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Sandra Kruczek

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Dog's Eye View: Live long and vegetate?

The saying, “A tired dog is a well-behaved dog,” addresses an important aspect of daily exercise. But it seems we are only appreciating a small part of the capability of our dog’s brains. Dogs are ready and able to interact with us in so many ways. We haven’t even scratched the surface yet.

Dog's Eye View: A latte and a bully good time

It’s summer, so it’s time to sit at an outside cafe with friends. This, of course, means with your wonderful doggie companion, as well. This always has been a goal and a special pleasure to share with my bull terrier, Stuart.

Dog's Eye View: 'Why does my dog do that?'

We all seem to fancy certain breed types for specific reasons that speak to us emotionally and visually. We also love our mixed breed dogs for the characteristics we see in them that endear them to us.

Dog's Eye View: The worst kept secret

There are many ways that this can happen. Some folks think that catching their new puppy or adopted dog in the act of making a mistake and “spanking” him is the way to teach him what the rules are. He might think about what he just did if your timing was immediately after the accident. Or, if you’re late in spanking him, you may have disciplined him for something totally unrelated.

Dog's Eye View: K9 CPR and first aid

Would you think that a credit card could be a useful first aid tool? Did you know that choking is the No. 1 trauma killer in dogs? Do you know what the normal temperature of your dog is? These are just a few of the topics covered in the K9 CPR and first aid program that was presented by Paramedic Eric “Odie” Roth at the Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs on May 17.

Dog's Eye View: Flash, boom! It's that time of year

You may have a dog that suffers from thunderstorm phobia or may know someone whose dog does. This is a very upsetting problem for owners and dogs and can be the cause of serious injury to some dogs. Here are some actions that veterinarians, researchers, behavior professionals and laypeople have found that may help.

Dog's Eye View: 'Our dog doesn’t like me'

I occasionally run across the sad scenario of one family member standing to the side watching the others engage and teach the family dog. They sometimes say to me, “Our dog doesn’t like me.”

Dog's Eye View: The payoff

When asked why he robbed banks, a notorious bank robber was often quoted as saying, “because that’s where the money is.” I happened to think of this while watching our neighbor’s cat walk up and down our driveway bordered by large rocks, hunting for field mice. He has come back every day with great hunting success. This location has become a big payoff place for him. It’s kind of his “mouse bank."

Dog's Eye View: Relevancy — What makes training work for you and your dog

I was at a dog obedience training seminar about thirty years ago that was presented by Milo Pearsall, an American Kennel Club obedience trial judge who also was a well known trainer and author.

Dog's Eye View: Foreign exchange student

Have you ever considered hosting a foreign exchange student in your home for a year? If so, you kindly thought about what he or she would need to feel welcome and at ease the moment they walked through your door. I believe that bringing a dog into our home is very much the same situation. Here are some things I think are essential to help your new companion get a great start.

Dog's Eye View: 'I bought a trained dog'

Buying or adopting a “trained” dog in the hopes that all of the work is done for you is a nice idea. My experience sometimes tells a different story.

Dog's Eye View: Show me the money!

Years ago, while my husband and I were visiting friends, something happened. Our friends were avid coin collectors and had amassed quite a large collection. They were showing us some of the rarer and more interesting coins and left them on a table when we went out for dinner. Upon returning, we found the coins scattered across the living room floor. Many were missing. Yes, the more valuable ones were among the missing.

Dog's Eye View: How clever is your dog?

This is the story of a horse called “Clever Hans" that took place in the early 1900s. Hans was owned by a retired mathematics instructor named Wilhelm von Osten. He lived in Berlin and was in his 60s at the time of this scenario.

Dog's Eye View: Hope for a 'bad dog'

A few weeks ago, I met three young men from the United Kingdown who were bicycling around the world. Yes, you read that correctly, around the world. They were sitting outside of McDonalds working on their bikes after eating “double orders” of food. I was fascinated by their journey and asked them many questions.

Dog's Eye View: What's behind door No. 2?

After a life enriched with outside activities and basking in the sun all summer long, our dogs can start feeling all pent up and bored, too.

Dog's Eye View: Christmas traditions in a dog and cat household

I’ll bet every dog- and cat-owning family has their special Christmas traditions. Our family did, and much of it revolved around sparing the beautiful heirloom ornaments on the tree, not to mention the tree itself.

Dog’s Eye View: Unchain my heart

We’ve all seen dogs tied up in front of stores and restaurants downtown. They are tethered, and their owners are not there to intervene on their behalf.

Dog’s Eye View: Reinforcing good behavior

You’ve worked hard to teach your dog to greet people nicely at the door. No more paws on shoulders. No more shredded clothes. He’s sitting politely and waiting to be petted. Now, that job is over. Or is it?

Dog’s Eye View: Halloween from my dog’s perspective

Well, it’s upon us. Halloween might be a most confusing night for dogs. I can only imagine what is going through my dog Stuart’s mind.

A Dog’s Eye View: Consistency, clarity count in dog training

I had asked some visiting nieces to tell me about their dog, Buddy. They all agreed they loved him very much but said he was stubborn and not too smart. They said he didn’t respond very quickly to a couple of cues, namely “come” and “sit.”

Dog's Eye View: No play pressure

Did you ever think about how much pressure a dog-loving society might be putting on the average dog owner? There seem to be specific expectations placed on dog owners that relate to dog social skills and play.

