The dog is one of the world’s most popular and social pets. Dog owners are usually fond of their four-legged friends and that is understandable, because they give their owners love in a unique way. You can walk with it, they guard the house, you can play with it, they like to cuddle and so on. Yet there are some stubborn myths about dogs and a lot of people tend to believe these stories. But what is the truth behind 5 frequently told dog myths?

The warm and dry nose

Many people believe that dogs, and by extension other pets like cats, have a cold and wet nose. Such a nose would be a sign of health. Yet that is not always the case, because even with a healthy dog ​​the nose can sometimes feel warm and dry. If you, as the owner, still think that a dry nose indicates health problems, you can of course still take action and go to the vet. Being sure can never hurt, right?

The soft spot

The following myth has to do with petting your dog. Many people believe that your four-legged friend loves it when he or she is caressed in the lower abdomen and the saddle region of the body. This myth stems from the fact that dogs react rather special to caresses about these parts of the body: they start to spin around, jump up and down and scratch their legs. Yet the opposite is true, because owners often do not realize that the caresses affect the nervous system of the dog, as a result of which the animal inadvertently starts all kinds of movements.

Pee with the paw up

Adult dogs, especially the males but sometimes also the females, raise a leg when they pee and this in contrast to puppies. The myth is that our four-legged friends do that because of their hormones, but that is actually sheer nonsense. dogs are social animals and so they want to let them know where they have been. By lifting their paw upwards, the urine simply sprays out wider and that helps the animals to spread their scent. You can compare it a bit with leopards that define their territory on the savannah by urinating against trees. Let them know ‘I’ve been here’.

Old dogs

The following myth consists of the cliché that your old dogs can not learn new things. So you can let a dog do only new trucks when it is still a young animal. That is wrong, because dogs are intelligent animals that are never too old to learn things. What’s more, by teaching an old dog new behaviors, you just stimulate the health of his mind and that can only be positive.

Wait with training

The last myth is that many dog ​​owners are convinced that they have to wait until their puppy is six months before they can train the animal. This myth is because dogs around the age of six months slowly mature and thus better understand what is being taught them. That is not correct, because actually you can train the puppy best from the moment the animal arrives at your home. After all, young dogs are soon able to learn certain behaviors. In this way you also avoid that the puppy is going to do difficult when he is almost full grown. So do not wait too long to go to a good dog school. Take a look in advance and discover if the style of teaching suits you. If you feel at ease in your dog school, it will be fun for you and your dog to learn and work together in these lessons.

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Is your dog aggressive? Do you want solution to your dog aggression? You are not alone in this situation. Here are the concerns of some dog owners and a study conducted in 1983 on how to deal with the problem of dog aggression.

Hi Shibashake.

I really enjoyed reading this, including all the comments. I also appreciate very much your inclusion of the Polski and Schalke studies. It is refreshing to see legitimate citations of actual controlled studies regarding a topic so incendiary as this one. I’m very curious as to why you didn’t find other studies, particularly the 1983 Tortora study, worth mentioning?

My 7yr old Bull Terrier has been my companion and my pride&joy for the past year. She is deaf, and she has some “instrumental” dog-aggression issues, as well as a prey-drive that can only be described as cartoonishly over-the-top. She doesn’t know the difference between a goat vs a cat vs a running valet vs a child on a tricycle vs a piece of trash blowing in the wind: if it looks like its running from her, she MUST get it… even straight into traffic. Deafness completely aside–there is no communicating with her when she goes into this “zone”. You may as well try to communicate with a cannonball en route.

I am concerned about her stress levels, and after reading your blog I am keenly aware of how difficult it must be to apply shock-training competently. I am also keenly aware of the unnecessary stress created by these behaviors (it is nerve-racking for her AND me). I’m trying to decide which outweighs the other. Her aggression issues seem to be diminishing over time as I learn more about pack-dynamics, but the intensity of the prey drive and tunnel-vision focus that accompany it remain overpowering.

