Category: Dogs

Do Dogs Have Bad Moods?

Do dogs have bad moods? Dogs, according to the stereotype, have jolly, exuberant and happy-go-lucky kinda personalities. They have a way of putting even the most stressed people in a good mood.

But to the surprise, even these fun-loving creatures can succumb to melancholy. Yes, even dogs can feel meh and drop their mood.

On some days, you may notice that your furry friend is no longer excited about his walks, is skipping meals or, is just lying around with a pouted face. If you notice him behaving like a sulky, sullen teenager, there could be something he’s goin g through.

Now you might want to ask him what’s wrong, but since they can’t communicate, it is your responsiblity to figure it out. But how?

Here are the signs to watch out for your dog’s bad mood:

Meeting your dog’s basic needs

Dogs need plenty of sleep, exercise and nutritional food to stay in the pink of their health. If any one of these basic needs are being compromised, their attitude may change and they may act grumpy. Hence, ensure to exercise your dog well enough according to its breed and find out the best dog food for them with the help of your vet.

Not feeling well

Dogs can’t complain that they are sick. Instead, they may just show they are not in the mood. Therefore, it comes down to decoding the changes in their behavior by looking for the symptoms that may indicate what’s wrong. If your dog is refusing to walk and appears too lazy to move, he may be suffering from joint issues. If he’s refusing to take up meals, he may be suffering from stomach upsets. Being a pet parent, you should understand the basic symptoms if your dog is physically unwell. And since the emotional well-being is inextricably connected to physical well-being, they may be in a bad mood due to some illness.

Entering a new environment

Just like us humans, dogs too can become homesick while on a trip or when you shift into a new house. They can also face separation anxiety when separated from the owner he’s attached to. Under such circumstances, they may start grieving and feeling gloomy. Furthermore, fireworks, loud noises, too much crowding or the addition of a new member in the family can also make them nervous and anxious. In such situations, anxiety relievers can help them to cope better.

Gender related mood swings

Dogs may face hormonal imbalances during their adolescence or puberty. Puberty in dogs occurs between 7 months and 2 years of age, and can bring ups and downs in their mood due to the changes that they undergo. Females may behave sulky while going through their heat. Similarly, males may behave so while a female may be around as they may want to copulate.

Just like that!

Is it possible for us to stay happy all the time? If we are sure they are not facing any of the issues mentioned above, they may not be sick. Just give them some time and space and they’ll be all okay. Dogs can feel a complex range of emotions and sometimes just act moody without any reason. And it’s no biggie to put up with their occasional crankiness when they are the ones who keep our spirits up all the time, right?

If such an issue persists for a longer period, see your vet. And if the blues are just like that, try to comfort them during this phase. These are few things that may help you shift their mood:

  • Spending more time together
  • Taking them for a brisk walk
  • Giving them their favorite treat/toy
  • Meeting with another furry friend
  • Going for a ride in a car
  • And, lots of cuddles and attention would work too!

Puppy Training, A Positive Introduction To Basic Obedience Exercises

Submitted by: Pat Nolan

Learning How to Learn

Pups are learning all the time and there is no reason to wait for them “to grow up” before you begin training. You can start your pup’s first lessons at seven weeks. Doing some early training will turn on circuits in his brain that will make all later training easier.

The goal for this puppy work is not that the pup learns the individual exercises, nor is it reliability of obedience to command. Rather, the goal is to have fun with your pup, jumpstart the learning process and to establish early on that good things happen when he is with you, and that good things come from work.

Don t fret if you don t teach all the commands doing any puppy work is better than none. While you are engaged in puppy training you are building a relationship with him. He learns to enjoy working with you as he learns about you.

The great majority of puppy training and raising should emphasize positive interaction. However, your pup does need to learn some manners. He should learn early that there are some things he must not do. There are two reasons for this: 1) so you can stand to live with him, and 2) so that he learns to accept correction and parameters to behavior.

