Dog Behavior

Best Dog Breeds for Apartments

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In recent years, affordable housing has become a serious issue in the Asheville area. Homes are becoming increasingly out of reach for first-time buyers and the middle class in general. Apartment living is a legitimate alternative, and there are a considerable number of apartment buildings and complexes being developed and opened around Asheville. For the dog lover, however, the dilemma is not just finding a reasonably priced apartment, but securing a place to live that accepts dogs. Thankfully, more and more apartment developers are creating pet-friendly properties; still, breed and size restrictions are fairly common.

This article from TurboTenant is interesting because it identifies the dog traits best suited to apartment living, as well as 12 breeds that do well in apartments. Since many local dog owners adopt from shelters and rescues, keep in mind that, depending on the  your dog's mixed breed makeup, she may have some of the traits associated with particular breeds but not all of them. Check out the article here: https://www.turbotenant.com/blog/best-apartment-dogs/


Free Resource: "Fear Free Happy Homes"

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 4.21.32 PMHere's a free resource every dog owner should know about: It's called "Fear Free Happy Homes," a website that focuses on keeping pets happy and safe in their homes. It contains some great information, including videos and articles, and you can sign up for free to gain access to information and pet product discounts. Articles on the website's blog include:

Check out this cool resource at: https://fearfreehappyhomes.com/


Dogs and Sleep

Screen Shot 2020-01-08 at 10.16.53 AM"Let sleeping dogs lie" is a familiar proverb that actually means not interfering in a situation because you could make it worse. However, in the context of "dogs and sleep," it seems to be just as appropriate. Dogs sleep a lot -- on average as much as fourteen hours per day, according to sleep experts at Tuck -- so it pays to just, well, let them lie.

Tuck discusses other fascinating facts about dogs and sleep in a helpful article that includes information about dog vs. human sleep cycles, dog sleeping positions and things you can do to help your dog get better sleep.

The article on sleep is just one in a series of "pet sleep resources" provided by Tuck. You'll find them here: https://www.tuck.com/pet-sleep-resources/


New: Dog Training Classes Begin This Month

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Does your canine need a coach?
Now, Asheville Humane Society offers 6-week training courses for your current or newly-adopted pet! AHS is partnering with Pia Silvani, a canine behavior specialist and trainer, to offer weekly classes for your four-legged friend, including Kindergarten Puppy and Canine Manners. Both courses are open to the public.

Kindergarten Puppy will help your 8- to 16-week-old pup with proper socialization, bite inhibition, house training, manners and more. The class meets for 1 hour a week for 6 weeks and is limited to 10 puppies. The first class will be held on Sunday, January 26 at 2 PM (Asheville Humane's Adoption Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane).

Canine Manners will use reward-based training methods to help you bridge the communication gap when teaching your dog basic manners. This 1-hour class (for dogs over the age of 16 weeks) is limited to 8 dogs and will meet once a week for 6 weeks.  The first two Canine Manners classes will be held on Saturday, January 25 at 10 AM or 11:15 AM (Asheville Humane's new Community Center, 1425 Patton Avenue). 

If you sign up for one of these six-week courses, you will receive $15 off by using coupon code "HOLIDAYK9". (Discount is only valid until these three courses sell out.) 

Purchase tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/asheville-humane-society-28683564225

Pia Silvani is an internationally-recognized dog trainer with over 30 years of experience. Previously, Pia was VP of Training and Behavior at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center where she developed numerous courses focused on positive, reward-based techniques. She also served as the Director of Behavioral Rehabilitation at the ASPCA where she led programs to educate shelter professionals in effective behavior rehabilitation techniques, as well as specialized socialization, enrichment, and shelter protocols.

Image: Asheville Humane Society


Do Dogs Get Jealous?

Guest Post by Clara Lou

Leisure-1551708_1920Have you ever tried to pet another dog when you’re playing with your pooch? Your buddy will try to come between you and the other dog to whom you now gave attention. Initially, your buddy will try to push you or the other dog away, but your dog might also end up whining, biting, and attacking you or the other dog.

This kind of behavior suggests that dogs really get jealous when they are not the center of attention. But a more important question is whether the jealousy in dogs is the same as the jealousy we humans feel. Let’s find out.

Understanding Jealousy in Dogs

I believed that the jealousy in dogs is no different than it is in humans until I met a sled dog racer in Canada. He was making his Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies ready for a ride. They all looked cute, and when I maneuvered to pet them the sled dog rider warned me, “You pet one dog and you have to pet them all.” Further, he said, “They get jealous of each other if any one of them gets more of love, affection, food, or anything. They turn into green-eyed monsters.”

This incident made me look deeper into dogs’ jealous behavior.

What I Found

I am going to discuss two different experiments that helps us understand this behavior better. Friederike Range, of the University of Vienna, did an experiment to study jealousy . Two dogs were given the same task to perform, but one gets rewarded while the other does not. Both the dogs were taught a simple trick of ‘shaking hands’. A dog would extend her paw and put it into the person’s hand.

For the experiment, both the dogs with their respective persons in front of them were seated side by side and were instructed to perform handshakes. But only one dog received the treat as a reward -- the other didn’t. You would think the unrewarded dog would react to this unfair distribution of rewards by performing the same tasks and wouldn’t follow his master’s instructions. This is exactly what happened. The unrewarded dog stopped obeying his master’s command and also showed stress signs when his partner dog kept receiving treats.

Many people would believe that this is not jealousy exactly. It might well be the case that the dog who did not get the treats stopped obeying his master simply due to the fact that all unrewarded training tricks and commands tend to disappear because of the learning process which theorists call “extinction.” Very simply, a dog would not perform the task if he won’t get any rewards in return. Do you also think the same? But wait, you might want to read further.

To ensure that the interaction was important rather than the case of frustration and jealousy, a similar experiment was conducted. But this time it was a little bit different. This time the same task was performed on the two dogs with their respective masters in a separate room. Also, they were not being rewarded at all for obeying their master’s instruction of shaking hands.

Under this circumstance, both the dogs did not only present their paws for a longer time but also didn’t show any signs of frustration or annoyance. So, definitely, the motive to perform the trick was not to get a reward. It was jealousy that the other partner was getting rewards for the same task he was doing.

One More Experiment to Understand This Behavior Further

When human beings are involved in different social settings and situations, every aspect of the reward is closely considered to determine the jealousy. Dogs, however, do not see the situation under the same microscope. This can be understood from a similar experiment to the one previously discussed.

Now, again, two dogs sit side by side in front of their respective owners. Both the dogs are instructed to perform a “shake hand” task. This time, both the dogs get treats as rewards but the difference here is one dog gets a very desirable treat, a piece of chicken, and the other one gets a comparatively less desirable treat, a piece of bread.

The outcome was surprising. The response from both the dogs was not affected by the unfair share of rewards, unlike what a human might have done if he were in the place of dogs. Dogs are sensitive to fairness (whether they are being rewarded or not), but not to the equity (the quality of rewards).

The Bottom Line

It can be said that dogs get jealous when they think you have been unfair to them; whether it’s food, love, affection, attention, or anything. Other animals like primates also respond to primary and secondary emotions, but dogs only respond to secondary emotions. If you have any questions or want to share what you feel, please comment. Long may the canines live!

Clara Lou is a co-founder and the marketing head at PetLovesBest. She happens to be an active animal activist in her town who has done a few notable works for the welfare of animals, especially pets. She loves to enjoy writing about pets and animals.

Image: Pixabay.com