immagine Il cane geloso che ringhia al marito o a chiunque si avvicini al proprietario

Jealous dogs that growl to strangers or partners

 You spend the vast majority of your time with your pet, but when you finally find "human" love and you decided to take the big step forward and go to live together things might get complicated. The problem arises when you dog starts to behave in an aggressive way with your partner and refuses to accept him as a part of the family. If the dog is jealous of the owner, we absolutely must solve the problem before it becomes more and more serious. Let's see how.

Why does the dog become jealous?

It is certainly not only a matter of great affection, and must ask ourselves what kind of relationship we have established with our dog. Many owners tend to create an exclusive bond with their four-legged friend, who will inevitably feel threatened by the arrival of a child, a boyfriend, a husband, a stranger or anyone else who invades our personal space.
cane dorme sul letto geloso marito moglie

These are some of the causes, indicating the potential enemy as the letter B:

  • Your pet is a quiet type, maybe even an elderly one, whilst B is too exuberant and ruins the domestic atmosphere;
  • B repeatedly invades your pets spaces whilst eating or sleeping;
  • The owner is pregnant and your pet does not let anyone approach;
  • Your pet has always slept on the bed.

The problem behind many attitudes of this type is related to a protective instinct that the dog feels he has to put into practice towards anyone approaching the owner. The typical situation is precisely the dog that protects the owner from the husband or the wife.

Some dogs, however, may also be jealous of both owners, but alternately. For example, if we are sitting on the sofa with the dog, he may not want his wife to approach and vice versa.

The reason is that the dog feels threatened in some way and feels the need to express his discomfort by growling.

Some people like to interpret this behaviour by using the theory of dominance as an excuse. Some others prefer to use different terms, such as "accreditation", but in essence the concept is that the dog feels that he is at the risk , just like a child growing up without rules. The result is always great insecurity, which will push him to see threats everywhere.
cane sul divano geloso

What can I do to help my dog accept other people in the house?

We must absolutely avoid beating the dog. Certain methods are no longer used and accepted, because they go against respect for the animal and are also counterproductive. We want our dog to respect us, not to fear us.

Firstly, let's ask ourselves what our relationship with the dog is like. Have we always slept with him on the bed? Did we always feed them?, cuddles, attention? Are we the only ones to take him out for a walk? Do we defend him against everything and everyone, even when he has inappropriate behaviour?

All these attitudes are harmful to the dog's psychological balance. He must see us as its guide, not as the only human being worthy of trust in his world.

There is nothing wrong with sleeping with the dog on the bed, as long as our four-legged friend behaves in a "normal" way.

If he begins to show aggression against anyone who approaches our bed, it is our responsability to  get rid of this habit immediately, giving him a comfortable bed to use in a quiet part of the house.

If we refer to some problems caused by partners, children or other acquaintances, we must follow some simple tips: (remember that B symbolises the person causing the problem in the house)

  • When he tries to growl, we should ignore him without even looking at him. Let's avoid touching him, but above all, let's try to avoid caresses or hugs.
  • Let the dog spend more time with B, but in a constructive way, for example with a nice walk full of fun, at least once a day, clearly without us;
  • Let B take care of the food, filling the dog's bowl and giving him some treats directly from his hands;
  • We show B how to interact correctly with our dog, without disturbing him while he sleeps or eats nor annoying him whilst he doesn’t want to be touched;
  • We teach B to read the animals non-verbal language, in order to start communicating in the right way;
  • Lets find a comfortable and isolated place for our dog to rest without disturbing him. However, he must never lay in his safe spot forever, this would increase its fear instead of facing it;
  • Lets avoid playing with our partner in an aggressive way in front of our friends to show them how protective our dog can be in these situations. He might memorize this event as something real and increase the hatred he feels towards B.

