Tuesday Top Ten: Worst Dry Dog Foods

Continuing with the information I first posted last week about dog food tests done by the Clean Label Project. See the top ten best dry brands Here are the worst, based on the amount of impurities and downright dangerous toxins: Orijen Tundra Goat, Venison, Mutton, Bison, Arctic Char, Rabbit Halo Vegan Garden Medley Nature’s Variety […]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Thank you! My dog flourishes at home with his adop…

Thank you! My dog flourishes at home with his adopted sis and my husband and I. But when strangers come in the house it's something else. Unless we're in a neutral setting, he is pacing, VERY reactive and just a totally different dog. You can't judge a dogs character by their first meet and greet in my opinion. Especially if it's their territory.
BAD RAP Blog

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How to Puppy Proof Your Home

Puppies are inquisitive and playful by nature. They can be heaps of fun, but it is important to take the right steps to protect your home and protect them from themselves, as having a big heap of energy bulldozing through your home can end in a disaster.

Destructive chewing, playful chewing, jumping on people and getting on the furniture are common behavioural patterns in puppies, but are these preventable?

Chewing and biting

To begin with, puppies may chew and damage furniture in front of you, and it is important to be consistently assertive and to tell them no. But punishing your puppy doesn’t always solve the problem, some cheeky canines continue to chew and destroy your furniture when you’re not around. Simple ways of stopping this from happening are investing in puppy fences that divide up the room into puppy “safe zones”.

Also trying out different behavioural correction techniques can be effective, each puppy will respond differently to the things you try, so don’t give up and stay consistent. Non-aggressive techniques like spraying your puppy with water and saying “no” assertively can be effective. It is important to be consistent with your training, but remember never to be aggressive with your puppy. The end game is to stop them from misbehaving, not to scare them. An unusual but effective remedy is to invest in bitter apple spray to spray on wires and your furniture, this will soon stop your pups from chewing.

Why do puppies chew and bite furniture?

A lot of dog owners believe that chewing furniture is a phase or a mild behavioural problem, such as separation anxiety. Not many people know that chewing could actually be an indication of poor nutrition or not enough food provisions. To prevent chewing from continuing to happen, make sure that you are feeding your puppy the right amount of food every day, and also that you are buying food specifically designed for puppies that have the right kind of nutrients, vitamins and protein. If you are unsure of which food to buy, then it is always useful to consult with your vet,

Over-excited puppies

Puppies have heaps of energy, they jump up at people, can run for hours and always want to play. In order to protect your home, always remember to move breakable ornaments and objects out of the pathway or reach of your puppy, especially if they could fall and result in an injury. Protecting your puppy is equally as important as protecting your home. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure you vet fits them with a pet microchip. If they are ever lost (or worse, stolen) they will be more likely to be reunited with you.

Caring for a puppy can be challenging, it is important to remember to remain consistent and to think of them like another member of the family. If there are small objects that are a choking hazard on the floor, then the chances are that they will end up in your puppy’s mouth. And if there are breakable objects in reach of your puppy, then chances are that they will get broken. And finally, if you catch them chewing or destroying your furniture, chances are that they will try again until they know better. All of these things are preventable, and the older your puppy gets the less likely they will be to destroy your home.

Cathy is a new author and has experience pet sitting and with pets in general. Three years as a pet sitter in college and extensive experience volunteering in a shelter environment, fostering, training, a year as a vet assistant, etc.


PetsitUSA Blog

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Friday Funny: E-Bay for Dogs

I hope you have a great weekend! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Aww! This is too adorable! Amazing post, thank you…

Aww! This is too adorable! Amazing post, thank you for sharing with us! :)
Henry
BAD RAP Blog

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Pawject Runway Celebrities Show Their Soft Side

Wearing their hearts on their sleeves, top dogs in the world of sports will soon team together for a fashion show that proves that compassion never goes out of style. Celebrating its fifth year,…



[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]


DogTipper

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Saturday Survey: Weird Retrievals

On Friday, I posted a picture of a dog who went to fetch a ball and came back with a potato. Which got me to thinking – what weird things has your dog brought you? Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Modern technology and dog poop

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Clickbait Canids and the Permutations of Domestication

new guinea dingo

One of the most annoying things about “dog people” is the constant jockeying for the prize of the “most ancient breed of dog.”  If you watch Westminster on television, I would say a third of the breeds are described as “ancient.”

Most of them aren’t that old, and even if they do resemble ancient forms of domestic dog, the modern day representative often has very little genetic connection to them.

So it was with jaundiced eyes when I saw the latest headline that “The world’s rarest and most ancient dog was discovered in the wild.”  The headline is clickbait, of course, because most people don’t have a clue about what was actually found.

Some camera traps caught images of a type of dingo called the “New Guinea Highland Dog,” which is a new name for the “New Guinea Singing Dog.”  It is a dingo that lives a semi-feral existence in the highlands of New Guinea. Note that I said “semi-feral,” because different indigenous groups in New Guinea have used these dogs and their descendants for hunting.  It lives in the wild, but it can be tamed.

Genetically, these animals are not vastly different from Australian dingoes, which lived in much the same way.  They could breed in the wild, but indigenous people used them to hunt things like tree kangaroos.

