Regardless of what is the full truth, dogs have an almost mythical quality that separates them from other animals regarding how they behave around and with people. Dogs create tearjerkers and advocate belly laughs. And without a doubt, they are way more than just our best friends. In the right way, they can be our spiritual counselors.
If you want to completely understand dogs, a lifetime of reading books for dummies won’t help you. However, you can get to know your dog or other dogs you hang around with. They are each unique character and personality. In a way, they are just like humans – they do have so much in common and can be predictable at times. But, on the other hand, they can be peculiar, as well.
We can think we understand dogs, but we fall behind with this lesson terribly. Nonetheless, some people have spent enough time around dogs, studied them unintentionally or in research projects, and know a lot more about dogs. We explore, examine, and deliver that knowledge to help you find out more about dogs, understand them better, and ultimately, love them even more, just as we all want to.
People have an innate desire to connect with and understand dogs. Many think it is an ancient pact between humans and canines to help and support each other. Some believe dogs are angels. Others don’t go further than to consider dogs beasts. Most would agree that they have become our friends due to evolutionary domestication and companionship.
Understanding Dogs for Dummies
Are you curious to learn more about your dog? Would you like to connect better and be their most trusted companion? This website publishes content that can help you grasp the dog’s most common and weirdest characteristics and actions, including:
- How to understand a dog’s language: barks and body language
- How to understand your dog’s weird behavior
- How to read dogs’ feelings and emotions
- Understanding stray dogs
- Understanding small dogs
- Understanding the dog’s mind – how does it work?
- How do dogs think?
Interested in learning how dogs and cats communicate? What is the small dog syndrome? How to read your dog’s lab results and blood work? What happens during the dog’s heat cycle? Would you like to understand aggression in dogs better? How about educating yourself more about the dog’s play and be able to provide your dog with top entertainment?
We will be touching upon all that, and more, as we go through what trained vets, breeders, and dog schools have to say and have experienced.
Dog-related research is not uncommon any more – we will be exploring newly found insights to capture the best and the worst of dogs.
Understanding Dogs: Best Books About Dogs, Puppies, and the Canine Family
Our beloved puppies can cost an arm and a leg. As much as we want to give them the best possible care, things can get expensive pretty quickly. How can you find affordable books on understanding dogs? In the abundance of articles about dogs, what matters most?
What Are the Best Books for Understanding Dog Behavior?
How can you find your way in the maze of controversial subjects, such as:
- To adopt or to breed, which is better?
- Body modification, do you have the right to do it, is it ethical or for the benefit of the dog?
- Aggressive training tools – should you use them?
- Training methods: how much reinforcement borders with abuse?
- Proper feeding care standards – eating schedules and types of food
- Breed-specific legislation
We will be looking at exquisite books about understanding dogs and other products that will provide the best care for them.
Understanding Your Dog’s Behavior
Dogs have common behaviors that cause a whole legion of dog owners to share, like, and comment on social media posts when they notice a similar behavior in the same dog breed. We can all agree that dogs are cute, crazy, and lots of fun. But do their behaviors sometimes worry you?
Why Does Your Dog Behave So Weirdly and What Does It Mean?
Do you ask yourself any of these questions?
- Why does my dog scoot?
- Why does my dog come to sit next to my legs or in-between them?
- When is my dog yawning? Is it a sign of sleepiness or something else?
Many people are curious about understanding aggression in dogs to keep them, as well as other dogs and humans around them safe and protected.
Understanding Dog Play
Professionals or dedicated dog enthusiasts that invest a bit more into understanding dogs spend hours on understanding dog’s play.
- Why do dogs bow with their heads to extend an invitation to play to another dog?
- Anxiety is a shared issue among dog owners – is your dog anxious or just playful?
- How do you deal with separation anxiety?
Certain body language signs can indicate a play invitation while others show that your dog is scared and aggressive. Because they don’t speak, dogs demonstrate what they mean, need, miss, feel, or want through specific actions and sounds. Understanding your dog’s behavior is a key component of closer, trustful, lifelong bonding to the pleasure of both of you.
Understanding Dog Language
You have the obligation to love, nurture, and “get” your dog. Understanding your dog’s body language is an important part of it. You cannot hope to meet its needs without communicating properly and understanding what all that barking, whining, whimpering, howling, huffing, growling, yelping, and yipping means.
