Who can resist that squishy pug face? Or those stubby little doxie legs? How about those piercing blue Huskie eyes?
When choosing a dog for your family, there is so much more to consider than looks. Choosing your dog based solely on looks could spell a sad ending for the pup, who will likely end up in the shelter if you choose a dog ill-suited for your lifestyle. We’re outlining the top four things to consider before choosing your new furry friend.
1. Research Breed Characteristics
Puppy searching can be fun but make sure you know your breed’s behavioral characteristics to avoid frustration down the road.
While not set in stone, breed characteristics are a guideline for what behavior you can expect from your new pup. You want to make sure your family can meet the dog’s exercise and attention needs.
Does your dog howl or hide when 4th of July fireworks go off? Does he cower when thunderstorms hit? Does he dread the car and even have accidents on car rides? Can he not stand when you leave his side and destroy things while you’re gone?
If you’ve never heard of the ThunderShirt, it is often compared to swaddling a baby—it applies gentle, comforting pressure in key spots, thereby calming your dog’s nerves. It is a low-cost, drug-free option for pet owners with an anxious dog or cat.
The company says it works for more than 80% of pets—based on customer reviews—for issues ranging from separation anxiety to people shyness to problem barking. The company even offers a money-back guarantee if it does not work for you.
But did it work for us? We took a trial run to see if the ThunderShirt might work for you this 4th of July.
Our trial run
Yellow Dog was nervous in the car prior to ThunderShirt, unlike his brother Sundown.
We adopted Yellow Dog at five months old and he was a skittish dog from the start. He pooped in the car within a minute of driving away from his foster home. He’s never been relaxed on car rides; he never lies down and sleeps like Sundown but instead sits and stares at us the entire drive, even on long road trips. He is also sensitive to loud noises—like fireworks or strong thunderstorms.
Dressing your dog up and carrying him around? Probably not a good idea. But we’ve been guilty of it, too.
Most pet parents are guilty of it at one point or another—babying your dog. Whether it’s extra cookies, carrying them around, dressing them up in cute outfits or letting them get their way, we can treat our furry friends the way we would treat our toddlers. But could this be making a good dog go bad?
Most people have heard that you should mess with a puppy’s food when he’s young to ensure he doesn’t growl at or bite you. But did you know that you need to keep doing this throughout your dog’s life?
You should be able to grab a bone from your dog’s mouth without him growling or otherwise reacting to you taking it away.
You never know when you’ll need to grab something dangerous from your dog’s mouth, or when someone might try to pet your dog while he’s chewing on something. So you need to make sure your dog knows that it’s okay.
Make sure your dog doesn’t react in any of the following situations:
Put your hand in his food bowl and take the bowl away while he’s eating
Pet him while he’s eating food
Pet him when he’s chewing on a bone or other chew toy
Take away anything he’s chewing on or playing with
Once you’re assured he’s safe, ask other household members or friends to do the same actions
Everyone is unique. We each have our own likes, dislikes, personality and comfort zone.
Dogs also have these character traits but sometimes, it’s hard to remember that when meeting a dog for the first time.
Sometimes dogs get spooked and need space from humans and/or other dogs. Usually a tail tuck or a dog hiding behind its owner are clues the dog needs space.
Some canine companions are incredibly friendly. They’ll run to you with a furiously wagging tail, practically begging you to pet them and play with them. This scenario is often a default expectation among most people when encountering an unfamiliar dog in public.
But it’s important to know this is not always the case. And even if your dog is friendly, that doesn’t mean every dog the two of your encounter will be, too.
Just like humans, some dogs need a little more space than what people expect. A dog may be a bit skittish and leery around new animals or people. But how do you know when this is the case?
All the new videos have been recorded at SF Dog Connector meetings around the Bay Area where The Pooch Coach gives free training tips and advice. You can see up for free meetups through her Facebook page.