These dogs exist where there are no wolves and are found in cultures that are mostly involved in hunter-gatherer societies. These animals might give us a window into how hunter-gatherer people in the Paleolithic may have related toward wolves and perhaps give us an insight onto how domestication may have occurred.

But the problem with these dogs is that there are fantastical claims about them. When someone says this is “the most ancient breed of dog” one needs to understand something. The most complete genetic studies we have on dogs have revealed that this type of thinking is quite flawed. One of the big problems is that no domestic dog is more closely related to wolves than any other. The only exception are dogs that have actual modern wolf ancestry.

Dogs are derived from an extinct population of wolves, and yes, a recent genome comparison study says we have to call this ancestor “a wolf” if we are to adhere to cladistic classification.  The reason is that dogs split off from Eurasian wolves at about the same time Eurasian wolves split from North American wolves.

genome comparis fan wolves and dogs

Arbitrarily declaring dogs and dingoes a species makes the entire Canis lupus species paraphyletic, according to Fan et al.

Dingoes are commonly used in genetic studies about dogs and wolves. When compared to a large number of samples of different breeds and different wolves, they almost always group with East Asian domestic dogs, as this dingo did with a Chinese street dog.

Another study, which found initially reported dogs originating the Middle East (but has since been retracted in light of more recent evidence), also found that dingoes fit with East Asian domestic dogs.

dingoes fit with domestic dogs wayne

It is well-known that New Guinea dingo-type dogs can be recognized as dingoes using a genetic test that looks for only certain dingo markers.

So the animal that was found in the New Guinea Highlands is a dingo, and a dingo is an East Asian domestic dog that has gone feral.

Now, about the question of this dog being “the most ancient.”

One of the problems with saying a breed is the most ancient, as I pointed out before,  is that no breed of dog is more close to modern wolves than any other, and the other major problem with saying a breed is ancient using genetic studies is that many of these so-called “ancient breeds” are actually just populations of domestic dog that have been isolated from the main swarm of dogs. This gives a “breed-like” isolation that confers upon it some antiquity that really doesn’t exist.

Thus, we really can’t say that a breed is the “most ancient,” even with genetic studies.

What I think is more interesting in regard to dingoes and New Guinea singing dogs is that they represent a different permutation of domestication than the bulk of domestic dogs.

Domestication is a cultural process as well as biological. The vast majority of dogs in the world today are street and village dogs, which are very easily tamed if captured at the right age. This is the permutation of dog domestication that arose after the Neolithic Revolution, and it is still the rule when dealing with societies that have not engaged in extensive selective breeding for working characteristics in domestic dogs.  We also have a permutation in which free-roaming and freely breeding livestock guardian dogs accompany herds across grazing lands. Any dogs that show aggression towards stock are driven off or killed. Another permutation, which is older than either of these two, are the people who actually rely upon their dogs as hunters. Here, I am thinking of the laikas of Russia, which are used to bay up boar and moose and tree gamebirds and furbearers in much the same way the Jōmon relied upon their hunting dogs for survival.

The Western permutation of dog domestication has been to breed many specialized dog breeds and types. We’ve selected for much higher levels of biddability in some of our dogs. We’ve bred out quite a bit of aggression and predatory behavior. We’ve accentuated certain predatory behaviors, like pointing and retrieving, and we’ve produced dogs that look you right in the eye for approval.

Western dogs have been removed very much from wolves, and from our perspective, it looks like the dogs of different cultures are more ancient than our own. But that’s from our perspective. Our own Eurocentric perspective.

For example, the indigenous people of the Americas were very much involved in producing specialized dog breeds. The Salish bred their own wool dogs.  The Tahltan bear dog actually was used to hunt bears, even though it was quite small.  The hairless trait that exists in most hairless dogs actually originated in Pre-Columbian Mexico.

The truth is people all over the world have produced dog breeds and types that are distinct. The various forms of dingo that exist in Australasia are exactly the sort of dogs that would occur in hunter-gatherer societies that were not engaged in the selective breeding of working animals. Instead, they are societies that relied upon feral dogs to provide their own hunting dogs, which often reverted back to the feral existence once they hit breeding age.

This is not the permutation of Western dog domestication at all, and because it resembles the ancient way man may have related to wolves, a lot gets read into these dogs.

These dogs aren’t more or less ancient than any other dog on the planet, but they are dogs that give us a glimpse of what might have been.

That is the amazing story.

But, of course, dog people can’t leave an amazing story to be told on its own, so claims about these dogs are made that simply aren’t backed up by serious inquiry and scholarship.

Unfortunately, we’re always going to be dealing with these sorts of clickbait stories about ancient feral dogs, but that’s not what the genetic studies are revealing. And it is quite sad that we’re still dealing with the erroneous Canis hallstromi classification for the New Guinea dingo, as well as its attendant “dogs are not wolves” hypothesis, which has been as thoroughly debunked as the “birds are not dinosaurs” hypothesis.

So it is interesting that the New Guinea dingo still roams in the Highlands,  but I wish peole would be very careful of clickbait canid taxonomy.

 

 

 

 

 


Natural History

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It may vary state to state but overall, they are n…

It may vary state to state but overall, they are non-discriminatory.
BAD RAP Blog

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