A change of scene, play, and social time with other dogs are all important to the emotional health of our dogs.
Izzy, for example, has a boyfriend who lives on the other side of the city. His name is Bergie and they have a special relationship. I can’t even remember when it started; they just met at greyhound walks and bonded to each other.
So, it’s important to his owners and to me that we make the time for them to see each other. This week, they finally managed to have a play date after being severely rained out of one date and then missing another chance to see each other when, again, the rain and cold interfered with the monthly farmers market display for Greyhounds as Pets.
On this date, Bergie decided to impress Izzy with his hole digging skills…she took a front row seat!
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand
Yet more research on the human-animal bond. This time the research was based at Barnard College’s Dog Cognition Lab.
Researchers Alexandra Horowitz and Julie Hecht asked members of the public to send them videos of playtime with their dogs.
They received 187 videos from dog owners in 19 different countries and watched them all, looking for patterns in human behaviour and the dog’s responses.
For example, they created a list of the top 35 words owners used with their dogs:
The research team also noticed gender differences. Female owners touch their dogs more when at play; half of male owners didn’t touch their dogs at all.
There is a practical application for this research (although I do agree that it sounds like a fun job). There is a growing interest in helping to train dogs as assistance dogs and understanding how humans and dog interact may help to refine training techniques.
The research has been published in the journal Animal Cognition.
Source: Discover magazine
It’s been feeling a little warmer over the last couple of days; the clear days with sun make me think that spring isn’t far off.
Izzy is feeling it, too. On Sunday, she got so warm after chasing her tennis balls at the dog park that she sat down in mud puddle to cool off (she wasn’t so keen on the bath that followed).
Yesterday, she did ‘zoomies’ in the back yard; something she hasn’t done for over a month since it has been so cold…
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand
Some of the great benefits of owning a dog are:
- Reduction of stress
- They make you exercise
- They provide unconditional love
- And on top of this, they boost self esteem (even after a bad day at work, they love you!)
- When life is hard, they teach you the value of play
- Because they love you, they provide safety & security
- They provide a sense of belonging – you’re packmates!
- On top of everything, the act of petting a dog is proven to lower blood pressure and heart rate
Enjoy your weekend. Have you hugged your dog today?