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.

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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 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.



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 Resource guarding: quando il cane ringhia se vi avvicinate alla ciotola e ai suoi oggetti

Resource guarding: what happens when your dog growls when you touch its food or objects

How many of us would like one of our relatives, or even worse, a stranger to come into our home to peek in drawers, move things, lie on our bed and rummage through our kitchen? By asking ourselves this question, we will be able to understand what our dogs feel when we try to invade their space without permission. This behaviour is called "resource guarding" and the most classic example is the dog growling when we approach its bowl, toys or kennel. Here's why he does it and how to change this attitude, which can become very dangerous, especially if there are children or other animals in the house.

What is resource guarding

First of all, we need to clarify a concept: the defence of one's territory is an absolutely normal event for all of us. For this reason, it is easy to understand that the same thing happens to our dogs. Their private spaces are above all the kennel, the bowls, their favourite cot, their toys and even an old sock that may be very important for them, so it’s a normal behaviour if they want to keep them all for themselves.

cane ringhia altri cani resource guarding giocattolo

Let's think, for example, of dogs that live outside and what would happen normally in nature if we weren’t there. If anyone stole their things, all the effort made to find food, accumulate it and store it, would be wasted. But above all, they would risk starving. Not surprisingly, one of the most frequent reasons for contention are bones, which they consider extremely precious.

The problem arises when the protection of one's spaces and objects becomes a real form of aggression, for which the dog begins to growl at us or other animals to tell us not to get too close.

Growling is always a form of threat, unless the dog is simply playing or torturing a poor stuffed animal by flapping it here and there with unfriendly sounds. That is not real resource guarding, but simply a dog that is playing around with its toys.

Instead, resource guarding is a form of aggression as a defence of personal spaces. We can notice some strange behaviours if we get close to its stuff:

  • It freezes and doesn’t move
  • He stares at us grimly
  • Follows our movements with your eyes
  • It makes long, deep sounds
  • Bares the teeth
  • Grab the object he is defending more firmly
  • Sprint forward if we get close

In these cases, we must distinguish between a low intensity growl: the mouth closed, with the upper lip slightly raised, from the real growl: with bared teeth and open mouth, with a stronger and more threatening sound. In the first case, the dog is warning us not to go further. The second growl, on the other hand, is much more dangerous, because from there on or a few seconds after that, the dog could really attack us to protect its belongings.

Let's say that growling is not always a negative factor, quite the contrary. It would be considered as such if the dog attacked us directly without even warning us first, to give us time to stop doing what is bothering him. In this case, we should consider the hypothesis that our dog has a strong behavioural problem.

However, it remains a fact that a problem of this type is absolutely not acceptable, because in our home we should be free to move as we prefer, without being afraid of our dog. Furthermore, all puppies should be taught not to defend their own bowl from the owner, because the day may come when we may need to steal food or objects that he cannot ingest or that are dangerous. Not to mention the dogs that "steal" the owner's personal items, such as shoes, socks and brushes, literally defending them with their teeth.

This is absolutely not acceptable, from an educational point of view, but above all as regards our safety and that of those who approach our dog.

How to teach your dog not to growl

First, if you just got a puppy or if you want to prevent a resource guarding problem, we need to practice the trading or bartering technique.

While the dog is intent on nibbling on his favourite soft toy, let's approach him with a treat or another truly irresistible object. As soon as he leaves the soft toy, we give him his prize, taking away the old defence object with the other hand. If he hasn't shown any signs of aggression, we can give him the soft toy back, letting him play quietly.

If, on the other hand, the dog has already shown strong signs of resource guarding, we will have to take other measures, which require a certain amount of courage. Here is what should be done:

  • We eliminate all objects that could trigger the defence, such as toys, soft toys, socks, shoes, bones and bowls;
  • Give him his toys only when he is alone or in a safer room;
  • Let's focus on the exchange technique, giving the dog other food or other toys in exchange for what he is defending

An important aspect is that if the dog growls at us, it is probably because it perceives being deprived of its food or object as a negative fact. Therefore, we will have to make him understand that we do not want to simply steal it, but rather we are about to give him an even more captivating reward.

If the problem occurs only with bowls, we can instead react like this:

  • For the first few days we only give him food from our hands, giving him a few morsels at a time;
  • Then place two or more bowls not far from each other, pouring two or three morsels, (without getting too close), alternating them between the different bowls;
  • Then we can try and fill a bowl with a food of little interest, letting the dog eat it. While he is intent on finishing the bowl, we gradually pour the tastiest morsels into the other bowl, trying to slowly bring the empty one closer to the first bowl. If the dog shows signs of tension, stop and continue by dropping the treats from above;
  • Try to fill the bowl with the usual uninteresting food, then stand a few meters away, calling the dog while he is eating to offer him some treats. Then return it to the bowl and continue doing this for several times.

All these exercises will help to make the dog understand that, every time you approach him while he eats or plays, you will only offer him something even more interesting. With a little training, he will stop seeing you as a threat to his territory, letting you touch his things.

Of course, remember that there is a clear limit between the owner who needs to teach the dog not to growl in front of the bowl or objects, and the owner who simply wants to disturb his pet while he is having fun. But above all, we should avoid that children or other animals torturing our dog when it is quiet, so as not to intensify a problem of resource guarding.