"In dog years I'm dead." – Unknown
Dog lovers are usually divided into two types - those who love big dogs and those who love small ones. Small dog lovers admire the ease of maintaining and caring for a dog who eats less (and presumably poops less!) and who doesn't take up much space on the couch. Big dog lovers however, claim that they're not as yappy as the small dogs and are generally more lovable and enjoyable to be with.
Regardless of which camp you're on, the battle seems to be going in favor the latter. While small dogs are very popular, the most popular dogs seem to be the biggers - German Shepherds, Labs and Golden Retrievers. They are the top three on the American Kennel club's list.
That trend may be changing however. As more of the world moves into apartments and smaller houses, the small dogs will probably see an increase in their numbers - keep a look out!
We all know that dogs can hear better than us. Try sneaking up on them and you'll find how difficult it is unless they're distracted, or there is another noise in the distance. This fantastic hearing isn't merely because their ears are more sensitive. There is another mechanism that makes a dog able to not only detect sounds, but also figure out where they're coming from.
Humans are notoriously bad at figuring out the location of sounds. We are easily distracted by sight first and sound later. Dogs however, have ears that move around or swivel as most of you might has seen. This movement acts as a sort of radar that allows the dog to display a comprehensive awareness of the source of sounds.
Of course, the time in which this happens is also important. In the case of humans, our typical reaction time is 2/3rds of a second. A dog however, can locate the source of a sound in as little as 6/100ths of a second! A remarkable ability and just another reminder of how talented our furry friends are.
These days, the number of vaccinations given to dogs is enormous. Vaccinations exist for just about every contingency possible. And they're not restricted to one time pokes. Most of these vaccinations are yearly. But it's all worth it right?
The Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has come to the conclusion that we might just be overvaccinating our dogs by our persistence in injecting them with 16 different shots a year. Evidence shows that this treatment can lead to a wide variety of side effects including skin rashes, allergies and something called an auto immune disease.
No one is suggesting that we should get rid of vaccines. Rather, the article urges readers to rethink the necessity of vaccinating dogs yearly for non life threatening diseases as most vaccines confer protection of longer periods of time - in many cases upto seven years.
So when you take your pooch for his or her next shots, think about what is necessary - and what isn't.
When was the last time you told yourself you needed exercise? When was the last time you thought your dog needed exercise? If you can't see where I'm going with this, let me spell it out for you - go jogging with your dog!
Seriously though, it's a great way to give yourself and you dog some much needed exercise. It can also promote a stronger bond between the two of you as you cruise down the jogging track. There are some tips however. Consider getting your dog to run on grass if you can. This will prevent their paws from getting bruised on concrete or too hot (the surface can really heat up). Also, make sure there is enough water to go around.
Also, take care that you're not overstretching old dogs or those who are out of shape. You need to be sensitive to whether they are exhausting themselves. Start of small and light, and it should be good fun for the both of you!
It's an open secret among dog lovers and dog breeders that smaller breeds generally outlive larger ones. Why this is so, is not generally known. In accordance with this trend, the diminutive Chihuahua is the longest living breed of dog!
The breed standard specifies that they can live from 11-18 years of age. However, there are people whose Chihuahuas have lived for over 25 years! This is quite astonishing in the scheme of things. It's equivalent to a human living till they're 125 years. Chihuahuas are therefore long term companions and will grow along with your children till they are well into their teens.
However, this breed of dog suffers from certain breed specific health problems. Also, they are the only dog breed born with the dog equivalent of a "fontanelle". These holes in the skull when they are born, close up with time, but for the first 6 months of their existence, great care needs to be taken over them.
Chihuahuas also enjoy each other's company over that of other dogs. Not surprising really. If I was 6 inches tall, I would seek out my own kind too!
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In the movie "Best in Show", Winky the Norwich Terrier wins the prestigious show. The movie chronicles the adventures of five dog owners and their dogs and their dog show experiences from start to finish. The film ranked at #38 on Bravo's 100 funniest movies.