Addressing Behavior Problems in Dogs

A dog stands defiantly looking with a sandal within its bite.

What steps should you take to address behavior problems in your dog? In a perfect world, our beloved pooches would be wonderful in every way. They would always respond to our commands and never cause trouble. The reality, though, is that most dogs do have a few behavior issues. You can easily address some behaviors with basic training and socialization, but sometimes that isn’t enough. What steps do we take in addressing more serious behavior problems in dogs?  

The team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services is here to address behavior problems in dogs and offer some helpful solutions.

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5 Unusual Sports Involving Pets

A black dog rushes at a red ball, larger in size than itself.

Sports involving pets–that usually brings to mind hunting dogs and agility. But we are combining our love of both recreational exercise and pets in new and interesting ways. Doga, or yoga with dogs, is one form of exercise that combines them. It doesn’t stop there. When you, Fido or Frisky is ready to skip the normal exercise routine or wants something more challenging than a game of Fetch, it may be time to try one of these five unusual sports involving pets. 

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Can You Teach An Old Dog New Tricks?

We’ve all heard the old adage, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but is it true?

Older dogs (or senior dogs, if you will) may have some unique training needs, but we can dispel this myth right away! Senior dogs often love to learn new tricks and new games, and the team at Oakland Vet Referral Service can guide you through some tips for teaching your older dog something new.

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Pet Tech: All About the Smart Dog Collar

smart collarPicture this: You’re sitting at your desk at work when you hear the familiar ping of a notification on your smartphone. The message has been sent by your dog’s collar, letting you know that she has gotten out again. Time to track her down using the collar’s built-in GPS, which is accessible on your phone.

By the time you reach the area where she is located, evening is setting in, so you remotely switch on the collar’s LED light to help you in your search. There she is, investigating the contents of a gopher hole in some bushes five blocks from home!

Before returning home, you have the collar take and post pictures of your dog’s escapades to your social media accounts, just for fun.

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More than a Cage: The Benefits of Crate Training

dog beggingSome dog owners see crates as “cages”, confinement for their animals, to be used as punishment or only if absolutely necessary. Crates are not only necessary at times, but can also be indispensable, caring tools in the hands of responsible pet owners.

When used properly, crating can create more enjoyment of life for you and your dog by creating a safe, secure place for training, transportation, and even relaxation purposes.

At Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, we have discovered that crate-trained dogs experience less stress and tend to do better overall while they are with us, which is why we are touting the benefits of crate training.

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Not Always Easy as ABC: What to Know About Service Dogs in Schools

Enjoying SchoolWe’ve all seen firsthand or heard stories of the wonderful ways in which service dogs are trained to help people. From dogs trained to guide visually impaired individuals, to those who can detect and alert a person of an impending seizure or blood sugar drop, there is no question that service dogs impact the lives of their owners in profoundly positive ways.

These amazing animals help children as well as adults, but complications can arise when it comes to having service dogs in schools.

What is a Service Dog?

A “service animal”, as defined by the American Disabilities Act (ADA), is a dog that is trained to do work or perform tasks that benefit an individual with a disability. This includes sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, and other disabilities. The tasks a service dog performs must be directly related to the person’s disability. Service dogs are not considered “pets”. Continue…

Do Animals Dream?

OVRS_iStock_000022080452_LargeAsk most observant pet owners whether animals, such as cats and dogs, dream and you are likely to get a lot of anecdotal (and endearing) stories. From the soft yips of a snoozing puppy to the whisker twitches of a feline friend, it’s a fair assumption that our pet companions also experience dreamtime.

But, is there actually any scientific proof behind this assumption?

The Studies of Animal Slumber

From rats to cats, the subject of dreaming in animals has been a focus of research and debate for decades. And, the common denominator of dreaming is a stage of sleep known as REM (rapid eye movement). Continue…

Quiet Heroes: Saluting America’s K9 Veterans

OVRS_iStock_000003405555_LargeStrong. Intelligent. Stately. Loyal. Dedicated. Just a few of the many adjectives one could use to describe U.S. military dogs.

Vietnam veteran and former military dog handler Joseph J. White felt the same way, which is why he founded National K9 Veterans’ Day (March 13th), a day intended to honor all military and working dogs for their service and their sacrifices for our nation.

Military Dogs Throughout The Ages

The first recorded use of dogs in battle was around 600 B.C.. Canines went on to be used by the Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Romans, and ancient Far East cultures during wars and battles. Here in the U.S., the employment of military dogs began during the Civil War, where dogs served as messenger senders and guards for prisoners. Continue…