Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Morning in our Abode

Another sunny bright upbeat day has greeted us. As the sun starts to creep into our windows our lovable furry boy wakes us up, I suppose you could say he is similar to how parents wake their children up on school mornings to stop them oversleeping, once the parents duty is done they might get back in bed for a while. This is what he does before he decides to have his morning shower BTC (Big Tongue Clean)
Mean while Our Pointer stretches her long legs and yawns, she has kept curled tightly in a ball enjoying her last zzzzzz and only when she has seen us changed and ready to march on out has she decided to rise from her comfy doughnut bed to join us.
Leads are on, Jackets are on so we are ready to go. As we walk along the dogs trot along happily, our boy happy to explore the fresh new scents of the day and our girl running around us in circles eagerly awaiting her beloved green ball. Familiar faces and familiar hounds pass by, blossom is appearing, shrubs are greener, sky is blue and the weather is milder. As the peaceful walk nears to an end and we have completed a full circle we all converge on the front door waiting for it to open, we have built up an appetite and are famished. A few minutes later the aroma of toast fills the air, for our dogs this smell is a thousand times more attractive because of the receptors in their noses which is why they can't help covering the floor with their translucent juice from their mouths which has a constant flow like a river, the dogs patiently lay down and await their meals. Once a pot of freshly brewed tea appears we both ready to sit down to breakfast, on finishing the last mouthfuls of toast 2 heads with eager faces raise up they know it is their turn now.
They watch in delight as dinner is transferred into 2 shining metal bowls, their bowls. As my partner dishes it out, my boy sits and paws him excitedly and my girl sits then zooms it on the target - 'her bowl' at 100mph. My boy savors the taste and enjoy his meal while my girl wolfs it down. This is quite a typical fun morning for the 4 of us and one that I always enjoy and there is still the rest of the day yet.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Dog Tip of the Day

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie…..this saying is correct as from our experience our dogs are grumpy and a little confused when they wake up and would not apprecitate being woken up suddenly and having someone standing over them as we humans also wouldn’t appreciate.

Origin of Dogs

Where did dogs originate from?

There are many thoughts and theories but in reality, we do not have a truly accurate timeframe or location regarding the exact origins of the dog or its domestication history. We do know that its closest ancestor is the wolf, that forms part of the group of animals called Canidae, these include wolves, jackals, coyotes, dingoes, and foxes. It is now widely accepted that the modern dog has wolf like traits and is almost certainly derived from wolf stock. Today’s domesticated dog is probably a mutated form of the Middle Eastern or East Asian wolf, possibly the latter because there is greater genetic diversity, often a sign of greater antiquity in Asian dogs than in European dogs.
Archaeological evidence points to a time-period some 12000 to 15000 years ago when we started creating permanent settlements. This was towards the end of the Mesolithic period and the start of the Neolithic. Some of the earliest of these settlements are to be found in the fertile area now known as Northern Israel. In These Natufian villages is where modern dog may have originally surfaced.
Archaeologists have discovered remains of a burial site at a Natufian village called Ain Mallaha, in which an old man and a young pup are buried together, the mans left hand is cradling the dog. The puppy three to four months old was probably killed to give the man company and companionship on his journey to the afterlife. What is so important about this find is that it is the earliest chronological evidence pointing to domestication. And suggests that humans had starting accepting dogs not just as vermin, but as companions and trusted pets.
Many are of the opinion that they effectively domesticated themselves. They took advantage of an ecological niche and mutated from their wolf cousins to fill that niche. The trigger was our move from early stone age nomadic hunter/gatherer  before we started inhabiting permanent settlements and becoming hunter/farmers, it may have been that change that stimulated the rapid mutation into domestication.
In essence, you cannot domesticate a wolf, you can to some extent tame it to such a degree that it will accept human contact, but you will never domesticate it. To tame a wolf you need to hand rear it. You would need to start this before the cub was 8 days old, prior to the eyes opening, remember he was born deaf and blind and it takes some time for these senses to develop.
In a wolf pack, there is a basic need for some members to locate the prey, some to drive the prey, others to circle and harass, and still others to lie in wait and ambush. Others stay behind and guard the young, It’s only when you have this combination of emotional types that the pack (and the hunt) succeeds. Our modern working dogs are the result of genetic engineering by our forbears, they bred for certain traits, enhancing those traits by breeding like with like.
No one will argue that the HPRs, Retrievers, Spaniels, Collies, Hounds, and Long Dogs have sometimes quite different skills, Take the Bloodhound, that is the tracking orient part of the equation, The Collie is the cutting out the prey from the herd. The Springer the orient chase grab, but not consume.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Dog Tip of the Day

