Dogs’ Secret Body Language

Growing up, movies like MGM’s, All Dogs Go To Heaven and Disney’s Homewardbound left me certain animals can talk to each other. You know, actual dialogue, like sentences, abstract concepts, conjugation, and novel sentences. Can you blame me? I love animals more than anything in this world, especially movies where the main subjects are animals that talk. Maybe this appeals to everyone. Because animals are mysterious — we never know what they’re actually thinking in their head.

I felt cheated when I got older and learned animals don’t communicate like humans — or at least communicate as intricate as we do amongst ourselves. I did however learn dogs have their very own abstract way of communicating through body language. After years of spending countless hours at dog parks (with my dogs of course) I’ve learned to understand situations and notice them before they even occur.

Body language is similar to sign language — nothing like the he said, she said talk, but still, a very powerful way to communicate elaborate feelings and desires through gestures and sounds.

Every muscle in the dog’s body (especially face) allows them to create specific gestures — bark, growl, ability to whine, hair on their body, ears, tail, and their big ol’ pearly whites, too — that help with displaying feelings and intentions. Without all this, dogs could not be the social creatures they are known to be.

Instead of talking my head off, it’s best to show you how body language looks like through detailed illustrations and video. You have to see it to understand it. Otherwise, to the laymen, I’m just a crazy dog guy.

But seriously… This is the best you can do for your dog other than providing them with food, water, and shelter.

These things are no SECRET. Go to the dog park, watch Youtube videos. Like these:

Part 1

Part 2

Learn to understand the Tail. I like this one a lot because it’s easy for beginners. The tail says a lot, and it’s ridiculously easy because it’s large (in most cases) and easy to understand unlike, ears, fur, or facial gestures.

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Best Chew-Proof Dog Bed for Your Chewing Dog

If you’re new to spending dollars on a chewing dog, welcome to the club of frustrated dog owners looking to find the best chew-proof dog bed to end all chewing. In a dog’s life (10-15 years old), dog owners have reportedly spent close to $2,000 or more in replacing dog beds. That’s a lot of money on dog beds! And the truth is, chewing is a part of a dog’s life. There is not much we can do if we don’t learn to improvise when these habits begin to take a toll on anything other than dog toys.

Having owned dogs all my life, I’ve owned the perfect angels, and the worst of chewing dogs. Chewing is healthy for dogs on so many levels, but when dogs look to destroy everything in sight, it can become problematic (especially to our wallets). Dogs chew for a number of reasons: boredom, teething, to name a few, but rest assured dogs don’t enjoy destroying things around the house to test our patience. They’re just in need of training and socializing, however, it can get pretty expensive having to buy a new dog bed every month. Because that’s what we all do at some point. We figure that as a dog ages, they’ll miraculously learn not to chew. And that’s wrong. In worst case scenarios, dog owners give up with replacing dog beds and let their dogs sleep on a hard surface the rest of their life.

What to look for in a Chew-Proof Dog Bed

When looking to purchase the toughest dog bed for your dog, you want to understand a few things:

1) Is there warranty? Warranty plays a huge roll with these beds. Chew-proof dog beds do come with a slightly higher price tag, so it’s imperative that warranty is available to test out the claim. But the idea of this higher price tag is that you’re going to buy once and be done.

2) What kind of chewer do you own? Breed of dog and tenacity of dog play huge rolls in determining how tough of a bed you’ll need. I’ve owned Pit Bulls who chew only soft enough test out their new toy while others, without probably intentionally trying, have torn into dog products that aren’t suppose to tear that easily. If you own a chewing dog already, you’ll know best how tough of a bed you’ll need. There are chew-resistant and chew-proof, all with great qualities to fill in voids where you need them. For example, some dogs love eating zippers off their beds only, while others love getting into the mysterious clumps of soft-goodness inside. There are dog beds without zippers, beds that are impenetrable, and beds for those who might only dig or scratch at their bed.

3) Are they comfortable? Chew-proof dog beds feature fabrics that are much more durable and taunt compared to that of other cotton or micro-suede options available on BestofDog.com, however, they are designed for the chewing dog. These beds still come in the most popular types: bolster dog beds, orthopedic dog beds, or the traditional pillow dog bed. So no matter what stage in life your dog is in, we offer chew-proof beds in just about every style with a good array of fabric options.