The very short list of Don ts includes:

Don t bite humans

Don t jump on humans

Don t chew on furniture

House breaking is better taught as a do rather than a don t. Teach your pup to do his business outside; try to avoid correction for going inside. Get a copy of Eliminate on Command by Dr. M.L. Smith. It s available on line at:

Pups have a short attention span, so keep lessons brief and emphasize action commands. These are commands your pup can complete quickly such as sit, here, and finish to heel. Save the long stays and long heeling sessions for later when his attention is sufficiently developed to stay focused longer.

Puppies learn exactly the same way as grown dogs (and people):

A pup acts.

He experiences the result of his action.


He makes a connection in his mind between his action and the results, creating a memory.

If the result is desirable he is more likely to repeat that action in the future.

If the result is undesirable he is less likely to repeat that action in the future.

Treat Training

Food is a good motivator for puppy training but a weak motivator for grown dogs.

Motivational training is only part of a complete training program. In the end we want a dog that will obey commands, not simply respond to cues when there is nothing he d rather do. While the principles espoused here and the benefits of puppy training will be an asset to your dog throughout his life, treat training cannot substitute for a formal training program for grown dogs.

We will use food initially both to lure the pup into the action we want and as a reward for the desired action. When he knows the action we will put a cue to the action. When he will perform the action on cue, stop luring but continue to reward with food. After the dog is regularly performing correctly on cue, gradually reduce the frequency of the food reward. At first you are rewarding every correct response, and then go to every other response and then reward on an intermittent schedule. This is an important process you do not want your dog to be dependant on the food lure, nor do you want him to be tied to a treat for every correct response. When you are rewarding intermittently he never knows which response will bring the treat so he will continue to work hard, hoping that each time may be the time.

Start in a quiet room. I like doing the puppy training first thing in the morning before the pup s first meal the pup is fresh, excited to start the day, and hungry! You also don t want to compete with the other dogs or people in the home for the pup s attention.

You need a hungry pup and healthy treats that the pup can chew and swallow quickly. All-beef hot dogs cut to puppy-sized bites work well for most pups, although I use regular kibble for some chow hounds.

Sit in Front

Sit or squat on the floor with your legs or knees forming a V in front. This helps funnel the pup to the proper front alignment.

Hold a treat in one hand out in front of you a little above the puppy’s head level. When your pup notices the treat, raise the treat close to and over his head. He should sit, when he does, verbally praise and pet him and then give him the treat. If the pup stands up to wrestle the treat from you, twist your hand to protect the treat and prevent him from hanging on your hand. When he sits give him the treat.

Don t worry if he jumps up as soon as he gets the treat; you re only concerned with teaching sit, not stay.

Pause a moment and then repeat. After a few repetitions your pup will be sitting quickly to get his treat. Now let s put a cue or command to that action. From here on say sit as you start the hand movement and just before the pup sits. Continue to praise, pet and treat him when he sits.

As soon as your pup is sitting, begin to work toward the perfect sit. You want to end up with straight sits, not flopped over on one hip. You want the pup in front and aligned facing you correctly.

When you have practiced this for a session or two wean him off the food lure. Without holding the treat out in front of him say sit and then verbally praise, pet and food reward him when he does.

After a few sessions begin to wean off treating the pup for every proper response, but continue to praise and pet him every time he sits on cue.

Go out and Here— Dixie Cup Lining Drills

One of the easiest ways to teach your pup to come when you call him is to teach him to go away from you. Hold your pup and making sure he is watching, place a treat on top of a white eight ounce or larger Dixie cup. Put the pup down about five inches from the cup and let him go. After he eats the treat call him to sit in front. Praise, pet and treat for every recall at first.

Do several of these. When your pup is going straight to the treat and is sure of the location, begin to place the treat and then still holding the pup, back away, only a foot or so at first. After you have backed up, hold the pup in front of you to show him the cup and then set him down and release him to get his treat. This sequence will become a pattern and a useful cue for him when you start lining him longer distances. After he eats his cup treat call him “Here” and praise, pet and treat (PPT) him for the sit in front. As you increase the distance, begin to reward intermittently on the return, but continue to praise and pet him heartily on every return.

Be sure to gradually increase the distance you are sending your pup. As long as your pup is running straight to the cup and is not loosing focus on the task keep increasing the distances you back away.


