Why are dogs so friendly?

If someone asked you the question why are dogs so friendly? How would you answer them? Yes we all know and love our dogs, and they love as back just as much, but where did this love come from? Where did it all begin? Let’s dip in and discover the answer to this question, which is truly amazing.

Why are dogs so friendly – The domestication Process

 

It’s hard to imagine, as you’re cuddling up to your beloved canine that his/her ancestors were wolves. Scientists have clear DNA evidence that shows our best friends did in fact descend from the gray wolf.

The oldest fossils that have been discovered were from a dog grave which was 14,000 years old. However there is clear DNA evidence that does indeed suggest that dogs originated from wolves a lot sooner than this; with figures going back 15,000 to over 100,000 years ago.

Historians have all agreed that we domesticated our faithful companions long before any other animal. So not only are dogs our best friends they are indeed our oldest best friends. Is it any wonder why we have such an unbreakable bond with them?

We don’t exactly know how dogs and humans first discovered each other, there are many different theories. One theory is that humans began taking in the pups of wolves and that we learned how to tame them. Another theory suggests that the very tamest wolves were always around us searching for food, they were the ones who weren’t afraid to come close to us in the hope for food which would have increased their chances of survival.

One of the Pack

Wolves are pack animals and as they became tamer towards us we were considered by them to be the pack leader, or the “highest ranking wolf” the wolves therefore quickly became obedient towards the new pack leader. The tamer the wolves kept on becoming, the longer they stayed around us, and so either we intentionally bred tamer wolves, or evolution did it for us. The end result was much tamer wolves, until eventually we got our best friends of today, the dog.

Humans and the tamer wolves built up a strong bond and developed great teamwork in regards to hunting, we had the brains for hunting and the wolf had the speed and also the ferocity, which enabled us both to survive. We shared our food that we had caught together, and we depended on each other for survival. This is where the bond between us stems from, we needed each other. This is one answer to the question why are dogs so friendly towards us?

Our little wolves of today

While we may not have been able to cuddle a wolf back in those dayswe can cuddle our best friends that we share our lives with today, they are very special indeed. Although we may not have to go hunting together for each other’s survival, we still share a great bond and it’s a bond that can never be broken. We love our dogs and they love us back, just as much.

They consider us as one of their pack, just like the wolves did all those years ago, some characteristics will never change, and we wouldn’t want them to. It’s hard to imagine our faithful companions being related to a gray wolf, but indeed it is true, take a close look at your dog, the features are all there to see.

The loyalty of dogs

Dogs are such loyal companions to us humans, is there any wonder they are considered to be man’s best friend? You only have to look at stories in the newspapers to see stories of such loyalty, when their owners have been away for a long time and suddenly come home, the pictures of the dog’s reaction is beautiful, and shows just how much they love us, unconditionally. Some people might say they are loyal because we feed them this however, definitely isn’t the truth. They love us for much more than this.

Dogs are pack animals, they think that their owners are one of their pack. Dogs don’t want to be on their own, they need numbers, as they thrive in a pack. When something happens to one of their pack, they miss that member considerably.

Dogs are affectionate animals they have a strong instinct in them that craves bonds either with other dogs or indeed us humans. Dogs don’t want to fight they want to be loved and they want to protect all the members in their pack, no matter what.

Final thoughts

Dogs are our most loyal, trusting friends to whom we have developed such a strong bond. They love us no matter what, and we love them for this.The friendship we have with our beloved canines goes back thousands of years, so it shouldn’t be too hard to see why they quickly became “man’s best friend.”

The unconditional love they give us means everything, and they ask for nothing back, just food, shelter and lots of love .They want us to be a member of their pack, and we are more than happy to be, we will always have a strong bond with dogs, we have taken them into our hearts, and surely that’s where they’ll stay. Hopefully this has answered your question, why are dogs so friendly?

 

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Author Bio

Julie Page first grew to love writing about pets and the pet industry in 2012 while writing a dog travel journal for a Canadian based company. Julie then discovered a lack of informative dog name websites when researching puppy names for boys which fuelled her passion even more. Julie founded two quality sites www.femaledognames.net and www.maledognames.net .When Julie isn’t writing she is on an adventure, or at the very least plotting her next one.

How aptly do you know your canine companion sitting on your lounge? Why is he acting strange sometimes? Is your canine doing it on purpose or just desire to make fun of you? The days you are with your dogs do not guarantee how good you know them as well as their strange practices. Let’s try to know some fantastic dog facts and know them more than what their wagging tail seems to say.

Dog fact number One: When your canine companion chases his/her tail, he needs help from the vet.

