Category Archives: canidae

Why Dogs Dig, and How to Stop It

dogs dig eselsmannBy Linda Cole

When you peer out a window and see dirt flying in the garden, this can set in motion a frantic race to save the plants from a digging dog. The sight of a dog happily destroying a prized rose may even cause a serious gardener to have nightmares. Dogs dig for a variety of reasons, and stopping the behavior can be difficult. The best place to start is to figure out what is motivating your dog to dig, and then try to find a solution.

Why Do Dogs Dig?

Terrier breeds were bred to hunt and follow burrowing vermin underground, but most dogs picking up the scent of a mouse, mole or other small animal hiding in a hole will likely dig to find the critter. It’s a natural instinct that’s hard to control. Some dogs enjoy digging and others learn that they get attention for doing it, i.e., they get yelled at. Negative attention is better than none at all, in their mind. Random holes in an area are a good indication that your dog is just trying to entertain himself, especially if he’s in an area with sandy or loose soil.
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White Cats and Deafness – What’s the Connection?

white cat warrenBy Langley Cornwell

You may have heard that most white cats are deaf, and for the most part, that’s true. This blanket statement gets thrown around a lot, but there’s an important caveat – there are varying degrees of what is actually considered a white cat in the first place. With that in mind, it’s important to note that a white cat is NOT an albino cat. And to make things even more confusing, albino cats aren’t usually deaf. Are you with me so far?

White or Albino?

Saying that a white cat and an albino cat are the same thing is like saying a fair skinned, blonde haired child is albino. Light skin and hair does not make a living thing an albino; it’s the complete absence of pigmentation that makes a living thing an albino. To learn if a feline is albino or white, one simply has to look at the cat’s eyes. A lack of pigmentation in the eyes causes them to be a pink color, and makes the cat sensitive to light.

White Masking

As far as what causes deafness in white cats, in some cases cats actually have colors in their genetic makeup, but they also have a gene that causes something called white masking. This masking covers all other colors and prevents melanin from developing. Because melanin has an impact on the ionic balance in the cochlea, the cochlea degenerates shortly after birth and the cat is permanently deaf.
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Airedale Terrier: King of the Terriers

Airedale 1By Linda Cole

When most people hear the word “terrier,” an image of a small dog comes to mind. The Airedale Terrier is the largest of the terrier breeds and known as the “King of the Terriers.” He may be a terrier, but the Airedale isn’t small and was bred to take on some large and fierce competitors. This working dog was one of the first breeds trained and used by police in Great Britain and Germany.

The Airedale Terrier hails from the Airedale valley – a region between the Aire and Wharfe rivers in Yorkshire, England. The breed was created by working class people sometime in the mid 1800s as a common man’s sporting dog. The two breeds most prominent in the Airedale’s creation are the now-extinct Old English Rough Coated Black and Tan Terrier and the Otterhound. Even though the development of the breed isn’t well documented, other breeds used were likely the Bedlington Terrier, the English Bull Terrier and an assortment of setters, retrievers and sheepdogs.
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How to Help a Dog with Stiff Joints

stiff joints fredBy Laurie Darroch

Stiff joints in a dog can be caused by a variety of physical issues, or just simple aging. There are ways to help your dog achieve the best function and ambulation possible, as well as decrease the accompanying pain or discomfort.

Signs of Joint Pain

If your dog’s movement seems slower than normal, or they move in stiff awkward motions, they may be experiencing joint pain. Normal activities such as climbing the stairs or jumping up to a favorite resting spot may be difficult or even impossible. Obsessively licking a sore area, limping, swollen joints, resistance to normal physical activity, slow walking, or joints that are tender to your touch are all signs there is something amiss.


A gentle massage to the sore joints and surrounding areas can help loosen the stiffness your dog is experiencing. Some conditions may cause extreme joint pain. Check with your vet to make sure a massage is not going to damage your dog’s joints further. They can give you tips on how to do it effectively as well.
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7 Signs of a Happy Cat

happy cat belalBy Julia Williams

Happy Cat, Happy Life…right? True, that doesn’t have quite the alliterative ring the popular adage Happy Wife, Happy Life has, but it’s still accurate. We cat lovers want our feline friends to be happy, which in turn makes us happy humans. So, how do you know if your cat is happy? Here are a few ways:


Although cats also purr when they are scared, nervous, sick or injured, you can be sure that if your kitty is curled up on your lap and purring away while you pet or brush them, they are content.


Some cats have more to say than others, but most cats will engage in a good gab fest with you now and then. When your feline friend is feeling especially chatty – like she’s telling you the best story ever – she’s saying she is one happy kitty and she enjoys your company. One caveat with this though: some cats are just naturally quiet; when these cats become overly talkative, it can be a sign of unhappiness.
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