Behavior

Why Does My Dog Greet Me With a Toy?

Why Does My Dog Greet Me With a Toy?

One of the most lovable behaviors of our dog Sally was her affection for her stuffed bear. When we first brought her home as an eight week old puppy, we gave her a stuffed bear that was about the same size of her for comfort. She became attached to that bear from the very beginning. She slept with i... »

Importance of Training Your Dog

Importance of Training Your Dog

We don’t discuss dog training very much here at SlimDoggy. Mainly because we are not dog trainers and to be honest, not even very good at training our dogs. We train them just enough so they are as well-behaved as we need them to be.   Quite a justification, huh? Maybe we’re just la... »

Dog Behavior – Is It Grief or Relief?

Dog Behavior – Is It Grief or Relief?

Many of us have experienced the loss of a dog and those of us with multi-dog households have dealt with not only our own mourning but possibly our dogs mourning the loss of their sibling.   None of our dogs have been ‘close’ to each other – it was more a mutual respect and agr... »

Can an adopted dog be loyal?

Can an adopted dog be loyal?

Dear Labby,   We’ve been thinking about adopting a dog from the shelter. I don’t think we’re prepared for a puppy, but I worry about an older dog. Will they bond to my family? Is it better to get a puppy? Does it upset a dog to get a new family? Will they ever learn to be loya... »

The Hullabaloo Over Hugging your Dog

The Hullabaloo Over Hugging your Dog

You may have seen a series of article recently regarding the advisability of hugging your dog. In the initial article titled »

What’s in a Bark?

What’s in a Bark?

Dogs bark. It’s a fact of life. Some bark more than others, some howl, some yip, some have a deep resounding bark. It’s one of the ways that dogs communicate with us.   Sally was probably what I would call an average barker. She’d let out a bark or two when someone knocked at ... »

Does Your Dog Frustrate You?

Does Your Dog Frustrate You?

We all LOVE our dogs, that’s a fact. It’s unlikely you would even be reading this blog if you don’t have a dog that you love.   But dogs can also be the most frustrating family member. Right?     Our first dog, Sally was a beautiful little bundle of Chocolate Lab lov... »

Does Your Dog Like to Travel?

Does Your Dog Like to Travel?

We are not a big traveling family. We’ve traveled so much for work over the years, getting to stay home is a luxury. Plus, with two “large” dogs, traveling can be a challenge. I am uncomfortable with putting the dogs in the cargo hold on a plane, so that limits travel to places we ... »

Dear Labby: Why is my Dog Licking?

Dear Labby: Why is my Dog Licking?

Dear Labby,   My 10-year old Cocker Spaniel has started licking their elbow joint all the time. I checked to see if there was a cut or a tick or something irritating him, but I don’t see anything. What’s up with this licking behavior?   Worried Mom     Dear Mom, Good ... »

It’s All Fun & Games, Until Someone Ends Up in a Cone

It’s All Fun & Games, Until Someone Ends Up in a Cone

We’ve all seen the internet memes about the “cone of shame” and the poor dogs who have to suffer through the wearing of them. We’ve probably even had a few dogs who had to wear them at one time or another.     Poor dogs, what’s the point of these stupid things... »

Dear Labby: Is Crate Training Cruel?

Dear Labby: Is Crate Training Cruel?

Dear Labby,   I was watching a funny video I saw on Facebook last week of an energetic boxer breaking out of their crate. I think the owner that posted it thought it was funny and I admit I laughed a little – he was so determined to breakout. But the comments from others on the FB post we... »

Mythbuster – Tug of War Leads to Aggression

Mythbuster – Tug of War Leads to Aggression

We’ve probably all heard it said, or been warned by a dog trainer that dogs playing tug of war leads to aggression and should be avoided. Makes no difference if they are playing with you or with another dog, the act of tug and the associated victory of possession creates jealousy and possessiv... »

Really? That’s a “Service Dog”?

Really? That’s a “Service Dog”?

First and foremost I want to say that there are absolutely legitimate reasons for people to require the type of assistance that service dogs can afford them. Trained guide dogs for the blind, dogs like our Becca who was trained to carry a backpack for her wheel-chair bound owner, dogs who detect sei... »

Why can dogs learn their names and cats cannot?

