Wolf or Dog?

18,000-year-old frozen puppy leaves scientists baffled

Is it a wolf or a dog?

(CNN) – The 18,000-year-old body of a near perfectly preserved puppy has left scientists puzzled.

Russian scientists discovered the body of the canine near Yakutsk, in eastern Siberia. Preserved by permafrost, the specimen’s nose, fur and teeth are remarkably intact.

Using carbon dating on the creature’s rib bone, experts from Sweden’s Centre for Palaeogenetics were able to confirm that the specimen had been frozen for around 18,000 years, but extensive DNA tests have so far been unable to show whether the animal was a dog or a wolf.

“It’s normally relatively easy to tell the difference between the two,” David Stanton, a researcher at the Centre for Palaeogenetics, told CNN.

“We have a lot of data from it already, and with that amount of data, you’d expect to tell if it was one or the other. The fact that we can’t might suggest that it’s from a population that was ancestral to both — to dogs and wolves,” he explained.

Stanton told CNN that the period the puppy is from is “a very interesting time in terms of wolf and dog evolution.”

“We don’t know exactly when dogs were domesticated, but it may have been from about that time. We are interested in whether it is in fact a dog or a wolf, or perhaps it’s something halfway between the two,” he said.

Further tests might provide more insight into exactly when dogs were domesticated, Stanton said.

Modern dogs are thought to have been domesticated from wolves, but exactly when is unclear — in 2017, a study published in the journal Nature Communications found that modern dogs were domesticated from a single population of wolves 20,000 to 40,000 years ago.

In contrast, a 2016 University of Oxford study, published in the journal Science, suggested that dogs were independently domesticated twice from gray wolves during the Paleolithic era, once in Asia and once in Europe.

Scientists from the Center for Palaeogenetics said on Twitter that genome analysis had revealed that the puppy was male. They said that, after conferring with their Russian colleagues, they would call the puppy Dogor — meaning “friend” in Yakutian.

The scientists plan to run more genome data tests on the creature to find out more about its origins.

from:    https://www.news8000.com/lifestyle/18000yearold-frozen-puppy-leaves-scientists-baffled/1146175495

Dogs Calling 911

The tablet for DOGS that will allow service animals to call 911 for their owners

  • Dogs can be trained to use the touchscreen to make calls or send texts 
  • It can also be used if the dog’s owner falls or if they hear them ask for help
  • After the dog uses its nose to push the buttons, a computer connected to the touchscreen can be programmed to call anyone, such as 911 or a family member
  • The FIDO project team say they hope the technology can be commercially available soon for service dogs, but it’s still at the prototype stage

The researchers, who have already developed a vest that lets dogs deliver messages, and send their GPS co-ordinates, developed the touchscreen to train dogs to activate a device if their owner falls or if they hear them ask for help.

The technology could help save lives, particularly those the elderly who are at higher risk of falling.

Scroll down for video 

Researchers based at the Georgia Institute of Technology trained dogs to approach a large TV-sized touchscreen and use their nose to dial 911 when they hear the word 'help'. Pictured is the touchscreen used, with icons colored in blue and yellow which the dogs can see

The technology was developed by a team of researchers for FIDO project at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Dr Melody Jackson, director of the animal-computer interaction lab at Georgia Tech, told CNN: ‘The dog could go over to a touchscreen and touch a series of icons on the touchscreen and call 911 with your location.’

‘We think that, literally, this could change lives, make lives so much better, and be a life-saver.’

She said that service dogs as well as regular companion pets could be use the touchscreen technology.

Dr Jackson and her team said that they realized that both service dogs and working dogs have information that they need to impart to their handlers.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Dr Melody Jackson, director of the animal-computer interaction lab at Georgia Tech, and her colleagues have trained her border collie Sky, as well as other dogs, to approach a large TV-sized touchscreen and use their nose to dial 911 when they hear the word ‘help’.

After the dog uses its nose to push the buttons, a computer connected to the touchscreen can be programmed to call anyone, for example a family member, doctor or 911.

According to Clint Zeagler, a researcher at Georgia Tech, the buttons are colored in blue and yellow because dogs are red-green colorblind.

He says that here are only three buttons on the screen to reduce the chance of accidental calls being made if the dog hits the screen accidentally.

For example, medical alert dogs may need to alert 911 if their owner falls, or a military  dog may need to alert their handler as to what kind of explosive they’ve found.

Dr Jackson, who is also a dog trainer, and her colleagues have trained her border collie Sky, as well as other dogs, to approach a large TV-sized touchscreen and use their nose to dial 911 when they hear the word ‘help’.

After the dog uses its nose to push the buttons, a computer connected to the touchscreen can be programmed to call anyone, for example a family member, doctor or 911.

According to Clint Zeagler, a researcher at Georgia Tech, the buttons are colored in blue and yellow because dogs are red-green colorblind.

He says that there are only three buttons on the screen to reduce the chance of accidental calls being made if the dog hits the screen accidentally.

The researchers are testing what size the buttons should be, what colors they should be and what hardware should be used for the dogs to optimize the technology.

The researchers also developed a wearable vest for dogs that lets dogs deliver messages and even send their GPS co-ordinates.

