Archives for Miscellaneous (dogs) category

Three times Agility champion Dizzy and Natasha Wise

Some years ago, I got Palette “weave pole” for her birthday so that we can have fun at home. It is one of the obstacle in the sports called “Agility”.

 Agility is a canine sports that dogs goes through all kinds of obstacles with direction of handlers such as tunnels, A shaped obstacle called “A frame”, dog walk,weave pole, jumping bars,teeter etc..and compete the time to finish the course, and how precisely completed the each obstacles.

 It is very exciting to watch team work of one handler and one dog and also exciting to see performance of the dog going through the obstacles.

 According to Wikipedia website, the dog sports “Agility” was born in England 1970’s and first agility  performance documented is at “Cruft Dog Show” in 1978 and agility was performed to entertain the crowd between the classes.

 You can read more on history of dog agility at wikipedia website here .

 I think Agility is great sports for both human and dogs.

 For dogs, they can have outlet for pent up energy plus it is fun for them. Most of all, this canine sports has running,climbing,jumping etc so, they can have physical exercise and mental exercise both through fun sports.

 For us,human, it is fun playing Agility sports with dogs and we can make our bond stronger through the sports and, since this sports seem to involve some level of handling/training skill to teach what they are suppose to do with the obstacles,what obstacles to clear next etc, it will be good also to re-enforce the obedience skills.

 You can see list of obstacles and description at wikipedia website here .

 I am still a beginner knowledge level, and not familiar with detailed rules,levels and all that.

Palette loved weave pole and she weave through with tongue hanging out looking up to me and it is fun. She cannot weave through as fast as dogs in competition can but that is ok. We are playing it for fun.

 Just recently, I came across the Agility competition pair from UK:Border Collie “Dizzy” and Natasha Wise.

I learned they have become the very first pair to become three times world champions (prestigious FCI World Agility Championship) in dog agility. 

According to watfordobserver website Natasha was involved in agility field since she was 7.

You can read more on her at watfordobserver website here, and here at crusfts website.

I searched for the pair’s video and, I watched their performance. They were great.

Dizzy and Natasha Wise

Look at Dizzy how fast he goes especially weave pole.

Amazing…

Do you play sports with your dog?

Jul 30, 2017 | 1 | Miscellaneous (dogs)

How dog learns the words

Have you ever wondered how dog learns the words?

We talk to them every day as if we are talking to the same spices and, we subconsciously expect them to understand us.

Dog listen to you and understands us and follow the command or get whatever you asked for if the dog knows the word, but how do they do that?

How do they learn the words?

Our son is 2.5 years old now and learning words a little by little and it made me wonder how it works for dog.

Let me introduce you to the two Border Collie known for their words learning skill.

Meet the Britain’s smartest dog “Gable”; the border collie..

There is one smart Border Collie in Britain and his name is Gable.

His IQ score is 142 and knows more than 150 words. You ask him to go get specific item out of bunch of items and he can go get it for you as long as he knows the word.

It is impressive, isn’t it?

How dog distinguish one item from another..

According to the article written by Jasmine for k9 magazine, young children generalise names to new objects on the basis of shape, and continue to do so as adults – a tendency known as ‘shape bias’.

This is crucial to language development because it enables children to assign new objects to pre-established classes – for example, to recognize that a tennis ball and a football both belong to the category ‘ball’.

The Lincoln researchers found that when dogs are introduced to new words to refer to new objects, they first generalize based on object size, then on object texture. Unlike humans, they do not appear to naturally be shape bias.
 
The researchers devised four different challenges for Gable, the border collie to determine the extent and nature of his word comprehension.
 
On a number of occasions a selection of ten different objects known to Gable were placed in an enclosure out of sight of Gable and the researchers, and he was then given a verbal instruction to fetch a particular object from the ten.
 
Initial tests confirmed that Gable could easily distinguish between toys he knew well.
 
It was when the researchers introduced new words and novel objects of varying shape, size and texture that Gable began to reveal the absence of shape bias in his choices.
 
He appeared to make distinctions based first on object size, then, when he had longer to become familiar with the new objects, on the basis of texture. Object shape appeared to have no influence.
 
The researchers concluded that the mental lexicon – the long-term mental store containing sound-to-meaning mappings – appears to be fundamentally different in dogs and humans, both in terms of how it is built (word knowledge development) and in how it operates (word reference quality).
 
The researcher stated: “This would suggest that an important factor in the natural structuring of the mental lexicon may be the way in which sensory information is organized in a particular species.”
 
The researchers think Gabe’s visual system and sensory cues linked to his mouth region are focused not on shape, but on size and texture.
This was more supported idea after they have performed the DAX experiment on him.

According to Scientificamerican website article,written by Jason Goldman, the researchers set about replicating the original DAX experiment, with a few modifications. The DAX that they used was bigger than the original 1988 version, so that it wouldn’t provide a choking hazard. Also, rather than using sponge as one of the alternative textures, as this too would have been a choking hazard, they used a variety of cloth textures.

They used; (1) The original DAX. (2) and (3) are size changes. (4) and (5) are texture changes. (6) and (7) are shape changes.