Many reasons clarify why dogs chase their tail: exercise, predatory instinct, worry or presence of fleas. Nevertheless, to speak with your nearest animal hospital is the safest and surest method to get the real reason why your dog keeps chasing his/her tail.

Dog fact number 2: Dogs dream at night.

Do not be dismayed if you witness your dog barking or moving his/her feet while asleep. He/she may have been chasing his/her dearest at the park in his/her dream. Humans and dogs partake the same SWS (slow wave sleep) as well as REM (rapid eye movement) while asleep. So let him/her experience the moment to enjoy twitching while the eyes are closed.

Dog fact number Three: They can see things in the dark.

Have you ever wondered how they seem to go liberally at night? How did they even get robbers trying to steal your valuables when the sun has gone down? Well, your canine companions have tapetum lucidum, which enables them to see even when it’s dark.

Canine fact number 4: If he/she is acting odd, go find your umbrella.

Although experts have not yet found the secret behind this, but according to Petside.com, dogs can determine the weather especially when it’s going to rain. So, the next time you witness your dog acting funny, go get the umbrella immediately. Besides, it pays to be prepared at all cost.

Canine fact number 5: Dogs don’t sweat like people do.

Dogs cannot sweat just anywhere. As a matter of fact, dogs only sweat on their pads. When you realize that their paw pads are sweating, you get the impression that the room is a bit warm for them remain.

Dog fact number Six: Your canine companion’s nose is wet because he/she is absorbing scent.

Popularly known to be the captain of scent, dogs secrete a mucous on their nose to help them recognize the scent (more accurately than we do). When their noses get wet, they would lick them to sample the scent they have absorbed with their mouth.

Canine fact number 7: They are the chief of scent.

Dogs can determine the scent 100,000 times more accurate than humans. No wonder why even the FBI and peace order departments of our local government seek help from them in searching unwanted items in many public places. This also explains why when you leave your cookies unattended; you would be left with nothing but the plate.

There are many things that you do not understand about your pet so do not carelessly judge them by the way they behave or kick after peeing in your garden. Most of the bizarre stuffs they do may really be funny but it is always ideal to see your vet on a regular basis.

Author’s bio:

Would you like to know more about your pet and pet neutering?
Visit http://www.hopianimalhospital.com/ and talk with a team dedicated to provide pet care services for the wellbeing of your pets.

Does Your Dog Nip?

Nipping, or biting, often occurs in young puppies. It’s a very common behavior problem and one that can be easily resolved, so if you have a puppy who nips or plays too roughly, don’t get too upset about it. Here’s how to handle it.

Why do puppies nip?

It’s perfectly normal for puppies to bite when they play. It’s part of dog behavior and they do this with their littermates and with their mother from the time they get teeth and start to explore and play. But puppies soon learn something called “bite inhibition” with their mothers and siblings. When they bite too hard or play too roughly, their littermates will stop playing with them. And no puppy wants to be ignored or left out of the pack. If a puppy bites his mom too hard while he’s playing, she might nip him in return to tell him to mind his manners. Puppies learn very quickly that they need to curb their nipping behavior and play more gently if they want to be part of the gang.

However, when puppies leave their dog families and go to live with humans on their own, they often don’t make the connection between bite inhibition with their siblings and bite inhibition with people. If they nip or play too roughly with people, they have to learn this lesson again. Fortunately, they will learn quickly when you remind them.

Teaching your puppy not to nip

If your puppy nips or plays too roughly, you can teach him better behavior by mimicking the same things his littermates do. When your puppy nips or plays too roughly, you should let out a loud YELP and stop playing with him for a few minutes. Let him know that his behavior hurt. Then you can continue playing. If he nips or plays too roughly again, you should YELP again and stop playing for a longer period of time. If he nips yet again, you should YELP and take a full time-out with your puppy. Stop playing, walk away, and don’t speak to him. Don’t have any contact with him for at least 15 to 30 minutes. Ignore him. After this time, you can interact with him again but don’t immediately return to playing with him.

If you follow these suggestions each time your puppy nips or plays too roughly, he should modify his behavior in just a few days and stop the nipping and roughhousing.

You should also be sure to reward your puppy for calmer, gentler behavior. Pet him gently and let him know that you like calm, relaxed behavior. Give him a treat when he’s being quiet and gentle. We often forget to reward dogs for good behavior.

What about other kinds of biting?

If you have an adult dog who is biting or threatening to bite you, that’s a more serious problem and you will need to consult a canine behaviorist or an experienced dog trainer to help you. If you or anyone in your family is ever in fear of your dog, don’t wait around. You need to get some professional help with your dog. Dogs DO bite their owners, even dogs you love and dogs you’ve had for a long time. In some cases a dog may have a veterinary health problem such as a tumor which could be affecting his behavior, so it’s often a good idea to have your dog checked out by your vet if you notice a sudden change in his behavior.

