All of us dog owners have done it. You know what I mean by "it." I mean full-on, human conversations with our dog. Especially when nobody is looking! And the way they look at us when we're talking is the best part! Almost as if they can understand us. Well, a new study shows that they just might!
Scientists in Hungary have published a new study that suggests that not only do dogs understand our intonation of our words, but can understand the real meaning behind those words.
We already know that dogs can build a vocabulary, as evidenced by the study that showed a dog matching hundreds of objects with their word over time. But this study shows even more, that dogs are more like us than ever. They actually use the same regions of their brain to process language as we do.
This study was unique from other studies in that it didn't just observe dogs as they responded to language, it actually used an fMRI scanner to take a look inside their brains. Don't worry, this study was completely safe. The dogs weren't restrained, they could simply leave the scanner if they wanted to.
The experiments were conducted at Eotvos Lorand University using 13 family dogs. A female trainer who socialized herself with the dogs beforehand spoke key phrases to the dogs while their brains were being scanned. All of these phrases were phrases used by their family such as "clever," "well done," and "that's it." She also spoke neutral words to them like "yet" and "if," words that the researchers figured the dogs wouldn't recognize. All of the words were spoke both in a happy tone and a neutral tone.
The result? The pups processed recognized words the same way, in the left hemisphere, no matter what tone was used. This is the same way our brains, as humans, process language. Tone, on the other hand, is processed in the right hemisphere.
So, what does that really mean for us? Well, even if we say the word "walk" in a gruff tone or the word "vet" in a happy tone, they probably won't fall for us.
Basically, you should say what you mean! No matter what tone you use, your dog will know if you're using nice words on them or telling them "good job." Now, go talk to your dog!
I know, there seems to be a new dog holiday every other month. But today, August 26th, is officially National Dog Day! This is a day to celebrate all dogs, whether they're big or small, purebreeds ore mutts!
National Dog Day is headed by Pet & Family Lifestyle Expert and Animal Advocate, Colleen Paige. You might recognize that name from our blog about National Puppy Day, and that's because she founded that, too! Paige founded National Dog Day in 2004 to celebrate all dogs and help the public recognize the need for rescue and adoption of dogs.
So why should we celebrate National Dog Day? Even if you dont' have a dog of your own, there are plenty of reasons! That's because dogs help us every day, whether they're working on the K-9 Police Unit, detecting bombs, working as service dogs, or serving as a war dog overseas.
National Dog Day is a great cause to support because they stand for what's right. They're against breed bans and judging dogs based on what type of dog they are. National Dog Day also discourages anyone from buying dogs at pet stores, as these dogs are often kept and bred in unhealthy conditions like puppy mills.
It's okay to want a purebreed! Take some tips from Colleen Paige on how to find a purebreed. You could go through licensed and reviewed breeders, or you could search through pet adoption sites to find the breed you want at a local shelter!
So, now that you know what National Dog Day is all about, how can you celebrate it? There are tons of ways!
Go on, get out there and celebrate!
We all know celebrities love their dogs, as evidenced by our many celebrity dog features we've had! But do some dogs stand out more than others? Here are some dog breeds that tend to be the most popular among our celebrity idols.
If you don't already know it by the quirky and adorable movie Beverly Hills Chihuahua, these pups are quite the big deal in Hollywood. The ever-tenacious Elle Woods toted around her Chihuahua, Bruiser, in the lovable movie, Legally Blonde, but you can find plenty of this breed under the arms of real-life celebs, too! Paula Abdul post pictures of her four Chihuahuas all the time and Paris Hilton has made quite the little celeb out of her Tinkerbell. Plus, we can't forget Britney Spears bringing her Chihuahua, Bit Bit, along for a red carpet walk in 2004.
2. Labrador Retriever
From small to big, many Labs can be sighted alongside of celebs, too! It's no wonder, since many celebs love to get exercise. Labs are known for their athleticism, so they make a great workout buddy for all those health-conscious celebs! Plus, we all knows the loyalty Labs give you. Drew Barrymore even gives credit to her Lab-Chow mix, Flossie, for saving her from a fire by barking until she woke up. Comedian Steve Martin shows off his yellow Lab, Wally, often. Sarah McLaughlan, whose songs accompany those heartbreaking ASPCA commercials, has her own pup, a Black Lab named Rex!
3. French Bulldog
Back to the small breeds! French Bulldogs and their adorable mug have stolen many a celebrities' hearts. Celebs tend to choose these pups not only because they have cute faces but because they're easy to take care of and take with you! Carrie Fisher has proved her pup's photogenic skills when she dressed him up as Princess Leia! Lady Gaga also is a proud owner of a French Bulldog and a bit of a stage mom, putting her dog, Asia, in a starring role in of Coach's ad campaigns.