After being taught the relationship between the word “dax” and the object DAX, Gable was familiarized with each of the six alternative objects.

He was presented with ten pairs from within the set of seven objects, and simply asked to retrieve the “dax.”

Unlike the human children and adults, who generalized “dax” to objects of similar shape as the original DAX, Gable generalized “dax” to objects of similar size in each of the ten trials he was given.

That is, he ignored shape and texture, relying instead on size to determine which objects could be considered DAXes. Rather than displaying a shape bias, Gable displayed a “size bias”.

 To read the full article at k9 magazine website,please click here.
Now we know how Gabe learned the word one by one. Clearly, the dog’s word learning works very differently than it does in humans.
To read the full article at scientificamerica website written by Jason Goldman, please click here.
To read the article at university of Lincoln website written by Ian Richards, please click here.
 
How Gable’s mom noticed his uniqueness?
 

According to Daily mail website article written by Natalie Corner, Gabe’s mom Sally Smith realized her border collie was unique when, after telling him to go and retrieve a specific toy, he came back within mere seconds with the correct one.

 ‘I’d asked him to go get “chicken” a toy that was at the top of the stairs, I thought he would be gone for some time…I’d never actually told him the name of his toy. He applied that learning himself without being taught by me,’ Sally explains of her dog’s memory skills.

Veterinary behaviorist “Dr Helen Zulch” says “Gable’s knowledge of words means he knows the same amount as language as a three-year-old child. “

A psychology professor at the University of Southampton adds “Gable has actually learned 300 different pieces of information, he’s learned that word and to discriminate that object.’

To read the full article at daily mail website, please click here.
Meet the Chaser, the Border collie..
 
Another dog named “Chaser”, the border collie knows more than 1,000 words and she is the smartest dog in the world.
 
Here is the smartest dog “Chaser” segment from 60 minutes.

Isn’t it amazing? She could categorize objects into higher-order categories, such as “toys.”

How many words does your dog know?

For fun game, you could start teaching your dog words for many things.They may surprise you:-)

 

 

Jan 25, 2017 | 0 | Miscellaneous (dogs)

Dog breeds you would probably never heard of

There are so many dog breeds in the world. If you see the pictures of dogs, do you think you can guess the breed?

I am pretty confident that I can point at Pembroke/Cardigan Corgis, Poodle, Chihuahua, Golden Retriever, Labrador, Dalmatian etc… The ones that are commonly seen on the street and the one that has big recognizable characteristic in the look.

Even if commonly known in the public, pit bull is hard one to identify. I am not saying that I cannot guess the dog is pit bull but, there are other breed that are similar look to pit bulls like staffordshire bull terrier. So, I am not confident to be able to guess the correct breed name in the pit bull category.

Can you guess the pit bull in this picture sheet at pit bull on the web site here?

The website says people have different stereo type image of pit bull; for some, pit bulls are the dog that got big head, or a dog with cropped ears. For some people, it’s a brindle dog, a big, stocky dog, or one with an eye patch. 

It also mentioned that when news break out on dog attack and mentioned it was pit bull that attacked human but often times, it is NOT the pit bull..There are 20+ breeds that are commonly incorrectly identified as pit bulls. 

When I took the Find the pit bull test, I could not identify the pit bull at first try. How about you?

Recently, I came across the article from UK about the breed names that we probably not have heard of.

I was interested in reading about it and found that there are so many more breeds that I had never heard of in the world.

For example, have you heard of New Guinea Singing Dog? 

The breed has been around for thousands of years and seems to be one of the earliest recorded breeds known to man.

The article written by Ryan O’Meara says dog breeds like the Labrador Retriever or the German Shepherd have only existed for a short period of time in comparison to some breeds; with a record dating back to only the past few hundred years.

How about.. Beauceron Dog?

The breed came from France, and the first possible written word of this breed dates to at least 1578, and looked like they wer used for bear hunting.

How about Erdelyi Kopo (Transylvanian Hound)?

This breed has been around for what many consider a time dating as far back as the Middle Ages and is believed to have originated between Romania and Hungary.

How about Owczarek Podhalanski, more commonly known as the Polish Tatra Sheepdog?

Most will speculate that this breed was first introduced into the world during the 14th century.

I find it interesting to read about other breed that I had never heard of. There are more breed that were introduced in the article.

If you are interested in reading the full article written by Ryan O’Meara at dognews uk website, please click here.

Sep 27, 2016 | 0 | Miscellaneous (dogs)

Understanding the dog language

Have you ever wish you could understand your dog’s language and understand what your dog is trying to tell you?

You would be able to understand how people are feeling just by judging their facial expressions, tone of voice, and of course the words coming out from the mouth.

How would you be able to understand your 4 legged friends?

The dog definitely does have a way to tell how they feel about everything around them.

What would they use to send their message to others?

Sound (barking, whining, growling etc..), signals (tail position and its movement), facial expression, and posture and more: body language.

If you could understand how they are feeling at the very moment, it would be very useful in terms of building stronger bond between you and your dog, training, and being able to predict what would happen next such as snapping at someone and more.

If you could predict/sense what would happen next and if the prediction was negative ones such as snapping at someone, then, you could stop that from happening by removing from the trigger.

