DogFACS: Interpreting Your Dog’s Facial Expressions

Recent studies are now lending scientific weight to the belief dogs really can pick up on human emotions and interpret what we are thinking. But what about the other way around? The Facial Action Coding System has been around since the 1970s and taxonomizes all the expressions a human face can make. But the Dog Facial Action Coding System (DogFACS) has been adapted from the original FACS system and seeks to identify and code facial movements in dogs based … [Read more...]

Is This Great Dane the World’s Tallest Dog?

A three year old Great Dane named Major is in the running for recognition by the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest dog in the world. He stands over 7 feet tall on his hind legs and and 4 foot 3 from paw to shoulder and weighs 168 pounds (17 stone). Major and his owners Julie and Brian Williams from south Wales, England will find out next month but there is competition. Two other Great Danes measure over 7 feet tall -  four year old Freddy … [Read more...]

Do Dogs Really See Themselves In The Mirror?

If you are a dog lover, few things are funnier that watching videos of sweet puppies barking at themselves in the mirror. OK, maybe dogs playing with babies, dogs playing in a pile of leaves, dogs taking steps into their first snow - but you get the point. But what do dogs really see when they look at their reflection? Human beings are not born with the ability to recognize themselves in the mirror. Up until the age of 18-24 months, babies may be … [Read more...]

The Dogs of our Founding Fathers

In honor of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence at the Second Continental Congress in 1776 by delegates from the thirteen colonies, here's a look at just a few founding fathers and their canine associations. Happy Fourth of July America! GEORGE WASHINGTON - Served as commander in chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War - In 1787 was elected president of the convention that wrote the U.S. Constitution - … [Read more...]

Beware the Hot Asphalt When When Walking Your Dog

With temperatures climbing during these hot and soon to be hotter summer months, it is important to take extra precautions when walking your dog. They may act like their paws are all-purpose combat boots, but in reality they are more like very callused feet. So when it is too hot for YOU to walk barefoot outside, take note. That asphalt and concrete heats up quickly. Air temperature is not an accurate reflections of ground temperature. As surfaces like … [Read more...]

DNA Testing in Dogs

Do You Know What Your Dog Really Is? Have you ever wondered what breed or breeds your dog is? A pedigree dog must have papers to show that he is purebred for three generations. However this is based on the breeder’s information only (unless the breeding was supervised and can be verified by a vet.) So let’s just say accidents can happen. Maybe your dog isn’t what you think. I know someone who had their dog’s championship title stripped because the dog … [Read more...]

Are You A Pack Leader?

Recently I added one more dog to our pack. I wasn’t planning on another dog but this one needed some loving care. He is a sweet senior Chihuahua I took home from the shelter because he was quite sick. He has since recovered and is doing well. Adding another dog to a good sized pack can be a challenge. People often ask me if my dogs all get along. I say, yes, they have to! I’d like to think that is because I am a confident and consistent pack leader. The … [Read more...]

Signs of Stress and Anxiety in Dogs

In my last post I wrote about the debate over hugging your dog and received a lot of feedback. The argument against says that while we humans feel this is a natural way of showing our affection and fostering the bonding experience, for the dog it can cause stress and anxiety. Their fight or flight instincts can make them feel trapped. One celebrity dog trainer Joel Silverman, writes that it really all depends on the dog, and I agree. "Just because a dog … [Read more...]

Should You Hug Your Dog?

Should you hug your dog? I would guess if you love your pet, you have probably given him a squeeze now and then. Some people do it more than others. If makes us feel good as well as our dog - or so we think. However, according to a study by psychologist and author Dr. Stanley Coren, hugging your dog actually raises its stress and anxiety levels. I saw several news items related to this article recently - two on the local TV news plus the New York Times … [Read more...]

Common Health Problems For Popular Dog Breeds (part 2)

Last week we covered the most common ailments for several breeds including the Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Bulldog, and Beagle. This week we take a look at five more including the French Bulldog, Yorkshire Terrier, Poodle, Rottweiler, and Boxer. FRENCH BULLDOG The French Bulldog is a small breed known for its pushed-in face and compact body. It has a lifespan of 10-12 years. Because of its stocky build and breeding … [Read more...]