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Riley’s View: Doggie Body Language

Riley's View

A strangers hand coming at your face is generally a bit off putting. Don’t you think? Fortunately from a young age, I have learned that hands are safe, comforting and offer food and treats. Other dog’s may have not had the same experience. This article is for dog lovers who can’t help themselves and want to meet-n-greet every canine they see.

Some doggy science to begin with; there is a socialization period in dog’s which is from about six to sixteen weeks. This is known to be one of the most impressionable ages for dogs. A puppy who may have had less desirable experiences with human hands during this period may be predisposed to avoiding hands during his/her life. Alternatively, for those adolescent or adult dogs who received ample socialization and handling, hand adversity can still crop up following repeated negative experiences associated with human hands or arms.

Sammy

Take Sammy for instance, Sammy is a small mixed breed dog who was surrendered after his owners were nipped on several occasions while taking off his harness. From what I gather, the humans who owned Sammy loved him, they just didn’t know how to stop his nipping behavior, which allegedly came out of nowhere.

Most domestic canines (like me) are constantly communicating our state of mind through body language. When these cues are not interpreted correctly, or at all, we will step up the level of intensity to make a point. “Grrrr! Did you get that? I am afraid stop petting me.” We don’t mean to get nippy but sometimes all previous attempts to communicate fear or anxiety went unnoticed or simply disregarded.

My good friend Boogie the Boston Terrier stood still for hours so that his collaborator Lili Chin could capture these illustrations for you. Curious to learn more about dog body language? Consider downloading the Dog Decoder mobile app which has over sixty cute and informative canine body postures.

Displacement

In addition to interpreting canine communication correctly, there are a couple of basic approaches that you humans can be responsible for when greeting us dog.

As a general rule, dog’s do not hold sustained eye contact or directly face one another. These postures can be interpreted as a form of aggression. Before greeting a dog, consider turning your body to the side and squatting down. You’ll know if a dog wants to say hello, they will approach you. If/when a dog approaches you, hold out an outstretched hand and always pet from underneath the head first where the dog can see your arm and hand. Many dogs will tolerate physical affection on top of the head, most however prefer strangers start off with physical affection beneath the head where a dog can see your arm and hand i.e. under the chin, the chest or side of the body towards the front legs. This respectful approach is especially important for those nervous-nelly pooches that may be more sensitive.

In the words of Forrest Gump, that’s about all I have to say about that. Would you like to get Riley’s View on a pet care or dog training related question? Click the enclosed link to contact Riley today.

Licks and Love,

Riley

———–
Marc Elias, ABCDT is the CEO (Canine Executive Officer) of Pooch Pals, the New York-based pet training and care service. After six years of experience working for corporations, Marc sought a less traditional role aligned with his background in client services, operations and marketing, paired with his love of animals and helping people. Today, Marc Elias is the Canine Executive Officer of Pooch Pals LLC with a dog training certification from the Animal Behavior College. Marc and his Goldendoodle Riley are active pet therapy volunteers certified by the Good Dog Foundation. Pooch Pals is committed to positive reinforcement dog training. They believe in creating a positive culture in New York City’s pet community, and they welcome clients who are as passionate as they are about receiving personal service for their dogs including positive reinforcement training.

Walking Your Dog Saves Lives

You want to keep your dog healthy and happy, and one of the best ways to do that is through exercise. Young dogs especially need to run around, stay fit and get rid of their excess energy. Technology is not only helping to motivate pet owners to exercise their dogs regularly but is providing information and resources for animals in need. Smartphones and apps are tools for positive changes in your community that can have an instant impact. Here are a few pet-friendly apps to consider:

Why You Should Walk

Even if you don’t think you have the time, make some. Even a ten minute walk will revitalize you and your pup. It will increase your heart rate and get your blood pumping. Plus, walking will mentally stimulate your dog, which may help to prevent bad behaviors caused by boredom, anxiety and youthful energy.

If hiking sounds more interesting than just walking, use BringFido to find trails across the globe that are friendly to dogs. You can search by location to find pet-friendly restaurants, dog parks, dog beaches, hiking trails and tours so you can take your dog with you anywhere. Find new adventures, and take your dog on an exciting hiking trail. You both will get exercise and see a brand new place.

