Exercise Doesn’t Make Your Dog Happy, PLAY DOES

Don’t Confuse

a Dog Being Tired For Happiness.

Exercise is good, but only if it involves play for your dog. Many in the dog training and behavior field, suggest exercising your dog to overcome many behavioral issues your dog may have. While exercise is of vital importance for the physical health of your dog. It doesn’t do a whole lot of good, in helping your dog come to grips with it’s behavior problems. Animal behavior is, obviously a mental issue, not a physical one.

Your Dog Needs To Be Happy

Picture of happy dog

Happy Dog

Play. play, play play, play ! I cannot stress the importance of play, in helping your dog find happiness and mental well being. Which is the first big key in helping you, help your dog find happiness. That will lead to a more stable and socially acceptable dog. You know, a dog that doesn’t bite strangers, your kids, your friends  or your extended family members.

Behavior Modification is a mental process, not a physical process.

Behavior Modification is a mental process, not a physical process.

Behavior Modification is a mental process, not a physical process.

Picture of Happy Labrador Retriever

picture of happy Labrador retriever

Play With Your Dog

While some dogs will play by themselves, they would be much more happier if you played with them. Spend some quality play time with your dog, don’t put it off till tomorrow.

The Spirit Dog

Spirit animal sanctuary http://www.spiritanimal.org/the-sanctuary/


© 2011 a.s. papszycki / spirit animal sanctuary


Spirit Animal Sanctuary
2539 East Road
Boonville, New York 13309


An Alpha Dog is like John Travolta

Alpha Dog Behavior

For those of you who didn’t see the comedy movie ” Get Shorty ” you’re not going to understand the reference. Sorry about that ! An alpha or dominant dog is EXACTLY like the character John Travolta played “Chili Palmer” in the movie, Get Shorty.  In the movie John Travolta plays a mob guy that is quite, calm, collected, the toughest guy around that doesn’t get excited or reactive to situations around him. He will try to avoid unnecessary confrontations when faced with them, but has no problem handling the problem if he has to.

Aggressive Dominant Dog ?

This is precisely how a alpha dog acts. They don’t growl, bark or act possessed when they are in unfamiliar situations or while meeting unfamiliar people or other dogs. The dogs that are often labeled by some dog trainers as dominant or aggressive. Are usually the nervous to very nervous dogs, that are acting out as big as they can in an attempt to scare away what they are afraid of.

Alpha dogs are calm, alpha dogs are calm, alpha dogs are calm.

The Spirit Dog

© 2011 a.s.papszycki

Visit Spirit Animal Sanctuary on YouTube.

Fear Aggression is Normal Behavior

In all probability you may think you have done something wrong, if your dog continues to display aggressive behaviors that are rooted in fear. Fear aggressive dogs are a very common problem for many people, this is due to the inherited behavior of the survival instinct that your dog is born with. A certain percentage of dogs, even though you did all the right things raising that puppy, socializing them with people, other animal, etc. Will start displaying the unwanted behavior as they start to mature.

A couple of reasons for this can be :

1- – Sometimes as our puppy starts increasing in size we start becoming a little uncertain about what his body language is telling us.  We may start to inadvertently desocializing our dog, because of our uncertainties and maybe we become a little fearful.

2- – Some dogs just need constant socialization and positive encouragement throughout their young adult and adult life, to be comfortable.

The Spirit Dog

Help save abused and abandoned dogs and we’ll sent you a T-shirt as our gift to you.  Donate to the animals.

Spirit Animal Sanctuary
2539 East Road
Boonville, New York 13309

© 2011 a.s.papszycki

Fear Aggression : Why Our Dogs Fear Strangers

Fear Aggression with People

Our dogs can display fearful behaviors, which can lead to growling, lunging and barking ferociously at strangers or distant family members and maybe even biting, mainly  because of us. You would be hard pressed to find anybody that didn’t take their new little puppy around everywhere they went, met tons of people, other animals, exposed to variety of different environments, while that puppy was young between the ages of eight weeks and three or four months old. This is our most comfortable time with our dog. She’s a baby, she’s cute, she’s adorable,  so full of love and everything is hunky-dory in the world.

So how does your dogs fear aggression of strangers or people, really begin. Well, this goes back to us again. At some point in the initial development of our dogs early experiences, we start to become  a little uncertain, a little uncomfortable and maybe somewhat fearful, as to what our dog may do in any given situation. We have become  nervous, we have become scared. This will become a giant hindrance and possibly have dire consequences on the overall sociability of our dog, down the road.

Early Imprinting

Much has been written about the importance of early imprinting on dogs during those first few months of life. While this is still a very important factor in helping many dogs to grow up and be a well socialized and happy member of our family, it’s not the determining factor in having a happy dog. We are the determining factor, in having a well socialized and happy dog.

Adopted Dogs

Much has also been written about how some adopted dogs may have been abused or had a frightening experience with a stranger, while that dog was young.  In some cases this will be the primary reason for a dogs fearfulness and fear aggression directed at strangers. But again, there are many dogs that are mistrustful of strangers that have never been abused or had any bad experience during those early stages of life. It’s just as common for a dog to have a wonderful family and be fearful of strangers as those poor dogs that were abused and or neglected.

Spirit Animal Sanctuary

How do I know so much about fear aggressive dogs? It’s simple. We get two kinds of nervous or scared dogs here at the sanctuary. Those that were horribly mistreated and abused at the early stages of their life and those who came to Spirit, from the most caring and loving of families you will ever find.  Sometimes just exposing our dogs to all the many stimulating things in our world, is just not enough.  Occasionally we have to search inside of ourselves and work on our fears and uncertainties, to help the nervous dog get over his or her fears.

