Monthly Archives: December 2011

Poodle Doodles, what do you think?

Dogs are transformed into Pandas, Horses and even Snails in a barking mad grooming craze

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1208913/The-poodles-transformed-pandas-horses-snails-creative-grooming-dog-shows.html#ixzz1h4EDC61T


Understanding Dog Body Language and Verbal Clues

Have you ever wondered why your dog makes those strange muttering sounds at the dinner table? Or why he lays his ears back when confronted with a stranger? Dogs speak to us, but in a different language. Unfortunately, there’s no Rosetta Stone DVD to help us learn “dog talk.” So, instead, we must analyze it ourselves, keeping it in context, avoiding asserting our own interpretations, and remembering that dogs were once wild animals.

The best way to start is to look to the dog’s ancestor, the wolf. Wolves live in packs and dogs do the same with other pets in the household and their humans. There must be a leader of the pack and that leader should be you. And to be an effective canine leader, you need to know what your dog is trying to tell you.

Dogs communicate in many ways with each other, using verbal cues, body language and facial expressions. They also try to communicate with humans using these methods. Humans, of course, communicate with dogs with commands and phrases. Dogs can learn hundreds of human sounds but they can’t string them together. Thus, the need for short comments such as “Sit!” and “Come!” Many of our communication tools are lost on dogs, such as sarcasm (to indicate frustration) or closed body language (to indicate you’re uncomfortable) or a look of surprise. So, to enhance our communication with our canines, we must learn to get back to the basics and speak “dog.”

Dog Body Language/Facial “Expressions”

Confident and Relaxed

  • Stance – erect
  • Tail – wagging slowly
  • Ears – pricked up but with a relaxed look
  • Eyes – small pupils
  • Mouth – closed or slight parting of lips
  • Stance – lowered
  • Tail – tucked under
  • Ears – down
  • Eyes – a wide-eyed look with the whites showing
  • Mouth – panting
  • Stance – rigid
  • Tail – straight up or out behind, very rigid
  • Ears – pricked up
  • Eyes – intense, focused stare
  • Mouth – lips are pulled back and some teeth show
  • Hackles – this is a line of hair that starts at the base of the neck and runs down the shoulders. It is raised if a dog is feeling aggressive and lowered if he is relaxed.
  • Stance – dog is pulled into himself
  • Tail – tucked completely under
  • Ears – lying down
  • Eyes – wide-eyed and trouble focusing
  • Mouth – lips pulled back slightly or heavy panting
  • Stance – lying down or standing without any alertness
  • Tail – up and wagging or lying naturally
  • Ears – at their normal state, depending on the breed (A Terrier’s would be up but relaxed, a Hound’s would be down)
  • Eyes – normal pupil dilation, focused but not staring
  • Mouth – open and lightly panting or closed

Fearful or Anxious

Aggressive

Fear-Aggressive

Relaxed

Dog Verbal Cues

The Howl
This is an attempt to locate someone, perhaps you or the dog down the street. When you leave for work, it’s very possible your dog howls in an effort to get you back. When one dog starts howling in the neighborhood, usually many others join in – it’s sort of like a conference call.

The Growl
This means “back off.” You’ll see a dog growl when another dog gets interested in his food. Your dog may growl at a stranger he doesn’t like or he may growl at you when you try to take his toy away. It’s actually a very effective way of communicating and actually signals that you can probably negotiate that toy away. When a dog is in an aggressive stance and silent, there is the most danger.

The Grunt or Mutter
This is usually to indicate that your dog wants something. It’s an interesting sound because it’s almost manipulative – your dog knows if he barks, he’ll get into trouble but the more subtle “grunt” might get him wants he wants. It is also heard when dogs greet other dogs or humans.

The Whimper
Dogs whimper when they’re anxious or hurt. Sometimes they figure out that they get attention when they whimper and use this to their advantage.

The Whine
This indicates frustration. They are in a sense “complaining” about something.

The Bark
There are many different types of barks. A high pitched bark indicates excitement and happiness. A low pitched bark indicates aggression and is possibly a threat. Dogs bark to get attention, to respond to other dogs, to indicate that they’re happy, and to alert their human to a problem. Unfortunately, your dog may detect a “problem” that you can’t see or hear, such as a siren miles away or the neighbor’s cat hiding in the tree outside the window.

