This adorable photo was forwarded to me with the following caption:
"This is Elliot, a British (English?) Bulldog, and this is an un-posed picture (trust me, you couldn't actually make Elliot do anything) of said pooch trying to beat the Texas heat after his owners emptied their cooler in the driveway in Sachse, Texas."
Is that darling or what?
So, a couple things to note from this photo and caption ...
Keeping your dog cool in hot weather
While not every dog will be willing to lie down in a pile of ice, this picture makes a whole lot of good doggie sense.
I've written before that cooling a dog's paws and belly can have the biggest impact on cooling down your dog overall.
Aside from panting, dogs can regulate their overall body temperature through their paws and belly. Have you ever seen a dog dig down underneath a tree or bush on a hot summer day? He's digging to reach cooler earth, and simply lying down on top of a cooler surface will do wonders to help cool down the whole body.
When my dog gets really hot, I'll dip his paws in ice water or drape cold rags over his paws and belly. It works like a charm.
Read more about how to help your dog out in the hot weather by checking out these posts and articles:
- When is it too hot to take your dog with you?
- Kiddie pools can be great for water-loving dogs
- Veternarians warn that with high temps, heat stroke can be fatal for dogs
I thought it was cute that the email noted "Trust me, you couldn't actually make Elliot do anything."
I'm sure Bulldog owners would find no surprise in this.
English Bulldogs are often referred to as stubborn and difficult to train.
Personally, I've never worked with one before, but I don't doubt the rumors.
I'd argue, however, that as with training any dog, success comes in knowing what motivates your dog. If the dog is not motivated by treats or toys, training will be a challenge.
With Bulldogs, I'd guess that reading the dog's mood from one moment to the next is also imperative to successful training. Many Bulldogs are quite content with whatever they've got going on — say, chillin' on the sofa or stretched out on soft sod — and if the dog appears to be really enjoying his chill time, you're probably not going to have a whole lot of success starting a training session.
Wait until your dog is acting playful to engage in training, and most importantly, remember to shape behaviors by rewarding off the cuff for any behaviors you do like.
No dog is impossible to train, some are just more challenging than others. There's nothing wrong with that!
One last note: let's remember that dogs with smooshed-up faces (Bulldogs, Boxers, Pugs, etc.) have a difficult time breathing, period. Heat and humidity make it that much more difficult for them, so please remember to keep your smooshed-face dogs cool!