What is Your Dog Trying to Tell You?
Dogs have their own little world. We may think we understand their language, interpreting it through the human lens. But dogs are dogs. We have to show a bit of humbleness if we want to get to truly know them. Understanding dog language will remove a few worries of your back, instill a newly found confidence, and fall even more in love with your precious canine friend that is filling your life with immense joy and happiness.
Understanding the Dog’s Mind
A commonly accepted opinion among experts is that dogs think. They have the cognitive level of 3 to 5-year-old humans. They can follow potty and feeding schedules – they even instinctively require them and in the absence of their owner’s discipline, they will create their own time framework. Although we cannot speculate a lot about the dog mind, we can use insights from their behavior.
Dog’s Sense of Smell
It is important to know that dogs get stimuli from the environment by using their nose. Their sense of smell is incredibly strong and much more developed than in humans. Therefore, if you are thinking that you have hidden that pet food, think again. Your dog probably knows where you keep it – they are just too respectful and disciplined to steal from you.
The Dog’s Brain
In the sense of feeling fear, keeping memories, and having spatial awareness, dogs are much like humans. Their brain structure is similar to humans, but with not as developed surface areas. Similar to humans, a dog’s mind has grouped cognition clusters, which can help us draw associations about different skills by observing them selectively.
Can Dogs Perceive Time?
Research about dogs’ understanding of time indicates that they have a good short-term perception and memory of time. They can make a difference in the passage of time for periods lasting between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Anything longer, and dogs get confused.
Dogs and Understanding Death
Yes, dogs do understand death. They know that living beings don’t last forever and that their canine relatives and the human family will eventually die.
Dogs grieve a person’s death and can provide copious emotional support to the person in grief when someone dies. When some dogs lie next to the casket of a deceased owner and try to revive them, they may be confused about the physical abandonment, but they know something critical has happened.
When your dog runs to you in times of distress they are indeed trying to help you, soothe your pain, and show compassion.
Since dogs understand death, they have a strong survival instinct. Instinct often instigates predatory behavior, such as when a mom dog kills and eats her puppies at a time of great danger and famine.
Dogs also understand their own death – they know they are dying. Despite not knowing all facts about death humans do, dogs know that something important that affects everyone around did take place. And yes – they miss their gone owners.
Understanding Dog Barking
Whether you understand it or not, dogs do express themselves through barking. Different sounds they make have a different meaning.
What Do Various Dogs Barks Mean?
High-pitched barks mean something else than low bass growling.
If a woof comes quickly following another in a sequence, your dog is using specific barks to tell you something else than when they are barking randomly. If the barking doesn’t stop that means you should pause and pay attention. Your dog may be trying to warn you about an imminent danger.
If there are rhythm and frequency in the bark, then your dog is trying to say – “Watch out! I’ve noticed something you haven’t that is unusual and potentially dangerous!”
Low growling is an indicator of an unfriendly mood. The dog can be scared and aggressive. Prolonged medium-pitched barking is used to gather the pack. Nuances tell different messages. In time, you will be able to identify them all.
Understanding Your Dog’s Tail Signs
Tails say as much if not more than dog barks. If you observe the dog tail together with the dog’s bark and its complete body language, you will not only learn more about your dog but also be able to recognize signs of unfriendliness and risks of aggressive behavior in dogs that you see for the first time.
Understanding Dog Communication
Understanding how dogs think, feel, and behave is an important element of a loyal companionship that stands the test of time and a bond that grows deeper. By getting to the grip of dog communication, you will delve into the deep layers of the dog’s soul, ditch a few wrongful assumptions about them, and become the best hooman you can be.
How Your Dog Communicates
Apart from wagging the tail and barking, dogs use an array of other means of communication to transfer a message to hoomans:
- Body posture
- Eye contact
- Tongue flicking
- Play bow
- Bringing toys
- Touching you or leaning against you
By now, you may have intuitively understood the meaning behind some of these actions your dog takes. But only if dog communication were that simple! We would have protected all canines in the world from all the menace and managed aggressive dogs with aplomb and without letting the situation get out of hand.
There is so much we need to learn, and there are trained specialists who can help us do just that and more.
