Why We Love Cats and Dogs
Video: Full Episode

Americans own 73 million dogs and 90 million cats. They become best friends, soul mates, family members, and even surrogate children. Relationships with cats and dogs are some of the longest and most intimate of our lives. Why are we so attached? Animal behavior experts, evolutionary biologists, veterinarians, and pet owners share insights and observations about these animals and their impact on us.

Four-time Emmy Award winner, filmmaker and director Ellen Goosenberg Kent kept the 10-month production of NATURE’s Why We Love Cats and Dogs on the right track. Ellen brings a strong visual sense to the art of storytelling and was able to illuminate the dynamic human-pet relationship, revealing how dogs and cats share our emotions in many significant ways. Buy the DVD. This film premiered February 15, 2009.

Tags: , ,
  • Sanferd Spitzer

    Good show! It did a great job on touching the emotional impact of cats and dogs

    One person mentioned how her dog got her through her divorce. I took care of my parents in their final years and my 2 dogs (Chief & Shiloh) were a vital part of getting me through it. No matter how bad things got with mom and dad, the dogs were always there for me. Happy to see me, unconditional love, companions, and someone I could talk to.

    While I was literally watching my parents die, my dogs provided something positive in my life. I truly believe they could read my emotions and knew when I needed a friend. Our 2 daily walks became the most important things in my routine. When I was able to get away, I worried more about who would take care of the dogs than my parents.

    I was devastated when I had to put my border collie mix down 3 months after my mother passed, and in many ways, that decision was harder for me than when I agreed with the doctors that it was time to let my mother go. I had to leave the room at the last minute because I needed my final memory of Chief being of him alive, yet I sat with my mom for almost an hour after she passed.

    I’ve had dogs in my life for nearly 50 years, and now that I’m starting to face my own mortality, I beginning to feel that I am on my last canine companion. Not that I no longer want them in my life, but what would become of their lives after I’m gone. I think my final years will be lonely indeed.

  • E Carol Dales

    I loved this program, as did my going-on-20 year old polydactyl with spinal arthritis and his 17 year old Persian brother who’s with us only because my husband handfeeds him twice daily–thank you so much for this heartwarming broadcast and its ongoing availability here!

  • Carole Shelton

    What an amazing show! I was so touched by the wonderful
    animals, people and their relationships.

  • Rick Evans

    The folks voting here must be dog or cat owners typical of the humans featured in tonight’s(2/15/09) Nature.

    I’m a big fan of Nature but this program marked a sad low in a mostly excellent history of wildlife educational TV.

    Most of the “adults” in the program sounded like adolescents auditioning for the next version of Survivor: Dog and Cat Island. Please minimize the use of people whose dialog consists of a noun, a verb and a “like” or a “you know”.

    And, what scientific value could possibly be derived from a pet owner’s dopey comments about seeing a psychic? Please recover from this apparent drunken binge with your next series of programs.

    This was a BIG WASTE :-(

  • Kenn

    Great show! Very enjoyable.

  • Charles Bouvier

    Well, this program obviously wasn’t up to the standards of the venerable “Rick Evans” commenter above, but I found it to be a lovely portrait of human relationships to domestic dogs and cats. Thank you, PBS.

  • chris

    to rick, as I have learned over the years, a non pet owner will never understand a pet owners love and companionship connection to their pet. This show had a lot of info, but not a truly in depth review of issues. It was a great show for all pet owners and I have already emailed the link to every per owner in my email list.

  • Carolyn Turner

    To many people in our hurried, frantic society, their relationship with their dog(s), cat(s), or both, may be the deepest, most fulfilling relationship in their lives.

    Exploring various aspects of these relationships increases our awareness of both human and animal emotions.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the show, and commend you for doing an excellent job with it.

  • Linda

    So please, I didn’t miss that great show and bright one. Rick Evans, you should go at once at a SPCA to get you a dog or a cat, who would be generous enough to teach you the basic of love.
    Linda
    N.B. Sorry for my english, I am french-canadian.

  • Cristiana LaGioia

    I loved this show. Don’t get me wrong, I love the wildlife episodes of Nature, but sometimes you just want to know more about the wildlife sitting next to you on the couch, you know? On behalf of my 2 cats and 1 dog, thank you for devoting an hour to the pet/human bond and what it means to all of us. :-)

  • Samantha Keith

    Very well done..an excellent look at the human/animal bond.

  • Teresa M

    As far as “Nature” goes I couldn’t have been happier watching a show that taught me more about my best friends than anything in a long time. Nurturing the bond rather than becoming passive and expecting the bond to remain…a huge lesson for everyone blessed with the gift of a dog or cat.

  • Brenda

    Wow! What a fabulous show. I’ve emailed many others about this show, encouraging them to watch it on line if they missed it on television. Thanks so much for airing this wonderful show!

    I also hope that the Obamas and everyone out there are encouraged to adopt a dog (or cat) from a shelter. That shelter in Boulder, Colorado sure has a great idea going with matching the type of dog and cat to the appropriate new prospective family.

    Thank you to Nature, all of the people who were involved and to all of you out there who are guardians of creatures…even if you don’t have a pet of your own….we are all guardians of all creatures who need our care and support!!!

  • yess

    I do not watch TV and yet I watched this . . . and loved it. The people with their cats just amazed me and it made me look at my own four cats and rethink our relationship. So much of value here

  • Rick Evans

    To: Chris, Wrong! I’ve been a pet “owner” since childhood so I understand loving a pet.

  • Laurie Glick

    On behalf of me and my husband and our Two CATS who we just would do ANYTHING for (like JERRYS OWNERS) we salute u PBS- this was best show on BOND between us and our Animals i EVEr saw!!Im still thinking of it esapecially JERRY

  • Donna

    I enjoyed the show, but the background music was so loud you could not understand the comments from the people featured on the program.

  • Sharon

    As a cat owner I really enjoyed your program. As a volunteer habitat restorationist I was hoping to get a glimpse into the psychology of the many dog owners in local parks (in Toronto) who refuse (rudely as well) to put their dogs on a leash in clearly marked natural areas.

    There is a cult of off-leash around here that makes o large group of dog owners feel that what they perceive as the needs of their dogs to be off leash (everywhere) is more important than what anyone else or any other creatures need. The same may also be said for those who let their cats out to kill millions of birds and other small creatures.

    I dearly love my cats (past and present) and the dogs of my youth and understand the love of people for their companions, but I’d really like to find a way to get people to understand the consequences of certain activities on other creatures, especially in public parks. Education and asking do not seem to work. Any suggestions?

  • Leonardo

    GREAT SHOW!!! I was moved – and cried – by Jerry’s story.