It’s important to understand that no dog bed is 100% bullet proof from the tenacious of chewers. That’s why it’s important to introduce training, along with the toughest bed your budget can allow, because all chewing dogs deserve a comfortable place to rejuvenate.

For dogs that are absolute menaces to the household, we recommend metal framed dog beds. Don’t worry, these beds are comfortable and provide great even-level support. What’s most unique about these dog beds is they fabric is tucked between the frame giving dogs no play on the fabric.

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Why Do People Hate Pit Bulls?

Unless Pit Bulls can stop being the ridiculously loyal, loving, and nurturing dogs they were bred to be, there will never be an end to their reputation. There is a large number of people in this world who really think Pit Bulls are born on a mission to kill.

Recently, I had a mother (she’ll remain anonymous) of 5 scream and run out the house when she saw one of my Pit Bulls. She did it hysterically. Her children, ranging from the ages of 13-24, immediately walked over to my dog to play as they usually have been for months. I could not understand why the mom had decided to yell and run out the door only after she asked if it was a Pit Bull. She was already sitting down and petting her. Here’s someone with absolutely no dog education, and she reacts in a way that can easily lead her children down a blind path. Which it did, because her youngest son later that week played 2 sick jokes on me. He came running to me twice on separate occasions, screaming and moaning that Jasmine (the Pit Bull) had bit his finger. The son’s been around these dogs for months already, but the mom never met the dogs until that unfortunate day.

Of course, like any good dog owner, I ran toward my dog, startled, knowing she would never hurt a fly, but still with the thought there is no reason for this kid to be lying. Surely, once he saw me attend to him in all seriousness he laughed and showed me his hand. Nothing wrong. I almost blew up. Not in anger. But in an overload of feelings. Pit Bulls have a bad rap. I work with my dog meticulously everyday. I will put myself on a limb and say I am not your average dog owner. I have a lot of training and animal behavior experience under my belt. And in that second, I felt like a failure as I ran toward my dog and the kid. I felt like I let the whole Pit Bull community down.

I later explained what happened to his mother and she felt awful. I told her that acting the way she does around this breed of dog she can barely identify can leave an everlasting impression on your children. She couldn’t live with it, and she was very upset that her son would go through that much acting to play a joke like that. And, so, within 2 weeks, the mother was in love with my dog. During her rehabilitation, on multiple occasions she said, “Jasmine’s a rottweiler, right?” Then on another, “Jasmine’s a beautiful English Bulldog.” The mother doesn’t know anything about dogs, which is why I took the time to help her overcome her fears with my docile pack of dogs. She had explained that her fear of dogs comes from stories online.

For all the dog-layman people out there, Pit Bulls required a very particular set of traits for gameness. Their chores required these dogs to be all-in on the task–no questioned asked. Whether it was hunting wild boar or working on the farm, the Pit Bull in early America has been noted doing just about every single task a dog can be set to do. Pit Bulls were also great babysitters of young children and made the most wonderful family companions with kids of any age. They are sharp and easy to train. The Pit Bull, without hesitation, I say, is a super-hero breed of dog.

I don’t think there is anything a Pit Bull can’t do. And I think it’s that very thought that made, and makes, people use the Pit Bull for their entertainment.

People laugh when I tell them you need a loving and loyal dog to do some of the monstrous things people do with Pit Bulls. If humans wanted, we could train Pit Bulls to jump off a cliff–no questions asked by the dog. Somehow, we’ve engrained traits to make them do things that aren’t natural for any dog to do. Fighting for no real cause is no trait even a wild animal possess. Wild animals rarely fight to the death, and when they do, there’s probably feeding and breeding grounds at stake–all things a domesticated dog takes no part of in the circle of life. Dog’s have no clue how to survive on their own.

If dog’s fight to the death, it’s because they are unsocialized and overloaded with adrenaline–only caused by humans. And again, any dog can fight to the death.

Pit Bulls to some, are just trophies. Status symbols. They are definitely on the chiseled and god-like athleticism side of the dog anatomy spectrum. So they attract a large demographic of people that cause serious harm to the breeds reputation.