When it comes to dog’s language, you must look at the whole pictures,not just facial expression, but everything and read their body language, judge and act accordingly.

Sometimes, dog body language are very subtle.

However, especially if you have a little ones, being able to read your dog’s language is a lot of help in terms of managing the little one and a dog together.

This can ultimately becomes something that could use for bite prevention for little kid’s safety as well.

Little one cannot read the dog’s language so you must be the one who could read the dog body language and when you think the dog is under stressed or something, you should act right away before something happens.

Many dog bites involving little kids could be prevented if parents and children were aware of the subtle signs that dogs send when they are anxious or under stressed.

Recently, I came across well known positive dog trainer Victoria Stilwell’s blog entry on body language and I found it interesting to read.

In it, she writes that often, gestures or actions that we assume mean one thing are actually the dog telling us the exact opposite, and determining what that wagging tail or exposed tummy really means can sometimes be the difference between a belly rub and a bite.

According to her blog entry, here are several useful body language characteristics associated with specific emotion.

Appeasement & Displacement

  • muzzle and/or ear licking
  • jumping up
  • lowering and curving the body
  • blinking
  • clacking or exposing the teeth “(“smiling”)
  • lip licking
  • lowering the head and ears
  • play bowing

She also write that passive submission such as cowering and body freezing seems to be done in response to escalating fear in the presence of a perceived threat.

In addition to appeasement, dogs also commonly use displacement signals to avoid confrontation. These body signals are used to provide a distraction – a way of covering up what the dog is actually feeling. Yawning, sniffing, scratching, sneezing, and licking are all active behaviors that keep the dog calm and provide a distraction to refocus the attention of others away from him.

Victoria writes similar signals have different meanings in different situations, so read the position of the body and understand other vocal signals so you can understand a dog’s intent and emotional state.

Stress/Discomfort/Nervousness

When dogs are stressed and nervous they exhibit behavior that either help relieve the stress they are feeling or appease a perceived threat.

  • Yawning can be a sign that a dog is tired, but it also signals stress
  • Lip licking or tongue flicking. Dogs lick their lips when nervous
  • Brief body freezing – the dog is still for a few seconds before reacting
  • Body freezing – the dog freezes until the threat goes away or he decides to use fight or flight
  • ‘Whale Eye’ – the dog turns his head away but keeps looking at the perceived threat, showing the whites of his eyes
  • Head turn – the dog will turn his head away from a fear source as a gesture of appeasement
  • Furrowed brow, curved eyebrows – caused by facial tension
  • Tense jaw – the mouth is closed, and the dog is preparing for action
  • Hugging – a dog will gain comfort by holding onto his owner
  • Low tail carriage – indicates discomfort and uncertainty
  • Curved tongue – the tongue is curved at the edges from tension
  • Raspy, dry-sounding panting –   nervousness reduces saliva production
  • Twitching whiskers – caused by facial tension
  • Shaking – caused by adrenaline release
  • Drooling – stress can also cause excessive salivation
  • Lack of focus – an anxious dog finds learning difficult
  • Sweaty paws – dogs sweat through their foot pads
  • Piloerection – the hair on a dog’s neck and spine stands on end (like human goose bumps), making the dog appear bigger while releasing odor from the glands contained in the dog’s hair follicles

Appeasement/Deference

Deference language is designed to appease a perceived threat, avoid injury and is crucial for survival.

  • Head bobbing or lowering
  • Head turning
  • Averting eyes
  • Lip licking
  • Low tail carriage
  • Tail tucked between the legs
  • Curved and lowered body
  • Stomach flip – the dog flips over quickly, exposing his stomach; he is not asking for a belly rub, but signaling that he is withdrawing from interaction

Curious/Anticipatory

  • Head cocked to one side or the other
  • Front paw lifted – anticipating what will happen and what the dog should do next
  • Mouth closed – sizing up the situation in preparation for action

Displacement

Displacement language helps the dog to self-calm and refocus attention away from them and onto something else.

  • Sneezing
  • Shaking
  • Sniffing
  • Nose licking
  • Yawning
  • Spinning
  • Pacing
  • Chattering teeth
  • Shake off – dog will release stress and tension by shaking their bodies as if trying to get water off their backs.

Defensive and Offensive

When a dog has to defend herself from an actual or perceived threat she will demonstrate defensive or offensive language in order to keep herself safe.

If the threat does not back away and the dog has nowhere to go, defensive behavior will turn offensive and the dog will bite.  

  • Body leaning forward
  • Tense mouth
  • Lips pushed forward and vibrating as the dog growls
  • Air snapping – the dog snaps in the air to warn something to back away
  • Snapping with skin contact – also a warning to back away
  • Fast nip – an immediate bite and release with bruising or slight wound, telling a threat to back off
  • Deeper bite – a dog that bites with more intensity is intending to harm
  • Bite and hold – intent to harm
  • Bite, hold, and shake – intent to harm and potentially to kill. Some dogs will bite, hold, shake, and disembowel stuffed toys, simulating the killing of prey; while this is prevalent among dogs with high prey drive, even dogs with low drive can indulge in behavior of this type. If your dog likes to disembowel stuffed toys, this doesn’t mean he wants to do the same with people or other animals. Sadie loves to disembowel toys, but she is incredibly gentle with people, especially children.
  • Wagging tail – again, a wagging tail does not always mean a happy dog
  • Hard, staring eyes

Relaxed

The body is fluid and relaxed, the mouth is slightly open with tongue hanging to the side and all the signals a dog gives off communicate joy, confidence and a desire to invite play and attention.