  • Carole Zaima

    I enjoyed this episode very much and saw much of me and my husband in some of the people and their animals who were featured. I was particularly touched by the couple who made a decision to spend quality time with Jerry. Our 15+year old Samoyed passed in November and while we miss her terribly, we are buoyed by memories of having her with us virtually every day, at work and at play. We made the decision early on not to leave yet another dog at home for hours on end by herself. Tishka was “crate-trained” and we bought a large enough SUV (sorry) to give her lots of room. She was an excellent traveller and the first out the door every day. We only vacationed at places we could take her to.

    I don’t think we will have another dog for a while, at least until we are both completely retired. We also have 5 wonderful cats who have been a comfort to us after Tishka passed. We are true “dog and cat lovers”. For those who poo-poo such such relationships with animals, give it a try! It opens special places in your heart and soul that other humans cannot.

  • Melissa Fischer

    I loved this show! Nature is the only show I watch on television, and this program was done with the same high standard I’m accustomed to. It was an insightful and fascinating glimpse into many aspects and benefits of the bond many of us have with our dogs and cats.

    The experts and the people interviewed all helped shed light on why dogs and cats are cherished in so many homes. They also gave me much to think about as I ponder others who interact with their pets differently than I do. I loved the discussion of the nine types of dog owners and how those personality types are evident in those people’s other relationships as well.

    Thank you!

  • Jennifer B.

    Excellent show. I really loved the part about cat agility courses and will need to consider how I can set one up for my current spazzy-slighly nurotic furr-baby.

    Ah that part about Jerry made me tear up big time. It makes me miss my fur-son Mittens, who had to be ‘put to sleep’ because the cancerous tumors shut down his digestive tract.

  • Monika Z.

    Wonderful show. Thank you, PBS! You made our day – we have a cat and a dog who love to watch TV – this was their kind of show!

  • Ellen GK

    If we did a follow up program, which issues would you like to see explored in-depth? Are there questions that the books you have read about dogs or cats haven’t adequately answered? It was interesting to me that most of the research being done with dogs confirms what many canine-lovers know about how excellent they are at “reading us,” our gestures and tone of voice and even when it is important to pay attention to us. Researchers are just beginning to tackle the secondary emotions like jealousy. I’d personally be interested to know if our behavior has measurable effects on our animal’s anxiety levels – and if that anxiety leads to more “aggressive” or problem behavior. Is this why dog bites are at an all-time high? Why more and more household animals are on medication? Love to hear from viewers!

  • John

    Very poor quality control on the audio mix. What happened? Whenever the voices were alone it was intelligible, but whenever there was music, the music far overshadowed the voices. This occurred in the SC Johnson ads and the opening and closing, as well — in fact, I would guess Fisk Johnson is expecting a refund, since he was unintelligible. Please, never let this happen again — this was one of the worst audio productions ever heard on TV. How could this happen?

  • Loaleen Beekman

    What a wonderful show! It shows the great love that most people have for their cats and dogs. They are so much a part of our life. I especially enjoyed the story about Jerry. It brought tears to my eyes as we had a very similar experience with our black Lab of nine years named Argus. Out pets give us unconditional love.

  • Diane

    I didn’t see it on Sunday,hoping PBS repeats it. Monday morning going into work and through out the day I was asked. Did you see the PBS special on Dogs and Cats? Even non dog and cat lovers enjoyed the show. I have had pets my whole life dog and cat and they are the best to have a round when you go through good and bad times but especially difficult times. They never question you they just stand by you no matter what. I have noticed people who do not care for animals have a very hard time relating to those of us who do. I guess its a disconnect in their brain or maybe they fear them because they give love so unconditionally. Anyway, PBS thank you and let me know when it is on again. Sorry I missed it.

  • J.D Maison

    Does anyone know of a way to close caption this? I want to show it to my hard of hearing uncle.

  • Sarah Wilson

    Diane – you don’t have to wait, you can see it online: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/why-we-love-cats-and-dogs/video-full-episode/4673/

    Great to hear how widely watched it was – it should be. :)

  • Brian

    To Poster #28:
    John – we had absolutely no problems with the audio on this show (and it sounds like most other people haven’). Perhaps you should check your set and the audio settings? Or check with your local cable provider or station. A few years ago we were having signla problems and it turns out there was a small issue with the cable coming into our apartment that caused a signal fluctuation.

  • Brian

    We loved the episode. We currently share out apartment with four cats, but both of us grew up with dogs (and I also had cats), so it was great to see the bonding between pwners and pets.
    And I think Rick needs to relax. Not everyone who is a pet owner is going to be a genius. The show presented a broad range of individuals. Which, I believe, is part of the producers point. Not any one section of people can be considered to be animal lovers. We cover a wide spectrum of age, race, education and social status, etc. It’s a show about the bonding between humans and dogs and cats. It may have been a bit superficial, but not worth the criticizing you’re givign it.

  • Brian

    …and Jerry’s story was very touching. Those are owners worthy of their pet.
    (The following is painted on the wall of our Vet’s office)
    “He is your friend, your defender, your pet.
    You are his life, his love, his leader.
    He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart.
    You owe it to him to be worthy of that his devotion.” – Author Unknown.

  • Tina

    To poster number 1… Sanferd Spitzer:

    It is probably too late to reach you but… before you decide to forego getting another dog because of your age look for a local program which places senior dogs with seniors. These programs are popping up all over the country. They usually help seniors with financial and care issues too. If you area does not have a program like this you may still be able to foster a dog from a shelter instead of adopting thereby eliminating the worry of who will take care of your dog when you are gone.
    With some effort on your part BEFORE you get too old… you won’t have to worry about being lonely in your final years.

  • tury

    Great Show! The story of Jerry brought me to tears. I lost my Dallas to Cancer 8 months ago and my life is not the same without him. Keep up the great work PBS.

  • melissa

    i loved this program having eight cats and two dogs a pit and pitbull/rotie i feel the love from my animals has saved my life and has kept me reaching for my goals countless times when i cry they are there they are my medicine. i loved the story of jerry i lost my third dog to cancer we chose to let him live his life to the fullest and a month before he died he swam a half a mile down river to make sure me and my sister was allright i truly learned alot form my cats and dogs thank you

  • George Gleason

    I really enjoy “Nature” however I could only watch about 5 minutes of “Cats and Dogs”. It did not seem like a nature show but a bunch of wierdos and their poor pets who could not escape them.

  • KC

    I enjoy the “Nature” program no matter what the topic may be. The “Cats and Dogs” episode was a nice change of pace from the typical Nature documentaries. As a life-long dog owner, it was nice to see the variety of ways pets enrich our lives. For some of us, pets fill a void; for others they are a means of expressing emotions we’re either incapable or unwilling to share with our two-legged friends and family. Regardless of what the critics on this website say, I’m happy to be one of those “weirdos” and I’m absolutely certain my dog is too.

