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Guest Blog Post by Eleven Year-Old Gabe Owen!

January 23, 2013

This week we’ll be taking a break from our regular programming to share with you a paper written by one of the fantastic kids in our puppy class! We love it when kids come that are interested in learning and take an active role in the training process.  In fact, they’re often even more intuitive about the dogs that we are.  This particular kid is an eleven year-old named Gabe Owen.  Here’s to you Gabe! Nice work:)

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**Note: This drawing was NOT done by Gabe:)


DOGS – By Gabe Owen

Why do dogs bark?

Have you ever wondered why dogs bark? When you hear a dog yipping and yapping they are not trying to be annoying, he/ she is trying to communicate with you. Depending on the speed and intensity of a bark it could mean many different things.  These sounds are usually accompanied by movement which will also help you understand what they are trying to tell you.

Continuous rapid barks means that the dog is trying to say “there’s a problem”, but barks that are slower speed and the pitch is lower would mean the intruder or danger is closer. Prolonged barks in strings of three or four means that the danger is close and the leader of the pack should look in to it. These are examples of types of verbal communication dogs uses to “talk” about trouble or danger.

There are many other types of social noises that dogs make.  One or two sharp barks means “hi”; this type of bark is the most common expression a dog makes. One low sharp bark is used by a mother dog to discipline her pups, which is accompanied by the mother clamping her jaws firmly but gently around the pup’s snout. An intense, high pitched yip means “huh?” A single yelp means “OUCH”, and a series of yelps means “I’m hurting” or “I’m scared”.  A shutter bark (sounds like a-ruff) means “Let’s play”. A rising bark that goes into a yip means “this is fun”.  So next time you hear a dog making noise try to translate it. (Source:

What does dog body language mean?

Barking is one way of communicating with people but have you ever wondered why dog add movements to their barks? Well it’s simple. Just like humans use body language dogs do to! When you see dogs barking, look for the body language. Movements that follow the body language can help to decipher what a dog is trying to say.

Dog body language is complex and is hard to understand. For example dogs do things called a play bow. To recognize a play bow look for certain characteristics. Such as lose body and a waging tail. But the same posture doesn’t always mean “let’s play”. A dog doing the exact same play bow but with a stiffer body and the tail is between its legs could mean “go away or I’ll bite”. Not understanding that could mean a chomp on your hand, which will hurt.  Jumping is another example; it can mean aggression or friendliness.

When a dog is scared it will shrink back and look as harmless as possible. When dogs want to play they will jump around or play bow. When dogs show love and affection they will like each other’s nose. When respecting a higher member of the pack they bow. When they feel pain they will back away. When a dog is saying hello it will jump on you. And this is why dogs use body language. (Source: Danielle Hodges, Follow the Leader Dog Trainer)

What food is healthy for dogs?

If you don’t know what food is good for dogs it could be fatal. Dogs can’t eat many things and all the things that they can’t eat will lead death. But dogs can eat many things. And you can find ways to make the dog have fun while eating. A dog trumps a human in many things but in eating dogs are sorely beaten. Dogs can’t eat half as much types of foods as humans can.

Some of the foods those are bad for dogs are chocolate, pig, alcoholic beverages, avocado, bones of fish, poultry, cat food, are some of the bad foods for dogs. Chocolate causes diarrhea and vomiting. Alcohol causes coma. Avocado causes the same affects as chocolate. Bones of fish and poultry can cause damage to the digestive system. And cat food is too high in protein and fat.

But dogs can’t eat all. In fact there are many foods that dogs can eat that humans eat. One of which is yogurt (plain). This food provides probiotics. If your dog is putting on weight make sure to pick up fat-free yogurt. Flax seeds another good food for dogs. It provides omega 3 fatty acids which are good for the skin and coat. Salmon is another thing that provides omega 3. Pumpkins are another good food for dogs. It is a source of fiber and beta carotene. Sweet potatoes are a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin B6, vitamin C and beta carotene. Green beans are a good form plant fiber, vitamin k and c. and these are some of the good and the bad foods for dogs. (Source: )

Written By

Gabe Owen!

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