Tag Archives: Dog News

Dogs Walked by Men Are More Aggressive

By Dr. Becker

A recent study conducted by scientists at a Czech university revealed some interesting findings about what factors shape dog behavior on walks.

The study, recently published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, involved almost 2,000 dogs and their dog-to-dog interactions while walking with their owners around the city of Brno in the Czech Republic.

What the research set out to explore, according to lead researcher Petr Rezac, an associate professor in the Department of Animal Morphology, Physiology and Genetics at Mendel University, was whether dogs behave differently with one another depending on who is at the other end of the leash.

Per Rezac:

“We propose that the occurrence of threat and biting in dogs on a walk may have some connection with aggressive tendencies and/or impassivity in people.
Dogs are able to perceive subtle messages of threat emitted by another dog.
Simultaneously, dogs are unusually skilled at reading human social and communicative behavior.”

What the Study Found

It will come as no surprise to dog parents that body sniffing is far and away the most popular form of interaction among all dogs of any age.

Findings regarding specific sniffing and marking behaviors are also no surprise:

* Off-leash dogs sniffed other dogs more often than leashed dogs.
* Male dogs sniffed females more than the girls sniffed the boys, and also more than same sex dogs sniffed each other.
* Males urine-marked more often than females regardless of the gender they encountered.

Study results in the area of canine playfulness included:

* Puppies that met up with other puppies played together twice as often as adults and 11 times as often as senior dogs.
* Opposite sex dogs were more apt to play than two or more males together.
* Dogs tend to play with others of the same size.

Aggression findings:

* Aggression was twice as likely between dogs on-leash as between unleashed dogs.
* Dogs threatened same gender dogs almost three times as often, and bit them over five times as often as opposite sex dogs.
* When dogs were with men, they were more than four times more likely to show aggression and bite than dogs walked by women.

These research results seem to point to the significance, in particular, of sex of the owner and use of a leash in how dogs behave during walks.

Why Being Leashed May Make a Difference

According to Inga Fricke of the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), dog-to-dog aggression among leashed pets is probably the result of frustration. Dogs have innate greeting behaviors they can’t express when on a leash.

Given the option, dogs will run around each other when they first meet. Per Lisa Peterson of the American Kennel Club:

“They can’t do this run-around behavior when on a leash and they likely feel more threatened. They are also more inclined to resource guard, with the owner being the resource. It’s as though they are communicating, ‘He is my owner. I don’t want you to have him because he feeds and cares for me.’”

Many pet owners find their dog is actually better behaved off leash than leashed.

The same is often true for dogs that are crated or behind a fence. Confined, they demonstrate aggressive behaviors like barking or growling that they don’t exhibit when able to move around freely.

Being confined or leashed and therefore unable to fight or take flight if necessary very likely feels threatening to some dogs, resulting in aggression. Many animals, including humans, become fearful and hostile when they feel they aren’t able to make decisions for themselves.

Male Owners and Aggressive Dogs

There could be any number of reasons why the dogs walked by men in the Czech study were so much more aggressive than dogs owned by women.

Ms. Peterson of the AKC theorized it might have to do with the way men train their dogs in that region of the world.

Ms. Fricke of the HSUS offers this possible explanation:

“The increased incidence of bites when dogs are being handled by males, rather than females, may simply be a reflection of dogs mirroring the emotions of their handlers; if their handlers are acting either defensively or assertively upon meeting, their dogs are likely to sense and reflect that.”

Dr. Stefanie Schwartz, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist and the founder of PetBehavior.org, offered this insight to ABC News:

“For the average owner, males probably rely more on strength in controlling their dogs, whereas women have to rely more on skill and anticipation of what a dog or dog owner is going to do.

“So, female dog owners may develop their own more acute sense of surrounding. That may be part of why dogs with male handlers behaved more aggressively in this study. Dogs with male handlers may not get the same kinds of cues that they would if they were walking with a woman.”

Another important consideration according to Carlo Siracusa, a resident at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, is the dogs in the Czech study as well as a good number of dogs across Europe are not spayed or neutered. Per Siracusa, “This hormonal component may have a significant influence on the interaction between two dogs.”

Helping Your Dog Relax on Walks

It may not be obvious, but your dog is picking up on your mood and energy whenever you’re together. Dogs also tend to mirror the behaviors of their owners.

So if while walking your pet you feel distrustful or wary of other owners and their dogs, your canine companion will pick up on that energy and become hyper alert and ‘on guard’ as well.

Some men are more likely than women to remain aloof and avoid eye contact with other dog walkers.

Women are more apt to smile, nod or say hello, and generate friendly, non-threatening energy toward oncoming humans and their dogs. Their dogs, in turn, don’t learn to view approaching dogs as a potential threat. Women who do perceive other dog walkers and their pets as potentially dangerous generally have a fear-avoidance response. This energy has the potential to create the same fear-avoidance response in an otherwise calm, well-adjusted dog.

