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Selective breeding has produced major changes in how our dogs look like. But recently, researchers have uncovered some major changes in the dogs' brains have taken place due to artificial selection through breeding. These changes are about the position of the brain and the region with smell control is located.

In dog breeds with short snouts the brain has rotated forward with as much as 15 degrees. The region in the brain that controls smell was relocated, according to researchers from the University of New South Wales and University of Sydney. They have used magnetic resonance imaging to analyze brains of dogs for a number of breeds.

The size and shape of the skull appeared to be correlated with brain rotation and positioning of the olfactory lobe. When the dog's head and skull shape become flatter, the brain rotates forward while the smell center goes further down towards the lowest position in the skull. Human intervention in the dog biology through breeding is not comparable to the effects on any other animal. Researchers are going to study further how the changes in brain organization are linked to differences in dogs' brain function.

Artificial selection has led to breeds that work better when in visual contact with humans, sheep dogs and gun dogs being the most obvious examples. These breeds are better able to understand a pointing gesture. Researchers at the Eotvos University in Hungary have examined the performance of different breeds in making sense of pointing gestures of humans. The study was meant to shed light on the evolution of human communicative skills as well.

Dogs have been selected to live in a human environment and have engaged in interactions with humans for more than ten thousand years. Hungarian researchers have found that gun dogs and sheep dogs can follow a pointing finger but not hunting dogs, dogs used for underground hunting or livestock guard dogs and sled dogs.

Breeds that have short noses and eyes centrally placed are better at interpreting gestures compared to breeds that have long noses and eyes that are spaced widely. This is probably because of the retinal location that offers the best visual acuity.

Researchers at the University of Vienna, Austria had shown that dogs can classify complex color photos and separate them into categories much like humans. They had also demonstrated that dogs can learn by using a computer automated touch screen. This method proved that it could be useful for testing learning strategies and comparing cognitive abilities of different breeds.

While some researchers are studying how humans have collaborated with dogs and the genetic bases of this interaction, other researchers have thrown light on the connection between aggression in dogs and DNA that involved in neurotransmission in the brain.

Many healthy dogs are euthanized because they have behavioral problems, particularly if they are being aggressive towards people. Studying connections between genes and aggressive behavior in dogs might help us better understand the interplay between genetics and environmental factors that influence dogs' behavior.

Scientists Say Breeding is Changing Dog Brains

Puppies sniff, they really do! This refers to the excellent olfactory capability of our furry friends and not on the one the other one that makes you wrinkle your nose. Although dogs also have the propensity to dig and roll on something that seems to have died months ago and makes the owner give the dog a good bath.

When you see your dog sniffing the grass, the plants, sniffing the food, sniffing each others behind, sniffing you and other people, did you ever wonder why they do? The dogs nose is considered to be their most excellent "equipment". The nose is one of the reasons why primitive dog survived in the wilds. Apart from scenting the prey, the excellent sense of smell enables to dog to avoid danger.
Dogs sniff a lot as by doing so they can understand other dogs well. Have you noticed a dog sniffing other dogs backside? This is done to identify the dog. Dog have a personal and unique smell. This is the counterpart of the humans finger prints. Through sniffing the dog identifies if the other dog is friendly, one he can play with or a threat that he should be wary of.
They are loyal and would give their life to protect the master. But aside from this, dogs can empathize with the emotional state of human. The outstanding olfactory capability enables the dog to tell the difference between tears of joy and tears of pain and sadness. Notice how your dog would lean on you, would snuggle at you when you are sad. The dog is offering comfort. Dog sniff other people to identify if they are not a threat. When you let a visitor enter your home, the dog would immediately sniff the stranger.
A dog can tell if a pooch is pregnant by sniffing but did you know that our furry friends can also tell if you are not well? This ability is not due to a sixth sense. This is possible because the dog has a sense of smell that is several million times better than human. Merely by sniffing, a dog can tell if a woman is pregnant. Studies conducted have verified the ability of the dog to tell if a person has a certain kind of cancer. This is also true with some other kinds of ailments.

Sniffing dogs have become excellent partners of the police force. Because of the excellent smelling ability, the dog has become an invaluable helper in search and rescue operations as the dog can find people buried in rubble and in the snow. Dogs have excelled in narcotics and bomb detection because of their excellent scenting abilities.

What Does It Mean When Your Puppy Sniffs

When you walk on the beach or along a muddy trail - or even when you see the footprints left by precious Sylvie across your marble floor, do you ever stop and wonder about how a dog's foot is different from our own? Do they have toes and how do they appear to endure extreme heat and cold? We refer to them as 'pads' but let's take a deeper look.

Each foot has a metacarpal pad and four digital pads (toes) with nails. Some breeds have a fifth toe on the inside of the paw that does not touch the ground known as a 'dew claw.' Dogs walk on their toes not on their soles. The whole pad is made up of a thin, pigmented, keratinized epidermis covering subcutaneous adipose tissue (phew). This thick layer of skin is covered by a rough surface crucial for traction and fast maneuvers. Dogs do feel heat and cold and the thick pads provide protection as well serving as a shock absorber.

Dog paws are anatomically the same within the species varying by breed and individual dog. When Sylvie was at the pound, I was alarmed to see her feet were slightly webbed! I was informed that this is because she is traditionally a water dog - a Field Spaniel.

Trimming your Dog's Nails

Dog nails grow just as ours do and should ideally be trimmed regularly. Sylvie jumping on your bare legs when you come down to breakfast in the morning is not always the wake up call you seek. Sometimes dog nails maintain a satisfactory length on their own from grinding down on concrete. It is best to have the nails cut by a professional - be it yourself or a dog groomer - because dog nails have a blood supply or 'quick,' which when cut will bleed. To avoid the quick, trim the dead nail tissue above the dark. Some dogs resist pedicures and only training and habit will change this.

Checking the Paws
Due to the location of the paws, they are often prone to infection.They will limp or lick themselves excessively. Look out for redness and bleeding. Also check for anything that might be stuck in the pad or between the toes. If your dog permits, push down on the paw to gauge how much pain they are suffering. If you see something obvious try and remove it with tweezers. Paws are prone to fungal infections especially if the pad is hard, cracked or injured. Have a veterinarian conduct an examination that includes blood tests and X-rays. There may be a not-so-obvious mass that will require biopsy.