If you have a dog who is showing aggression toward other people, that’s also a serious problem and you need to consult a canine behaviorist or an experienced dog trainer to help you

Behavior: Digging

dog digging by fence
If you have a dog who likes to dig then you know this behavior can be a real headache! You might have holes in your yard or your dog might look for places to dig under your fence. Digging can be a hard habit to break because, once again, digging is a natural behavior for dogs. It’s especially engrained in breeds such as Terriers and Dachshunds. These dogs have been bred for centuries to hunt vermin, foxes, and badgers who hole up underground which calls for the dog to dig to find them and pull them out of their dens.

There are several ways you can discourage digging, depending on what kind of digging your dog engages in and how committed he is to digging.

Holes in the yard

If your dog likes to dig random holes in the yard or digs to bury things occasionally, you can fill up the holes with something that he won’t like to dig such as pebbles. Some people suggest filling the holes with manure or even dog poop to discourage digging, though some dogs might like these things. You can also fill up the holes with soil from your local garden center and then sprinkle them with something to deter digging such as alum or cayenne pepper. One whiff of the pepper and your dog should leave that particular hole alone. You can also buy products specifically made to sprinkle or spray and discourage digging after you have filled up the hole. Check your garden supply store for suggestions. These deterrents also contain things like pepper and cinnamon – things that dogs don’t want to sniff.

If your dog is very persistent with digging holes in the yard you can try filling the hole and covering it with a layer of chicken wire. Chicken wire is very thin and it can’t be seen from a few feet away, especially after the grass begins growing again. It has the benefit that dogs don’t like to paw or dig at it because they don’t like the feel of the wire on their paws.

You can also set up manual sprinklers in your yard. When you see your dog starting to dig a hole, tell him “No!” and turn the sprinkler on for a few moments. Most dogs will stop digging, though some dogs like the sprinkler and they might continue digging.

Digging in flowers or other beds
If your dog is digging in flower or vegetable beds, you will need to fence off the beds. It’s hard to keep dogs from bothering vegetables, especially if you are growing something dogs like to eat. You may have to use a raised fence around your veggies or flowers. Try using one of the digging deterrents sold at garden stores to spray or sprinkle around your plants. (They also sell these to keep deer, rabbits, and other animals out of gardens.)

Digging around the fence
If your dog is digging around the fence or escaping, you should try to stop this problem as quickly as possible before it becomes a fun habit for your dog. Dogs can become escape artists and become fixated on finding ways out of the yard which is quite dangerous.

If your dog is digging around the bottom of your fence, check along the bottom of your fence for soft spots that might tempt your dog to dig. You can fill these areas in with gravel or concrete or place an object on the spot that will prevent your dog from digging. If your dog is trying different places around the bottom of the fence you can lay lumber or something like railroad ties along the fence that the dog won’t be able to move or dig under. Railroad ties are popular for landscaping and easy to find at garden centers and home stores.

If your dog is seriously focused on digging you can build him his own place to dig. You can get a kiddie pool, for example, and fill it with sand. Or you can use lumber or railroad ties and make a large boxed area for him in your yard, filling it with sand. Use the same kind of sand that is used for a child’s sandbox. Place some of your dog’s favorite toys in the box and half-cover them with sand. Call your dog over and get in the box with him. Start digging and how him how to find the toys. Once he catches on he should learn that he can dig all he wants in his sandbox and he won’t get in trouble. Having his own place to dig will often stop the digging in other places.

Author: Carlotta Cooper
Carlotta Cooper is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about dogs. She is a contributing editor for a national dog magazine. She has written two books about dogs: Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy (Back-To-Basics) and How to Listen to Your Dog: The Complete Guide to Communicating with Man’s Best Friend . She has five fun dogs of her own.

cute puppyDogs make great companions; they’re loyal, affectionate, and forgiving, but even if you love and cherish your canine friend with everything you have, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a few flaws that need to be worked on. One of the most common and irritating habits dogs possess is an inclination to chew on everything in sight. This can be destructive to your personal belongings, but it can also pose a threat to your pet (dogs tend to love chewing on electric cords), and in order to protect the well-being of all parties involved, it’s important to try and deter the chewing frenzy as soon as it begins.