Anyways, this type of problems usually needs the presence of a behavioural vet or an educator. They will be able to solve the problem before anyone gets hurt.


immagine Il cane insegue auto e moto in corsa

Dog chases running motorcycles and cars

There are many dogs that tend to be particularly attracted to anything that moves quickly. This aspect itself is not negative, on the contrary, throwing balls and frisbees in the open air must be part of their daily game moment. The real problem occurs when the dog starts barking or chasing cars and motorbikes, putting his own safety and that of the owner at risk, who perhaps cannot keep the leash due to the strong pull. What can be the causes of this behaviour and what can we do to avoid it?

Why does the dog chase cars and motorbikes?

The answer to this question actually requires some very important distinctions depending on the breed of the dog.

Some dog breeds, such as Border Collies and Australian Shepherds, were used in the past and still today because of their great aptitude for leading the herd to pasture. How do they manage to gather a rather large number of sheep? They run at high speed to prevent some animals from escaping the rest of the group.

The attitude of the dog is a concept that unfortunately is not always considered at the time of adoption. In fact, many families choose their future four-legged friend regardless of what their natural attitude is. A dog that by nature is inclined to run and lead will naturally need to put this characteristic into practice. The risk is that it may direct it towards other improper or dangerous animals or objects, such as cars and motorbikes racing down the street.

cani inseguono macchina giocattolo

Another case could be represented by all those dogs who never had the opportunity to find out what is on the other side of the fence at home. They constantly hear the noise of cars passing at high speed, but unfortunately they have no way of seeing what it is. What happens in these cases? The same thing that happens to us every time we discover something new. We are intrigued or afraid of it. Well, when the dog sees the cars for the first time, he probably feels intimidated by this loud noise and by the great speed with which it crosses the road, so he could react by running away for fear or trying to chase and attack them.

We also refer to dogs who feel frustrated in general, regardless of its breed and attitude. All animals have a great need to run, play and have fun, in order to discharge all the energy they accumulate during the day. If the owner is unable to satisfy this fundamental need, the animal will accumulate energy, which remains repressed, generating a sense of boredom, and frustration, which in the long run turns into stress, with the related psychophysical consequences. This can greatly affect the mental balance of the dog, which can begin to implement inappropriate behaviours.

What should I do?

A problem of this type requires demanding work, which must necessarily take into account the underlying cause of everything. So, before starting, let's try to understand which of the cases listed above can best reflect our dog.

If the problem "simply" concerns boredom, we will have to give the dog a way to use all his energy in something fun and creative. Let's make sure that he can spend at least 30 minutes a day away from home, without walking long distances and without interacting with him.

Playing in the right way with the dog is also essential. In fact, the game helps to channel its predatory instinct into a much safer activity than chasing cars. Let's make sure to do it often at home, choosing games such as the carryover or activities that stimulate his patience, such as an effective toy filled with food or intelligence tables.

All this will have to be done to maintain the right mental and physical balance in the dog, but we must also intervene when we taking a walk away from home and the object of his desires is within his reach. Here is what we can do:

  • We use a sturdy leash, holding it firmly;
  • Do not leave the dog free, unless it is a completely isolated place from cars and motorcycles;
  • Practice the commands such as "sit" and "still", which he must already know very well;
  • Whenever we perceive the noise of the car, we try to distract him with the game;
  • When the car is about to pass, we put the "sit" or "stop" command into practice. Whenever he executes the command, we can reward him with his favourite snack;
  • If he cannot ignore the car besides our intents, we could continue to distract him by playing or by attracting his attention in a fun way, to make him understand that it is better to interact with us than to chase cars

Finally, another effective tip may be to strengthen self-confidence by making him discover the world. This should always be done in complete safety for us and for the dog, starting right from the car. Do you get in the car often enough? Do we take him with us even for short trips? We can begin to do it, perhaps following the indications given in this useful guide.

immagine Il cane che rincorre e morde la sua coda

Dogs chasing and biting their tail

 Some of us probably have a laugh watching our cat’s intent on whirling around on himself, in a desperate attempt to catch his tail. However, this behaviour, rather frequent especially in puppies, can be the symptom of a behavioural problem called "compulsive disorder".

Compulsive disorders

We have devoted an entire article to this problem, explaining what it is precisely and in what forms it can appear. However, we will try to report the most important information, applying it specifically to the situation of the dog chasing its tail.

