Yes, this is 'humanizing' dogs, but absolutely brilliantly done and more than worth the 2 mins to watch it and you have just got to laugh at it - Enjoy!
By Kelly Roper
Dog Breeder and Exhibitor
The practice of cross breeding tends to cause some controversy in the dog world. On one side, breeders of purebreds tend to consider these dogs nothing more than mutts. On the other side, proponents of crossbred dogs maintain they are adding vigor to the genetics of breeds they believe have been bred too closely for generations. Which side is right? That can be difficult to determine. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to the practice of cross breeding, and it's good for potential dog owners and breeders to be aware of them.
Advantages of Cross Breeding
First, take a look at the positive aspects of cross breeding. People who are strictly interested in purebred dogs often overlook these points
Unique Look Some people prefer a dog that doesn't look like any other breed they know, and cross breeding can certainly produce such a dog. When you combine two different breeds, it's a coin toss as to how the genetics will combine. This means that each puppy in a litter can look different from its littermates, and this can lead to a very interesting-looking litter.
Can Make Great Pets Being a cross doesn't automatically mean the dog won't make a good pet. Proper socialization and training will bring out the best in any dog's temperament and behavior.
Fewer Congenital Issues in Some Cases It's true that many purebred dogs suffer from genetic conditions that have been passed from one generation to the next. Careful cross breeding may lower the chances of passing on a particular condition if only one parent is a carrier.
May Become Foundation for a Future Pure Breed Keep in mind that many of today's purebred dogs were founded on crosses of different breeds, and they have been refined through selective breeding to produce the consistent characteristics they display today.
Some of today's crosses could potentially evolve into tomorrow's pure breeds if breeders organize themselves and follow a specific plan to make that happen. The Cockapoo is one example of cross breeding that demonstrates this potential.
Disadvantages of Cross Breeding
Now it's time to consider some of the potentially negative aspects of cross breeding. Many cross breeders downplay the significance of these points, but they are still worth considering.
Difficult to Predict Temperaments
Pure breeds have been developed for different purposes, and their temperaments match those purposes closely. For example, Rottweilers tend to have bold and sometimes aggressive temperaments because they have been bred to be working guard dogs. Poodles were bred to hunt and be wonderful family companions. It would be difficult to predict the exact type of personality a cross breeding between these two dogs might produce.
Hard to Judge What Adult Size Will Be
Size really can be an issue for some potential owners, especially if they live in a small home with limited yard space. If both parents are similar in size, you can expect the pups will probably be about the same size as adults. However, it would be extremely.........read more
By BARBARA COLE
Durban - Forty-three dogs – many of them kidnapped – have been rescued in Durban before they could be shipped to Angola by an international smuggling syndicate.
The syndicate has been kidnapping and buying up animals across South Africa to traffic them out of the country for dog fighting.
A big fight is being planned and an order has gone out for 100 dogs a week, The Independent on Saturday has learned.
Three suspects have been arrested during the Durban bust and investigations are continuing.
The dogs are now safe, said the source who did not want to be named as she feared for her safety.
“More than 100 dogs have been confiscated in Durban, at Joburg’s OR Tambo Airport and at the border between South Africa and Namibia (the route to Angola) this week alone,” she said.
It is the latest development in a smuggling operation that has been going on for some 10 years and has involved 120 000 stolen dogs being trafficked from Cape Town alone.
The dogs are also believed to be used for breeding, security and mine clearing.
On Friday night she warned dog owners to take care of their pets.
Small dogs, like Yorkshire terriers, are used for bait and get ripped apart by the bigger dogs in the ring. Puppies are also used as bait by the dog-snatchers who can get big money for winning a fight.
One case involved a three-month-old Rottweiler.... READ FULL ARTICLE
A new pet can bring joy to a home, but it can also create tension and changes to the family dynamic, writes Benedict Carey in today’s special animal issue of Science Times.
The nature of individual human-pet relationships varies widely, and only now are scientists beginning to characterize those differences, and their impact on the family. Pets alter not only a family’s routines, after all, but also its hierarchy, its social rhythm, its web of relationships. Several new lines of research help explain why this overall effect can be so comforting in some families, and a source of tension in others. The answers have very little to do with the pet.
First, he tore up his dog toys. Then shredded the furniture, clothes, schoolbooks — and, finally, any semblance of family unity. James, a chocolate-brown pointer mix, turned from adorable pet to problem child in a matter of weeks.
“The big bone of contention was that my mom and my sister thought that he was too smart to be treated like a dog; they thought he was a person and should be treated as such — well, spoiled,” said Danielle, a Florida woman who asked that her last name not be published to avoid more family pet strife. “The dog remains to this day, 10 years later, a source of contention and anger.”
Psychologists long ago confirmed what most pet owners feel in their bones: that for some people bonds with animals are every bit as strong as those with other humans. And less complicated, for sure; a dog’s devotion is without detectable irony, a lap cat’s purring without artifice (if not disapproval).
