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Showing posts with label happy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label happy. Show all posts

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Everything about your Schipperke

Everything about your Schipperke
  Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle presents the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We're here to help you meet the breed that's right for you. If you're looking for a loyal and devoted companion to bring into your family, learn everything you need to know about the Shipperke.

Overview
  Bred to guard canal bridges in Belgium, the Schipperke is lovingly nicknamed "little captain" or "little skipper." Known for being the captain's dog, the breed played a very important role on the ships. Popular in Belgium homes, it became a worldwide-known breed after being seen with Queen Marie Henriette. Coming to the U.S. in the 1900s, the breed has become increasingly popular in American households. Still a great companion on ships and boats, the active breed is a very kind and loving family dog.

Highlights
  • Schipperkes are a long-lived breed. It is important that you understand the length of time a Schipperke can live and make sure you are committed enough to provide a good life for the dog for the next 15 or more years.
  • The Schipperke is so independent-minded he's not recommended for first-time dog owners.
  • These are adaptable dogs who can do well in any setting, including life on a boat or in an apartment, as long as they get plenty of daily exercise and the neighbors are tolerant of barking! They do best, however, if they have a small fenced yard to run in.
  • Schipperkes have a high energy level and will demand at least a half hour of activity every day, and preferably more.
  • Schipperkes are considered light shedders except for twice a year, when they shed heavily. Weekly brushing keeps their coat clean, and they don't need frequent baths.
  • Training can be challenging if it is not done with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, all aided by a good sense of humor.
  • Schipperkes are naturally suspicious of strangers and can be territorial toward people and other dogs. They make excellent watchdogs.
  • Loving and devoted, the Schipperke is an ideal family dog who adores children. They can get along with other dogs, especially if they are properly socialized, and they get along with cats extremely well.
  • Schipperkes can be noisy and they will bark for entertainment and as an alert.
  • Never buy a Schipperke from a puppy mill, a pet store, or a breeder who doesn't provide health clearances or guarantees. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies and who breeds for sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
  • The Schipperke is a small black tailless dog with a foxy face. He has a square body and a distinctive coat, characterized by a ruff that stands out from the neck, a cape, jabot and culottes, all creating a dog with a unique silhouette. The ruff begins behind the ears and goes all the way around the neck. The cape is an additional layer beyond the ruff. The jabot .
  • The Schipperke has a wedge-shaped head with prick ears and small oval dark-brown eyes. His expression is questioning, mischievous, impudent, and alert.
  • The Schipperke is what’s called a natural breed, meaning his coat should not be sculpted in any way. Only the whiskers and the hair between the pads of the feet may be trimmed for the show ring.
  • This breed’s name is often pronounced “skipper-kee” but in Flemish it is pronounced “sheep-er-ker.”
  • One of the earliest, maybe the first, dog shows was one for Schipperkes held in Brussels in 1690.
  • Legend has it that the Schipperke’s taillessness arose in the 17th century when a shoemaker became angry that his neighbor’s dog kept stealing from him and cut off the tail.
Breed standards
AKC group: Non-sporting
UKC group: Companion
Average lifespan: 13 - 15 years
Average size: 10 - 16 pounds
Coat appearance: Thick and soft
Coloration: Black
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Fox-like look to medium-sized body; wide chest and large, erect ears; small black nose and oval eyes; typically born tailless
Possible alterations: Can be tan or fawn in color, although not accepted by the UKC
Comparable Breeds: Keeshond, Samoyed

History
  The Schipperke is an old breed that was developed in Belgium. He has often been erroneously called a "Dutch Dog," but the breed is not associated with Holland in any way.
The Schipperke is believed to be descended from a black sheepdog called a Leauvenaar, the same breed credited with being the foundation dog for the Groenendael. While the Groenendael was developed to be a herding breed, the Schipperke was developed to be a small watchdog. They were often seen guarding the boats that plied the canals between Brussels and Antwerp.
  The Schipperke has the distinction of having one of the first "specialty shows." This show took place in 1690, when members of the shoemakers guild were invited to display their Schipperkes and their hammered brass collars, which were a custom at the time, in the Grand Place of Brussels.
  Originally known as the Spitske or Spits, the Schipperke was given its current name when the breed club was formed in 1888. The word Schipperke may mean "little shepherd" or "little captain," either of which would be appropriate given this breed's heritage.
  The Schipperke became a fashionable pet after Queen Marie Henriette saw one at a Brussels dog show in 1885. The popularity of the breed grew and the Schipperke was eventually imported to the United States in 1888.
  The first United States specialty club for the Schipperke was formed in 1905, but the official breed club, the Schipperke Club of America, was not founded until 1929.
  Today, the Schipperke is loved for his cleverness, devotion, and versatility, as well as his sly sense of humor. He ranks 82nd among the 155 breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club.



Personality
  The Schipperke is the proverbial "big dog in a little dog's body." He's active, confident, and curious. A closed door is simply a challenge to be overcome.
  The Schipperke retains his puppylike qualities — including the troublesome ones — until he's 4 or 5 years old.
  He loves his people and wants to please them, but he also likes to have his own way. If he's allowed to, the Schipperke will soon be running the household. Protective, fearless, and naturally suspicious of strangers, he makes an excellent watchdog and will take on anyone who seems to have evil intent.
  Schipperkes are selective in offering their friendship, generally limiting it to family members, with whom they create strong bonds. When it comes to training, they're mischievous and can be stubborn, but with positive reinforcement they learn quickly.
  Like every dog, Schipperkes need early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Schipperke puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

Health
  The average life expectancy of the Schipperke is 12 to 15 years. Increased health risks associated with this breed include epilepsy, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, progressive retinal atrophy, Legg-Calves-Perthes disease, and cataracts.

