Your Personality May Affect The Way Your Dog Learns To Behave

When it comes to training dogs, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Dogs can develop behavioral issues for a variety of reasons. Fortunately, dogs’ problem behaviors can be corrected with the right treatment (and some time and patience). A team of UPenn researchers wanted to understand how best to accomplish this. Since dogs learn so much from their people, the researchers considered how we, the parents, may affect our dogs’ training. The study, published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, indicates that people’s … Read more

Study Shows That Our Dogs Have Profound Personality Changes As They Age!

dog personality cover

It turns out that our canine companions are not so different from us after all! After a recent study on canine behavior, we now have proof that our dogs really do mature as they age.

As dog parents, we have always known that our dogs change as the years go by. While we can acknowledge the differences in our adult dogs compared to their puppy selves, it can be challenging to pinpoint the exact changes. Thanks to this study, it’s no longer a mystery!

dog personality

To determine how our furry friends change as the years go by, Borbála Turcsán and her colleagues set out to study a group of 217 Border Collies. With each pup ranging from 6 months to 15 years of age, they were able to gather an array of results based on each canine age range. Four years later, the remaining dogs were asked to return to perform the same activities once again.

This canine personality study wanted to dive into all aspects of problem-solving and obedience that our dogs may experience throughout their lives. To get the most accurate results possible, the team broke the study into 6 categories.

  • Exploration test: The dogs were sent into a room to explore the area and different objects in the area, while the owner stood in the room, ignoring them.
  • Frustration test: The experimenter dangled a piece of sausage on a string in front of the dog’s face, just out of reach, for one minute.
  • Novel object test: The dog was shown a self-moving toy and was allowed to interact with it for one minute.
  • Ball playing test: The dog parent threw a ball three times and allowed the dog to retrieve it.
  • Obedience test: The dog parent gave the dog four commands (sit, lie down, stay and come) while the experimenter was distracting the dog with noises.
  • Problem-solving test: The dog parent showed their dog how to remove the lid of a bin to get food from it, and then the dog had one minute to remove the lid themselves and get the food.

By performing these tests on the same dogs 4 years apart, the experimenters could come to a few conclusions based on canine personalities. While the more adventurous and curious canines were still similar to their younger selves, their level of excitement declined significantly as they aged.

dog personality

 “Dogs that are active and curious when young will remain active and curious when they get old, but only compared to other dogs. A dog’s personality changes over time, and, on average, every dog becomes less active and less curious as they age.” – Borbála Turcsán

Overall, the experimenters found that a dog’s ability to problem solve improves until the age of 6 and then remains stable. While their excitement for novelty objects doesn’t change much during the first 2 years, their novelty excitement does fade significantly after 3 years of age.

One thing that did not change, however, was a dog’s ability to handle frustration. While their problem-solving ability did increase until the age of 6, their frustration levels remained the same as they aged. This was a bit surprising to the experts, as they thought their frustration tolerance would decline.

dog personality

While this study dove into multiple aspects of canine behavior, one thing is for sure all around. Our dogs do mature as they get older, and their need for exercise significantly decreases.

“Dogs get less active with age, and that should give hope to the people who have puppies that are too active. And while they become less oriented to problem-solving and novelty-seeking as they get older, they remain obedient and social, which is probably the most important thing for owners.” – Dr. Katherine Houpt

While dog lovers already know that their favorite furry friends change with time, it’s nice to see a study dedicated to proving it. We can’t wait to see future research on our beloved companions and hopefully understand them better than ever before!