Why can dogs learn their names and cats cannot?

One of the main training techniques every dog owner tries to master is recall, getting your dog to come back to you when you call them by name. Dogs easily learn their names and respond to it – whether they come back to you or not is a different story.   But what about cats? They are noto... »

Do Dogs Understand Death?

Do Dogs Understand Death?

If you follow us on Facebook, you know that a few weeks ago my sister’s dog Tally passed away. She was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma about 4 months ago. She initially had surgery to remove a large tumor in her abdomen and then was treated conservatively. She had a few months relatively “... »

Does your dog talk to you?

Does your dog talk to you?

I know dogs don’t really “talk”, at least not in English…or any other human language. But do they still talk to us with their barks, their eyes, their body?   I noticed something about Jack recently that has sparked this post. Jack developed some incontinence issues abou... »

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

We have probably all heard the phrase “Let sleeping dogs lie”. Wikitionary defines it as meaning: To leave things as they are; especially, to avoid restarting or rekindling an old argument; to leave disagreements in the past.   I think that is sound advice to be followed in many sit... »

Dear Labby: Why did my dog growl?

Dear Labby: Why did my dog growl?

Dear Labby,   We recently rescued a dog from our local shelter. He’s a good boy and is getting used to our home and lifestyle quickly. One behavior that has bothered me is he sometimes growls at people when we are out together. It’s not all the time, just sometimes and it’s ju... »

Silent Dog Whistles – Do they work?

Silent Dog Whistles – Do they work?

Jack’s hearing has been declining the last year or so – to the point where if he is more than a few feet away, he really only responds to clapping and if more than a few feet, well forget it. I thought I would buy a dog whistle to see if that helped, or if he could hear it better or at a... »

Why do Dogs Howl?

Why do Dogs Howl?

Does your dog howl? Of all of our dogs, only Tino howled, and only occasionally – mainly when he heard fire engines or the ice cream truck. It was odd because those two don’t have the same pitch or tone at all. They sound nothing alike, so why did he howl to them? Steve could also get Ti... »

The Labrador Handbook

The Labrador Handbook

We were fortunate to be given a copy of Pippa Mattinson’s new book: The Labrador Handbook to review.   Pippa is a zoologist and the founder of The Gun Dog Trust, the UK’s first gundog training and welfare charity. She manages a website of her own as well as The Labrador Site which h... »

Do Dogs Like Music?

Do Dogs Like Music?

I’ve written before about dogs watching television and what they really “see” when watching. None of my dogs have ever paid any attention to the TV, so I assume they just don’t see it.   But what about music? Do dogs hear and/or appreciate music?   Slimdoggy Steve i... »

Why I Love My Dog – Maggie

Why I Love My Dog – Maggie

A while back I wrote a post about why I love my dog and included a list of five things Jack does that make me smile and think how lucky I am to have him. It’s easy to love Jack. He’s a love bug. He loves us and shows it in everything he does, every look, every action, all day, every day.... »

Outdoor vs Indoor – Which is Better for your Dog?

Outdoor vs Indoor – Which is Better for your Dog?

How we care for our dogs has certainly changed over the last few decades. I remember when I was growing up, my grandfather owned a kennel and he raised collies and boarded dogs. The barn (or the kennel) was a great place, each dog had it’s own indoor/outdoor run of maybe 10X20 for the boarders... »

How to Stop your Dog from Jumping on Visitors

How to Stop your Dog from Jumping on Visitors

Dear Labby,   My daughter has a wonderful pup, about a year old who is a sweet thing, but has the bad habit of jumping on people. It was fine when she was a pup, but now she weighs 50+ LBS and I worry she is going to knock me, or one of the kids over and hurt someone.   I’m not there... »

Does Your Dog Have a Best Friend?

Does Your Dog Have a Best Friend?

