Man and his canine companion represent a relationship that stretches back to at least 30,000 B.C.. At this time period, it is thought that humans hunted alongside with packs of wild dogs, each party taking advantage of the other’s presence when it came to killing and gathering food. It is possible that man was living and developing meaningful, domestic relationships with these four-legged creatures by the year 12,000 B.C.. Remains of dogs and humans dating back to this time period were buried together, suggesting value in terms of a partnership.
By 10,000 B.C., we start to find evidence of different breeds of dogs, making the idea of domestication a certainty. Once 1,500 B.C.E. Rolls around, we see the first instances of modern breeds that are still in existence today. The dogs with the oldest roots stretch across every continent on the globe. In North America, we find the Spitz while in China there are Chow Chows, Asian Spaniels, and Feral Dogs. European countries are still home to breeds such as Terriers, Mastiffs, and Herding Dogs.
The domestication of dogs over time is not one to come as a surprise. The process was slow and continuous but completely in line with the needs and evolution of dogs over time. Wild dogs quickly realized that being near human settlements would equal greater food supplies for their offspring. As humans interacted in increasing numbers with puppies and adult canines, the dogs became less fearful and the puppies were open to socialization from a young age. Interestingly enough the electric dog fence systems show a relevant aspect of dogs and dogs in territorial boundaries, as strange as it seems an electric fence is shows a means of a dogs natural evolution of learning boundaries in nature. These simple training devices can be purchased on electric dog fences amazon or other various websites
Dogs continued to evolve, developing many of the capacities for emotion that now make them so attractive to the average human. Chief among their emotional capacities is the ability to love and return human affection. For this reason, nearly 46 percent of all households in the United States own at least one dog. In addition to providing love and devotion to their owners, dogs can share in feelings of excitement, contentment, fear, and joy. Dogs even engage in dreams on a nightly basis as well. Dogs also experience a high degree of affection from human beings due to the emotions that they rarely develop that we do not typically value in other human beings. These emotions include guilt, pride, contempt, and shame.
Source: Best Psychology Degrees Guide
Please visit my web site at Pet Portraits by Deena and see the many dogs I have painted – cats and horses too! 10% of proceeds goes to support CorgiAid!
Thanks to guest Author Neil Kilgore for this article.
English: A Ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Many families find that having two dogs is actually better than having one. This is because the two are companions when the humans are gone to their various activities. But it is important that you carefully combine the two dogs because you really want them to care more about your family than they do about each other. Whole Dog Journal has a good discussion of that dynamic here.
Choosing the breed of your pets
A big factor in having two dogs is the compatibility of their breed. Among the top breeds known to get along with other dogs, here are four to consider:
Golden Retriever–the most popular dog in the US, friendly and calm but loving activity, weighing 55 to 75 pounds when full grown
Bernese Mountain Dog–a gentle giant weighing 70 to 115 pounds at maturity, excellent with children and other pets but the size difference can cause problems
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel–the classic lap dog at 13 to 18 pounds, very dependent upon companionship and eager to please
Bichon Frise–tiny at 7 to 12 pounds, tolerant and friendly
The Golden Retriever and Bernese Mountain Dog are larger breeds known for their amiable personalities. The King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Frise are smaller dogs that are equally gentle. It makes sense to avoid aggressive or highly territorial breeds when you are combining your household pack, because the pack dynamic is unavoidable. Dogs who are naturally inclined to be laid back about things make the adjustments easier.
A male Golden Retriever named Tucker. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Planning for your pets
But there is more to a multi-dog household than breed compatibility. Veterinary Partner suggests that combining a male of larger breed with a female of smaller breed will use the natural inhibitions of aggressive behavior from male to female and large to small in your favor. There will be adjustments as each member of the pack finds their place; you and your household members will be considered members of that pack so be diligent to stay “alpha”. It is extremely important that you work with each dog individually and know not only the general breed characteristics but the personality of your own pets.