H/T: nbcnews.com

The Human “Sniff Test” Is Not The Preferred Introduction For Dogs

Dog Sniff Test

Whenever we see a dog, we want to meet them. It’s impossible not to fall in love with a dog at first sight. So, many humans have become accustomed to introducing themselves to new pups. This usually involves extending your hand to the dog and allowing them to sniff you first. It’s the universal sign that a dog approves of you. Or, so we thought. As it turns out, the “sniff test” is anything but relaxing for a dog. In … Read more

5 Unexpected Reasons Why Dogs Don’t Like Certain People

Getting on a dog’s good side might seem as easy as having a pocket full of treats and knowing the trick to a good belly rub, but our four-legged friends aren’t always easy to please. They’re quick to judge a person’s character, and there are some people they simply don’t like. It could be a specific person in the dog’s family, a friend of their owner’s, or a random person they meet on the street—but dogs know a foe when … Read more

10 Commands Every Dog Should Know

Sit The most basic of commands, this is one of the first cues taught. Asking a dog to sit ensures a calmer more focused response to the next cue.  Focus Other phrases used are watch, watch me, look. The focus cue provides the owner with their dog’s undivided attention.  It is a step by step process that is worth the effort once the cue has been mastered.    Down Some owners prefer lay, lay down, on the belly. Whatever terminology … Read more

Study Reveals That Dogs Have Rebellious Teenage Phase

The teenage years are tough for humans. We balk at authority, engage in risky behavior, and think we are entirely immune to any and all consequences. A groundbreaking study has revealed that dogs go through a similar teenage phase. It is fraught with raging hormones and rebellious behavior, just like humans. Read on to see if your dog’s defiance could be tied to this passing period. Pooch Puberty Impacts Behavior Humans become teenagers when their bodies go through puberty. The … Read more

Has Your Furry Best Friend Developed A “Quarantine Quirk”?

As the weeks have worn on, quarantine has made us all behave a little differently. Example? Pajama pants have become acceptable workwear for a lot of us. And in this strange time of undefined schedules and isolation, humans aren’t the only ones feeling kind of weird. Our cats and dogs know things aren’t quite right too. But the manifestations of their unsettled feelings often leave us scratching our heads in confusion. Shannon Shoaf, a cat mom in Clearwater, Florida, reports … Read more

The 3-3-3 Rule: Set Your New Rescue Dog Up For Success

Bringing home a new dog is exciting, joyful, and often overwhelming. You worry about choosing the right food, how long potty training will take, and whether or not they will fit in with your lifestyle. If you are stressed, just imagine the anxiety your pup must feel! Many rescue dogs have lost a family member or been abandoned by the people who promised to love and protect them. Some have spent years in an institutional shelter setting, while others are … Read more

13 Ways We Confuse & Frustrate The Heck Out of Our Dogs

When we love our dogs like family, we sometimes forget that they don’t understand us quite like our human relatives. Sometimes we try to have full-on conversations with them or unknowingly send them body language signals that are interpreted differently in the animal kingdom. For these reasons, we’ve compiled a list of 13 common things humans do that stress dogs out. If you’ve done any of these things, don’t worry, you’re certainly not alone. However, by being more aware, we … Read more

7 Reasons Your Dog Won’t Stop Licking You

Dogs love to lick. They lick themselves, each other, and of course, they lick their humans. It’s a fact that all dog lovers observe. Have you ever stopped to wonder why, though? If you just ate a salty snack, it’s pretty obvious. Your fingers are tasty! But what about all the other places your dog loves to lick? We scoured the internet to come up with 7 solid reasons your dog won’t stop licking you. # 1- You Are Tasty … Read more

Study: Gazing Into Your Dog’s Eyes Releases Your Love Hormone

Oxytocin is the so-called “love hormone”. It is responsible for helping us feel bonded with each other and promotes trust. It floods the systems of new mothers when they hold their freshly born babies. When couples physically show love to one another, oxytocin courses through both bodies. The bonding and fuzzy feelings promoted by oxytocin aren’t limited to interactions between humans. Turns out, your love hormone is released when you look into your dog’s eyes, too. Oxytocin and the Positive … Read more

Scientist Says Dogs Hate Hugs. He’s Wrong. Here’s Why.

