What Does Appropriate Dog Play Look Like?

Watching a variety of different dogs play is one of the biggest benefits of my part-time job. Dogs really know how to party, and the joy they get from play can be contagious:

Mini-breaks and Time-outs

In this video you several breaks in the action, even in just under a minute of elapsed time. This is a good thing. I highlighted the big one in the video, and there was another right after I stop filming (naturally) where Caffeine was gagging (it happens during allergy season and no, it’s not the collar) and Buddha politely stopped and waited for her to reach up and mouth him to resume play. I really wish I hadn’t stopped filming!

This kind of cooperation is what we want to see. It doesn’t always look exactly like this of course, because all dogs are different and play differently. It’s possible to draw broad generalizations about breeds – retrievers tend to like to mouth wrestle and end up with their heads literally soaked, bully breeds tend to slam dance, some herding breeds like to play tag — however the "tagging" better be gentle — but as I’ve said before, these are broad generalizations and are not always true. Know your dog, and know your dog’s friends.

Symmetry and Handicapping

Patricia McConnell talks about self-handicapping frequently on her blog and in her talks. It’s an important part of play. In the video I highlight a point where Buddha offers to let Caffeine pounce on him for a bit. She rarely takes him up on this offer. She likes to play on the floor and even did that when we had a much larger dog that played much more roughly with her.

In the puppy playgroups at Kellar’s Canine Academy we have a "regular" named Lucy, a 8 month old or so Pit Bull mix, who is an absolute master at self-handicapping. She can switch from letting a tiny puppy half her size jump on her and nibble her face to slam-dancing with her best friend, a 70 pound Rottweiler puppy, in seconds.

Some dogs can adjust play styles. I’m fortunate that Buddha and Caffeine (with the few dogs she will play with) can and will do this. It’s not necessarily common and don’t expect your dog or the dogs you come across to do so. Some dogs take offense, even in the middle of a play session, to a bitten ear or a jumped-upon face. The question is, how do they react? A warning and/or disengaging from play is just fine. Retaliation is usually not.

In a safe environment dogs always have the option to end play by stopping and, if nexessary, leaving the area. This means (at least) two things must be true: the area is big enough for a dog to be able to leave the area of play and the participants are in control to take the hint when a dog wants a break.

So What’s Actually Acceptable?

This is an excellent video, worth watching a few times, about play and body language:

One of the more interesting parts of my apprenticeship was watching how different trainers handled playgroups in both puppy classes and with adult dogs. Some were very hands on and quick to enforce a break in the action. Other tending to go with the flow and tried to engineer things more by strategically picking playgroups.

I came away a bit of a laissez faire attitude, and the fact that I have had to deal with small groups and then ideal facilities (until very recently) have forced me to improvise. I want to see regular breaks in the action. I don’t like to see too many high-speed chases, dogs up on their hind legs, and dogs that seem overwhelmed or afraid need to be helped by pairing them up with appropriate playmates. But attempts to support one dog or another or to enforce specific rules of play are not my thing.

What has your experience with playgroups been?

What Does Appropriate Dog Play Look Like? is a post written by . You can see the actual post at Dog Training in Bergen County New Jersey


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Do dogs do doo-doo in alignment with Earth’s magnetic field?

Anyone who has ever walked a dog or waited impatiently while they did their doggie business outside in the cold knows how carefully they select just the right spot to drop their load. Is it just to annoy us or is there a hidden reason for their strange behavior that we as humans lack the sensitivity to understand? It seems there might be. For over two years a team of scientists has logged 5,582 dog-defecation…
The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Funny & Smart Cat Paws Cat Food Treat Bag-Cute Kitty in Action

http://www.vancesova.com A funny cat is not always a smart cat but to us Whity is both. Watch this half siamese cat paw at cat food treat bag and even sticki…

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How to Leash Train a Puppy

When raising a puppy, every dog owner experiences the familiar behavior problem of the puppy strongly pulling on its leash. When you want to leash train a puppy it’s much easier to prevent the problem than trying to correct it after it has become an ingrained habit.

There are some training methods that will teach your puppy the right way to behave while on its leash.

The slack leash method of training requires a regular buckle collar and a six foot leash. The first step to teaching a puppy loose leash walking is realize that when you are walking the puppy on a leash, it is a reward for the dog, not a necessary chore. Do not continue walking if your puppy is pulling at its leash. Stop and wait until the puppy gets a sense that what it is doing may not be right.

Give your puppy enough leash to allow it to walk about four feet in front of you. Every time the leash goes slack you can reward your puppy with a small treat, or just a praise if you’re concerned about feeding it too many treats.

When you are ready to begin walking again, say “let’s go” and take a few steps forward. If your puppy begins to pull on its leash again, stop walking. When the leash goes slack again, praise your puppy and start walking again.