We mean besides you of course. Does your dog have a best ‘dog’ friend – someone they play with, go on adventures with, share trouble-making schemes? Is it another dog in your household, a neighbor dog, or someone they play with at the dog park?   Jack and Maggie are both loner... »

Cesar Milan 911: How NOT to Introduce a New Dog

Cesar Milan 911: How NOT to Introduce a New Dog

I was flipping through TV channels the other day and came upon a different Cesar Milan show. I think it was the Cesar 911 show. The premise of the show is to introduce a shelter dog to a family hoping for a match. They get two weeks to make a decision about whether to keep the dog, with one mid-tria... »

Dogs In Guinness Book of Records

Dogs In Guinness Book of Records

When I was younger, the Guinness Book of World Records fascinated me. I don’t know why, I never had any designs to actually BE in the book, I guess it was just fun to read about the crazy stuff people would do to get their name in the record book. They used to be pretty straightforward, the bi... »

Why Do Dogs Chase Cars?

Why Do Dogs Chase Cars?

Our neighbors recently got a new dog, an Australian Shepherd. Seems like a nice enough dog, but these folks let their dog run free. We leave in a fairly secluded spot – at the end of a dead-end street and it backs up to what is called “open space” in California. They previously had... »

Dear Labby: Does Yelling at your Dog Work?

Dear Labby: Does Yelling at your Dog Work?

Dear Labby,   Our neighbors just got a new dog, not a puppy, but an adolescent. Judging by how often they YELL and SCREAM at the dog, I would guess he’s a teenager full of hormones and bad behavior.   I want to tell them that yelling doesn’t really help and may harm their relat... »

Do Male and Female Dogs Behave Differently?

Do Male and Female Dogs Behave Differently?

Over the years we have had both male and female dogs. We did a post a while back on the difference in appearance between males and females, but today we’re going to take a look at differences in behavior.   Conventional wisdom used to be that male dogs were tougher and more aggressive tha... »

What’s Up with Dogs and Baths?

What’s Up with Dogs and Baths?

Our Sally loved to swim. Any chance she got she would splash in a puddle, wade in a stream or jump in a pool. Once she even hopped into the horse trough at Griffith Park. She loved water…except bath water.   She would allow us to lead her into the bathroom, lift her into the tub and bath ... »

What to do if your Dog Nips at your Heels?

What to do if your Dog Nips at your Heels?

When we lived in Pasadena, we had a neighbor with a cute bull terrier named Lucy who would come over for play dates with Sally & Tino several times a week. They would race around the front yard for 30 minutes or so chasing each other or chasing a ball or playing bite face.   One of Tino... »

How to Tell if Your Dog is Happy

How to Tell if Your Dog is Happy

We have had five dogs over the course of the 20+ years we’ve lived in California. We started with Sally, who we got as a sweet little 8 week old pup. Then we added Tino about 2 years later. When Sally passed away we adopted Becca, when Tino passed away we adopted Jack and then when Becca passe... »

Dear Labby, Are Dogs Bilingual?

Dear Labby, Are Dogs Bilingual?

Dear Labby,   My friend, who lived in Germany for three years has a dog who understands both German and English. Can I teach my dog to be bilingual?   Dog Linguist     Dear Linguist,   This seems like a simple question to answer, of course they are. They are not only bilingu... »

What Tino Refused to Eat

What Tino Refused to Eat

Many years ago, my dad came to stay with us for a few months while my mom had back surgery and we prepared to move them both out to California to be closer to us. We still had Sally & Tino at the time and Tino and my dad were great friends…as you can see. Both Sally & Tino also knew ... »

How Do Dogs Make Decisions?

How Do Dogs Make Decisions?

Last week we wrote about about the different strategies our dogs Jack & Maggie use when playing a game. It got me thinking more and more about how dogs think and how they make decisions. You may not realize it, but just like you, your dog makes hundreds of decisions each day… Do I go get ... »

Is Your Dog a Strategic Thinker?

Is Your Dog a Strategic Thinker?

We frequently play a simple game with Jack and Maggie we call ‘find the food’. It’s pretty basic, we just hide little Zuke treats around the front yard – on the car bumper, the watering can, on top of the rocks in the flower beds, on the porch railing, etc. We hide probably 2... »

Tino’s Burial Ground

Tino’s Burial Ground

When we first rescued Tino and his brother Bernie, they were sick and emaciated. They had been abandoned at a local park and from the looks of them they had probably been living on the streets for at least a couple of months. To say they loved mealtime was an understatement. Even sick with distemper... »

SlimDoggy Mythbuster: Can Dogs See Television?