Because of the Pit Bulls god-like athletic abilities, low maintenance (can you imagine long-haired Pit Bulls?), and superior loyalty toward humans, they will always be the wandering victims to a human’s alter ego trying to blow off stress.

The Pit Bull is on an amazing road of recovery thanks to educational television programs, and celebrity dog trainer, Cesar Milan, who’s sidekicks has always been a Pit Bull, among many other organizations.

I would love to hear your stories about someone suggesting your dog is dangerous because of the breed.

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Richell 4 Panel Convertible Elite Pet Gate Review

The Richell 4 Panel Convertible Elite Pet Gate is definitely one of our most popular selling dog gates. It’s big brother version, the 6 Panel Convertible Elite Pet Gate is just as popular for larger breeds of dog, or safely confining more than one dog.

What separates the 4 Panel Convertible Elite Pet Gate from all the other dog gates is its beautiful hardwood construction. The elegant stained hardwood allows this versatile pet gate to match just about any existing home decor.

This Richell Pet Gate is a freestanding pet gate, which means it doesn’t mount to anything, it stands on its own using an accordion configuration.

One of the neatest things about this pet gate is the dog playpen configuration. Yep, you heard that right. The panels easily rearrange to a playpen by forming the pen and simply dropping in the pins into locking position.

The wide door on this versatile gate/pen allows the door to open in either direction, which is fantastic because this allows you to place the gate/pen just about anywhere and make it functional according to the space.

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Things To Do In Spring with Dogs

It’s that time of the year again. Spring!

I dig it. The dogs dig it. Who doesn’t dig it?

With spring, you get the perfect blend of cold breezes with the right amount of heat. Perfect enough to break a sweat, but cool enough so that you don’t overheat. Since we have a mixture of long haired and short haired mutts, it allows the whole pack to travel just about anywhere.

Our pack consists of Standard Poodles, Pit Bulls, and all sorts of mixes! We love gathering other dog friends and hitting the great outdoors as soon as spring comes around.

Spring always stands out because of how great everything looks. Everything in the wild is perking up. Flowers especially. With fresh blooms you get lots of active humming birds (my favorite kind of bird). Flowers make me very happy now that I’m older (or maybe it’s embedded in my DNA since my Dad was a farmer). Southern California is a desert, so it’s rejuvenating to see some green and color around this time on our hikes.

There’s also nothing like walking along a trail and catching the fresh aroma of wild flowers. That, along with hummers chirping intensely.

Here in Southern California, most beaches and lakes are warm enough around spring. But we like saving the beach and lake trips for when it’s too hot for a hike or trail run. We’re able to trek farther and longer with less fatigue and no signs of overheating – both dog and human.

I thought it would be cool to show everyone the kind of dog adventures we tackle every spring. Hopefully our list can inspire you to do some of these things with your dog.

 Reasons why spring is perfect for outdoor adventures

  • Most of the earth is soft from all the rainfall and melting snow. It’s cool and forgiving on dog pads.
  • Many dangerous plants, with prickly pods — foxtails and other prickly pods aren’t in the dry stage. Certain plants that cause harm to our dogs are in bloom and not too much of a nuisance until summer, early fall.
  • Cool temperatures. You know, clear skies, 65˚F, but this can be a totally different number throughout the states.

Things To Do

Hiking

There is no better time to go on a hike than spring time. The earth is soft (in most places) and dogs don’t overheat as easy. The best resting sports are under trees where the earth is still very cool and moist in some areas. Not to mention, there is a lot of moving water in some outdoor location from the melting snow.

Dog training

Training outdoors get intense during spring for us. The cool weather helps the dogs keep focus. The easiest way to break a dog’s focus is by quickly putting them in an environment they can’t tolerate. We can spend hours at a time outdoors without worrying of overheating or overworking our dogs.

Fishing with dogs

There’s nothing like taking your dog out fishing during spring. Whether you are stream fishing or lake fishing, I enjoy it because they can dogs around for the most part without overheating. Dogs get a good kick watching bass jump out of the water feeding on, too.

If you want to learn how to safely fish with your dog, you can learn so here.