Finally make sure to clean the foot well. Check carefully for further irritation and wipe away any dirt on the pads or in surrounding fur. Pads can stay wet for a few hours rendering them softer than usual so keep Sylvie away from hazardous areas.

If you want to be extra loving and give Sylvie a foot massage do not be tempted to use human moisturizers that make the pads soft. Look for special dog moisturizer at the pet store. If the pads are cracked, try to ascertain what is causing the condition. Even rug shampoos and floor cleaners can cause inflammation. Dogs may have an allergic reaction to particular food that can cause yeast infections similar to athlete's foot in humans. Some dogs chew their feet in the same way a person might bite their fingernails. Zinc deficiencies can cause the pads to develop a hard crust and yes dogs have autoimmune diseases of the skin causing the immune system to work overtime.

This attack on affected area causes pus-filled sores that break and form crusts on the pads of the paws. Some breeds are more susceptible and a good vet will run tests to determine the problem. Another such possibility is nasodigital hyperkeratosis where the tough fibrous outer coating of the foot pad grows excessively. This is an incurable condition but can be controlled.

Most foot pad infections can be treated using an oral antibiotic. More severe injuries may require bandaging and thorough cleansing.

Try to keep dogs away from contaminated areas with a lot of trash or feces. If hiking over rough terrain make sure your dog is nimble footed enough to navigate the rocks and even with an immense sense of smell be aware of rattle snakes or burrs that catch on fur or get stuck to the paws.

Dogs are hardy animals and the more fit the less lightly they are to suffer many of these canine problems. Sure, there are special dog booties that look awfully cute on Rodeo drive, but the best way to ensure healthy podiatry is to take Sylvie on lots of walks over differing terrain. Protect her from extreme heat and cold allowing her to develop healthy pads, nails and rough epidermis necessary for traction, shock absorption and mobility.

Interesting Facts You Didn't Know About Dog Feet

Anyone who has experienced a dog whining over any length of time will know that it's not only difficult to ignore, it's unsettling to listen to as well. It seems to hook into a part of you that demands you take notice, take pity and take action now!

However, it can often seem that your dog whines for no real reason. Perhaps your dog whines at night, when it’s hardest to ignore - or stay patient! Or maybe your dog is constantly whining whenever they are in their crate. Or maybe you only need to visit the bathroom to set them off.

Faced with not knowing why your dog whines or how to stop it can cause huge frustration for owners, after all, they're fed, walked and well - so what else could it be?

How to Identify Why your Dog Is Whining
As a dog trainer with over 10 years experience of working with whining dogs, this is the simple 2-step system I use to work out what lies at the root of it. Basically there are two different reasons that a dog whines and your first step is to work out which one is driving your dog. With a bit of careful observation you should be able to work out which of these reasons apply to your dog.

Attention Seeking Can Drive Dog Whining
First up, to identify if it is simply an attention seeking device, look at what might have set off the whining. For instance does your dog whine while you're around and is he trying to catch your eye or get some attention with it? Also, how do you react? Do you immediately shout at the dog to "shut up" or do you stroke or comfort the dog?

In some dog’s eyes, even negative attention is worth having, because it beats having no attention at all. So if you react every time your dog whines, he's going to carry on doing it. He's getting what he wants.

Separation Anxiety in Dogs is Also a Strong Driver for Dog Whining
Secondly, if your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, this could be the trigger for his whining. Again, look at what starts them off. Do they whine the minute they are separated from you, even if you just nipped into the next room? Do they whine at night when they are downstairs and you're sleeping upstairs? Ask your neighbors if your dog whines when you're out, because that's another clear indicator of separation anxiety in dogs.

Separation anxiety is surprisingly common among dogs and often misunderstood, with many of the symptoms being put down to bad dog behavior rather than the bad behavior being a result of the dogs anxiety.

If you want a clearer idea about separation anxiety in dogs, I've created a very informative free report covering all the major symptoms, which I'll tell you more about later.

Training Methods That Stop Dog Whining
Training is the only long-lasting way to stop dog whining for either of the scenarios we have discussed. There is absolutely no need to punish your dog, or use shocks or sprays to stop this behavior.

Firstly, if your dogs whining are attention seeking behavior, the only way to stop it is for you to take no notice. You need to teach your dog that his techniques don't work on you. In fact you can teach your dog that not only will it not work, but the results of his whining means he could lose the pack. And as a pack animal, their natural desire is to be with the pack.

For example, let say you have some visitors around and put your dog in the crate - where he promptly start whining. If your dog can see you at this stage, without looking at or saying anything to your dog, you could move out of view, or leave the room to show them that this behavior will lose them the pack.

As soon as they stop whining you could return to the room or move back into view. It's simple but surprisingly effective. What is crucial is that you are consistent in not responding to your dogs whining either by speaking to or looking at your dog.

If the whining is driven by separation anxiety in dogs, then it’s a more complicated issue to deal with. It still needs some simple techniques like the one I described above, but you need to address it on two levels, that of pack leadership and the specific behavior problem which requires methods that will gently build up the time you spend apart and reduce their anxiety.

You want to be certain that the whining is driven by your dog’s anxiety before you start any training, so read my report The 7 Symptoms of Dog Separation Anxiety to get a better understanding of the problem, or check with your vet.

How to Stop a Dog Whining

When your dog is lost it can be a stressful experience for both you and your dog. If you miss your furry friend, there are some tips to help find your dog. Time is of the utmost importance.

Act Immediately. Time is critical. Every minute that passes is a minute that your dog may be wandering farther away from finding his way into harm. Do not hesitate to take action. Almost nothing is more important at this point. Call in sick, excuse yourself from a meeting, break a date, whatever it takes.

Enlist The Help Of Others. You want to immediately get as many other people involved as you possibly can. Call all of your friends. Call family members. Call or go to your neighbors.

Most people can identify with your situation and will want to help. Even if they can't join the search they can keep an eye out, or help with making posters or phone calls. Now is not the time to be shy. You have a missing loved one.

Physically Search Everywhere Within A 1-Mile Radius. Unless your dog is a "runner", he or she is probably within a one-mile radius. Within the first 2 hours, most dogs are just "wanderers". They're out just exploring and enjoying a little freedom. They are probably walking, not running. After they have enjoyed this new found freedom for a short while (10-30 minutes) they are likely to start to think about returning home.