  • Angela A

    What a beautiful show many thanks for this program.I am an animal lover and owner of several cats myself. I would love to share my life with a dog but unfortunately, where I live, I am not allowed.Of course I was moved and touched by the show, that wonderful Jerry and his loving parents God bless and my prayers are with the three of you. I cried and was very touched by the love that the three of you share. Anyone who was not emotionally touched and moved by this wonderful program better have their pulse checked…. well better yet, don’t, who needs more cold people in this world.Thank you for giving us something worthwhile to watch.

  • Feline Lover

    That was a great show! I am a cat lover.

  • Gretchen

    I was referred to this video by my sister, and it was a great show to watch. I was greatly saddened by the loss of my own cat, Jared, especially since i was not there when he died. However, i do treasure the wonderful memories of him. great show PBS.

  • Nguyen

    Great show! Thank You PBS.

  • Proud animal lover

    To PBS: I loved the show, thanks for thinking of those of us who can relate to the bond that can occur between humans and animals. I would enjoy seeing similar programs in the future!
    To Rick #4:
    Domesticated animals are just as much a part of “nature” as wild animals are, “you know”? You make it sound as though the “adults” who understand this are not intelligent people. In addition to intellectual intelligence, there is also something called emotional intelligence. It seems as though this is “like” something you may be lacking.
    I am proud to say I can relate to the “folks” voting, as well as the “humans” on the show. And I feel very sorry for the animal that you “own”.
    Some advice for you in the future…If you feel as though the program you are watching is not as “educational” as you might like-change the channel and keep your rude comments to yourself!

  • Frances Mulock

    I am trying to order Why We Love Cats and Dogs,
    aired on Austin PBS Feb. 15, 2009–no luck. How can I obtain it? TU

  • Mike Anderson

    Frances – try this link. It will be available mid-March

    http://www.shopthirteen.org/product/show/54267

  • michelle

    great show, loved it, want to buy it!!!!! is it available, if so where and how, please advise
    thank meg

  • heidi

    I could NOT STOP CRYING during Jerry’s story. Such a touching story, plus it reminded me of my 17-year-old Akita/Shepherd that passed away two years ago.

  • narhos

    To Proud Animal Lover (#46): LOL Thank You for your diplomatic and constructive feedback to Rick #4 :)
    To Everyone Else:
    I have had an strong attraction to other species since childhood. I am fascinated by interactions that break through the species barriers. The nonhuman animals, both wild and domestic that I have worked with, cared for and shared my life with have lead me to be a more aware, more compassionate and more open minded individual. I greatly enjoyed this show and appreciated what I learned from it.

  • Anne Margaret Mayberry

    What a great show… with no bias!!! I am from a long line of cat lover… but my world was unleashed when I rescued my first dog.

  • Cynthia Borzoi Lover

    I enjoyed this much. . . I’m a dog lover – Borzoi – as they like me – smart, beautiful, but don’t bark alot, and can entertain themselves. . . love this information and related to it. Thank you.

  • tim

    Liked the show a lot. I’ve always had pets, and as I age my appreciation for them only grows, along with the sense of wonder I feel over how it is that humans and our pets can live in such harmony. If I ever become religious, it will be because I reach the conclusion that pets are a blessing from a loving god, given to us so that we might have a closeup opportunity to marvel at the beauty of creation and cultivate qualities that make us better inhabitants of this planet. What a gift it is that I get to share my life with two creatures (cats) so unlike me, yet so attuned to my habits, moods and needs. And what a gift it is that they have deemed me worthy of their trust and affection. I’m able to observe them so closely and at such length that I almost feel like I’m getting away with something, as though I were allowed to bring home two exotic zoo animals purely for my own pleasure. I believe an earlier NATURE program on cats was called “Caressing the Tiger,” after a Persian saying that “God made the cat so that man should have the pleasure of caressing the tiger.” That’s just what I feel when engaging with my cats: a sense of overwhelming good fortune that I live in a world where such disparate life forms can live together so happily. It’s just remarkable. What I liked about the program was the way it tapped into that bond. I get where that earlier poster, Rick, is coming from, but the value of this show, for me at least, lay not in the information it imparted or the people it featured but in its acknowledgment of how wonderful — I might say “divine” — the human-pet bond is. Let’s look into it, let’s study and discuss it, but most of all let’s just celebrate it because next to our relationships with other people, it’s just about the best thing in the world.

  • jc

    I liked the show although, the dog/cat experience/relationship has been a much less emotional one for me. I have a dog now and have many other pets before and I think they were all great companions. My comment here is one to put down the people who throw it out of proportion, those who are overthrown with emotion because they connect with an animal who can’t speak and just smiles or reacts with a natural compassion, more than they do with humans! The other day some tree hugging, pet crazed vet lady was giving me crap because I left my dog in the car during the middle of the cold season (75degrees)! For 8 minutes! People need to appreciate pets and also put things in perspective!

  • Theresa

    Enjoyed the show immensely! I liked seeing myself in others and it was interesting to hear about the different types of guardians (i.e. master, rescuer, soulmate, etc.). I would like to see more of this type of information…more into the psychology behind the bond and behind the choice of breed – in the case where there is one. I think it’s great when “tough” guys like Mickey Rourke openly display their bond with their pet and I’m even more impressed that his soulmate was a chihuahua.

  • BB

    I have mixed feelings on this particular show. On one hand, I thought it was very touching and poignant, and I think that a show on pets was a great idea. On the other hand, I am disappointed that there wasn’t more scientific information about exactly how humans and pets co-evolved, or how they lower our stress levels, etc. Also, I was a bit peeved that some of the cat lovers portrayed were really kooky… I hardly know any people like that in real life! (example: psychic lady.)

  • Linda

    Deapite a couple of “spoilers” who apparently think that they are aggrandizing themselves by heing tough-minded and negative, I enjoyed this thread as well as the show itself. There is a warmth and spiritual innocence about us animal lovers. We are still kids at heart, who found love for animals in our earliest years. And that love also makes us vulnerable, because nature is indifferently cruel. We try to intervene where we can to buffer that and give our animal (and human) companions an easier time of it, and to fill their lives with acceptance and love. But the cost of being this way is a lot of pain sometimes. I also love all animals, and I even love insects, worms, you name it. They are on this earth, just as we are, and they live the life that their fate decreed, and they all deserve our respect and empathy.

  • Amane

    I don’t own pets though I love them… Great shows, I’ve learnt more about pets.:) My GF is a cat lover. :)

  • rich

    wonderful program! i live in boulder & have been a volunteer at the shelter; they really do a great job. of course, jerry’s story hit home; like heidi #50, it also reminded me of my 17 year-old shepherd mix. when you connect with another species, it is in your heart forever.