The researchers also developed a wearable vest for dogs that lets them deliver messages and make calls. Pulling or biting certain features on the vest activate sensors which send signals to a computer in the vest which can make a phone call, send a text or play an audio message

The researchers also developed a wearable vest for dogs that lets them deliver messages and make calls. Pulling or biting certain features on the vest activate sensors which send signals to a computer in the vest which can make a phone call, send a text or play an audio message

The sensors on the vest either have a chew toy for the dog to bite on for a command, or a rope to tug for another command.

These actions activate sensors which send signals to a computer in the vest which can make a phone call, send a text or play an audio message.

An audio message could for example let someone know that the dog has already called for help or that it needs more assistance for its owner.

For example, some seizure alert dogs can sense the onset of seizures, and they’re trained to push their owners against a wall to lessen their fall, and lick their face during the seizure.

The FIDO project team say that they hope these technologies can be commercially available for service animals soon, but the technologies are still at the prototype stage.

The FIDO project team say that they hope these technologies can be commercially available for service animals soon, but the technologies are still at the prototype stage.

But with the vest, a seizure alert dog could also tug a sensor on their vest to call 911.

‘We want to be able to let these dogs communicate with humans very specifically and very clearly so that even a person who isn’t a dog trainer will understand what’s going on,’ said Dr Jackson.

‘If the dog runs up to you and a speaker says, “Excuse me, my handler needs your attention; can you please follow me,” OK, that’s clear.’

The FIDO project team say that they hope these technologies can be commercially available for service animals soon, but the technologies are still at the prototype stage.

Those Practical Pooches!

Dogs use deception to get what they want from humans (a sausage)

Dog
Spot the con artist

Ilka & Franz/Getty

Dogs are all honest, loyal and obedient, right? Well, not always. Our pets can be sneaky and manipulative when they want to maximise the number of tasty treats they get to eat.

Marianne Heberlein, who studies dog cognition at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, wanted to test the animals’ ability to use deception to get what they want from humans.

She got the idea to study doggie deception from watching her own dogs. One occasionally pretends to see something interesting in the backyard to trick the other into giving up the prime sleeping spot. “This sort of thing happens quite often, but it is not well studied,” she says.

To see if dogs would deceive humans too, Heberlein and her colleagues paired various pooches with two partners – one who always gave the dog treats and another who always kept the treats.

Thinking inside the box

After the dogs learned which partner was cooperative and which was competitive, the pets were given the opportunity to lead each partner to one of three boxes containing either a juicy sausage, a less-appetising dry dog biscuit or nothing at all.

After each trial, they led their owner to one of the boxes, and the owner would allow them to eat whatever was inside. This gave them an incentive to deceive the competitive partner by taking them to the empty box before leading their owner to the tasty treat. And that’s just what they did.

Over two days of testing, the dogs led the cooperative partner to the sausage box more often than expected by chance, and more often than they led the competitive partner there.

They also led the competitive partner to the sausage less often than expected by chance, and to the empty box more often than they led the cooperative partner there.

“They showed an impressive flexibility in behaviour,” says Heberlein. “They’re not just sticking to a strict rule, but thinking about what different options they have.”

Fast learner

Heberlein was also surprised how rapidly some dogs figured out the optimal behaviour. A few of them led the competitive partner to the empty box from the very first trial, and always managed to get the most treats.

“They were really quickly able to differentiate between the two partners. There was no additional learning step needed,” Heberlein says. Other animals, such as monkeys, often need dozens of repetitions to learn similar lessons, she says.

This feeds into an ongoing debate about what kinds of sophisticated cognitive abilities dogs and other animals share with humans, says Daphna Buchsbaum, who studies dog cognition at the University of Toronto in Canada. “We wonder, ‘Can they understand people’s mental state and motivations, and what causes people’s behaviour?’”

This work is a good first step, Buchsbaum says, the question is whether dogs are flexible enough to deceive in other contexts. “If they can, I’d say it was evidence of very sophisticated social reasoning,” she says.

Journal reference: Animal Cognition, DOI: 10.1007/s10071-017-1078-6

 

from:    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2124087-dogs-use-deception-to-get-what-they-want-from-humans-a-sausage/

The Minds Of Dogs

Dogs understand what we say AND how we say it: Researchers find canine brains are far more capable than thought

  • Dogs, like people, use the left hemisphere to process words
  • Right hemisphere brain region is used to process intonation
  • Praising activates dog’s reward centre only when both match

A groundbreaking study to investigate how dog brains process speech has revealed canines care about both what we say and how we say it.

It discovered that dogs, like people, use the left hemisphere to process words, and the right hemisphere brain region to process intonation.

It found praise activates dog’s reward centre only when both words and intonation match, according to the new study in Science.

Trained dogs around the fMRI scanner used in the study: Dogs, like people, use the left hemisphere to process words, and the right hemisphere brain region to process intonation, according to the new study in Science.

Trained dogs around the fMRI scanner used in the study: Dogs, like people, use the left hemisphere to process words, and the right hemisphere brain region to process intonation, according to the new study in Science.

WHAT THEY FOUND

The brain activation images showed that dogs prefer to use their left hemisphere to process meaningful but not meaningless words.

This left bias was present for weak and strong levels of brain activations as well, and it was independent of intonation.

Dogs activate a right hemisphere brain area to tell apart praising and non-praising intonation.

Researchers also say dogs developed the neural mechanisms to process words much earlier than thought.