Care
  The Schipperke is an easy to care for and adaptable breed who should live indoors with his family. During hot weather, which he doesn't tolerate well, he enjoys lying in front of a fan or beneath a ceiling fan.
  He generally does well in all types of settings and families, as long as he gets plenty of daily exercise and firm and consistent guidance from someone with a sense of humor.
With his high activity level, however, he may be best suited to a home with a small but securely fenced yard where he can run off some of his energy. Be aware that Schipperkes like to dig, especially if there may be a mole at the end of the tunnel.
  Schipperkes need at least half an hour of exercise daily, and more is better. Their people are usually tired before they are. They are always running and playing and will use your house as a racetrack when the mood strikes. Walk them on leash to prevent a sudden dash toward an interesting animal or object.
  Count on two daily walks to keep your Schipperke's desire for action satisfied. He'll also enjoy riding in a basket on a bicycle or cruising the aisles of the pet supply store in a grocery cart.
  Begin training when your Schipperke is young, and continue to reinforce lessons throughout his life. He requires a trainer who's patient and consistent and responds best to positive reinforcement techniques such as food rewards, praise, and play.
  The Schipperke is known for being stubborn. Although he's intelligent and wants you to be happy, his idea of how things should be may outweigh any desire to please. Some Schipperkes can be difficult to housetrain, and crate-training is recommended.

Living Conditions
  Schipperkes are good dogs for apartment life. They are very active indoors. These dogs are incredibly quick and it is a good idea to have a fenced yard.

Trainability
  Schipperkes can be a handful to train, but with a little patience, it can be done. They bore easily, so it is important to keep sessions short and to vary the routine in order to hold their interest. Positive reinforcement is all you need to get your Schipperke to learn new behavior, as they soak up praise and treats. These little dogs are smart, however, and they can often manipulate you into bending the rules, whether it be flaunting their sheer cuteness or blatantly breaking a rule so many times that you give up enforcing it. 100% consistency is key in raising an obedient Schipperke.
  Housebreaking a Schipperke can also be a challenge as they will flaunt their independence by relieving themselves where and when they please. Crate training is the best recipe for success, and expect anywhere from six to eight months of training before your Schipperke finally follows the program.

Exercise
  The Schipperke is an active and tireless breed. To be happy and mentally stable, they need to be taken on a daily, long walk or jog. They also enjoy play and getting a chance to run. This breed is very active indoors and will get a lot of its exercise running around your house. It will greatly enjoy running free off its lead in a safely fenced-in yard or a park.

Grooming
  The Schipperke’s abundant double coat is straight and slightly harsh to the touch, with a soft, dense undercoat. The coat should never be silky or excessively long or short.
  Although the Schipperke’s coat looks like a lot of work, it can be maintained with brushing once a week — more often when he’s shedding, which occurs once or twice a year. Bathe him only when he’s dirty or every three or four months.
  The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, but Schipperkes are not fond of having their nails trimmed, so consider using a nail grinder instead.
  Keep the ears clean and dry. Check them weekly for redness or a bad odor that might indicate infection. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball moistened with a mild pH-balanced cleanser recommended by your veterinarian. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath.
  It is important to begin grooming the Schipperke when he is very young. An early introduction teaches the independent Schipperke that grooming is a normal part of his life and to patiently accept the handling and fuss of the grooming process.

Children And Other Pets
  Sturdy and energetic, Schipperkes can be loyal and affectionate companions to children. They generally get along well with children of all ages, playing gently and kindly with younger ones.
  Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how good-natured, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  The Schipperke generally does very well with cats who share his home. This acceptance is stronger if the Schipperke has been raised with cats. He can also get along with other dogs if he's raised with them, but it's important to realize that the breed is territorial and will defend its property from unknown dogs as well as people.

Is this breed right for you?
  Extremely devoted to his master, the Schipperke is an intelligent and active breed. Very loving with children and getting along well with other animals if exposed to them early on, it's likely that the Schipperke will attach himself to his master. Easy to train and a good guard dog, the breed will need proper leadership to avoid behavioral issues. If he believes he's the pack leader, he will act unlike himself with an erratic personality. Likely to bark, he will need to be socialized well. Doing OK with apartment life if properly exercised, the Schipperke does best with a small yard that he can play in. Requiring little grooming, he is an average shedder.

Did You Know?
  Legend has it that the Schipperke’s taillessness arose in the 17th century when a shoemaker became angry that his neighbor’s dog kept stealing from him and cut off the tail.

Populars Schipperke
  • In World War II, the Belgian Resistance used the dogs to run messages between various resistance hideouts and cells, to which occupying Nazi Forces were none the wiser.
  • A Schipperke is intermittently featured in the tiger-centric movie Two Brothers (2004).
A dream day in the life of a Schipperke
  Waking up in the bed of his master, the Schipperke will go downstairs to greet the other members of the family with a few licks. Going outside for a quick run around the yard, he'll come back inside for playtime with the kiddos. A great guard dog, he'll bark at any strangers that approach the home. Enjoying a walk in the afternoon, he'll come in and out of the house, taking a small nap and hanging out with the family. After practicing a few tricks, the Schipperke will tuck himself in next to his master for a good snooze.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner Is Not for Dogs

Thanksgiving Dinner Is Not for Dogs
  With the holidays approaching, your dog or cat will inevitably be begging to partake in the big turkey dinner. People admitted to sharing Thanksgiving table scraps with their pets. While this can be a wonderful way to add lean protein and fresh veggies to your pet’s diet, there are also hidden dangers in holiday fare. 

