Unfortunately the following two scenarios occur from time to time: You’re innocently petting your cat or dog when all of a sudden your pet bites you. The same reaction can happen when you pick up your cat or dog the way you always do, when all of a sudden it bites you. What is going on here? Your pet NEVER bites you, and now that you are trying to show it some love, it bites you. Has your pet gone mad? What might be going on here is pain induced aggression.
It seems so obvious after you bring your pet to a veterinarian to figure out what is going on, but it may be as simple as pain induced aggression. Pain induced aggression means that your pet has exhibited an aggressive behaviour because it is in pain. This is especially common in older pets that may be suffering from arthritis or perhaps one of their internal organs is bruised or diseased.
If you walk into a room full of dog owners and you want to start some arguments, start talking about clothing for dogs. Everyone seems to have a strong opinion about people ‘dressing up their dogs’. Regardless, dog clothing does have its purpose.
Why do humans in Canada wear coats, gloves, scarves, and winter boots? It’s because for many months of the year, it is too cold to walk around in tank tops, shorts, and flip-flops. We are a species with very little hair, and therefore have very little protection against the cold. Anyone who has braved the snow in bare feet can attest to that fact!
Before taking on the rewarding task of training your pet, it might be a good idea to learn about how dogs (and any other animal, including ourselves) actually learn. Classical conditioning and operant conditioning are two terms you may have come across. They are two of the most important concepts governing learning.
Classical conditioning was made famous by the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov and his dogs. Perhaps you have heard of the experiments he conducted, which eventually got the dogs salivating and drooling simply at the sound of a ringing bell, because they were expecting food. How classical conditioning works is that a neutral stimulus, such as a bell, is paired with giving food. Eventually, after a number of pairings the animal mentally associates the bell with the food.
As our pet cats and dogs get older, they start to develop their own set of age-related health problems in a similar way that we humans do. While some pets tend to slow down in their old age, others retain that same high level of energy that they had when they were young, and this can sometimes make it difficult for us to recognize that our senior pets may need a little extra care and attention.
Over the last decade or so there has been a lot of commotion about “designer breeds”. Goldie-poos (Golden retriever x Standard Poodle), Shi-poos (Shi tzu x Miniature Poodle), and Jugs (Jack Russel terrier x Pug) are some of the more commonly seen breed combinations. These cross-bred dogs (as we will refer to them in this article) have been advertised as having various desirable physical and personality traits. The claims run from non-shedding to “the best qualities from both breeds”. There has been a lot of attention, both praising and critical, given to these cross-bred dogs. We will try to distinguish myth from truth in this article.
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