Author Archives: Dr. Jack Stephens

Tips for Bad Dog Behaviors – Leash Yanking

Two dogs with Pets Best Pet Insurance pull on their leashes. The dog walker nearly stumbles from them yanking on their leashes.By Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best Pet Insurance, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

Dogs are not born with owner’s manuals. They can have some bad dog behaviors and they rely on us to teach them what is acceptable and what is not. Let’s discuss leash yanking and some solutions to curb this bad behavior.

Problem Behavior – Leash Yanking. It’s not the size of the dog, but the size of his determination to be the boss on walks. His constant pulling on the leash can knock you off your feet and cause injury to his neck if the leash is attached to a collar.

Solution: Increase your “curb appeal” on your leashed outings with your dog by bringing a small bag of tiny treats. Each time your dog stops and heeds your “watch me” cue, dole out a treat. Your goal is to make yourself more important than outside distractions like squirrels. Secondly, fasten the leash to a harness rather than your dog’s collar. Third, when your dog starts to yank, stop moving or abruptly change directions. When he complies, give him a treat.

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Dog Breed Guide: Miniature Pinscher

A Miniature Pinscher with pet insurance from Pets Best.

Dr. Marc is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Miniature Pinscher

Height (to base of neck): 10 -12.5″

Weight:  8 -10  lb

Color: Red, red stag (red and black hairs), chocolate with rust, and black with tan.

Origin: Scandinavia

Coat: Short, close laying, glossy coat with hard smooth hairs.

Life Expectancy: 13 -14 years

Energy level: Very high

Exercise needs: Very high

Breed Nicknames: Min Pin

Is a Miniature Pinscher the Right Dog Breed for You?Read More…

Teaching Children How to Handle Cats

A dog sits.By Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best Pet Insurance, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.

When I turned six, my mom gave me my first cat, a Siamese kitten I named Corky. He was a big cat with an apple-shaped head and a mouth that rarely stopped meowing. He followed me like a dog, especially whenever I carried a fishing pole. We had a small lake in our backyard and Corky astutely made the connection between the fishing pole and his favorite meal – a fresh-caught blue gill fish.

Most of all, he trusted me. He would wade into the water with me for a swim and jump in the canoe for a paddle ride around the horseshoe-shaped lake. I will never forget Corky. He was my first pet, my first confidant, my pal.

Even though I begged my mom for a cat since I could remember, my mom waited until I entered kindergarten. She later told me that she wanted to make sure that I was “mature” enough to handle the responsibilities of having a cat.

When it comes to setting up a successful connection in a safe manner, age plays a role. In general, toddlers lack the ability to understand how their actions impact others, including family pets. Childhood psychologists note the following:Read More…

Cat Breed Guide: Devon Rex

A Devon Rex cat with pet insurance from Pets Best.

Dr. Fiona is a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

About the Devon Rex

Weight:  6-9lb

Points of conformation: Prominent cheekbones with defined whisker pads. Short nose and large round ears set low, giving this breed an “elfin” look.  Long slender legs with small oval paws.

Coat: Very short coat lacks normal guard hairs and  is silky fine, the texture of crushed velvet.  It is whirled or curled more than wavy.

Color: Any color accepted.

Grooming needs: Minimal.

Origin: Devonshire, England

Behavior Traits: Playful and active.

Is a Devon Rex cat right for You?Read More…

The Dog IQ Test

A Pets Best Pet Insurance protected dog takes an IQ test to find out how smart he is.By Arden Moore, a certified dog and cat behaviorist with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Arden is an author, radio host, and writer for Pets Best Pet Insurance, a dog insurance and cat insurance agency.

Is your dog an obvious Einstein, having mastered many human words and complex demands? What if your dog is a secret Einstein and you just didn’t know it yet? Well now you can find out with this fun dog IQ test.

Here’s how to test your dog’s IQ.

Step 1. Line up three empty plastic buckets on the floor. Turn them upside down.

Step 2. Get your dog to sit in front of the three buckets in a room free of distractions.

Step 3. Hold up your dog’s favorite treat in front of his face and then place it under one of these buckets.

Step 4. Distract him by telling him to stay and then walking behind him and asking him to heed the “watch me” cue. Do this for just a few seconds. You are intentionally testing his canine smarts by diverting his attention temporarily away from the hidden treat.

Step 5. Resume your position by the buckets and then ask him to find the hidden treat.

Canine IQ barometer. Brainy dogs make beelines to the correct bucket, knock it over and grab the treat in mere seconds. They possess the cognitive development to know to look behind – or underneath – a solid object to find the missing treat. Not—so-smart dogs may paw over the other two buckets first before finally realizing where the hidden treat really it.Read More…

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