Training Basics
Understanding Dogs
Well-Behaved Dogs
Socializing Your Dog
Large wolf howling at moon

Understanding Dogs:

Where Dogs Come From

 You guessed it! Your dog is a cousin of the beautiful wolf. Maybe you knew that already. Many things dogs do are similar to behaviors we see in wolves. Knowing some of these things can help us to understand out pets better.


Wolf and moonPack Behavior

Like humans, dogs and wolves have families. For wolves and dogs, these families are called packs. In these packs there is always a leader and several followers. When a dog lives in your house, your family becomes his family, or 'pack'.

  It is important that you let your dog know who the leader is. If he doesn't know, he will try to become the leader. When this happens, a dog may appear pushy and disobedient. By teaching the dog obedience and keeping him occupied, he will realize that a human is the leader and he will follow, instead of lead.


When wolves hunt, they find food. The animals in the pack often fight over the food, pulling at it to be sure to get their fair share. Our pet dogs continue the same pulling and tugging behavior when they play tug-o-war games.   Collies tugging at toy.
 Basset hound
 Like the wolf, a dog has a very strong sense of smell. He uses his nose to identify everything he comes in contact with. He can find his way using his nose. He can recognize people with his nose. He can even tell if animals or people are relaxed or afraid using that perceptive nose of his. Search and rescue dogs help find people in disasters by using their keen sense of smell. It is much stronger than ours.


Dogs were the first animals domesticated by people.

Fido's Fabulous Dog Facts




Like its wolf relatives, dogs sometimes howl and bark when they are left alone. It is a way for them to communicate with other dogs.


 Does your dog ever dig, dig, dig at the carpet in your house? Instinct is a behavior, ability or tendency that your dog is born with. Your dog is using instinct to make himself a bed. Your dog's ancestors had to dig up a nice soft area in the dirt to sleep in. Now your dog still thinks he is making a bed for himself. Scratching at the floor is instinctual


 You can use your dog's instinct to have fun with him. Some activities take advantage of a dog's natural abilities or instinct. Herding, search and rescue, sledding, tracking, field trials, and hiking all allow your dog to use his instinct to have fun.




Here are some books for kids that tell all about different kinds of dogs:

The Complete Dog Book For Kids, AKC 1996

Here is the ultimate show-and-tell for children who love dogs! With its lush, four-color portraits of all of the AKC-recognized breeds, information on the history and character of the breeds, graphics showing where each breed originated and how big it is, and boxes containing a 'fun fact'. The Complete Dog Book for Kids is the ideal way to teach kids about the rich history of the sport of dogs and how their pets contribute to it. Excellent book! Ages 9-12

Dogs, by David Taylor, Dorling Kindersley, Ltd June 2003

An invaluable introduction to the dogs of the world, this compact and comprehensive guide reveals key characteristics of each breed, highlights the their history, and provides tips on how to choose and care for a pet. Ages 9-12


Dog, Eyewitness Books,by Juliet Clutton-Brock, Dorling Kindersley, Ltd 1991

Discover the world of dogs, wolves, jackals and foxes -- their natural history, behavior and domestication. Here is a spectacular and informative guide to the fascinating world of the entire dog family. Superb real-life photographs of dogs, wolves, jackals and foxes offer a unique "eyewitness" view of the natural history and evolution of the dog family, highlighting the many ways in which they have helped people throughout history. Ages 9-12


Here are a few books that can help your parents choose the right dog:


Dogs were first domesticated about 12,000 years ago.

Fido's Fabulous Dog Facts



Training Basics
Understanding Dogs
Well-Behaved Dogs
Socializing Your Dog

Cody's Tour
Kelly's Tour
Trouper's Tour
Your New Dog
Well-Behaved Dog
Special Topics
A New Dog
Your Best Friend
Too Many Dogs
I'll Love You Forever
Training Basics
Following the Rules
What Dogs Cost
Obedience Lessons
Keeping Safe
What Dogs Need
Behavior Problems
Older Dogs
Puppy Basics
Learning Tricks
Losing Your Dog

Ready for a Dog?
Your Stories
When I Grow Up
Your Dogs
Birthday Page
Book Club
Quiz Yourself
Your Poetry

Search this Site | Site Map

Read our Privacy Policy
How To Love Your Dog
Copyright 1998 - 2009 by Janet and Rick Wall
May be reproduced for individual or classroom use only.
Photographs, collie animations, graphics, and backgrounds
may not be reproduced to other websites.