SlimDoggy Mythbuster: Can Dogs See Television?

Does your dog watch TV? Neither Jack or Maggie pay any attention to the TV. As a matter of fact, none of my dogs have even acknowledged it’s existence. And yet, you see Youtube videos and Facebook posts all the time of dogs raptly watching another dog on TV or barking at a cat commercial. I wo... »

Dear Labby: Does My Dog Sleep Too Much?

Dear Labby: Does My Dog Sleep Too Much?

Dear Labby,   We just rescued a 12-week old pup from the local shelter. We think he is a Lab/Pit/Boxer mix or at least that’s what they told us. He is so cute and we have lots of fun with him. We’re planning on taking him to puppy classes soon. The only thing that bothers me is that... »

What’s Up with Maggie?

What’s Up with Maggie?

Those of you that follow our blog know that we rescued our Lab, Maggie about three years ago. She came to us from a Lab Rescue who had removed her from a breeder, a breeding farm really. Her condition was not good, both physically and mentally. She was extremely fearful and didn’t eat for thre... »

Tino and Buddy

Tino and Buddy

I’ve been asked to write more Tino stories, so here’s another favorite.   Our Tino was a sensitive and perceptive dog. Even though he kept to himself and was very independent, he was also very affectionate and sensitive to family dynamics. Whenever one of us was sick he stuck a litt... »

What Makes a Dog a “Velcro Dog”?

What Makes a Dog a “Velcro Dog”?

Jack is a velcro dog. What does that mean? Does it mean he’s bonded to me? Does it mean he REALLY loves me? Does it mean he freaks out if I’m not around? It means a little of all of that. Mostly, it means that Jack is attached to me like velcro. He follows me everywhere, attached to my h... »

Coyote Season

Coyote Season

In the area we live there are a lot of coyotes. Sometimes we see and hear them all the time, sometimes we don’t see or hear them for months.   This time of year, when new pups are born we see and hear them A LOT. Almost every night they gather in the fields across from our house and discu... »

How Does Your Dog Deal with a Disrupted Routine?

How Does Your Dog Deal with a Disrupted Routine?

Most dogs love routine. They know what time meals are served, when walks are supposed to happen, what it means when they see a suitcase. Life is pretty predictable. They also like to liven things up. We’ve written before about how excited Jack and Maggie get when we take a new route or drive t... »

5 Reasons NOT to Get a Dog

5 Reasons NOT to Get a Dog

We love dogs. We can’t imagine our life without dogs in it. There is much written about the benef its of owning a dog, the fun that they are, the security they bring, the unconditional love. That’s why we love having them in our life. But you don’t usually see much written about th... »

Are Dogs Typically Right-pawed or Left-pawed?

Are Dogs Typically Right-pawed or Left-pawed?

Most humans have a dominant side – the hand they use to write with typically displays that dominance. Stating the percentage of humans that are right-handed over left-handed is tough as there isn’t much empirical data on it. The best I could find was a quote from Scientific American stat... »

Dear Labby, What’s the Best Way to Introduce a New Dog to the Family?

Dear Labby, What’s the Best Way to Introduce a New Dog to the Family?

This is the third in our Dear Labby series on adding a 2nd (or 3rd) dog to your household. We’ve looked at the factors to consider when deciding to add another dog, tips on choosing that dog and now introducing the new dog to your current dog.   Over the past six years, we’ve had 3 ... »

Maggie CREATES a Home

Maggie CREATES a Home

Our Maggie May has been with us for almost 3 years now. It’s been a challenge because she was an extremely fearful girl when she came to our home. She came from a puppy mill breeder situation and had been kept as a breeder mom for 8 years. She got tossed out when she got too old to have pups, ... »

Dear Labby, Help me Choose Our New Dog

Dear Labby, Help me Choose Our New Dog

A few weeks ago, Dear Labby started a new series in response to a letter about adding a 2nd dog to the family. We discussed the factors you should consider in your decisionmaking, including the time and cost involved. In this post, we’ll provide some tips on choosing the right dog for your fam... »

How Protective is Your Dog?