  • cyn

    RE: comment #27
    I work with Feral and Hard Stray cats doing TNR. Many times we are needed to help “tame” a kitten or young adult. Stress and environmental factors come into play all the time. Cats scratch and bite too, and decide to “pee on the bed from now on”. As for dogs and the increse in dog bites as it is related to human stress, i would also think with our added stress we are more distracted and therefore not as “in control” or observient to our dogs reaction to things…would love to see a show on this subject though subjective and objective

  • Donna

    Loved the story, well done! Loved the guy who kissed his dog on the stomache!! Shared that with a few co-workers . .. said they wouldn’t go THAT far. Very heartworming and posted on my FB for animal lovers to see.

  • Shina

    beautifully made film!

  • Laura

    As a woman who cannot have children I consider my pets my children. My husband and I each had a cat when we married and then 5 years into our marriage we adopted 2 kittens from a litter of 7 that had been abandoned at the doorstep of the animal hospital that he works at. Watching them interact with our first two has been an interesting ride. The older cats hated them at first, but now they routinely nap and play together. I think that it’s true that our pets reconnect us with the natural world that we humans like to pretend that we aren’t a part of. It’s a link that is very important and interesting. Oh, and no, you don’t have to be kooky to be a cat lady.

    I think that Mr. Negative Rick needs to explore his connection to the natural world. There is no point in denying our links to the animal world, which is in part what this program was about.

  • Ellen

    That was the best…
    I am homeschooled and i watched it during school,
    I was very moved by Jerry’s story… i cried.
    Our family’s dog whome we’ve had for almost my whole life, is having problems and that was really a great story for my to watch.
    thank you PBS

  • Steph

    Not all PBS stories have to be so sanitized. I loved the emotion of this show and cried when Jerry got his diagnoses.

  • Jessika

    My pets, Shadow, Jack, Belle, and Tiger are probably the best friends I’ve ever had, and will have. I don’t know how I’d live without them. They love, encourage, feel, speak to us. I don’t know what they do, but whatever they do, I hope they keep doing it.

  • Ally

    fantastic show!!! I love my pets and i can’t bear to live without them… My pets watched this video with me on the internet!!!

  • Tana

    I LOVED this show- am emailing it to friends- THANK YOU!

  • Matt

    This show, as with most pbs shows was excellent. I do think there should be a follow up, if only to address some of the more in-depth subjects involved with human/animal interactions. It seems to me that in our relationships with animals, animals often get the short end of the stick. While pet supplies and toys constitute a multi-billion dollar industry, we still euthanize millions of pets every year. It’s refreshing to see a program that highlights those of us with a connection or bond with our animals. Having a deep bond with an animal does not make us goofy or weird, insecure or weak. It gives us a wellspring of strength and resolve, perspective and sensitivity that those without that connection will never comprehend and in many cases don’t deserve. Even so, there are millions of fuzzy critters out there willing to give you a chance.

  • Rich Reising

    DOG LOVERS FRONT & CENTER !!! Please enjoy DOG SONG 2 Better with you There NOW !!! on youtube
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4IcvnlGjhg ….bring yer hanky ~

  • curt sanders

    This is why I have supported PBS for decades. WOW! Keep up the absolutely awesome work. Thank You

  • Kathryn Cogswell

    ‘.. .And other living things.’ How wonderful to gather the wisdom and empathy necessary to understand what other living things bring into the lives of humans who trust there is more to Life that our own perceptions. Donna Reed was a founder of ‘Another Mother for Peace,’ a program I supported during the Viet Nam War, while my husband was in the service [Navy] stateside. Our daughters were barely toddlers, and I wanted to be patriotic for our armed forces, but wanted a way to join a statement meant to alter policy at higher levels, too. ~ Nowadays, there is a calamitous situation facing the American horse and equine cousins: overseas, an expensive, high-paying delicacy of dining is horse meat, which is solicited here at great profit to the marketers, but a heinous cost to the horses caught in the downward spiral they face. When combined with poor over-breeding practices, BLM policies of ignorance as to the natural place of wild horses and burros on public lands, cattlemen’s associations which consider grazing rights as proprietary and theirs alone, professional groups which lobby for horses to be legislated as ‘livestock’ — tax deductions are given as they ‘depreciate’ — and auction managers, ‘kill agents’ and long-haul truckers who force terrified animals onto overcrowded, sometimes unlawful-for-horses double-deck rigs, delivering dehydrated, starved and brutalized creatures to slaughterhouses across the Mexican and Canadian borders, where their deaths are horrific and heartbreaking. I risk commenting about this here in this context of small animal love and concern because the essence of this compassion is needed to eradicate and dry up the matrix destroying them: it is that exact quotient of empathy necessary to see and feel what these horses suffer. If they were able to mirror what their economic gains truly cost, the value of the horse would trump these practices in the hearts and decisions of the people pursuing these policies and despicable acts. Horses are for wanting, not for needing as commodities; horses are for loving, not for eating — anywhere. A number of effective and enlightened groups to counter this situation will alter the future for American horses if the closeness shown among the canines and felines in this program filters through loving families to the benefit of equines everywhere. Sincerely, Kathryn Cogswell.

  • Evie Gerhart

    I watched Why We Love Cats and Dogs on the Nature Show this evening on PBS and loved it. I missed getting the telephone number where I could call and order a copy of the video. Can someone please provide me with that information? I would greatly appreciate your assistance. My family and I dearly love our cats and dogs. Evie G.

  • MarkH

    Trying to watch this program online was like enduring an epileptic seizure. All the buffering and false starts. No way could I finish it, let alone enjoy it. And I was so looking forward to it, too.

  • Meg Williams

    I had a cat who was very special for me. I never tried to train her but she responded to her name. She also did some tricks. And her personality was more like dogs. She would loot at me with certain looks which said a lot. I’ve never had a cat like her and I miss her a lot.

    The online viewing is such a good idea since I missed earlier parts of this program. I want many more programs on line.

  • David Webster

    Great show and Jerry’s story brought me to tears! I household consists of Tazz, my 9 year old pit, Troubles, my 8 year old shepherd, KeKe and 14 year old cat and Creech my other 14 year old cat. We are all healthy and they get the best food and health care that money can buy which is why I am always broke! But they are worht every cent because they give back so much unconditional love. Every day when I come home, as soon as I close my car door, they start barking. When I come in, they are as excited and greet me just as they did when I first adopted them! They can make a bad day all right! Thanks for the great job PBS!

  • Peter Decore

    Heart- warming and insightful. A great comment on man and his best friends. But “psychic” really? Adds no creditability. Otherwise well done!