Don’t yank your puppy’s leash. If it continues to pull, try talking in a high pitched voice which will usually help a puppy focus its attention on your commands.

The “Donkey and Carrot” method is a very good way to train your puppy while on its leash. Start walking while holding a treat in front of your puppy’s nose. Reward your puppy with a small piece of kibble every few feet that it stays in step with you. If you find that you run out of kibble before the walk is over, try cutting down on the number of treats by rewarding the puppy only when it behaves exceptionally well.

Don’t attempt to train your puppy to walk on a loose leash if it’s acting hyper and needs to burn off excess energy. Play with it for a few minutes to help burn off that energy, then go for a walk when the puppy calms down.

Here’s a quick and easy test to determine if your puppy has mastered loose leash walking: when you can walk your puppy while holding its leash and a glass of water in the same hand without spilling it, your training has been successful.

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NIV Ragamuffin Bible: Meditations for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Brokenhearted {Book Review}

NIV Ragamuffin Bible: Meditations for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Brokenhearted by Zondervan Publishing My rating: 5 of 5 stars Having read, “Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brenden Manning, I was intrigued by the concept of turning the foundation of this book and incorporating it into a Bible that will both encouraged the, “Bedraggled”, the “Beat-Up” and the…



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Sunflower Faith

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Latest Greenies Ocean Fish News

Bill Sargent: 'Mackerel Diane' hooks lots of fish tales
SEBASTIAN INLET — If anyone deserves the title of grand dame among Sebastian Inlet anglers, it has to be Diane Buyce. But if you're a fishing regular at the inlet, you probably know her as “Mackerel Diane.” No one comes close to this personable 
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All quiet on the contested front
Several experienced operators have told Fairfax Media they have been discussing ideas with government for years and run rulers over potential projects on the Mornington Peninsula and the Great Ocean Road (and a government-initiated process to redevelop
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A New York Shelter Braces for a Wave of Discarded Dogs Who Were Christmas Presents

Despite repeated advice from dog shelters, veterinarians, activists, and us, lots of people gave dogs as Christmas presents this year. As the holiday buzz wears off and the new owners start to realize that owning a dog is a bit commitment, a lot of those dogs are going to wind up in shelters. And a lot of those aren’t going to make it to forever homes; like too many shelter dogs in the United States, they’ll wind up on the euthanasia table.

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Laura Zambito shows off Vanilla, who came into the shelter with a dress and mammary tumors.

In the video below, Laura Zambito, co-founder of a New York no-kill shelter for small breeds, Precious Pups, talks about how her shelter is bracing for an influx of discarded dogs from the Christmas season for that exact reason. Even without a post-holiday surge, Precious Pups has its hands full: Last month, it accepted 32 Chihuahuas in a single shipment. Precious Pups is now working hard to get all those dogs into forever homes.

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Paris Hilton accessorizes with two dogs during a 2007 shopping trip. Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

Watching Zambito show off the Chihuahua pups is pretty heartwarming, and even cute (that’s a big admission for me; some small breeds can set my teeth on edge), but she’s talking about some very dark realities. Thanks to celebrities such as Paris Hilton parading them around in public as fashion accessories, Chihuahuas have become very popular dogs, often with people who aren’t ready for the responsibility. But sometimes, being the favorite of the cool kids isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. That popularity, according to Zambito, has made Chihuahuas the second most euthanized dog in the United States.

“A dog is for life,” Zambito says in the interview. “It shouldn’t be given for Christmas. We don’t condone that.”

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Just a few of the 32 Chihuahuas at Precious Pups now looking for forever homes.

One of the dogs that Zambito shows off is a Chihuahua named Vanilla, who was found wandering the streets wearing a little dress, but with no ID that could be used to return her to her owners. That’s symbolic of the problems of owners who casually decide to get a dog: There’s money for the cute, frilly dress, but not for tags or a microchip. In Vanilla’s case, it looks like there might not have been money for a vet, either. She came in with mammary tumors, which Zambito says will be removed by Precious Pups. She and the others can be thankful that they wound up at a no-kill shelter, unlike so many others who won’t make it through the year.

Via BarcroftTV


The Scoop | The Scoop

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Happy New Year-Psalm 100

We go to sleep and we wake up to a brand new year, filled with new promises and like a blank book, to be filled with tears and joy, laughter and sorrow, mistakes and new knowledge….but as we go back out into a whole new year, I would love to share this passage from Psalm…



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Sunflower Faith

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Lisa Cherie Shines Spotlight On Contemporary Love in New Book


Columbus, GA (PRWEB) November 15, 2013

From Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to the ?Ben-ifer? period, it seems that Hollywood couples can?t go anywhere without having their faces splashed on the covers of tabloids. “Everyone is so focused on anyone in the spotlight that if you are in the entertainment industry, you hardly have any privacy,” writes author Lisa Cherie. Her new book, ?Starstruck? (published by AuthorHouse), partly based on her experiences working for a talent agency, tells the sweeping love story of an actor and the woman who wins his heart.

