Bigger Better, Smaller Smarter?

in Pets , by

malamute-de-l-alaskaIf you are thinking of brining a new canine friend home, one the questions that may be on your mind is: what is the right size and breed? To a great extent, a dog’s personality, behavior, and dietary and exercise requirements may be determined by its breed and size. Those who love the idea of a big, comforting pooch presence around the home can choose from a wide variety of large dog breeds. Large dogs are classified as those that weigh above 56 pounds; those with a body weight upwards of 100 pounds are also called giant dogs. Do keep in mind that regardless of the breed, the right training and early socialization will be a crucial part of helping your dog become a well-behaved and happy member of the family unit.

The majestic Alaskan Malamute is a great choice for a family with kids. Loyal, friendly, and active, these dogs love learning new tricks and tend to be wonderful with children. Alaskan Malamutes’ high-energy levels demand plenty of daily exercise. The Belgian Malinois is another large and active breed. It is reserved, intelligent, and loyal; its protective instincts make it an ideal guard dog candidate. The strong, dependable, and playful Bullmastiff is another firm family favorite.

It is commonly thought that large dogs require more exercise than smaller ones, which can deter families with small homes from choosing them. However, this is not true. All dogs – big or small – should get a minimum level of daily walking and play-time to ensure their health and happiness. It is the specific breed of the animal that determines its daily activity needs, not its size. Many big canines are even known as gentle giants because of their mature and docile personalities, which make them happy to laze and pass most of their time quietly in small spaces. Greyhounds and Bullmastiffs are examples of large dogs that do not require much exercise. In fact, many large breeds should not be subjected to excessive activity, especially during puppyhood, due to their vulnerability to joint and ligament issues. On the other hand, the medium-sized Border Collie and Weimaraner and small Fox Terrier and Miniature Pinscher are extremely lively dogs that thrive on lots of running and playing. Thus, all sizes of dogs – large, medium, and small – can be happy in an urban apartment, provided they receive adequate exercise and lots of love.

Those who are keen on a pooch with smarts can look at some of the smartest dog breeds in the world. Many people think that smaller dogs are more intelligent; again, this is not strictly true. Breed plays a much larger role than size! The large Labrador Retriever, for instance, is an intelligent and trainable breed, making it the ideal choice for police work and assisting the disabled. Law enforcement, security, and military agencies also work with German Shepherds, who are sharp, reliable, and adept at learning new tasks. This is not to say that smaller dogs are any less mentally capable. The popular Poodle is extremely smart, creative, and trainable; they learn new tricks rapidly and are happiest when engaged. The medium-sized Border Collie is another intelligent creature that does best when trained and kept occupied; in fact, a Border Collie has been dubbed the smartest dog in the world! While intelligent dogs are a delight for their loving owners, it is important to train them and channel their intelligence and energies continually since boredom can lead to destructive behaviors.

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Research Shows Dog’s Are Natural Magnet Sensors!

in Pets , by

dogs on searchAs if dogs aren’t interesting enough, it has now been discovered that dogs have an ability to “read” magnetic fields.  This magnetic field ability produces some interesting repetitive nature, particularly in the area of relieving themselves.  The research found that when the magnetic field was stable, dogs consistently relieved themselves in a North or South direction and never faced East or West.

Neither the breed nor the size of the dog mattered at all when it came to the consistency of this action.  Small dogs had the same magnetic sensory that the medium dogs did and the behavior was the same.  What is interesting is that when the magnetic field is unstable, the dogs seem to lose their North to South preference and suddenly it doesn’t matter anymore where or what direction they relive themselves and their activity was random.

What is baffling scientists is WHY they do this.  If it s a true sensing of the magnetic field why does it affect the direction in which they relive themselves?  They don’t know yet but more studies will no doubt be done to see if more information can be ascertained.

Why is this important?  The more basic level reason is that it could open up a lot more future research in biomagnetic research, indicating the effects of the magnetic field on organisms affect behavioral responses are much more than they originally might have thought.  It is definitely another indication of how amazing dogs are as animals and how much we don’t know about them despite their years of domesticity.

Despite the fact that it has not been determined whether this is a conscious aligning or instinctual, the things that remain true are that it doesn’t matter what breed of dog it is, whether it is male or female, or how big or small the dog is.  It also didn’t matter what time of day it was or what the weather conditions were.  Human behaviors could affect the dog’s preferential spot to relieve themselves, but when no human influence was added into the equation the results were aligned with the fact that when the magnetic field was stable, facing North or South was the preferred and executed way.

There is so much that is still not known about animal behavior and scientists are fascinated with the new discoveries they are making when it comes to Man’s Best Friend.  Whether it is automatic, instinctual or coincidental, the constant is that it is happening and scientists are anxious to try and discover the whys behind it to see if it can further additional research in other areas.

Other behavioral indications related to magnetic reading have not been as conclusive as the process of the dogs reliving themselves, which is why that particular indicator was used.  At first even that was proving to be difficult until the scientists began to sort the data they were getting by what the prevailing magnetic conditions were at the times of the observations. It was once they started doing this that a definite pattern started emerging.

It is a fascinating thing to consider, even though a lot more work is yet to be done, but as scientists learn more, it will be interesting to see just how conscious, if at all, this behavior is.

Is My Pet Healthy? Use These Tips!

in Health, Pets , by

healthy-petsMost households have either a cat or dog if not both.  They are by far the most favoured household pets to own and for the most part, people don’t just have one.  They become integral parts of the family that are treated to things such as birthday parties, Christmas presents and other luxuries.  It’s no wonder that with cats and dogs being such a huge part of people’s lives, that their focus would be on how to keep their cherished pets safe and healthy.

There are many things that a pet owner can do to ensure that their cats and dogs are healthy.  Being able to spot warning signs, even subtle ones, are an important part of being a home owner.  A good example of this is the purring of a cat.

Cats purr for a number of reasons although the definite cause of purring is not entirely known.  Based on what veterinarians do know about cats, the purring seems to be a form of communication as well as a method of self soothing and even self healing.  One of the ways you may notice something is not quite right with your cat is if you notice that they are NOT purring.  This doesn’t always indicate an immediate problem, but it is something to keep an eye on and see if other symptoms come along with the absence of it.

Other potential signs your cat may be sick is a change in behavior or eating patterns, lethargy, and sometimes just an appearance that something isn’t quite right. If there is any question that your cat isn’t feeling well, a call to the vet to verify whether there is cause for concern can alleviate any additional worry.

Dogs also can show signs of illness such as vomiting, diarrhea, not eating or drinking, or drinking too much, panting or rapid breathing, lethargy, and the obvious signs such as limping or yelping in pain.  Some of these signs can occur if the animal has consumed something they shouldn’t of such as chocolate, which is one of the most dangerous foods a dog can eat.  If your dog DOES get a hold of chocolate, a trip to the vet is usually in order but at the very least, call them.

Because people’s pets are such a huge part of their everyday lives, noticing that they are showing signs of illness isn’t too hard to do.  Make a point of doing a quick once over each evening before going to bed, just to make sure there’s nothing unusual going on with the furred member of your family.  Remember the old adage an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

By being observant and alert, there may be many illnesses that you catch so quickly, they can be taken care of right away before any lasting or serious injury is caused.  In addition, be sure to keep an eye on and around your home for potential hazards to your pets, including automobile fluids, other animals and even passing cars.  Your pets are important and ensuring that they remain safe is one of the many ways you can show them that you appreciate their contribution to your life.