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Calm Dog with Calming Signals- Part 2

PART 2 OF THE SERIES – Calm Dog with Calming Signals

More Signals to Have a Calm Dog

8.  Down: Lying down on his back, belly up, is submission, and lying down with his belly to the ground.  You can use it when your dog is stressed and trying to get attention, lie down either on the sofa or ground to calm dog.

9.  Yawning:  Your dog may yawn in many situations, such as when you go into the vet’s office, when there is a loud fight, when a child goes to hug him, etc.  You can use it when your dog feels uncertain, a little bit scared, stressed or you want him to calm down a bit.

10.  Sniffing:  Sniffing can be a swift movement down towards the ground and up again.  Or a dog may continue to stand with his nose down to the floor until the problem is over.  However, dogs also like to sniff to explore, so you need to look at the whole situation to be sure what it is.  Its hard for people to use this signal themselves, but if you want to try you can sit on the ground and pretend to scratch the grass or examine something on the floor.

11. Curving:  This signal happens a lot in the city life, since our dogs are on leashes, and is the best way for dogs to meet!  You’ll often see two dogs curving their bodies, and sniffing each other’s behinds, or one sniffing while the other turns away.  Mature dogs usually do not go straight toward each other, because it is impolite to do so (puppies on the other hand don’t know this yet!)  You can use this signal easily, but not approaching a scared dog directly, or even changing directions a little first

12. Wagging Tail:  A wagging tail is NOT always a sign of happiness.  You need to look at the whole picture in order to interpret it.  If the dog is crawling towards you, whining, or peeing, the wagging tail is a white flag, trying to make you calm down.  You cannot use this signal, because you have no tail to wag 🙂

Calm Dog

Non-Calming Signals

There are other types of signals too, like staring, walking straight towards someone, standing over another dog, growling, barking, showing teeth, these are all threatening signals.  Other signals can be excitement such as raising of hackles and tails.

Observing all of these signals is important in your dog and in other dogs.  Observe your dog at home, when visitors come, etc.  While out walking your dog, or at the park, observe all the dogs behavior at the park, its quit amazing how quickly you’ll pick this up and learn how to have a calm dog.

The Stressed Dog

A dog feels stressed just as humans, when they feel unable to cope.  Usually when they get stressed they start to use calming signals to try to ease the stress.  SO knowing these calming signals will help you to see when your dog is feeling stressed.

A dog with constant high stress will be much more likely to get stomach problems, allergies, and heart trouble.  They will be faster and more violent in their defense.

What makes a dog stressed?

  1. Direct threats such as violence, anger, aggression in his environment
  2. Jerking at the lead, pushing him down, pulling him along
  3. Too many demands in training and daily life
  4. Too much exercise for young dogs
  5. Too little exercise.  If you need help exercising your pup, just give us a call- Whiskers and Leo Pet Care!
  6. Hunger
  7. Too much noise
  8. Being alone
  9. Too much over excited play with balls etc
  10. Never being able to relax
  11. Sudden changes

For example, a dog can become stressed and therefore aggressive because of its environment, and yes of course it can be genetic, but more often than not, its something in the dog’s life.  There is no reason or excuse to punish , be violent, threatening or forceful towards a dog or demand too much of him.  All of these things can make a dog stressed, and stress can make him ill.  He can become reactive more quickly, showing aggression because he has a higher defense mechanism.

How to Identify Stress:

  1. Restless
  2. overreaction
  3. use of calming signals
  4. Scratching
  5. biting himself
  6. diarrhea
  7. shaking
  8. chasing his tail
  9. panting
  10. shivering
  11. loss of appetite
  12. allergies
  13. Fixation on certain things- glimpses of light, flies
  14. Looking nervous
  15. behaving aggressively

What can we do about stress in our dogs? Some basic ideas….

  1. Teach ourselves to see, identify and use calming signals!!
  2. Change environment and routines wherever possible
  3. stop using harsh methods, violence and painful things in training (like shock collars, prongs etc)
  4. Avoid hunger, Thirst, extreme cold or heat.
  5. Make sure he has the opportunity to go to the bathroom as much as he needs- again, if you need help exercising your pup, just give us a call- Whiskers and Leo Pet Care!
  6. find your dog’s correct level of exercise, not too much or too little
  7. Let the dog be part of the pack as much as possible
  8. closeness, touching, massage, lying close together without keeping your dog there by force

One of the best ways to reduce stress and have a calm dog is to be able to communicate with dogs.  When you can make yourself understood by dogs, its a wonderful feeling- calming signals are the key!

Dog Walking Packages Are Finally Here!

SAVE MONEY ON DOG WALKING TODAY!

Save money by signing up for our monthly dog walking packages!  These no-frills packages are specially ideal for those who schedules don’t change much during the week and/or those people who are just looking to save some money. And by no-frills we do NOT really mean “no-frills” because you still get the same professional and caring walkers (W2 employees, insured, background checked and trained by me!), the same level of customer service and prompt communication, the same service selection, the same availability and coverage, the same professional scheduling system with GPS check in/out, the same easy monthly payment, and the same satisfaction guarantee!  What’s different?  Its one monthly cost, even if you need to cancel a walk here and there.