 Be vigilant this Easter with chocolate around. Make sure your dogs don’t get any as it contains Theobromine which is poisonous to dogs. Cocoa, cooking chocolate and dark chocolate have the highest levels while milk chocolate and white chocolate have the lowest.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Cheese Cheese and more Cheese

What is it about the stuff that our dog goes crazy for?!
Everytime I go into the Kitchen he knows exactly when the I get the Cheese out of the fridge. He comes trotting into the kitchen with a 'Can I have some' cute expression on his face.
Not sure if it is the plastic that is wrapped around the Cheese that gives it away and makes a slight noise or that his nose is so sensitive that he can smell the Cheese from far away but this only happens when Cheese comes out the fridge.
Of course I can't resist and have to break off a small chunk for him and he gobbles it down and looks around for more. But I have already safely covered and put the Cheese back in the fridge.
So be careful when getting the Cheese out of your fridge there might be a Hound come up behind you with his sympathy look on 'I haven't eaten yet', can I have some' and you might just have to give him a piece.

Dog Tip of the Day

Be careful this time of year as Daffodils are extremly poisonous to dogs, if consumed. The whole plant is a danger, even the water it stands in is very toxic so keep an eye on your dog in the garden or out and about.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Help the Stray Dogs of Romania

I am disgusted to read about Romania's inhumane way to deal with their stray dogs. I cannot believe a country that is a member of the EU has come to the decision that they will murder all their stray dogs, even dogs that they have previously operated on and are wearing ear tags, they will not reproduce more dogs so what a waste of time and money getting them operated on. Its clearly a vendetta against all dogs. It is crazy, the solution is Neuter and Spay, evidence in the past has shown that when these narrow minded people kill the dogs, more dogs arrive and the dogs population builds up again but if you Neuter and Spay the dogs will stay at a controlled rate. They are trying to get the previous law that stood in place changed from 'Romanian law dictates that only dogs with health or behavioral problems may be euthanized.' to this  'euthanize healthy dogs'. I feel appalled at Romania and can not have respect for a country that treats living creatures so cruel.

This is the stray dogs last chance for us humans to speak out for them.

Please Sign this Petition

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Help Save Lennox

Some of you may have heard of Lennox the Labrador/American Bull Dog Mix who has been seized from his family and now his life is on the line because of an out of date/discriminating Law in Northern Ireland. After the wardens measured him, he was deemed by them a pit bull type. So for no reason he was just taken away from his family in May 2010 to live in solitary confinement in a inhumane small dirty concrete room and that is where he still is now.
What is really sad about this is the fact that Lennox is suffering and he may lose his life by Breed Discrimination. He is innocent, he didn't choose to live where he did and to be the breed he is.
What can be done?  If the family cannot have Lennox back a Rescue Centre in Ireland is willing to take Lennox on and rehome him in an area where his breed is accepted.
Everybody needs to speak up about this we cannot stand by and watch an innocent family pet being murdered because of a breed name.
Today it is Lennox, Tomorrow it is your Dog.

Please Help by Signing this Petition

Dog Tip of the Day

When looking inside your dog’s ears they should be light Pink and clean. No Redness or Swelling should exist inside the ear. A small amount of Yellow or Brownish wax is normal but a large amount or crustiness is a problem. A healthy dog will not scratch his ears or shake his head often.
Be extra observant with dogs that have long hairy ears like Spaniels.

Dog Tip of the Day

If your dog has a bout of upset stomach or diarrhea feed him/her boiled Chicken and Rice to settle the stomach.

