Category: Dog Behavior

Service Dog of the Day: Wink


Photo courtesy of Tonya Murray

I think this story is a perfect example that when it comes to dogs; if you can dream it, they can do it.
Wink is a 2-year-old black Lab/Golden Retriever mix who is classically trained as a service animal with extra training to help her in criminal investigations, specifically involving children. She is currently based at the Uintah and Daggett County Children’s Justice Center where administrators use her to help children feel comfortable when discussing difficult, crime-related topics.
Out of 20 Children’s Justice Center (CJC) locations in Utah, the Uintah and Daggett County facility are the only two utilizing these…

Service Dog of the Day: Shelby


Photo Courtesy of

In March 2008, an Arizona blogger, who goes by the name “Zipperhead,” visited her local animal shelter and laid eyes on an underweight, skittish and obviously abused Rhodesian Ridgeback mix.  The connection was instant and her family adopted the little brown dog, naming her Shelby.
At the time, Zipperhead had been struggling with a brain condition called Chiari Malformation (CM). CM’s are structural defects in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance. Her condition was further complicated with an associated neurological disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.  EDS is a group of inherited disorders that affects connective tissues —…

118 Saying Goodbye to Your Dog: How to Know When It’s Time


footparints and pawprints in the sand

For every person who loves and shares their life with a dog, the dreaded and inevitable day will come.  The day when you question whether or not to intervene in how and when your dog’s life will end. The first time for me was two and a half years ago, when I had to make the decision for my dog, Rex. One day, he was his normal, happy self – a little stiff in the backend as 11 year old German Shepherds can be, but otherwise healthy.  The next day, he was lethargic, not interested in food or water, and…

More than Best Friends: Dogs and Our Mental Health


little girl with comfort dogs

Tell me how you’re feeling.
Ok, look at this.
Now, how are you feeling?
If you just smiled and let out a bit of tension with thoughts of, “awwwwww,” congratulations, you are human.
For thousands of years, humans have cultivated relationships with dogs.  Though controversial, some scientists even theorize that humans domesticated dogs long before they began settling into groups and cultivating agriculture. No matter when it began, the strong bond that developed between human and canine continues to evolve.  The more we get to know our four-legged companions, the more we love them.  One very good reason…

12 Breaking Bad Habits: Predatory Chase Drive (AKA Prey Drive)


2 dogs chasing a squirrel

This is the fifth blog in our dog training series written by Adopt & Shop trainer and pet safety coordinator Jessica J.  In case you missed them, be sure to check out the first blog, Breaking Bad Habits in Dogs, the second blog on how to curb leash pulling, the third blog on how to stop your dog from jumping up, and the fourth blog, solving the problem of excessive barking.

I am the proud owner of an Alaskan Malamute mix named Cindy.  If you ask anyone who has ever owned a Malamute or read a book about the breed,…

2 Breaking Bad Habits: Excessive Barking


white dog barking

This is the fourth blog in a series that we have posted each week in January for Train Your Dog Month.  In case you missed it, be sure to check out the first blog, Breaking Bad Habits in Dogs, the second blog on how to curb leash pulling, and the third blog on how to stop your dog from jumping up.

Working as the trainer for Adopt & Shop, I am no stranger to barking dogs.  I work around dogs barking in the shop throughout the day, then I come home to my own dogs barking when I get home. …

5 Submissive Smiling in Dogs


chihuahua with submissive smile

Even though we eat, sleep and breathe pet adoption all year round, October is a special month because it is National Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month!
Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month is great because it gives us the opportunity to pause and re-focus a little more on dogs in shelters and how we can get more humans to adopt dogs in shelters.
Today, I want to talk about a behavior potential adopters may encounter when they are walking through the kennels at their local animal shelter.
We touched on submissive smiling a little bit in Stephanie’s Doggie Discourse: Smiles and Poses blog, but here…

9 Pets Unstressing Passengers and 9 Other Types of Therapy Dogs


sandy hook therapy dog

Dogs are exceptional at reading our facial expressions and body language because they have co-evolved with us for tens of thousands of years.  Since the beginning of time we have had a symbiotic relationship with these four-legged wonders.  We rely on them and they rely on us, and that is the way it has always been.
Dogs are like incredible machines, possessing a superior sense of smell, speed, strength and hearing, as well as soulful eyes and a warm, cuddly body.  It is no wonder that they can and do a variety of crucial jobs for the benefit of man.…

9 Dog Bite Prevention Week: What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk


dog bite 2 header

May 19th is the beginning of Dog Bite Prevention Week, and we’d like to take this opportunity to add onto our dog bite prevention blog from last year and update some statistics. Getting bitten by a dog is probably not something you think about ordinarily. But, in reality, dog bites occur more frequently than you may believe, and in some cases, they are fatal.
When we look to our friends and family, I’m sure that we all know at least one person who has experienced a dog bite, or at least, has encountered an aggressive dog. While it is up…

3 The First Seeing Eye Dog


guide dog header

This guest blog was written by one of our volunteers, Jesse M.
Dogs have been lending a helping paw to man for centuries; however, there was not a demand for “seeing eye dogs” until after World War I. During the war, many men were blinded from combat and needed assistance once they returned home. To help these veterans, a formal school and training program for guide dogs (using only German Shepherds) began in Germany. Unfortunately, the program was short lived.
Luckily though, a dog trainer from Philadelphia named Dorothy Harrison Eustis was living in Switzerland and heard of the program…