Are Dogs Like Babies?

From Cesar Milan is also the author of Cesar’s Way — The #1 New York Times Bestseller (Hardcover)

Are Dogs Like Babies More Than We Think?

By Joe Wilkes

A new study from Current Biology proves a lot about dogs that we’ve been noticing at for a long time. Researchers in Hungary completed a study that shows dogs respond to eye contact and verbal and nonverbal cues from humans similarly to human children in the two-year-old range who haven’t started talking. Some dogs are even able to understand American Sign Language, the hand signals used by the hearing impaired to communicate.

Dogs were shown to read nonverbal cues, especially when the human used eye contact and could sense the emotion of the human. ABC news reported Nicholas Dodman, the director of the Animal Behavior Center at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in N. Grafton, Massachusetts as saying “They are looking for an expression of what the person is thinking…This is another example of a supposed barrier between animals and humans being knocked down by research.”

The study, conducted by the Institute for Psychological Researches, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest used actresses who addressed the dogs and turned their attention to a pot. One group of actresses made eye contact with the dog and the dogs’ eyes were tracked to follow the actresses’ eyes looking at the pot. The dogs who did not get eye contact from the actresses were less likely to look at the pot. Additionally, the study showed, the dogs were more responsive to high-pitched “baby talk” voices than lower normal conversational tones.

The study helps prove that dogs are more attuned with our energy, tone of voice, and other nonverbal behaviors than we might have imagined. Other studies have shown that dogs possess small vocabularies of words they hear their humans say repeatedly, but these scientific studies have helped quantitatively support the anecdotal evidence that pet owners have seen of dogs responding intuitively to their humans’ energy and nonverbal signs. The studies also underscore Cesar’s observances of dogs who are able to sense the energy that a human brings into a room, how they respond to touch, vocalizations, and eye contact, and how their behavior is affected. So for all of you out there who say your dog is like your baby, you may be more right than you thought!

Exercise Your Dog Indoors

Helpful article from

8 Ways to Exercise Your Dog Indoors

By Nicole Pajer

Dogs need their daily exercise. Even things like it being too cold or hot outside, or the days getting shorter shouldn’t get in the way. Here are some tips on how to work out your dog’s body and mind indoors:

1. Run your dog up and down the stairs.

Using the stairs is a great way to tire out your dog. The steps add an additional challenge to a dog’s workout, as they engage different muscles than those used on a regular walk or run and add an extra level of difficulty with the change in elevation. Stand at the top of the stairs and throw a toy down to your dog. When your dog grabs the toy, call his name and have him bring the toy to you. After several rounds of this, he’ll be winded. Or use this time to help teach your dog how to properly walk on a leash (using learning tools such as The Illusion Dog Collar & Leash Set (Next Generation)).

2. Laser pointer.

Pick up an inexpensive laser pointer at a store and shine it back and forth across the floor. Watch as your dog chases the laser back and forth and works out in the process. Be careful to avoid shining the laser directly in a dog’s eyes, as this can cause damage to its retinas.

3. Set up obstacle courses.

Whenever Cesar enters someone’s house on the show, he looks around for things in the environment that can be repurposed to help the dog. Like using that old hula hoop for him to leap through or using cushions to create a tunnel for him to navigate. Map everything out and lead your dog through the various obstacles. This game will challenge your dog both mentally and physically.

4. Make your dog work for its treats.

Take a variety of your dog’s favorite treats and hide the around the house – behind doors, under tables, underneath rugs, etc. Your dog will be so busy tracking down his treats that he’ll physically tire out in the process. Treat dispensing toys are another great way to keep your dog busy and engage them physically as they push around their toys and try to get to the food inside.

5. Keep away and fetch.

Engage your dog in a good old fashioned game of fetch and keep away. These games keep your dog engaged, active, and help to release pent up energy.

6. Take a socialized outing.

Put your dog in the car (always remember to use a car restraint!) and head over to the nearest pet store. Walk your dog through the aisles, let him try out toys and sniff around.

7. Get your dog on the treadmill.

A treadmill is a great way to get your dog a dose of healthy indoor exercise. First, allow your dog to get comfortable with the sight and sound of a running treadmill. Next, place your dog on the treadmill and give him a treat. Turn the treadmill on the lowest speed. Give him treats to keep him on the treadmill. You may use the dog’s leash as an aid but never tie your dog to the treadmill. Also, standing in front of the treadmill and rewarding him with treats for walking might make your dog feel more comfortable. Once your dog is adjusted, you can gradually increase the speed to provide a more challenging workout.