Patrick the Dog that was Neglected Terribly

I have been following the story of Patrick since the day they found him and he was in the breaking news. I feel saddened that someone could starve a dog and throw him out for rubbish down a chute in a apartment block. This is showing no respect for life and while watching the video I had so many tears for what the culprit had done to Poor Patrick. He was so thin and just looked very weak, it really is a miracle he is alive, Patrick the name may really have bought him ‘The Luck of the Irish’. To see how he is being cared for at AHS (Associated Humane Society) and all the treatment he has received is great, seeing him with a blanket and teddies and cuddles, things he may never have seen or had in his life. Well Done to the worker who realised the bag was moving and opened it, otherwise sadly this dog wouldn’t be here today and the culprit involved would never be facing the charges that she is.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Dog Tip of the Day

Please be aware of a unexpected parasite 'Heartworm'. This is transmitted through mosquitos when they bite, their infected larvae invades the heart, please take extra care with your dog or get him/her a vaccine if you live in an area with mosquitos.

A Dogs Brain

A Dog’s Brain
A dog's brain is far simpler than a human's brain as it doesn't have the capacity for speech.
The dog’s brain is similar to a human’s in that it interprets and analyzes information, the dog acts based on how he thinks the information should be processed.
Our brains are programmed to take in information through speech and process it, we also take in information based on expressions and learn to interpret that data. We learn later to read and use that data. For dogs, the process is similar. The dog takes in data, but he/she is programmed to interpret the data based on scent. He takes in other information based on his senses and learns to interpret that data.
Dog’s intelligence is in some part determined by genetic makeup. Some breeds of dogs are simply more intelligent than others.
The brain is made up of billions of neurons. It’s much like the brain of many mammals, with a cerebrum that controls learning, emotions, and activity. The cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls the muscles, and the brain stem controls the nervous system.
A dog’s senses feed into the brain and the nervous system. This network of cells throughout the brain controls instinct and learning. Sometimes there is a conflict between a dog’s instincts telling what he wants to do, and what we want the dog to do. This conflict is probably occurring in the dog’s limbic system. We can override their limbic system and resolve the conflict by giving the dog rewards for obeying its owner’s commands rather than obeying his "instincts". That’s how you can use the dog’s brain, combined with reinforcement, to train the dog.
Dog’s Sensory Abilities
Dog’s have the same essential senses as human – sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell – but their senses are much more highly refined than humans. These senses trigger sharp physical reactions in the dog.
Although a dog’s eyes are flatter than a human's, they are more sensitive to light and movement. Dog’s have a greater ability to see things in their peripheral field of vision, which can be quite effective when training is combined with hand signals. Dogs are far better at picking up hand signals and cues that we would normally think are outside of the range of vision. However, dogs have a harder time finding objects directly ahead in their field of vision than people – it’s one of the reasons it’s sometimes easier for people to spot a tennis ball in the grass than it is for a dog.
Dog’s ears are quite sensitive to sound, far more so than humans. We’ve all heard of the dog whistles that sound at a higher frequency than most humans are able to hear, but are perfectly auditory to dogs. Dog’s ears are actually like scanning devices – one ear can focus on what is in the dog’s immediate environment, while the other scans for sounds farther away. A dog can hear four times farther away than a human can.
Touch is a very powerful sense in a dog in fact, it’s one of the first senses that a dog develops. A dog’s entire body is covered with touch-sensitive nerve endings. A dog will detect subtle changes in air flow and of course is very responsive to touch from his master. A dog may find pets strokes around the collar or stomach to be a pleasant reward for good behaviour.
Taste and Smell
If you’ve watched your dog devour a meal or a treat, it may seem like eating is one of the most important parts of a dog’s life. Well, few pooches will turn down an opportunity for their favourite grub, dogs don’t have as acute a sense of taste as we assume that they do, in fact, a dog’s taste buds are less refined than a humans. Dogs are able to discern sweet, sour/bitter, and salty tastes, but that’s about the extent of their taste process. However, their sense of smell is far superior to humans. A major part of the dog’s brain is devoted to interpreting scents. Even part of their mouth is able to interpret scent.

If this article was of interest to you, you might also like to visit my other dog brain article:

or one of my many regularly posted articles such as:

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Dog Tip of the Day

In the Summer Ice cubes and Milk lollies make a refreshing treat for dogs and help stop dehydration.