Unfortunately, unless your dog has followed a familiar path he/she is likely to get confused and scared when it realizes it is lost. It may seek to befriend anyone it finds or it may decide to hide and avoid any contact with other people or animals. Keep everyone searching and calling out for your dog.

 Make sure everyone uses the dog's name. It will be listening for a friendly voice. Also, if your dog has any squeaky toys, squeak them constantly. Dogs have incredible hearing and this will be a very comforting and inviting sound.

Post "Lost Dog" Posters Everywhere. Everyone notices them when passing by. While people won't memorize all of the info on the poster, almost everyone remembers the breed and/or the picture. Make sure you have your dog's picture on the poster. (It should be the largest thing.) If anyone sees or finds your dog they will know to go back to one of the posters to get your contact info.

Call and Visit Shelters and Vets. Within the first 24 hours and every day after, call all of the local animal shelters and veterinary offices. After two days, physically go to all of the animal shelters and look for your dog. Do not take the word of someone on the phone. They may be busy or mistaken.

Do Not Give Up - Try Other Techniques
a) Offer a reward.
b) Contact an online pet finder service.
c) Consult with pet psychics. (This actually worked for me. I can't recommend it highly enough.)

Pet psychics have been around for many years. If you have a lost dog, now is the best time to step out of your comfort zone and try this crazy-sounding technique. It worked for me. It has worked for other people many, many times!

How To Find A Lost Dog

A study conducted by the University of Sydney found that a Labrador of certain colors had a shorter life expectancy and also had more health problems.

They observed 33,000 Labradors in the United Kingdom, where they evaluated the dog’s electronic data as part of the VetCompass program for the University.

Labrador with chocolate color had a short life of 10%, shorter than their golden and black counterparts (who lived an average of 12.1 years).

Those chocolate fur puppies also have double chances of ear infection and are also prone to suffer from a condition known as pyo-traumatic dermatitis.

Professor Paul McGriffy, of the University Department of Sciences said: "The relationships between the color of the coat and the disease can be an inadvertent consequence of the reproduction of certain pigments.

"Because the color of chocolate is recessive in dogs, the gene of this color must be present in both parents for their dogs are chocolate." Therefore, breeders who focus on this color may be more likely to breed only the Labrador that has the chocolate gene fur.

‘It may be that the resulting reduced gene pool includes a higher amount of genes conducive to ear and skin conditions.’
As we know from the amount of purebred dogs, keeping any gene pool small makes puppies more prone to diseases and health problems.

Since the Labradors are breed prone to obesity, ear infections and joint conditions anyway, it is not good to prioritize the colors
 over health when getting a puppy.

There are many dogs in rescue homes that need someone to take care of them, but if you insist on getting a dog from a breeder, take the proper precautions.

Ensure your dog is vet-checked from birth, and then frequently as it grows up, which seems like clear information but is frequently ignored. A whopping 8.8% of Labradors are obese, so maybe invest in some special food too!

Dogs color could determine how long They will live

Our dogs are more like us then we think, not only are they loyal friends and companions to us humans, but also they are susceptible to some of the same ailments and diseases that their human masters suffer from, diabetes is one of them. In dogs, diabetes is life-threatening if not detected in early stages and treated, although with proper treatment diabetes can be controlled and your pet can lead a normal life. Diabetes in dogs is more common in obese dogs. Some breeds of dogs are more likely to have diabetes than others, these breeds are Poodles, Schnauzers, Keeshounds, Cairn Terriers, Dachshunds, Cocker Spaniels, and Beagles. An early detection of diabetes in dogs can get the dog proper treatment and they can live for years once their blood sugar levels are regulated.

Sugar is, of course, the main source of diabetes, which your dog may not exactly be asking for extra cubes of sugar to go with their kibble. The treats you hand out unwittingly can be loaded with sugar or products that when broken down become sugar. Make it a habit to read the label of commercial pet foods before making a purchase. As a general rule carbohydrates when broken down gets converted into sugar.

What are the symptoms of diabetes in dogs? Symptoms to watch out for and perhaps should make you consider switching to diabetic dog diet or diabetic dog food are: when you pet which is constantly thirsty and drinks more water than a camel, laziness, an increase in appetite, constant peeing and an overall weakness. Somehow this list points more and more to that orange cat and not to the dog. For one thing, he's not even consuming commercial pet foods, hence you can imagine the sugar imbalance he now has. Perhaps its time for John to put him on a diet for diabetic dogs!

What you generally feed your pet will last for the rest of his adult life. With the wide variety of diabetic dog food available, choosing food for your diabetes inflicted pooch should not be difficult. Obviously, you want to make sure you do not feed your dog any more sugar. What is the best diet for diabetic dogs then?

The best-recommended diet for diabetic dogs, whether it is a specially formulated diabetic dog food or a homemade alternative requires you to feed 2 to 3 times a day instead of one big meal. With these rations, you could control the level of sugar in your pet's bloodstream. Choose only diabetic dog food kibble rather than its semi-moist counterparts. There's nothing wrong with commercial pet foods as long as you choose one that is right for your dog. Also starting your pooch on a similar diet for diabetic dogs is not a bad option as it encourages a healthier lifestyle at an early age.

Imbalanced blood sugar levels can cause kidney problems, cataracts, intestinal disorders, and liver failure. A diabetic dog diet or any diet for the matter is always more effective when combined with exercise. One can also count on exercise to help prevent diabetes in dogs. Daily walks or jogs around the park will keep blood sugar levels at a healthy rate. Take your dog for swimming, play fetch, or indulge in some Frisbee action.

Overweight dogs are targets of diabetes. Before diabetes strikes your pet, make sure to keep him healthy with the proper diet. Preventive diabetic dog food can be used or simply controlling what your pet consumes should keep your pet fit for life.

All You Need to Know About Dog Diabetes

Did you ever see a dog owner and go green with envy that their dog was perfectly well behaved walking without a lead, whereas your dog was all for dragging you through a hedge and across a field? What sort of magic dust or hypnotism did they employ to get the dog to do that? Well, with a little practice and some repetition, you could be the one with your dog happily walking without a lead at your heel.