LOCATIONS?

Whiskers and Leo Pet Care (www.whiskersandleo.com) services Hoboken, Jersey City, Weehawken, Union City, North Bergen, Edgewater, and Bayonne NJ, and the surrounding areas.

HOW TO SIGN UP

Give us a call today at 201-942-1245 or email info@whiskersandleo.com to find out more!

WHAT ELSE?

Of course dog walking is NOT all we do!  We also offer dog boarding, in-home sitting, in-home overnights, and for those cat lovers, we also offer cat sitting in the client’s home!

dog walking

What You Should Know When Deciding Between a Dog Walker & Day Care Facility…..

  • In regards to training, most reputable trainers will say that a day care facility is not an ideal option when you are practicing obedience training with your dog.  Since most facilities have a poor staff-to-dog ratio, correcting bad behavior is not on the top of the list.  These facilities can reinforce undesirable behaviors in your dog. In addition, at a facility your dog can pick up bad habits from other dogs such as barking, soiling indoors, and overbearing issues.
  • The chances of your dog becoming injured are far less with a dog walker.  During a dog walk, the dog is on a leash, and closely monitored.  In a day care facility, the dogs are off-leash and things can get out of hand real fast because again of the poor staff–to-dog ratio.  Accidents can happen easier in this type of situation even with the most well-meaning people, and sometimes these accidents can have lasting negative affects on your pup.
  • Day care facilities are not ideal when housebreaking your dog.  In fact your dog will often continue to eliminate indoors while at a facility.  Dogs are best housebroken in their own homes with consistent, realistically spaced out walks that are appropriate for life stage.
  • The likelihood of your dog getting sick increases drastically at a day care facility.  In addition, most facilities do not insure the dogs while they are in their care; so if your dog gets sick or hurt at the facility, you are paying the bill.  With most dog walking companies, the dogs are insured, and the company will cover your expenses.  But of course, make sure you ask about their insurance!
  • Dog walking is also more appropriate for addressing separation anxiety.  It is best to deal with these issues by teaching and then supporting your dog to be at east at home by himself.  If needed, a trainer or behaviorist can help.  There are many methods for supporting your dog through separation anxiety; however, sending your dog away to day care will not address this use, just mask it.
  • If you are looking to further socialize your dog, dogs love to walk in packs, which can be accomplished with a reputable dog walking company.  For safety purposes, the company should not walk more than 2-3 dogs at once, and this way your dog gets personalized attention and training.
  • Regarding your dog, there are 2 types of exercise: physical and mental.  Some dogs at day care facilities do not get enough of either, or both!  With a dog walker, you know your dog is walking (or running!) while he is out.  As for mental exercise, on a leashed walk, your dog is getting the mental stimulation that he needs – i.e. leash training whereas the walker is making sure your dog is walking behind or beside him for the duration of the walk.  In addition, your walker can reinforce other commands your dog is learning, such as leave it, wait, stay, heal etc.  At day care facilities, this one-on-one walking and attention doesn’t exist.
  • Some facilities provide limited access to their clients.  This is two-fold.  Some facilities prohibit dog owners from visiting their pet at any time, with or without advance notice.  And some prohibit you to tour the entire facility and observe play before signing up your dog.  The other side of this is that some facilities “close” during part of the day, and at night, so you are not allowed access to pick up your dog at these times.  Also, some facilities, are closed for holidays, meaning if you come home on that day and want to pick up your dog, you cannot, and have to wait for the next day, and pay for your dog to stay there that night.

IS YOUR PET OVERWEIGHT?

A study conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity and Prevention indicated that 45 % of dogs and 58 % of cats in the U.S. are overweight. How to Determine if Your Pet is Obese:

  1. Run your fingertips against the direction of the animal’s coat without applying pressure. If you can feel his ribs, your pet may be underweight. If you can’t feel your pet’s ribs:
  2. Run your fingertips in the direction of the coat, this time applying light pressure. If you can feel the ribs easily, your animal is at a healthy weight. If there is a layer of fat covering the animal’s ribs, this may be an indication that the dog or cat is obese.

Pets need to get regular exercise to maintain proper weight.

An overweight pet is not a healthy pet. Owners need to recognize that they are putting their pet’s health at risk by allowing that extra weight.

Obesity commonly leads to diabetes, heart problems, and arthritis. An overweight pet does not age well, either. Overweight pets are more prone to hip dysplasia, back and joint pain, and endocrine diseases. Extra weight also decreases a veterinarian’s ability to manage these conditions both medically and surgically. Keeping your pet at a healthy weight can literally add years to her life.

Why are more pets overweight? The answer is the same for pets as well as people: too many calories and not enough exercise.

So stop feeding your pet extra treats just because he or she is begging you, and give your pet the gift of exercise this Holiday Season!! 20% off your first month of dog walks! Call today (347-223-5116) for particulars and mention Code B-20-  this promotion expires 1/18/11.

We would never forget about your precious kitty! If your cat seems overweight and/or bored and needs exercise, we can come do daily or weekly pet visits while you are at work! 20% off first month of regular pet visits as well, expiration date 1/18/11.