Have you ever been at the dog park and seen two dogs get in a fight? Or heard of a dog that viciously attacked another dog “out of nowhere?” In reality, dogs give plenty of signs of fear or aggression before things escalate to a fight—signs that often go undetected or get overlooked.

Dogs obviously do not speak English but they do have their own communication cues that you as a pet parent are responsible for learning. Being in tune with your furry friend’s communication signals will help prevent problems and may even save your pet’s life—of the life of another pet your dog might attack.

You may know some classic cues, like raised hair on the back or baring teeth, but did you know hiding behind your legs is a problem, too?

Who can resist that squishy pug face? Or those stubby little doxie legs? How about those piercing blue Huskie eyes?

When choosing a dog for your family, there is so much more to consider than looks. Choosing your dog based solely on looks could be disastrous—if you choose a dog ill-suited for your lifestyle, he may end up in a shelter and your family heartbroken. So before you impulsively pick your new furry family member, make sure you take into account these four major issues.

*Note: this is NOT a paid endorsement. All opinions are our own.

Does your dog howl or hide when 4th of July fireworks go off? Does he cower when thunderstorms hit? Does he dread the car and even have accidents on car rides? Can he not stand when you leave his side and destroy things while you’re gone?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the ThunderShirt might be for you.

Most pet parents are guilty of it at one point or another—babying your dog. Whether it’s extra cookies, carrying them around, dressing them up in cute outfits or just plain letting them get their way, we can treat our furry friends the way we would treat our toddlers. But could this be making a good dog go bad?

San Francisco based dog trainer Beverly Ulbrich is helping us outline the pros and cons of treating your dog like a child.

By: Beverly Ulbrich, Guest Writer

Most people have heard that you should mess with a puppy’s food when he’s young to ensure he doesn’t growl at or bite you. But did you know that you need to keep doing this throughout your dog’s life?

You never know when you’ll need to grab something dangerous from your dog’s mouth, or when someone might try to pet your dog while he’s chewing on something. So you need to make sure your dog knows that it’s okay.

yellow dog wearing a thundershirtWe’ve already detailed how the ThunderShirt works but if you’re planning on using the shirt for the first time this 4th of July, make sure you know how you should act when fireworks go off.

Did you know you shouldn’t yell at your dog for barking? ThunderShirt offers some training tips on their website to use with the shirt.

We also consulted The Pooch Coach, trainer Beverly Ulbrich, for tips on dealing with 4th of July noises. Here’s what she suggests:

By: Kyle McKay, Guest Writer

Everyone is unique. We each have our own likes, dislikes, personality and comfort zone.

Dogs also have these character traits but sometimes, it’s hard to remember that when meeting a dog for the first time.

dog showing fear
Sometimes dogs get spooked and need space from humans and/or other dogs. Usually a tail tuck or a dog hiding behind its owner are clues the dog needs space.

Some canine companions are incredibly friendly. They’ll run to you with a furiously wagging tail, practically begging you to pet them and play with them. This scenario is often a default expectation among most people when encountering an unfamiliar dog in public.

But it’s important to know this is not always the case. And even if your dog is friendly, that doesn’t mean every dog the two of your encounter will be, too.

Just like humans, some dogs need a little more space than what people expect. A dog may be a bit skittish and leery around new animals or people. But how do you know when this is the case?