8. Tug of War—But Be Aware of the Risks

With the amount of ropes and toys available that encourage tug of war, it’s not surprising that so many dog owners play this game with their dog. However, you need to be aware of the risk. It’s a game that brings out the predator in your dog and can be unhealthy for your relationship if you don’t have trust and respect to begin with. You need to have control over your dog’s power and instincts before you can engage in a healthy game of tug of war with them.

Pug Mysteries


The Mysterious Pug

One of our Pugminded Facebook fans

Pugs do some mighty strange things from time to time, and this is the beginning of what we hope will be the answer area to some of the greater Pug mysteries.

Why does my Pug do figure 8’s and run circles when I take her outside to make? This always-entertaining dance is actually the Pugs way of finding just the right spot for it to make. It trots in a straight line until she finds a good starting point, then searches and sniffs in figure eights that become tighter and smaller until it finds that good place to make. Sometimes you get the feeling they’ve got this thing down to a science!

 When my Pug runs, it seems to run sideways, is that my imagination or is it really happening? It’s not your imagination! But it’s not all the time either. Most people notice this when their Pugs are trotting inside and down narrow hallways…So take a look and see how your Pug is running outside, as opposed to trotting down a hallway. Chances are you’ll notice that with room to run, and decent speed, your Pug will run straight. We’ve been told however that the cause of this is a matter of a Pugs perception in narrow enclosures such as a hallway, where a Pug’s field of vision sees both walls as being very close and thus slants in one direction in order to avoid hitting it.

Sometimes my Pug goes on a licking frenzy, licking my hands, arms or feet for long periods of time. What’s going on here? In a word…Salt. Pugs love salt and when we perspire, we leave a salty residue on our skin that Pugs enjoy licking off. And yes, our feet perspire plenty and remember, foot odor isn’t something we’re particularly fond of, but to a Pug, your scent is like heaven on earth.

 So what is that head tilt really about? The classic Pug head tilt is actually simply a matter of your Pug positioning its head and ears so as to take in whatever sound you’re making. All dogs have a version of the head tilt, though the Pugs is more pronounced and they are significantly more responsive to the voice of their owners than many other breeds. We don’t know why, but the theory is that it’s related to our reaction to them when they do this especially charming act…We Pug People eat the head tilt up and usually shower them with petting and laughter when they do it. They must have us figured out…A head tilt here and a head tilt there equals much attention!

Licking Lucy


As I sit here working at my computer, I can hear Lucy (my pug) under my desk licking. Just licking. Not eating or cleaning her paws, just licking nothing in particular. This song popped into my head and I thought I would share the video…


Got this e-mail today from Happy Tails and thought it had some helpful doggie dental information. Since February is National Pet Dental Health Month, I thought I would share it…

Hi there,

Did you know that February is National Pet Dental Health Month?
Probably not. It’s not a gift giving occasion and you certainly don’t get the day off work. However, it is the perfect time to think about your dog’s pearly whites.
You’re probably thinking “eeewwww” and that’s exactly the point. Let’s be honest, most dog owners rarely if ever brush or care for their dog’s teeth even though by doing so could add years to your dog’s life (or in other words, by not caring for your dog’s teeth you could be shortening his/her life). You don’t want to do that, now do you?
Here are some super informative articles on dental hygiene to get you up to speed. Also, we are offering our Dental Wipes at buy one get one free.
Keep Smiling!
All the best SWEET PEA, happytails spokes-dog

If your dog hates getting her teeth brushed, try KissAble Dental Wipes. These textured wipes contain baking soda which provides gentle abrasion to help remove unwanted build up. They also include the antioxidant power of pomegranate.
Try our ‘Ask The Vet’ service you been wondering why your dog licks her paws so much, what you can do about your dog’s ear infections, why your dog is losing hair or any situation particular to your dog log on to and post your questions to ASK THE VET—our veterinarian will post her response within 1-2 days. The best part- It’s absolutely free! (free is good!)
orange rule

My dog hates getting her teeth brushed, what other options are there?
If your dog has bad breath, it’s not fun to snuggle up close to him, and it’s even worse when he tries to give you a kiss on the cheek!
The problem is, brushing a dog’s teeth is just so darn hard. If I even approach my dog with a toothbrush she freaks out. It takes both my husband and I to hold down this 10 pound fluff ball, and even then she flops around like a fish out of water. luckily, there are a whole host of different tools and forms of canine dental products that can help.
If your dog hates the brush, you can try a gel, spray or wipe. In this article we are going to review some of the dental programs available for your best friend.
You can reduce the amount of brushing need with one simple spray
How do you get started?
Brush Those Canines The most important part of caring for your dog’s teeth and gums is brushing them twice daily, just as you do your own (OK- if you do it even once a week you’ll be ahead of most). However, human toothpaste isn’t suitable for dogs, and our toothbrushes may be too big, too hard or just too awkward for our canine companions.
What if Your Dog Hates Her Toothbrush?