There are tons more celeb pups where these came from! What dog breeds do you most often see accompanying celebrities?
There's a reason we love dogs so much. Aside from being great companions in our lonely times and being adorable, they have all of that unconditional love for us. And with that love comes never-ending loyalty.
There was a true display of this on August 14th in Baltimore, Maryland. On that Sunday, a tragic fire broke out in a townhouse. The Baltimore City Fire department responded to the fire, which had already engulfed the two-story row home by the time they got there.
It was an unlucky series of events that occurred to cause the fire. After a power outage occurred, mom Erika Poremski lit a candle and went out to her car briefly to charge her phone. Somehow, the candle had engulfed the house in flames within minutes. Poremski's 8-month-old daughter, Viviana, was trapped inside.
Though Poremski could hear her daughter crying, there was nothing she could do to get to her. She suffered severe burns on her hands from trying to get inside to save her.
Thankfully, little Viviana had another rescuer. The family dog, Polo, a six-year-old black, curly-haired mutt, had only Viviana in mind. When firefighters finally managed to get into the home, they found Polo laying on top of Viviana in a second-floor bedroom.
Because Polo laid over Viviana, she only suffered burns to her sides and some of her face. Had Polo not protected her, Viviana likely wouldn't have lived.
Unfortunately, Polo lost his life saving Viviana. It just goes to show how loyal our pooches are. Though Polo could have gotten out of the house and out the door, he chose to protect Viviana and give his own life to save the life of his little human.
Always appreciate your dog, because they'll always have your back.
There are lots of things to consider when moving to a new city or when travelling: entertainment, night life, food, atmosphere, environment... the list never ends! And here's something else that can make a new place unique: how dog friendly they are! Here are the top dog-friendly cities in the U.S.!
SmarrtAsset, a financial consulting company, recently analyzed cities for their dog-friendliness.
Results showed that the west is actually the top area for canines, home to seven of the ten most dog-friendly cities! Quite the opposite, the south unfortunately didn't have any cities make it into the top ten. Maybe this has something to do with that easy-going, active California lifestyle? It must have something to do with that, since three of the ten cities are in California! In the Golden State, you'll find golden opportunities for your golden retrievers (too much..?)!
Here are the categories that were analyzed for dog-friendliness:
1. Number of dog parks per 100,000 people.
2. Number of dog-friendly shopping areas in city.
3. Number of dog-friendly restaurants in city.
4. Walkability (0 - 100 scale.)
5. Weather (Annual days of precipitation.)
6. Housing cost (Median sale price for homes.)
So, now that you know what makes a city dog-friendly, are you ready for the list! Check it out to see if your city is on the list!
10 Most Dog-Friendly Cities
1. San Francisco, California
2. Las Vegas, Nevada
3. Denver, Colorado
4. San Diego, California
5. Albuquerque, New Mexico
6. Sacramento, California
7. Chicago, Illinois
8. Minneapolis, Minnesota
9. Tucson, Arizona
10. New York, New York.
Do you see your city on the list? If not, what are you waiting for? Check out the most dog-friendly city near you to give you pooch a day in a city catered to them!
Basically, all dogs are cute. But there are some that are so adorable that you wouldn't believe it. So here are some of the most squishable, lovable, breeds and mixed breeds that exist.
Happy Dogust! I mean... August! This month is chock full of canine-themed holidays that you can celebrate with your pup. Here are some major ones coming up this month:
August 7-13: International Assistance Dog Week
Most dogs have the luxury of lying around and basically doing nothing, but not all dogs do! Some go the extra step as aid dogs, and there are tons of them! There are dogs that work as guide dogs, hearing aler dogs, seizure alert dog, and medical response dogs. So, in 2009, Marcie Davis, the founder of Working Like Dogs, started this holi-week to celebrate service dogs! You can find out exactly how to celebrate here.
August 15: National Check the Chip Day
This day helps spread awareness of the importance of microchipping your pup and keeping that microchip updated. Almost 10 million dogs and cats go missing every year, and microchips are crucial in returning missing pets to their parents. Use this day to either microchip their unchipped pet or check their current microchips to make sure they have relevant contact and address information.
August 20: International Homeless Animals Day
On the third Saturday of August every year comes your chance to honor pets not as lucky as yours. You can show your compassion for these animals on this day by participating in an online candlelight vigil for all those animals still looking for homes. This day was founded in 1991 by the International Society for Animal Rights, which works to reduce animal homelessness and help shelter animals.