After a year of deliberating, reading, and weeding out the namby-pamby appeals to emotion (“poor, poor dogs, evil, evil humans”) as well as the neanderthalic appeals to cowboy-complexes (“gotta show the dog who’s boss!”) I have decided that the vibration-signal feature is a must for us, but I’m still open to rational discourse regarding the shock feature. I would love to hear your thoughts on the Tortora study 🙂

Tortora’s 1983 Study

Tortora’s 1983 study consists of 3 experiments. The one most talked about in shock collar discussions is the “safety training” experiment (Exp 2). Some proponents of shock collars use Tortora’s study to claim that electronic collars are effective at reducing general aggression in dogs.

Based on my reading of Tortora’s paper, these claims are false. I will explain why below.

Tortora’s “safety training” experiment (Exp 2) consists of three phases:

Phase 1 – Pre-testing and Pre-training

36 dogs with avoidance motivated aggression were trained to perform 15 basic obedience commands using regular techniques. Training started with a continuous schedule of reinforcement, then moved on to variable. Both play and choke collars were used. No shocks.

Phase 2 – Conditioning

After a command was given, a warning buzz is presented, then the electrical stimulus is delivered. When a dog performs the command (correct escape behavior), a safety signal or tone was used right before the electrical stimulus was turned off.

Training of commands was conducted in progressively more challenging conditions, and the level of electrical stimulus was also increased during the training process. Ultimately, the dogs were trained to tolerate and perform under high levels of electrical stimulus. Once that was achieved, the dogs were trained without the shocks.

Phase 3 – Normalization

Subjects were tested for the absence of aggression under maximally stressful and aggression-inducing circumstances, for example, while the animal was roughly handled and beaten about the body with a rolled-up newspaper or switch.

If the dog failed to perform the command or responded with aggression then a full intensity electrical stimulus was delivered. Finally, the electrical stimulus was slowly phased out and training was transferred to the owner’s home.

Tortora reported that this procedure “resulted in complete and permanent elimination of aggression in all of the 36 dogs tested”. Note that this study specifically addresses cases of avoidance-motivated-aggression, which is different from pain elicited aggression and fear motivated aggression.

Tortora also showed (in Exp 1) that these other types of aggression and problem behaviors can be effectively addressed with established counter-conditioning techniques, and does not require such extreme measures.

What Is Avoidance Motivated Aggression?

It is important to note that Tortora’s experiment 2 deals specifically with avoidance motivated aggression. Therefore, we should understand exactly what avoidance motivated aggression is, and how it differs from other types of aggression.

Avoidance motivated aggression is an aversively motivated aggression in dogs. I.e. the dog is using aggression as a means to avoid an anticipated aversive event (e.g. expectation of pain).

Avoidance-motivated aggression in dogs involves biting attacks or threats of attack directed toward one or more of the dog’s human caretakers. As the name implies, these threats and bites are assumed to be avoidance responses that are acquired and maintained by the prevention of anticipated aversive events.
~~[Tortora 1983, pp176]

Some properties of avoidance motivated aggression that differentiate it from other aversively motivated aggression:

  1. It can appear to be unpredictable.

    Through higher order conditioning and generalization, a variety of apparently neutral and unrelated stimuli come to elicit the avoidance response of aggression.

  2. The dog does not produce any signals that may indicate the onset of aggression.
  3. It produces a much more serious attack than the other forms of aggression.

    Avoidance-motivated aggression usually involves multiple bites, a sustained attack, and is not self-terminating.

  4. Avoidance-motivated aggression develops over time and there is a clear escalation in the level of aggression as it develops. The aggressive episodes increase in duration, frequency, force/damage, and occur over a larger range of stimuli. I.e., there are many chances to fix the issue before it develops into an “instrumental avoidance response”.
  5. Counter conditioning techniques that are effective with other forms of aversively motivated aggression, have little effect on avoidance motivated aggression.