 This year, before preparing a heaping plateful for your pet, consult a vet and consider these tips to keep Thanksgiving a safe, healthful holiday for your dog .

Talkin’ Turkey: If you decide to feed your pet a small bite of turkey, make sure it’s boneless and well-cooked. Don't offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria. Do not give your pet the left over carcass–the bones can be problematic for the digestive tract.
+Turkey can be a wonderful lean protein to share with your pet. 

No to Alliums: Nothing with alliums (i.e., onions, garlic, leeks, scallions) should be ingested by your pet. While it is true that small, well-cooked portions of these foods can be okay if your pet is used to it, ingesting these foods in large quantities can lead to toxic anemia.

Your dog can get very sick from eating onions or garlic, because they contain sulfides—which are toxic to dogs and can cause destruction of red blood cells, leading to anemia.

Don't Let Them Eat Cake: If you plan to bake Thanksgiving desserts, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs—they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.

  It's no myth: chocolate is dangerous for dogs. The toxic component is theobromine, something easily metabolized by humans but a big problem for dogs. In large quantities, theobromine can cause seizures, internal bleeding and heart attacks in dogs, but even a small amount will probably cause your pup some discomfort. Keep all chocolate treats away from your pet. While some desserts aren't as dangerous, it is best for pups to stay away from all sweets. Too much sugar ingestion can lead to diabetes and obesity.

Yes to Mashed Potatoes: Potatoes are a great, filling vegetable to share with your pet. However even though the potatoes themselves are not harmful to pets, be aware of additional ingredients used to make mashed potatoes. Cheese, sour cream, butter, onions, and gravies are no-no’s in a pet’s diet.

Yes to Cranberry Sauce: Cranberries are full of antioxidants and vitamins that are great for your pup, but this trademark sauce is also full of sugar, so keep Fido's portion light. 

Cranberry sauce is just fine for pets but watch the amount of sugar in it. It is probably best to only provide a small helping to your pet’s plate.

Do pass a piece of pumpkin: Plain, cut, cooked pieces of pumpkin are a pawsome treat for pups. The smooth and colorful food is often used as a digestive aid for dogs with tummy troubles. Don't be afraid to share this squash with your furry sweetheart, just make sure there are no extra flavors added. 

Yes to Green Beans: Plain green beans are a wonderful treat for pets. Fresh vegetables are a great addition to any diet. If the green beans are included in a green bean casserole though, be conscious of the other ingredients in it.


No to Alcohol: Alcohol is definitely a big no for pets. What we people may consider a small amount can be toxic for a smaller animal. Also, keep in mind that alcohol poisoning can occur in pets from atypical items like fruit cake , as well as unbaked bread.
  Don't give your pup a sip of wine: Since most dogs are smaller than humans, intoxicants hit them harder. Ban your furry best friends from the bar and keep their drinks to fresh water only. 
  Beer: Keep the cold ones to yourself. Some dogs might love beer, but it can really mess with their stomach. And if the dog has too much, it can cause a fever, rapid heartbeat, seizures, liver damage, or even death.

We’re wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday season!

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Why Is My Dog Deaf?

Why Is My Dog Deaf?
  Depending on the breed, a dog’s sense of smell is 1,000 to 10,000 times more sensitive than a human’s. A human has 5 million scent glands, as compared to a dog that has 125 million to 300 million. When a dog smells something, it can tell a lot about it; it's almost like reading a book—where the object has been, what it has eaten, what it has touched, etc. Deaf dogs rely on their nose and eyes, and those senses become even more sensitive. It is important when grooming a deaf dog not to cut off its whiskers, as dogs use these to sense the distance of things around them.
  When a dog gets old, it may begin to lose its eyesight and ability to hear. While this may be traumatic for you to witness, it is much more stressful on the dog. Imagine suddenly not being able to hear familiar noises, find things around the house, or see who is approaching you.
  Deafness refers to the lack/ loss of an animal's ability to hear, this can either be complete or partial loss. If the dog is deaf at birth, it will be very apparent to you at a young age. 
  More than 30 breeds of dogs have a known susceptibility for deafness, including the Australian shepherd, Boston terrier, cocker spaniel, Dalmatian, German shepherd, Jack Russell terrier, Maltese, toy and miniature poodle, and West Highland white terrier. Typically, it is more common in senior dogs.