Hugs are such an essential part of the way human beings show affection for one another. So naturally, we’ve extended that physical gesture to the dogs we love too. It seems simple and logical enough, but some scientists and ethicists debate whether dogs want to have arms wrapped around them and faces pressed into their fur. So which is it? Have cynical researchers completely missed the point or are we dog huggers in total denial? Let’s look at both sides … Read more

5 Mistakes Most Owners Make (And 1 You Probably Are Too)

Whether you’re new to raising a dog or if you’ve been doing it for years, you’ve probably made plenty of mistakes. A dog is so much more than just a cute companion because they have a lot of specific needs. Many dog lovers make the same mistakes as they raise their pups, but it’s never too late to make a change for the better. It’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them as you get to know your dog. … Read more

5 Ways Science Says Our Dogs Can Sense Our Emotions

Dogs have a remarkable ability to sense our emotions. Some people say they know us better than we know ourselves, and science backs up that theory. The slightest increase in blood pressure alerts them when our stress level is rising, while a quick glance at our facial expression lets them know whether we are happy or angry. Our dogs can even influence our emotions just by gazing into our eyes. How do they tune into our innermost feelings? And how … Read more

16 Most Challenging Dog Breeds That Are Full Of Love

All dogs need love, attention, and training – but some dog breeds need a little more than others. Every dog breed has its strengths and weaknesses. That doesn’t make any particular breed less loveable, but these 10 dog breeds may need a lot more patience and obedience training than others. These breeds tend to be intelligent, independent, and stubborn, making then the least obedient dog breeds. Successfully training one of these breeds should win you an award! #1 – Afghan Hound … Read more

Study Shows That YOU Are Making Your Dog Jealous

It’s official, your dog can succumb to the green-eyed monster called jealousy. It’s not in your head pup parents, your dog can experience feelings of jealousy when your world is not currently revolving around them. A new UC San Diego study on canine behavior proves that your dog not only makes you the center of their universe, but they also display jealous behaviors when you give other furry friend’s attention. We’ll dive into the details of this canine study so … Read more

8 Things You Do That Really Annoy Your Dog

When we think about our dogs and annoying behaviors, we are usually thinking about how our dogs annoy us. Perhaps it’s high time that we do some personal reflection. After all, humans can be annoying, too. If our dogs could talk, we’re sure they’d tell us a long list of ways that we aggravate, annoy and trouble them. We took a dive into human behavior to reveal some highly annoying habits of dog Moms and Dads.  Avoid these behaviors to … Read more

Survey Reveals All The Ways Our Dogs “Ruin” The Holidays

Now that the holiday season is coming to a close and we’ve said goodbye to visiting family members, there’s time for a little pause and reflection. Time to think back on the thoughtful gifts, delicious meals, and of course all the ways your mischievous dogs and cats made a horrible mess of the season. Itchpet recently performed some valuable research on this topic. A survey of 2,000 dog and cat people discovered a myriad of holiday “crimes” our furry friends … Read more

Science Explains Why Hearing A Dog Cry Can Break Your Heart

Dog parents: If the sound of a whimpering pup makes your heart melt like a wet Wicked Witch, you’re not alone. A new study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science found that dog parents find the sound of a crying dog equally as sad as the cries of a human baby. For the study, 500 young adults listened to the sounds of dogs whining, cats meowing, and human babies crying. What researchers found overall was that people who lived … Read more

These Are The 16 Least Obedient Dog Breeds

All dogs need love, attention, and training – but some dog breeds need a little more than others. Every dog breed has their strengths and weaknesses. That doesn’t make any particular breed less loveable, but these 10 dog breeds may need a lot more patience and obedience training than others. These breeds tend to be intelligent, independent, and stubborn, making then the least obedient dog breeds. Successfully training one of these breeds should win you an award! #1 – Afghan Hound The … Read more

Fi GPS Tracker Brings Lost Dogs Home

Despite our absolute best efforts to keep them contained, dogs can and will get loose from time to time. Some pups are determined to live the wild life, going to great lengths to scale fences in search of freedom. Others catch sight of something that looks worthy of a chase and make a break for it. No matter why or how often it happens, it’s a scary and stressful situation for the humans they’ve left behind. Fi offers dog parents … Read more