Explore

There is no better time to explore the outdoors than in spring. Always understand that Mother Nature is unforgiving to those who aren’t prepared and so you should always be prepared for the outdoors with your dog. Be respectful of the environment and always be sure your dog is under control when exploring new outdoor locations.

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Chew-Resistant Bolster Dog Bed Review

The Brutus-Tuff Chew-Resistant Bolster Dog Bed by Carolina Pet Company is an affordable, entry level chew-resistant dog bed. The durable bed cover is constructed using 1200-denier polyester — a very tough and tight weaved fabric designed to give dog teeth a hard time of grabbing a good hold. But the only reason we say entry level is because these beds are only resistant to light chewing and or scratching. Very crafty chewers, or powerful dogs will get through the cover if they so desire.

The inner-fill of this semi chew-proof dog bed is derived from soda bottles — which are then converted into a safe, comfortable, and resilient fiber-fill. And like most traditional dog beds, the bed features a durable zipper which gives dog owners easy access to the inner-pillows.

All inner-pillows are machine washable — granted your machine washer and dryer can handle the load. For larger dog beds, we always recommend going to a local laundromat  to avoid damage to both your home appliances and dog bed.

The bed comes in 4 great natural colors allowing it to compliment or blend into any existing home decor.

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GlowDoggie LED Dog Collar

If you are a victim of walking your dog at night due to long work hours or just love being outdoors at night, then I know you’ll appreciate this very resourceful LED dog collar. This German made collar is unlike anything you’ve ever seen (unless you know what a GlowDoggie is already).

Unlike traditional reflective dog collars that need a light source to reflect, the GlowDoggie is completely self powered.

I figured it would be the perfect candidate to test out on our next late-night outing.

I love being outdoors with my dogs, dark or not. When my dogs and I head out to the lake after workdays, we try and be as prepared and cautious as we can. Keep in mind it’s a rural lake and rangers are long gone by the time we start our adventure.

On an early warm day you can always count on walking into dozens of other trekkers and their dogs.

Our journey usually begins walking through a flat piece of grassland, then weaving through the backwoods, and finally about 100 yards of marsh before arriving at the bed of the lake.

Certain trail paths are too narrow to share with a dog. Also, having a dog leashed while crossing a creek is always disastrous–especially if you like to twinkle-toe across the rocks like I do (heh).

In short, it’s a 2 mile off-leash journey for all of us.

I’ve been coming to this lake for as long as I can remember. I’d like to think I know my way by now, but Mother Nature improvises and loves to rearrange my high-tech checkpoints (rock piles and ribbons tied around branches).

In addition to sometimes getting lost, my dogs often catch scent of something and decide to take a path of their own. They don’t run off yodeling like Beagles on a fox hunt; it’s more of a steady trot, head low, kind of focus. I don’t worry much if I can hear them, but when I can’t, I’ll give a yelp or two.

Once we’re at the lake I usually let the dogs play and swim until dark (yea, I’m a bad Dad like that). The sounds coming from the woods are remarkable. Sounds usually range from all kinds of dinosaur-sized insects, frogs, and water fowl… possibly.

Today was going to be a little different for everyone on our return from the lake. I was going to put the GlowDoggie to the test. I was equipped with a head lamp as usual but Frisco would be wearing the green LED powered dog collar.

Since Frisco tries to be more of a leader than a follower, it made sense for him to sport it.

The whole way back the dogs pretty much stayed in a bunch. The GlowDoggie’s 4 LED lights were much brighter than I expected them to be; Frisco literally walked with a 6 ft. ball of light around him.

The GlowDoggie played it’s biggest role as we walked back through the woods. Moonlight barely seeped through the dense trees, but the GlowDoggie kept on glowing.

With Frisco as our torch-dog, we made it back easier and less worrisome (this applies to me only) than most of our late-nights at the lake.

Even though I use a head-lamp, it’s very easy to loose sight of things, especially when your working on your footing. I was able to redirect Frisco or tell him to wait if I started to loose too much ground on him. It was much easier to track him once I finished with a water crossing than if he’d not been wearing the glowing collar.

The GlowDoggie is even better on late night strolls around the neighborhood because you’re ensuring that cars, bicyclist, and people know where you and your dog are positioned at all times.