Of her book, Cherie says ?It has a realistic storyline. The characters are relatable and the story keeps you wondering about the ending.?

Talent agent assistant Laura Steele has a major crush on the hot new actor, Sebastian Thomas. When she writes him a fan email, she is shocked to get a response and even more so when the Los Angeles actor flies out to have dinner with her. Sparks fly and the couple becomes inseparable, but as the rumor mill churns and the paparazzi descends, Laura has her doubts. Unknown to Sebastian, she learned a bitter lesson about love in the spotlight a long time ago.

With engaging characters and many twists and turns, this contemporary romance will have readers holding their breaths to find out if love conquers all. Cherie hopes readers will remember that ?anything is a possibility and happy endings can happen.?

?Starstruck?

By Lisa Cherie

Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 174 pages | ISBN 9781491803080

Softcover | 6 x 9in | 174 pages | ISBN 9781491803103

E-Book | 174 pages | ISBN 9781491803097

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Lisa Cherie has been writing since she was in grade school and enjoys sharing her stories with others. She loves reading, writing, camping and traveling in her spare time. Although working at a talent agency, owning her own business and working as an accounting assistant has kept Cherie busy, she has always kept her inspiration for writing alive and never lost sight of her dreams. She lives in the South with her two intelligent, supportive teenage children and two bossy, but loving dogs. Readers can connect with Cherie at http://www.facebook.com/lisa.cherie.3.

AuthorHouse, an Author Solutions, LLC, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is a leading provider of book publishing, marketing, and bookselling services for authors around the globe and offers the industry?s only suite of Hollywood book-to-film services. Committed to providing the highest level of customer service, AuthorHouse assigns each author personal publishing and marketing consultants who provide guidance throughout the process. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, AuthorHouse celebrated 15 years of service to authors in Sept. 2011.For more information or to publish a book visit authorhouse.com or call 1-888-519-5121. For the latest, follow @authorhouse on Twitter.







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Check Your Dogs Vital Signs

Your dog’s vital signs are easy to take and can provide advance warning of any health problems that might be affecting your pet. When checking your dog’s vital signs be sure to include the following tests:

Your dog’s temperature should normally range between 99.5° and 102.5°. If your dog’s temperature goes above 103°, there is a problem. It’s easy to take your pet’s temperature with a lubricated rectal thermometer. A better option that’s less invasive is to use a thermometer designed for reading your dog’s temperature inside one of its ears.

Checking your dog’s pulse is important, but first find out what is a normal pulse for your breed of dog. Pulse rates can vary between size and breed. Once you know what’s normal, you can check your dog’s heart beat in either of two locations. One is inside the upper thigh on your dog’s rear legs where you’ll find the femoral artery. The other is on its chest behind the left leg. To take your dog’s pulse, count the beats per minute for 15 seconds then multiply by four. Normal heartbeats fall within a range of 60-150 per minute.

Respiration, or breathing, is another indicator of good health. Do this when your dog is relaxed, not after it’s been playing or running around for a while. When you have determined the normal respiration for your dog, it will be easy to spot any future changes in its breathing. The average range is around 10-30 breaths per minute, but this number varies according to the breed and size. Do a 15-second count of the breaths then multiply by four to get the one minute rate.

Another health indicator in your dog is circulation of the blood. Just like humans, a dog’s blood has to be carried efficiently throughout its body in order to deliver the necessary nutrients to the cells. Check your dog’s circulation by lifting its upper lip and pressing your finger on the gum line above the canine tooth. When you take your finger away, count how many seconds it takes for the gum to return to its normal pink color. More than a couple of seconds indicates a problem and you should call your vet as soon as possible.

After completing these health tests, do a hands-on and visual check of your pet. Run your hands over your dog’s joints, back, and belly for signs of discomfort or swelling. Check the eyes and ears for any signs of infection or parasites. Be sure to check the paws because they are a perfect place for foreign matter to get trapped.

Water is necessary for all life forms. Be aware of your dog’s water intake every day as it can provide life-saving information on your dog. Don’t hesitate to call your vet if you notice a sudden and significant increase in your dog’s water intake. A simple way to check for dehydration in your dog is to pull up some skin around its neck and then release it. It should fall back right away if the dog has enough fluids in its body. If your dog is dehydrated the skin will lose its elasticity and take longer to return to normal. Any sign of dehydration in your pet can be life threatening, and is a warning to immediately call your vet.

A compassionate owner will make their dog’s life comfortable and enjoyable, always being sure that their dog is healthy and safe. This is the greatest gift an owner can give to the most loyal friend one will ever have. A loving dog is truly a gift from heaven and should always be regarded as a possession to be treasured.

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