Why Do Dogs Bite, and What to Do When a Dog Bites You

Did you know that more than 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year? More than 800,000 people require treatment for those dog bites. Unfortunately, dog bites just aren’t as rare as you may think, and sometimes you can get surprised by a bite from your own dog. Why do so many dogs bite people every year? What should you do if your dog bites you? We have the answers you’re looking for. Why do dogs bite? Dogs always … Read more

Do Dogs Like To Be Kissed?

dog kiss

How does your pup greet you when you get home after being away? Does your dog give you a kiss? Think about when you’re hanging on the couch. How do you show affection to your pooch? Many people with dogs like to smother them with kisses. But your pup can’t talk. So, does your dog like kisses? via GIPHY Pucker up! Kisses are well-accepted displays of affections between humans. So, it makes sense we kiss pups to show them how … Read more

Ask A Vet: Why Does My Dog Lick My Feet?

Dogs do things that we might not love, and licking our feet is one of those things. We should never forget that our dogs are designed to communicate with others without using words. Communicating with dogs is like trying to learn a foreign language, only harder… because even the familiar letters are absent. Understanding why your dog does what he does is critical in maintaining your bond and growing your friendship. It makes you a better friend. Some people complain … Read more

Science Explains How Your Dog REALLY Feels About You

Attempting to understand the emotional lives of dogs has been a hot topic of scientific study for centuries. In the 1600s, the French philosopher, Rene Descartes compared animals to living machines, incapable of feeling pain or emotion. Thankfully, science has progressed a long way since the 1600s. These advances have allowed us to delve deeper into the mystery of canine consciousness. We now know that dogs possess all the same complex brain structures humans do – including those responsible for … Read more

10 Easy Ways To Stop Your Dog From Begging

It’s a scene we’ve all been party to a million times or more. The table is set, the family is seated, and as you attempt to take that first bite of the delicious meal you’ve lovingly prepared, you become distracted by a most unwelcome site. Your beloved family dog is seated very nearby, eyeing your food longingly, perhaps with a long string of drool making its slow descent to the floor. Never does your dog sit so still or so … Read more

Why Does My Dog Eat Tissues?

Is your dog constantly performing an at-home dumpster dive for some less than appetizing snacks? Lest you think you have the weirdest dog around, fear not, for you are not alone. Eating tissues and all sorts of other non-food items is a fairly common condition called pica. Let’s look at why your dog does this and how you can curb this distasteful appetite. 4 Possible Reasons Your Dog Eats Tissues 1. It’s Just Plain Fun If your puppy is eating … Read more

Why On Earth Does My Dog Eat Poop?

For those of you with a dog at home or those of you who love dogs, you know that some of their habits aren’t very polite. In fact, some doggy behaviors are downright confounding and a little nasty. Yes, I’m talking about consuming poop. Not all dogs do it, but if you have one who does like feces, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Why do dogs eat poop? It can be quiet worrisome if you have a pup … Read more

Ask A Vet: Why Does My Dog Sniff People’s Privates?

Does your dog seem to always have his face in people’s crotches? Embarrassing, isn’t it? Well, don’t be too embarrassed. Dogs see the world with a different sense than we do. In addition to sight and sound, they depend on their sense of smell dramatically more than humans. When they approach you in this way, they are not just being a “space invader”. They are trying to gain information about the person through a scent inspection. To a dog, the … Read more

5 Ways You’re Crushing Your Dog’s Spirit Without Even Knowing

We all love our dogs and want to do what’s best for them, which also means keeping them as happy as possible! But what if we’re doing something that’s unknowingly making them unhappy or crushing their spirit? It’s likely you’re not, but just in case you’re unsure or want to help someone who might be stressing their dog, be sure to check out this list below.   #1 – Not Exercising Your Dog This is perhaps one of the biggest … Read more