  • Mouth slightly open, tongue relaxed and lolling to one side.
  • Small body freezes during play.
  • Play bow – this signal invites play and tells others that whatever action comes next is still just play.
  • Turning over, inviting belly rub – showing trust and enjoying social contact.
  • Relaxed facial expression.
  • Squinty or blinking eyes.
  • Tail wagging fast, either side to side or in a round motion like a helicopter.
  • Wiggling backside.

One of the body language I find it interesting to read is tail wagging.

If you see the dog wagging tail, you would most likely think the dog is happy seeing you.

However, Victoria writes that those interpretation are wrong and this tail wagging gesture is often misunderstood by human.

Victoria write that some dogs also wag their tails when aroused, overstimulated and frustrated.

One other thing about tail wagging, I found interesting to know that the dog has preference in more to which side they would wag depending on who they see.

She writes we can usually tell the difference between being happy and being aroused,overstimulated, frustrated by looking at what the rest of the body is doing:

  • A confident or aroused dog will hold his tail in the air, allowing scent from the anal glands to circulate more freely and advertise his presence.
  • A dog that is wagging his tail but barking with a defensive body posture, tense face, and hard staring eyes is overly aroused and frustrated, which means that he should not be approached.
  • A tail that is held low or between the legs signals a lack of confidence, nervousness, or fear
  • A tail that is held high but wagged more slowly means that the dog is assessing a situation.
  • A tail that is extended and curved means that the dog is tense and ready to take offensive or defensive action.
  • A tail that wags around and around like a helicopter and is accompanied by relaxed fluid body movement and a wiggling bottom signals friendliness and a willingness to engage.
  • Research has shown that when a dog sees someone they like, his tail wags more to the right. When he sees an unfamiliar person, his tail wags more to the left. Subtle body language like this is easy to miss.

Our dog is Corgi and her tail is nub.

If tail got so much meaning in body language, I am guessing that some dogs might/could misinterpret our dog Palette’s body language.

Victoria says that the tail is a prime indicator of mood, and dogs with docked tails are unable to communicate properly using that part of their body, which means that other dogs and people miss vital signals.

To read the full article by Victoria Stilwell on her blog positively, please click here

You can also look at this cute dog body language chart at barkpost website here.

Aug 29, 2016 | 0 | Miscellaneous (dogs)

Do dogs feel guilty when they did something they are not supposed to?

Have you ever wondered if dogs feel guilty when they did something they are not supposed to?

You sure can find many youtube videos where dogs are looking guilty when we human find out something they did what they were not supposed to.

Have you seen your dog’s guilty look when they did something they are not supposed to?

Do dogs feeling guilty when the dog looks like they are?

According to Daily mail website article written by Celia Haddon, she writes that many online video posted by dog’s downer starts with “What did you do?”, “Did you do this?” etc in cross tone of voice.

The pets respond by lifting a paw imploringly, avoiding their owner’s eyes ,ears dropped,or hiding behind chairs.

As Celia writes, you may find your dog’s naughty behavior when you come back home and when you say the word “Did you do this” or similar phrases, and look at the dog, she/he would look like feeling guilty.

However, experts say the look on their dog are not because they feel guilty inside.

Dr.Susan Hazel from University of Adelaid says there are many studies that shows dogs do not feel/show guilt, because their brain does not work that way.

Those sad eyes, wrinkled brows, and averted eyes are not signs of shame, but distress and anxiety from being chastised.

Dr Susan also says that the owners are just failing to read body language of such emotion.

Dogs will show appeasement-like behavior that some owners interpret as guilt. The dogs will also react to the person’s body language (gesture), tone of voice, or smell (human emotion smell) as dogs are quite good at picking up what we think before even we know it.

In other words, they can read us much better than we can read them from subtle body language or tone of voice etc..

Ljerka Ostojic, a research associate at Cambridge University and dog trainer says that if the dogs indeed feel guilty, they would show the look only when they have done something wrong.

Do dogs feel emotions?

If guilty looking was not from the actual feeling, then, you might wonder if they feel emotions.

Professor Jaak Panksepp, a neuroscientist and expert in emotions, believes all warm-blooded animals have seven main emotions — they feel fear, anger, lust, maternal care, social loneliness, playfulness and happiness when they get what they want. He calls these the primary emotions.

He says we humans can experience guilt, shame, embarrassment, jealousy, hate and contempt as well as pride and loyalty.

He calls these emotions ‘secondary’. They involve complicated thoughts about right and wrong, or social status.

Some psychologists call them the ‘moral emotions’.

Scientists think dogs don’t have moral ideas, but animal behaviorist says we know that dogs feel emotions but we can only read the physical signs of what they feel.

Emotions like guilt and jealousy are human ideas and we don’t know if animals feel them and she warns that we must be careful about attributing human emotions to dogs.