The GlowDoggie is definitely a win in my book. Be sure to check out the official product review for the GlowDoggie.

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Dog Owners That Treat Their Dogs like Kids: Is It Crazy?

I know there are millions of people in the world who think dog lovers are a bunch of weirdos.

They think we’re ridiculous because we want our dogs to have a comfortable bed to sleep on and good health care for a long and happy life. The general public thinks we’re out of our minds because we’re basically looking out for their overall well-being the way one does for kids.

And that’s the part some don’t understand. They ARE our kids. They’re just covered in fur.

Haven’t you stared into a dog’s eyes? Do you not see someone? Can you not see their soul piercing right back at you?

Blame it on the Oxytocin if you don’t feel the connection…

Granted, dogs are a different kind of “kid” for me, however, there are people out there who literally treat their dog like actual human beings. No restrictions, way too much freedom, and zero training…

And then there are people who once hated dogs who are constantly converting into dog lovers. It happens all the time. You hear of stories where people who’ve never owned a dog in their life simply because they didn’t care for animals; then, all of the sudden, they adopt a dog and start a business around their new doggy-love. And we’re constantly hearing stories about dogs who inspired their humans to make 180’s in their life for the better.

Aren’t these the same kind of things humans have been known to do when a child comes into their life? They’re inspired to make life changes because they find purpose. Humans observe kids, the way their personalities are and become inspired at how genuine and innocent they are. How they only live in the moment. Dogs are no different. Dogs ONLY live in the moment.

Obviously, owning a dog will not teach you how to raise a kid and having raised kids will not teach you how to raise a dog. There is some overlap, though. I can go on-and-on about how similar dogs and kids are, but they are two completely different things at the end of the day.

But I admit, there are a few things dog lovers do that make us come off a bit coocoo. Having been around dogs most of my life–owning my share of dogs, attending dogs shows and owning dog related businesses–I’ve come across, met, and made friends with thousands of dog owners.

And just when I thought I offered a lot for my dogs like extra special treats on their birthday, there are some over-the-top-things that make me wonder if that person is sane.

Like:

Dog Parties

Throwing random dog parties are always awkward. Some dog owners invite all their dog-friends, have tons of stuff to drink, eat food and cake–the dogs mostly. There’s music, doggy-games, and all sorts of activities for the dogs to engage in.

Themed Dog Birthday Parties

Full blown dog-parties with hosts, chefs, and lots of presents that get opened at the end of the event. Dogs’ lives are too short so a part of me understands. But still…

Dog Television – DogTV

If you’re not aware by now, there is DogTV. Literally, television programs that have been scientifically modified for dog vision and hearing. For $4.99 a month your dog can now be entertained while you are at work.

Dressing Up

Dressing your dog in anything more than a collar might seem excessive. Some dog owners dress their dogs up every single day because they feel their dogs would be naked, otherwise. Some dogs have closets full of clothes–twice the amount of their human.

Dinner Time

Dogs hold a true soft spot in the family so much now,  I’ve witnessed dogs eat on booster seats at the dinner table. Bib and all.

French Kissing

Please don’t make me explain.

Vegan Dog

If your dog is vegan and you’re not, that’s pretty weird. I’ve come across dog owners who have their dogs on vegan diets but take no part in it themselves. No true explanation, other than stating it’s the ‘thing’ to do.

Dog Strollers

Pushing your dog around in a stroller instead of walking them is still something I have a hard time accepting. Though there are special cases–recovering dogs from surgery or senior dogs who are a bit immobile–all dogs capable of exercising should be exercised with a normal walk.

Dog Social Media Accounts

If your dog has multiple social media accounts and you participate in none as a human being, you my friend are weird!

A few things that are starting to see light… meaning, it’s reasonable and vital to have these things for dogs in this time of age

Dog health insurance

Like human health insurance, you can save huge by having a decent plan for your dog, should you ever need emergency vet care.

Car restraints

Using seat restraints, barriers, and car hammocks are important because dogs can be a nuisance to drive with if not properly trained to ride in a car. Restraints can also save your dog in most car accidents from serious injury.

Orthopedic dog beds

It’s a proven fact we all need good sleep to live a long and healthy life. Orthopedic beds are no different for dogs. They allow for their sore bones and muscles to rest at ease over memory-foam goodness while also aiding large breeds of dog who are prone to musculoskeletal problems.