How Walking Can Help

An app that will do great things for your dogs and others is Wooftrax. This app donates money to animal shelters every time you walk your dog. It doesn’t matter how far you walk; both a block and a mile contribute to the overall score that gives credit to your shelter. And, the more walks you go on, the more your shelter benefits. Once you download the app, click “Start walking for . . . ” and then choose the shelter you want to donate to. Then, once your walk is complete, the app credits the shelter you selected.

Don’t worry, all the donations are not coming out of your pocket. Wooftrax is able to make the donations through sponsorship, advertising and investors. All you have to do is log your time, and shelters will receive support. Another great features of the app is that you can do it without a dog! You can walk for yourself and still raise money for a shelter. There is even a create your own dream dog feature to give you a virtual furry companion to take on the walk with you. It is an app every dog owner or animal advocate should have!

Why Animal Shelters Matter

Whether large or small operations, animal shelters are key in providing care for animals that are neglected, abandoned and without a safe place to call home. They are often adoption rehabilitation centers for animals others would normally give up on, explains LearningToGive.

The Petfinder Foundation is an organization that connects with shelters across the United States to help homeless pets find homes. They have made a new app called Touch To Give, where you can donate to local animal shelters. It is an easy way to help animals in need.

So, what are you waiting for? Save lives, make your pet happy, keep yourself healthy and get walking.

Dog Horoscope: Libra Dog

Libra Dog

It’s the month of the Libra and for all pups born from September 23 – October 23, this is their time to shine.

The Libran dog is always alert and aware of it’s surroundings at all times. They are considered balanced in temperament and are not generally argumentative. Life with these pups is often calm and relaxed, but not without a passionate run through the field and rowdy game of fetch. They’ve also got a powerful memory and, will show their loyalty through thick and thin. Libran dogs also have a tendency to worry more about others than themselves and will spoil their owners with attention.

This month, allow your Libran  dog to roam the outdoors they love so much with a hike or long walk. Celebrate their birthday by visiting a new location and exploring with them by your side.  And, as always, shower them with as much love as possible.

Do you have a Libran dog?

Share your photos of your pups on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #ALTMDHoroscope

Riley’s View: Stressed Out Pup

Riley's View

Hi everyone,

Riley here. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a little stressed lately. There are a lot of changes in our house. Mom is about to have a human baby, and I think we are moving. I see boxes everywhere. I have no idea where we are going but I hope I am not about to be left behind.

I know I’m not the only urban canine encountering life changes. Some of my friends at the dog park were telling me their humans are not around as much lately which is causing stress. A big yellow bus comes by and scoops them up. As any dog will tell you, with fewer people around to pay attention to us, we can get lonely, bored, or anxious.

When I get nervous, I whine, bark, pace, or chew on things (like these boxes). That’s when my dad knows I need some canine guidance and support. He’ll give me one of my favorite toys, like a filled Kong or a Busy Buddy. Sometimes I’ll get yummy chew toys like NylaBones and Bully Sticks too. Interactive toys like the Busy Buddy give me something to focus on. My parents even give me my meals in puzzle toys, which is a lot of fun for me. Whether it’s mental or physical exercise I will enjoy it and my dad says it’s good for me.

Riley's View

To prevent me from getting nervous in the first place, my family tries to keep me on a regular schedule. They keep my feeding times the same and give me dedicated time to get attention and drain some energy. I don’t know what I would do without my daily morning walk through the park or my play time before bed.

I also know that when I’m feeling the most nervous and whine or show my family I’m upset, I never get any physical praise or attention. Instead they either ignore me or redirect my attention to these games we play. One of them is called GO GET IT. My dad has me come to him using the TOUCH command, then he will toss treats around the house and I get to scavenge for them.

I didn’t realize this, but my human tells me that when I get attention (like petting or belly rubs) for being nervous or anxious, I am more likely to be unstable in the future. I know it’s hard for mommy to play along, I can see she just wants to pet me and make me feel better. I did a quick search online apparently it checks out amongst other leading professionals in the dog training and behavior field. I guess dad knows a thing or two after all.

Here’s a video of me de-stressing with my Busy Buddy! I would love to see pictures or videos of all of my doggy friends too. Post them to our Facebook or Instagram pages with the hashtag #stressrelief.