Because dogs do not feel guilty even if they look feeling guilty, she says often times, they are just as likely to go and do the same thing again.

You can read the full article at Daily mail website written by Celia Haddon here.

More related article at huffington post website here

What is your opinion on this topic?
Aug 02, 2016 | 0 | Miscellaneous (dogs)

Does your dog look like you?

You often hear dogs look like their owner.

Does your dog look like you?

I was wondering about that very question myself and, wondered if it was actually truth to it, if there were any scientific proof/view for that.

Also,I wondered if people choose the dog that looks most like themselves unconsciously.

According to BBC news article written by David Robson, Michael Roy at the University of California, San Diego was one of the first psychologists to put the idea to the test.

He went to three dog parks, and he photographed the dogs and the owners separately, and then asked a group of participants to try to match them up.

Despite no additional cues, he found that they were able to match them up with reasonable accuracy.

Similar look especially with eyes seems to be one of the cue that could helped participants to match up better.

The eye seem to be one of the key.

According to the Huffington post article written by Dominique Mosbergen, Japanese psychologist Sadahiko Nakajima who researches on dog-owner resemblance at Japan’s Kansei Gakuin University, says there’s scientific evidence to support not just the notion that humans and their pet dogs look alike, but also why that’s so. And one of the key is the eye.

Just like Michael Ray, he carried an experiment in 2009 where he ask people to match up dog and an owner simply by looking at the pictures.

He reported that people were, at a rate significantly higher than chance, able to match dogs and their owners simply by looking at photographs of their faces.

His findings were similar, to those of previous studies.

He told The Huffington Post that the evidence from his and other scientists’ research shows that the popular belief in dog-owner physical resemblance is empirically valid.

Nakajima then conducted another experiment that sought to determine if the pet-human resemblance could be traced to a specific facial feature.

For the experiment, more than 500 people were shown two sets of photographs. One set showed pictures of real dog-owner pairs, while the other set had random pairings of people and dogs.

The participants were randomly assigned to one of five different “masking” photo conditions: no-mask (in which the human’s and the dog’s faces were unobstructed), eye-mask (the human’s eyes were blacked out), mouth-mask (the human’s mouth was blacked out), dog-eye-mask (the dog’s eyes were blacked out), and eye-only (where just the eyes of the human and the dog could be seen).

The participants were then asked to select the dog-owner pairs that physically resembled each other.

participants who were shown the unobstructed photos correctly identified the dog-owner pairs most of the time. (In this case, their accuracy rate was up to 80 percent.) When the owners’ mouths were concealed, participants were correct 73 percent of the time.

But when the eyes of either the humans or the dogs were blacked out, the participants’ accuracy fell to the level of random chance — around 50 percent either when the human’s eyes were blacked out, or when the dog’s were.

When participants were shown only the eyes of the dog and the human, their accuracy rose to 74 percent.

From this experiment, you could feel the eyes really matter to pick the correct pair of dog and the human.

why do people pick the dogs who are like them?

Nakajima told HuffPost that “a major reason of the dog-owner facial resemblance is the so-called ‘mere exposure effect (we human like things that are familiar.),’” or the idea that a person might choose to get a dog who looks similar to themselves because of a preference for the familiar.

To read the huffington post article, please click here.

I can see people see the similarity in the dog-human pair with eyes, but people pick the dog just by similar familiar look is the only reason?

When you think about it, people do not choose group of friends just by look. As David from BBC article writes, we also tend to be around people who share similar personalities too.

With that in mind, Borbala Turcsan at Eotvos University in Budapest decided to test whether the same was true of our canine soulmates.

Previous tests they done shown that human traits such as extroversion can correspond to objective measures of the dog’s behavior.

Turcsan found that the dogs and their owners both tended to show similar personality profiles.

Interesting thing is that, she found that it was actually higher than the similarity found in married couples and friends.

They did not think dog has copied the personality of their owners considering the amount of time the dogs and their owners had spent living together.

They thought that the personality seemed to be part of the dog’s appeal in the first place; thus result in picking up the one most compatible to you..

To read the full article written by David for BBC website, please click here.

What is your take on this topic?

I have seen the article saying people choose dogs who got similar look not just eyes but overall appearance made bt their hair.For example…

One of the article came across said women with longer hair covering their ears tended to prefer the Springer Spaniel and the Beagle, rating these breeds higher on the dimensions of likeable, friendly, loyal and intelligent.

Women with shorter hair and visible ears tended to rate the Siberian Husky and the Basenji more highly on these same dimensions.

I personally feel that hair would not be so much effect on selecting the breed of choice or particular dog to become one of your family member.

I am more sold for eye theory and personality theory. With both theories, I would think it is good possible answer to the question why we human choose the dog who look like us.

I do not know about eye similarity with Palette for me, but she has, I feel like, a bit similar personality.

How about you and your dog?

Jun 28, 2016 | 1 | Miscellaneous (dogs)

Kids vs Dogs: The effect dogs have on kids

In the previous entry titled “How to introduce the newborn baby to your dog“, I wrote that I would like to spend time to learn more about how you can introduce your newborn baby to your dog in the house. Then, if there were something we can practice before our little son will come join us, I thought, it will be great to have practice time with Palette.