Grain free diet and purified water

We are now more than ever conscious about holistic manufacturing and how greatly it can affect our health and overall well being. We all want the same for our dogs. And grain is no good in a dog’s carnivorous diet. Grain has been linked to many allergic reactions in dogs amongst other health related issues.

Dog life jackets

Dog life jackets are finally starting to see the light in the dog community. Some dog owners still think they are silly. Personally, I never let my dogs play in lakes or moving-water without one. Play outdoors as much as I do and you’ll run into a few experiences. Read here why dog life jackets are important.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing anything you want in life, especially if it isn’t hurting anyone. It’s your life and you do what your heart desires. That’s what life is all about. I live thinking that as long as a dog owner provides the essentials life is good for a dog. What they do after, can only be better for the dog–assuming the human’s heart is in the right place.

However

One thing dog owners need to understand is, dogs should not be treated like humans. All I’m saying here is, there are a lot of behaviors dogs can’t process in social settings like we can. They don’t care for material things or develop hatred because others have more than they do. Don’t think for one second that you need to constantly buy your dog material things, because unlike humans, dogs can care less about the quantity of things they have. Instead, focus on their health, mental well-being, training and safety. Owners who focus on material things for dogs, on average, have misbehaved dogs.

Give your dog the right kind of love. Don’t get caught up in the craziness.

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6 Signs Your Dog Is Dying of Boredom

We all know that a tired dog is a good dog. Dogs who aren’t given the time of day are usually the ones most humans refer to as “bad dogs.” But always remember this: there is no such thing as bad dogs, only bad dog owners.

1. Destructiveness

There is no such thing as bad dogs, only bad dog owners. A destructive dog can be the result of many bad habits a dog has picked up–or never learned to stop doing. A bored dog can easily become a master at destroying just about anything they can get their mouths on. Tasty or not.

A dog that remains destructive throughout their life is the result of very little human intervention. Dogs are not born to be a menace to your household; training and socializing always plays a key role in this.

2. Barking and howling

Dogs bark and howl for many reasons. Understand why dogs bark, and you’ll begin to realize that ‘the bark’ is one of their most powerful tools of communication. However, barking and howling with no particular reason is a good sign your dog is bored.

3. Restlessness

Pent up energy can result in a dog being very restless. They wander throughout the house, they’re constantly sniff the nooks and crannies of your house, they can also begin to pace in areas of your home they spend most time in.

4. Awkward creativity

Dogs that are bored will sometimes learn to entertain themselves in the most creative ways. Not all dogs have the intuition to do so, but if you’ve ever laughed your butt off when watching your dog spontaneously do something and out of the ordinary, it’s probably because they are bored.

5. Sighing

Yes, dogs sigh. Especially bored ones. If your dog sighs–and whines–constantly around the house then they are expressing to those around that they are anxious or upset. Humans sigh all the time when we’re discontent with something. Granted human sighs differ very much from dog sighing (I sigh when I get mustard on my shirt) and dogs, well, we don’t know exactly what a dog sighs at because they don’t talk.

However, studies show that the reason humans sigh is because it acts as physical and mental-reset. And it’s our job as dog owners to pick up on these cues.

6. Attention brats

Consider it a good thing if your dog gets excited when you get home from a long day out. This just means you’ve formed a strong bond with your dog–and should it be 10 minutes or a few hours, they will show it physically when you walk back in through the door.

Then you have dogs that never seem to calm down. They constantly jump on your lap, try and lick your face, or shove their favorite ball onto your lap. This is all a result of pent up energy. The attention needs to be burned off with a quick game of fetch or walk around the block. Training a dog or telling a dog to end this type of behavior is very unhealthy for the dog. This is equivalent to a child nagging you to read them a book, or asking you to get on all-fours and play cops and robbers. Dogs aren’t necessarily brats, more often than not, we pair ourselves with a dog is not compatible with our willingness to have hobbies outside of watching TV.

Always remember this: a tired dog, is a good dog.

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Dogs Bark Mostly Because They Are Cool

It’s proven history that dogs played a humongous role in early human civilization. But not many know it’s for the simple fact that dogs have the ability to sound the alarm.