Make the Objects-of-Choice Unappealing

In order to make chewing unappealing to your dog, it helps to put a bad taste in their mouth. There are many sprays designed for pet owners to coat the problem areas with. The most common kind, a bitter apple spray, gives off a taste that dogs find extremely unpleasant, so if they go to chew on a couch cushion that’s been sprayed, they’ll quickly change their mind. To really make it effective, try squirting a healthy amount in your dog’s mouth (it’s non-toxic) before you spray it on any objects; this will allow your dog to recognize the scent on the object before even having a chance to bite into it. You might have to re-coat about once a week for a month or so, but after that, your dog should learn the intended lesson.

Keep Things Out of Reach

Make sure to keep your personal items off of the floor; if your shoes are laying around right next to the chew toys, it will be much harder for your pet to make the distinction. Not only will keeping objects out of reach help your dog realize what toys are meant to be chewed on, but it will also give you motivation to keep things tidy.

Give a Positive Alternative

Dogs chew for a number of reasons; it helps keep their mouth and teeth in good condition, it relieves boredom, and it helps them manage anxiety. Because chewing is a normal and natural behavior, you shouldn’t discourage all forms of chewing, but instead, give them a positive alternative. When you catch your dog chewing on a household item, say “no” in a firm voice, and then offer a bone or chew toy. Be enthusiastic and praise your dog when he/she starts gnawing on the appropriate items, and eventually, your pet will grow to know the difference.

Give Your Dog Plenty of Exercise

Oftentimes, a dog will develop a chewing habit simply because of pent-up energy or lack of attention. Make sure you’re allowing your dog adequate time to run around, take in different smells, and socialize with other people and dogs. This will help tire them out and, in turn, make them less likely to cause terror in the house.

Adopting a loving dog into your family comes with lots of rewarding and heartwarming experiences, but inevitably, it also tends to come with a few drawbacks as well. As much as you’d like to have a perfect pet, the chances of that happening are fairly slim, but with love, patience, and consistency, you should be able to keep your dog’s negative habits under control.

Ron Rutherford is a writer with a passion for nature and a soft spot for Thai food. He currently freelances for Havahart Wireless, which specializes in progressive and humane wireless dog fences.

Recent studies, and common sense, suggest that nutrition does have an important effect on a dog’s behavior. Many dog food companies are adding more micronutrients, anti-oxidants, and vitamins and minerals to foods today in the belief that behavior can be affected. But not every dog has a good diet. It has even been suggested that many dogs have bad behavior due to bad diets, which leads their owners to turning them in to animal shelters. Improving a dog’s diet could be a way to improve his overall behavior.

 

Good nutrition

Dogs who eat a healthy diet are able to grow and learn under optimal conditions. They have enough calories in their diet for healthy bones, skin and coat, and for their brains to develop. Dogs who are fed a quality diet typically have fewer problems with stress and anxiety which means they have better coping skills. They may also seem more intelligent and easier to train. They are less likely to exhibit behavior problems in the home.

 

Dogs who do not get enough good nutrition, or who are fed a poor quality food, can show physical signs such as an oily, dull, or patchy coat. They may seem lethargic or sluggish and lack energy. They They may seem to lack focus or concentration and it is harder for them to learn. They can become unhappy or aggressive. They can even become hyperactive and act out, showing behavior problems at home.

 

Choosing foods with good nutrition

You can choose a dog food that contains good nutrition for your dog by looking for several qualities in the food. Choose a dog food that has good quality protein, preferably one that has two or three meat proteins in the first five ingredients. Meat protein is easier for dogs to digest and has more bioavailability than other kinds of protein. Avoid foods that contain too much cereal or grain content. Cereals and grains are often harder for dogs to digest, although they do contain protein. Avoid foods with artificial preservatives such as ethoxyquin, BHA, and BHT. Avoid foods with sugar, artificial sweeteners and artificial coloring. And look for foods that have taurine added for healthy heart function.

 

There are other things you can look for in quality dog foods but if you follow these basics, you should be able to select a good food that provide good nutrition. Some people like to buy organic, human grade, or free range food for their dogs, but these food options are very expensive and not everyone can afford them. They may provide some slight additional nutritional value but if you follow the suggestions above, your dog should be eating a healthy diet.

 

Some people like to add additional supplements to their dog’s diet such as fish oil. If you are feeding your dog a good quality diet, there is probably no need to add supplements. However, adding a small amount of additional supplementation will not hurt your dog if it makes you feel better, as long as you don’t add so many supplements that it alters the nutritional balance of the food.

 

Article by Nancy Cope, owner of Pampered-Dog-Gifts.com where you will find items to spoil you pooch.  Gourmet treats, gift baskets, fancy collars and more.