Remember when Lassie sprinted off down the road to find help because Timmy had fallen into a well? Through her verbal cues and body language she was able to lead the rescuers back to the disaster scene. By understanding our dogs’ language, we can better communicate with them and avoid common misunderstandings. And you can be assured that your dog isn’t going crazy when he’s muttering to himself all the time.

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Dog Microchips and Identification

It’s one of the worst things imaginable: losing a pet. It can make pet owners feel so helpless. The statistics are high and state that one in three pets will get lost. And consider that 90 percent of those that aren’t identified won’t be recovered.

The old way of looking for a lost pet involved knocking on your neighbors’ doors and putting posters up on phone poles. While these tactics can still be very useful, identification systems for animals have almost made them obsolete.

Tagging Your Pet

Most municipalities require pet owners to license their pets and with that comes tags. In addition to these, most pet owners “tag” their pets with their name, address and phone number.

Benefits of tagging your pet:

  • By licensing, you are in the local animal control’s database.
  • Pet tags are inexpensive.
  • You can be creative with your pet tag and make it stand out.
  • Updating your information if you move is quick and easy.

Disadvantages of tagging your pet:

  • Tags can fall off
  • If you don’t keep your pet’s tag up-to-date, he may not be returned to you.

Microchipping Your Pet

Many breeders and humane shelters offer the option of microchipping your pet before you take them home. Your vet can also microchip your dog at any age.

A microchip is placed between a dog or cat’s shoulder blades with a needle. Animals stay awake while it’s done. It is about the size of a grain of rice so animals aren’t aware they’ve been “chipped.” The owner then registers the chip number.

A receiver in the microchip picks up a low-frequency radio wave sent via a scanner, and the identification number in the chip is received, read and then displayed on the scanner. Most vets, rescue centers and animal wardens have scanners, though not all microchips and scanners are compatible.

Advantages of Microchipping:

  • Quick and easy insertion with very little pain.
  • Microchips are compatible with living tissue.
  • Microchips are designed to last for 25 years.
  • Microchips have been proven to aid in pet identification even after prolonged absence.

Disadvantages of Microchipping:

  • Microchips have been know to work free of the skin. Be sure to also have a pet ID tag on your dog or cat at all times.
  • Different places use different scanners. This means that a dog or cat could pass through a shelter without being identified. Luckily, universal scanners are slowly becoming more available. The next step is to adopt the international standard frequency microchip, but that would mean re-microchipping.
  • A microchip is not a GPS device. You cannot follow your pet with it.
  • The insertion can cause problems for some pets.

Pet Identification GPS Tracking Device

GPS Tracking Devices, about the size of a business card – are worn on your pet’s collar. You can track your pet’s location by calling or texting the device and get his exact location, and even directions.

Benefits of a GPS tracking device:

  • Your pet can be located at almost any locale.
  • The device can direct you in real time so if your pet won’t stay still, you can still find him.
  • No insertion under the skin is needed.

Disadvantages of a GPS tracking device:

  • These devices tend to be more expensive than a microchip and can require a monthly subscription.
  • There can be limited cell phone coverage or internet connectivity in some areas.
  • They can come loose from the collar and get lost.

Pet Recovery Services

Pet Recovery Services offer several ways to help you find your pet. Organizations such as Dogster have large networks of members and participants. Combining technology, community resources and social networking, Dogster’s Together Tag can help you find your lost pet.

Advantages of pet recovery services:

  • A database of pets, including your own, with information on the pet and the owner. Some work with the major lost pet databases around the country and, thus, provide good coverage.
  • Information and picture of your pet is sent to all members within a certain radius if your pet is lost.
  • A pet recovery service contacts shelters, vets, animal control and more in your area, should your pet go missing.

Disadvantages of pet recovery services:

  • There is no way to track your pet once he’s lost (unless members in the community post having seen him).
  • There’s no guarantee that members will be of help.

Using pet recovery services in conjunction with tagging, microchipping and/or GPS devices can really help ensure that you find your pet. But don’t forget that putting posters up around the neighborhood is still a good way to go.

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