I teach grown dogs to go to a place board, half-crate, or pre-identified area on command. I use the command “Kennel” some like to use “Place.” This serves to balance e-collar pressures because the action requires your dog to move away from you rather than toward you on command. This kennel command is also useful for loading a dog into boats, blinds, and crates. With grown dogs we will do initial force on casts using this command and introductory work on jumps. This is a versatile command.

You can begin work on the kennel command once your pup knows sit. Use a place board about 12 x 12 and 2 high. Your pup will outgrow several puppy place boards so don t make them too fancy I bet an old college text book will do to start.

Use a treat to lure him on the board. When he climbs up on the place board or kennel give him the treat. Pause and allow him to explore and then climb off. Repeat.

When your pup is readily climbing up on the board you are ready to add a cue to the action. Say kennel just as he begins to climb up.

Begin to tell your pup to sit when he is on the place board. He has enough success now that you can stop giving the treat for climbing up and only treat for the sit when he is up. Very quickly you should be able to drop the sit command and his kennel will mean kennel up and sit.

Call him off the place board to sit in front of you near the board and then cast him to kennel again.

When your pup is responding quickly and reliably to your kennel command you can start gradually backing farther away from your place board. To make it easier for your pup walk toward the place board as you cast and cue him to “kennel.”

Introduce Jumps and Avoidable Hazards

Once your pup is very comfortable on his kennel command and is lining out to the visible Dixie cups well you are ready to combine the two responses and introduce your pup to jumps. Start with a kennel close to you. Place your treat on the Dixie cup and back up. Hold your pup with the kennel just in front of you and between you and the Dixie cup. Release him to get his treat he should line right over the kennel to the cup and come back over the kennel on the return.

With practice you can increase the distance between you and the kennel and between the kennel and the Dixie cup. Practicing success at short distances is better for your pup than pushing to increase the distance too fast and teaching him to run around the kennel.

In Summary

Your pup is only a pup for a very short time; don’t expect him to act or train like a grown dog. In addition to training, spend time with him just going for walks and let him run, jump and play.

In all your puppy training remember your goals:

Have fun with your pup

You want your pup to learn how to learn.

You want to jumpstart the learning process

You want to establish early on that good things happen when he is with you, and that good things come from work.


Pat Nolan

About the Author: Pat Nolan,

has trained dogs professionally since 1975. His broad background in training and handling a variety of animals and his foundation in obedience have instilled in him a lifelong passion for learning, and for acquiring and using the most efficient and effective training techniques.


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10 Things You May Not Know About The Boxer Dog

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10 Things You May Not Know About The Boxer Dog


Steve Rankin

Legend says when God was fashioning different breeds of dog out of clay, he came to his final task and decided to create the most beautiful dog ever and call it a Boxer . But this new breed of dog was vain and rushed to see himself in the mirror before the clay was properly set and bumped headlong into his own reflection. That accounts for the flat nose characteristic of the Boxer, and also proves that God really did accomplish his design for the world s most beautiful dog! Here are another ten things you may not already know about Boxer dogs ..

The Boxer Dog Who Cheated Death and Became a Television Star Instead

In 1985, a white boxer dog called Bomber was snatched from a vet s surgery by an animal nurse and later appeared in the UK television series, Oliver Twist. It appears the dog s previous owners, Tony and Elaine Chapell, decided to put the dog to sleep when they learned he didn t quite fit new Kennel Club standards for his breed! In filming he was made to look flea bitten, dirty and covered in sores. Bomber even had a dressing room all to himself and was congratulated on giving a superb performance. Well done Bomber, and shame on those who gave up on him!

A Boxer Dog With His Own Fan Club

A boxer dog called George was used in media advertisements in the early 1990s and became so well known that he eventually had a fan club all to himself. George s strange expressions appeared in ads. for Coleman s Mustard and eventually the dog became a household name and even made guest appearances at public functions and schools.

The Boxer Dog With The Longest T-o-n-g-u-e!