Brushing your dog's teeth could add five years to her life
Tooth brushing should be a regular part of your dog’s healthy regimen. Not only will it improve doggy breath, it will help keep your dog healthy. If you brush your dog’s teeth at least 3 times a week, the American Animal Hospital Association says it could add up to 5 years to your dog’s life!
There really is no excuse for ignoring your dog’s dental care, but many dog owners do. The American Veterinary Dental Society found that 80 percent of dogs have periodontal disease before the age of 3… and that condition carries a lot of serious health risks.
A quick way to reduce plaque build up on your dog’s teeth
Without brushing, plaque builds up on your dog’s teeth. It breaks off and is absorbed into the bloodstream. That can lead to blocked arteries, which causes heart disease and kidney problems. Just few years ago, the idea of brushing your dog’s teeth was nearly unheard of. While it is gaining popularity, the majority of pet owners still do not brush their dogs’ teeth on a regular basis.
It’s easier than you think, here are some helpful tips to get you started

Meet the Pug

Cute article from

You’re walking your Pug down the street and you see someone approaching looking closely at your dog. Your dog is small, between 14 and 20 pounds, give or take a pound of two…It has a curly twisty sort of tail, protruding eyes, a muscular body, button ears, short legs and a solemn expression or a smile on its face, depending on the moment. The man stops you and asks “is that a miniature bulldog”? You break a smile and say “oh no, it’s a Pug”! The man wants to take a closer look and asks you if your dog bites. You pause for a moment, thinking ever so briefly at how funny that question sounds to you and say “Bite? My dog may lick you forehead to chin, he may even make a few strange sounds, but bite? Uh uh”. The man bends down to take a closer look at your little dog, and it’s curly tail wags slowly in a funny circular motion…Not back and forth, or up and down, or side to side…More like around and around. The man’s amused, noticing the Pugs facial folds and says to the dog “you’ve got wrinkles”. You watch and smile as your Pug gives this stranger a classic Pug head tilt at the sound of his voice and the man wonders if this dog actually understands him. He talks some more and sees the head tilt again and again, along with a variety of classic Pug expressions.

One of our Pugminded Facebook fans

“His ears and muzzle are like velvet” the man says, but “his coat is thick, does he shed?”. “Does he ever” you reply. “There’s hair all over the house, on the clothes and now that you’ve pet my Pug, you’ll have Pug hair in your house too. You might as well just get a Pug now.”

 The man hears the slight purring sound your Pug is making, or maybe it’s a snort, and asks if they make that noise all the time. You tell the man “all the time” is a relative term. You know your Pug snorts and snores while it, and you are sleeping. You know it makes these noises and others when you pet it, and when it gets excited. It cries a happy cry when you come home or say the word “walk” or “car”. That funny sound is enough to make anyone’s bad mood melt away. “I don’t know if I could live with the snoring at night” the man says. To which you reply, “I don’t know if I could sleep without that snoring”!

Being a Pug Person, you tell him a bit more about the breed. That it comes in Fawn or Black, but aside from color, a Pug’s a Pug. It’s a sedentary dog that likes to be around people almost as much as it likes to eat, but not quite. You talk about its good nature, that it is great with kids, gentle and passive. It sheds plenty, and that’s worth repeating for people with an aversion to vacuums or people with allergies. It plays with you when it feels like it, and sleeps long and comfortably on your lap or at your feet when it isn’t playing or eating. “Pugs don’t bark much either” you tell him, but they will do their level best to imitate a big dog in order to protect you and your home…”Pugs are funny that way” you say…”little dogs, that think they’re big”.

 You wouldn’t be a Pug Person if you didn’t take care to mention that Pugs have a bit of a stubborn steak to them. After all, it’s part of their charm…like the snoring. In short, you tell the man that Pugs are the best of dogs…Warm loving companions that own you, rather than you owning it. “Don’t let the solemn look fool you” you conclude, Pugs are The Clown Prince of Dogs, as entertaining and funny as any dog can be.