Symptoms
  Dogs that are undergoing hearing loss may appear disobedient and ignorant of commands. A dog with extreme hearing loss will not typically respond if you snap your fingers next to its ears or make an unfamiliar noise that typically warrants a reaction. A dog’s ears tend to move around and twitch as they take in sounds around them. If a dog has ears that remain still, this could be a sign that they are going deaf.
  Dogs typically show more obvious symptoms of hearing loss than do cats. Of course, it is easier to identify deafness in a dog born without hearing than in one who develops deafness gradually. In either case, signs of deafness include:

  • Overly aggressive behavior with littermates (young puppy with congenital deafness)
  • Sleeping more than typical for a dog of its age and breed
  • Lack of response to squeaky toys
  • Tendency to startle and/or snap when physically roused from sleep or rest
  • Lack of response to auditory stimuli, especially when the dog is not looking (voice commands, shouting, clapping hands, whistling, barking, doorbells, etc.)
  • Exaggerated response to physical stimuli (touch, floor or ground vibration, wind)
  • Tendency to startle and/or snap when touched from behind or outside of its field of vision
  • Disorientation, confusion, agitation in otherwise familiar circumstances
  • Decreased activity level
  • Difficulty arousing from sleep
  • Unusual vocal sound
  • Not awakening from sleep in response to auditory stimuli (voice commands, clapping, whistling, other sounds)
  • Gradual decline in response to own name and known voice commands
  • Excessive barking for a dog of its age and breed.

Diagnosis
  Early age onset usually suggests birth defects  in predisposed breeds. On the other hand, brain disease is a slow progressive disease of the cerebral cortex, usually caused by senility or cancer,  making the brain not able to register what the ear can hear. Bacterial cultures and hearing tests, as well as sensitivity testing of the ear canal, may also used to diagnose the underlying condition.


Treatment
  There really is no way to “treat” deafness in dogs. The therapeutic goals are basically to prevent deafness from developing in the first place and to improve an affected dog’s hearing ability if at all possible. The best way to deal with canine deafness is with kind, careful and consistent training, management and care of affected animals.
  There is no realistic treatment for congenital deafness in dogs, whether it is hereditary or otherwise. Puppies born with a limited or absent sense of hearing almost always will be unable to hear sounds for the rest of their lives. There also is no practical way to treat dogs with acquired nerve-related deafness or hearing loss. Some veterinary teaching hospitals and other highly specialized veterinary facilities offer customized hearing aids for dogs with limited hearing disabilities, but these are extremely expensive and largely useless for most causes of canine deafness. Certainly, dogs with temporary hearing loss caused by ear infections, tumors or build-up of wax and other debris can be treated by removing the causative agent either medically or surgically. Otherwise, deafness is usually irreversible and permanent.

  Dogs with partial or complete deafness can live normal, happy, productive lives. They can do therapy work, scent and sight tracking, obedience, agility and pretty much anything else that hearing dogs can do. Deafness is a disability that requires special attention by owners but does not prevent most affected dogs from living every bit as full a life as any dog with normal hearing capabilities. If your dog is deaf or seems to be losing its hearing, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Hearing loss is not a life-threatening condition. However, it is worthwhile to determine whether there are any correctible conditions that are contributing to a dog’s loss of hearing.


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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Why Your Dog is Good for You?

Why Your Dog is Good for You?
  Dogs offer more than just companionship. If you’ve got a furry friend already, you likely have quite a few reasons to thank your dog. If you’re considering getting a pooch, check out these surprising benefits of having a dog.

1. RESISTANCE TO ALLERGIES!


  While dogs can be one of the worst triggers for people with allergies, growing up in a house with a dog makes children less likely to develop allergies over the course of their lives. Even if you were just a fetus when your mother lived with a dog, you are still less likely to be bothered by animal hair and dander, or to develop eczema as an adult.

2. You’ll exercise more.

  Owning a dog can motivate you to exercise every day. On those days when it might be easy to skip a workout, looking at your dog standing by the door waiting to go for a walk can give you the push you need to get out there. Taking your dog for a 30 minute walk every day can greatly improve your health.

3. Dogs Boost Your Mood

  Dogs have long been known to make great companions, but did you know that they actually improve your mood? Research has shown that it only takes a mere 15–30 minutes with your pet to feel more relaxed and calm. Playing with your dog also raises your brain’s levels of dopamine and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters that are associated with pleasure and tranquility. Psychologists from Miami and St. Louis Universities found that the benefits of having a canine companion can be equivalent to having a human companion. Looks like pooches can get your tail wagging!

4. Your social life may improve.

  Not only does walking your dog help you to get exercise, it might also help you get a date. People are more likely to stop and talk with you when you’re walking a dog. Going to the dog park or taking your dogs to run errands can also lead to strangers striking up conversations with you about your dog.


5. Dogs Are Better Than Medicine

  In addition to boosting your mood, your dog is also great for your health. Your body reaps a lot of benefits from having your fur baby around. Dog owners have been found to have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, fewer heart attacks, and according to a study by the British Journal of Health (2004), dog owners also have the added benefit of having fewer medical problems than those without pets.

6. CANCER DETECTION!

  Your dog could save your life one day. It seems that our canine friends have the ability to smell cancer in the human body. Stories abound of owners whose dogs kept sniffing or licking a mole or lump on their body so they got it checked out, discovering it was cancerous. The anecdotal evidence was later backed up by scientific studies. Dogs are so good at this that some of them are trained to detect cancer, in as little as three hours.

7. You can grow old gracefully.

  Dog ownership benefits elderly people in many ways. Alzheimer’s patients have fewer outbursts when there is a dog in the home. Caregivers of elderly patients report less stress. Dogs offer wonderful companionship for the elderly as well.

8. Dogs Can Help Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

  Clearly, dogs are extremely helpful in helping people deal with medical issues. Dogs have been found to be beneficial to people with various medical issues, but especially with those diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Dogs help people with RA to move more often and encourage play as well as helping them get their mind off of their condition. Dogs are great motivators to get moving and they sure are good at distracting us from things!

