9 special abilities that show how smart dogs really are

I enjoy reading and sharing information about research involving dogs and their cognitive abilities.

Business Insider Malaysia has published a good synopsis of research in the area with references to the relevant studies.

2-dogs-make-eye-contact

The 9 special abilities are:

  1. Dogs feel empathy
  2. Dogs make eye contact
  3. With eye contact, they form a special bond with humans
  4. Dogs see humans as part of their family
  5. And they interact with us as if they were children
  6. Dogs understand gestures, like pointing
  7. Dogs brains react to human voices
  8. Some dogs can learn new words the way children do
  9. And some dogs have the ability to generalize

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Before Pokemon Go

The video game Pokemon Go is all the rage at the moment.  I do struggle with the fact that people seem to be willing to walk into traffic or drive their car off the road while playing a game…

Long before Pokemon and video games, there were dexterity puzzles.  These handheld games were a game of skill:  the aim was to roll a ball or other shape into a designated hole/space or through a maze.

The puzzles date back to the 1800s, and were still being manufactured through the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Produced in large numbers, often sold through country fairs and amusement parks, or given as favors at children’s birthday parties, they were manufactured in a wide range of countries including the United State, France, Germany and Japan.

Here are just a few dog-themed examples:

 

So when you’re ready for a break from Pokemon Go, hop into your local antique/collectible shop, onto Etsy, or visit the weekend garage sales and see if you can find some dog-themed dexterity puzzles of your own.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

Flicker of light

This is a lovely thought for a Sunday morning…

Love your dog

I know that I can bring a smile to someone’s face just being me. Problem is when people are alone with their thoughts it is hard to find the light in the darkness. We live in a small community. I hear people say hello to Momwithoutpaws even if she does not know them. When she went down state to take care of Riley while my Niecewithoutpaws was being born, Momwithoutpaws said it was harder to find that flicker of light in the darkness. There were 100 times more people. Everyone busy with their own thoughts and tasks of the day.

Be sure you are that flicker of light in the darkness. Someone out there is looking for the flicker.

Fred be the light

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The history of canine transmissible venereal cancer

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have produced this interesting YouTube video about how canine transmissible venereal cancer has spread over time.  If you are interested in evolution, genetics or DNA research – this video is for you.

See also my previous posts:

A dog cancer that is 11,000 years old

Global snapshot of infectious canine cancer

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

Burials with your pet

No one gets out of life alive – not us and not our pets.

But it can be problematic when one wants to be buried with their pet’s remains.  In many locations, this isn’t allowed.

A state Senate bill in New York is making its way through the legislative process that would allow cremated pet remains to be buried in human cemeteries.  In 2014, another regulation allowed pet cemeteries to accept human remains.

Cemetery

Assemblyman James Brennan of Brooklyn, sponsored the measure saying that with increased rates of pet ownership “has come a significant shift in the desire of New Yorkers to have their pets interred in their grave, crypt or niche.”

Source:  New York Post

 

Pet-friendly companies

This post is inspired by my friend Rachel, who tells me that her husband, Nick, is trying persuade his company that they should become pet-friendly.  Or at least give it a try.

I support the concept of pet-friendly accommodation, workplaces, and shopping because I believe it supports good socialization in our dogs, offers stress relief for owners and workers, and supports good dog ownership because dogs are not left at home for long periods of time.

Autodesk dog at work

Photo by Autodesk

Earlier this year, Fortune magazine profiled the 12 best pet-friendly companies.  They are:

  • Genentech, a biotech company.  While it can’t allow pets in the office because of federal hygiene regulations, it makes up for it by providing its employees with discounts for doggy daycare, pet insurance and a company club for dog lovers called gDogs so they can share information.
  • Kimpton, a hotel chain with a long history of being pet-friendly. The company provides its employees with pet insurance, pet bereavement leave and supports them bringing their dogs to work with bowls, treats, and beds.  Some hotel locations also have a Director of Pet Relations which is usually a dog owned by one of the employees whose job it is to greet guests.
  • Atlantic Health, a hospital chain in New Jersey.  It trains its staff to become part of its Soothing Paws therapy program and even sponsors a pet therapy conference.
  • VMWare, a visualization software company with an open campus policy.  Staff who want to bring their dog to work sign an etiquette agreement and their dog is given a bandana.
  • Salesforce, a cloud-based software company in San Francisco.  It provides its employees with pet insurance discounts, dog walking services, and house calls from a vet.  The company’s pet policy called Puppyforce allows up to six employees to book a special room with water bowls, beds, sound-proofed walls, crates and cleaning materials.
  • Mars, the multi-national providing confectionery and pet food products. 80% of the company’s volunteer projects are about animals; traveling staff are supported with pet feeding and boarding programs, and the offices are pet-friendly.
  • Google, the search engine company.  Dog-friendly offices are combined with a dog-themed cafe and an in-house group of employees who are dog enthusiasts called the Dooglers.
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop, a soft toy retailer.  Once an employee signs a Doggy On-Boarding agreement containing basic rules, their dog can come to work.  Dog birthday parties, treats, and a spa and grooming service are offered.
  • Autodesk, providers of design software for architects.  Dog-friendly offices with rules to protect the human staff who have pet allergies, along with discounted pet insurance.
  • GoDaddy, a web hosting and domain name service.  On-site psychology services using assistance dogs.
  • Workday, makers of finance and human resources software. Dog-friendly offices, an annual Take Your Dog to Work party, and financial assistance to help employees with pet adoptions.
  • Activision Blizzard, a gaming company where approximately 395 dogs come to work every day.  During the annual “Pet Parents Day,” the company brings in pet insurance providers and local vets to provide free health screenings, insurance quotes, and treats for both pets and their humans.

Rachel:  Print out this post and have Nick bring it to work with him!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

 

Pets at Home

In the upcoming animated film The Secret Life of Pets, you may wonder if the pets and their antics are accurately depicted.

Well, the creative people at Realtor.com have taken scenes from the film and compared them to real life…

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand