Tag Archives: pet portrait paintings Bay Area

Training Humans from the Dog’s Perspective

Source: Training People by Tess of Helena

In addition to increasing the variety of your cuisine, you find that when you share food with your human, he is all the more eager to meet your other needs.
People greatly appreciate praise, and the excellent preparation of food is certainly worth a reward. If you are pleased with your person’s cooking, feel free to mimic that peculiar “mmmmm..” sound humans make when they enjoy the taste of food. With our higher-pitched vocal cords, the sound you make will be perceived by human ear as an endearing ‘whine.’
If you are especially fond of a particular dish, you can give your person exceptional praise through Physical Cues: sitting up on hind legs, rolling over, or other enthusiastic gestures. Humans deeply appreciate such generous displays of approval.

Tess goes on to describe physical cue combination dog can use with humans who react negatively to dogs taking food directly from their table:
The instinct to protect one’s food is strong – even in humans – and if they see you eating from their plates they may protest. An immediate Ear Drop combined with Drooping Tail lets them know how seriously they have disappointed you. Faced with that rebuke, almost all humans will back off, and many will even offer additional potions.

"Cookie?" Painting by ipaintyourpet.net

“Cookie?” Painting by Gabriele Bungardt


Dog senses: Smell

In the wild, the dog’s highly developed sense of smell gives the species a great advantage when tracking down prey and identifying fellow pack members. Where we would size up a new situation with our eyes, dogs explore new environment by sniffing them. When they meet other dogs, they sniff them in what -to our eyes- are the most embarrassing places, places where odor is most concentrated.
Scent passes on an incredible amount of information to a dog. Scent –marking with urine or by leaving deposits from the sweat glands between the toes is the way dogs communicate and establish their territory. Sacs inside the dog’s rectum also produce a scent that coats feces. When you’re out walking in the park with your dog, he’s using his nose to pick up who’s been there before him-perhaps a dominant dog, a female in heat, an old dog, a sick dog, or a dog he’s already met. Dogs can smell females in heat who are miles away.
Source: It’s me or the dog by Victoria Stilwell

Rescue the San Francisco Chronicle

Although I love gadgets, I can’t imagine reading a newspaper on a screen.

There is just something about the feel and the smell of a newspaper. The visit to the coffee shop; the anticipation of a cup with your daily read. Getting out of the solitude of the art studio. The sharp snap when straightening out a page; the rustling of paper going back and forth between front page and the rest of an article, while using the break to scan your surroundings for familiar faces. The taking in of photos and headlines, deciding which article to read first. The glance over the top to check out a newcomer. The funnies, the in-depth stories, the coupons, the daily gossip, the political satire…..

Besides, with no more newspaper, what to do when …uh…house training your puppy, packing up dishes, protecting your floor from spills while you paint?
And what will happen to all those products from recycled paper? Search Google and you find thousands of pages using old newspaper: home insulation, scrap booking, basket weaving, art projects, hand bags, pencils, even USB sticks from recycled newspaper, you name it.

And what about your dog?  His daily routine of  fetching the paper from the wet grass in the front yard?  His anticipation of ‘Good Dog” and a pat on the head. The morning ritual.

We need you San Francisco Chronicle

'Sadie rescues the Chronicle'  Painting by ipaintyourpet.net

‘Sadie rescues the Chronicle’ Painting by Gabriele Bungardt

Garlic for Dogs

While researching dog food related issues I came across articles that warn about harm from garlic to dogs. Since I wrote a couple of posts about dogs being crazy about garlic taste, I spend some time trying to find out more about the issue. The opinions range widely from warnings about serious health damage, even death to praising health benefits and highly recommending a balanced garlic diet. Garlic is thought to be in the same category as onions because it has thiosulfate (although in much less quantities) that can cause hemolytic anemia, (where circulating red blood cells burst) in dogs if ingested in large quantities.
There are literally thousands of websites discussing the issue. However, I could not find a scientific study on benefits nor harm of garlic for dogs.

My dad who trained hunting dogs in Germany used to give our dogs small amounts of fresh garlic in their food to prevent flees and worms. He also fed them a raw egg every once in a while for a shiny coat. Both, the taste of eggs and garlic were favorites of all our dogs.

Less controversial no no’s for dogs are Avocado; Bread Dough; Coffee; Chocolate; Macadamia Nuts; and Onions in any form or shape.