How Protective is Your Dog?

Most of us have dogs because we love them and the fact that they might contribute to the security of our home or our family is just a side benefit. Sometimes I wonder what Jack or Maggie would actually do if someone broke into our home or tried to cause harm to us outside of the home. I don’t ... »

Tino & the Rabbits

Tino & the Rabbits

As you know, we have a million Tino stories. Mostly because everyday was a new adventure with Tino – it’s part of what made him so special. Tino loved chasing critters. He didn’t care what it was – squirrels, coyotes, possums, but his favorite was rabbits. Or maybe they were ... »

Dear Labby, Should We Get a Second Dog?

Dear Labby, Should We Get a Second Dog?

Dear Labby, We are thinking about adding a second dog to our family. I’d like a medium sized dog that would be a good watchdog, but also a companion for our current dog a six-year old Shepherd/Akita mix. We plan to adopt and wonder if our local rescue is the best place to start? Do you think a... »

Watching the World Go By

Watching the World Go By

Last weekend my sister-in-law sent me this photo of her dog Kylie. She’s sitting on the landing of their stairway in front of a large picture window looking over her yard and the street. It’s her favorite spot and perfect for surveying the neighborhood activities.   It got me thinki... »

Resolve to Move Your Mutt Recap

Resolve to Move Your Mutt Recap

Last year, we held a special New Years Blog Hop called Resolve to Move Your Mutt. It was an effort to get folks to make a special New Year’s resolution to get out and move with their dog in 2014 – hopefully for their benefit as well as their pet parents.   Folks who joined shared a ... »

Possession is Nine-tenths of the Law

Possession is Nine-tenths of the Law

“Possession is nine-tenths of the law.” This is a fairly well known expression meaning that ownership is easier to maintain if one has possession of something, or difficult to enforce if one does not.” ~Wikipedia   Do your dogs obey this “unwritten” law?   Jac... »

Have You Ever Lost Your Dog?

Have You Ever Lost Your Dog?

LOST DOG. Don’t you hate to see those signs and the sinking feeling it gives you? I thank God we’ve never lost any of our dogs for longer than 15-20 minutes. The longest situation was Tino, of course, but HE knew exactly where he was and exactly where I was, so technically I’m not ... »

Rule Breakers and Rule Followers

Rule Breakers and Rule Followers

Can you guess which category Jack & Maggie fall into? It’s not what you would think.   Jack is absolutely a rule follower. He knows the rules and follows them to the letter. I think he’s worried he’s going to get tossed into the street again – which we could never d... »

Dear Labby, Why Does My Dog Sleep on My Clothes?

Dear Labby, Why Does My Dog Sleep on My Clothes?

Dear Labby,   Look at this picture of my dog Tally…she’s lying on top of my flip-flops! What is up with that? She does it all the time, whenever I discard a piece of clothing on the floor, she lies down on top of it – why?   Tally’s mom.     Dear TallyR... »

What is it with Dogs and the Mailman?

What is it with Dogs and the Mailman?

Our dog Tino had a love-hate relationship with our mail carrier in Pasadena. We lived on cul-de-sac on a road that ran along a bluff next to the Rose Bowl. We had mailboxes in front of our house and the mailman would deliver the mail out of his truck. Pete, our mailman, would enter the cul-de-sac, d... »

Don’t Judge a Book (or a Dog) by it’s Cover

Don’t Judge a Book (or a Dog) by it’s Cover

Many years ago, back when I lived in Syracuse, I had a yellow Labrador named Maxine. I’ve written about her before and posted pictures of her and her puppies. She was a wonderful dog, loving and gentle with all. She did have a habit of jumping on you when you came home from work, but that was ... »

Do Your Dogs Protect Each Other?

Do Your Dogs Protect Each Other?

Much has been written about the dogs being “pack” animals and having protective feelings for their human pack members, but do dogs feel protective of their canine pack members? Given that Jack mostly ignores Maggie, I often wonder what would he do if we had a run in with another dog or c... »

SlimDoggy Mythbuster | Do Dogs Lick to Heal Themselves?

SlimDoggy Mythbuster | Do Dogs Lick to Heal Themselves?