August 26: National Dog Day
And of course, a counterpart to National Puppy Day, National Dog Day celebrates all dogs, young or old! It was established in 2004 by Colleen Page, the creator of National Puppy Day and a pet and family lifestyle expert. It's a chance to pay some extra attention to your pup and to honor working dogs like service dogs, canine police, and military dogs. Their website gives you 20 different ways to celebrate!
So get out there and take Dogust by storm!
We're in the dead heat of summer and for those of you in a not-so-cool climate, you know that with the heat comes plenty of bugs. If your pup is outside a lot (and they should be because exercise is awesome!) then you'll need to get them something that will beat the bugs. Here are some different kinds of flea and tick medication you can get your pup.
Topical treatments are applied directly to the skin, typically into the fur of the top of the neck where Fido can't reach it. This tends to be the most common form of flea/tick medication for dogs. You have to give it to your dog monthly. Here are the best topicals:
A flea/tick collar is worn exactly like a regular collar. It's worn anywhere from every 3 months to every 8 months depending on the brand of collar. It works by emitting a gas that repels bugs. These can also be used to treat existent fleas/ticks and get rid of them.
Use shampoos and sprays to wash your dog and prevent fleas! These vary greatly and some you'll have to apply weekly while others are every 2 months. Sprays tend to last longer than shampoos.
These come in pill form if you're one to sneak medication into peanut butter. These come in single treatments and don't work as preventative medication, but instead are only taken to get rid of existent fleas. It's one-time only.
There are lots of choices, so you just have to decide what's right for you and your pup! However, we'd reccomend the topicals as these tend to be most effective and offers coverage and prevention on nearly all fronts!
If you have a dog, you love your dog. And sometimes you love a particular dog breed. Some people love a specific dog breed so much that it's the only dog breed they'll own! Sadly though, this might not be possible for bulldog lovers much longer.
English Bulldogs, which are loved for their distinct face and loving attitude, might be a breed in risk. Recently, researchers from the University of California Davis conducted a genetic study that analyzed English Bulldogs.
So, how are they in risk? The study showed that bulldogs don't have the diversity that most dogs do in their gene pool. This is due to too much inbreeding amongst the breed, and in turn, results in health problems. Because of the inbreeding, the health problems tend to get worse with each new generation of pups.
The researchers found these results by analyzing the genetic diversity of the breed using doggy DNA. Big, important parts of the bulldog genome have been altered so much because of inbreeding that it has changed the way bulldogs look and their health. That's why the English bulldogs of today look so much shorter and stockier than generations of bulldogs a couple years back.
The inbreeding causes health problems anywhere from the dog's facial structure to breathing troubles to the furrows in their skin, which actually can get infected because of built-up moisture.
Many bulldogs have misshapen skeletons, too, which causes hip and elbow dysplasia and spine ruptures.
All of these problems end up preventing bulldogs from giving birth natural, most bulldog pups now being delivered via C section.
While most dogs leave 13 - 15 years, the bulldog's lifespan is a measley 6 years overall.
Veterinarians suggest that it's time to start breeding bulldogs with other dogs in order to improve their health, but many breeders argue that it'll ruin the English bulldog breed.
Either way, I think we can all agree that we want happy and healthy dogs! Let's hope that English Bulldogs find a way to prevail - and healthily!
Are you ready for a new furry friend in your life? Choosing a new dog can be very exciting but sometimes it's hard to know how to choose the right one! Here are some things you should consider if you're not sure what size dog you should get.
Are you strong?
Bigger dogs means heavier dogs. If you are unable to lift a lot or have any chronic problems that prevent you from being able to walk well, smaller dogs might be the way to go. If your dog is too heavy for you to lift, it can be harder to help them in emergencies and harder for you to control them.
Are you active?
If you love hiking, running, or swimming and want a furry friend by your side, a big dog might be a better choice. That's because they can handle active activities like hiking more than little dogs can.
Are you a home owner or renter?
Many places that you rent from have restrictions on how much your dog can weigh or even what breed they can be (this usually applies to *wrongly labeled* "aggressive" breeds.) If you rent and intend to, it might be easier to choose a small dog to ensure that you can keep it with you in the future.
Are you able to afford lots of food?
It's pretty simple when you think about it, but the bigger the dog, the more food they eat! If you're on a budget it'll cost much less to feed a smaller dog.
Are you home a lot?
Smaller dogs have smaller bladders. Although they tend to drink less, they usually end up having to go to the bathroom more often than bigger dogs, who can hold it longer.
How much space do you have?
Actually, this was a trick question. A bigger dog doesn't necessarily need more space! Energy levels in dogs are dependent on their breed or personality, so you could have a Great Dane or a Dachshund in the same size apartment and have them be equally happy! Just make sure you can exercise them!
Ultimately, it's just about what's right for you! But hopefully these questions helped you decide what kind of pup fits best into your lifestyle!