‘The human brain not only separately analyzes what we say and how we say it, but also integrates the two types of information, to arrive at a unified meaning.

‘Our findings suggest that dogs can also do all that, and they use very similar brain mechanisms,’ said lead researcher Attila Andics of Department of Ethology and MTA-ELTE Comparative Ethology Research Group at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest.

Andics and colleagues also found that praise activated dogs’ reward centre – the brain region which responds to all sorts of pleasurable stimuli, like food, sex, being petted, or even nice music in humans.

Importantly, the reward centre was active only when dogs heard praise words in praising intonation.

‘It shows that for dogs, a nice praise can very well work as a reward, but it works best if both words and intonation match.

‘So dogs not only tell apart what we say and how we say it, but they can also combine the two, for a correct interpretation of what those words really meant.

HOW THEY DID IT

Dogs were exposed to recordings of their trainers’ voices as the trainers spoke to them using multiple combinations of vocabulary and intonation, in both praising and neutral ways.

For example, trainers spoke praise words with a praising intonation, praise words with a neutral intonation, neutral words with a praising intonation, and neutral words with neutral intonation.

Researcher Anna Gábor is talking to Barack. Dogs were exposed to recordings of their trainers’ voices as the trainers spoke to them using multiple combinations of vocabulary and intonation, in both praising and neutral ways.

Researcher Anna Gábor is talking to Barack. Dogs were exposed to recordings of their trainers’ voices as the trainers spoke to them using multiple combinations of vocabulary and intonation, in both praising and neutral ways.

Researchers used fMRI to analyze the dogs’ brain activity as the animals listened to each combination.

Their results reveal that, regardless of intonation, dogs process vocabulary, recognizing each word as distinct, and further, that they do so in a way similar to humans, using the left hemisphere of the brain.

Researchers used fMRI to analyze the dogs’ brain activity as the animals listened to each combination.

Researchers used fMRI to analyze the dogs’ brain activity as the animals listened to each combination.

Also like humans, the researchers found that dogs process intonation separately from vocabulary, in auditory regions in the right hemisphere of the brain.

Lastly, and also like humans, the team found that the dogs relied on both word meaning and intonation when processing the reward value of utterances.

Barack is lying on the fMRI bed,

Barack is lying on the fMRI bed, and inside the machine

‘Again, this is very similar to what human brains do,’ Andics said.

The Hungarian research group shows the capability is not unique to the human brain, the researchers say.

It shows that if an environment is rich in speech, as is the case of family dogs, word meaning representations can arise in the brain, even in a non-primate mammal that is not able to speak.

Researchers used fMRI to analyze the dogs’ brain activity as the animals listened to each combination.

Researchers used fMRI to analyze the dogs’ brain activity as the animals listened to each combination.

‘During speech processing, there is a well-known distribution of labor in the human brain.

‘It is mainly the left hemisphere’s job to process word meaning, and the right hemisphere’s job to process intonation.

‘We trained thirteen dogs to lay completely motionless in an fMRI brain scanner.

The dogs were trained outside the machine to lie still so the readings could be taken

The dogs were trained outside the machine to lie still so the readings could be taken

Dogs are listening to their trainer, Márta Gácsi during the training process for the experiment

Dogs are listening to their trainer, Márta Gácsi during the training process for the experiment

‘fMRI provides a non-invasive, harmless way of measurement that dogs enjoy to take part of,’ said Márta Gácsi, ethologist, the developer of the training method, author of the study.

‘We measured dogs’ brain activity as they listened to their trainer’s speech,’ explains Anna Gábor, PhD student, author of the study.

‘Dogs heard praise words in praising intonation, praise words in neutral intonation, and also neutral conjunction words, meaningless to them, in praising and neutral intonations.

‘We looked for brain regions that differentiated between meaningful and meaningless words, or between praising and non-praising intonations.’

Dogs, like people, use the left hemisphere to process words, and the right hemisphere brain region to process intonation, according to the new study in Science.

Dogs, like people, use the left hemisphere to process words, and the right hemisphere brain region to process intonation, according to the new study in Science.

A 100 MILLIION YEAR TALENT

Previous findings by the tem suggest that voice areas evolved at least 100 million years ago, the age of the last common ancestor of humans and dogs, the researchers say.

It also offers new insight into humans’ unique connection with our best friends in the animal kingdom and helps to explain the behavioral and neural mechanisms that made this alliance so effective for tens of thousands of years.

The brain activation images showed that dogs prefer to use their left hemisphere to process meaningful but not meaningless words.

This left bias was present for weak and strong levels of brain activations as well, and it was independent of intonation.

Dogs activate a right hemisphere brain area to tell apart praising and non-praising intonation.

This was the same auditory brain region that this group of researchers previously found in dogs for processing emotional non-speech sounds from both dogs and humans, suggesting that intonation processing mechanisms are not specific to speech.

Dogs are lying motionless and listening to their trainer during the research.

Dogs are lying motionless and listening to their trainer during the research.

This study is the first step to understanding how dogs interpret human speech, and these results can also help to make communication and cooperation between dogs and humans even more efficient, the researchers say.

These findings also have important conclusions about humans.

‘Our research sheds new light on the emergence of words mduring language evolution. What makes words uniquely human is not a special neural capacity, but our invention of using them,’ Andics explains.