Today we are looking at the common belief that a dog will lick a wound in order to heal it and that it actually helps heal a wound. Well, truth be told, that’s not a total myth. A dog will lick a cut and in doing so he may help to keep it clean and free from dirt. In that respect it may be hel... »

Maggie Masters the Dog Door

Maggie Masters the Dog Door

We’ve written a couple of posts about our Maggie, our fearful girl and how she has really started to come out of her shell, let down her guard and be a dog. A recent post called Maggie Magellan described how she’s getting braver about exploring new things and going off on her own without... »

Dear Labby: Is My Dog Afraid of the Dark?

Dear Labby: Is My Dog Afraid of the Dark?

Dear Labby, Our dog Kylie seems to be afraid of the dark. Is that possible?   During the day, when it’s sunny, bright, full of daylight, Kylie romps around in the backyard. We play ball, she chases squirrels, etc. However, once the sun sets and the backyard is dark, she’s very tenta... »

Walking Multiple Dogs | SlimDoggy

Tips for Walking your Pack

Last week, one of our friends asked us for some tips on walking multiple dogs. She has four rescued greyhounds, so I imagine walking them at once can be a real challenge. We only have two dogs and Jack is a star walker – right to my right, very focused. At one time we had a foster, so I had th... »

Walk Your Dog Week – Wrap-up

Walk Your Dog Week – Wrap-up

October 1st – 8th was National Walk Your Dog Week. As part of our commitment to the health and well-being of ourselves and our dogs, we challenged ourselves to not only walk everyday, but to find new and interesting places to walk Jack & Maggie. We joined the #DogWalkingWeek Blog Hop spon... »

Are Shelters a Good Place to get a Pet?

Are Shelters a Good Place to get a Pet?

Recently, the Washington Post published a story, “Why I’d Never Adopt a Shelter Dog Again”. The author told a tale of woe about adopting three shelter dogs and encountering various health issues with them over the years. Mind you, one of the dogs lived to age nine and her complaints were about incre... »

Dear Labby, Why Does my Dog Bury Things?

Dear Labby, Why Does my Dog Bury Things?

Dear Labby,   My dog buries thing all over our yard – his toys, treats, shoes, anything he can get his jaws on, he buries. Why does he do that and how do I get him to stop?   Buried   Dear Buried,   Your dog is just following his instinct. When dogs were first becoming dome... »

Do Dogs Have Favorites?

Do Dogs Have Favorites?

We all know that we have favorite foods, favorite movies or TV shows, favorite books even favorite people. But do dogs? Do dogs really prefer one toy over another or one food over another or one person over another?   My totally unscientific research says ABSOLUTELY!   Let me offer evidenc... »

SlimDoggy MythBuster | Dog Aggression or Love?

SlimDoggy MythBuster | Dog Aggression or Love?

Today we’re going to discuss a subject not frequently covered…dog humping. Yes, dogs hump each other, they hump you, they may hump the sofa pillows or a stuffed toy. But why do they hump? Some people say it’s a sign of aggression and dominance, that dogs mount each other as a displ... »

Maggie May | Our Quirky Dog

Maggie May | Our Quirky Dog

We’ve written lots about our dogs, starting with Sally, Tino, Becca, Jack (of course) and our latest addition – with us almost two years now, Maggie May, or Maggie.   We adopted Maggie through a Labrador rescue and learned that not only was she a puppy mill mom, tossed out at eight ... »

Take Your Dog to Work Day

Take Your Dog to Work Day

Tomorrow is designated Take Your Dog to Work Day by Pet Sitter’s International. Many major companies (Google, Proctor & Gamble, Ben & Jerry’s) and smaller companies allow you to bring your dogs to work everyday. Some don’t, but make an allowance on this special day. I wor... »

Five Tips on using Incentives to Train Your Dog

Five Tips on using Incentives to Train Your Dog

Today’s A to Z Challenge letter “I” post is about Incentive and how to use Incentives to train your dog. Having Labs, using food as incentives comes natural, but what if your dog doesn’t find food that attractive, how do you incorporate incentives into your training program? ... »

Why Labs Make Great Pets

Why Labs Make Great Pets

Why are Labrador Retrievers such popular pets? We talk about a few of the reasons in this eHow video:   Why Do Black Labs Make Great Pets? — powered by ehow   »

SlimDoggy Jack’s Mischievious Week!