9. You’ll feel safer.


  Dogs can be an effective home security system. Studies show that barking dogs deter burglars. Just knowing that you’ve got a dog who can use its keen sense of hearing to detect anyone prowling around can help increase your sense of security, which is good for both your mental and physical health.

10. BE HAPPIER!

  Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than non-pet owners. Even for those people who do become clinically depressed, having a pet to take care of can help them out of a depressive episode, in some cases more effectively even than medication. Since taking care of a dog requires a routine and forces you to stay at least a little active, it is harder to stay inside feeling down all the time. The interaction with and love received from a dog can also help people stay positive. Even the mere act of looking at your pet increases the amount of Oxytocin, the “feel good” chemical, in the brain.

Happy days with your dog!

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Do Dogs Recognize our Facial Expressions?

Do Dogs Recognize our Facial Expressions?
  So, you think you know your dog.  But how well does your dog know you?  She probably recognizes you when she sees you, but can the dog tell by simply looking at you whether you have a happy or an angry expression on your face?   Researchers have taught pet dogs to know the difference.  
  A new study indicates dogs can learn to distinguish a smile, even on the faces of some strangers.
  For the first time ever, researchers have established that dogs can tell the difference between angry and happy human faces. Dogs may have developed the skill during their domestication by humans, according to a study published today in the journal Current Biology. The study also suggests that dogs had memories of what the expressions looked like and were able to associate them with the appropriate emotions.
  "Our study demonstrates that dogs can distinguish angry and happy expressions in humans, they can tell that these two expressions have different meanings, and they can do this not only for people they know well, but even for faces they have never seen before," study co-author Dr. Ludwig Huber, head of the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna's Messerli Research Institute in Austria, said in a written statement.
  In the study, nine dogs (mainly Border Collies) were shown sections of pictures of sad and happy human faces on touchscreens. One group of dogs was trained to touch the happy face to receive a treat while the other group was trained to touch the angry face. After the training period, the dogs were able to select the correct face with a 70 to 80 percent accuracy, explains lead author Corsin Müller, a cognitive scientist at the University of of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, adding that the emotions being tested had been selected because they were "quite relevant for the dogs." "They seemed to realize that the smiley eyes have the same meaning as a smiley mouth and angry eyes have the same meaning as an angry mouth," Müller says.
  Whatever the reason, it's not so surprising that dogs can tell facial expressions apart, Müller says. "Because they spend so much time with humans, they have a lot of opportunities to see human expressions."
 Müller plans to pursue that question, and to look at whether domestication played a role in the ability to read human expressions. For that study, the biologist plans to test species such as cats, pigs, and hand-raised wolves.  Muller says future work will try to determine whether dogs can learn the meaning of certain expressions - for example, whether a scowl indicates a person is angry.
  The findings, published in the journal Current Biology, provide the first solid evidence that we are not the only species that can read another species' body language.   
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Everything about your Papillon

Everything about your Papillon
  Don't let the delicate package fool you — though the Papillon will fit on your lap, this extrovert is happiest romping around and making friends.  
  The Papillon dog breed descends from the toy spaniels that are frequently portrayed in paintings by the Old Masters, from as far back as the 16th century. He's highly active and is a wonderful competitor in agility and obedienc
   A favorite among the French royals of the 17th and 18th centuries, the Papillon was named after the French word meaning "butterfly." Appropriately named after its big, gracious and seemingly fluttering ears, this upscale pooch is many things but a lap dog. A highly active and energetic breed, the Papillon is the perfect lap size, but would much rather show off its athletic talents in front of a crowd.
   The Papillon is a small, friendly, elegant toy dog with a fine boned structure. He is light and dainty, yet still lively, and is distinguished from other breeds by his beautiful, butterfly-like ears. They are known to be happy and alert little dogs that are not shy or aggressive. The breed must be either parti-color or white with patches of any color.

Overview
  Like a supermodel with a Ph.D in nuclear physics, the Papillon first catches your eye with his looks - trademark butterfly-wing ears, silky coat and dark eyes - his grace and his expressiveness. But packed inside that pretty purse-sized body is one of the smartest of all dogs, a clever, active little guy who excels at almost anything dogs do, from organized sports like canine agility to long walks in the park - and of course, companionship.
  His small size means he can live happily in an apartment, but only if he receives gentle, consistent training to prevent nuisance barking and potty accidents. This dog is sometimes nicknamed the yappy Pappy, and like many small dogs he has a casual attitude toward housetraining.
  The Papillon is not a good choice if you want a restful dog who doesn’t need much exercise. He is highly intelligent and needs the stimulation of activity and training. He needs time to run around safely and play with other small dogs, as well as long walks on leash every day. Daily activity is a good rule of thumb if you want to keep the Papillon from entertaining himself in ways you won’t like. He’s a natural at many dog sports, including agility, carting, flyball, freestyle, obedience, rally, and tracking. It's always a good idea to check with your vet before starting an exercise program with your pet.  
   However alert and active they are, Papillons are still extremely small, and need to be protected from rambunctious children and dogs. Since he has no idea he's as small as he is, he's likely to challenge much bigger dogs, as well as leap tall buildings in a single bound – potentially with broken bones as a result. Other than that, he believes in "the more, the merrier," and he likes to live in multi-pet homes. Many Papillons and cats have become fast friends.
  While the dogs are named for their distinctive ears like a butterfly wing – "papillon" is French for "butterfly" – they can have hanging ears as well. Although these dogs are usually referred to as "Phalenes" rather than "Papillons," the dogs are otherwise identical and in the United States are registered, bred, and shown as a single breed.

