Tag Archives: dog behavior

Small Dog Aggression: Is it Real?

If you’re the proud owner of a small dog, you know that big personalities often come in the tiniest packages. There are plenty of memes, YouTube videos, and other anecdotal evidence that shows tiny dogs bossing around bigger dogs, cats, and people.

However, while this may be funny to watch online, small dog aggression can cause real problems for both pets and their owners.

The team at West Park Animal Hospital wants all dogs to live in harmony with their families, regardless of size. That’s why we’re tackling the issue of small dog aggression head-on!

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The Low Down on Mellow Dogs for Mellow People

Mellow dogs are great for mellow people.

The world of dog breeds is amazing. Canine companions come in every shape, size, and color, with different personalities to match. And whether you’re interested in a furry companion for your kids, a protective guard dog, or a running partner for yourself, chances are you can find a breed personality that matches your lifestyle.

What about another trait that many people are looking for? Mellowness (or calmness) in dogs is a highly desired trait, especially for families with children or elderly people. And, according to the American Kennel Club, there are several breeds out there with that particular characteristic.

West Park Animal Hospital explores the wide, wonderful world of mellow dogs…

Mellow Dogs: Breeds and Basics

Bulldog – The bulldog is a bit too big to be a lapdog, but he would like to be! Mellow and laid back, the bulldog is a good choice for those who are wanting a dog happy to laze around inside. They do need regular walks to prevent obesity, but a jogger this dog is not. They are known as great family dogs due to their tendency to bond with children.

Mastiff – Mastiffs of all types (Bull, English, Neapolitan) don’t need a great deal of exercise and are gentle, sweet tempered dogs. They are considered to be great family dogs but will need thoughtful socialization and training in order to behave properly around children and other dogs, as they sometimes don’t know their own strength.

Great Dane – In spite of their size, Great Danes are known as couch potatoes, and even great apartment dogs. Mellow and gentle, their loving nature has helped coin the phrase “gentle giants”. They also make great family pets.

Saint Bernard – Friendly and patient, the Saint Bernard is another of the mellow dog breeds. Their large size and hairy coat mean they need regular grooming to stay healthy. They have the reputation of being happy to go with the flow, so to speak.

Greyhound – As a sighthound, or coursing breed, you may think of greyhounds as hyperactive runners, but nothing could be further from the truth. The greyhound is a calm dog and happy to lounge around the house all day. They do need exercise opportunities to (safely) run full out, but at home are generally mild and placid.

Pug – Who doesn’t love a pug? These mellow dogs are even tempered and calm, and they fit into almost any household. It’s easy to see why they’ve been companion dogs to humans since ancient times.

Bernese Mountain Dog – Their calm, confident natures made Bernese Mountain Dogs ideal for farm work, including pulling carts to market and driving dairy cattle. Their gentle and easygoing manner again make them a good family dog. They have a strong need to be near their people.

Xoloitzcuintli – Known as the Mexican hairless dog, the “Xolo” is a relatively little-known breed. These dogs are described as loyal, calm and alert. The Xolo is also known to make an excellent companion dog. The breed was used as a healer, as it’s warm skin was put to use in remote Mexican and Central American villages to remedy ailments such as rheumatism, insomnia, and asthma.

Mellow dogs abound, it seems! Each breed is different, and of course each individual dog has his or her own personality traits within the breed. Research is a wonderful place to start, but can’t substitute for in person visits with a potential new dog for your family. Remember too that every dog does need daily exercise to be their healthiest.

The following ideas are not exhaustive, and if you would like more ideas about a great breed for your family, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We are experts in breed knowledge, and have the opportunity to see and work with many different breed of dog throughout the year. We’re here to help!

The Confounding Logic of a Hoarding Dog

hoarding dogHave you ever lifted up your couch only to find a giant collection of bones, treats, or toys that dates back many, many months? What about shining a light on the dark corner in the back of your closet to reveal a veritable mini-mountain of kibble? You’re not alone. In fact, many people have a hoarding dog, but they either haven’t discovered it yet or they simply don’t know what to do. It may seem like we’re making up this wack-a-doo dog behavior, but this real canine conduct has possibly sound logic behind it.

Why Does My Dog Hoard?

Dogs have various behaviors that root all the way back to their wild ancestors. Before they became our natural best friends, dogs didn’t know where their next meal was coming from. To be sure, many dogs either starved or ate questionable meals every few days or so. As a result, when wild dogs got a big pay day, they either buried or hid it to nibble on over the course of several days. Among other animals that continue this behavior today, foxes are also well known to hoard.

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Strange Dog Behaviors: Why Does My Dog Do That?

WestPark_iStock_000007347844_LargeYou’ve run into your boss and his family at the park and, as usual, your dog immediately does something disgusting. Why does he do that?

Is your pet being passive-aggressive, or what? Probably not – every dog has a repertoire of strange dog behaviors seemingly reserved for the worst possible moments. While they may be embarrassing to you, to your dog they are absolutely normal. Continue reading