  • Carol

    Wonderful video. Jerry’s story was touching. We’ve all lost pets we loved as children. I have heard from many different sources that pets can be psychic. A dog can sense when his human owner has cancer; my cat knew when I was sad – she’d come and lay on my neck and nuzzle me as if to offer comfort. To Peter Decore: dogs and cats can sense an earthquake. Have you heard the stories about the increased numbers of missing and runaway pets right before an earthquake? It’s a fact. So who’s to say that 6th sense of theirs doesn’t pick up human vibes we don’t see.

  • Ed

    I watched this entire program because I really do want to know the answer to the title question,but there was no objective data answering this question in the entire program. Why do people take drugs?; let’s interview some stoned attics and find out! Delete the “Why” from the title.

  • Jim O’Blenis

    Great show. When my sister and I still lived at home, I had a dog, she had the cat. Roles have reversed. I have 3 cats now, she has 2 dogs! I still like dogs, but love cats! I’ve had Mumbo and Jumbo for 14 years, they are cousins, their mothers were sisters. About six months ago I adopted a small grey tiger, MaryJane. After doing volunteer work at our local animal shelter. The thing that I found appalling in this episode, 5-7 million cats and dogs are euthanized every year! All 3 of my cats have been neutered. That number haunts me……

  • Sue

    The show captured the profound relationships that humans have with cats and dogs. Comments about how it didn’t live up to typical show standards show how inflexible some humans can be in their thinking. Not every program can be for everybody Rick Evans 2009. Since you’re so scientific and smart you should already know that. It was authentic, revealing and interesting. Rick please limit your pet ownership to goldfish.

  • josh

    there are too many cats it is necessary to euthanize.

  • josh

    the reason we love dogs and cats is because we are failure as humans and a lesser species makes us feel better when we can control it.

  • josh

    this show is showcasing ignorant human behavior

  • Marion and Amy

    Just had to let our little cat Sunflower go as she was very sick and unexpectedly too. This program was healing to us and I think Sunflower did know she was going and I feel looked at me like she was giving me permission to let the Vet go ahead with it. Thank you

  • Marion

    To Josh: You so need a pet!!!!

  • A.Thomas

    Thank you for this show!!

  • Amy Simpo

    I saw this program last night and just watched it twice again this morning. I absolutely love it. I’m not a pet owner but can empathize with the bond.

  • Javier

    Great show!!

  • A Davis

    Um… I have to agree with Rick Evans up there. This show was not really nature, it was animal planet. It was a soppy feel-good heart-string-pulling production, which is fine, and hopefully gets some attention to pet shelters, but it wasn’t educational.

    What did we really learn? That humans are emotionally attached to their pets? That’s about it. As if anyone who has ever met a pet owner is deprived of this vital information.

    I was hoping for/interested in a reveal of some of the actual SCIENCE behind the emotional attachments, maybe a description of some of the co-evolution and how it occurred. What we got was “Sad dog, HAPPY DOG, pretty cat!, human sidekicks! yaaay…. oh and there’s a neurochemical somewhere I think… anyway, HAPPY CAT!”

    I feel like the director just vomited emotes all over me for an hour, kind of light headed and nauseous, with a sudden urge to wait outside a certain blonde guys door and meow for breakfast.

  • adele c.aurino

    Please let me know how to contact a producer regarding submitting a show on an alternative medical veterinarian’s
    work showing how this best selling author has saved countless animals lives and the ground breaking science behind it.
    Thank You.

  • betty

    Thank you for your beautiful story about Jerry. We adopt these amazing beings and they give us so much. I lost Sasha, my Shepherd-Akita mix, very suddenly, 2 years ago and still miss her terribly. Bless you both for sharing your story and love of Jerry with us.

  • Emily N. H. P.

    the jerry part made me cry so much because hes almost dying

  • daisy

    i liked the show…i didn’t like the fact that most of the dog lovers referred to dogs being the best pet there is….to each has their own…… i had them all… as a child horses, coyote, armadila, cats, possums, rats, snakes, raccoons, (now the wild animals were babies i bottle fed and returned to the wild.) and bobcat. now the armadila rat and snake didn’t show any affection. the others did….. the coyote however, came when kitty kitty kitty was called out for the cats to come eat.well kitty got old enough i gave him to the zoo, cause he wouldn’t know how to care for hisself. my horse showed great affection…and to those that say horses are hard to love back they are wrong. i was 9 years old when i got my first horse. santanna was her name and she was 9 months old…i couldn’t ride her so i found other things to do with her…like going into the pasture running with her…i would slap her on her butt and run away and she would chase me and grab my shirt with her teeth and stop me. then she would nudge me in the arm (almost knocking me down lol) and she would then turn away and run away from me until i would catch her and slap her on the butt again. well she knew i couldn’t catch her so there were times when she let me tag her. me and santanna had a very unique relationship. she would not let anyone else ride her. she would not walk up to a stranger. if anyone wanted to ride. i would then get in front of santanna and point at the person standing beside her. and i had to have the reins in my hands…she would then turn and look at that person and nod her head as if saying they are approved….some people don’t believe me. but who cares if they don’t . i know the relationship i had with my horse. like when i was 15, me and santanna went for a ride and i got sleepy i took the saddle off her to let her rest and eat some grass. ok i then sat down under a tree and put my hat forward and slept. well i woke up, santanna was standing over me watching something on the ground about four feet away. i said. santanna what’s wrong? she looked at me and nickered looked at me then look at the grass slowly creeping closer. back and forth her head would look at me and at the object she was watching. she just kept nodding her head as if she was trying to point it out. well i stood up and i saw what it was…it was a rattle snake. i just stood still trying to calm santanna down… well the snake just sit there for a bit and looked at us. the snake edged a little closer and started rattling his tail. it seemed like that all three of us just sat there for the longest of time. then santanna made her move. she jumped between me and the snake…..backed into me with her rump and pushed me back as she was moving away from the snake. after we were a safe distance i got on santanna bareback and got my dad to bring me back to go get the saddle. so i had a cat and a dog too. this cat and dog and horse i had , we were all friends. me and santanna would be waiting for darlin to get on top of the car and jump in the saddle with me…ok now wolfie would just come along everytime we rode in the woods. now darlin was not scared of anything. most cats are afraid of horses. darlin wasn’t. he climbed up in that saddle i put him on my shoulders and we would go to the store to get a meat pie and two icecream sandwhiches. the icecream was for me and santanna…and the meet pie was for wolfie and darlin. i would have to say those three were the best combination pets i could ever have. santanna died of cancer at the age of 6. darlin got bit by a snake . and the neigbor thought wolfie was a coyote…cause he looked like one. i have never found another cat dog or horse with their attitudes….now the dog cat and horse was not raised together…understand. i got the dog when he was 4 years old. he was a stray just came up to me while i was riding and followed me home. the cat my mother brought home from work. she saw someone just drop it off….the vet also told my mom…darlin was two years old… i will never in my life be as lucky as i was to have the three of them…santanna was the first to go. then 2 months later darlin got bit by a snake and 4 months later i lost wolfie because my neighbor was too lazy to put on his glasses. just imagine the dog cat and horse shared the same stall…santanna laid down in the hey on a cold night wolfie and darlin would curl up next to her. there were times i even spent nights out there…laying beside santana darlin and wolfie. we were the 4 best of friends anyone could have. i enjoyed the 6 years i had with my best friend…you see i never say i owned her. she was her own. she was mine. but mostly she was my friend. is there anyone out there that has the same story to tell of different experiences or with different animals? i would like to here it.
    daitchieboyd72@gmail.com