A boxer dog called Brandy featured on Ripley s Believe It Or Not due to her incredible 17 inch long tongue! Brandy, from Michigan, USA, was bought from a local breeder in 1995 and her new owner was assured the dog would eventually grow into her l-o-n-g t-o-n-g-u-e! She didn t and on television she was shown performing antics such as eating from a bowl 13 inches away. Her owner, John Scheid, says brandy likes sunbathing and even gets tan lines on her tongue, but says the beautiful boxer is fit, happy and healthy, so her unique feature isn t a problem at all. She even has her own web site at:

Zoe, The Boxer Dog Who Came Back to Life!

Zoe s owner, Cathy Walker, from Manuden, near Bishop s Stortford in the UK, has been told by a medium that she is surrounded by all the pets she has lost. That certainly seems true of Zoe, a tan and white boxer bitch who died several years ago, aged eleven. The Daily Mail (November 6th 2001) printed an amazing photograph of the bark of a tree under which Zoe spent her last day, showing what can only be described as the image of a boxer dog in the bark. Cathy tells how she is a great believer in life after death and claims the image of Zoe has strengthened that belief.

The White Boxer Dog Who Received Hate Mail

To anyone who loves dogs in general, and Boxer dogs in particular, Solo was as beautiful as any other of her breed. To her owner, Joyce Lang, she was more than just beautiful, she was a constant friend, a much loved family member. But not everyone thought the same way and, surprisingly, in 1982, in Burgess Hill in the UK, an anonymous letter arrived addressed to Solo, saying: I think you are the ugliest dog I have ever seen. What sort of human could write such nonsense is beyond most people s comprehension, and probably the letter was intended mainly to upset Joyce, an objective the hateful writer most definitely achieved. Letters continued to come saying: Why don t you get your master or mistress to take you for a face lift? . One even contained a paper bag which the sender said should be placed over Solo s head! When local newspapers heard the story the headlines proclaimed that beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and in Joyce s and other dog lover s eyes, Solo was beautiful.

A Little Boy s Tribute to His Pet Boxer, Lance

This story appeared in The Faithful Friend (Writings About Owning and Loving Pets) and concerned dog owners in the United States who often loaned their pets to the military in World War Two. Lance, a Boxer, worked with Dogs for Defence which eventually became the noted K09 Corps, and belonged to a family with young children, one a boy who wrote this letter to Dogs for Defence: My Boxer, Lance, was in the army since last June. I have not heard anything about him since I received a certificate from the Quartermaster General. The number on it was 11281. I love Lance very much and want to know if he is doing anything brave. Can you please tell me where he is and what kind of a job he does? Please answer soon because I can t wait much longer to know what has become of him .

Origins of the Boxer Dog

What we know about the origins of most breeds, including the Boxer, is largely owed to early sculptures, painting and drawings. In the Boxer s case, a carving of a dog looking much like a boxer can be seen on a tomb in Arnstadt where lies Elizabeth of Hohenstein who died in 1368. Flemish tapestries from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries show dogs resembling the Boxer engaged in stag- and boar-hunting.

German Origins

Boxer dogs became very popular in Munich where the breed is thought to have originated. But the history of the breed has not been without controversy. In fact the first Boxer Club in the UK was closed because of disagreements over almost everything pertaining to Boxers. By 1905, however, the most enthusiastic followers of the German Boxer met to develop a standard for the Boxer which would be accepted by all. The Munich Boxer Club drew up the standard which exists largely unchanged even today.

Boxer Dogs in America

The first Boxer dog in America was imported in 1903 from Switzerland. The new owner of the dog was New York Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals, Irving Lehman who imported many other Boxer dogs. The first Boxer dog registered with the American Kennel Club was in 1904. The dog was Arnulf Grandenz, bred in America by James Welch of Illinois.

Boxer Dogs in Warring Nations

The boxer dog gained rapid popularity soon after the Second World War ended, ironically more prominently in countries formerly opposed in war with the Boxer s most likely native home, Germany. Listen to what Rowland Johns says in Our Friend The Boxer: The re-emergence of the Boxer breed has added proof that warring nations do not carry their antagonisms for long into the relations between them and other nations dogs. Both with the Alsatian and the Boxer their popularity derives directly from the contacts made during a state of war. In those two wars the adoption of both breeds by members of the British forces provided some personal satisfaction and uplift of the spirit in long periods of exile from home, family, and friends.

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