Tortora’s safety training is a complex 9 stage process that specifically addresses avoidance motivated aggression. Safety training using shock collars is very different from aversion therapy or aversive training using shock collars. Aversive training is how shock collars are commonly used today, i.e. shock the dog when he is performs an undesirable behavior. Continue delivering the shock until he stops that behavior.

In Exp 3, Tortora showed that when only “full-intensity signaled shock was used to punish aggression”, there was only a slight decrease in aggression. I.e., shock aversion therapy or simple shock aversive training is not an effective way to suppress aggression in our dogs.

Key Points from Tortora’s 1983 Study

Some salient points I derived from Tortora’s paper:

1. Timing and clear communication

Timing and clear communication are very important, especially in pain based aversive training. This was shown in Phase 2 where Tortora used a warning buzz and conditioned the dog to a safety signal. Using a unique tone also allows us to more consistently and accurately mark a behavior in time (the same type of thing is used in clicker training).

Accurate timing and clear communication is important because it lets the dog know how to stop or avoid the pain from an electrical stimulus. This was also shown in Schalke’s study, where the dogs that could make a clear association, i.e. knew how to stop the pain, did not experience elevated stress levels. This only occurred in the very simple aversion case and not on recall.

This is also why aversive techniques are risky because most of us, especially novice trainers, have far from perfect timing, and may not always communicate with our dogs in a precise and clear manner.

2. Pain is a strong but risky motivator

Using pain can produce more reliable compliance in our dogs, because pain is a strong motivator. However, pain and stress can elicit an aggressive reaction from our dogs. This was also present in Tortora’s study. In fact, in Exp 1, Tortora reports that of the 92 avoidance motivated aggression cases, 90% had prior pain based aversive experiences.

The dogs in this study initially behaved as if they “expected” aversive events and that the only way to prevent these events was through aggression.

3. Tortora’s experiment 2 is a very extreme and specialized process

Dogs can also get habituated to the pain, and subsequently require a stronger and stronger stimulus. For example, Tortora reported increasing the electrical stimulus to high and ultimately maximum levels during the study.

Avoidance motivated aggression can be suppressed with avoidance training and the use of full intensity shocks.


I am not sure why Tortora’s study is used to make the case for electronic collars or shock collars. As I understand it, his work is targeted at “dangerously aggressive dogs”, in particular those that did not respond to “established counter-conditioning treatments”, i.e., only cases of avoidance motivated aggression. It is clear that his procedure is very extreme, requires a lot of precision and knowledge, and is only meant for very limited situations. If anything, it is a cautionary tale of what could happen if we fail our dog in his management, care, and training.

Tortora shows that pain and stress can cause aggression (which is consistent with other studies), and that avoidance motivated aggression can be suppressed with avoidance training and full intensity shocks. To me, this underscores the risks of using pain based aversive techniques, and inadvertently creating a “dangerously aggressive dog”, who then has to undergo even more extreme treatment or face euthanasia. Tortora states

Behavior therapy for such dogs has always been the last step before euthanasia.

In conclusion, it should be emphasized that safety training for dogs is not being recommended literally as a behavior therapy program for avoidance-motivated human psychopathologies. A substitute for electrical stimulation may have to be found.

If you are considering using shock collars because of Tortora’s study, please read it carefully and in full first. Unfortunately, inaccurate claims abound on the internet.

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Baking dog pancake

Dog pancake is a good option you can consider when you want to reward your dog. This is a simple guide on how to bake a pancake for your dog. This recipe is a special dog pancake. This contains no milk, because lactose is not good for a dog.

You can cut the pancake into small pieces and use it as a variation on your normal rewards. Do not make too much because the pancake can only be kept in the fridge for about two days. Do you want to keep it longer? then you can keep it in a fridge.

Talking about reward. You can reward your dog for doing anything that is delight some to you. You can give reward for taking to a particular instruction you are trying to pass across to him, or just any other thing you want the dog to continue to do.

Reward will encourage your dog and make him to want to do more of what he is being rewarded for, because he will definitely want more reward.