The Spirit Dog

Spirit dog and Bloodhound
Spirit Dog and Bloodhound

Spirit Dog and American Bulldog, yellow and black Labs, Dutch Shepherd

Spirit Dog and American Bulldog, yellow and black Labs, Dutch Shepherd

© 2011 a.s.papszycki


Dog Dominance Myths

I was recently reminded how inaccurate most of today’s dog behavior information in regards to dominance displays by dogs, actually is. If we truly want to help more dogs stay in there homes and not be given up where their chances at adoption are minimal at best, we MUST start truly learning dog behavior and what the dogs are telling us through their body languages.

Most people that say certain dog behaviors are dominance related, only do so because that’s what other people tend to say and they have heard this most of their life. Even know deep in their hearts they may have a hint of doubt to the validity of those teachings, yet they still say it because they are not sure and they don’t want to go against what everybody else seems to say…

The dog dominance myth I’d like to discuss today is dogs mounting other dogs or people. A dog mounting anything and I can’t stress this point enough, Is Not Dominance Related……
It’s a dog being.. well, horny. And in the dogs mind, just like some men..well alright almost all men, anything will do when they get the urge.

Check out some of these dogs in action videos and tell me what you think.

In this first video courtesy of yours truly, check out Stitches the Pit Bulls face. This is not the facial expressions or body language of dominance, this is the facial expressions and body language of an idiot. (Sorry Heather)

This next fun video I found on YouTube. Again, look at this Boston Terriers face. Dominance No,  Horny Yes.

This video although the woman in the video didn’t really seem upset with this Retrievers antics, I’m a little pissed off that the dogs owner allowed this. Again, look at the dogs face, this is not the face of dominance.

Japanese Chin Dogs Gone Wild…………

The Spirit Dog

Link This, Share This, Send this To a Friend, You Could Help Save A Dogs Life.

Why Dogs Walk In Front Of Us, The Answer

You want answers ?

You want the truth ?

You can’t handle the…………..oops…. sorry about that.

This is not rocket science, nor is this coding for animation….Bob. lol

Dogs walk in-front of us for one main reason, they have four legs and walk fast, we have two legs and walk slow. That’s what Bouncer told me anyway, Betty. Although, all the dogs snickered a little bit when I asked that question. The breakdown is something like this, humans are said to walk at around 2.7 to 3 mph, although some think that’s more of a brisk walk as opposed to being an average walking speed. Dogs on the other hand, tend to walk at around 4.4 to 5 mph.

That might not seem like a big difference between people walking and dogs walking. But it’s almost twice as fast. Unless of course your dog stops and tries to catch something, like, lets say frogs.

Now lets throw in the fact that, yes dogs get very excited when they finally get out of the damn house and go for a walk. This is why many people usually get pulled part way down the street, while the dog is saying ” Hurry Up, Hurry Up, Hurry Up, Lets Go, Lets Go, Lets Go, Isn’t This Fun ? ” Look at their face, look at their eyes, you know that’s what their saying. Dogs are not saying, ” I’m the boss, you walk behind me “. People think like that, not dogs.

Dogs Walk Twice As Fast As We Do.

The Spirit Dog

© copyright 2010 a.s.papszycki

Wow, Top Animal Behaviorist Say’s It OK To Use A Shock Collar, Go Figure

I don’t know how many times I started writing a post about all the debates surrounding this whole positive vs dominance or negative reinforcement, behavior modification training. Right of the bat let me tell you that positive reinforcement will accomplish the behavior goals you are seeking the vast majority of time. It’s a small percentage of the dogs out there, that have to be educated… ahh, lets say a different way. I feel I should remind you that even though it’s a small percentage of dogs that need some type of negative reinforcement to modify those undesirable behaviors, we’re still taking about millions of dogs every year. Oddly enough that kind of coincides with the millions of dogs being euthanized every year, in animal shelters or at the dog owners veterinary clinic.

We have here at spirit animal sanctuary about 90 dogs, and even these guys who were suppose to be the worst of the worst, behaviorally wise anyway, you know for biting, fear aggression, human aggression, animal aggression and food aggression ( yea, I don’t say, “resource guarding” for toys, treats, bones or food). Even these dogs responded positively to my positive reinforcement techniques, most of them anyway, some of them I had to get the message across by acting more like the big bad wolf.

Positive reinforcement works almost all of the time, but almost, is not good enough when a dogs life is at stake.

Alright I’ve kept you wondering long enough about the title of this post, well here it is. The book is called, ” Domestic animal behavior for veterinarians and animal scientists ” By Katherine A. Houpt, VMD, PhD, Professor of physiology and director of the Animal Behavior Clinic, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in addition to being a diplomate of the American College of Veterinarian Behaviorists. ©2005 Blackwell Publishing.

In Chapter 1, page 20 under behavior problems excessive barking in the second paragraph, Ms. Houpt in her book mentions a couple of positive reinforcement methods that may help alleviate the dogs barking before going onto a more adverse or negative methods, when the positive approach doesn’t have the desired results.

She mentions trying a water gun or lemon juice squirted in the dog’s mouth, before talking  about a citronella collar and finally an electric (no bark) shock collar. And finally she mentions as a last resort, a cordectomy (debarking).

So you see,  even one of the most respected animal behaviorist on the planet, is essentially telling you that sometimes you need a little something more than positive reinforcement to stop unwanted dog behaviors.

You can read it for yourself at this link. http://books.google.com/books?id=ZFQAs8Ag1zoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_navlinks_s#v=onepage&q&f=false

The Spirit Dog

© copyright 2010 a.s.papszycki
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