Dog Behavior A to Z

I have to revisit Tuesday.

Tuesday, when we did our therapy dog visit, Chris again refused to exit the back seat.

My theory was wrong. I thought Chris’s past experience triggered a requirement he remain in the car while I took Bernie into the facility.

So… I continued to mentally hit my head against a brick wall to analyze what dog behavior he was exhibiting.

Back home, I went to my ‘library.’  I’ve several dog books scattered all over the place. I’m always reading and drop the book wherever. I found the one I wanted by the side table in the living room.


Decoding Your Dog. Editors Debra F. Horwitz DVM, DACVB and John Ciribassi DVN, DACVB with Steve Dale. The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

It has 360 pages, but the real content is in the first 330. The rest document the impressive credentials of folks who contributed. It’s a good book to have.

However, by this time I was impatient. I didn’t want to wade through all the details. I wanted the quick and dirty answer to my dilemma. Chris was driving me up a wall. (I’m so spoiled with Bernie. His moods and behavior are so easy and dependable.)

I googled ‘Dog Behavior’ and was rewarded with nine potential references that should address Chris’s behavior.

I briefly scanned each one. Here’s one that caught my eye.

Dog Behavior A-Z-400

Why take all that time to search 330 pages when I can select a letter, quickly read the information and solve my problem?

Right. <sigh>

That keyboard of individual selections covers 63 separate dog behaviors.

Under the letter ‘S,’ has Scooting, Separation Anxiety, Sitting, Snoring, Socializing-Puppy, and Staying.

Stubborn isn’t listed

Still, it is nice to know that 63 common dog behaviors are easily identified and details how to treat it.

For example, snoring is caused by an inflamed throat… and that is “an allergic symptom when their immune system begins to recognize certain everyday substances or allergens as dangerous.”

I wish Chris snored. At least I had a potential remedy to fix that.

Dog Behavior A to Z is an excellent resource. WebMD

I decided I had to bite the bullet and look for an appropriate chapter in Decoding Your Dog.

Chapter 7 caught my attention. I Know They’re Normal Behaviors, but How Do I Fix Them?

My first clue came when I read “We tend to assign human motivations to dog behavior — and particularly nuisance behaviors, such as pulling on leash walks.”

That’s not my problem with Chris. It happens to be my problem with Bernie.

I’ll deal with Bernie later… now that I’ve identified Bernie’s issue. I’m still looking for how to identify my problem with Chris.

Notice how I’ve accepted it is MY problem?

Chris has no problem with his behavior. I own the problem.

That is the key. Who owns the problem? We are responsible for our dog’s behavior. They depend on us. Just like a baby depends on its parents. They are just acting normal in their helpless environment.

A lot of dog owners don’t realize their dual role. Our dual responsible role is to be both the Alpha Dog and the Nurture Owner.

With Chris, it’s a challenge. He wants to be the Alpha Dog. He is over Bernie.

With me? Well, I’m working on it. Love and Trust play a major part in our relationship. I don’t want a machine-trained dog. I want Chris to enjoy his independent freedom… with boundaries.

The saga continues.

2 thoughts on “Dog Behavior A to Z

  1. Julia Haggerty

    Boy this is MY Problem with Ryan since C Clifford passed away a month ago. Ryan loves to ride in the car, but when we get to our destination he will not exit my vehicle.

    I refuse to force him (he just sits back and becomes dead weight) I HAVE COAXED, CAJOLED ETC. What works so far is shutting the door walking into the place and after three minutes, I come out , open the car door and he jumps out. I appreciate the dog book reference and will try to get a copy from Amazon.

    Thanks, these poodles are really something,



  2. josephlacey12

    I like your idea…. leave and make you are leaving him behind…. Next Tuesday, (if Chris pulls the same trick), I will try it.

    I know I can use a tap ‘reminder’ because he is using his electronic collar device… but I’ve not had to use it for months. I’ve no problem using it… but something like this… I think he knows what he should do…



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