Nepal Thank-You-Dog Festival

There Is A Festival In Nepal Every Year That Thanks Dogs For Being Our Friends

There is an entire day during a festival in Nepal dedicated solely to thanking dogs for their loyalty and friendship. The time itself is called “Diwali” celebrated by Hindus, and is a ‘festival of lights’ celebrated by millions every year in the fall, in india, nepal and elsewhere.

Specific to Nepal, there is a day during this celebration dedicated to all the Dogs, called Kukur Tihar, specifically to thank our 4-legged companions for always being our loyal friends.

dogss
Image source: imgur

Tihar is a five day Hindu festival, but the second day is reserved for our loyal companions.

It is called Kukur Tihar or Kukur Puja (worship of the dogs).

festival for dogs
Image source: Imgur

People offer garlands, tika (a mark worn on the forehead), and delicious food to dogs, and acknowledge the cherished relationship between humans and dogs.

festival for dogs

The garlands are a sign of respect for the animals.

Because dogs are the best people.

festival for dogs
Image source: imgur.com
festival for dogs
Inage source: imgur

The images honoring these animals are truly breathtaking.

tihar
Image source

The thought of this beautiful festival is lightening the heavy hearts of dog lovers everywhere, amid horrendous news bites from another kind of festival in Yulin, China, recently.

With red powder, the dogs are marked on their foreheads as a sign of sacredness.

dogss
Image source: Rebloggy

from:    http://themindunleashed.org/2015/06/there-is-a-festival-in-nepal-every-year-that-thanks-dogs-for-being-our-friends.html

Ah, Doggies!

Why People Love Their Dogs So Much, According to Science

DOGS

By MaryAnn Barone

Whether it’s during a run through the park or after offering a treat, there’s no feeling like looking at your pet adoringly and getting a loving stare right back.

You don’t have to tell dog lovers the feeling is both mutual (and very real), but a new study published in the journal Science reveals the fascinating reason why we feel so close to our furry companions: When humans and dogs look into each other’s eyes, both get a boost of the feel-good hormone oxytocin, which is the same hormone behind the special bond between new parents and their babies.

To reach their results, researchers had 30 dog-and-human pairs come into a lab to look in each other’s eyes and give urine samples. Oxytocin concentrations were then measured in the human and animal samples. In the end, the dogs had a 130 percent rise in oxytocin levels, and owners showed a 300 percent increase, regardless of gender.

Your pets do a lot more than just make you feel happiness and love: They can also help lower your cholesterol, relieve stress, and boost your self-esteem.

If this has finally convinced you it’s time to get a dog, do your research. Learn about active or hypoallergenic breeds, and don’t forget about the many shelter pets in need of homes!

Already have a dog? Now that it’s spring, get ready to hit the trails, beach, or sidewalk with your four-legged friend. Staying in shape is good for the both of you.

Why People Love Their Dogs So Much, According To Science originally appeared on Health.com.

from:    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/12/why-people-love-their-dog_n_7204984.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul&ir=GPS+for+the+Soul

People Looking Like Their Pets

Why do people look like their pets? It’s in the eyes.

A recent study finds that people can pair pet owners with their dogs simply by looking at photos of their eyes, but scientists aren’t sure how we’re able to do this.

See the resemblance? (Photo: Tambako The Jaguar/flickr)

If you were provided with photos of a random set of people, as well as separate photos of those people’s dogs, chances are, you could match up the right person with their pet.
How? Scientists think it has something to do with the eyes — they’re just not sure what exactly that something is.
Sadahiko Nakajima, a psychologist at Japan’s Kwansei Gakuin University, has been trying to figure out how people are able to match pets with their owners at a rate greater than chance could account for.
He considered the obvious: Maybe men are simply more likely to own large breed dogs. Perhaps women with long hair are more likely to have dogs with long, floppy ears.
However, even when experiments are designed to exclude these superficial characteristics, people are still able to match strangers with the correct pets.
In a 2009 study, Nakajima found that participants could not only match photos of pet owners with their dogs by facial appearance alone, but they could also recognize which randomly paired dog-and-owner photos were fake.
This clued Nakajima in that something about facial appearances was giving participants hints at which dog belonged to which person, so he designed an experiment to determine what part of the face was responsible.
He created test sheets that each included 20 sets of dog-human pairs. One sheet featured actual dog-human pairs while the other had randomly matched pairs.
dogs look like owners experimentThe photos were basic headshots cropped at the shoulders, and the photos sets included an equal number of male and female owners, as well as a variety of dog breeds.
The 502 Japanese undergraduate students who participated in the study were randomly assigned to one of five different groups. Each group received test sheets that had been “masked” in a different way.
In one, the humans’ eyes were covered, and in another, the dogs’ eyes were. One also showed only both the dogs’ and humans’ eyes, while another covered their mouths.
The control group received photos that showed the full faces of the humans and the dogs.
Those who saw the unobstructed faces were quite good at determining which human-dog pairs were fake, and 80 percent were able to select the real-life human-dog pairs.
The group that received the photos with concealed mouths were also fairly good with 73 percent making the correct matches.
However, when the humans’ eyes or dogs’ eyes were covered, participants’ ability to select the right human-dog pairs fell to statistically chance levels.
But those in the eye-only group proved to be almost as good as selecting the real-life human-dog pairs as those who viewed the unobstructed faces. Seventy-four percent chose the correct pairs by looking at the eyes alone.
This finding was so surprising that Nakajima duplicated the study with an entirely new batch of participants and this time, 76 percent picked the right pairs.
As Nakajima notes in the study, because all the human models were Asian, they all had similar dark-colored eyes, so there must be something else — some shared look — that clues people in to what dog belongs to which person.
He’s not sure what it is about the eyes that communicates a shared bond, but this isn’t the first study that’s found people are able to extract psychological cues from the eyes.
In fact, a 2009 Tufts University study found that participants were able to discern a stranger’s sexual orientation simply from looking at photos of people’s eyes.