Compulsive disorders are nothing more than the animal equivalent of a man's obsessive-compulsive disorder. We are talking about animals that show weird  attitudes many times during the day, especially when they feel bored, stressed or afraid.

Among the classic examples, we find the dog or cat licking the floor or glass, ingesting objects, attacking a part of someone’s body (such as the tail or a paw) or chasing the reflections of light. Many of these attitudes, in reality, can also be considered normal at first glance. We mention compulsive disorder when an animal has these “ticks” in a repeated and urgent way. Briefly, if he really wants to bite his tail, nobody will be able to stop him from doing it at that moment.

These attitudes are called "compulsive", precisely because the animal feels the need to remove its internal discomfort (boredom, stress, frustration, fear, anxiety) by transferring it into an urgent action, which therefore represents relief.

In humans, however, we often talk about obsessive-compulsive disorders as the action stems from a fixed, constant, almost manic thought, which generates the need to put compulsive attitude into practice. To give a practical example, a man who feels "dirty", due to various discomforts or psychological traumas, will be obsessed with the idea that everything is covered with bacteria (obsessive thinking) and therefore will try to wash his hands as much as possible (compulsive behaviour).

In dogs and cats, we are not able to know if these obsessive thoughts exist, precisely because we are still unable to understand what they think, so at the moment we can only talk about compulsive attitudes.

How to understand if it is a behavioural problem

The first intervention that we must consider is undoubtedly to contact our veterinarian, who will be able to analyse the situation and understand what the causes of the problem may be. Clearly, in these cases it will be important to be able to provide the veterinarian with all the information that could help him to reach a more founded diagnosis, so we must observe our dog during the day.

  • When does compulsive behaviour appear? The morning, the afternoon, the evening, the night, always?
  • Is there a special occasions that will encourage the dog to bite its tail? For example when a family member leave the house or when they hear noises from outside
  • How do we behave when the dog chases its tail? Do we laugh, caress it, pick it up, scold it, ignore it?
  • Have there been any changes in the family or home in the last period?
  • Has the dog had any health problems recently?

All these questions can add fundamental elements to obtain a complete picture of the situation. Some of these may even seem unusual to you, but nothing is taken for granted. For example, the vet will want to know how you behave when the dog chases his tail because it may not be a compulsive disorder, but a simple request for attention. Alternatively, if you cuddle or laugh at him he will feel the centre of attention and will continue to do so whenever he feels neglected.

At the same time, if he has a dermatitis that causes severe itching at the base of the tail, he will do anything to scratch himself, turning over on himself until he finds a way to do so. So in this case, it would not be a behavioural problem, but a health problem.

How can we avoid this behaviour?

Once the vet has successfully identified the cause of the problem, he or she can provide a series of indications to stop the upstream mechanism of the behavioural disorder. This means that a good research must be done to understand what the source of the problem is, either boredom, anxiety, stress or fear.

cane dallo psicologo psichiatra disturbo compulsivo

It is not a simple task, so forget the do-it-yourself and rely on a good expert. Be wary of some educators or veterinarians who don't have the necessary skills to deal with a behavioural problem.

You will also need to consider that this type of ailment tends to get worse over time if you don't proceed in the right way. So avoid ignoring the problem, because it could become more and more frequent or you might find yourself with many more additional compulsive behaviours, which would add up to the original one.

The principle behind the "therapy" for compulsive disorders requires the removal of the source of discomfort, if possible. In this case, the veterinarian will understand the cause of the problem and recommend a suitable way to decrease or eliminate it.

At the same time, it is very important for the dog to stop this behaviour in the right way. Shouting at him or picking him up while biting his tail is definitely not a good solution, quite the opposite. In the first case, we would increase psychological stress, triggering an even stronger desire to chase the tail. Secondarily, he would feel rewarded for what he has done, without diverting the thought of doing it again.