Here are two opposing opinions I found on the internet about garlic for dogs:

Con: …Garlic is in the same family as onions, meaning it is poisonous to dogs (and cats). Small amounts of it won’t kill your dog, but you should avoid it anyway, as it is not good for them. It causes hemolytic anemia, meaning it destroys your dog’s red blood cells. Many people mistakenly use it to get rid of parasites. Garlic has no effect whatsoever on parasites, internal or external. If your dog has worms, take it to the vet. If your dog has fleas, use a flea product. Dogs do not sweat, therefore garlic cannot be secreted through their skin and ward off fleas. –wiki.answers.com

Pro: ….garlic is falling victim to mass hysteria spread through the internet.…..There is no doubt that onion, due to its concentration of thiosulphate, will cause Heinz factor anemia. In addition, as stated by Wendy Wallner, DVM, “Onions are only one of the substances which can cause Heinz body anemia. Other substances such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and benzocaine-containing topical preparations can also cause Heinz body anemia in the dog.” ……Every text that I (Dr. Newman) have researched on herbal health which mentions pet care has recommended it, especially for its incredible anti-parasitic and anti-septic properties. In my (Dr. Newman) own experience, garlic has also benefited pets with cancer, diabetes, liver, heart and kidney disease, uncontrollable staph infections and a host of other conditions…. -Dr. Newman on earthclinic.com

Painting by ipaintyourpet.net

Painting by Gabriele Bungardt

Treating Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Looking through various sources relating to separation anxiety in dogs, they all have one central message. Teach your dog more independence!
Re-assessing your relationship with your dog and looking for clues of co-dependence is the first step for your dogs successful recovery.

Dog trainer Victoria Stillwell says: An independent dog is not a dog that does what he likes, whenever he wants. Instead, he’s confident enough in himself to allow you to disappear for periods of time. He won’t trail around after you all the time or get upset if you close the bathroom door. This is not a proof of devotion; your dog just can’t cope being away from you.

To get your dog on the path to independence a program of desensitizing and counter conditioning might be helpful.

Simply ignoring your dog is a great teaching tool. I have tried this in many situations. If done consistent and with patience and love it works well with most dogs and although it might seem cruel at times, your dog will acquire better social skills on the way.

Give him attention at your terms. If he wants to sit with you, move away. If he paws at you or wines, don’t respond, don’t even look at him. If he jumps up on you, turn around. Don’t allow him to follow you at all times. Close the door behind you, first for short times than at increasing length. Ignore him if he is overly boisterous when you re-enter the room.
In all the above situations wait until he calms down and then reward him with a treat for being calm.
In more serious cases you may have to go to more length to desensitize your dog to the fact that you are leaving. Since dogs are creatures of habit, they are fast learners when it comes to figuring out your rituals before you leave the house. My dog knows exactly when I’m getting ready to go out when I change my clothes and put on shoes. Packing my handbag is another clue. Because she knows that she will get a treat, she’s actually looking forward to me leaving. I don’t take this personally because I know that she is just as happy when I return.
Anxious dogs might start panicking when they see their human parents getting ready to leave. Sometimes it helps deflecting those anxiety attacks if you go through the leaving ritual several times a day – but not leave. Change your clothes, settle back down, and then change them again. Put on shoes just to take them back off after a while. Open the front door, just to close it again. Leave the house in your slippers for 30 seconds and then come back. Slowly, very slowly increase the times you leave. Ignore your dog’s overjoyed reaction when you return. Wait until he settles. He’ll learn fast what is required to get your attention and a yummy treat.

Veterinarian Dr. Dodman asks not to punish your dog on your return for their bad behavior. Punishment never works if delivered more than a few seconds after the event: rather, it simply serves to confuse the already distraught and bewildered dog.”

All of this must be accompanied by giving your dog enough exercise and other obedience training. If you need to be out regularly, arrange for a dog sitter or drop him off at doggy care.
Some vets recommend temporary medicating a dog in very bad cases of separation anxiety until training has made some progress. Some recommend crating your dog for extended times while you are home (with food, water, and toys and NOT as a punishment) to give them a ‘safe haven’ to retreat to when you’re gone. Some recommend spraying a perfume through the door before you enter the house so that over time the dog associates the scent with your return. After a while you can spray it before you leave to reassure your dog.