Things Humans Do That Dogs Hate

11 things humans do that dogs hate

There are many ways you can drive a dog nuts — and you probably aren’t even aware of them. So if you want to be your dog’s best friend, find out how you can fix your annoying habits.

Sometimes, dogs get impatient with our mixed signals. Don’t you want to do better? (Photo: Hannamariah/Shutterstock)

Dogs try to be our best friends, but boy do we ever make it difficult sometimes. Here are some of the things we do that might make dogs question whether they want to remain best buds or cut ties completely
Using words more than body language
We’re a vocal species. We love to chatter away, even at our pets, who can’t understand the vast majority of what we’re saying. Dogs might be able to deduce what a few key words mean — walk, treat, toy, off — and maybe even learn hundreds of words as some border collies have done. But they can’t understand human language. What they rely on to figure out what we mean is our body language. Dogs have evolved to be expert readers of the human body and can figure out what you’re thinking and feeling before you even realize you’re thinking and feeling it. But we can easily send mixed signals if we are only paying attention to what our mouths are saying and not what our bodies are saying. If you go to any beginning dog training class, you’ll see plenty of people saying one thing, doing another, and a confused dog trying to figure out what in the world is wanted of them. For instance, telling a dog to “stay” while leaning forward toward the dog and holding out a hand like a traffic cop is, in body language, actually inviting the dog to come toward you. But when the dog does, she gets reprimanded for breaking her stay command. It’s all so confusing!
A great experiment (and something that will probably have your dog sighing with relief) is to try to spend a whole day not saying a word to your dog, but communicating only with your body. You’ll realize just how much you “talk” with your body without realizing it, how to use your movements and body position to get the response you need from your dog during training, and how involved a conversation can be without emitting a single sound.
Hugging your dog
While you might love wrapping your arms around a furry canine friend, most dogs hate hugs. We as primates think hugs are awesome and express support, love, joy and other emotions through hugs. It’s totally normal to us to wrap our arms around something and squeeze, and it only means good things. But dogs did not evolve this way. Canids don’t have arms and they don’t hug. Rather than camaraderie, if a dog places a foreleg or paw on the back of another dog, this is considered an act of dominance. No matter your intentions with hugging, a dog is hardwired to view the act of hugging as you exerting your dominance. Many dogs will tolerate it with grace — the smiling face of the family golden retriever with a child’s arms wrapped around it comes to mind. But some dogs will feel threatened, fearful, or just flat out loathe the feeling — and in fact, a child grabbing a dog for a hug is why many dog bites occur. Also, the same dog that enjoys one person’s hug might react entirely differently with another family member who tries the same thing. You’d be hard-pressed to find a dog that actually enjoys or seeks out hugs.
girl hugging dog
This dog is barely tolerating a hug from the little girl. Everything about the tense mouth, eyes and ears say that this is not something the dog is enjoying, and this is a potential safety issue for the little girl. (Photo:Dwight Smith/Shutterstock)
If you’re wondering if your dog hates your hugs, just pay attention to her body language when you go in for a cuddle. Does she tense up? Lean her head away from you? Avoid even a hint of eye contact? Lick her lips? Keep her mouth closed? Pull her ears back against her head? All of these are signs that a dog is uncomfortable. Yes, even the dog licking her lips while someone snuggles her is not showing that she is overcome with love, it is showing submissive, even nervous behavior. So next time you want to go in for a hug, pay very close attention to whether or not the dog is okay with it. After all, you’re putting your face right next to a set of sharp teeth.
Petting a dog’s face or patting her head
Do you like to be patted on the head? My guess is no. Having someone reach out and tap us on the head, no matter how lovingly, is not something most of us enjoy. It’s annoying at best and painful at worst. And we really don’t want the hands of strangers reaching toward our face. If someone were to reach their hand toward your face, I’m guessing your reaction would be to pull your head back and lean away, and get a little tense about the invasion of personal space. Yet most humans think that dogs like being patted on the head. The reality is that while many dogs will put up with this if it’s someone they know and trust, most dogs don’t enjoy it. You may notice that even the loving family dog might lean away slightly when you reach for her face to pet her. She’ll let you because you’re the boss, but she doesn’t like it. It’s a personal space issue for dogs just as much as it is for us. This is why responsible parents teach their children to gently pet a dog’s back or rear, but don’t pat, and definitely don’t go for the dog’s face. If you really want to reward your dog for being awesome, don’t bang on their head, but give them a rub on their rear end right by the tail. They’ll thank you for it!
Walking up to a strange dog while looking her in the eye