Firstly you will need to have a couple of different leads and a training collar (either a choke collar or head halter collar). The leads you will need are a short lead about 50 cm long, a regular lead of about 2 meters and a good quality extendible lead. One thing to always remember is that you are the boss. You are taking your dog for a walk and not the other way round!

The first step: Using the short lead and a control collar, train your dog to walk to heel whilst you have good control. Practice this every time you go for a walk and praise the dog when he does good and says no, pulling him back to heel when he transgresses.

The second step, when your dog has learned to walk to heel at your given command is to use the extendable leash. Start with the leash locked at about 1 -2 meters and walk with your dog at heel. Slowly extend the leash so there is ample slack when the dog is at heel. This means you are getting the dog used to walking at heel but can still stop him from running off or remind him if he forgets what he is supposed to be doing. Praise the dog for correct behavior and if he forgets, bring the lead back in to short and let him know what he should be doing.

The third step is to walk the dog using the regular lead with the control collar. By the time you get to this stage the dog should have a good understanding of what is acceptable behavior and should not be pulling on the lead at all (but it is still attached just in case)

When the dog has mastered this and you find that you never have to pull the lead to bring him back to heel, you can now move towards using no lead at all.

By following these simple phases in training your dog you are conditioning the dog right at the start that the area of up to a meter or so from the side and rear of your foot is where it belongs and, as you allow more freedom, that conditioning remains. Dogs will want to stop and go to the toilet or snuffle in the hedgerow as you walk but the conditioning will remain and you will see the 'oops' moment when your dog looks up and realizes he is not in the correct place.

As a responsible pet owner, it is worth mentioning that you should obey the law and, for safety, always have your dog on a lead on busy roads and anywhere where there is livestock.

It is advisable when you get your new pet not to waste the valuable window of time in the early days by not implementing proper training. To do this, you can consult a pet behavior specialist or training school in your area. It can be far less expensive, however, to learn the basic training techniques yourself

How to Train Your Dog to Walk Without a Lead

Dogs do lots of strange things that might not always seem normal. However, many strange habits are completely normal in dogs, although a few may suggest hidden medical problems. Whining is a low utter usually a complaining cry or sound. Dogs are not exactly drunk when they whine but it is rather an emotional fix and do this because they want to get a message across. It is just similar to humans shedding tears. As dogs are sensitive creatures, they are subject to the smallest signs of annoyance and it's not anything that makes them feel good.

The causes of dog's whining are sadness, hunger, asking for something, seeking attention or when they want to poop. Puppies can get sad in the absence of older dogs in its family especially the mama dog. They whine as a sign of distress and it's a call that says they feel left alone or are in pain. It may be past its meal time that's why it's whining. The dog whines like a child it and wants to ask for something. A dog whines because it wants to play with its master and wants attention. Dogs that are toilet-trained whine when they feel like pooping and they can't because they're not in the right place.

Dogs scoot because of the itch and pain that comes from their anal sacs which are basically scent glands that give away bad smelling liquid. The anal sacs leak every time when the dog poops and they also spray liquid when it gets scared. The spray of the anal sac is not poisonous but it just smells bad because of bacteria. All dogs don't smell the same because it is nature's designed. Dogs scoot in order to get rid of that extremely itchy feeling and they rub their butts across the floor.

To stop a dog from whining, one can do things like understand the tone of whining, play hard to get and deny his advances and teach it hand and body gestures to set limits. If it's not a minor whining and is rooted in deep physical and psychological pain, then the dog has to be taken to a vet.

One might think that a dog likes the itchy feeling while scooting. In fact, scooting creates a very painful feeling in your dog and it gets to a point where the dog suffers from poop impaction. Scooting is the only way a dog sees to relieve itself. A dog may need professional treatment at this stage.

One does not need to see a vet unless a dog's whining borders on the pathological. The fur and fangs of a dog have nothing to do with whining unless it's a horror movie. If dogs scooting is not very serious as in the case of bred dogs, it just needs to be kept clean and treated well.

Why Do Dogs Scoot and Whine?

Have you ever wondered if your dog is right-pawed or left-pawed (i.e., a "southpaw")? Just like humans, dogs have a preferred paw. There is an equal chance your pup can be a lefty or righty. In fact, dogs, like humans, do tend to have a preference for using one side more than the other.

According to the people who research such things, animals are similar to humans. The majority of animals are right-hardens. A much smaller percentage are left-hardens. And quite a few dogs are ambidextrous or they can use both paws equally.

In one study of 28 dogs, 57.1 percent preferred to use their right paw; 17.9 percent preferred to use their left paw, and 25 percent were ambidextrous. There appears to be some suggestion that male dogs are a little more likely to be left-pawed than females.

Paw preference and behavior

Some researchers have speculated that there is a connection between paw preference and behavior. Findings from at least one study suggest that dogs which are ambidextrous are more likely to be reactive to noise from fireworks and thunderstorms. This theory has been suggested as a way to screen them before training them for bomb sniffing, guide dog work, and other programs which have a high rate of failure. Animals that react to this kind of stimuli would not be good candidates for these programs if the theory is correct.

Testing your own dog

You can test your own pooch and discover his paw preference in several ways:
    Put a treat under your sofa and see which paw he or she uses to try to reach it;
    Give your pet a bone and see which paw he uses to hold it when he chews on it;
    Put a piece of tape on your dog's muzzle for a moment and see which paw he uses to try to remove it;
    See which paw your pooch normally uses when he steps forward;
    Put a Kong filled with treats in front of your pet and see which paw he uses to try to get the treats out.
These are all good ways to determine which paw your dog prefers to use. Have fun and see what you learn about your pet
Right brain and left brain

Other studies suggest that dogs have the same right brain-left brain reactions that humans do. Their left brain controls the right side of their body, while the right brain controls the left side of the body. Studies have shown that they react by wagging their tails to the right when they are happy and they wag their tails to the left when they are apprehensive. (You can try this at home. Your dog should wag his tail to the right when he sees you but if he sees something that scares him, he should wag his tail to the left.) This is because with dogs (and humans) the left brain is associated with love, safety, and bonding. The right brain handles things like fear.

Can my dog be left-pawed?