Highlights
  • Some lines can be nervous, high-strung, and timid. This is not appropriate for the breed. Avoid puppies with these characteristics or puppies from parents with these characteristics.
  • Papillons do not do well in environments where there is little time for the dog. They will choose to be never separated from their human companions.
  • Puppies are fragile and can be injured by rough and tumble play. They are not suitable for families with very small children.
  • Papillons are among the breeds sensitive to anesthesia. Keep this in mind when scheduling any surgical procedure.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
  • Comparable Breeds: Chihuahua, Pomeranian

History
  Look at any portrait of a beautiful lady or a young family from the 17th or 18th century and in pride of place you will often see a small spaniel who is just as much a part of the painting as anyone else. Those toy spaniels, which were popular in royal courts and noble homes, were the ancestors of today’s English Toy Spaniels, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and, of course, Papillons. Papillons were favorites in the French royal court, but they almost disappeared after the French Revolution because of their association with the aristocracy. Fortunately for the people who love them, the breed was revived in the late 19th century. It was then that the Papillon was given the name that so perfectly describes him: “butterfly.”
  One of the best-known Papillons in recent times is a little dog named Kirby, more formally known as Ch. Loteki Supernatural Being, who won Best in Show at Westminster in 1999 and Best in Show at the World Dog Show in Helsinki in 1998. Another Papillon shows just how versatile this tiny dog is. Am./Can. Ch. OTCh. Loteki Top Secret, TDX, Can. CDX, TD (Zipper to his friends) was the first Papillon and the first Toy dog to earn all American Kennel Club titles available at the time. Besides being a conformation champion in the U.S. and Canada, he was an obedience trial champion and a tracking dog.
   It’s no wonder that the Papillon’s popularity is growing. From 43rd in 2000, he currently ranks 35th among the breeds registered by the American Kennel Club.

Physical Characteristics
  The defining physical characteristic of the Papillon is its unique butterfly ears, but its sibling the Phalene is identical in all respects save for the ears, which drop down. They are registered and shown as the same breed, and are in fact born in the same litters. With this in mind, all of the breed descriptions given here are suitable for both the Papillon and the Phalene.
  The Papillon is a member of the toy group. A petite, fine-boned, delicate breed with an elegance that belies its frolicsome nature, the Papillon stands at less than a foot tall, with the average at 11 inches. It is longer than it is tall, with a weight that is proportionate to its height.    This breed should not be cobby or round, but should maintain an appearance of lightness. It moves with a graceful, quick, and free gait, with the ears spread out like the wings of a butterfly in movement. The Phalene's ears are similar in structure, but remain down even in movement.   The tail is arched over the back with a large, full plume.
  The Papillon can be found in any color, although the preferred pattern is a band of color across the nose, extending onto the ears, accentuating the butterfly effect, or an flash of white on the face with coloring of the ears. The soft, one layered coat is long and straight, with short hair on the muzzle and skull, but ample on the ears, chest and legs.


Personality
  The Papillon is happy, alert, and friendly. He should never be shy or aggressive. This is, however, a take-charge little dog with a moderate to intense activity level. He's very smart and highly trainable and is best described as a doer, not a cuddler.
  Temperament is affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who's beating up his littermates or the one who's hiding in the corner. Always meet at least one of the parents — usually the mother is the one who's available — to ensure that they have nice temperaments that you're comfortable with. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when he grows up.
  Like every dog, Papillons need early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Papillon pup grows up to be a well-rounded dog. Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.


Care
  Mental stimulation is a must for the vivacious Papillion, as well as daily leash walks and a active obedience training and tasks. This breed especially needs to have tasks and games that will occupy its mind, and structured expectations for behavior in order to prevent this little one from becoming too big for its britches, so to speak.
  Its coat in one layered and fine, so it does not require much in the way of grooming. The exception is the ears, because they are tufted. Checking for dirt or objects that might have gotten caught in the ears during outdoor play should be part of a daily pat down. Otherwise, a brushing two times a week is enough to keep your Pap looking shiny and smooth.
It almost goes without saying that because of this dogs delicate structure and size, it is suited only for indoor living, but it does enjoy time spent outside immensely. One of the extra benefits of this breed is that it can be litter trained.

Health
  The Papillon, which has an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, is susceptible to some health problems, such as dental problems that are particular to small breeds, patellar luxation, and seizures. In some dogs, open fontanel (a condition affecting skull formation), progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), allergies, and intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) can also be seen. Knee tests and testing for the hemophilic disorder and von Willebrand's Disease (vWD) are standard for the breed. The Papillon may also be sensitive to anesthesia. This should be addressed with a veterinarian before surgeries or other procedures that require anesthesia are used on the dog.