In it, I also wrote that once baby can move around, of course, as always, supervision is important but also it is important to teach your baby how to interact with/approach to your dog.

 Not only dog needs to learn to interact with baby, baby also needs to learn how to interact/approach to the dog.

 Kids sometimes do what dogs do not appreciate;pulling fur, step on the tail, hugging etc and no matter how calm,gentle dog you have, there will be a threshold and dog could snap at the kids and it may end up with injury.

In another entry titled “Kids vs dogs;How to prevent the dog bite“, I wrote it is important for people to look for the cause and realize what trigger the act of biting and prevent that to happen again.

 It is not always the dogs that should be blamed for the incident.Unsupervised kids can do things that could trigger the incident. Therefore, if you have a kid in the house, from the early age, you should teach them how to interact with your dog and learn the manner. And you should make it a habit to be with the kids when they interact with the dog,not sitting 10-20 feet away from the kids.

 To understand why the biting happen, you should see things through their point of view,not ours.

 When dogs interact with kids, they have to tolerate all the strange, unpredictable behavior, and we should not expect them to react the way we human do and, we should not expect them to understand how they should react to kids’ behavior.We need to teach them as we should teach the kids.

 In this entry, I would like to write about effect of having a pet on kids.

Lets go for walkie again blog

Palette says “Lets go for walkie!”

Kids grew up with a pet vs kids who did not grew up with a pet, do you think there would be something kids without a pet missing out something that they could have learn from having a pet?

 I myself grew up with various pet;hamster.parakeet, rabbit,gold fish… although we did not have a cat or dog. I loved animals, and loved to visit zoo, aquarium etc.. as well.

  Having a pet was not what parents set us up for better/positive effect on us but rather, I wanted to have a pet. It was me that begged them to have a pet. The very first time I was about having a pet, mother asked me what pet I was thinking of. Well, I wanted “parrot” and told her about it but, we were told that kids cannot take care of big bird like that and we were suggested to have a smaller bird “parakeet” instead. So, our first pet was parakeet.

Just recently, I came across interesting articles regarding effect of having a dog on kids, and I thought I would share it with you.

Effect dogs have on kids..

According to petplace website, Robert Bierer Ph.D. found out through his study on effect dogs have on kids was positive one on emotional and physical benefit from pet ownership.

  I can see that the dogs require exercise and they love to play and the kids with dogs might be more motivated to go out and play and might be more active than the kids without dogs.

 For the emotional positive effects,the study showed that most positive effect dog have on kids were with kids age between 10-12. His findings are..

1. Unconditional love comes from a dog that allowed the children to feel valued in the unique way, and the kids can become the dog’s parent and they can take care of many of things dogs need.

 In a way, the kids learn to have a sense of responsibility and respect for others. In return, dogs depends on the kids for love and attention.

  Therefore, kids learn to read the dog’s body language and become sensitive to the dog’s emotion,which leads to #2 finding

2. Kids will learn to be aware of the feelings of others (empathy)

  In conclusion, the study found that kids grew up with pet has more self esteem,empathy.

  To read the full article at the petplace website,please click here.

3. Another website optimum website writes that the researchers found that the kids who grew up with a dog for their first year are less allergic later in life. They find that early exposure to pets are associated with reduced risk of asthma and other allergies.

You can see the study page at ncbi website here.It shows how the study was curried as well as the finding.

Besides all of the emotional, physical effect on kids, there are more benefit of having pets at home.

According to the article written by Shannon Emmanuel at wolfweb website, looking through therapy dogs’ effect on kids also show the positive effect especially on improved social and reading skills.

Obviously, dogs cannot teach them how to read the book, but kids will be more calmed without the presence of pressure from teachers and friends and kids can read to the dogs, and “reading to the dog” improved the skill of reading.

You can read Shannon’s full article on effect dogs have on kids here.

Many of you would have grown up with a pet. What life lesson did your pet teach you?


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Jun 17, 2014 | 0 | Miscellaneous (dogs)

New Year Resolutions for your dog

 As the new year approaches, many people make a list of resolution for the coming new year for the fresh start.

 I think it is a great idea to make resolution that includes pets.

*Pant,pant,pant… Are you coming to get me my cool down tweats?”

 If I were to make my resolution for Palette’s, top of the list will be the commitment to provide the healthiest diet/treats/chews to her so her overall health is being good all year around.

 For that, being careful what goes into your pet’s stomach is important but also measuring instead of free feeding and provide adequate nutritional meal each time is also important.

 Since the diet is the base of overall health, it applies to me as well. I would like to continue cooking healthier diet menu for my family as well.

 For that, planning weekly menu based on what you have in your pantry, freezer, fridge is great one. It will bring down the cost of grocery bill and you can also overlook overall menu in one place and you can see if your meal is one sided or balanced out over time.

 If Palette had to make a resolution for her own regarding diet, it should be “I would learn to eat alone when mom serves me Ostrich neck”.

 It is simply because for some reasons, she never starts eating the Ostrich neck unless one of us sit with her and watch her eats

 If Palette were to make resolution for us,something diet related, it will be Mom and dad should learn to share their every meal so I can make sure all tastes good enough for them to eat

 After the diet related resolution, I would think exercise may comes second.