A lot of people are finding the joys of including their dogs in their special occasions and events. And dressing your dog up for such special occasion can be a bit difficult. It may be for BBQ, parties, and even to very formal events such as weddings. if you're going with your pup to something fancy, she's got to look the part. This is where pet clothing will help you out.

You can dress your dog for the occasion with one of many great dog formal attire options. There are picks for girl and boy dogs and dogs of various sizes which mean you are sure to find something that will suit your needs. Shop around for a bit If you want and really choose something that suits your dog's personality as well as the occasion you are shopping for. This is how you can be sure you get the perfect attire for your pup's big day.

You also want to be sure you choose the size properly because this will keep your pooch happy in the new outfit. When it comes to special occasion attire for dogs, you can find wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses and dresses that would be befitting to prom for the girls. You can also get wedding veils, bows for her hair and more. She will look absolutely beautiful for your special event.

For the boys you can find full tuxes, tuxedo vests, dog bow ties and neckties, ring bearer outfits and more. There are many choices for fancy dog formal wear and you just might find you're having trouble picking which outfit you want for your dog. He will be his most handsome when he is all dressed up for the big day.

Remember when dressing your dog for the occasional that you need to keep him as comfortable as possible. Avoid letting him get overheated and be sure he is comfortable in the clothes you choose. You might even want to do a practice run in the comfort of your home before the big day so he can feel comfortable in his new clothes and you can make any changes or alterations as needed.

Most small dog breeds love being the center of attention and dog formal attire gives them one more method of gaining the attention they love. If you find your dog fits this bill then he will love doggie clothing whether it is formal or just taking a stroll in the park in a nice doggie tee.

How to Dress Your Dog for Special Occasion

Bringing a new puppy or older dog into a home with children is an exciting time for both the family and the new pet. Make the experience as happy as possible by matching the breed of dog to the lifestyle of your family. Here are the list of dogs will tolerate the rough and tumble lifestyle of a family with small children.

Golden Retriever: The golden retriever is one of the favorite breeds for families. This breed of dog is one of the most playful breed out there. A golden retriever does not bark excessively, enjoys spending time with people and is very loyal to every family member.

Basset Hounds: If you want a more laid back dog for your family, look at the Basset Hound. This dog does not get excited easily, which makes it the perfect choice for families who have docile children. This breed loves being with the family; however, it will not get under your feet the way other dogs will.

Labrador Retrievers: Labs are listed as one of the most popular dog breeds by the American Kennel Club. A Labrador Retriever can quickly learn the rules of your house. These fun-loving dogs are full of energy and will play for hours. They are easy to house-train and love learning new things.

Beagles: Beagles make wonderful family members and are great with children. These smaller dogs are very intelligent and are super easy to train. Beagles are gentle dogs are very protective, which can be great for families with small children.

Collie: If you want a dog that will play with your kids and protect them from danger, look no further than a Collie. These dogs are independent, yet are easy to train. A collie is a larger dog, yet it is a very gentle pooch.

Poodle: The Poodle is a great choice for children with allergies because it doesn't shed. This intelligent pooch can become a kid's best friend. The dog's friendly nature and patience make it the perfect partner for your child.

Bichon Frise: If you are looking for a small dog, a Bichon Frise may be the perfect choice for a family with small children. This fun-loving dog loves to play and sheds very little. This intelligent pup loves to spend time with the family and enjoys playing lively games of fetch.

There are a lot of breeds that do well with young children. Introduce your children to your new pup and teach your children the proper way to handle a dog to help prevent injuries from occurring. Soon, your child and your pup will be the best of friends.

Best Dog Breeds for Families With Young Children

PRA in dogs actually refers to a whole group of hereditary eye diseases. Technically known as progressive retinal atrophy, it involves the degeneration of the retina in a dog's eye. The bad news is that it almost always leads to total and permanent blindness. The good news is that it isn't painful. I know that doesn't sound like much of an upside, but your dog might disagree.


This one really sneaks up on both you and your dog. You won't see any squinting, redness or weepy eyes--and it's amazing how well a dog can adapt to slow loss of vision. He already knows the layout of the land--and your house--and his nose can help fill in the gaps. You may not notice the problem at all until you rearrange furniture or take him to a strange place. That's when he'll be hesitant to take off exploring like he used to do. You suddenly have a doggie burr stuck to your leg, and you wonder when that started. Ah, he'll never tell!

Diagnosis and Treatment

A veterinary ophthalmologist can tell you, after a quick and painless exam, if your dog has progressive retinal atrophy. The retina tells the whole story. And it's news you didn't really want to hear. Unfortunately, there is currently no treatment for PRA in dogs. Your beloved pooch will probably lose his eyesight totally, in time.

Coping With PRA In Dogs

Though it's natural to feel sorry for your dog, he'll be much happier if you treat him just like you always have. He can still hear your loving voice, and smell all those delicious smells in the world around him. There are ways to help him cope with his blindness and learn to lead a relatively normal life. He'll still be the happy dog he was before--as long as you don't rearrange the furniture!

What You Need to Know About Progressive Retinal Atrophy in Dogs

When a beloved pet dies it can be very traumatic, and for many people the loss of a treasured family pet is almost as difficult to deal with as losing a friend or relative. Often when this sad day comes, people will choose to have their pet cremated and memorialized in a one of a kind custom made cremation urn.

Choosing to have your pet cremated and the remains contained inside a hand made funeral urn is a great way to honor the loyalty and friendship that a pet showed to you during its life. Family pets are just that important and make our lives that much richer and more meaningful. They stick with us through thick and thin and show us loyalty and friendship that is unconditional. A beautiful cremation memorial can be created indoors or outdoors depending on what type of urn you should choose to go with.

There are many options for creating a memorial to your pet. Creating a cremation memorial with a one of a kind urn as the centerpiece is a truly wonderful way to keep the memories of that beloved pet alive for all time. Hand made art urns are a great addition to any memorial display and can be kept on a mantle or in a special place to constantly remind you of the special time you shared with you wonderful family pet.

Glass cremation urns, metal funeral urns, ceramic art urns and pet urns are all available to keep the cremated remains of that special animal close to you. Decorative urns made especially for that wonderful family pet will be perfect for showing the world how much your sweet animal meant to you. Dog urns or cat urns can be a custom made cremation urn that reflects the personality of that special dog or cat that brought so much joy and love to your life.