Grooming
  Although the Papillon's long, silky coat looks like it needs frequent grooming, he's an easy-care dog. Just a little brushing a few times a week, brush his teeth  for good overall health and fresh breath, along with regular ear-cleaning and nail-trimming, and you're good to go with a Papillon.
  A few good tools will make grooming your Papillon a breeze. Get a pin brush - the kind with smooth-tipped wire pins instead of bristles - a stainless steel comb with fine and coarse teeth and some antistatic coat spray. The spray will help protect the coat as you brush it. Brush the body with the pin brush, then go over it again with the comb. Use the fine teeth on the ear fringes and the feathering on the tail.
  If you find mats, gently work them apart with your fingers. Mats that are too tight should be cut in half lengthwise using curved shears with blunt tips. That will make them easier to pull apart. You can also use the shears to trim the hair between the paw pads. Be careful to avoid accidentally cutting the skin.
   Depending on how dirty they get or how close they get to you in bed, Papillons can be bathed as often as once or twice a week or as little as two or three times a month.

Is this breed right for you?
  Among the smartest of the toy breeds, the Papillon is not your average pint-sized companion. If you're looking for a breed to nap and cuddle with you all day, think again. This breed excels at training and obstacle courses and loves to show off its talents. It may be a small breed but its big-dog personality requires lots of daily exercise. Despite its seemingly high-maintenance coat, this breed requires minimum grooming as its shedding level is minimal.

Living conditions
  Although they can be good city dogs, they are sometimes not good apartment dogs, because the dog has a strong instinct to protect their property, and many will bark excessively at nearby noises, not making the distinction between casual noises and those worthy of real alarm.

Exercise
  Papillons need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off-lead, such as a large, fenced-in yard.
Children and other pets
  Papillons love children, but the combination of a tiny dog and a young child can be a recipe for disaster. A Papillon may leap from a child's hands and injure himself if he's not being held correctly, and he won't hesitate to defend himself if he's being mistreated. Many breeders won't sell puppies to families with toddlers for fear that the dog will be injured.
  Make it a rule that young children can only hold or pet the Papillon if they're sitting on the floor. Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's sleeping or eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  Papillons get along well with other pets in the family, including cats, if introduced at a young age. The fearless Papillon will often boss around dogs much bigger than he is, and this may or may not cause problems. It's not unusual for the smallest dog to be the one in charge.

Did You Know?
  Teen pop sensation Justin Bieber owns a Papillon named Sam, who he adopted from a shelter. Bieber told his pet rescue story in a PSA on animal adoption for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. A Papillon named Bijoux appeared in the commercial with Bieber.

A dream day in the life of a Papillon
  Training, learning new tricks, practicing on a new obstacle course and showing off to friends makes this pup's day a great one. Papillons are sweet and active little dogs that must remain challenged on a day-to-day basis. Spend plenty of time playing and learning with this intelligent breed and you'll have a happy companion for years to come.






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Friday, April 4, 2014

Best Dog Names

Best Dog Names
  Bringing home a new member of the family is always a fun and exciting time. Many families already have a name picked out for their new dog when it arrives but some prefer to wait to see what characteristics the dog has before picking that perfect name. There are a number of ways to pick the perfect name for a dog, picking favorite literary characters, picking more predictable dog names and naming the dog after certain characteristics. For some dogs and dog owners only the cute names appeal and there are certainly plenty of these to choose from. Cute dog names can originate from a wide variety of places and depending upon the dog’s origin you may find that the originating country has as much to do with selecting a name as the meaning of the name itself!
  Names are used during introductions, and they color what others think of our dog. A dog named Killer, will invite a very different type of reaction, than a dog named SweetiePie.
  Therefore, take your time in naming your dog. Observe his energy level, most loved activities, and wait until his true personality comes through. When it does, you will know what is the right name for him.

How to Name Your New Puppy or Dog

Fast Tricks for Naming a Pup
  1.Stick with shorter names. Dogs have an easier time recognizing names that are either one or two syllables long, compared to names that are more complex. Instead of naming your dog something like Sir Merlin of Mangovia, you should shorten the name to Merlin, or Mango.
  If you do want to give your pup a longer, more formal name, know that you will ultimately end up shortening it no matter what (it will just be easier to call for him to come that way) so go with a name that shortens into something cute.

  2.Try out names sharp consonants. Dogs hear high frequency sounds very well, so names starting with s, sh, ch, k, etc. work well when catching a dog's attention. Dogs will respond more quickly to these relatively sharp sounds. At the same time, consider names that end with a vowel, particularly a short ‘a’ or a long ‘e’ sound.
Some example names that follow these rules include Simba, Chico, Kassie, Sweetie, Delilah, etc.

  3. Do not pick a name that sounds similar to a command. Because dogs do not particularly recognize the actual word, but instead understand the frequency of the word, they can get confused by words that sound too similar--particularly when one of those words is a command that they are suppose to follow.
  For example, the name "Kit" can easily be confused with the command "sit". The name “Bo” could be confused with “no”.

4. Stick with similar sounds if you are renaming an older dog. Be careful when changing an older dog's name. Stick with similar sounds, such as changing "Barney" to "Farley." It's more important to keep the vowel sounds the same than the consonants, since vowels are easier for the dog to pick up on and what the dog is actually listening for. So "Pinky" will accept "Mikey" but not "Porky."

  5. Remember that you’ll be using your dog’s name in public. Some names have a family meaning, but it may not go over well at the vet or dog park. Also, choosing a name that's too common will mean your dog might run to someone else (or you might get someone elses dog jumping on you).
Names like “Fido” or “Rover” should probably be avoided, as they are some of the more traditional, and therefore more popular, dog names.
You should also consider the sort of reaction that the name you give your dog might inspire. For instance, people will probably be a little more wary of a dog named “Murder” than a dog named “Honey”.

