Learn about Dermatitis & Environmental Allergies in Dogs (Atopy)
How to Understand Dogs and Their Environments
The dog is a majestic animal. All over the world, man's best friend is misunderstood, under exercised and stressed. To maintain his comfort and correct self-being, the domesticated dog has his own comfort levels and special environmental needs. Read this page so that you can understand your dog's needs to be able to live happily, healthily, and DOGILLY!!!!!
Know your breed or breed type of dog.This will help you to achieve his special needs that have to do with his instincts. If you have a mixed breed dog, you can buy a breed test kit from www.wisdompanel.com. If you don't want to spend the money, buy some breed books (example: The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds), look at the different characteristics of the breeds, relate them to your dog, and figure which breeds your dog resembles the most. If your dog is a mix of many breeds, find out which breed instincts stand out in him. For example, if your dog is a Bloodhound mix most likely your dog's scent hound traits will stand out, because Bloodhounds were bred to be scent dogs, nothing really precise.
Now that you know your dog's breed (or breed type), you must know the natural instincts they have.,Dogs in the sporting group were bred to spend days of dashing through the fields, finding land and waterfowl for their masters. Read here if you have a Sporting Dog (aka: Gundog Group)
- Retrievers: If you have a retriever (ex: Golden Retriever), your dog has a natural instinct to retrieve. Every day, throw your adult retriever a ball, stick, toy, frisbee (you get the point!) to get his retrieving instincts intact. You can throw the ball until he gets tired. (If you have a puppy try to stop earlier or you can put stress on their joints.) (If you have a senior dog, 7 years of age or older, let them stop when they get tired! They aren't 2 anymore!!!) If you have dogs 1 and a half years and older (up to seven), take your retriever on walks daily, or whenever you get the chance! If your dogs are younger, take them on short, brisk walks every few days, not too much though or you could put stress on their joints.
- Pointers: Pointers need to retrieve just like retrievers do, but they also need to "point". Use their natural pointing instincts daily by doing games with hiding treats.
- Setters: Setters have the same need as pointers.
- Spaniels: Spaniels are like retrievers, except smaller. Do the same thing as with the retrievers.
Fact:To really have a happy sporting dog, they ALL enjoy flyball and excel in obedience! (since they have so much stamina, they also enjoy Agility)! Also, try to get these dogs into the AKC retriever trials.
- If you have a dog in the Hound Group (this also includes sight hounds), read:
- Scent hounds (ex: Bloodhound, Beagle, Harrier, etc.): These dogs have a natural instinct to smell! To encourage their instincts and keep them active and interested, hide tidbits of treats in corners of the house. Then say, "go find them!" and your dog will race around, trying to sniff out where the treats are! A lot of hounds have high energy levels, so exercise them often.
- Coonhounds (Black and Tan Coonhound, Redbone Coonhound, Treeing Walker Coonhound, Plott, etc.) : Coonhounds have basically the same needs as scent hounds, put they also need to "tree". In addition to hiding tidbits around the yard, hide some in trees too, put make sure they are big enough to be spotted.
- Sight hounds (greyhounds, afghan hounds, Saluki, etc.)- These dogs use their site. Let them chase balls, and let them RUN!!! These dogs are VERY energetic.
- Special Hound Breed, Dachshund- The dachshund is the most unusual hound, they have the same instincts as scent hounds, but also are quite like terriers. They were once almost classified as terriers! Do the same things as you would scent hounds, but do the terrier stuff too. Get them into earthdog trials.
- Terrier (if you have a terrier, read:)
- Terriers (Dandie Dinmont terriers, Welsh Terrier, West Highland Terrier, Cairns, etc.): These dogs need to DIG. Hide their favorite toys in a small hole in the ground. Cover it with dirt. Encourage them to dig, dig, DIG, until they find their toy! They also have a high energy level, so take them on walks, and exercise them often. If you can, get them into earthdog trials.
- Herding Dogs (if you have a herding dog, read:)
- Herding Dogs (German shepherds, Rough Collies, Belgian Malinois, etc.): These dogs have a natural instinct to herd. If you can, get them into herding trials, but if you can't, these dogs were born for a JOB. Herding dogs excel in sports such as agility, obedience, and much more. They require frequent exercise also.
- Working Dogs
- Working Dogs (Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, Giant Schnauzer, etc.): Each of these dogs was born for a specific job. Each breed was bred individually for different purposes. For example, if you have an Alaskan Malamute, you should get him into weight pulling or sled racing. If you have a Doberman, that's a different story! Research your breed, find out what they were bred for. But remember, all of these dogs have one thing in common: They have a job. You need to get them into sports or have lots of exercise and training.
- Non-Sporting Dogs
- Non-Sporting Dogs (Chow-Chows, Dalmatians, Miniature and Standard Poodle, etc.): These dogs each have their own individual needs. Research your breed and find out what it needs to stay healthy and happy.
- Toy Dogs
- Toy Dogs (Yorkshire Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Pekingese and most famous, Chihuahua, etc.): These dogs were bred to be companions. All they want is to be with you! Do things together, but make sure that if your breed still has an instinct (some of these dogs are "minis" of others) to maintain it. For example, a Cavalier still has retrieving instincts. Yorkies still have terrier instincts. These dogs need exercise, love, and attention.
- If you have a dog in the Hound Group (this also includes sight hounds), read:
Take your dog(s) for a daily walk.The canine species has an instinct to migrate. No matter how much exercise and affection you give your dog, a dogcannotbe happy if it isn't taken for daily walks. Heel!
Be the pack leader.Small Dog Syndrome is a common problem (no disease, don't beTOOscared) when a dog thinks he is pack leader to humans. This puts a lot of stress on Fido.
QuestionHow will I understand my Labrador if there is no information here about Labradors?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can research a Labrador based website, or you can go to your local bookstore and find a book about one. Also, keep in mind, all labs are different, and you have to treat your dog as an individual. If your dog really likes peanut butter, train it with peanut butter. Spend time with your dog to learn more about its qualities.Thanks!
QuestionCould Great Danes be work dogs?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerGenerally no. They weren't bred to be working type dogs.Thanks!
QuestionMy dog shows her teeth if I get close to collar area. How can I stop this?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry using a harness instead of a collar. The collar might be painful to her for some reason, or she might have had a bad experience while on a collar. If she wears a harness instead, you won't have to go near her neck.Thanks!
- Know your breed. They all have different needs.
- Grooming and exercise is key to a happy and healthy dog, no matter what environment it's in.
- HEEL! No, heel! Practice heeling A LOT on walks. Allowing a dog to walk you will reinforce bad behavior, AKA Small Dog Syndrome.
- Don't feed your dog too much when training, it could get over-weight very easily, especially certain breeds like pugs, Labrador retrievers, bulldogs, and dachshunds.
- If your scent hound or coon hound doesn't get all of the treats in the yard, it could attract mice and rats. Make sure to pick up all the treats your dog doesn't eat.
Video: 16 useful clues for anyone who wants to understand dogs better
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