Who doesn’t love bulldogs? That cute, squashy face and those sad eyes are enough to melt the coldest heart. But before you go out and buy a puppy, have a heart and consider the health problems that are becoming increasingly common (and increasingly severe) in bulldogs and other brachycephalic (flat-faced) dog breeds.
We are all familiar with the basic principle of dog training, based on operant conditioning: you reward the behaviors you want and you ignore the behaviors you don’t want. This is fine if you’re talking about something like jumping up on guests or sneaking onto the couch the moment your back is turned, but some people recommend this strategy when dealing with fear. But here’s the thing: ignoring your dog when she is afraid simply makes the problem worse.
Puppy socialization is the process of letting your dog become habituated or used to the behavior, body language and habits of other dogs and the various other species they will be living with. And it’s more far more important than you think.
Bad news for dog parents is that summer is snake season, which means that humans and dogs are at risk of snake bites. While the prospect of being bitten, no matter the snake, is not a happy one, the fact that venomous snakes abound across the entire continental US makes it somewhat worse (Alaska is not plagued by snakes – they have the sense to avoid the extreme cold).
Many of the more energetic among us like to go jogging (or running if they are even more athletic) for fun. And they like to go out with a running companion – of the furry 4-legged variety. In fact, many people get dogs with the aim to go running with them.