Rewarding a dog should not be based upon food alone. You can take him for a walk, buy a new toy, or a new dog house. Whatever you do, let your dog why you are doing it.

Dog loves cake, and since it is a simple treat to prepare you can always make a nice cake for you dog whenever you feel you want to reward him. It is also not expensive to prepare, hence it is a very cheap option.

Dog Pancake Recipe
1 cup flour
1 cup water
1 egg

Throw all the ingredients together and mix with a whisk until smooth. Use a small amount of oil in the pan and pour a little of the batter into the pan. Fry the dog pancake on both sides until golden brown.

For the decoration and variation I used peanut butter to pour over it and raspberries with blueberries. This is a good treat for a dog, but do not give too much peanut butter to your dog because of its high fat and salt concentration.

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Dog walking during spring is fun.Spring is in full swing and it is also a lovely walking weather. Both the belt and the loose is a wonderful escape for the dog. You will observe of course other dogs, hikers, cyclists, joggers and riders  also enjoying the beautiful weather.  See if your dog is walking in the area where you are going to walk or that there is a restriction in that area.
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What do you need for  dog walking when you want to walk your dog?

My top 3 favorite hiking areas

I really like dog walking. It is not only interesting to me but to my dog also. It is a beautiful way to play with him and make him lose his energy. I would like to share with you my top 3 favorite hiking areas, place I love. to visit whenever I do dog walking.

3. Hoorneboegse Heide in Hilversum

 walking horny heath

One of my most favorite hiking areas is the “Hilversumse Heide”. An area of ​​145 hectares consisting of forest and heath. Dogs may run out all year long, provided they listen well. In the heath are Scottish highlanders. They are used to dogs so they will not run, but when dogs run after them or when they have calves they can be protective. Next to the hiking route there is a horse riding route through this area.

When you are through with dog walking you can eat a delicious pancake at the De Rading pancake house, here is also a large parking lot. The address of this car park is Utrechtseweg 140 in Hilversum. On the other side of the heath you can enjoy a snack at the snack bar or the dog-friendly Fly Inn at the airport.

  • Nice area
  • Well-accessible trails, also with wheelchair / baby carriage
  • Nice hiking trails
  • Heal and forest alternation
  • Hospitality opportunity
  • Free parking spaces

2. Dog beach and dune area in Noordwijk

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If you want to make a wonderful beach walk with your dog then the Noordwijk dog walking beach is a must. When you park on the Koningin Astrid Boulevard and turn left there, you can walk all year long, to the Katwijk sign. This piece is about 2.5 km so plenty of space for a wonderful walk. Please note: when you are on the right, running dogs are only allowed from  September 1st to June 1st.

If you like a nice drink or a snack, you can have it as you desire.  A very dog-friendly beach tent is also available for your relaxation, but dogs must be lined up.

  • All year round access for running dogs
  • Nice clean beach
  • Super catering
  • Enough parking
  • Paid parking
  • In high season very busy with tourists

 Walking with dog

eMy favorite hiking area in the Netherlands is the Long Dunes in Soest, also known as the Soesterduinen. Dogs may run loose in the area of ​​the Long Dunes all year long. What makes this area attractive to many dog ​​owners in addition to the dunes, is that there is also a very large forest where dogs can walk loose. There are also small pieces of heath. This makes it a beautiful and diverse environment for dog walking.

In addition to various hiking routes, mountain bike trails and horse riding routes are also available in this area. Therefore, keep in mind when you are dog walking and playing with your dog. The only downside in this area is that there is no (swimming) water for the dogs. When there is a lot of rain, it is more fun, but this is not the case all year long.

Parking is free. This can be done at the end of the Foekenlaan. After, before or during the walk you can eat and drink at the Brasserie de Lange Duinen. There are also watercourses ready for your dog (s) and there is a playground for children.

  • Spacious and clear area
  • Nice hiking routes
  • Sand, forest and heath alternation
  • Catering
  • Enough free parking space
  • No (swimming) water
  • Not wheelchair accessible

What is your favorite area for walking with your dog?