We all know how powerful eye contact is. While we view steady eye contact as important, as a sign of trustworthiness or focus, we have to also be aware that eye contact can feel unnerving, uncomfortable and domineering. It’s creepy when a stranger looks us in the eye without breaking contact, especially as they’re approaching. It’s clear their attention is zeroed in, but what is their intention? We have to read the rest of their face for the cues. Eye contact is part of establishing dominance for many species, and in humans, we can use the tiniest of details about the rest of the face — the softness or hardness of the muscles around the eyes and mouth — to determine if the stare is friendly or not. And even then, it’s still creepy to have a stranger stare at us! It feels the same way for dogs. When you look a strange dog right in the eye, unblinking, you might be smiling and trying to warm up to them but the dog is probably reading it as an act of dominance or even aggression. They might display a submissive response — looking away, doing a little wiggle for pets, rolling over onto their backs — or they might start backing up and barking. Either way, for most dogs, a stranger looking it right in the eye while approaching is not a comfortable situation.
If you want to say hello to a new dog in a way that is comfortable for both of you, approach with your body angled slightly (not with your shoulders squared toward the dog), your eyes slightly averted, and speak quietly with a gentle voice. All these body language cues of friendship will help a dog understand you mean no harm. The dog might still want nothing to do with you, but at least you didn’t approach in a scary way that could cause a defensive or aggressive reaction.
Not providing structure and rules
Dogs want, need, and love having rules. You might think having strict rules makes life boring or unhappy for your dog. But dogs really want to know what’s what according to their leader. And really, it’s not so hard to relate as humans. Children thrive when they have a consistent set of rules to follow, and they do less well in environments that provide them a free-for-all. Think about polite, well-balanced kids you know, and the spoiled kids who lack social skills or throw temper tantrums when they don’t get what they want. Which set of kids are the ones with consistently enforced rules and boundaries? And which set tends to be most consistently happy? With dogs, it’s pretty much the same thing. Rules make life a lot more predictable, a lot less confusing and a lot less stressful.
And speaking of confusing, dogs don’t understand exceptions to rules. They don’t understand that they’re allowed to jump on you when you have leisure clothes on but not when you have work clothes on. They don’t understand that they’re allowed on the couch after a bath but not after coming in from a romp in the mud. Additionally, saying “No” for breaking a rule but not actually doing something to help the dog stop the behavior and learn the rule doesn’t count as enforcement. Dogs thrive when they know where the boundaries are, and when you spend time enforcing consistent boundaries with positive rewards, you also are building up their trust in you as a leader. You’re setting up conditions for a very happy dog!
Forcing your dog to interact with dogs or people she clearly doesn’t like
Just like so many other social species, dogs have their favorite friends and their enemies. It is easy to see what other dogs — and people, for that matter — that a dog wants to hang out with and those with whom she’d rather not associate. Yet, there are a lot of dog owners who go into denial about this or simply fail to read the cues their dog is giving them. It is common for overly enthusiastic owners to push their dog (sometimes literally) into social situations at dog parks when their dog would rather just go home. Or they allow strangers to pet their dog even when she is showing clear signs of wanting to be left alone.
It is important to note that there is a difference between positive encouragement with shy, fearful, or reactive dogs. Taking small steps to encourage them out of their comfort zone and giving them rewards for any amount of calm, happy social behavior is important to helping them live a balanced life. But knowing the difference between gentle, rewards-based boundary pushing and forcing an interaction is vital to your dog’s safety and sanity. When dogs are pushed too far in social situations, they’re more likely to lash out with a bite or a fight. They’ve given cue after cue — ignoring, avoiding, maybe even growling — and finally they’ve had enough and give the clearest message of all with their teeth. What is possibly even worse, is that their trust in you as a protective leader is eroded, and they have an even more negative association with a park, a certain dog or person, or a general social setting. So do your dog a favor: read the body language she gives you when she doesn’t want to be around certain other individuals and don’t force it.
Going for walks without opportunity to explore and smell
There are walks, and there are walks. It’s definitely important to have a dog that knows how to walk obediently on a leash. However, it’s also important to allow a dog to have some time to explore her surroundings while walking obediently on a leash. Dogs see with their noses, and they place as much importance on their sense of smell as we humans place on our sense of vision for interpreting the world around us. It’s probably safe to say that dogs appreciate the smell of a tree trunk the way we appreciate a beautiful sunset. Dogs loathe not being able to take in their world for at least a few minutes a day, and too often we humans are focused on going on walks for the sole purpose of exercise or potty breaks. We trudge along the same old route, often without any variety or sense of leisure, and in too much of a hurry to get back home again.
dog smelling grass
The sense of smell is how a dog takes in the world, and sometimes they’re simply desperate for a chance to take a good sniff. (Photo:Csehak Szabolcs /Shutterstock)