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THE POWER OF THERAPY DOGS - In his book Angel on a Leash, Westminster's David Frei celebrates the power of therapy dogs.
Friend of mine has just read this book and says fantastic. I have taken some of the Q and A from an interview with David Frei recently about the book and therapy dogs and you can read full interview by linking at the bottom.
Q: What is it about the therapy dog experience that has made you a leading champion of expanding therapy dog programs nationwide?
A: In the simplest terms, it is just seeing how people react. When you walk into the room with a dog — and really it could be any dog — it changes the energy in the room. When it happens with therapy dogs, they can follow up on that; they can go over and stick their noses in somebody’s face, sit on somebody’s lap. They can get people to stop and think about something other than what is challenging them. They can get them to smile or talk. They aren’t miracles, but they certainly are little miracles. They make somebody’s day. Any of us who visit with our dogs know that it is all about those moments.
Q: In the book you describe a number of moving encounters. Is there one that stands out?
A: The most impactful was my very first visit at Sloan-Kettering, which was the first week that it allowed therapy dogs. We went to the 10th floor, which is women’s health, and in the very first room the woman there had her arms crossed across her chest and was crying and in pain. I said, “Are you OK? Do you need a chaplain? Do you need a social worker or a nurse?” She said, “No, I need you two.” That was how we started with Teigh, my Brittany. It was the most impactful visit because I knew when we walked out of that room a half hour later, she was still in pain but she was smiling. Those kinds of things happen a lot. When you know you are giving someone a moment that they haven’t had for a while, those are the ones that touch me the most.
Q: Sometimes the visits are wrenching, as you describe. Can you talk about that aspect of volunteering?
A: I am really strict about limiting my dogs’ time. Visits can be very draining. There are times when I go home with my dogs and they are as gassed as if they have been running around in a field for the last two hours. The dog is putting a lot into it, and you just have to be careful.
Q: You write about a number of Westminster champions who went on to become outstanding therapy dogs, especially citing Rufus, a Bull Terrier, and James. You say that James, the English Springer Spaniel who won in 2007 and passed in May this year, is the greatest working therapy dog you have ever seen. What made James so special?
A: It really goes to the team, and Terry Patton, his handler, really trained him well. When James was there with a patient, he was engaged with the patient. Even some of the best therapy dogs are constantly looking to their handlers for direction, but James knew what he was supposed to do. It wasn’t about James; it was about who he was visiting. And Rufus and Barbara and Tom Bishop are a wonderful therapy team. Their celebrity gets them inside a lot of doors, but it is what they do once they get inside that really makes a difference. When Rufus is in there, he just works his magic.
Q: How can our readers know if they might have potential therapy dogs?
A: A dog has to be able to come into situations and can’t be afraid of noises or different people. So it is important to go to a good evaluation organization like the Delta Society, which tests every sort of encounter, from dropping a bedpan on the floor to having something unexpected happen. And you as a handler must be able to deal with the unexpected as well. It’s just like in the dog show ring; the dog feels what you are feeling because it goes right down the leash. If you are apprehensive or afraid of a situation, the dog is going to know and reflect that as well. And if it is not fun and enjoyable for both you and the dog, ultimately it won’t be fun for you as a team.
Q: We often talk about our dogs as living in the moment. What have your therapy dogs taught you about life and how to live it?
A: For me that spontaneity of just enjoying what’s happening right now is really the heart and soul of what we are doing in therapy dog work. We can’t worry about yesterday, and we can’t worry about tomorrow. Dogs don’t care how people look or how they dress, whether they are sleeping on cardboard on the street or laid up in a bed with tubes hanging out of them. Dogs don’t care about any of that stuff. That’s the great lesson that we learn from our dogs. We need to worry less about what we teach our dogs and more about what we can learn from them, their unconditional love and universal acceptance.
READ FULL INTERVIEW
Misconceptions About a Popular Pet Treat
Jan. 28, 2013 — A popular dog treat could be adding more calories than pet owners realize, and possibly be contaminated by bacteria, according to a study published this month by researchers at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and the University of Guelph.
The treat in question: the "bully" or "pizzle stick." The American and Canadian researchers analyzed the caloric density and bacterial contamination of these popular items, made from the uncooked, dried penis of a bull or steer. They also administered a survey to pet owners to assess their knowledge of these treats.
The study, published in the January 2013 issue of the Canadian Veterinary Journal, examined 26 bully sticks purchased from retailers in the United States and Canada and made by different manufacturers.
A random subset of the 26 bully sticks was tested for caloric content. These bully sticks tested contained between nine to 22 calories per inch, meaning the average six inch stick packed 88 calories--nine percent of the daily calorie requirements for a 50-pound dog, and 30 percent of the daily calorie requirements for a 10-pound dog.
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