How many times have dogs helped society in any type of situation? Try to think how many times he risks his life to save us! Today I would like talk about rescue dogs to thank them for helping us in dangerous situations we find ourselves!
So, we could continue to speak about his very important task but I’m going to explain to you how training rescue dogs takes place.
There are only three requirements to become a rescue dog:
– a strong build and personality: to operate in any type of situation, atmospheric condition and task – a good feeling with his owner: to obtain the total obedience of the dog. – time: to create the good feeling between dog and owner.
The training of the rescue dog starts when the dog is 4-5 months. The first period is personality’s education. The main activity of this phase is playing because he can socialize with others people and others places.
The second stage is obedience to commands. Starting with “sit”, “on the floor” and “come here” until more difficult. The third step is emotional and mental preparation. This stage happens in a gym and is composed by exercise that allows him to face any type of dangerous situation. The last education phase is searching for missingpeople thanks to their nose.
So, behind a dog rescue, there is a lot of work but the most important things are surely the love and the confidence that the owner shows them!
Don’t forget, he’ll never betray you!
Continuing with the curiosity of dog’s world, today we are going to talk about dog’s vision.
I think all people, at least once in their life, ask themselves: “Can the dog see?” and “Can the dog see the colors or only black and white?” and again “Which colors can dogs see?”… In this post, we will try to answer these questions and will focus on other aspects regarding dog’s vision. We can start!
Movement vs Detail
Dog’s eyes are more sensitive to the movement than to the detail. In fact, the dog sees up close in a very blurry way. To see the details of an object, the dog has to be at least 50 inches from it. All this has been proved thanks to a test: if the dog owner stands 300 yards away, probably the dog can’t see him, but if the dog owner is on the move, the dog can see him even up to 2 kilometers far. Don’t forget, the dog was born to hunt, so seeing objects on the move is maybe the most important feature of his vision.
Colors or Black and White
Dog’s eyes structure is very different from human’s eyes structure, so that makes the difference in the perception of colors. Dog’s eye has more retinal rod than cone cell, compared to human’s eye. Retinal rod permits to see black and white also in low light. While cone cell permits to recognize the colors even if they don’t appear significantly in dog’s vision. In fact, the dogs can’t see as many colors as humans. Green and red are seen as yellow tones but they can see blue and violet very well.
Field of vision
Dog’s field of vision is more or less 240°, with a binocular visual zone of 80° and two monocular visual lateral zones of 80°. It all depends on the dog’s breed, based on his anatomy.
Does the dog have memory? Maybe the behavior and the memory of dogs are considered the most inquiring things to know about our four-legged companion. Specifically, a lot of studies had been focused on the ability of the dog to memorize objects and actions useful to do a specific task. That’s not all, the latest studies show that the dog can elaborate strategy to solve a problem and he will learn thanks to imitating. I’m going to explain more in this post.
Dog’s memory: a feature for every situation
– Short-term memory: used to remember actions that have happened right now. Our friend can forget all he has memorized once he finished doing the action. The dog uses this type of memory for successive actions: to take the ball and to put it in the dog basket, etc.
– Long-term memory: consisting of all his life’s experience and sensation regarding mostly information taken during the adolescence (until 3-4 months). All these experiences remain pressed on the mind of our dog friend and help him to recognize dangerous situations to prevent them. Note that the dog, as the human, never stops to learn but, while growing and getting old he may need to experience more repetition to learn the action.
– Procedural memory: used to do complicated actions (to find the way to come back home, to sneak an object through a crack). The process comes thanks to a map in the dog’s mind that can be adapted for any type of context.
Dog and memory: how to act
So, dogs also have memory, and any experiences leave a trace on their mind. They can be positive experiences as cuddles and food but also negative experiences that probably will stay in his mind forever.
So… Pay attention when you interact with your four-legged companion… He has memory!!!
Since we’ve started to talk about behavior problem in the last post, I’d like to continue the topic and talk about separation anxiety. This is a major behavioral problem which touches many dog owners.
What is separation anxiety? What causes it?
Separation anxiety is when dogs become triggered by being left alone. They are often afraid of being left by their pet parents or people they are attached to. Some pets may also show signs of anxiety when their owners are preparing to walk out the door. Many dogs start barking seconds after being left alone and often show distress behavior within a short period of time. These behaviors can often lead to self-harm and household destruction.
– Urinating and Defecating
– Barking and Loud Howling
– Chewing, Digging and Destruction
– Coprophagia – some dogs defecate and then consume their excrement
Treating separation anxiety
First of all, be sure to visit your vet and make sure that your dog is healthy. Once you’ve done a check up, you can try to begin treating your pet’s anxiety problems. I would recommend meeting with a specialist but you can it’s not necessary.