Therefore, the only useful advice to follow is to make sure that the dog's mind concentrates on positive activities, which in a few words allow him to “waste time” productively. Here are the most effective methods:

  • Purchase a game of mental activation or intelligence, such as interactive boards, puzzles, but also the numerous to-do games, which you can consult on the specific article. The purpose of these activities is to allow the dog to concentrate in order to find the snack hidden inside the toy, obtaining the reward and personal gratification;
  • Use the controls - such as "paw" or "sit" - to make sure that he focuses on us and on the reward it will receive at the end of the exercise;
  • Enroll in an agility course, to teach the dog to channel his energies into a very rewarding sport from a self-esteem point of view;
  • Go out together more often in the open air, letting the dog run freely in the fields to release the tensions accumulated during home life.

All these tips have the possibility of helping him not to think excessively about this inconvenience. Remember, however, that stress, boredom and all the other problems underlying behavioural disorders must never be neglected, because in the long run they can compromise the health of our dog.

immagine Educare il gatto: è davvero impossibile?

Can we educate our cat?

When we want to adopt a pet, we often try to evaluate many aspects, to understand whether to orient ourselves towards a dog or a cat. Many of us go for a dog, as experiences or common opinions believe that cats are not at all trainable and sometimes it can become difficult even to teach them simple "daily manners". However, is this really so or is there a way to educate a cat?

They are said to be selfish, detached, spiteful and ready to run away at the first useful opportunity. In fact, most people who think this way have most likely never had to deal with a cat accustomed to domestic life.

Surely there are many differences between dogs and cats, otherwise there would be no obvious alignment between fans of one and fans of the other. However, it is also true that, just as for us humans, everyone has his own  precise personality. So you may find a shy cat, not very inclined to be pampered - probably because he is not used to contact with people since childhood or because he is traumatized - as well as one who adorable cuddles and would remain curled up on the owner's legs all day.

Among the problems that most owners complain most often, we find:

  • Urine out of the litter box
  • Scratches furniture will nails
  • Bites and scratches people
  • Argue with other pets

What to do

We know that it is clearly easier to educate a kitten when it is really small to help him adapt to home life.

Another aspect to be clarified before understanding the tips to educate the cat concerns punishments. With the cat - as well as with the dog - there is absolutely no use to this approach. Indeed, they are even counterproductive.

Instead, what we should follow is a much simpler concept, which we often tend to forget: imitating the mother cat. Very often, in fact, it is difficult to try to understand someone who simply does not speak our language. The fact that dogs, cats and all other animals have their own body language make things certainly more complicated. There is an effective method to communicate with them; acting like their mother.

When the kittens begin to open up to the outside world, trying to find their place, they really get into a lot of trouble. If the mother is unable to manage their exuberance, they will most likely get themselves hurt or into trouble. Lets think, for example, of a little cat walking away from their mothers bed and exposing to the dangers of the road and other animals. Brothers also tend to hurt themselves whilst they are playing.

The mother slowly helps them to measure their strength creating the right balance between a fun game and an unfriendly scuffle. Have you ever seen a mother interrupt an overly exuberant children form hurting himself? She either lightly taps them on the nose or pushes them on the floor and licks them all over.

So why shouldn't we try it too?

We could gently tap their nose without exaggerating. What matters is the gesture. Or we could also try to make him lie firmly on his side, without holding him too tightly.

This solution works especially when (as it often happens with kittens) the game is becoming too wild and our pet begins to bite or scratch with more intensity. In this case, we should always remember that the game of "bed mice" - moving our hands under the sheets - is a real fun for the cat. However, in a few weeks its claws will assault us with each of our movements during the course of the night.

educare il gattino dito sul naso muso

As for the animals that tend to scatter their excretions around the house, we must absolutely avoid shouting at him or even beating him. Archaic methods such as pressing the cat's face firmly into the pee are useless and incorrect. Precisely because of these gestures, in fact, some cats can even associate the act of urinating with something negative, developing dangerous psychological blockages every time they have to pee.

On the contrary, as we explained in depth in this article, we must first check that there are no health problems. Cats often face cystitis problems, which can be caused by bacteria but also more simply by stress. One of the symptoms of urinary tract inflammation is not being able to pee in the litter box. We must also consider the cleanliness of the toilet bin. Our cat will refuse to use the litter sand if is too perfumed or too dirty.

