Archive for 'Dog News'

CYRUS for Adoption at Vancouver BC SPCA


Breed: Boxer/American Pit Bull Terrier Mix
Primary Color: White
Secondary Color: Tan
Weight: 18.6
Age: 11yrs 0mths 1wks
Sex: Female

I am already spayed and house trained.

Cyrus’s Story…
At the young age of 10yrs Cyrus finds herself longing for a stable warm & loving home to retire once and for all.
Cyrus gets on well with children small dogs and has previously lived with cats. She doesn’t care for dogs bigger than her and is not an off leash dog park kinda gal. Her hobbies are jogging hiking & trail walks with guardians who are breed experienced and confident. Cyrus needs gentle direction and leadership from her owners for her to flourish in the home. She loves to get under the blankets and cuddle shes highly affectionate and very sensitive to her surroundings.
Cyrus is house trained and will require a “no grain” diet as she has food allergies.
This girl is very special to a number of staff here at the Vancouver SPCA as we have know her for many years. For more information please see reception staff.

Shelter: BC SPCA - Vancouver Shelter
Pet ID #: 258249
Phone: (604) 879-7721
Let ‘em know you saw “Cyrus” on!
Let ‘em know you saw “Cyrus” on!
Fax: (604) 879-1498
1205 East 7th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
Canada, V5T 1R1

Help this Shelter by making a donation.

Dogs Have Built-In Snow Boots

Researchers Find that dog paws have intricate circulation systems designed for warmth, making them similar to penguins and dolphins.

All that snow and ice just doesn’t seem to bother little Fido’s paws, and new research actually explains why.

Dogs’ paws, which lack the warm coverings on the rest of their bodies, have an intricate heat transfer system built in that immediately warms cold blood. Couple that system with a high amount of freeze-resistant connective tissue and fat located in the pads of the paw, and a dog’s paw rivals that of a penguin’s wing for the ability to stay warm in crazy-cold climates.

Researchers in Japan recently studied the legs and paws of dogs and discovered that a “wonderful network” of veins helped quickly circulate blood from the pad through the legs to warm it back up before sending it into the body, keeping the overall temperature of the dog steady. This same network has been found in penguins’ extremities, arctic foxes and even dolphins’ fins.

Released in the journal Veterinary Dermatology, the researchers found that with arteries running right close to veins, warm blood actually passed by the cool blood, helping to speed warming even more. This system, dubbed “counter-current heat exchanger” also pulls warm blood to the paws and limits the amount of blood near the body’s cool skin.

Earlier research had claimed that dogs have tissue in their feet that keep them from freezing all the way down to -35 degrees Celsius, meaning you can let your pet dog play freely with your pet penguin without fear of frozen paws.

A 33,000 Year Old Dog Skull in a Siberian Mountain Cave

From Science Daily

A 33,000-year-old dog skull unearthed in a Siberian mountain cave presents some of the oldest known evidence of dog domestication and, together with an equally ancient find in a cave in Belgium, indicates that modern dogs may be descended from multiple ancestors.

If you think a Chihuahua doesn’t have much in common with a Rottweiler, you might be on to something.

An ancient dog skull, preserved in a cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia for 33,000 years, presents some of the oldest known evidence of dog domestication and, together with equally ancient dog remains from a cave in Belgium, indicates that domestication of dogs may have occurred repeatedly in different geographic locations rather than with a single domestication event.

In other words, man’s best friends may have originated from more than one ancient ancestor, contrary to what some DNA evidence previously has indicated.

“Both the Belgian find and the Siberian find are domesticated species based on morphological characteristics,” said Greg Hodgins, a researcher at the University of Arizona’s Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory and co-author of the study that reports the find.

“Essentially, wolves have long thin snouts and their teeth are not crowded, and domestication results in this shortening of the snout and widening of the jaws and crowding of the teeth.”

The Altai Mountain skull is extraordinarily well preserved, said Hodgins, enabling scientists to make multiple measurements of the skull, teeth and mandibles that might not be possible on less well-preserved remains. “The argument that it is domesticated is pretty solid,” said Hodgins. “What’s interesting is that it doesn’t appear to be an ancestor of modern dogs.”

The UA’s Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Laboratory used radiocarbon dating to determine the age of the Siberian skull.

Radioactive carbon, or carbon-14, is one of three carbon isotopes. Along with naturally occurring carbon dioxide, carbon-14 reaches the surface of Earth by atmospheric circulation, where plants absorb it into their tissues through photosynthesis.

Animals and humans take in carbon-14 by ingesting plants or other animals that have eaten plants. “Carbon-14 makes it into all organic molecules,” said Hodgins. “It’s in all living things.”