  • Teresa

    Have always had (indoor) cats—love watching their reaction to everything
    (naturalistic observation?)

    A university instructor in Canada (not a professor unless fully-tenured),
    I’ve relied on my feline family to keep me up to scratch in the real world—

    Love the kitties!!!

  • genesis

    this is a really good show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jojo

    it not good it did not let me watch the vidio!

    i still love dogs

  • maria

    I just loved this episode it inspired me alot and I have to decide everyday which i like better cats or dogs and the conclusion is i like both equally i love animals thanks alot nature i can’t get enough of nature.
    Hope this show never comes to an end

  • Linda

    this video is not working

  • Carol

    What a wonderful video, I have a tuxedo cat 17 yrs young who still thinks she is a kitten. I thoroughly enjoyed what I watched. I was looking for a video to go along with another type of media for a paper I have to write for my english class. Thank you so much for everyone sharing their live with their cats and dogs. They truly love us unconditionally and remind me personally just how much I am loved by the Lord.

  • http://tiny.cc/sk0e5 Doggy Dan

    Of all the questions that people ask “how to become the pack leader” is the big one! This is by far the most important question how to convince your dog that you are the person in charge. Think of the pack leader as the decision maker – where you should go on the walk, how to behave in different situations and how to respond to all the strange things that are out there.

    When you understand how dogs packs work you soon realize the importance, that pack leader makes all the decisions. If you leave it up to your dog then there a big chance that your dog is going to get something’s very wrong and make a mistake!

    In order to understand how to become the pack leader you must first recognize that the following means nothing to a dog….

    What car you drive, the size of your house, the money you earn or the fact that you speak languages! Your dog would happily swap all of that for a nice snack!

    Asking your dog to sit before her dinner falls a long way short of what you need to be achieving to become the pack leader and walking through doorways is only necessary when your dog is on the lead.

    Lastly – dominating your dog is certainly not the way to become the pack leader in fact this can back fire badly on you later on if you teach your dog that physical strength is what it is all about. Whilst you may force your dog into submission it will not be convincing your dogs mind that you are worthy of the position and that you should become the pack leader only that you are a bit of a bully.

    So how do you become the pack leader? All dogs worldwide, regardless of breed use the same ways to check to establish the pack leader. The best way to learn about how to put it into practice is to watch it being done on video as I have done through one of the video based web sites. The important areas to take control in are the following:

    The pack leader will be in total calm control when your dog barks and alerts you to danger. This includes anything that your dog may perceive as dangerous and barks at in and around the property
    On the walk your dog should not pull you at a single stage, even the beginning! Learning to walk your dog properly can only really be learnt through video as I have found out!
    If you are the pack leader then your dog should be able to relax and switch off completely inside the house. If your dog is always switched on most of the time and can’t relax then that is your dog on pack leader duty!
    Getting your dog to switch off is directly connected to how you meet and greet your dog after your return home. You need to watch it on video it is so subtle but it is the difference between being the pack leader or the follower.
    Lastly, feeding your dog correctly will establish who is the pack leader and there is much more to it than asking your dog to sit! Also if you have a dog that is “not food motivated” then you may be in for a surprise!
    There is one site that shows you – using video – exactly how to become the pack leader and how crucial it is to changing any behavioral issue.

    There are a few real keys to dog training, whether you are trying to train your dog to come when called, sit, stop barking or any other behavior. Understanding their importance is critical to achieving rapid results that are long lasting and help develop the bond between you and your dog.

    The first is simple; you must win your dogs mind. If you don’t achieve this first then you will be struggling the all the way. When I talk about winning your dogs mind what I really mean is that your dog looks to you for all the decisions. Before you do anything else watch one of the amazing video sites that show you the 5 Golden rules to establishing yourself as the pack leader. If you aren’t putting these in place then you are setting yourself up to fail. Just at the crucial point where you really want your dog to listen they will go and do their own thing. For sure your dog may play ball occasionally or even most of the time, you may even have a dog that is obedient 99% of the time, however if you want a dog who always listens to you and does as you ask then you need to win your dogs mind.

    The second key to success is to motivate your dog. It is really important that you discover what it is that your dog enjoys both in terms of exercise and play but also in terms of a reward. If you can make the experience enjoyable then you will both achieve more and look forward to training.

    Some dogs love to fetch, others love agility, and other dogs simply love obedience training, or swimming out into water and retrieve. At least to start with find out what your dogs love is and help them develop this, what I am saying is work with your dog. The other point to recognize is to make training enjoyable reward your dog.

    The three main rewards are:

    Food- anything from a single dry biscuit to a whole piece of sausage!
    Affection- pats, cuddles, lots of high verbal praise
    Toys- games, throwing a stick or object, chasing your dog etc
    Your dog is always going to work harder if you are fair in your training. Even if you do not want to use food you should make sure that you use affection accordingly when your dog does well

    If you want to use food rewards then always follow these simple tips:

    Always vary food rewards
    Do not give food rewards every time
    Never let your dog know what the reward is
    If your dog doesn’t come first time then do not give them the reward
    The third key to achieving perfection is practice! Learning how to encourage behavior that is closer to what you want than the last is the third key to success. Again this is where rewards come in so handy! Motivate and then show your dog what it is that you want and there is no need for any negative training!

    One of the saddest things is the number of people that misunderstand fearful dogs and in trying to make things better for their dogs they actually make it worse. Fearful dogs are nearly always lacking strong pack leaders, and their owners are often the kindest and gentlest people! They want nothing more than to see their dog live the kind of life that all the other dogs are living, happy, fun and free.

    What they fail to recognize is that their dog is actually scared because the owner is giving them the message that they are the pack leader. Their dog like many is not able to handle the pressure, nor should they be expected to.

