Eyes of a Friend

Life with companion animals

Dog Behavior – Boredom

Dog training and your pet’s health: Is there a connection?

via NY Small Dogs Examiner on 7/30/09

Positively motivated dogs love to learn!In many ways, modern pet dogs have great lives. They are kept clean, receive excellent veterinary care and sleep on bedding most of us would like to have for ourselves.

But often there is an important quality of life factor that is overlooked: their mental health.

Mental health? you might ask. Really? Yes. Really. Boredom is at the root of many of the problems people experience with their dogs. And some dogs are unnecessarily fearful because their families did not know how to prevent this problem from developing or were unaware that they needed to take it seriously when symptoms began to appear.

Read more after the jump

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New family member for Diana

Good news from Diana (who recently lost Carver)

From: Diana

Subject: New family member

Hello all,

So I have filled the empty dog slot in my house. Tuesday I volunteered at the county animal shelter as I usually do on Tuesdays and there was a border collie there. I had applied to Arizona Border Collie Rescue but they called me about 4 hours after I brought Travis home.

I brought him home and he and my other dog, Cobalt, have worked things out. I have named him Travis. He’s a border collie mix. He’s likely around a year old and still lots of puppy left in him. He’s only 39lbs now but should put on about 15 lbs. Within a day he warmed up to me and Cobalt, figured out how to use the dog door, jump on the bed, climb in the porch swing. He makes the border collie sighing noises that Carver used to make. My house feels much better now and Cobalt seems happier. I think he really got depressed the last 1 1/2 weeks. He is a dum dum at times so maybe he finallllyyyy got it that Carver wasn’t coming back. then I could swear he gave me this look like, where’s Carver, why didn’t you bring him back, and why in the world did you bring this puppy thing home to bug me. 🙂

Take care,

Diana

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Dogs Get Gestures as Well as Toddlers

Dogs Get Gestures as Well as Toddlers
by Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

July 13, 2009 — Dogs possess a two-year-old child’s capacity to understand human pointing gestures, with dogs requiring next to zero learning time to figure out the visual communication, according to two recent studies.

The comparison with kids doesn’t end there. Due to domestication, dogs appear to be predisposed to read other human visual signals, including head-turning and gazing.

Pet owners often use baby talk, scientifically known as “motherese,” with both children and dogs, allowing canines and kids to receive similar social stimulation.

Since chimpanzees and other non-human primates often flunk pointing gesture tests, the studies suggest dogs may understand humans better than even our closest living animal relatives do.

“The human pointing gesture is cooperative in its nature,” Gabriella Lakatos told Discovery News. Lakatos, a researcher in the Department of Ethology at Eotvos University, led the first study, published in the current issue of Animal Cognition.

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