Do your dog a favor and dedicate one of your daily walks to having a “smell walk” — going slow and letting your dog take in the world with her nose. Go somewhere entirely new, explore a different neighborhood or trail, let your dog sniff at a spot until she gets her fill, even if it’s for minutes at a time before moving forward. For helping your dog know the difference between a walk where she should be obedient and stay beside you, and a walk where she is free to explore, you can have a special backpack or harness that you use only for smell walks. Just make sure it is something very different from your usual collar and leash set-up so the different purpose for the walk is obvious to your dog. These walks are a wonderful opportunity for your dog to get some of the mental and sensory stimulation that keeps life interesting for her.
Keeping a tight leash, literally
Just as dogs are amazing at reading our body language, they’re amazing at reading our tension levels even through the leash. By keeping a tight leash on a dog, you’re raising the level of stress, frustration, and excitement for your dog, and conversely, for you. I know what you might be thinking: “I don’t want to hold a tight leash, but I have to. My dog is the one pulling, not me!” But this is why it is so important to teach a dog how to walk on a slack leash.
An amazing amount of energy is transferred between you and your dog through that little strip of canvas or leather. By keeping a loose leash, you’re letting your dog know that everything is fine and dandy, that there’s no reason to be worried or tense. With a slack leash you’re saying to your dog that you are calm and have everything under control so your dog is free to be calm as well. On the other hand, by keeping a tight leash you’re sending a message to your dog that you’re tense, nervous, on alert, ready to fight or fly, and your dog responds in kind. Just as you don’t like your dog pulling you around, it doesn’t feel good to your dog to constantly be pulled and thus cued to be on alert. They’re also well-aware that they can’t get away from you even if they think they need to. A dog that walks on a tight leash is more apt to bark or be reactive in even the most mild of social situations. But a dog that can walk on a slack leash is more likely to be calm. This is a difficult thing to master, and something the majority of dog owners can commiserate about, but it is so important to having pleasant walks with a relaxed dog.
Being tense
Tension on the leash isn’t the only way a dog can pick up how you’re feeling. You can tell when a person you’re around is feeling tense, even if you don’t realize it. Dogs have the same ability. The more stressed and wound-up you are, the more stressed and wound-up your dog is. And dogs, just like us, don’t like that feeling. You might roll your eyes, but the next time your dog is acting frustrated and tense, check in with yourself — have you been feeling that way for the last few minutes, for the last few hours, or the last few days? Your dog might just be acting as your mirror. If you need a reason to meditate, helping your dog calm down is a great one.
Being boring
You know that feeling of being stuck hanging around someone who is totally boring? Think back: remember having to be with your parents while they ran grown-up errands? None of which revolved around a toy store or park, of course. Remember that feeling of barely being able to contain yourself, of wanting to squirm and groan and complain. You couldn’t take part in the adult conversation, which was boring anyway, and you were told to sit still and hush. But oh boy did you ever want to just moooove! Just run around the block or something to break the monotony. That’s how your dog feels when you’re busy being that boring grown-up. Dogs abhor it when we’re boring. And it’s hard not to be! We get home from work and we want to unwind, to get a few chores done, to make dinner and sack out on the couch and relax. But that’s about the most annoying thing we could do to our dogs who have been waiting around all day for us to finally play with them.
If your dog is making trouble — getting into boxes or closets, eating shoes or chewing on table legs — she’s basically showing you just how incredibly bored she is. Luckily, there is a quick and easy solution to this: training games. Teaching your dog a new trick, working on old tricks, playing a game of “find it” with a favorite toy, or going out and using a walk as a chance to work on urban agility, are all ways to stimulate both your dog’s mind and body. An hour of training is worth a couple hours playing a repetitive game of fetch in terms of wearing a dog out. While of course exercise and walks are important, adding in some brain work will make your dog happy-tired. Even just 15-30 minutes of trick training a day will make a big difference.
Teasing
This should be obvious, and we won’t spend too much time on it. But it’s worth pointing out because too many people still think it’s funny. Don’t bark at a dog as you pass it on the street. Don’t wave or talk to a dog that is barking at you from behind a window or door. Don’t pull on a dog’s tail. The list can go on and on, but in short, don’t do something you know makes a dog mad just because you think it’s funny. It’s not funny to the dog and can lead to some serious behavioral problems — and, perhaps deservedly, you getting to sport some new dog-shaped teeth marks.
Further Reading
If you’d like to learn more about how to be a better friend to your dog, try these great book recommendations. For example, in “The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs” professional behaviorist and trainer Patricia B. McConnell goes into excellent detail about the species differences between primates and canids and why dogs don’t appreciate our hugs, as well as many other great ways of understanding a dog’s perspective about the world. Meanwhile, in “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know” by Alexandra Horowitz, you’ll get a chance to see the world through a dog’s eyes and learn so much about body language, the importance of scent, and other things that will help you know more about what your dog wants out of life. And for understanding more about how clicker training and training games can help you and your dog get along better, try “Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals” by Karen Pryor. Follow the link for these and more great reads.