  6. Ask before using a family member or friend's name. You may think it’s an honor to name your pup after your favorite Aunt Matilda, but she may not take it as a compliment. She might think of it as disrespect.

  7.Try the name out for a couple of days before you make it permanent. Once you’ve chosen a new name, try it out for a day or so. See if it grows on you. You’ll know really soon whether it’s a keeper or not. If not, try something else. There are always many more puppy names to explore and try out. Don't forget to reward your puppy or dog when they respond to their new name. The more treats, love and hugs they receive now, the sooner they'll come running when you call later.
  Pay attention to how it feels to say your pup’s potential name. Could you see yourself using that name over and over again? If your answer is no, you may want to consider choosing a different name.

  8. Explore many names. If you are really struggling on what you should name your dog, and need a little help being creative, you can always run an internet search for a list of cool dog names. There are quite a few websites that specialize in this topic and may help you to get your creative juices flowing.


Where Do the Best Dog Names Come From?
  When looking for dog names, there are several places to get good ideas:


Fictional characters – We can find some great names from our favorite movies, books, or games. Pick the best fictional hero or villain, depending on the personality and/or look of our dog.

Famous people – Another interesting set of names are from famous and inspirational people, or historical figures. We can pick rulers such as Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, or Napoleon Bonaparte. We can pick innovators such as Edison or daVinci. We can pick poets, writers, musicians, movie stars, or sports heroes.

Country of dog breed – Different dog breeds emerge from different locations. We can select a favorite name or word from our dog’s country of origin.


Stars and heavenly bodies – Finally, a great source of dog names come from stars and other heavenly bodies. For example, if our dog loves to hunt, we may name him Rigel, which is the brightest star in The Hunter constellation.

Cute Dog Names by Personality Traits
Puck – The name Puck has American origins and can be used to refer to a dog that bounces similar to a hockey puck or a dog that is mischievous like the character Puck from A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare.

Shep – The name Shep comes from the word shepherd and is generally used for dogs that show sheep herding traits. This name is English in origin.

Happy – This name is American in origin and is obviously used for dogs who appear to be smiling or who have happy and joyful dispositions.

Fidelity – The name Fidelity is American in origin and is perhaps best known for being the name of one of Theodore Roosevelt’s horses. Just as the English word “fidelity” relates to loyalty and faithfulness so too does the name when used for a dog.

 Jet – Jet is an American name and while it has a number of meanings it is most commonly used to describe dogs that are both jet black in color or who are constantly speeding or jetting around. This name can also be used by fans of the NFL team the New York Jets or by those with a love for aircraft. Rutherford B Hayes had a dog that he named Jet.

General – General is an American name in origin and is best used for a dog who is commanding and a leader by nature. The term general is used to refer to an army general whose responsibility it is to command his army.

Killer – American in origin, this name is fairly self explanatory. The name Killer has been used both as a name for a dog who shows aggressive tendencies as well as for a dog that shows not an ounce of aggression.

Popular Dog Names
To help you on your way, here are the most popular 5 male and female dog names. There are a variety of lists, but these names appear at the top of almost all of them.
Most popular male dog namesMax, Buddy,Jake, Charlie, Bailey.
Most popular female dog namesBella, Daisy, Molly, Lucy ,Maggie.

Top male dog names: Top female dog names:

1. Max (2*)                        1. Bella (1*)
2. Bailey (3*)                     2. Lucy (4*)
3. Charlie (7*)                   3. Molly (5*)
4. Buddy (8*)                     4. Daisy (6*)
5. Rocky                             5. Maggie (9*)
6. Jake                               6. Sophie (10*)
7. Jack                               7. Sadie
8. Toby                               8. Chloe
9. Cody                              9. Bailey
10. Buster                         10. Lola
11. Duke                           11. Zoe
12. Cooper                       12. Abby
13. Riley                            13. Ginger
14. Harley                          14. Roxy
15. Bear                             15. Gracie
16. Tucker                          16. Coco
17. Murphy                         17. Sasha
18. Lucky                           18. Lily
19. Oliver                           19. Angel
20. Sam                             20. Princess
21. Oscar                           21. Emma
22. Teddy                          22. Annie
23. Winston                       23. Rosie
24. Sammy                        24. Ruby
25. Rusty                            25. Lady
26. Shadow                       26. Missy
27. Gizmo                          27. Lilly
28. Bentley                         28. Mia
29. Zeus                             29.Katie
30. Jackson                      30. Zoey
31. Baxter                         31. Madison
32. Bandit                         32. Stella
33. Gus                              33. Penny
34. Samson                      34. Belle
35. Milo                              35. Casey
36. Rudy                            36. Samantha
37. Louie                           37. Holly
38. Hunter                         38. Lexi
39. Casey                         39. Lulu
40. Rocco                         40. Brandy
41. Sparky                        41. Jasmine
42. Joey                            42. Shelby
43. Bruno                         43. Sandy
44. Beau                          44. Roxie
45. Dakota                       45. Pepper
46. Maximus                    46. Heidi
47. Romeo                       47. Luna
48. Boomer                     48. Dixie
49. Luke                          49. Honey
50. Henry                        50. Dakota



One of the best advices to take when naming your dog is to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. Getting to know your puppy for a few days will let you see a part of his personality or behavior that you will not see while the puppy was still in the kennel or on the day you brought him home.
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