If we have ruled out these factors and the problem persists, we can adopt two strategies:

  • The few times that our cat decides to use the litter box, he must absolutely be rewarded with many compliments and, why not, with one of his favourite snack-awards;
  • Did he crouch in the bathtub, ready to leave us a nice present? Let's pick him up immediately and carry him to the litter. If he had to go the toilet, he should immediately evacuate and we will be there ready to reward him;
  • Let's try to anticipate his moves. If we know that our cat roughly visits his box in the morning, immediately after breakfast, as soon as he has finished the meal, let's take him to the litter box.

What if our cat was a climber or even wrecked objects? In this case, we should make sure to create a nice gym to leave at his disposal all day, but especially during the night, when cats become more active. We secure the most precious and most fragile objects (the top shelves are not safe in the presence of a cat) and we leave his shelves full of fun games. We must try to build a path that hides new games to play with for a long time. By doing this, his energies will discharge in a fun and above all safe way for everyone.

immagine Come scegliere il nome per il cane o il gatto ed insegnarglielo

How to choose a suitable name for your pet and how to teach them

When we are ready to adopt a new pet, we are always enthusiast about it. Amongst the preparation, one of the most exciting thing to do is certainly choosing the name for our pet. Not everyone is aware that the name should have some specific characteristics, especially if we want our friend to be able to associate it.

The most suitable name

In most cases, the name is chosen once the new friend has arrived in our house. Many of us prefer to rely on simplicity, recalling some aesthetic characteristics of the animal such as colour, personality or looks.

Others, however, find the sound of the name more interesting, drawing on history, cinematography and literature to choose what they prefer, as well as the world of music or comics.

insegnare al cane richiamo vieni

Others, for example, find it fun and convenient to assign a "human" name to their friend, among “Carlo il Carlino” or Jack of Jack Russell.

Let's say that, regardless of the origin of the name of the newcomer, there are still criteria that must be taken into consideration. The name, in fact, should be rather simple and short, in order to help the animal understand when we are calling him. This means that the classic names such as Fuffi and Fido are not at all trivial, but designed to prevent the animal from getting confused.

Of course, the important thing is that the name of the animal is not too similar to those words that we will direct directly to him. To clarify this concept, lets think of the main commands, such as "stay", "come", "sit". If the dog was named “stray”, it would be difficult for him to understand if we are just calling him or asking him to execute the "stay" command.

So we can indulge ourselves as we prefer in choosing the name, as long as these few, simple indications are respected.

How to teach their names

Some of us wonder if there is a way to teach the animal its name and in fact there is. Dogs are able to recognize their name. There are dogs that, once they become adults, still do not understand what their name is, so it is very important to proceed efficiently since puppies, if we want to avoid this.

The name, in fact, is essential for each of us, even for our four-legged friends. If the dog or cat were to go away, how would we call him back without a name with which to attract his attention, making him understand that we are talking to him?

These are some methods to achieve this:

  • Associate the name with something positive: whether it's a caress, a compliment or a snack, we give the dog or cat a reward every time they look at us when we say their name. Let's call them in a high pitched voice while they are distracted. If they turn to look at us, they will receive a prize;cane gira la testa di lato
  • Use the name often: whenever we have to talk to him, we always remember to get his attention first by calling him by his name, especially if we want him to execute commands. So we won't have to say "food is ready!" or "come!", but "Fuffi, food is ready!" or "Fido, come!". This will help him understand that we specifically talked to him, and make hum understand if we repeat that word so often, it probably has something to do with him;

  • Use the commands in association with the name: the commands must never be used alone, but always after the name. In fact, by pronouncing the name of the animal we will attract his attention, making it clear that he must listen to us, while the command is the action it must perform. Otherwise, we would generate some confusion in the animal and could begin to think his name is “sit”;

  • Nicknames and pet names: let's face it, our pet has a very long list of nicknames like "love" and "puppy" or "beautiful-heart-of-mommy". No one would ever forbid us from using nicknames and endorsements, with the exception of some situations. The "official" name of the animal must be a single one and we will need it to call him and to express commands. All possible variations, however, can be reserved for the most intimate moments, such as that of cuddling or playing;

  • Shorten long names: dogs and cats with long and high-sounding names, such as those with Pedigree, may not react when we call them. Moreover, it would also be inconvenient for us to pronounce it each time for example, "Ivan-the-terrible-thirty-second-come!". Therefore, we try to limit ourselves to the first name or by shortening a long one.