“We believe that carbon-14 production is essentially constant over time,” said Hodgins. “So the amount of carbon-14 present in living organisms in the past was similar to the levels in living organisms today. When an animal or plant dies, the amount of carbon-14 in its remains drops at a predictable rate, called the radioactive half-life. The half-life of radiocarbon is 5,730 years.”

“People from all over the world send our laboratory samples of organic material that they have dug out of the ground and we measure how much carbon-14 is left in them. Based on that measurement, and knowing the radiocarbon half-life, we calculate how much time must have passed since the samples had the same amount of carbon-14 as plants and animals living today.”

The researchers use a machine called an accelerator mass spectrometer to measure the amount of radioactive carbon remaining in a sample. The machine works in a manner analogous to what happens when a beam of white light passes through a prism: White light separates into the colors of the rainbow.

The accelerator mass spectrometer generates a beam of carbon from the sample and passes it through a powerful magnet, which functions like a prism. “What emerges from it are three beams, one each of the three carbon isotopes,” said Hodgins. “The lightest carbon beam, carbon-12, bends the most, and then carbon-13 bends slightly less and carbon-14 bends slightly less than that.”

The relative intensities of the three beams represent the sample’s carbon mass spectrum. Researchers compare the mass spectrum of an unknown sample to the mass spectra of known-age controls and from this comparison, calculate the sample’s radiocarbon age.

At 33,000 years old, the Siberian skull predates a period known as the Last Glacial Maximum, or LGM, which occurred between about 26,000 and 19,000 years ago when the ice sheets of Earth’s last ice age reached their greatest extent and severely disrupted the living patterns of humans and animals alive during that time. Neither the Belgian nor the Siberian domesticated lineages appear to have survived the LGM.

However, the two skulls indicate that the domestication of dogs by humans occurred repeatedly throughout early human history at different geographical locations, which could mean that modern dogs have multiple ancestors rather than a single common ancestor.

“In terms of human history, before the last glacial maximum people were living with wolves or canid species in widely separated geographical areas of Euro-Asia, and had been living with them long enough that they were actually changing evolutionarily,” said Hodgins. “And then climate change happened, human habitation patterns changed and those relationships with those particular lineages of animals apparently didn’t survive.”

“The interesting thing is that typically we think of domestication as being cows, sheep and goats, things that produce food through meat or secondary agricultural products such as milk, cheese and wool and things like that,” said Hodgins.

“Those are different relationships than humans may have with dogs. The dogs are not necessarily providing products or meat. They are probably providing protection, companionship and perhaps helping on the hunt. And it’s really interesting that this appears to have happened first out of all human relationships with animals.”

China to Ban Eating Dogs

Dog and cat meat could be banned from restaurants in China after growing pressure from animal rights activists.

China plans to end thousands of years of culinary tradition by taking dogs and cat meat off its menu. A law being drafted against animal abuse—China’s first—calls for the country’s thousands of dog butchers and dog meat restaurants to be closed down. Stiff fines will be imposed on anybody caught eating dog or cat meat, the Times of London reports.

The debate over eating dogs and cats has sparked fierce disagreements between the affluent, pet-owning middle classes and sticklers for traditional values. Dog meat is a traditional winter dish and practitioners of Chinese medicine extol its health benefits. Cat meat is less widely eaten—largely due to a superstition that holds the cat will return by night to seek vengeance—although it remains popular among the famously omnivorous residents of Guangdong province.

World’s Oldest Dog Dies At 21… Or 147

from Sky News

A pampered pooch recognized as the world’s oldest dog has died at the age of 21 - or 147 in dog years.
Chanel, a wire-haired dachshund, passed away at her owners’ home in Port Jefferson Station on Long Island, New York.
She was just six weeks old when Denice and Karl Shaughnessy adopted her from a shelter.
They nominated her for the title of world’s oldest dog after noticing the Guinness World Records book was lacking the record.
The pooch was presented with a certificate at a birthday bash earlier this year.
The party was held at a dog hotel and spa in Manhattan, complete with a peanut butter cake made especially for dogs.
Chanel was fond of the nutty stuff, as well as chocolate, which is usually considered toxic for dogs.
“She once ate an entire bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups, and, you see, she lived to be 21, so go figure,” Mrs Shaughnessy said.
But Chanel’s owners put her long life down to more than just her daily exercise and home-cooked chicken meals.

“Dogs are God’s angels sent here to look out for us,” Mrs Shaughnessy said.
Chanel’s title could be handed over to a dog called Max, whose owner claims he is 26.
Guinness World Records were reviewing documents to authenticate his age, Janelle Derouen said.

