companies that taut the e collar as their primary tool and use them immediately regardless of your behavior goals. There are no quick fixes in dog behavior, at least none that aren’t detrimental to the dog’s psyche.
So I think the ban is a good thing because I do think it will overall decrease the irresponsible use of e collars, which is a win.
What are your thoughts on e collars?
It’s important to understand basic body language to understand your dog’s limitations. It’s equally important to understand context and the environment and how these affect your dog’s behavior.
Example: my dog will allow people to pet his side when he is OFF LEASH and he is nowhere near anything that is valuable to him.
Things that are valuable to him include his food, his water, his family, his house, the couch, his sloth toy). If a stranger tried to pet him near any of those things there would be growling and snapping.
This is especially important with young children. He is much more tolerant of my daughter on neutral territory even though he lives with her. She can hold his leash, pet him all she wants, but if she tries to do these same things near his food bowl or his bed, etc, there will be growling. He tolerates her less when he feels his resources are threatened. He’s gotten better, but will always have resource guarding issues, so instead of breaking our necks trying to train it out of him, we manage the situation.
His resources are never available to my daughter. They used to be separated by a gate. Now that she’s older, she understands his “ grumpy zones” and stays away from them.
It’s a good idea to teach your kids that there are certain areas that are off limits to them. This will help your dog feel safe and prevent potential bites. This should be done EVEN if your dog doesn’t have resource guarding behavior. ANY dog can be pushed over the edge.
80% of bites to children happen IN the home with familiar dogs. My guess is that kids aren’t given boundaries, parents aren’t reading body language and dogs have no safe space. You’re the adult. Set your dogs and your kids up for success.
Could you benefit from learning more about how kids should interact with dogs? Tag someone who could.
📸: totally unrelated, but spreading the joy of Barry with the wind in his hair
Humans wouldn't feel satisfied or happy if they only ever ran marathons, went to the gym, and exercised physically.
They would reach a stage where they were craving mental stimulation, social interaction, and time to rest.
This is the exact same scenario our dogs are often faced with. People suggest more exercise, play more, move more, do more. More, more, more. This will solve all your behaviour issues, right?
Not necessarily! Your dog is likely crying out for some mental stimulation. A balance of brain exercise and physical exercise is the key to your dog's long-term happiness ❤️
Why a ban on shock collars is good for dogs’ welfare.
Three of my big red flags when interviewing dog walkers that might surprise you:
🚩when they say “all dogs love me.”
-um, no they don’t. Have you met more than the three labs you grew up with???
🚩when they say “I’m always the person running up to ‘pet all the dogs’”
-code for I have no regard for giving dogs space and letting the dog have freedom of choice in their interactions
🚩when they keep saying “no worries”
- I’m so sick of that phrase and also, you’re the one being interviewed so please stop.
Last one is just a pet peeve. But you get the idea, haha.
Have you EVER seen a respectable trainer or behaviorist or anyone with any experience working with dogs run up to them excitedly each time they see one? No, because that’s not how you should interact with dogs you don’t know.
I of course want to hire dog lovers, but they must be aware that all dogs do not love them, at least not before earning their trust through walks and treats and mutual respect.
Also, doesn’t Bingsu look snazzy in his raincoat??
Judy, a purebred pointer, was the mascot of several ships in the Pacific, and was captured by the Japanese in 1942 and taken to a prison camp. There she met Aircraftsman Frank Williams, who shared his small portion of rice with her.
Judy raised morale in the POW camp, and also barked when poisonous snakes, crocodiles or even tigers approached the prisoners. When the prisoners were shipped back to Singapore, she was smuggled out in a rice sack, never whimpering or betraying her presence to the guards.
The next day, that ship was torpedoed. Williams pushed Judy out of a porthole in an attempt to save her life, even though there was a 15-foot drop to the sea. He made his own escape from the ship, but was then recaptured and sent to a new POW camp.
He didn't know if Judy had survived, but soon he began hearing stories about a dog helping drowning men reach pieces of debris after the shipwreck. And when Williams arrived at the new camp, he said: "I couldn’t believe my eyes! As I walked through the gate, a scraggly dog hit me square between the shoulders and knocked me over. I’d never been so glad to see the old girl!"
They spent a year together at that camp in Sumatra. "Judy saved my life in so many ways," said Williams. "But the greatest of all was giving me a reason to live. All I had to do was look into those weary, bloodshot eyes and ask myself: 'What would happen to her if I died?' I had to keep going."
Once hostilities ceased, Judy was then smuggled aboard a troopship heading back to Liverpool. In England, she was awarded the Dickin Medal (the "Victoria Cross" for animals) in May 1946. Her citation reads: "For magnificent courage and endurance in Japanese prison camps, which helped to maintain morale among her fellow prisoners, and also for saving many lives through her intelligence and watchfulness".
At the same time, Frank Williams was awarded the PDSA's White Cross of St. Giles for his devotion to Judy. Frank and Judy spent a year after the war visiting the relatives of English POWs who had not survived, and Frank said that Judy "always provided a comforting presence to the families."
When Judy finally died at the age of 13, Frank spent two months building a granite and marble memorial in her memory, which included a plaque describing her life story.
So this weekend I went out around some shops in Clarendon. I counted 8 dogs inside of different stores (leashed and with their people) and of those 8, only 2 were not exhibiting signs of anxiety inside the stores.
One was in the Apple Store. He was yawning and lip licking like crazy and was in a very upright forward leaning tense posture the entire time. His owner was correcting him by tugging on his leash and forcing him into a sit, which caused more extreme anxiety. I was pretty terrified as one store employee went over to pet the dog and stuck their face right in his face. The dog was completely still through the entire interaction, and afterward did a very long shake it off to shake off the stress 😬
In Barnes and Noble I saw a dog being led up and down the aisles with tail down, darting in every direction. Then forced onto the escalator…completely terrified.
The owners seemed completely oblivious in every case and were doing nothing to manage the situation except make their dog suffer through.
Out of the 8 dogs, 2 were completely fine and looked relaxed and happy. Both were young puppies and just happy to be out interacting.
All this to say….it’s natural to want to take your dog places, but not all dogs are cut out for those situations. Sometimes they are happier to have a good walk and let skip the shops and restaurants. You don’t have to take your dog everywhere. Please learn basic signs of distress, and learn your own dog’s limits. You’ll both be less stressed and happier.
📸: Fuji. Clearly not stressed and thoroughly enjoying his walk.
Scientists studied the websites of 100 popular dog trainers in 10 cities across the US to identify differences based on training methods used.
Trainers who use aversive methods are more likely to use the phrases "pack leader," "mother nature," "electronic collar," or "e-collar."
Trainers who use modern, reward-based methods are more likely to have education in dog training and be female.
There are differences in words used by aversive and non-aversive trainers.
Murphy, a 31-year-old bald eagle at a Missouri sanctuary, started incubating a rock last month. In early April, he bonded with a living, breathing chick.
Obedience doesn’t equal well adjusted.
As someone who focuses on fear cases, I have a disproportionate amount of people who view their dog's fear issues as behavior "problems" that need "fixing" instead of recognizing that fear is not disobedience. The more I was thinking about this, the more I realized that this is another example of dog training being unregulated and the continued damage that is causing to dogs and their owners.
Our society is full of people who shame others for having dogs who behave like dogs, because of this dominance construct where we expect owners to "control" their dogs.
But here's the thing, for most pet dogs, there's really only a handful of cues (I prefer that term to commands) that are really, really important for most owners. Is it life or death if your dog sits 100% of the time when you ask them? Nope, not usually.
So, wait, I'm a trainer and I'm saying not to do training? Not exactly. What I'm saying is there are more important things than robotic obedience. Read more in this week's post.
Closing out but really, I feel like every single day should be about dog bite prevention.
Because *most* dogs bites happen as a result of fear and the dog feeling like they have no other option to escape their situation. So yeah, let’s prevent dogs from being in situations like this 365 days a year by understanding body language and setting up their environment so they can be successful.
There are LOTS of signs and clues that dogs give before they resort to the bite. Usually a growl is very late in the stage and you’ve probably missed some serious lip licking and side eye before that. Because a growl is often a last warning before a bite, NEVER PUNISH THE GROWL. By punishing a growl, you are telling your dog that growling is not allowed and taking away the most obvious and last warning sign before a bite. Be glad if your dog growls and take action to get them out of the stressful situation. Wouldn’t you rather a dog growl at a kid telling you that they’re very uncomfortable than your dog skipping the growl and going right in for the bite? I know I would. Let your dog communicate with you.
It’s National Dog Bite Prevention Week! This is a very important topic because I do believe most dog bites could be prevented if humans were better at understanding dog body language and the dogs’ signals of their stress or fear.
Dog bites aren’t breed specific. Even dogs with great temperaments are capable of biting if they are in a bad situation.
More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States, and more than 800,000 receive medical attention for dog bites, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Have you ever been bitten by a dog? Could it have been prevented?
K-9 Fact Friday!
And in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, this post is called…”Dogs I’ve met in Ireland.”
There are many many more but I could be scrolling my photos all day to find them.
I’ve got close ties to Ireland and visit often. Seems like on every hike or walk, we meet up with a dog having the best day ever. They are always a highlight.
Happy Paddy’s Day 🇮🇪☘️
This is interesting! Fearful and frustrated often look the same. Wanting and not wanting interaction often look the same. What helps? Knowing your dog. Knowing the context. Among other things…
Fearful or frustrated? Which is which? Often it's next to impossible to tell, just by looking at dogs on leash. Fearful and frustrated dogs often present the same way - lunging, growling, barking. And if we assume that all leash reactive dogs are fearful or aggressive, we're dooming our social, frustrated dogs to a life of no dog interactions, which is a welfare issue. No member of a species should be kept away from all other members of their species because they're frustrated. We need to do better. That's the topic of this week's post. Read it here:
It’s a bit windy out there today.
(And unfortunately we aren’t spending it on the beach as the photo would imply).
Wind is my LEAST favorite weather. It’s so chaotic and the opposite of relaxing. Also, rustles up all sorts of things and blows them around, making walks more stressful for some dogs. No fun.
I think this was photo can double for too… two birds…
Picking up. Dropping off. Who even lives here????
I think if it weren’t for the dogs knowing where they live, we might be returning some dogs to the wrong house once in a while. Thank goodness they are always paying attention 😂😂
Washington D.C., DC
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