Crossed paws, your friend for life.
Riley

 

———–
Marc Elias, ABCDT is the CEO (Canine Executive Officer) of Pooch Pals, the New York-based pet training and care service. After six years of experience working for corporations, Marc sought a less traditional role aligned with his background in client services, operations and marketing, paired with his love of animals and helping people. Today, Marc Elias is the Canine Executive Officer of Pooch Pals LLC with a dog training certification from the Animal Behavior College. Marc and his Goldendoodle Riley are active pet therapy volunteers certified by the Good Dog Foundation. Pooch Pals is committed to positive reinforcement dog training. They believe in creating a positive culture in New York City’s pet community, and they welcome clients who are as passionate as they are about receiving personal service for their dogs including positive reinforcement training.

Safety Tips For Your Sailor Dog Companion

Safety Tips For Your Sailor Dog Companion | A Letter to My Dog

If you plan to go out to sea and take your dog along, keep in mind pets are just as vulnerable as young children. They are susceptible to sea sickness, sunburn, the effects of sun exposure including sunburn and heat stroke, and falling overboard and drowning. Think safety first if you’re bringing your dog along.

Plan for Comfort

Gayle Martz and Delilah Smittle, authors of “No Pet Left Behind: The Sherpa Guide to Traveling with Your Best Friend,” recommend you think about your dog’s comfort when boating. They suggest bringing items such as a towel for the dog, a dog-sized shirt or jacket that’s water-resistant, lots of bottled water, and a pooper scooper or potty pads for extended trips when you’ll be on the water longer than the time between your dog’s normal potty breaks. Also bring medicine from the vet for seasickness.

Gordon Wilson, writing for Modern Dog Magazine, says that if your dog is new to boating or if you’re on a different boat than the dog’s been on before, plan a very short trip before going on longer trips to see how the dog responds to new noises and movements of the moving boat.

Plan for Safety

Plan what you can do in case of an emergency before your boat leaves the dock. Lorie Huston, DVM and Certified Veterinary Journalist, recommends discussing your dog’s safety and emergency plans with other passengers. If the dog were to go overboard, make sure to keep your eyes on the dog and get to it when the water calms, and call to the dog from the boat that’s been brought to a standstill if it knows how to swim or is wearing a life jacket.

Huston also recommends creating an ID tag for your dog to wear while boating that has the marina’s contact information, your boat slip number, and your contact information. She says to bring first aid supplies, pet first aid book, any medicine the dog is currently taking, medicine for motion sickness (if your dog has had that condition previously), and supplies to stanch bleeding like Petclot and gauze pads and medical tape. She also recommends using life jackets designed for dogs, as does Wilson.

She also suggests following local laws where you’ll be on the water. Make sure you comply with regulations about boats, boating safety, and dogs, and check if you must pass a boater’s safety exam.

What Can Happen on a Boat

Wilson of Modern Dog Magazine tells the story of a woman whose pet schnauzer was discovered missing from their boat after having last seen him four hours earlier. Going overboard, either unseen or while in sight, is just one of the things dogs are vulnerable to while boating.

Other things that can happen when you take a dog boating include seasickness, sunburn, windburn, and heatstroke. Make sure you bring medicine for sea sickness, pet sunscreen, shade for the animal, and cold water and ice in case of overheating.

 

Riley’s View: Canine Heat Regulation

Riley's View

Dear Friends,

With the help of spell check, I decided to pitch the idea of a monthly letter about all the things I have learned about humans, and share some insight about the way us four-legged beings interact with the world and communicate with others. To my delight, ALTMD accepted my proposal and even showed me how I can convert my bark into English characters using my humans computer.

My name is Riley, my blond wavy hair falls over my face slightly, while the rest of my 65lb. frame looks like a curly white rug. I am an eight year old Goldendoodle with a human like disposition, and a wildly fun Mohawk. My human styles my mohawk to give me some flare. Unbeknownst to him, I like it most because people often stop us on walks and give me attention stroking my hair and giving my head scratches.

Surfing the internet, like all dogs do, I came across A Letter To My Dog. I know my human owns a dog training company called Pooch Pals. He also contributes to websites and publications as a professional dog training expert, so I thought why can’t I. After all I am a dog and I know dogs best. The following is the first installment of a monthly series written by yours truly, Riley the Goldendoodle about none other than dogs.