 

Howling in Dogs

Why Do Dogs Howl?

Elizabeth Palermo, Life’s Little Mysteries Contributor
Date: 22 May 2013 Time: 05:46 PM ET
A wolf howls in front of the moon.
 Dogs share their knack for howling with their distant relatives, the wolves.
CREDIT: sonsam, Shutterstock

Understanding your dog’s behavior can be a daunting task. For example, why do dogs howl?

Researchers admit that howling behavior in dogs is still largely a mystery. But if Fido goes wild at the sound of sirens or other dogs, it’s not because his ears hurt. It’s his ancestry that’s partly to blame.

Your pooch shares his penchant for howling with his distant relation, the wolf. Much like barking or growling, howling is a deeply ingrained behavior that helps wolves communicate with one another.

In the wild, a howl usually relays one of two messages: either to tell a rival pack that they’re encroaching on forbidden territory or to guide a wayward wolf back to his pack.

If your dog howls in response to another dog or a loud siren, he may be saying, “Get off my turf!” or just, “Where are you guys? I’m over here!”

And if your dog howls when you leave the house, it might be because he thinks that this ruckus will trigger some response from you, his pack leader. Your pet probably hopes that his howl will guide you home in time for dinner and a game of fetch.

from:    http://www.livescience.com/34616-why-dogs-howl-sirens.html

Homeopathy & Pets

Homeopathy

Homeopathy is a form of energy therapy that is used cure animals, like dogs, that are sick, have parasites or are in pain. It is a means of curing and strengthening the weakened electro magnetic field to make the dog feel stronger and rejuvenated.
What it is
Based on the thought “like cures like”, homeopathy believes that a medicine can cure a sick animal only if it can cause a similar sickness in a healthy animal. For example, a bee sting can be treated by a medicine, which has the same diluted venom.
Can it be used along with allopathy
Homeopathic medicines can be used even if allopathic or other medicines are being used, but it is believed that their effectiveness decreases if drugs, pesticides, cortisone and other immune depressive chemicals are being used.
Precautions while homeopathic medicines are being used.
· Homeopathy is an energy medicine and thus the dog should NOT be given garlic, onions, ginger and other root nodules during the course.
· Homeopathic medicines should be taken at least ½ hour before and an hour after eating. They should not be touched by hand and be given in the precise quantity mentioned.
· The potency of the medicine decides the effectiveness of the medicine. A drug that is less potent would require a stronger dosage than one, which is not.
Prevention of disease
· Homeopathy can be used in place of the rabies vaccine. It works by protecting the body by developing a stronger immune system. The chances of the dog turning rabid despite being given the vaccine inoculation are relatively reduced.
· It helps dogs affected by paralysis and deranged Central Nervous System symptoms, chasing imaginary objects in the air or snapping their jaws rhythmically in the air at nothing.
· Homeopathy in this light is PALLIATIVE as it prevents any breakdown of an organ and instead looks at preventive cure or at inducing a cure from the organ itself.
· Rabies, Canine Distemper and Aluminium as an ingredient in vaccines or as a pollutant in the food chain are known to be causative factors leading to skin problems, endocrine and digestion deficiencies, allergies, toxicities of the liver, kidney and heart with resulting failure of these organs.
· Allopathy can cause cysts and tumours, which are produced in the ovaries and the pancreas resulting in extreme abdominal pain at times even pushing the dog into a state of insulin coma. Homeopathy does not involve such doses of any medication and thus does not harm the dog.
· Breakdown of the body by allopathic medicines is not surprising as the widespread use of pathogens affects the brain, the central nervous system and thus affects each organ and tissue of the body.
· The pup can start on homeopathic medication by the time it is 3 months old. The puppy starts a series of six valent modified live oral vaccination 2-3 weeks apart until 6 months old and then a 6 month or yearly booster can be given.
· The requisite gap between vaccinations is around 6 weeks for the immune stimulating process to recover in order to respond properly to the next dose.
· Puppies are given medications for Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Corona, Parvo and Kennel Cough all in one vaccine. The first three are in one vaccine with the Leukaemia vaccine is separate.
· Rabies vaccine uses a modified live virus (still preferred by health care individuals) but lately killed Rabies is also available. This is given when the pup is 4 months old and then when he turns one. Sometimes booster shots are given every three years.
· You may not find oral homeopathic vaccines over the counter but check with vets and homeopaths.
· If breed dogs are treated with homeopathy, their offspring (at least second and third generation) may not be susceptible to breed problems such as hip dysplasia, wobblers, bloat, colic, inter-digestion pyoderma, elongated soft palates and hypothyroidism.
Homeopathy vs Vaccinations: Why Homeopathy is better
· The flaws of vaccination are the strengths of homeopathy. A vaccine with more than two viruses and/or bacteria decreases the presence of antibodies in the immune system of the dog making him more prone to sickness.
· Sicknesses like Canine Hepatitis and Leptospirosis require only one homeopathic vaccine for immunity for life. They DO NOT need a yearly booster.
· Homeopathic prevention is an option as it DOES NOT interfere with the immune system and aids in building a strong life force in the animal.
· Homeopathy vaccines can be used as treatment or prevention of the targeted disease entity. The parvo-homeopathic vaccine nosode is being used to treat the disease caused by the Parvo virus as well as to prevent it.
· Injections and boosters are traumatic and painful. Homeopathy is a more humane option.
Using Homeopathy

· Most homeopathic medicines can be used to treat any sort of sickness in the dog. The following medicines with corresponding potencies are available, however you can opt for a higher or lower potent drug depending on availability. These are twelve tissue salts that are safe for the dog
– Calcarea flour
– Calcarea Phos
– Calcarea sulph
– Ferrum phos
– Kali mur
– Kali phos
– Kali sulph
– Magnesium phos
– Natrum mur
– Natrum phos
– Natrum
– Silicea
· These are all available in potencies ranging from 1X being the strongest going down to 6X. You should choose one depending on the age of the dog.
· Ideally a small dog should not have a drug with a potency of 1X, although homeopathic medicine even in higher potencies is not really harmful.
The following are some common homeopathic medicines
– Aconite
– Arnica 30C
– Arsenic alb 200
– Belladonna 30C
– Hypericum 200
– Calendula 30C/ Q (Q potency indicates original solution and should be used for only external application)

for more, go to:    http://pets.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1060672766.cms