    Let me describe a scenario. If you are 4 years old and find yourself in a dark wood with your younger sister and there is a strange noise or a person coming towards you then you may very well be afraid. However if one of your parents were there with you though, then everything would be fine. That is because you would not be in charge! This is how it is for your dog when you make them the pack leader. They are terrified and just want to get home safe and alive.

    All the responsibility is on your dog’s shoulders and they are not able to handle it in this human world. There are far too many strange things for them to make decisions about all the time. Eventually they will snap unless you help them.

    To help your dog you must first become the pack leader and I suggest that the best way to do this is through watching video rather than reading about it. Here are a few things that you should remember when working with a fearful dog.

    They can change but will struggle if you try to push it too fast
    You must become the pack leader – There are some great videos sites now that show you exactly how to become the pack leader, don’t just read about it
    Ask your friends to ignore your dog when they first meet her
    People should not approach your dog but wait until she is calm and then call her over.
    If she doesn’t come over then she is too scared and you must leave her alone.
    A good video based web site will show you exactly how to put all of this into place through the use of video so you can sit back, watch and learn.

    Establishing yourself as the pack leader is the foundation to any success with fearful dogs. Until you recognize this you and put it in place you will never be in a position to help your dog.

    If you want to understand how to stop dog aggression let me start by asking you two rhetorical questions!

    Firstly do YOU start the aggression with your dog simply joining in?
    Secondly does your dog listen to you just before it behaves the way it does when you try show it another way to behave?
    The answer will of course be the following:
    At the point your dog starts to become aggressive he is taking no notice at all of you.

    He is making his own decisions and will not listen to you if you try to show him a different way to behave. What he is doing is simply too important to him and is the right thing to do. Dog aggression is nearly always done in order to protect, their pack and their own lives.

    Firstly there is of course a whole range of different types of aggression from dominant to fearful and everything in between. Then there is aggression that occurs the whole time and other aggression, which is very erratic, and random depending on a number of differing factors. We could also look at what your dog is aggressive towards; it could be people, animals, other dogs or objects.

    The way to stop dog aggression however is very much the same, or at least the cause of the problem is the same. Your dog thinks that it is the pack leader, becomes fearful and attacks to protect, you and himself. Dominant dogs will be more proactive, often attacking when they still have the option of running away, fearful dogs will only attack if they have no place to run. All the other factors pale into insignificance compared to this.

    The most important concept to grasp if you want to understand how to stop dog aggression is that your dog must first look to you as the pack leader in the home. (This is the easiest place to convince him you are the decision maker.) Only then can you convince him that you are the pack leader on the walk. There are some fantastic video sites now that show you exactly how to become the pack leader.

    Once you have convinced your dog that you are the pack leader outside then upon reaching the point where he usually is aggressive you will find that he will actually start to take notice of how you are behaving! If you aren’t then your dog will probably continue to ignore what you are doing at this point forever.

    Just remember, dogs are pack animals and they follow the pack leader.

    Separation anxiety is a very stressful behavioral issue that effects a huge percentage of the dog population, possibly as high as 14%. It is one of the most misunderstood issues with people trying to treat it by approaching it from a human point of view and failing to see the cause. The answer to how to stop separation is simple. Show your dog that you are the pack leader. Let me explain.

    Recognizing that the following behaviors are symptoms is a start. They are as wide ranging as they are distressing for the dog, but by treating them you are not treating the cause of the problem. First ask yourself the question; does the behavior stop when you return? If so then I suggest that you’re being away is actually connected to the cause. Lets take a look at a few of the key symptoms.

    Chewing –releases an endorphin similar to the one released when a human is chewing gum in an attempt to stay calm.
    Barking, whining – this is a call for the owners to return to the pack, similar to if you were to call your children when you can’t find them
    Escaping when you are not there – often very destructive, extreme and sometimes dangerous. Your dog is looking for you. So many people are told to try and exercise the problem out of their dog but it will not solve the problem
    Digging, destruction – this is all connected to stressful and anxious behavior.
    Self-mutilation – excessive, licking and chewing oneself. Excessive drooling is also a sign of stress. These are signs that are often mistaken for being medical conditions but are all stress related
    Toileting – if your dog is toilet trained but starts going toilet inside and you think that it is behavioral then it could well be. If it is only occurring when your dog is away from you then it is very likely connected to your dog having separation anxiety
    Whilst there are lots of places that you can find advice on how to treat all these symptoms there is only one way to treat the cause of the problem. If you are serious about how to stop separation anxiety then you must become the pack leader.

    Separation anxiety is a very straight forward problem that occurs when your dog believes they are the pack leader and your are their puppy or member of their pack. In the wild dogs do not wander off out the den on their own and your dogs separation anxiety will continue until you return to him. Once you show your dog that you are the pack leader your dog will be fine with you coming and going as you please.

    Understanding how to stop your dog from pulling is something that every dog owner needs to overcome in order to be able to walk there dog in an enjoyable manor. Many dog behavioral problems also stem from the fact that the dog is dragging you along the street. To put it simply your dog thinks it is in charge of the walk or in dog terms it sees itself as the pack leader!

    There are so many gadgets, leads and collars out there but none of them can solve the problem if your dog thinks it is in charge, all these devices will do is attempt to divert your dogs energy elsewhere or cause pain in an attempt to stop your from pulling. If you find yourself having to correct your dog every 30 seconds then there is something fundamentally wrong. The funny thing is this, your dog knows how to walk nicely on the lead it is far more than simply training it, you have to at first convince it you are the pack leader.

    Think of it like this. Your dog understands that on the walk, somebody has to be the leader, and your dog is simply taking the lead! It is more of a psychological battle than a physical one, at least it should be. This first stage of the walk is actually ensuring that you are the pack leader inside the house before you look to venture out as no dog will let you simply take control over the walk, (the most dangerous place compared to the den) if you are not in control inside.

    Here are some key tips to try before you venture out:

    After bringing out your dogs lead wait until your dog calms down even if this takes a while and only attach it when your dog is calm. Never rush this stage.
    You need to first learn how to stop your dog from pulling inside your house or property before going outside – there are some fantastic videos that show all of this.
    Walk first around the house going around the tables and furniture in your house with your dog following you.
    If your dog pulls out in front of you then simply change direction, leaving your dog behind you.
    If your dog drags backwards then gently hold the lead firm for 10 seconds then call your dog to follow. They have no other options and so will follow you if you are patient.
    Control the doorways – you should always walk through the doorways first when your dog is on the lead
    Practice walking in and out of the front doorway with you going first – keep doing this until your dog relaxes and gives up waiting for you to make the next move
    Check your posture – make sure that you are relaxed and calm and that your shoulder is down and arm is straight at the elbow
    Of course there is a big difference between actually watching how to stop your dog from pulling and reading about it! Whilst I can give you all the advice in written form there is nothing quite like actually being shown it on a video.

