Can Dogs Learn From Other Dogs?

Dog psychology operates largely through classic conditioning. The aim of dog training is to teach dogs that good behaviors will get rewarded and that bad behaviors will be punished or ignored. The result should be a happy dog who does good things to get good rewards.

But are there other ways that dogs can learn? As it turns out, the answer is yes.

Dog Training

What is Social Learning?

If you sit down and you’re given a treat often enough, you will come to associate sitting down with getting treats and you’ll enjoy sitting down when instructed too. But what if you see someone else sit down and get a treat? This is an example of ‘vicarious learning‘ or ‘social learning’ and in humans we can rationally reason that if one person gets a certain reward for a behavior, so too might we in similar circumstances. Dogs don’t have this reasoning ability but they still can learn to associate actions with rewards thanks to ‘mirror neurons‘ that fire in their brains and make them empathize with the situation.

If you see someone get punched in the face on TV, you might wince. Those are your mirror neurons kicking in. The same goes for dogs who see their colleagues rewarded for sitting down or behaving generally.

What Does This Mean?5 Core Principles of Dog Training

So what does all this mean? Most basically, it means that your dog can learn good behavior from another, older and better behaved dog. On the downside though, your dog can also learn bad behaviors from other dogs.

This can also be further enforced by something called ‘local enhancement’ which describes the process dogs go through of trial and error when trying to fit in with other dogs. This is another type of social learning and is something to be aware of when walking dogs in large groups. Be wary of the company your dog keeps!

What’s The Best Liner for Your Pond

Choosing the Right Liner for your Outdoor Pond

garden pondThere are several types of liners from which to choose when you are thinking about installing an outdoor pond for your yard. A pre-formed plastic liner is sturdy and durable and will be fairly easy to install. However, these do not allow for much customization of your pond. A concrete liner is very durable and quite permanent, but may be hard to install and tend to cost a lot. Installing a concrete liner should be left to serious do it yourselfers or professionals.

Butyl rubber and synthetic polyethylene liners are the most commonly used because of their versatility. You can choose from several thicknesses and these liners will be able to cover any type of shape of pond that you can imagine. Polyethylene is affordable and commonly used, but it is not as flexible and will become brittle with age. It is best for a temporary set up. PVC, LDPE, and butyl rubber may cost more, but they are more durable and will last for a longer time. These come in a number of different thicknesses and sizes to meet your individual needs. It is recommended that you use an underlay under the lining in order to prevent leaks and punctures from occurring. You should not cut corners in this area because if the liner leaks you will have to tear down the entire pond apart and begin again. You can choose a commercial underlay or use old carpet, felt, sand, or polyethylene bags.

Choosing a Size for your Liner

Material for liner can be expensive, so it is important to make sure that you choose the correct sized liner for your pond. You will want to measure the pond’s length at the longest point and the width at the widest point. Then measure the deepest point of the pond. You will then take twice of the maximum depth and then add it to the length in order to get the total length of your liner. You will then take twice the maximum depth to add to the width at the widest point for the overall width. You will want to add a foot or two to the overall length and width in order to have enough overlap for the edges of the pond.

Understanding dog age


A two week pup that just stepped into your apartment will be sexually mature very fast. In just few months, it will turn from a pup into a young dog. It will remain the same for the next few years and at the age of 8 the first signs of old age will appear: gray hair here and there, teeth becoming more sensitive and things like that.

1292484668nutrition600x390Dog’s lifespan depends on many factors: the surroundings and conditions of life, the breed, dog’s health and exercise, grooming, walking and feeding the right way. Some breeds, like the Fox Terrier can live up to 20 years, while German Sheppard is considered old when it turns 12 or 13. It is widely considered that one human year equals seven dog years, but it’s really not the fact as the comparison is a little more complex.

Dogs are sexually developed when they are just one year old, which is not an example applicable on a seven years old human child. A two months old dog is actually as mature as 14 months old child and a year old dog is as mature as a 14 years old child. Dog aged 18 months is 20 years old in dog years and after that age the multiplication quote for calculating dog years drops. A ten years old dog does almost get to that 7:1 ratio as the dog is 65 dog years old then and if the dog lives 16 years it is equal to 89 human years of age. On this, not quite constant scale, dogs live in average between 12 and 15 years. Some people feel like this is unfair to the dogs as parrots live more than 20 years and some birds over 50 or 60 years and common frog can live up to 16 years.

Dog-AgesWith the old age, working and hunting dogs loose their aggressive side and become more calm but also more prone to diseases. As they grow older, dogs will deteriorate in hearing, their teeth will become more sensitive and start bleeding and falling out. Their behavior will change too, they will become grumpier and will refuse novelties and changes. Old dogs are more likely to keep to their old habits and won’t react good to new conditions or learn much new tricks.

Old age for a dog is a period influenced by their previous life conditions, just like with humans. If the dog got enough food, training, exercise and medical help in it’s life it will handle the old age better and live through it with less troubles. Older dogs aren’t as active as they used to be when they were younger so you need to give them a quite and secluded space to rest but also keep them active in order to prevent big weight gain. You should walk your dog, but not make him run or strain to hard as they are now more sensitive and fragile.



Perfect dogs for your apartment


Not all dogs are created equal and not all of them are a good choice for a building apartment residents. But, have no fear, you can do so much more than choosing to have fishes, cats or hamsters. Some dogs need too much daily activities and some are just loud barkers, others are just too big or can’t handle small spaces well. There are, however, dog breeds that handle special conditions like apartments in cities quite well, and we bring you some options.

labLabrador Retriever – you must know these guys, there are everywhere, and if you happen to live in an apartment block – chances are you’ve seen some of them already. If not, then you must have seen them on TV, in movies or as police or service dogs on your walk around town. Labrador retrievers are the most famous and beloved breed in the US, and for a good reason. They are smart, they train and listen well since they are very intelligent and can make great companions. Retrievers are great with kids, they don’t shed much and behave very well, they are friendly and kind – a perfect choice for you!

bichon-frise-04Poodle & Bichon Frise – just look at that little guy! They are perfect for kids and girls, but I know a few guys owning them, and there is nothing strange about that. They are very quite and playable, your kids and neighbors will love them and you will never get complains. Who could say anything bad about that cute face? Poodle is the second smartest breed of dogs, they are easily trained and grooming is not a problem even though their coat is long. They are fairly small – only a foot tall so they are perfect for little apartments and moving.

DachshundDachshund – the dog that gave a “hot dog” a name, and after you see one – you instantly get a connection. They are easy to keep as they don’t require long walks and are pretty tiny, Dachshunds are adorable dogs, loved by children and adults since I have never met anyone who doesn’t like them. They can be loud so some training is required and you need to be careful with the feeding, as they are prone to obesity. Their hair is very short so grooming should not be a problem for you.

FrenchBulldogWDN_Ap6DFrench Bulldog – this dog was made for cities, literally. They are awesome little guys, compact and fit in just about any life space. even as they are fairly stubborn, training them is not a big problem. They also have a short hair and only care they need daily is cleaning their face. They are very friendly and adorable, with their little legs and cute faces that melt hearts. Bulldogs are very playful and can be your kid’s best friend and babysitter as they are very loyal and smart.