August 2006


This month we continue with the "Did You Know?" facts about dogs from the book, What Is My Dog Thinking, by Gwen Bailey.

-Some dogs prefer toys that roll as the dog prefers a long chase, whereas other dogs prefer toys that are shaped to bounce erratically simulating the twists and turns of live prey.
-Terriers were originally bred to catch and kill small animals such as rats and other creatures considered to be vermin. The Terrier's predatory instinct is strong, which is why they enjoy playing with squeaky toys that simulate the squeaks of captured prey.
-Bones and chews keep dogs happy for hours as they provide something interesting and exercise for the jaws.
-Rawhide chews are sometimes too hard for dogs to enjoy chewing. Soaking one end in water to soften it makes them more palatable and a lot easier to chew.
-Dogs should always have a variety of chews available to prevent them from chewing rugs, furniture or any other things they shouldn't.
-As pets, we expect our dogs to lie quietly for long periods and make do with just a few short walks. Sadly for them, this goes against their natural drives.
-Many behavioural problems arise because our pet dogs have too much energy and try to find their own entertainment in ways that we wish they would not.
-Toys are good substitute prey since they can become objects to be searched for in long grass, to be chased and caught, and to be fought over in a tug-of-war game.
-Some dogs bury their toys as a way of keeping them safe for another day.
-- Despite getting plenty of food to eat each day, many dogs will defend valued food

items such as chews, bones, tasty tidbits or even the food in their dish.
-Possessiveness often begins in the litter when puppies have to fight between themselves to get enough to eat or to keep hold of valuable resources.
-To prevent this from happening, dogs need to learn that hands come to give, not take. If this is taught to them from an early age, they no longer feel the need to keep us away from what they have.
-Dogs prefer to bury excess food in private and, if disturbed, will often take the bone or chew away to bury elsewhere.
-The urge to save excess food can be strong and dogs deprived of soft earth in which to bury things will often go through the motions of pushing soil around it with their noses, even if it is on paving slabs or carpet.
-In the absence of excess food or bones, toys and chews are frequently buried substitutes.
-Many dogs prefer to sleep underneath some form of protection such as a table, bed or behind the sofa. This could be linked to the trait of 'going to ground' in times of danger when puppies were raised in dens.
-Unlike us, dogs do not sweat through glands in the skin (except through a few in their feet). Instead they cool down by rapidly forcing cooling air over the surface of their tongue.
-The further out of the mouth the tongue is, the hotter the dog.
-Stress panting tends to be faster than that designed to cool them down with shorter breaths being taken each time, and the tongue does not stick so far out of the mouth.
-At the time of peak receptivity for females, which occurs about one week into the season, they will become as anxious to get to males as the males are to get to her. Once the season is over bitches can be spayed, which takes away the desire to escape and mate, and prevents the risk of unwanted puppies in the future.