“If your dog has a mild case of separation anxiety, counterconditioning might reduce or resolve the problem. Counterconditioning is a treatment process that changes an animal’s fearful, anxious or aggressive reaction to a pleasant, relaxed one instead. It’s done by associating the sight or presence of a feared or disliked person, animal, place, object or situation with something really good, something the dog loves. Over time, the dog learns that whatever he fears actually predicts good things for him. For dogs with separation anxiety, counterconditioning focuses on developing an association between being alone and good things, like delicious food. To develop this kind of association, every time you leave the house, you can offer your dog a puzzle toy stuffed with food that will take him at least 20 to 30 minutes to finish.” – ASPCA
If your dog has a severe case of separation anxiety, it requires a more complex desensitization and counterconditioning program. I would recommend trying the counterconditioning program with the help of a specialist. We often do not understand all the signals that our pet is sending and may need someone, who can help us meet their needs. I would also try the “Crate Method” which requires you to teach your dog that the crate is it’s “safe place”. Crate training does not suit all dogs. You should definitely monitor your pup while being at home and be sure that it doesn’t show any signs of stress while being in the crate. Exercise and aerobics are also great for helping your pet relax. Be sure to take him for an intense walk, run or swim before leaving him alone. Your dog will come back tired and probably want to rest for a while. Play some relaxing music for pets and allow your beloved friend to relax and calm down after a physical effort. You can also read through the ASPCA article linked above for more tips given to you by professionals.
Many dog owners experience behavior problems based on aggression. Although many people think that these unexpected attacks aren’t based on the current situation, there are many occasions that cause unwanted behaviors.
Let’s learn about aggression.
1. What is it and what is it caused by?
Aggressive behaviors occur in various situations. Dogs are usually protecting their territory, defending their offspring or protecting themselves. Aggression is based on a wide range of behaviors which usually begin with a warning and can cumulate into an attack.
2. Do dogs warn us before attacking?
Many of our pets warn us before attacking. Here is the course of the attack beginning with warnings and ending with painful wounds.
– becoming very still and stressed
– lunging forward or charging at the target
– losing contact with the owner
– showing teeth
– quick and harmless nips
– quick bites that leave a mark
– bites with pressure that may cause bruising and punctured wounds
– repeated and rapid bites
Once we noticed that our pet is showing any signs of attack, we should try to calm him down and eliminate the situation that caused unwanted behavior.
3. Classifying aggressive behavior
Answer a few questions which will allow you to understand what really happened.
– When and where did the attack occur?
– What else was going on at the time?
– What had happened and who/what created a stressful situation?
– What seemed to stop the unwanted behavior?
An accurate diagnosis will help you to classify your dogs behaviors into the following categories.
Some dogs will attack and bite an intruder, whether the intruder is friend or foe.
Dogs may show aggressive behavior when they think that one of their family members or friends is in peril.
Many dogs show the tendency to guard their possessions from others, whether they need to or not.
A fearful dog may become aggressive if cornered or trapped.
Motivated by fear, defensively aggressive dogs decide that the best defense is a good offense.
A dog who perceives herself as high in status may show aggression toward family members.
A dog whos excited or aroused by something but is held back from approaching it can become aggressive.
Redirected aggression occurs when a dog is aroused by or displays aggression toward a person or animal, and someone else interferes.
An otherwise gentle, friendly dog can behave aggressively when in pain.Expand to read more Sex-Related Aggression
Intact male dogs will still vie for the attention of females in heat, and females will still compete for access to a male.
Some pet dogs show classic canine predatory behaviors, including chasing and grabbing fast-moving things.
4. Can aggression be cured?
I came across and article from the ASPCA which inspired me to write this post and they’ve nailed the answer to this question.
“Pet parents of aggressive dogs often ask whether they can ever be sure that their dog is cured. Taking into account the behavior modification techniques that affect aggression, our current understanding is that the incidence and frequency of some types of aggression can be reduced and sometimes eliminated. However, theres no guarantee that an aggressive dog can be completely cured. In many cases, the only solution is to manage the problem by limiting a dogs exposure to the situations, people or things that trigger her aggression. Theres always risk when dealing with an aggressive dog. Pet parents are responsible for their dogs behavior and must take precautions to ensure that no ones harmed. Even if a dog has been well behaved for years, its not possible to predict when all the necessary circumstances might come together to create the perfect storm that triggers her aggression. Dogs who have a history of resorting to aggression as a way of dealing with stressful situations can fall back on that strategy. Pet parents of aggressive dogs should be prudent and always assume that their dog is NOT cured so that they never let down their guard.”
I also highly recommend to work with a behavior specialist, or trainer who can help decrease unwanted behavior and possibly “cure” your dog. Just like the quote written above says, you can never let your guard down even if there are no signs of aggression for years. You never know when someone/something triggers your pet.
I really hope that this post helped you understand you pet more! The next post will include tips on training your dogs and help them to live happy lives!