Category Archives: Linda Cole

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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3 Parasites You May Not Realize Your Pet Has

parasites BobBy Linda Cole

It’s not difficult to figure out if your pet has fleas. Left untreated, it doesn’t take long for a full blown flea infestation to invade your home and pet. It’s not always so easy, however, to tell when parasites are affecting your dog or cat. Here are three parasites you might not realize your pet has.

Cuterebra Parasite

The Cuterebra (Botfly) is a large, non-biting fly that lay eggs around openings of rabbit or rodent dens. Some eggs are deposited on plants and rocks in the area. Rabbits and rodents are the normal host for the fly, but dogs and cats can collect eggs on their coat when poking their head in and around burrow openings. Eggs exposed to the warmer body temperature of a pet hatch into larvae that crawl around looking for a way into their host, usually through the mouth or nasal passage during grooming, or through an open wound.
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Are Dogs Hardwired to Listen to Us?

dogs hardwired dan lentzBy Linda Cole

We express ourselves every day in different ways, especially through verbal communication. You can usually tell if someone close to you is happy, angry or sad by the sound of their voice. As it turns out, human and canine brains are very similar when it comes to understanding the components of human speech. According to a 2014 study, dogs are hardwired to listen to us in much the same way we are hardwired to listen to others.

It’s no easy task sometimes to get a dog’s attention, which leaves one to wonder if he even heard what you said – let alone understood your words. However, dogs are very capable of understanding human speech as well as picking up on the tonal complexity in speech. If your dog doesn’t listen to you, it’s not because he isn’t paying attention. He can differentiate between human speech that has meaningful words and sounds with only emotional inflections. Scientists have known for some time that dogs “get” how we say things, but little is actually known on whether canines understand what we say to them.

The human brain processes important verbal information in speech in the left hemisphere, but the characteristic parts of speech are processed in the right hemisphere – e.g., the speaker is male or female, someone familiar to you, and emotional cues. When we listen to someone speaking, we hear the meaning of words in the right ear and emotional cues in the left ear. Most of us have a left-right cross link in our auditory organs; in other words, the right ear hears meaningful speech and is linked to the left hemisphere of the brain while the left ear hears emotional cues and is linked to the right hemisphere.
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Can Dogs Get Warts?

warts wplynnBy Linda Cole

It’s not uncommon to find small lumps and bumps on your dog, and most aren’t anything to worry about. Nevertheless, it’s always a good idea to monitor any lump to make sure it doesn’t change in color or size. If it does, call your vet immediately. Warts are small growths that seem to pop up on the skin out of the blue, and like us, dogs can get warts. The question is, how concerned should you be if you find a wart on your dog?

Warts are caused by an extremely contagious virus that all dogs have probably already been exposed to. Also known as papilloma or fibropapillomas, the virus causes usually benign skin growths that can develop on the face, eyes, eyelids, mouth, genital area, lower legs, feet, on the footpads and between the toes. Dog warts look similar to the warts people get, and can grow in clusters or alone. Sometimes a wart can be smooth. The virus is passed from dog to dog, but because it’s species specific, it can’t be passed on to you or your feline friends. It’s unclear why some dogs develop warts while others don’t, but it’s likely due to a weak or immature immune system and age. The virus affects young dogs and older canines, as well as dogs with compromised immune systems.
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The Science Behind a Dog’s “Guilty Look”

guilty look iconoclastBy Linda Cole

Anthropomorphism is when we place human characteristics or behaviors on animals, plants, and inanimate objects. Dog owners sometimes use it to confirm the guilt of their pet after finding a torn up pillow or other signs of misbehaving. It’s obvious who the culprit is when there’s only one pet in the home. When there’s multiple pets, placing blame on the one with the “guilty look” could be indicting an innocent pup, which can damage your relationship with your dog. There is science that explains what a dog’s guilty look actually is.

In recent years, scientists have begun studying the complexity of the dog’s mind, how they view their world, and which emotions they experience. We know dogs feel fear, anxiety, grief, affection, suspicion and other emotions, but not necessarily in the same way we do. Guilt is an emotional response acknowledging wrongdoing, which is something dog owners assume their pet understands because of the “guilty look.” In reality, that look isn’t what it appears to be.
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Can You Throw Off a Tracking Dog’s Scent with Pepper?

tracking dog annBy Linda Cole

When two prisoners escaped from a correctional facility in upstate New York earlier this year, it took authorities three weeks to find them. A police superintendent said he believed one of the convicts was able to elude capture for so long because he covered his tracks with pepper. But is it really possible to throw off a tracking dog’s scent with pepper? Stay tuned for the answer.

When it comes to picking up a scent and tracking it, Bloodhounds are second to none. In fact, a Bloodhound is so good at following a scent that his trailing results are admissible as evidence in a court of law. No other tracking dog breeds have that distinction. People who work with Bloodhounds often refer to them as “a nose attached to a dog.” A breed born to track, the working ability of these dogs is described as 75% instinct and 25% learned through training. Once a Bloodhound picks up a scent, he doesn’t forget it.

It was reported that Bloodhounds and German Shepherds took part in tracking the New York escapees, but it’s not known which breed the convicts tried to fool with pepper. However, trained German Shepherds also excel at tracking a scent. In addition to tracking fugitives, we use canines to sniff out bed bugs, explosives, drugs, low blood sugar, seizures, missing people and many other scents. Once a dog is trained to detect a certain scent, he is able to locate it regardless of other scents he may encounter along the way. The canine nose is so good that dogs are able to pick up a scent buried 40 feet underground or 80 feet underwater.
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