Reunited, and it feels so good!

Army Spc Tyler Mosley, of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), reunited with a puppy, Daisy, he cared for during deployment in Syria. Mosley adopted Daisy after reaching out to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International (SPCAI) in January, who paved the way for the puppy’s arrival to the Destin-Fort Walton … Continue reading Reunited, and it feels so good!


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Snakes are lizards

For most of my life, we have thought of snakes as being closely related to lizards. Both snakes and lizards are squamates (the order Squamata), but all my childhood reptile books placed snakes as being part of a distinct suborder called Serpentes.

However, taxonomy has moved onto a cladistic model, where we group organisms based upon their common ancestry. A clade is defined as including all descendants of a common ancestor, and keeping snakes a specially defined entity distinct from lizards is problematic.

A recently published paper on the Komodo dragon genome reveals why this is a problem for a cladistic classification model.  The authors compared the genomes of komodo dragons with the Burmese python, several species of lizard and lots of other tetrapods.

A phylogenetic tree was drawn from the comparisons.

komodo dragon genome phylogenetic

The Burmese python does not fit outside of the “lizard” clade. It fits within that clade, and if we are to use cladistic classification, then we must place snakes within lizards.

Snakes are a particularly specialized form of lizard, and as it should be noted, they are not the only legless lizards known. There are glass lizards and worm lizards (some of which are not entirely legless) that have a similar sort of body design to the snakes.

Snakes are the most wildly distributed legless lizards, but we probably should recognize them as lizards and not some sort of special grouping distinct from lizards.

Natural History

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Dare’s Embark

dare floppy ears

Dare’s DNA analysis came back from Embark.  She is clear of all genetic diseases that the company tests for, and she is not a carrier of any either.

She does not carry long-coat. There was possibility that she did, because long-coats occur on both sides of her pedigree.

She does, however, carry for recessive black. One great grandsire was a black dog.

dare coat embark

Her genetic COI is 32 percent:

Dare COI Embark

Remember that this breed is derived from very tight breeding at its foundation, and having a COI this high is to be expected.

In the MHC/DLA genes analyzed, though, she has high diversity, so she should have a good and effective immune system.

mhc dare 1

mhc dare 2

Her deep ancestry is pretty typical of European dog breeds. Her mtDNA haplotype is A361/409/611, which is very common in German shepherds.  It part of the A1b haplogroup, which has been traced to the original domestication in Central Asia and entered Europe during the Bronze Age.

So we can find out lots of interesting things about purebred dogs through these DNA tests. Not only do we know a lot about her risk factors and carrier status of certain diseases, we know a lot about her deep ancestry as well.

 

 

Natural History

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I Scored 7 Out Of 8

The only one I don’t do is the birthday presents, mostly because I can never remember when their birthdays are! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Search and Rescue

It’s all about strategy, folks! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


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Friday Funny: Baby Deer For Sale

I hope this brought a smile to your weekend! Happy Friday! Until next time, Good day, and good dog!


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In defense of purebred dogs

slope back

I have to say that much of what I wrote in the early days of this blog came from ignorance. I had never been exposed to serious hobbyist breeders of purebred dogs, and much of what I thought I knew came from reading some books and reading blogs.

Over the past year, I have developed really good friendships with several breeders, including a few I used to have rows with on social media.

I must say that much of what I used to believe is utter rubbish. If you see these blog posts and ask me about them, I will instantly apologize and laugh at my own stupidity.  I suppose that is what happens to all of us, especially if we are capable of being objective and are always striving to keep an open mind.

Recently, a Facebook page shared a graphic that compared purebred dog breeders to used car salesmen. In my past life, I would have shared such a graphic without hesitation, but now I know better.

This page encouraged people to adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue, especially if the dog happened to be crossbred.

Having spent enough time dealing with dogs of various types, I’ve come to the controversial view that first time dog owners should avoid rescuing a dog from the shelter. First time dog owners are better off going to a show breeder.

Why?

Well, dog show people are breeding dogs, but they aren’t doing so haphazardly. No dog of any breed can do well as a show dog, even if it has stellar type and movement, if its temperament is terrible. I know breeders who place temperament above all when they make their breeding selections.

And although there are breeders of working strains, especially of the breeds I’m most familiar with (German shepherds and retrievers), who are thinking carefully about their dog breeding decisions,  these working strain dogs are often too much dog for the typical first time dog owner.

So my initial contention that people should always go for the working dog type was unbelievably stupid.

Now, ten years ago, I might have suggested rescuing a dog from the local shelter, but the shelters now don’t have that many dogs that would be great for novices.  The breed rescues and the shelters themselves have done a much better job finding homes for adoptable animals, and in 2017, it is estimated that only 780,000 dogs were euthanized in shelters. That same year, there were an estimated 89.7 million dogs in the entire country.

So the shelters now are filled with lots of dogs, usually pit bull type dogs, that might be great companions for the right owner. That right owner, though, is almost never a novice. Yeah, there are mild ones that easy as a typical Labrador, but there are also really hot ones that need careful management and skilled dog handling and training.

The reason these dogs are now so common in shelters is that virtually every other breed or type now either winds up in a breed rescue or is transported to another part of the country where the shelters can easily adopt them out.  Dog aggressive pit bull-type dogs are not among the desirables for these rescues.

So the pet overpopulation issue that tends to behind the nonsensical mantra of “adopt don’t shop” is now obsolete. You can buy whatever breed you want, guilt free.  A show bred GSD with health clearances and strong selection for a good temperament is not equivalent to a shelter bully breed mix.  The person who can handle the former might get lucky and be able to handle a mild specimen of the latter, but the same person will not be able to handle a particularly hot one.

A purebred dog from a serious hobbyist breeder offers you some consistency and knowledge that the breeding that produced your puppy came was one that was fully thought out. These dogs cost a lot of money, because it took a lot of money to prove these dogs worthy of breeding, through the shows, any working tests, and the health testing.

The people who shame those of us who buy purebred dogs because we’re killing shelter dogs are simply ignorant. They don’t know what is going on with shelters and dog populations right now. They know only what the world was like 20 years ago, when dogs were roaming the streets and mating all over the place. They don’t know that some people might want a dog that has more utility than being a pet, and they don’t know that breed actually does matter when it comes to proper dog management and husbandry.

So the purebred dog and its fanciers, though under attack by various lynch mobs, are ultimately the choice for better future for our species and theirs.

I don’t hate crossbreeds. I don’t hate mutts. I don’t even hate those who cross purebred dogs, and some of those breeders really do care about what they are producing. I don’t think dog people of any stripe should hate on other breeders, because dog breeders must stick together if we are to deal with the various lynch mobs and legislative fiats heading this way.

I only write these words in defense of the purebred dog and its fanciers and to offer encouragement for the public to support serious hobby breeders.

 

 

Natural History

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Summer Surprise Giveaway!

We just returned from another great trip to dog-friendly Port Aransas, Texas. Tiki and Barli just love spending a few days on the beach sprawled out in the shallow waves. We love the destination…



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DogTipper

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24 Facts About CBD and Hemp You May Not Know

This post is brought to you by Bio Hemp™ + Bites, the first CBD product to contain capsicum which activates the TRPV1 receptor, known to influence pain perception. One of the biggest booms…



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DogTipper

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Recipe: Mango Sorbet for You AND Your Dog!

Today we have a fun that you AND your dog can share…and one that’s perfect for the hot, hot weather that so many regions are tolerating right now. Our mango sorbet is a yummy dairy-free…



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DogTipper

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