SlimDoggy Jack’s Mischievious Week!

It started out like any other week, but ended up being Jack’s most mischievous week ever. I often say that he and Maggie don’t get into to much trouble, being seniors and all. Well, not this week. It started with Jack’s discovery of a ground squirrel nest in our backyard right next... »

Want to talk to your Dog? You may need a Dog Decoder.

Want to talk to your Dog? You may need a Dog Decoder.

As a follow-up to last week’s Dear Labby post on the importance of new parents ability to read their dogs behavior in relation to the new baby, I wanted to review a new App we learned about last month. It’s called Dog Decoder and it can be purchased through the iPhone App store for $3.99... »

Jack Looks to WOOF for Support

Jack Looks to WOOF for Support

Both Jack and Maggie came to us after years of neglect and mistreatment. In other words, they both had some baggage. Jack was over-anxious and reactive. Maggie was extremely fearful. I’ve written about Maggie’s trials with her fears here and here, but I don’t write about Jack’... »

Dogs and kids – what could go wrong?

Dogs and kids – what could go wrong?

Dear Labby, We adopted a border collie/australian shepherd mix a few years ago and she is as sweet as can be. Our problems started when our daughter was born. At first, Blu was totally in love with the baby and slept by her, protected her, watched over her. But now that the baby is up and walking, w... »

Dognition Part 2

Dognition Part 2

We finished up Jack’s Dognition exercises this past week and wanted to report on our results. Since it’s not really called a ‘test’ he didn’t really graduate, but he wanted to wear the cap, so what the heck. And I know this is not Wordless, but figured we’d join t... »

Seven Tips for Training a Fearful Dog

Seven Tips for Training a Fearful Dog

Training a fearful dog is much different than training a dog like Jack. Jack is totally dialed in to his humans and wants nothing more than to be with us and make us happy. Maggie was the polar opposite, she wanted nothing more than to crawl into her bed, pull the covers over her head and not have t... »

Jack Takes the Dognition Test

Jack Takes the Dognition Test

We’ve read about Dognition, a cognition & personality assessment for your dog, since it was released early last year. It sounds like a really interesting concept – using brainteasers and puzzles, you can learn how your dog thinks. I’ve been wanting to buy it ($29 for one dog or... »

Lessons from the Dog: What Maggie has Taught Jack

Lessons from the Dog: What Maggie has Taught Jack

When we first got Jack he was pretty out of control, overweight, overwrought, under-exercised and under-stimulated. He was reactive to strangers and other dogs. When we got Maggie just over a year later, she was close to being shutdown, fearful, underweight, under-exercised and under-stimulated. Pol... »

Mythbuster – All Dogs Love to be Pet (or is it petted?)

Mythbuster – All Dogs Love to be Pet (or is it petted?)

All dogs love to be pet right? And the easiest place to pet them is the top of their head, so it’s okay to  pet them there – they like it. And with little dogs, it’s okay to just pick them up and pet them! I think those myths have been busted pretty thoroughly over the last few yea... »

Tips for Managing Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Tips for Managing Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Today’s guest post is by Kate Voss. Kate is an entertainment writer from Chicago, IL who is the proud owner of her Chow/Shepard mix, Margot. As dog owners we are generally willing to do just about anything within reason to help our dogs live happy, comfortable lives, and minimize issues common... »

Dear Labby: Dog Tail Wagging

Dear Labby: Dog Tail Wagging

Dear Labby, Last week we rescued a 5-year old mutt from the shelter. She’s a great dog and we’re having lots of fun with her. My question is about her tail. It never seems to be wagging and always seems to be hanging low and sometimes it is even tucked between her legs. Does this mean sh... »

Mythbuster #7 Dogs Hate Cats and Vice Versa

Mythbuster #7 Dogs Hate Cats and Vice Versa

This is a well known fact – Dogs hate cats and cats hate dogs – right? The animosity between the two species is well-documented through the ages in books, movies, cartoons and maybe even in your daily life. But is it true?     Of course not – if it was true how do explain... »

Dear Labby – Teeth Baring

Dear Labby – Teeth Baring

Dear Labby, When our two dogs play, Tally dances all around Taj trying to engage her. Taj being the older dog stands and looks at her, taunting her energetically, and every now and then she’ll give her a bit of a chase, which is exactly what Tally is trying to get her to do. This morning, Tall... »

SlimDoggy MythBuster #3: Are Dogs Colorblind?