Bernese Mountain Dog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A multi-pet household is common and most owners will tell you that the extra investment in time and training is well worth it. Take the time to do research on the animals you are considering and make your choice with an eye on the future: your dogs will be with your family for a long time. Think about who will be in the home at the end of your pet’s natural lifespan and be aware of each breed’s tendency toward specific health problems.
With two or more dogs, your vet expenses will be at least double. Knowing what to expect with the breed you choose will help you deal proactively with potential problems. Owners of multiple combinations in these breeds; the Golden Retriever, the Bernese Mountain Dog, the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, and the Bichon Frise, are all pleased with their choice and glad to have more than one canine companion.
Neil Kilgore is the Jack (Russell) of all trades at Greenfield Puppies in Lancaster Pa. He regularly blogs about dogs, breeders and puppies on the Greenfield Puppies website.
Thanks to Guest Author Mila Joseph for this article.
No matter how well we look after our pets, sometimes they end up suffering from the effects of a life threatening health problem. Some problems are easily treated, but others require emergency intervention from a veterinarian. Pet emergencies come in all shapes and sizes, but here are a few of the most common reasons for an out of hours visit to the vet.
1. Eating the Wrong Foods
A lot of people treat their canine best friend as another human. This is fatal. Dogs are not people and should not be treated as such. They can’t eat the same food as us without suffering from side effects because their digestive systems are not designed to cope with the things we like to eat. Chocolate is particularly dangerous to dogs, so never feed your pet chocolate unless it is a pet-friendly variety. Other foods your dog should never eat are grapes and raisins.
Aside from poisonous foods, dogs are also susceptible to ingesting other types of poison. Rodent poisons are sometimes attractive to dogs, especially the types of dogs who will eat anything. Symptoms of poisoning include:
Foaming at the mouth
Vomiting and diarrhea
Bleeding from the nose and mouth
To prevent a poisoning incident, never put rat poison down where a dog may find it, and if you suspect your dog may have ingested rodent poison take him to the vet immediately.
3. Swallowing Foreign Objects
Some dogs find it impossible to distinguish between food and foreign objects. This means a lone sock or a plastic ball is fair game to a Labrador with a penchant for chewing. The trouble is a lot of dogs end up in the emergency room having ingested a totally inappropriate object. Small objects can often pass straight through, but larger or awkward objects get stuck and end up causing a potentially fatal intestinal blockage. Symptoms include:
Vomiting and diarrhoea
4. Allergic Reaction
Dogs are just as susceptible to allergic reactions as humans, so if a bee stings your pet or he comes into contact with some other allergen, he may go into anaphylactic shock, which is a life threatening allergic reaction. Dogs often develop allergies over time, so be vigilant to the symptoms, which may include:
If a dog has allergies to pollen and dust, he is likely to be allergic to an insect sting or bite. And if the worst happens and he has a massive allergic reaction to an allergenic substance, he will need to be taken to the emergency room immediately.
Unfortunately, it can often be difficult to figure out what is wrong with your pet when his symptoms are not clear-cut. If in doubt, you should always contact a vet for advice, and if you suspect your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have (particularly if he may have ingested human medication), make sure you give your vet as much information as possible.
The author of this post is Mila Joseph, an employee at Pleasant Plains, a leading veterinary hospital in New York. Mila is also an animal rights activist and spends her weekends hiking with her friends.
Perhaps one of the most defining characteristics of humanity is our willingness — and passion — for caring for animals. Having a pet enriches our lives, both for the animal and for the caretaker. People who share their homes and their lives with their pets know that unconditional love, both given and received, enhances our life experience. While there is nothing inherently wrong with having a pedigreed pet, more and more animal lovers are discovering that a pet adoption from a shelter or rescue organization is a viable and rewarding choice. Compiled here are six solid reasons why you should consider adopting your next pet.
