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Tail Wag and Dog Psychology

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People start out with their dogs imagining that it can’t be that hard to look into their minds. Dogs seem all tail-waggy when they’re happy, and they seem to growl when they are angry. How hard can it be to understand what’s going on? Well, in truth, dog psychology isn’t that easy; there is way more stuff going inside that head than merely “happy” or “sad”. Let’s take a closer look at how you could look at a dog’s tail wags and look into his moods.

To understand dog psychology better, you need to understand that the tail wag happens to be a primary expression tool for the little critter. Dogs use that for all kinds of expression. It’s up to you to interpret those wags according to context. Dogs use tail wags the way people can use a smile to mean anything from joy, to cunning or ridicule. If you are looking at a dog wagging his tail, you want to look at more than just the tail to be able to interpret that wag. It is kind of the way how when a person smiles at you, you look at more than just the mouth to interpret it; you look at the eyes, the rest of the body and so on.

Looking at the whole dog and not just the tail wag lets you understand dog psychology a lot better. A wagging tail on a dog that’s leaning forward ever so slightly shows that the dog is willing to come close to you. It can mean enthusiasm. A wag together with a bit of backward lean would suggest that he would like to be left alone. A dog that seems to be quite stiff and tall demonstrates tension. He could be tense for aggressive reasons or not; you need to proceed with caution. A dog can wag his tail through all of these.
dog wagging tail
Dog psychology dictates that there are different kinds of wags to interpret. A dog that happens to be standing stiff and wagging his tail in a slow back-and-forth motion is a dog that doesn’t want to be approached. If you approach in spite of all the warnings he’s giving you, he’ll probably lunge at you.

The stiffer a dog’s tail is, the higher it goes. A stiff tail is usually an unfriendly sign – even if the tail happens to be wagging in any way.

A happy tail-wag is something you can recognize by a number of signs. Usually, a really happy dog will wag not just his tail but also his entire behind a little bit. The wags are usually in sweeps or in circles. The happy, friendly dog will have his ears pulled back, with his eyes squinting a little; and his body will be held a bit low.

Once you get to know a dog, it can be easy to interpret what he feels.

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Mt Pleasant SC Kennel Recommends Dog Agility

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Mt Pleasant SC Kennel Recommends “Dog Fun on the Weekend”

Want to have a real blast this weekend? Get your grass mowed, do a minor garage cleaning, tell your group you will golf another day, then pack up the family and dog. Get over to a dog agility course. It is not only great exercise for your dog, but also for you. An agility course is truly a Dog Amusement Park.

Pet Keepers Mt Pleasant SC Kennel Fun

Pet Keepers Mt Pleasant SC Kennel Fun

(UPDATE: The agility obstacles have been removed due to objection from one person or a few. The fenced area still exists.) We have a real bonus here in town. Just a few miles from Pet Keepers Mount Pleasant SC Boarding Kennel there is a county park that has a fenced in agility course. The name of the park is Palmetto Islands County Park and the address is 444 Needlerush Parkway, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464. You can google directions, or you can just get on Long Point Road, enter the Long Point subdivision and keep driving to the end of the road.

There you will find the park entrance gate. Pass over a few bucks, stay to the right, and drive right up to the “dog amusement park”. Do not worry about parking. The course is surrounded by acres of grass. Distractions are few since the agility course is at the boundary of the county park, away from other attractions, and not on the major route through the park. The four-foot chain link fence surrounding the course lets you take off the lead and romp without worry. Cost? Completely free other than the few dollars you already paid to get through the entrance gate.

For those not so fortunate to live near an agility course, lobby for your county park to build one. The only substantial cost to the county would be about 300 feet of chain link fencing and some inexpensive obstacles. All of these obstacles are easily built by anyone somewhat handy with a saw, hammer and PVC piping. You could make the tunnel by cutting off the ends off fifty-five gallon barrels and joining them.

This course is not exactly what you see on TV for the competitions. It is scaled down somewhat and has a smaller perimeter, but still a terrific short course. There is no standard sequence of obstacles for real competitions because the judge sets it up how he wants each time. Competition dog agility is where a handler directs a dog through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. Dogs run off-leash with no food or toys as incentives. The handler cannot touch the dog or obstacles. You will not be this rigorous because you will be having family fun!

Obstacles at our neighborhood agility course include:
– A teeter board
– Tunnel
– Standard adjustable jumps
– Tire jump
– Weave poles
– Pause table
– Dog walk
– A-frame

Once you get good and worn out, cool down with a leisurely stroll with your around the park. There are walkways all over including some over marsh, a look out tower, slides and a playground. Talk about some great scents for your hound to investigate! This author has even taken the family Christmas photo at this site and always travels with a picnic lunch, including dog lunch. You can leave Splash Island for another day in the summer.

After you take advantage of this adventure, you will want to go back repeatedly to let your pooch show off. It may make sense to buy a season pass. Please let us know at Pet Keepers Mount Pleasant SC Boarding Kennel how it went for you. No need to tell us what the stopwatch said unless you really want to.

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Mount Pleasant SC Boarding Kennel Customer

Mount Pleasant SC Boarding Kennel Customer

What makes a good veterinarian?

Coming from the mouths of customers instead of professionals, here are some great comments on what makes a good vet. Below you will see that the advice of friends and family is commonly recommended. You will also see that the caring disposition of the veterinarian is very important.

Call your local veterinary clinics. Ask for information on fees, hours and policies. Consider requesting a tour of the practice.

Ask any local friends and family members that have experience with local vets. My vet came through a recommendation from a friend.

Good veterinarians will ask all about your pet. Questions that should be asked include:

  • From where did you pet come?
  • How long have you had it?
  • What do you feed it?
  • What are its stools like?
  • Tell me about its general behavior.

A good veterinarian will answer all questions you have. All of your concerns will be taken seriously.

Visit the local veterinarians’ offices without your pet to meet them and their staff. See how you personally feel about them. If your gut tells you to move on, move on.

Some people like the option of being in the same room as their pet during treatments. See if your selection of veterinarian feels that this is a good idea. The personality of your veterinarian is important. You need to trust them with your pet.

Go to the vet clinics and talk to some of the people you find there, including the receptionist and any people in the waiting room.

Education may not be all that important. Compassion and a love for animals are important. Find a vet through word of mouth. Check the prospective vet’s interaction with your pet.

Ask for an on the spot tour of the veterinary clinic. You will get a good indication of how things are run by looking at the general condition and upkeep.

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