SlimDoggy MythBuster #3: Are Dogs Colorblind?

Today’s myth busting is on something I think we’ve all believed for some time and only recently beginning to hear otherwise and that is that dogs are colorblind. I’ve always heard – and believed that they were, that they were able to see only varying shades of grey/black/whit... »

Dear Labby

Dear Labby

Dear Labby, I’ve always heard that if you are going to have two dogs, it’s best to mix the sex, to have one girl and one boy, otherwise you run the risk of same sex rivalry and fights. Is there any truth to this? What do I do if I want three dogs? Sibling Rivalry   Dear Sibling, Tha... »

Maggie Mischief

Maggie Mischief

We love Mischief Mondays, but to be honest our senior dogs Jack & Maggie are usually pretty good, so I don’t always have good mischief to report. But this week is different. Our dog Maggie has some fear issues. We’ve written about her in our Tale of Tails series that you can read her... »

Jack & Maggie at School – Day 2

Jack & Maggie at School – Day 2

Thursday night was our 2nd day of ‘socialization class’. We missed last week because of momz work and the week before was July 4th, so we kind of forgot how much fun it was. There was a ‘new kid’ in class this week – a youngish Labbie looking guy, who loved to bark! He ... »

Sibling Rivalry or Sibling Love?

Sibling Rivalry or Sibling Love?

Dear Labby, I have one dog – a wonderful mixed breed, but mostly lab/pittie that we rescued from the local shelter. I’d like to adopt another dog, but we wonder and worry about having two dogs and how they will get along. I’ve heard some horror stories about dogs not getting along.... »

Jack & Maggie at School

Jack & Maggie at School

SlimDoggy Jack & Maggie had their first ‘socialization’ class last week. Our main purpose in enrolling them was for both of them to get more comfortable around other dogs. Maggie, coming from a breeder farm, was around other dogs all the time, but judging from the bite wounds on her ... »

Maggie goes Rebel

Maggie goes Rebel

If you read our Blog, you’ve probably read about our dog Maggie. We adopted Maggie just about a year ago from a rescue that had saved her from breeder farm where Maggie was a breeder mom. She was skinny, malnourished and afraid of her own shadow. We’ve worked hard over the past year to get her fit a... »

Dear Labby: Fearful Fido

Dear Labby: Fearful Fido

Dear Labby, Hi, As I was perusing FB I noticed your story on Maggie and wanted some of your thoughts on my situation.  I rescue dogs, and last year rescued a pregnant bitch who had 10 pups at my house.  They are Min Pin/ Rat Terrier / Chi/ doxie, who knows.  It has been a slow adoption for these lit... »

Is Mental Exercise Really Exercise?

Is Mental Exercise Really Exercise?

It’s FitDog Friday again, SlimDoggy Jack’s favorite day of the week because he gets to read all the fun posts from his buddies and the cool new fitness activities they’ve been doing. It’s also K9Kamp time, so he’s even more excited to see what his fellow Kampers are up ... »

Jack gets into Saturday Mischief

Jack gets into Saturday Mischief

For those of you that follow us on FaceBook (and you all should!), you saw this story over the weekend. Here’s the dirty details. Jack is usually pretty well behaved. The only thing he does is get a little wound up when he’s on the scent of an animal in the yard or on the trails.  And he... »

Dear Labby 3 Tips for Dog Behavior Issues

Dear Labby 3 Tips for Dog Behavior Issues

Dear Labby, We just adopted a young, energetic mixed breed male dog (we think part Lab, part Shepherd). Our vet says he appears to be between 3-4 years old.  “Lenny’ is adorable but he is exhibiting some unwanted behaviors including digging and chewing on our furniture.  He has so much energy that w... »

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