Adopt a pet, save a life
English: Animal Rescue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has published estimates showing that 6-8 million dogs and cats enter shelters annually. Nearly half of them are euthanized. Though these figures are appalling, they represent great strides in progress. Just 40 years ago, HSUS records showed that American shelters euthanized 12-20 million dogs and cats. At that time, there were 67 million pets in homes. Now it is estimated that 2.7 million cats and dogs in shelters are euthanized annually — approximately 3% of the 135 million pets in homes in this country. By adopting your next pet, you can help to reduce the number of pets killed by euthanasia to zero. Learn more at the Humane Society’s site.
Pets are good for kids
Both dogs and cats are a very healthy part of the lives of millions of children, and studies by child psychologists, doctors and pet trainers conclude that having a pet aids in the development and social well-being of a child. Immune systems develop faster when kids are raised in homes with pets, and they tend to have fewer incidences of common colds and allergies. Kids with dogs also spend more time outside playing with their pets, which reduces stress, loneliness and anxiety, and may even help lower blood pressure. As children learn to feed and care for their companions, they are encouraged to become more responsible and they show better impulse control, higher self-esteem and better interactive social skills. Parents report that sharing the love and care of animals forges better sibling bonds, too.
No-kill shelters need your help
Photo of a dog behind a chain-link fence at the Paws and More No Kill Animal Shelter in Washington, Iowa. I took this picture. This looks just like my dog Yuma. He was from a shelter in Evanston Il. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Choosing a dog or cat from a no-kill shelter allows that shelter to take in a new animal. Most animal sanctuaries are non-profit organizations that survive on the goodwill of pet lovers, Good Samaritans and volunteers who staff these facilities. As their population increases, each life-sustaining shelter faces the costs of expansion, greater food and medical expenses and, often, limited resources. As the population of pets that are not adopted ages, they must care for more special-needs pets that must be cared for until the end of their natural lives.
If you are adopting a new pet for a child, choosing a shelter animal can open a young person’s eyes to the plight of homeless pets. In addition to teaching the child compassion and responsibility, sharing in the decision to provide a home for a pet that might otherwise be caged for life is a character-building and rewarding experience. The Shelter Pet Project is a great starting place.
No housebreaking required
The majority of animals in shelters are housebroken or litter box trained, and more mature dogs know basic obedience commands. Many shelters have dedicated staffs that work with animals to overcome training or behavioral issues. When you adopt a pet from one of these organizations, you will know what to expect from your dog or cat when you bring your new pet home. The Best Friends Animal Society is a great resource for learning more about shelter animals.
Adopted pets are healthier than you think
English: Galveston Island, TX, September 17, 2088 — Dogs displaced by Hurricane Ike are sheltered at the local center set up by the Humane Society. Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Animal shelters have happy, healthy animals waiting for someone to take them home. Not only do most shelters vaccinate, spay or neuter animals before adoption, they also screen animals for specific temperaments and behaviors to ensure you get a pet that fits your lifestyle. A common misconception is that animals are in shelters because they were abused or have behavioral issues.
Animals enter shelters because of circumstances beyond their control. A new baby, death in the family, divorce, illness or a move that excludes the pets are common reasons for pet abandonment. Unfortunately, many animals are simply discarded by pet owners who should never have had a pet in the first place. Most shelter dogs and cats are healthy, affectionate animals. According to the ASPCA, less than one in 100 people who adopt a pet from a shelter are dissatisfied.
Shelter animals are a bargain
Adoption fees at most shelters are very reasonable — usually between $50 and $250 —making your decision to adopt a pet a financially smart one. Buying a pet from a pet store or breeder can cost thousands of dollars, and the costs just begin there. Shelter animals are spayed or neutered before adoption, so you immediately save the cost of surgery. Physical examinations and vaccinations are routine, and some shelters microchip animals, too.
Choose your pet carefully, taking into consideration your personal lifestyle, the ages of your family members, the behavioral characteristics of the breed, and the amount of care and maintenance your new pet will require. A good choice will bring you immeasurable joy and happiness, and you’ve already made a great choice if you choose to adopt a pet from a shelter.