Once you have followed these tips, your new four-legged friend will be able to understand his name in no time.

immagine Perché il gatto beve dal rubinetto?

Why does my cat drink from the tap?

Those who live with a cat know very well what we are talking about. In fact, most cats have a curious passion for tap water, which pushes them to drink from the tap. It doesn't matter if it's a sink, a bidet or even the toilet, as long as it's fresh water. Let's find out the reasons for this unusual behaviour and evaluate possible remedies and alternatives to prevent this from happening.

As much as we can be horrified at the thought that of our tender cat into the toilet, we must however consider that the reasons that push him to do it are quite understandable. How many of us, in fact, would accept to drink every day from the same large basin full of water, just like they do with the bowl? It is true that the most scrupulous owners worry about washing it and replacing the water with a certain frequency, but it is always stagnant water.

gatto beve dalla ciotola


In addition, we must also think about the water temperature, especially in summer. When the heat outside is unbearable, there is nothing better than drinking a nice glass of fresh water, which our cats cannot do. Then you are wondering what they find pleasant in toiler water, which in any case remains stagnant, unless we flush the toilet. Simply, the ceramic with which the bathroom fixtures are made helps to keep the water fresher than the one in the basin.

Referring only to a behavioural point of view, we must consider that for cats that live on the street, running water can often help them avoid bad infections and diseases. Puddles, saucers and containers filled with water could hide germs, insects, strange animals and dirt inside them. Cats, although being clean and picky, sometimes fail to notice these dangers, facing serious problems.

This is one of the reasons why cats often prefer shallow bowls or tend to overturn basins to drink from the floor. By doing this, in fact, they can have a more complete view.

Finally, we cannot fail to mention a very important aspect: fun. Observing the water that flows with that pouring noise is a lot of fun, especially when he discovers that by approaching the paw the flow stops. This is why he sometimes spends whole minutes trying to figure out which devilry is hiding behind this curious contraption.

So let's summarize the most frequent reasons that push the cat to drink from taps and toilets:

  • They prefer running water to stagnant water
  • The water temperature is always cool
  • the water coming out of the tap is fun
  • can cool off their face, head and legs
  • Dangers may hide in stagnant water
  • bowl is not cleaned often enough
  • The bowl is located next to the litter box or food

    What can I do to teach him he should not drink tap water?

    Unlike other less acceptable behaviours, drinking from the tap is not that terrible. It is, in fact, an attitude that can be easily understood and resolved in a few moves. Here are the main ones:

    • Use transparent bowls to show him that there is nothing dangerous in the water
    • Choose shallow bowls
    • Wash the bowl often with neutral detergents
    • Change the water more often
    • Often add an ice cube to the bowl to refresh it and to stimulate it to drink
    • Place floating objects in the bowl to intrigue him
    • Use an electric drinking fountain

    In particular, we must dwell on the last point. The cat fountain is an excellent remedy, which often makes all other solutions superfluous. Numerous varieties of electric fountains are available on the market, which can run the water on a slightly inclined horizontal panel or even equipped with a small tap that brings the water down from above.

    Usually owners who choose to purchase a drinking fountain manage to solve the problem in no time, definitively abandoning the use of bowls. This practical remedy, in fact, contains the convenience of a container with the curiosity of running water. But that's not all, because almost all the models on the market are equipped with a filter that keeps the water always clean and purified

    In addition, the common bowls must be washed and refilled at least once a day, whilst the fountains require cane gatto bevono acqua fontanellaweekly maintenance, to remove hair and any impurities and to ensure a good functioning of the motor.