Dog’s Eye View: Love without knowledge

My friend often calls me with questions about problem behavior. For a long time, we seemed to play tug of war between the love she feels for the dogs and dealing with the behavior with which she was struggling.

Dog’s Eye View: You’re the advocate and coach

I was in the park helping a new puppy owner get started on the path to raising the dog of her dreams when two families with children approached and asked if they could pet her puppy. Hooray for parents who are teaching their children to ask permission before petting a dog.

A Dog’s Eye View: Animals as individuals

In my lifetime, I’ve seen the world of dog and horse training evolve from one-size-fits-all, punishment-based training to a gentler science-based approach to learning and behavior.

A Dog’s Eye View: When it comes to grief, everyone’s different

I’m always deeply and profoundly touched by the powerful connections people have with their dogs. After a dog dies, it's hard to know whether to get a new dog right away. The truth is, there’s not one right answer.

A Dog’s Eye View: Learning algebra at a Broncos game

For dogs as well as humans, it’s difficult to learn new skills in a new or distracting environment. I often ask, “Can you imagine trying to learn algebra while attending a Broncos game?”

A Dog’s Eye View: Adopted by Martians

Have you ever considered what it might feel like to be taken to a place where no one speaks your language or understands your culture yet expects you to conduct yourself by an unspoken set of rules? I often ask this of new pet owners.

A Dog's Eye View: Over-the-top chewing

“Here I am, over 60 and raising my first puppy.”

A Dog's Eye View: Flash, boom! It’s that time of year

You may have a dog that suffers from thunderstormphobia or know someone whose dog does. This is a very upsetting problem for owners and dogs, and it can be the cause of serious injury to some of our favorite canines.

A Dog's Eye View: The culture of eye contact

In the United States and some European countries, using soft direct eye contact is considered to be a sign of attentiveness, honesty, confidence and respect for what the other person is saying.

A Dog's Eye View: Change: 1 thing we can count on

A young woman stopped me in the grocery store inquiring about training her “crazy” dog. Now, I don’t train dogs in the grocery store, but I did try to dispel a common misconception about how we perceive dog behavior problems.

A Dog's Eye View: Learning the consequences

Dogs are so good at reading our body language and are quick to learn the consequences of their actions. It’s how they survive. Labels such as “stubborn” can get in the way of understanding the real problem. Dogs know what works for them from past experience.

A Dog's Eye View: Stuart knows what to do

Giving a reinforcing food treat to your dog when he does what you have asked is one way of giving immediate feedback that he can understand.

A Dog's Eye View: Life with Stuart Little

People tend to think that a dog trainer’s dog is perfect. Dog owners who see trainers walking their dogs around town might think, “I wish my dog would be well-behaved like that one.” The reality is that many of us have dogs that are challenging, but trainers have the skills and take the time to train them. Over-the-top dogs require a lot of supervision, management and constant and consistent training. My 6-year-old English bull terrier, Stuart, is such a dog.

A Dog's Eye View: A telltail sign

We’ve all heard it said, “A wagging tail means a friendly dog.” It’s risky to live by this statement because there’s more to the story.

A Dog's Eye View: Understanding your dogs' body language

The topic of hugging dogs comes up so often and has such important repercussions that it’s worth addressing again and again.

A Dog's Eye View: Times have changed

When I trained my first dog not to pull while on a leash in the 1950s, the only equipment we used was a choke chain and a six-foot leash. We now have so many choices of equipment that is effective and gentler on our dogs and us.

A Dog's Eye View: Bouncing back from a bumpy road

A friend recently shared a concern with me about her high-energy puppy. She said she was worried that she might “slip up” and the pup would learn something she didn’t want her to learn.

A Dog's Eye View: Head halters and harnesses — times have changed

Thankfully, our equipment and methods for teaching dogs have changed dramatically since then. We now have so many more choices of equipment that are effective and gentler on our dogs and us.

A Dog's Eye View: My dog is friendly

Well-meaning but misinformed dog owners who let their dogs run loose may call out, “Oh, don’t worry. He’s friendly!” We hear it every day.

A Dog's Eye View: Who let the dogs out?

Dogs are all the same species, but their temperament, emotional makeup and attachment can be as different as with any two human beings.

A Dog's Eye View: Teach old dogs new tricks

We rarely tap into the fullness of a dog’s mental capacity during his or her lifetime. And, as with humans, it’s beneficial to start learning early and continue perfecting new skills throughout life.

A Dog's Eye View: What did you say?

As humans, our bodies can betray attempts to mask our intent. For dogs, body language is their primary form of communication.

A Dog's Eye View: Is anybody out there?

Have you wondered why some dogs bark day and night in your neighbor’s yard? Have you thought there could be a connection between the breed, age or temperament of the dog as well as his environment?

A Dog's Eye View: A walk in the park

Freedom alone can create an out-of-control dog. He may be headed for the animal shelter if he doesn’t get help. His freedom needs to be balanced with some rules and leadership.

A Dog's Eye View: Keep your dog entertained

Young? Athletic? Home alone? Bored? No, this isn’t a young adult looking for a date. It may be your dog.

Sandra Kruczek: Whose dog is it, anyway?

Frequently we ask new pet owners why they got a dog. They often tell us that the new dog is “for the kids” or “to keep my other dog company.”

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