Riley's View

This month, our topic of choice is about canine heat regulation. So here’s the basics about us furry kids, we don’t sweat. Unlike our two-legged humans, we cool ourselves through our tongue and the pads of our paws. In addition to giving me cool, fresh water each and every day my human wets my paws during the summer time which helps to cool me down. For those short nosed, or flat faced pups such as Pekinese or Pugs it is especially important to keep these dogs cool since these breeds are prone to overheating. My human says it has something to do with Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome; I think that’s another way of saying a dog with poor breathing.

Frankly, I tolerate the heat but I much rather the winter time when I get to borough in the snow. Plus, there aren’t any holidays in the winter when humans play with those insanely loud toys that make my eyes water and shake my eardrums. I think they call them fireworks. Speaking of which, my human has something to share with all of you about desensitizing your dog to fireworks leading up to the fourth of July. If you are like me, it takes a couple weeks to get reaccustomed to the experience of fireworks that’s why I suggest starting your training now.

Licks and love,
Riley

———–

Marc Elias, ABCDT is the CEO (Canine Executive Officer) of Pooch Pals, the New York-based pet training and care service. After six years of experience working for corporations, Marc sought a less traditional role aligned with his background in client services, operations and marketing, paired with his love of animals and helping people. Today, Marc Elias is the Canine Executive Officer of Pooch Pals LLC with a dog training certification from the Animal Behavior College. Marc and his Goldendoodle Riley are active pet therapy volunteers certified by the Good Dog Foundation. Pooch Pals is committed to positive reinforcement dog training. They believe in creating a positive culture in New York City’s pet community, and they welcome clients who are as passionate as they are about receiving personal service for their dogs including positive reinforcement training.

 photo source

Awww! Puppy Comforts Older Dog During Nightmare

Awww! Puppy Comforts Older Dog During Nightmare

If this isn’t love, we don’t know what is.

Watch as this puppy Golden Retriever comforts his older friend during a bad dream. Because that’s what friends are for, right?

Photographer Chronicles Dog’s Last Day On Earth

Meet Duke Roberts. Duke was a black lab, living in Houston, Texas. He had a loving family, and lived a life of pure canine joy. Years ago, Duke was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a cancerous bone tumor, in his leg. Veterinarians removed his front right leg to try to stop the cancer, but the tumor continued to grow bigger.

Out of options, Duke’s owner, Jordan Roberts, made an appointment with for euthanization with the vet for Monday, July 7. Roberts invited her friend, photographer Robyn Arouty, to capture Duke’s last day on Earth.

“Experiencing death with your heart makes you stronger. You can overcome your fears. I’m living proof,” Arouty said.

Below are the bittersweet photos Arouty captured of Duke’s last day, showing a life full of unconditional love and happiness.

 

I died today, by Duke Roberts. And I ate a lot of hamburgers. We had a party.

I died today, by Duke Roberts. And I ate a lot of hamburgers. We had a party.

 

And I laughed.

And I laughed.

 

And I thought about how much I’m going to miss it here.

And I thought about how much I’m going to miss it here.

 

We told jokes.

We told jokes.

 

We were serious.

 

My friends from next door came to see me. They’re twins. When someone offered them one of my hamburgers, one said, “No thank you. I don’t want to take any from Dukey.”

 

Kristen came to see me. She’s a hoot. She’s my groomer. And my buddy.

 

While we were waiting for the vet to come, Kristen said we were going for a walk. Then someone said, “How about a play in the water at the splash park down the street?” So off we went!

 

“You know I’m going to miss you, right?”

 

“And you too, right?”

 

“Did you hear me? This is all I want!”

 

We got wet today.

 

We smiled today.

 

We felt grateful today.

 

We broke the rules today.

 

I listened to the kids play off in the distance. And thought about my two babies at home. I loved protecting them.

 

I relaxed today.

 

I felt no pain. Even though the tumor grew so big.

 

I felt the love today.

 

I said goodbye to my beautiful friend Kira. She “saw” me standing over everybody before the doctor said it was time. I was excited & jumping & happy.

 

Well, I didn’t say goodbye. I said ’til we meet again.

 

God, I was lucky. Our time was short. But you both gave me a second chance & we lived it up together. You love when I look at you. I’ll never stop.

 

Always, Dukey.