Dogs can chase things for many reasons but at the heart of most chasing behavior is the prey drive. Whether your dog is chasing a rabbit, a jogger, a car, or a tennis ball, it’s usually because the object has triggered your dog’s prey drive. All dogs and wolves have this drive, which is instinctive and helps dogs hunt and find food, but some dogs have a stronger prey drive than others due to millennia of selective breeding. Many hunting dogs, for example, have a strong prey drive so they can find rabbits or other prey for the hunter. Dogs who have a strong prey drive have a great sense of pleasure and fulfillment when they can exercise this drive. Herding dogs also have a strong impulse to chase things that move.

 

If your dog is chasing things then he’s probably seizing the opportunity to try to satisfy this drive any way he can. It can be hard to break this habit in some dogs, especially if they have a strong prey drive, because they are getting a physical rush when they chase things.

 

Ordinary training does not usually work for teaching a dog not to chase things. If you offer your dog a cookie, he will ignore you because it is so much more fun to chase something. If you command your dog to Come, he will likely ignore you because he is caught up in the excitement and  pleasure of doing something that gives him a rush.

 

The first thing you have to do is try to eliminate the dog’s exposure to the things that he chases, whether it is joggers, cats, rabbits, or cars. If he continues to have opportunities to chase these things, the habit will only become more ingrained as he continues to be internally rewarded when he chases. So, take temptation out of his path.

 

The second thing you can do is set up a training session indoors in your home. You need to use a confined space for the training. With your dog on leash, use a hallway or other small area so you can roll a tennis ball for your dog. Your dog will probably start to chase after the ball. When he does, you should tug on the leash and say, “OFF!” Do not release your dog. You are trying to teach him not to chase after moving objects. Repeat this exercise several times per day. Remember to praise and reward your dog for relaxing and not chasing the ball.

 

When your dog understands this lesson, start practicing it in other places in your home, and then in a fenced yard. You can gradually start trying it with your dog wearing his leash but with you not holding onto it. Be ready to step on the leash to stop your dog from chasing. Keep using the “OFF!” command to tell your dog not to chase the ball you are rolling.

 

Keep practicing the Off command every day with your dog. You can eventually work up to having someone pose as a jogger, or a cyclist, or whatever your dog has been chasing. Start by having your dog on leash and giving the Off command. Later you can try it with your dog off leash. Remember that these are practice sessions so have your friend go very slowly and try to control all aspects of the situation so you can keep your dog and your friend safe. Keep practicing with your dog so you can go back and correct anything that needs to be changed in your dog’s training.

 

If you continue to work on the Off command, you can get your dog’s chasing under control but remember that this is a very hard behavior to curb. It will take a lot of practice, praise, and reward. Be patient with your dog and work on this problem before your dog is excited by chasing.

 

Article by Nancy Cope, owner of the online pet boutique Pampered Dog Gifts, where dogs rule.

Dogs make wonderful pets aside from being wonderful companions that double up as protectors, these pets can be the family’s four legged clowns as well. A dog in the family will certainly draw out laughter as these animals have the tendency to entertain the family with its comic antics. These silly pets would chase their very own tail, sleep like an upended table or cock the head as if wearing a hundred pounder earring. Turning around several times before lying down is another of the comical habits of the pet.

A dog that turns several times before lying down is an amusing sight but dog owners will be puzzled at the odd behavior of the pet. Every time the dog lies down whether inside the home or outdoors it will do its ritual of turning several times. Dog wise people believed that this is a genetic trait as this behavior was manifested by dogs that lived in the wild. Unlike today’s dogs that have comfortable beds, their ancestors have to make do with trampled snow, grasses or the hard ground for a bed. Dogs in the wild have no choice but to sleep in areas open to the elements.

Dogs are intelligent creatures as they have a way of making the sleeping area not only more comfortable but free from snakes or from dangerous insects too. Dogs will be seen circling the sleeping area several times purportedly to flatten grass and snow and to drive away snakes and poisonous insects. Being pack oriented, dogs will be seen living and hunting with the pack.

Wilderness is vast but dogs have to choose a place that is relatively sheltered from the elements and from predators as well. An ideal area may be rather small to comfortably accommodate the pack. A dog that circles the chosen sleeping area is marking its territory. Once a spot is chosen, a dog will circle several times to signal other pack members that the spot is taken.

Modern day dogs no longer need to make the bed comfortable. Dog owners provide comfortable beds for the pets. Pampered pets don’t have to ensure that the bed is free from dangerous animals as these dogs usually sleep with the master. Circling around before lying down to sleep is a deep-rooted habit that was handed down by primitive dogs to present day canines. Nothing much can be done to stop the dog from circling around before lying down as this is an ingrained habit.

Sarah’s Dogs provides more information on why dogs circle before lying down and why dogs walk in circles/a>.