Welcome to our Dogs

We have 2 dogs, a Male Husky/Kangal (Turkish Breed) Mix and a Female Pointer.
Both are very different, its so nice to have 2 completly different dogs.
Our Husky/Kangal Mix is a great guard dog, loves the cold, wind and snow, very proud, selective of what he eats, loves toys but does not chew them up, loves hide and seek game and digging.
Our Pointer is great at spotting cats, hates the cold, is like a baby, loves to chew her toys up, loves fetch game, eats absolulty anything.
The things they both have in common is their friendship for eachother, their excitement for dinner times and trips to the beach, which excites both of them very much.
We very much look forward to the pair of them greeting us when we come home and love spending time with them and their great individual personalities.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Learning what a dog is feeling...

How many times have you looked at a dog and thought I wonder what you are trying to tell me?

Well here is a clued up guide on what the doggy is actually trying to tell you by its body language.

The Dog is Confident
A Confident dog stands straight and tall with his/her head held high, ears perked up, and eyes bright. His/Her mouth may be slightly open but is relaxed. His/Her tail may sway gently, curl loosely or hang in a relaxed position.

The Dog is Happy
A Happy dog will wag his/her tail and sometimes hold her mouth open more or even pant mildly.

The Dog is Playful
A Playful dog is happy and excited. His/Her ears are up, eyes are bright, and tail wags rapidly.He/She may jump and run around with glee. Often, a playful dog will exhibit the play bow where the front legs stretched forward, head straight ahead, rear end up in the air and possibly wiggling.

The Dog is Submissive
A Submissive dog holds His/Her head down, ears down flat and averts her eyes.His/Her tail is low and may sway slightly, but is not tucked. He/She may roll on her back and expose His/Her belly. A submissive dog may also also nuzzle or lick the other dog or person to further display passive intent. Sometimes, He/She will sniff the ground or otherwise divert her attention to show that He/She does not want to cause any trouble. A submissive dog is meek, gentle and non-threatening.

The Dog is Anxious
The Anxious dog may act somewhat submissive, but often holds His/Her ears partially back and her neck stretched out. He/She stands in a very tense posture and sometimes shudders. Often, an anxious dog whimpers, moans, yawns and/or licks His/Her lips. His/Her tail is low and may be tucked. He/She may show the whites of her eyes, something called whale eye. An anxious dog may overreact to stimulus and can become fearful or even aggressive. However, be cautious - do not provoke Him/Her.

The Dog is Fearful
The Fearful dog combines submissive and anxious attitudes with more extreme signals. He/She stands tense, but is very low to the ground. His/Her ears are flat back and her eyes are narrowed and averted. His/Her tail is between her legs and she typically trembles. A fearful dog often whines or growls and might even bare her teeth in defense. He/She may also urinate or defecate. A fearful dog can turn aggressive quickly if He/She senses a threat. Do not try to reassure the anxious dog, but remove yourself from the situation calmly. If you are the owner, be confident and strong, but do not comfort or punish your dog. Try to move Him/Her to a less threatening, more familiar location.

The Dog is Dominant
A Dominant dog will try to assert Himself/Herself over other dogs and sometimes people. He/She stands tall and confident and may lean a bit forward. His/Her eyes are wide and He/She makes direct eye contact with the other dog or person. His/Her ears are up and alert, and the hair on His/Her back may stand on edge. He/She may growl lowly. His/Her demeanor appears less friendly and possibly threatening. If the behavior is directed at dog that submits, there is little concern. If the other dog also tries to be dominant, a fight may break out. A dog that directs dominant behavior towards people can pose a serious threat. Do not make eye contact and slowly try to leave.

The Dog is Aggressive
An Aggressive dog goes far beyond dominant. All feet are firmly planted on the ground in a territorial manner, and He/She may lunge forward. His/Her ears are pinned back, head is straight ahead, and eyes are narrowed but piercing. His/Her tail is straight, held up high, and may even be wagging. He/She bares her teeth, snaps her jaw and growls or barks threateningly. The hairs along her back stand on edge. If you are near a dog showing these signs it is very important to get away carefully. Do not run. Do not make eye contact with the dog. Do not show fear. Slowly back away to safety.

Dog Tip of the Day

If your dog swallows a sharp object feed him/her cottonballs soaked in milk this is to protect the intestine, as the sharp object works its way through the digestive system - this way it has a protective barrier around it and it will help prevent the dog from internal damage. Our dog is 30kg and we gave him around 5 balls, small dogs around 2 balls.

Dog Tip of the Day

Carrots make a nutrional healthy treat for your dog.