Sources: It’s Me Or The Dog by Victoria Stilwell; The Dog Who Loved Too Much by Dr, Nicholas Dodman; Secret Lives Of Dogs by Jane Murphy, and special thanks to my dad who trained dogs for all his life.

Painting by ipaintyourpet.net

Painting by Gabriele Bungardt

Dog Behavior: Separation Anxiety

“Tennyson wrote that it is better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all. Try explaining that to a dog with separation anxiety. In this condition, dogs become so closely bonded to their owners that they virtually have to be pried off them, and parting is not, as the saying goes, such sweet sorrow, but more of a living hell. Affected dogs are often gentle, doting, and sweet-natured, but the anxiety-related havoc they wreak in the owners absence is sometimes misconstrued by the owners as being malicious, vindictive, or retributive. Some owners even spank their dogs on their return to punish them for their bad behavior, but this is both inappropriate and ineffective. Punishment never works if delivered more than a few seconds after the event: rather, it simply serves to confuse the already distraught and bewildered dog.”
Dr. Dodman goes on to explain that in his opinion overwhelming evidence suggests that such dog is the canine equivalent of a dysfunctional person who suffers from low self esteem who “live vicariously through their owners, whom they adore and on whom they are totally dependent.”
In explaining how dogs can acquire separation anxiety Dr. Dodman points to the usual suspects: Puppy mills, early isolation and neglect, too early weaning from their mothers and litter mates etc.
If one adopts a dog with such precondition it is vital to recognize it and take precautions not to foster bad behavior. Dr. Dodman observes that” extremely empathetic owners seem to be much more likely to foster this problem in their dog. Susceptible dogs absorb all the attention and affection they are given and return it manifold…. In effect, the dog and owner become codependents and are virtually inseparable.

The symptoms are straight forward: Destruction of property in the absence of the owner. Chewing up of windowsills and /or doorways -called barrier frustration- or destroying personal property of the owner is a cardinal sign. Affected dogs constantly follow their owners around the house, never letting them out of their sight. Whimpering or barking right after the owner left, not eating in the owner’s absence, sometimes even defecating in the house and exuberant greeting rituals that continue for several minutes after the owner’s arrival can also be signs of separation anxiety.
The recommended cure or prevention? Teaching your dog independence. More on that tomorrow.
Source: The Dog Who loved Too Much by DR. Nicholas Dodman

painting by ipaintyourpet.net

painting by Gabriele Bungardt

My dog Kruemel

If you’ve had more than one dog in your life, chances are that there was at least one that was closer to your heart than any other. In a way it’s like with people; some we connect with more than others. One of those special dogs is Kruemel. She was a pound baby when I got her, a 6 month old Poodle Shih Tzu mix that had been picked up by the SPCA with wildly matted hair and infested by parasites in a field outside of town.

She wasn’t as smart as Otto, who was almost human, but she made more than up for it by being the cutest and the most companionable, loving and devoted dog I’d ever had. We were a team; inseparable, she would go where I went, do what I did and wait patiently if she could not. She got her name for her love of food. Kruemel is German and literally means little morsel, but her name was chosen after Sesame Streets Cookie Monster which, on German television, is called Kruemel Monster. And that she was and is; up to today, 17 years old, deaf, blind and slowly loosing her marbles, she is incredibly food driven and her keen nose is still working well in sniffing out anything edible.

Whatever sports or hobby I took on, she wanted to be part of it. Her favorite pastime was going kayaking. Once I pulled out the duffel bag with my inflatable, she would not leave its side. She’d impatiently wait until it was pumped up, and claim her seat in the front row before it was launched in the water. Once on the water she’d look out for birds. Every so often I had to rescue her because she’d loose balance in her excitement about ducks or seagulls getting close to the kayak. She had no fear. Although she looks like a spoiled little lap dog her feistyness got her into trouble more often than not. Her trust in me bailing her out of difficult situation was scary and often dangerous. If there was ever a dog that could be called a truly loyal friend, she was it.

Although she is still with me, I miss her already and have so for the past year or so. With loosing her hearing and most of her sight, she also lost her zest for life and adventure. She sleeps most of the time, is confused a lot and doesn’t want to participate in my life anymore, but then who can blame her at over 100 human years old. She enriched my life for all those years and now is payback time. In a way she seems to want to make it easier for me to accept the inevitable by slowly fading away, but in a way it is harder to loose her while she is still with me.

Ready to launch

Ready to launch

Feather fight

Feather fight