If you want to create a memorial shrine outdoors, it is best to use a durable material for the one of kind hand made funeral urn. Selecting a metal cremation urn or a stone funeral urn is ideal for the outdoors, because it provides a durable material that is strong and will hold up against the elements and the weather. Indoor cremation memorials offer a little more flexibility in what type of material you choose to go with.

Having a custom made funeral urn crafted by a truly expert artisan is the best way to go about this process. This way, you can have the art urn created to your specifications and ensure that the vessel that holds your special family dog or beloved family cat will be a true memorial to that special friend. Finding an artisan who specializes in these types of hand made urns can be a challenge, but these days it is not as hard as it once was.

There are now companies that specialize in creating unique urns for any occasion. Cremation urns are available in many places, but finding some folks who truly care about honoring the memory of your pet as much as you do is rare. Look closely and choose wisely to make sure that you are dealing with a reputable dealer who understands the importance of what they are creating and the honor it is to do this sacred duty.

Dog Cremation Memorials

Watching a dog go through the grieving process is as painful as watching a friend or relative go through the stages and come to terms with their bereavement. The advantage we have is, we find solace in the words and actions of those who care about us and our faith. Dogs depend on us, their caretakers, to sense and ease the pain of their suffering at the loss of a human or dog companion.

This heart-breaking footage shows the moment a stray dog frantically tries to revive his friend who was killed in a hit-and-run accident.

Sadly, the dog hasn’t realized she has gone and desperately scratches and paws at the brown mongrel. He gently prods her head and tries to lift her leg up with her mouth in a final attempt to guide her to her feet.

The dog spent several minutes trying to wake the dead female before grudgingly giving up and creeping away along the pavement. Observer Jay Villanueva was driving home when he parked up to video the tragic scene, which he said ‘broke his heart’. He said: "Drivers should be careful not to hurt anyone on the road, even dogs." They do not understand the right of the way; they don’t understand traffic rules such as "Stop, look and listen"

"Some people will say," Oh, it's just a dog, "but watch the video, they're like a family, like best friends, life is also very important to them.

After filming, Jay said he walked to the side of the road and moved the dead dog to the bushes. He added “I felt very sad for the two dogs, the male was upset. He clearly had feelings.’

Dog desperately tries to revive friend killed in a hit-and-run accident

Vestibular system aids in providing equilibrium and a sense of spatial orientation to dogs. But a dysfunction can have serious effects on the balance systems of the dog's body. This system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain, which are responsible for the balance and eye movements. If the network is damaged by illness, aging, or injury, serious disorders can result, and are often associated with one or more of these signs, among others: Vertigo and dizziness.

There are two types of this disorder in dogs:

Central Vestibular Disorder and Peripheral Vestibular Disorder
The first one is less common but more serious form of this disease that originates inside the central nervous system.

The second type of this disease happens when there is annoyance to the nerves connecting the inner ear with the brain. This results in failure of balance and other symptoms resulting in vertigo and dizziness. This illness can look to be quite melodramatic to the dog owner if this is the first time the dog has been affected. But most of the times the dog recovers with supportive care and treatment.

Causes: This disorder can be cause by the following:
Chronic and perennial inner and middle ear infections
Overzealous cleansing of the ears leading to perforated eardrum
Trauma from head injury
Signs and Symptoms
Head tilting
Loss of co-ordination
Circling and stumbling
Falling and rolling

Congenital Vestibular disease is seen between birth and three months of age. Certain dogs are more predisposed to this condition, including Doberman Pinschers, English Cocker Spaniel, Beagle, German shepherd, Tibetan terrier and Smooth Fox Terrier.

This disorder is often mistaken as a stroke. The vertigo originated by this disease has an adverse effect on older dogs having symptoms like difficulty to stand up, circling, nystagmus, nausea, and head tilt. Older dogs are more stressed out due to this disease and so there is a need reduce their stress through earthy calming agents like amino acid, L-theanine and herbs including hops, Valerian, chamomile, and passionflower. Other remedies, including GABA, flower essences, tryptophan, and Homeopathic are also good in calming overwhelmed dogs.


The veterinarian would conduct a physical examination to determine whether the disorder is peripheral or central. In case, a peripheral form of the condition is found, the veterinarian would use an otoscope to look deep into the ears of the pet. There are times when X-rays would be required. The veterinarian would also take the aid of blood tests, culture, sensitivity and cytology to get rid of other likely causes of specific symptoms. For tumors and polyps your veterinarian would propose a surgical biopsy. In case the central Vestibular disease is determined, the veterinarian would use an MRI or CT scan along with spinal fluid taps to find the root cause. If it is due to infection, then it has to be resolved.

It is possible to alleviate nausea and vomiting with motion sickness treatments, but there is no specific treatment to manage Congenital Vestibular Disease. For middle or inner ear infection, antibiotics might be required to improve the condition. In case an under-active thyroid is the reason, the disorder will get resolved when the metabolic condition is managed precisely. If the treatment is the root cause then discontinuing the treatment can bring about complete resolution. But there are times when there can be some residual hearing failure. To completely cure this situation, the veterinarian would remove the polyps, but if there are cancerous tumors, then the conclusion is generally less positive.

This disease has a poor prognosis than peripheral form as a result of potential dangers to the brain stem that can be quite devastating. If there is an infection found, it has to be treated. In case of an inflammatory condition, it may react to treatment at first, but it can advance to a point where it could be untreatable. But the most common form of Vestibular disease - the peripheral form - improves swiftly, once the inherent cause is addressed and symptoms of vertigo are managed with supportive care.

All you need to know about Vestibular Disease in Dogs

Anti-Brexit dog owners will take their dogs on a march to parliament on Sunday to call for a second vote on EU membership.

Participants in the campaign, who expect thousands of protesters and dogs to join the rally, say leaving the bloc will harm the estimated 54 million pets in the United Kingdom.

They fear that this means a shortage of qualified veterinarians and veterinary nurses, which will raise the high costs for animal health products and even supplies running low.

According to the organizers of the “wooferendum” march more than half of vets registering in the United Kingdom each year come from abroad, mostly European Union, citing a report from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) that says a cut in numbers would be likely to cause shortages, jeopardizing pet well-being and economic production.

The college warned that approximately nine out of ten veterinarians working in public health roles, like abattoirs, come from other EU countries and, therefore, production could be affected.