Further reading: Why does my dog have to exercise

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One of the first words a dog hears is ‘no’. In addition, it is one of the most pronounced words we say to our dog. Some dogs hear it even more than their own name

Wrong timing in dog training

Dog training is important. A dog makes an optimal connection between his behavior and the consequences of this if it is rewarded within two seconds. After five seconds the chances are getting smaller that a connection is made. This also applies to the use of ‘no’. Often people are far too late saying ‘no’, which means that a dog does not learn anything from it. If you are correct with your timing then there is still a problem, namely the point below.

What do you want to make clear to your dog?

If we say ‘no’ to our dog, what do we want him to do? clarify? For you as an owner, it means: stop jumping, not bite your hands, do not bite into the bank, do not jump on the bench, do not bark, do not pull on the leash, do not eat anything, stay put, do not pee in the living room, stop growling, etc, etc.

As you read, this one word can have many meanings. It only indicates that your dog does not like something but what exactly do you mean? The fact that you know what your dog is not allowed to do is not to say that your dog understands this, even though we are going very quickly.

Imagine your dog has taken a shoe for the first time and takes it to his basket in the living room. Already chewing on the shoe he looks at you, still ignorant that this is not the intention.

If you call ‘no’ here, what kind of information do you give your dog exactly? There is much more behavior that your dog shows here than just chewing on the shoe. Your dog

  • Chews on the shoe
  • Is in his basket
  • Is present in the living room
  • Looking

Your dog shows in this situation three desired behaviors, and an unwanted one. How do you ensure that you do not penalize the desired behavior? The word ‘no’ does not give clear information to the dog what he should do. Instead of using ‘no’, it is better to teach your dog what kind of behavior he should show in that situation.

Repeated too often

Besides that ‘no’ does not give any clarity to your dog what he should do , it is repeated too often. Several times in a day, but also more often in succession if a dog does not stop his unwanted behavior. This makes it a kind of background noise and your dog learns to ignore it. It will therefore have less and less effect.

Saying angrily

If a dog does something wrong or does something that is not allowed, we can make sure that we get angry or disappointed. Just try to stay calm when your expensive couch is demolished 🙂
However, ‘no’ is often angry or loud, especially when saying in a normal tone does not work (anymore) (a cause of the previous point: repeat too often ). It seems as if this is effective because a dog often stops what he is doing. Chances are that this is because he is startled by your anger and not because he understands what he is not allowed to do. Often it is also thought that we see guilty behavior in the dog. A dog can, however, exhibit guilt behavior, which you often see is fear behavior caused by the grumbling.

You give attention to undesirable behavior

 dog jumps on You do not want to reward undesirable behavior, but by paying attention to it during dog training, it could work rewarding for your dog. By saying ‘no’ every time your dog does something that is not allowed he could learn that he gets at least that attention from you. Many people pay too little or no attention to desired behavior, but if there is undesirable behavior, attention is suddenly paid to it. Try to turn this around. Consider what you would like for behavior and make the choices that you would like to see from your dog very attractive by rewarding them with something tasty or by playing as a reward.

What do you do then?

dog can be trained without the no-word. Now I do not want to say that it should immediately become a forbidden word, but that you become more aware of the disadvantages and are more concerned with actually training your dog effectively.

Dog training does not mean stopping undesirable behavior . Training means learning to learn desired behaviors and preventing or reversing undesirable behavior. Training the desired behavior is done at times that you have time for it and not at the moments that you already know that your dog will go wrong. Does your dog jump against a visit? Then use prevent and redirect. Good management prevents your dog from showing the unwanted behavior. Think of tools like fences, puppies, bench, leashes, a Kong). You will need less and less management as you practice more with your dog and learn desired behavior. So as long as your dog takes shoes and socks, you prevent this by clearing them the first time. Give your dog alternatives to chew. In this way there are no bad habits.

Read More: Dog crate training

Dog training is being useful for dog when you focus on the things that go well instead of the things that go wrong. .

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