Part 1 - “Well hello sailor, what a beautiful brown eye you have…..

We see lots of embarrassed people when their and our dogs do what dogs do….. meet and greet with that familiar joining of noses to butts! BUTT(!), did you know that dogs use butt sniffing as more than just an easy “howdy-doo!”? Dogs sniff each other, butts and all, to meet, greet, check on each other’s health and happiness and generally maintain and build relationships. Needless to say, we see a lot of yummy bummy and stinky winky here at the Wranch and view it as important bonding rituals within the Tribe.
Something we do like to do is supervise our Tribe meeting other dogs to help make the start of new relationships as positive as possible. Supervising dogs meeting on leash can be a tricky business and can sometimes create unforeseen problems if the “dance” or our leash handling is not done right.
We have an awesome article written by our favourite behaviourist, Julia Langlands. Just drop us a message and we will send you a FREE copy!

In the meantime, here is some information we found helpful.

Keep on Wrangling!

Part 2 - “The Wind in the Wadi”

Dogs are often blamed for “that smell!” It is easy to say “the dog did it!” but what is your beastie really trying to tell you by playing the backdoor blues (when it really is him!)? We know from experience with the Tribe that farts are part of the game in identifying if something negative is happening with a beast. Inara is a terribly sensitive little girl and many things upset her stomach, meaning she blasts a good morning symphony almost every day as she trots down the stairs!
There is a chicken and egg discussion here. Does the upset tummy make Inara difficult and anxious or do her nerves, anxiety and paranoia interfere with what should be a normal digestive system? We came to this debate from a number of different angles. One was Inara’s wind. Another was the irrational anxiety and stress reactivity so many of us experience in our fear driven (OMG, don’t make me do it!) Wadi Dogs. In the end, our research always brought us to the same place: How is the food we so lovingly give to the Tribe interfering with their health and happiness?
As it turns out, food plays a huge role in a dog’s gut, immune system and emotional health. This discovery was the last bit of news we needed to move to a raw diet for the Tribe and added vitamin supplements to lift serotonin production, helping to improve brain chemistry for the most monstrous of our beasties. (Bessie, I love you!)
And you know what? We are finally getting somewhere. The beasties have fewer skin fungi and rashes, enjoy settled tummies, have stronger immune systems, are less reactive and less windy Wadis all around. The drawback, of course, is that now there is no one else to blame!
Our Team behaviourist, Julia Langlands, wrote a great article that helped us understand this BIG issue in dogs.
You can read it here

Keep on Wrangling!

Part 3 - “Bottoms Up!”

We know relationship building between beasties begins, for the most part, with a good ol’ fashioned butt sniff but the butt boogie does not stop there. Oh no, they have the time of their life! (Patrick Swayze would be proud.) The hierarchical nature of beastie relationships, especially when dogs live in a pack, requires a constant dance of submissive and dominant gestures to clarify and build respectful relationships, all of which help keep the peace.
The Tribe never fails to deliver an exciting array of dance moves most of which you can see Bella display in this video taken one morning as the beasties came out to start the day. She began with basic mouth licking with Gaius, made a survey of the crowd and then went “bottoms’ up” in front of Ben. The deference and haughtiness both Gaius and Ben bring to the situation is a reflection of the submission Bella displays and works to bring balance to their relationships. When Sophia was little she preferred the submissive-crouch-with-piddle approach. Hence her nickname: “Puddles”.

After all is said and done, no one puts Bella in a corner!
Read more about beasties’ boogie moves with this super article written by Our Team behaviourist Julia Langlands.

Keep on Wrangling!

Part 4 - “Thar She Blows!”

Here we are, capping off our 4-part series on the magic and mystery of our Beasties’ Backsides in all their gory glory! We’ve had a super fun time putting this together (Gemma, hope it helped!). Please let us know what you thought and if there are other doggy health and happiness issues about which you would like us to muse!
This week we look at the source of that wonderful odour. You know, that strange smell of poop but not poop, of sick but not sick, a slight fishy stink with metallic high notes…… It seems to be everywhere but nowhere all at once. What just happened?
Well, Beastie just blew her anal glands. Now, every dog has these glands just inside of their back passage and they release a smelly substance unique to that Beastie when Beastie makes a No. 2. Groomers often include a gland squeeze as part of their services but be aware there are many warnings against this so please research, consider and make an informed choice about including a “squeeze” as part of your Beastie’s beauty regime.
The odour from these glands is fascinating to other dogs and tells them many things about that Beastie’s health, happiness and emotional state. Because our fabulous Wadi Dogs are fear driven, anxiety ridden, paranoid and delusional, all before breakfast, they are more likely to have fearful experiences sufficient to cause muscular contractions of their back passage forceful enough to “blow” the anal glands. And blow like a whale through a blowhole they do! If only they were out at sea where there is no-one to mind!
Don’t worry, it is a healthy thing (usually). Rather than focus on the “Blow”, we must address our Beasties’ fear and anxiety. Confidence building counter conditioning exercises are a great way to do just that and, please, never punish a fearful beastie for being scared.
Here are some resources we find extremely helpful as we Wrangle the Tribe day-to-day.

www.k9partnership.com/site/content/fearful.pdf
http://www.balancebehaviour.org/new-page-2/
http://empoweredanimals.com/
www.amazon.com/Stress-Anxiety-Aggression-Anders-Hallgren/dp/085788204X

Keep on Wrangling!