 At this moment, I cannot walk/jog with Palette as much as I wish I would like to, but once little one is born, I would love to go back to the old routine and would like to go for walk with her every day.

 Walking with her is good for Palette and also good for me too.

 Besides walking, I always have fun playing with Palette.

 She loves Frisbee very much and my resolution for that will be I would like to learn to throw the Frisbee better for her Palette is getting good at catching it in the air,and knowing she is having fun with me puts a smile on me.

 Dogs needs exercise and it does not have to be walking,running but it can be anything you do for fun;hiking, for example. You can include your pet in your fun and make a great memories together.

 Some dogs spend time in the fenced yard but it does not guarantee that they will get enough exercise they need.

 Case in point, our neighbor got black Labrador,boxer,and Jack Russel  Terrier. As you know, all dogs are high energy dogs, and they spend most of the time inside the fence. Often times, they take themselves out for a walk.

 Exercise is not necessary be only physical but mental. Take 5 minutes each day to spend some time with your pet to teach some tricks to them. They are eager to learn new things and for them, it is kind of like a game. Palette gets super excited when doggy school time comes.

 What are your new year resolution that includes your pets?

 If your dog were to make a list of resolution for themselves and for you human, what would that be?

 That would be interesting list of resolutions

 I hope Palette would have “I would not join in the phone conversation when someone got my mom/dad attention away from me” in her new year’s resolution list,lol.

 A Happy New Year to everyone!

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Dec 31, 2013 | 0 | Miscellaneous (dogs)

Merry Christmas 2013!

 Merry Christmas!

 I hope everyone will have a great special holiday with family and friends.

 Palette loves snow and she loves to bunny hops in the heavy snow and, I always enjoy watching her how she plays in the snow.

 At this moment, we have not have enough snow for her to enjoy the snow to her heart content and still she is counting down to the fun snow day!

 Just recently, I came across very interesting,unique youtube video, which combined dog’s herding skill and LED light on sheep. I thought it was amazing and I wanted to share it with you.

Extreme Sheep LED Art

 If you are a blog subscriber,please click here to watch the video.

 
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Dec 25, 2013 | 0 | Miscellaneous (dogs)

Hot spots on dogs

 When the season starting to change, sometimes, you would notice your dog is licking or chewing the spot to raw. Then, in some cases, the spot gets bold area,irritated and swollen.

 In the past, Palette had case like this 2 times.

 One time was around butt cheek fur area back in 2008, and the other time was around ankle area in 2012.

 Very first one we experienced years ago, we did not know she was chewing or licking one specific area to raw until it got bold and inflamed and moist looking. It is probably because especially the area was hairy area, plus we did not catch her messing with the area when she was with us.

 Therefore, the area got infected a bit and,we ended up taking her to the vet. There, we learned that she had the condition that is called “hot spot” or “acute moist dermatitis”.

 According to her, the hot spots is the inflamed/infected spot that was result of intense licking or/and chewing by a dog. The hot spots can be caused from variety of reasons such as flea bites, insect bites, allergy (food/ environmental/contact), mental cause that is called “lick granuloma” (often cause is from boredom / separation anxiety etc.).

 Hot spot area is usually mean red, or if it were too inflamed, sometimes see moist yellow gooey/oozing stuff on the spot and, because dog tend to lick/chew so much that the area can become fur-less (bold) spot.

 The area can get very itchy but at the same time, it can be painful as well.

 It is kind of like you get bitten by mosquito and if you scratch the area, it gets itchier and you will scratch more to raw in some cases and the area gets moist and infected.

 Since then, I learned what it was and, paid close attention if we caught her licking or chewing. At the same time, if we saw Palette keeps licking or chewing at the same spot intensely, we put her on shame of cones.

 It is because whether you will take your dog to the vet or take a measure of “wait and see” route, as long as the dog keeps messing the area, the area condition gets worse and,best thing is to interrupt the chewing/licking behavior.

 The picture below
is Palette wearing “Comfy cone”. It is soft Elizabeth collar,and I used it when she had hot spot suspicion.


Palette wearing Comfy cone..

 With Plastic classic style Elizabeth
collar,she tend to dig up the dirt with tip of the Elizabeth collar
because making sure safety of where she does potty is very important to
her
(she sniffs very good to
make sure her spot is safe).

 Also, every time she dug to sniff area,I had
to remove the Elizabeth collar with my half eye on her to make sure she
does not secretly chew on spot while I was washing it.

 After all, I decided to
take it off every time when we go for potty, and put it back on after potty.

 With classic plastic Elizabeth collar, I had to fight with holes to snap it on for long time, and it was really frustrating.

 With
comfy cone, it is easy to put it back on. You just need a second. And
it is not as hard as plastic one and seems comfortable. Supposedly,you
can fold back when you feed your dogs for easy access for meal.

 I
think, as for meal, it is more comfortable for dogs to be able to eat
meal without the collar because they would not be chewing/licking anyway
but eating. And,you maybe supervising them.

 Very first time Palette had the hot spot, very first thing our lady vet did was to shaving the area so the area can breath better.