Veterinary leaders have called for Brexit negotiations to ensure there are no restrictions on the freedom of movement of EU-qualified veterinarians and veterinary nurses or on access to evidence that may threatens the UK's animal welfare research.

Surveys have found a higher proportion of  EU-trained veterinarians in the UK working full-time than average among those in the profession.

The campaigners also point out that the National Office of Animal Health has said that a no-deal Brexit could mean shortages of about 40 percent of pet’s health products such as painkillers, vaccines, shortage of up to 40 percent of animal health products, such as vaccines, painkillers, antibiotics, and wormers, and buyers having to pay more.

The Impact of Brexit on Dog’s Welfare in the UK

Exercise is important to your dog's health. Don't neglect your dog's needs. Dogs gain the same benefits from exercise as humans do. Exercise your dog in order to help keep his weight down, ward off disease, tone muscles, and boosts the energy. It is also beneficial for the heart and lungs. This holds true for practically every living being. So why not provide your dog with the exercise he needs in order to keep him healthy and help prolong his life.

Starting an exercise regimen can be beneficial to both you and your dog. Get yourself involved in your dog's exercise routine. It could be anything from taking a jog through the park to playing a game of fetch. Your dog depends entirely on you to get the exercise he needs. Don't neglect this important aspect of your dog's life because it could have a great impact on his quality of life, and yours.

Once your vet has given your dog a clean bill of health, start to exercise your dog at a slow pace. Like humans, they need to build up their stamina slowly. Start with a 15-minute walk through the park for the first few weeks. This will get his blood pumping and loosen up his joints. Then you can either choose to lengthen the walks or start up a slow jog (depending on his physical condition, and yours). Another benefit of exercising your dog is that a tired dog will stay away from mischief, such as chewing on furniture.

The amount of exercise your dog gets depends largely on his age, size, and weight. Exercise regimens should be tailored to your dog's needs. A large breed, such as the St. Bernard, shouldn't have the same exercise routine as a Cocker Spaniel. Some breeds are more agile than others, therefore can handle more vigorous exercise. If you have any doubts, see what your vet recommends for your dog.

Some dogs can get so excited about their new exercise program, that they often won't stop until you tell them to stop. Be sure to look out for the telltale signs of over-exertion.
Here are a few safety guidelines when you exercise your dog:

When going for a walk (or run), keep your dog on a retractable leash. This will allow you to keep him from running into the street but will also help you guide your dog away from a potential dogfight.

Running on a grassy area will keep your dog's paws from getting irritated. Avoid concrete or stone pavements.

Check for signs of fatigue, such as shortness of breath, heavy panting, limping, or anything else that's seems out of the ordinary.

Provide your dog with plenty of water (as well as yourself). Bring along a water bottle for both of you.

Hydration is very important during and after vigorous exercise, especially if the weather is hot.

If the weather is extremely hot or extremely cold, it is a good idea to shorten the time spent outdoors.

Aside from going for a walk (or run), there are other ways to exercise your dog if you're not into exercising today. Try throwing a frisbee or playing a game of fetch.

Any exercise your dog gets is better than none at all. Every dog needs a certain amount of exercise, some more than others. Check with your vet to get the recommended daily dose of exercise for your dog.

How important is exercise to your dogs?

Like humans, excessive weight in dogs can lead to health problems like arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. Studies prove that 25% of overweight dogs suffer from severe joint problems which eventually lead to decreased activity, further contributing to a long list of other health complications. Overweight dogs are found to have significantly shorter life expectancies than healthier dogs. It is therefore very essential to take control of a dog’s weight problem before it gets out of control.

More than 40% of American dog owners have overweight dogs. That is a great number but fortunately, there are some basic and easy to follow steps you can take to bring down your Fido's weight in a healthy and easy manner.

One of the main reasons for canine obesity is that dog owners feed their pet human food. It can be extremely difficult for us to resist the temptation to feed our dog leftovers to save it from going to waste, or for treating our dog with bits of human food. But in all honesty, we are seriously harming our dogs' health.

While most people are aware that feeding a dog chocolate can be threatening to the animal's health, there are other foods people do not realize can be harmful to a dog. Here are just a few of the "human foods" which can cause severe harm and even death to your dog: onions, coffee, apple seeds, peach pits, cherry pits, and plum pits, as well as macadamia nuts. Even though you may have fed these items to your dog before without resulting harm, you should be aware that continuing to feed your dog these foods could result in a medical issue that grows over time into a serious illness, possibly even death.

That being said, simply cutting out human food from your dog's diet may not solve your dog's weight issue, or if your dog's weight gain has stemmed from another source, such as leaving dog food out for him to eat as he pleases or not getting enough exercise.

There's a little-known trick to helping your dog feel full so that he doesn't drive you crazy with whining from hunger! It's called the Green Bean Dog Diet. This diet involves mixing a portion of green beans with your dog's regular food. The green beans have lots of fiber and only a few calories, so they are a healthy way to keep your dog full between meals.

If your dog is suffering from a lack of exercise, the obvious solution is to increase his outdoor activity. Although taking him out for a nice long walk is a great choice, it's not the only one. If you aren't able to walk, try getting a ball, Frisbee, or one of your dog's favorite toys, then grab a chair to sit in and play a good ole' game of fetch with him. On days when the weather is particularly nice, you could also take him for a dip in the lake. Swimming is an excellent exercise and will be a blast for your dog!

How to Help Your Dog Lose Weight

One of the biggest questions for anyone looking to get a new dog is "how big will my puppy get?" Of course, it's important to ask this question before you purchase the puppy, or you might be in for a nasty surprise in a year's time! It goes without saying that some households are more suited to smaller dogs, while others can handle the bigger breeds.

This is obviously a very important factor in deciding which breed will be most suitable for your household and lifestyle. You're going to share your life with your new companion for perhaps 15 to 20 years, so you need to be sure that you can cope with the size your dog will grow to, both in the next few years and later in life.

The size of your dog will also have an effect on the cost of upkeep - a larger dog will eat more, and will cost more for medications, as most doses are determined by weight. And the size will also be a factor if you have small children. Households with children under about 9 years old are not usually suitable for small breed puppies, as puppies are too easily hurt by rough play or by being dropped as they wriggle out of a Childs' arms. Conversely, a large dog may be too boisterous for small children and can easily knock them over in an enthusiastic welcome.