A dog’s bark used to bring peace. The bark provided security. Times are different now, though.

Dogs bark for a number of reasons. And it’s mainly due to the fact that they are comprehensible animals.

A dog’s bark provides a lot of useful information for those around them, including other dogs. Neighbors for example, whether they’re dog-smart people or not, will never forget where a dog lives. Barks are literally warning-shots fired into the air. Everyone is going to think twice about hopping a wall to retrieve a basketball. At least I did as a kid.

So why do people get so fussy about dogs barking if they do all these good things.

The simple answer to that is: most people don’t know what dogs truly are.

Dogs, for as long as they’ve been around in modern America, are still a mystery to the masses. Most people would not believe the things dogs were capable of doing; or the chores they were helping early man with. Through natural genetics and thousands of years of selective breeding, we created an animal designed to make human life more efficient. And that’s where the dog still stands. Dogs have not changed genetically. They are still hardwired to do what they were bred for. Humans, not so much.

But even if dogs weren’t working, barking is all part of their body language. It’s how dogs talk.

Whether a dog was contributing to warding off lions, wolves, or other large predators, the dog’s sole ability to bark is what helped earn their stamp in early human development. A dog’s bark was a siren. Understanding the types of barks hinted at the possible danger for village people, farmers, and most importantly, families. A bark spoke volumes; especially for those that knew how to decipher them.

It’s quite obvious we don’t need to work dogs like we used to in the early days–aside from some special cases, dogs don’t contribute much to our current technological advancements. Dogs are living the good life as pets–essentially freeloading off their ancestors hard work.

The biggest problems with modern day dog owners are, we really seem to hate that bark. Whether it’s your dog continuously barking, or the neighbors dog barking their head off at 3am, it’s annoying. Especially if there is no significant danger present.

Some of us no longer need a dog to patrol the household and bark at every critter, or human, beyond the yard perimeter. We especially don’t need them going into a barking frenzy when guests, or strangers, arrive at the front door–there’s a doorbell for that. Then there’s the damn doorbell itself–doorbells are barking-triggers because dogs learn to recognize that sound with fresh faces at the door.

I sometimes wonder: what if we didn’t have the security provided by all technological advancements? What if we weren’t as civilized? What if there were no laws, suddenly? What if it was the Wild Wild West all of the sudden? Would we want dogs to bark then–at anything and anyone?

We all sleep so comfortably knowing we have state of the art alarm systems and cameras throughout a home. Some people even resort to household guns strong enough to blow through concrete walls. So, sorry dog, if you haven’t noticed already, but your barking days are over. Humans have everything under control. For the most part.

It’s too bad though, because barking is embedded in a dogs DNA. There is no true training method that will train a dog to keep them from reacting the way they want to. Even if you implement hundreds of hours of training, their instincts will tell them to bark when they see fit. They will however, cease barking, almost immediately, if one implements training. That, I’ve learned to live with. I’ve learned to appreciate the bark for what it is, but don’t hesitate to cease it with a hush or two.

There is no amount of training that can tell a dog to never bark at things that make them want to bark. Dogs are individuals; there will be dogs who bark at absolutely everything, while others, not a single squeak.

If you can’t accept the fact that a dog’s bark is their most powerful tool, one should consider getting a different pet. Turtles are pretty quite–and just sit there, too. You also don’t have to feed them for half-a-year, or whatever it is while they hibernate.

My dogs rarely bark. But when they do, they make sure anyone present knows they’re concerned with something. If I know for a fact there is no possible danger (door bell from TV), then I tell them to hush. However, if it’s the middle of the night and they bark with some bass, I double check the yard to make sure everything is OK.

Dogs have paid their dues, which is why they still exist. What are we to do? Dispose of the whole canine race because their true roles are obsolete? Dogs deserve the sweet ride of luxury we are all benefiting from now. We just don’t need them to do all that crazy super hero stuff as much.

So remember, the next time you tell your dog–or a dog–to quite down, always keep in mind, dogs were bred to bark in the face of danger. To keep their integrity intact, see if there’s something more to their bark before telling them to pipe down.

You just might own a dog that knows that they are barking about.

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