Cirencester dog Chippy is ‘feline’ like a cat

From Wiltshire & Gloucestershire News By Emma Tilley

A CIRENCESTER dog who has suffered a bizarre identity crisis is being offered up for adoption - by the Cats Protection League.
Chippy was rescued from a house in the town alongside 40 cats but staff at the charity said he never learned how to be a dog.
The Jack Russell, thought to be between 13 and 15 years old, rarely barks and even uses a litter tray.
He sleeps in a basket with a black cat called Annie and ideally the pair would be adopted together.
The advert for adopting Chippy on the Stroud Cats Protection website states: “I use a litter tray but have never got the hang of purring.”
“I promise to stay out of trouble but do like company (feline and human). Being an “honorary cat” I am officially sponsored by Stroud Cats Protection.”

Canine lifeguards take to the beaches of Italy


Bruno Piccinelli, head of UCIS, Italy’s association of rescue-dog trainers, says the breeds, which are innately strong in the water, are trained from puppyhood until they are at least two years old to make water rescues. Dogs have long been taught to respond to specific types of water accidents and other emergencies as well as to use their keen hearing and sense of smell to assist in search-and-rescue missions — canines were used to help find survivors in the rubble of the recent earthquake in L’Aquila, for example. But now some 70 pooches have been authorized to act as Italy’s Baywatch, minus the suntan lotion and shades. “Now they are on patrol,” says Piccinelli.

Piccinelli, who notes that Scandinavian countries also use rescue dogs in places where lots of people gather near water, describes how the four-legged lifeguards operate: sitting up alongside their human counterparts, the dogs are trained to recognize signs of drowning. When they see someone in trouble, they paddle out to the swimmer, ideally together with their human partners, though they can also go it alone. The distressed swimmer can grab hold of the dog, which will then paddle back to safety with the rescued swimmer in tow, or the dog will drag the person in with its teeth, tugging him ashore by his arm, shirt or bathing suit. “If need be, the dogs are strong enough to pull in three people holding on to each other, or a raft with three people on it,” boasts Piccinelli. Asked if these dogs could put two-legged lifeguards out of a job, Piccinelli assures Speedo-clad guardians everywhere that “they are not meant to replace human lifeguards, but to complement them.”

Ten most and ten least intelligent dogs

Ten most intelligent:

Border collie
German shepherd
Golden retriever
Doberman pinscher
Shetland sheepdog
Labrador retriever
Australian cattle dog

Ten least intelligent:

Afghan hound
Chow chow

Average dog smart as a two-year-old


Canine researcher Stanley Coren says dogs have the ability to sniff out and solve complex problems and are more like humans and other higher primates than previously thought.

In fact, Coren, a University of British Columbia psychologist, said the average dog has a “basic” ability to do arithmetic. But that’s not new to veteran Ontario dog breeder John Mitchell.

“There’s an old saying: If you don’t think a dog can count just put two cookies in your pocket then give him one and see what happens,” said Mitchell.

But Coren, who gave a talk — How dogs think– Saturday at the American Psychological Association’s convention in Toronto, said: “You’re not going to turn them into an accountant, but they know that one plus one equals two.”

Coren noted there seems to be two extremes in the way people think about dogs.

“There are a whole lot of people who think of dogs as being just people in fur coats and others who think they are biological robots with no consciousness at all,” he said.

Based on a review of numerous studies and several behavioral measures, Coren said a dog’s mental abilities are close to that of a human child age two to 2.5 years.

Coren said there are different types of dog intelligence: instinctive, what a dog is bred to do; adaptive intelligence, what a dog has learned for itself and obedience, what dogs can learn to do.

When it comes to communication, Coren said, dogs understand 165 words, signs and signals and “super dogs” — or those in the top 20 per cent of intelligence — can learn 250 words.

Coren said dogs have been “designed” to pick up bits and pieces of information to a much better extent than previously thought and more so than people tend to recognize.

“Dogs are the masters of body language and picking up gestures and slight signals,” Coren said. “If you come home and you’ve just broken up with your lover and the dog immediately starts acting very solicitously and you haven’t said anything to the dog, what the dog is doing is reading your body language.”

Mitchell said it all boils down to effective communication.

“The fundamentals of basic communication is listening,” said Mitchell, who lives in Campbellville, Ont. — just west of Toronto — and raises Labrador retrievers and Nova Scotia duck tollings. “Dogs can do that without a word being said and that creates a strong bond.”

Coren even said dogs during play are capable of deliberately trying to deceive other people and dogs.

“They’ll stand in front of you and wait until you reach for the ball and then dash away with it,” Coren explained. “If you don’t fall for that, they might drop it out of their mouth and wait for you to reach for it before grabbing it and dashing away.”

Heart Marked Puppy

This lovable chihuahua puppy was born, like its brother, with a perfect heart-shaped marking on its back.

The three-day-old pup “Love-kun” has the same parents as its two-year-old brother “Heart-Kun”, who also made headlines after its birth in Japan.

The new pup arrived in a litter of four others, none of which had the distinctive heart marking.

Both dogs were photographed together at a pet shop in Odate, northern Japan.