No matter your gender, if your walks with your favorite furry friend aren’t pleasant, it’s a good idea to check your own emotions – conscious and unconscious – and take note of what kind of energy you’re transmitting to your pet.

Don’t walk your dog when you’re feeling anxious or angry. Make a conscious effort to view fellow dog walkers as friends vs. foes, and make it a practice to smile or exchange a few friendly words with passersby whenever you’re out with your pet.

If you encounter a dog behaving in a threatening or unpredictable manner, take calm, firm control of your dog so he knows he can lean on you.

Ignore the other dog while making your way past him, and consciously return to a calm, relaxed state of mind.

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 woofzine.com!
E-mail: vancouver@spca.bc.ca
Let ‘em know you saw “Cyrus” on woofzine.com!
Fax: (604) 879-1498
Website: http://www.spca.bc.ca/vancouver
1205 East 7th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
Canada, V5T 1R1

Help this Shelter by making a donation.

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.”

How To Report Online Animal Abuse

from animalalerts.org

If you see websites depicting animal abuse, it must be reported immediately. Please don’t contact the website owners; contact the authorities with the appropriate links and relevant material.

Please review and keep the following information:


US-based crimes (complaint can originate from any country, though):

Internationally-based crimes (can include US depending on your residence):

Additional website reporting information:

Additional crush video reporting/background information:

TO GET WEBSITE DISABLED (as taken from below and only as LAST CASE SCENARIO! Disabling the website can potentially cause loss of illegal documentation):

Because abusive content often violates the user agreement that the creator of the website has signed with the Internet Service Provider (ISP), notifying the ISP about the abusive content may result in the website being removed from the Internet.

To make a report to the ISP, you need to determine who hosts the website.

1. To do that, go to http://www.domaintools.com/, enter the website URL in the “Whois Lookup” search box and click on the search button.

2. Scroll down the results page until you find the numerical Internet Protocol (IP) address assigned to the website.

3. Then go to http://www.arin.net/ (American Registry for Internet Numbers) and enter that IP address in the “Search WHOIS” box and click on the search button.

4. The search results page will provide information about the ISP that hosts the website. The page also might display information about how to report abuse.

5. If it does not, go to www.search.org/programs/hightech/isp and find the complete contact information for the ISP on the list. All of this information should also be included in your FBI complaint form, where possible.

If you believe an animal is in immediate harm, and if the location is known, contact local police and your local FBI branch office as soon as possible. To locate your local FBI branch, visit http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm.

You can also visit PETA’s site and follow the steps provided there to complain about a website (the result will be the same as above but via different route):


RE: (C/P Internet site address in this space)
ISP: (C/P address)

To Whom It May Concern,

I have been notified of the above website that depicts violent acts of animal cruelty. These images are extremely disturbing and clearly establish blatant and vicious crimes against animals; once you view the provided material, you will understand this is indicative of unlawful acts of animal cruelty as established by the Animal Welfare Act and relevant local and international statutes. I respectfully request that your resources be applied to remove this material and/or disbanding the website.

Thank you for your time and attention.

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.

The “Faux” Fur on Your Coat Could be Dog Fur

From dogster.com

That “faux” fur trim on your coat — or your “faux” fur coat itself — might be made from dogs who lived and died in deplorable conditions in China, warns the Humane Society of the United States.

Most faux fur is indeed that. It’s fake. But an ironic twist of fate, because of a loophole in the Federal Fur Products Labeling Act, people seeking to be kindest to animals may actually be wearing man’s best friend.

The HSUS says one in seven fur coats is not labeled as fur, according to a KCRA report. In addition, the HSUS claims that retailers, including Burlington Coat Factory and Loehmann’s, have been falsely advertising real fur as faux fur. The fur may be from any fur-bearing animals, including dogs.

And no, the dogs are not simply brushed every day and their shed fur collected for coats. “Animal welfare groups, including the HSUS, have documented extremely cruel conditions under which fur-bearing animals—including dogs, cats and raccoon dogs—are raised and killed in China,” reports the HSUS.

We can only hope this dog’s collar is “faux”

And what if you own something with “faux” fur? If you want to be able to tell if it’s real or fake, try to separate the fur, advises Pierre Gryzbowski, of The HSUS. “Most of the time, if the fur is fake you will see stitching. If it is real, you will see skin,” he says. The HSUS Field Guide To Telling Animal Fur From Fake Fur provides excellent detail of how to perform the inspection.

For now, if you want to be extra sure you’re staying away from wearing dog or other fur, just don’t buy or wear anything that looks or feels remotely like real fur. And don’t rely on labels or salespeople. As you can see from this fascinating investigation by CBS-Los Angeles, labels don’t have to divulge certain information, and salespeople usually just don’t know.

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

from time.com

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