Understanding Dog Emotions
It can be difficult to understand dog emotions. But it can be even more challenging for dogs to understand human emotions. Since dogs on average are at the cognitive level of a 4-year-old kid, they cannot grasp the full complexity of human emotions.
Nonetheless, your dog gets you, at least to some extent.
How Dogs Understand Human Emotions
According to the research of human and canine interaction, dogs can:
- Recognize human facial expressions and use human behavioral expressions of emotion toward external objects.
- Discriminate between positive and negative emotions, both in humans and dogs.
- Understand the direction of the emotion toward an object.
As far as humans are concerned, research indicates that they can recognize emotions in dogs by interpreting them via behavioral components, for example, activity and assertiveness.
Therefore, yes, your dog can read your happy, sad. or angry face, not that you needed science as a proof, but now you have you use these insights as a backup to keep talking to your dog without sounding like crazy.
Dogs Understand Human Language
You may remember the viral video of Stella, the dog, who learned how to use 29 words and express herself about feeling happy or mad. Considering that Stella used the word “outside” the most, we could easily learn what was hers and other dogs’ favorite activity.
We can’t say whether Stella’s capacity is one of a kind, But brain scans run by dog researchers have demonstrated that dogs can associate words with meaning and emotion. Dogs process meaning and emotion similarly to humans by using both hemispheres. When you praise your dog, it can be truly happy only if your words match your expressed emotions.
Understanding Dog Health
Thanks to modern vet solutions, pet health has improved by leaps and bounds in the last few decades. It helps that people have become more conscious of the unbreakable link between humans and nature, including the whole living world and dogs.
If you understand the common vet vocabulary, you will be capable of best catering to your dog when it encounters a specific problem. Additionally, you will know how to give preventative care and make sure you are not harming your dog only because you don’t know what’s in their best interest.
Dog Health Standards
Dog health is among the most controversial topics concerning dogs. You cannot even engage with others on social media feed without encountering several conflicting opinions. When discovering contrasts in feeding, breeding, or care standards, dog owners have the tendency to scold each other.
Like it or not, there is conflicting advice about what is best for your dog. Canine preferences can be personalized in the same way as human likes and dislikes.
You need to try and fail a couple of times before you find the perfect solution for every scenario.
How to Read Your Dog’s Blood Work
If you just got your dog’s blood tests and are standing in confusion about what those parameters mean, you are just the average dog owner. Most pet owners don’t have knowledge about blood work. Complex parameters set by different vet clinics don’t make the job easier either.
Lab Results for Dogs
Each vet may have their own normal blood work parameters. Lab results for dogs are interpreted in view of the overall health check, including any urinary analysis and x-rays that had to be made.
Vets today have an array of lab tests to run on dogs compared to decades ago. Typically, a blood test goes along urinary analysis to remove ambiguous interpretations and complete proper diagnostics. That is why nowadays we can draw more definite conclusions about dog health and help our pets live a long and prosperous life.
Dog Heat Cycle
Fun fact – the dog heat cycle is also called “estrus”.
Thanks to the advancement of modern technologies, you can track your dog heat cycle or estrus with an app or set calendar dates.
If you are not a fan of apps, you might still want to pick up some basic knowledge about your dog’s heat cycle without constantly checking your phone.
Here are the most important facts you should know about dog breeding cycles:
- Dogs get into their heat cycles twice a year
- The average age for the first heat cycle is 6-12 months, depending on the breed
- Heat cycles last between 12 and 21 days on average, but can be as short as a few days and as long as four weeks
- Males are attracted to female canines in the estrus bleeding phase
- It is best to spay dogs if you don’t intend to mate and breed them
These basic insights can help you cope with the heat cycle, protect your dog, and make sure you act consciously if you don’t like to raise offspring. Consider carefully the decision about neutering or spaying your dog. Talk to your vet about the best time to do that – early is good, but too early can be risky for some pets and health in later life stages.
Dogs are amazing. We can all agree on that. If you are totally, completely, utterly, and madly in love with dogs, yours or other people’s, stay tuned as we explore exciting topics about keeping dogs in various domestic conditions, dog breed stereotypes, dog training, dogs as therapists/support animals, befriending your dog, understanding your dog language and emotions, and learning important lessons about well-being from dogs.