Another consideration is the size of the dog that your house and yard can accommodate, as well as how much exercise it is going to need. Larger dogs need significantly more exercise, and just letting them run on their own is not sufficient - you're going to be there and get the exercise as well!

Therefore, to answer this question,  while it is impossible to be precise, with purebred dogs, in particular, there are a couple of good indicators that you can review:

What size are the parents? This is probably the best guide, although we have had dogs that grew much larger than either of their parents and all of their littermates.

What does the breed standard say? Purebred dogs all have guides to their ideal weight and height described in their written breed standard. Of course, that's not to say they will attain that ideal, but they ought to be close to it, particularly if their parents are representative of the breed.

You can also look at the factors for a mixed breed puppy as they will apply to purebreds as well.
With a mixed breed dog, it is a bit more difficult than with a purebred. If you can see the parents then their size is a good indication, but there is obviously no breed standard for them. You can look at the size of the puppy's paws - if they are very large, then he is likely to grow to be a big dog. Similarly, very loose skin can be an indication that he has a lot of growing to do to fill it.

If the puppy is only 10 to 14 weeks old, that is about as much as you are going to be able to see as clues to his eventual size. If he is older, then you can make an estimation based on his rate of growth since birth. Puppies do most of their growing in the first 6 months of life. After that, their growth rate slows down until they are about a year old, by which time they have done most of their growing.

As a very rough rule of thumb, puppies attain approximately one-third of their final weight by the time they are three months old. By six months they are usually around two-thirds of their finished weight.

How big will my puppy get?

Dog owners have a pretty good idea of whether their dog is smart or not so bright. We usually judge our dog's intelligence based on how easily he or she was house trained, or how many tricks we can teach them. At one time, people never even considered that a dog could be intelligent, or have feelings, or express emotions.

When we say "this dog is intelligent," usually referring to the dog's ability to learn new things, to think and solve problems. Certain breeds are considered to be "fitted" with the quality to be easily trained, but other races also are in other ways demonstrating their intelligence and are worthy of admiration. And now, let's see the most intelligent dog breeds in the world, in the sense that most people perceive.

1. Border Collie is first because unusual it shows clear intelligence and energy. Dogs of this breed feel best with active owners, which can train and play all day. Because of the fact that in the past they were herding dogs, they may become confused around children who have a different rhythm and cannot be "controlled" as sheep or cows.

2. Australian Cattle Dog is a hardworking dog, which traditionally deals with flocks and herds. Main qualities are exceptional intelligence, attention, strength, and loyalty to owners. They are agile, strong, organized, physically and mentally active. The less good thing is that they get bored quickly and act silly in their desire to experience new things.

3. Rottweiler began its "Career" work in Germany as companions. They are used mainly as security guards and as police assistant. They are very courageous, patient and loyal.

4. Papillion's are very cute thanks to butterfly-shaped ears. They are smart and stronger than they seem at first glance; they are often described as big dogs trapped in some small bodies. They have trusted guards of the house and good friends.

5. The Shetland sheepdog is a dog at home which expresses protective spirit and dedication to defending the flocks. Extremely smart, can handle in different situations and learn new commands easily.

6. Doberman Pinscher does not know what fear is and therefore, are highly appreciated as guard dogs. Even if they seem scary, can be tamed through training and thus become docile and gentle.

7. Golden Retriever, these dogs can learn commands well over 200, are loyal, loving, attentive and ideal if you want a playful and confident companion.

8. German Shepherd is smart, brave and protective, German shepherds learn commands only after one repetition, you should not give an order twice to make him listen. This breed is used to protect and to guard livestock, for police, search and rescue missions, and may be trained by the military even for parachute jumps.

9. Poodle is a breed that is easily trained, sharp-witted. Poodle breed dogs are hardy, obedient and efficient. They are very creative and, therefore, have been co-opted even circuses.

10. Retriever Labrador it's one of the most popular breed’s so-called "family" dog. Intelligent, effective and gentle, they are ideal for families with small children. They can be easily trained, and are used to help elders and people with disabilities, but also in the police field work.

The 10 Most Intelligent Dog Breeds

A Colombian veterinarian, who allegedly performed surgery on puppies to be used as drug mules, has been deported to the United States after more than 10 years on the run.

Andrés Lopez Elores is accused of surgically implanting liquid heroin capsules in the stomachs of dogs in his country of origin before sending them to the United States.

US prosecutors say he sewed packages of heroin worth $2 million (£1.47 million) in the bellies of six puppies. When the dogs arrived in the United States, the packages were surgically removed.

The plot was revealed in 2005 by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in New York and one of its taskforce in Colombia.

During the 2005 raid on a medical clinic run by Elioris in Medillin, Colombian authorities found 6.6 pounds of heroin surgically implanted in six puppies.

At least three dogs died as a result of the smuggling operation, the agency said. However, two were adopted, including a dog that became a drug-sniffing dog for the Colombian police.

While 22 Colombians were arrested in the case, Lopez Elores managed to evade arrest and go into hiding.

He was finally captured in 2015, living in the city of Santa Comba, in northwestern Spain. Authorities believe he may have been in the country for up to eight years.
After the Spanish national court authorized his extradition, he was transferred to the United States this week, where he will be tried for conspiring to import and distribute heroin in the United States.

"Twelve years ago, our investigation revealed the cruelty of inhumane drug traffickers," said James Hunt, DEA Special Agent in Charge.

"Over time, drug organizations’ greedy thirst for profit leads them to commit absurd crimes such as the use of innocent puppies to hide drugs or, these days pushing lethal amounts of fentanyl onto our streets. This week, the veterinarian supposedly responsible has been brought to New York to face the charges against him."

According to the American lawyer Richard P Donoghue: "Elorez is not only a drug smuggler, but he also betrayed the veterinarians pledge to stop animal suffering when he used his surgical skills in a harsh scheme to traffic heroin into the puppies' abdomens," he said. Dogs are man's best friend, and as the accused is about to learn, we are the worst enemies of drug dealers." If convicted, Elores can face between 10 years and life imprisonment.

Colombian vet ‘surgically implanted heroin’ into puppy’s abdomens