 Then, she gave us anti itch pill, antibiotic pill, ointment called “Quadritop ointment”, and white powder called “NeoPredef with Teteracanine powder”,which is antibacterial powder that helps the area heal faster and better.

 She instructed us to wipe the infected area with Aloe vera and witch hazel wipe to clean first, and then apply the powder to the area every 12 hours for 7 days.

 We followed her instruction and by the day 3 or 4, the area was all scabby and dry , and Palette did not mess with the area anymore. Therefore, she was mostly free from cone of shame. She wore the cone only sleeping time then until full recovery.

If your dogs will be on antibiotic treatment..

 If your dog is going to be on antibiotic treatment, there is one thing you should know about.

 Make sure to give probiotic
during the antibiotic treatment, and plus 1 month after antibiotic time
period has ended because antibiotic kills all the beneficial bacteria in
the gut and you need to introduce the good beneficial bacteria back to
their gut again.

 Our vet said to give probiotic during the
course of antibiotic treatment and plus 3-5 days more after treatment is
ended but,with Palette, it was not enough to bring the number of
beneficial bacteria back to her gut.

 She needed probiotic for 1 full
month since the last day of the antibiotic treatment.

 Yassy’s Gourmet Dog Kitchen carry Acidophilus plus for dogs and puppy. This digestive supplement comes with liquid form,16 fl oz,and it has Triple Filtered spring water,Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures,Yucca,Papaya puree,Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) as ingredients.

 This is exactly the same digestive aids supplement I give to Palette when she has to be on antibiotic treatment or when she had digestive upset.

 The second time, the area did not get badly irritated as much as first time hot spots and, her treatment time was very short one with less medicine (antibiotic pill and Neopredef powder were not needed) and, we were glad we caught them early.

 What she gave us then was anti itch pill, plus new tube of ointment called “Quadritop ointment” since the same ointment we got at the first time was gone by the time we decided to visit her with 2nd round hot spots.

 When we went to the lady vet, we brought the bottle of Neopredef whether we can still use it on her. The expiration year was still ok, and the date itself was close enough but,we were told that the date was passed and her infected area was not looking that bad enough to use Neopredef powder, she gave us ointment,instead.

Palette’s 2nd time hot spots in the past…

 As
par our lady vet’s recommendation if we were to take “wait and see
measure” at first from the first visit with hotspot, we gave her 25mg benadryl capsule 2 times a day before we decided to visit the lady vet with second round hot spots. She is 30lb dog. I think she was on it about 12 days.

 For the dosage, you may want to contact your vet, and ask for suggested dosage for your furriends.

 When I did not see her scratching, I took the cone off  and let her be
free as long as she was around us.She looked happy because now she got
to chew her treats with no difficulties.

 With her hot spot round 2, benadryl worked okay
but,it was not complete free from the hot spot (she was not
chewing/licking intsely but we noticed that she licked/chew the area now and then) so we took her to the vet as round 2 hot spot.

 
 When we went with 2nd round of hot spots, although our lady vet told us at our very 1st hot spots time that the true food allergy is unlikely in her case, I asked about food Allergy because the hot spots scratches started about a couple of later after she had llama meat with bone. I knew she had no problem with Llama before but, since the scratchy day was very close to the feeding day, I asked the vet about her thoughts on this.

 After examining Palette, and knew we do flea comb but have not seen them on her, she thought it will be either contact allergy
(since she is short,easy to touch her tummy with grass etc..) or
seasonal allergy.

 She told us that year 2012 started off much warmer/hotter than last
year, and normally, they tend to see seasonal allergy around fall, but
it seemed to be shifted to summer this year and sees dogs like Palette
often during this season.

 That also means, this year 2013 is also strange weather lately and have hot humid day at daytime already, we may or may not see the scratch action sooner than average year.

 She also said to us that we were early to catch the hot spots area, so Palette does not have to be on antibiotic treatment.

 Palette came back home with a bit of shaved hind leg so the area can breath, clean, and dry.

 Since when we took Palette to her with
her first hot spot, and was told might be seasonal/contact allergy, I was avoiding grass for her to walk through for
walkie as much as possible, but I could not avoid the grass completely
because she wanted to do her potty #2 often times on grassy area.

 After the 2nd round hot spots event, I started letting her wear insect repelling t-shirts called “Insect shield” when weather gets warmer since I thought it could benefit her to not having bug around, also if she wore the t-shirts, bug might not bite her when she squat for potty.

 After the ointment with pill, her spot cleared out, and when it got cooled down and season changed and she seemed to have no more scratches.

 Based on that fact, it looks like she is seasonal allergy if she gets one.

 As hot summer is approaching, many dogs will be enjoying water shower or kiddy pool or beaches.

 When dogs get wet, make sure to dry them thoroughly so the fur is not left with dump condition;perfect environment for bacteria to grow.

 Also, when your dog got muddy and take a bath,make sure to remove all the shampoo off off them. Leftover shampoo can make them itchy.

 These last two points were some other things the lady vet told us what we can do to prevent the trigger as much as possible.

 Enjoy summer!

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Jun 11, 2013 | 0 | Miscellaneous (dogs)