    There are a few secrets to toilet training although much of the emphasis will always rest with you! Here are the facts about puppy toilet training:

    Just as when a baby needs to go toilet they go, so it is with puppies – when a puppy needs to go they will go! So to start with you have to get them outside before they toilet inside. That is your job! If you fail, then blame yourself.

    The best way to show your puppy where you want them to toilet is to show them the correct place. The best way to do this is to take them out when they need to go and then praise them when they go. You will be amazed how quickly they will learn if you give them an amazing treat for going in the right place. Think of it like this if the treat is a little piece of cheese, your puppy will after only a few toilets in the correct place start looking for the cheese treat saying “Hey where’s the cheese I just toileted on the grass!”

    At a very young age 8 weeks or so a puppies bladder is very small and they can only hold on for sometimes 30 minutes or so before they may need to go again. So you must be vigilant.

    After a meal, puppies will often need to go within 60 seconds so always take them straight outside. You should also take them outside as soon as they wake up, as their bowls will start to move and also last thing at night.

    Associate a word that everyone in the house sticks to such as “go toilets” this way your puppy will start to hear the word and know what it means.

    If you puppy does not go then be aware that they may still need to relieve themselves soon and restrict their movement to a smaller area that is easy to clean until they are taken outside and definitely toilet.

    You should never rub a puppy’s nose in it to teach it a lesson. A puppy’s nose is 1000 times more sensitive than a humans and this will never teach them not to do it again. They will simply not know what they did wrong and do it out of sight the next time such as behind the couch!

    One of the most common complaints is “my dog doesn’t come when I call”.

    Training the recall is one of the funniest of all dog-training exercises because we do so much completely wrong! Let me explain.

    This is what we want to achieve: When we call our dog “here Bella” we want Bella to come sprinting as fast as she can to us.

    Now, in order to achieve this we must make “here Bella” the best command in the world. With the best result and rewards at the end!

    So here are some tips!

    Never call your dog if you are thinking of telling her off! You can undo months and months of hard work training your dog to come by telling her off just once. Suddenly coming when you call could be a really bed move!
    9 times out of 10 make sure that your dog has a good experience when she comes if you call you. On the 10th recall if you need to put your dog on a leash then do so.
    When you call your dog to you think of coming as more of a “check in with me” than a “I am calling you to stop what you are doing”.
    Use a long line to keep control of your dog if you are unsure. A long line is a piece of line or rope that can be as long as you like that lies on the ground but you keep within reach!
    If your dog hates returning to the car then reward your dog back at the car with water and a small feed and things will soon turn around!
    The basic formula to any good recall training is:

    CALL your dog to you, then
    REWARD your dog within 2 seconds and then immediately
    RELEASE your dog.
    In order to make your dog enjoy the experience you should learn the power of using affection and attention by withholding it and only giving it as a reward. This is one of the most powerful tools available to us and yet we get it all so wrong by giving the dog attention whenever they want and wondering why they don’t come when we call them!

    So your older dog is toileting inside and you don’t understand why? Okay. Let me explain. First of all I should confirm that what we are talking about here is a dog that has already been toilet trained and has achieved this for a considerable period of time say more than 6 months. We also need to be sure that the dog is not so old that it is incontinent or sick. If none of the above are the case and you feel that it is behavioral then I can assure you it most likely is and the problem is simply this.

    Your dog is 99.98% the DNA of a wolf. For a minute think of your dog as a wolf, in cute doggy clothing. The way your dog still works and thinks is still like a wolf! Now the chance of you actually being the pack leader is very slim. Believe me….if you want to check out to see if you are the pack leader then there is an amazing video web site where you can see how you fair!

    Anyway back to the toileting in the house, in the wild if a wolf puppy was lost and needed to find their way home how would they go about it? There are no GPS systems, no street signs or maps to follow…..the puppies would follow their nose. They would pick up the scent of the den and track it back to safety and the adult dog pack would make sure there was a good strong fresh scent to follow!

    Now, for a second let me amuse you. You are not the pack leader, your dog is, and when you leave your dog it is doing exactly what it would do in nature to help you find your way home… and guess what?… you return home. Only thing is when you return you are all stressed and angry (because you were lost maybe?) – Nothing to do with the new carpet being ruined.

    Learning how to stop a puppy from jumping up is something you need to get onto straight away.

    Puppies jumping up are a very natural thing that they do when they are little – to get attention – and in the wild to get fed by licking the Mother’s face to encourage food to be regurgitated. Showing your puppy that it does not get attention when it jumps is something that you should encourage from a very early age. Often it can seem like fun when a puppy is very small but when your dog grows to 35kg and can jump 5 foot high it is not so funny.

    If you do not stop the jumping when your puppy is little then when your puppy turns into a larger dog it soon turns into a more dominant display of demanding your attention!

    If your puppy is jumping up, simply turn and walk away. Ignore your puppy, no eye contact, no speaking and no touching.
    Continue to ignore and then after your puppy has calmed down, wait for 5 minutes and then call your puppy to you.
    If your puppy does not stop then isolate your puppy by either leaving the room or by putting the puppy in another room.
    Puppy jumping up on visitors:

    If your puppy is jumping on your visitors then ask them to do the same as described above. It may also help if you hold the puppy by its collar or on a lead until they relax – then release. If your puppy decides to mouth you then you should immediately isolate them in another room or a crate.
    Puppy jumping up at you when you are getting ready for the walk:

    Put the leash down and wait for 10 minutes or until your puppy is calm, then try again. This is important and although you are keen to go for a walk you should not rush it!
    Important concepts:

    It is really important not to speak – to stay calm and not say a word when your puppy jumps up. Remember your puppy is an attention-seeking machine!
    Your puppy’s jumping up and space invading is not its way of saying I love you!!
    Space is very important to a dog and if she can invade yours whenever she wants then she will lose respect for you.
    How would you feel if a human constantly invaded your space! It is more similar than you think!!
    Start as you mean to go on. When your puppy is calm then you can call her and pick her up for a cuddle
    When you are ignoring your puppy keep your arms folded and walk past the puppy confidently and assertively.
    The two most common mistakes:

    Inconsistency – sometimes puppy jumping up is given attention!
    People make eye contact…This invites your puppy over, so do not make eye contact, focus on something else.
    Another trick that will help is to train your puppy to sit for everything! If you can get your puppy to practise lots of “sits” then her default behaviour will simply be to sit when you call her, and not jump!

  • Tamila

    amazing video, made me cry, it is so true, the more you are with your pet less you want to deal with humans,,,lol

Produced by THIRTEEN    ©2014 THIRTEEN Productions LLC. All rights reserved.

PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.