Can Negative Experiences Influence How a Dog Sleeps?

I was skimming Twitter and found this article.

The study examined the sleep patterns of dogs after being exposed to a positive or negative experience. The researchers found that the dogs who were subjected to a positive experience, took longer to fall asleep, but slept better.

I thought the study findings were really interesting. When my dogs have had a busy day, especially one that has been stressful, they seem to dream a lot more. They’ll bark, run and even whimper in their sleep. I have noticed that my service dogs do the most active dreaming, compared to my pets.

In the News: The Sentient Debate

According to the National Post, the members of Quebec’s National Assembly are “currently debating a bill which proposes animals be seen as sentient beings, rather than property.”

The bill in Quebec is not the first of its kind, there are a number of groups in Canada and the United States that are trying to make society accept the fact that animals feel pain and have the ability to think.

This article provides a very good look at some of the animal rights issues that are being considered in various countries, including Canada.

One thing I learned from the article is that there is an Animal Law Working Group, based out of a firm in Ottawa. The spokesperson for that group stated that there has been an increase in the number of Canadian dog and cat owners trying to sue for damages when their pet is injured or killed while at the vet.

This is definitely a debate I will be keeping a close eye on.

From my observations and experiences living with the ruled by paws gang, I can definitely tell you that animals can think and feel pain.

Maybe these are very silly examples, but:

Just think of the times you’ve accidentally stepped on a tail, or for guide dog handlers, the times your dog stopped you from becoming street meat.

Here at the ruled by paws house, it is accepted that everyone is a thinker, so it is up to the humans to try and stay one step ahead in the thinking game from the canines.

In the News: Using the Canine Nose

In the United Kingdom, Tui, a flat-coated retriever is being trained to search for harvest mice.

Researchers are hoping Tui will be able to help them better estimate their numbers because it is believed that their population is on the decline.

You can read more about Tui and the reason for her mission here.

In ruled by paws news…

Rogue and I had an excellent tracking practice this morning, so this article was a great one to share.

We ran a CKC regulation length track in just over 8 minutes without difficulty.

We need to practice corners a bit more and work on Rogue’s article indication, but those are very minor problems.

I think I will break out the clicker and work on teaching Rogue to come “touch” me and then return to the article.

The countdown is on, 46 days until our tracking test.

In The News: Owner-Training Service Dogs

This article isn’t perfect, but the journalist has made a very good effort at increasing public awareness of owner-trained service dogs.

As everyone who has been reading this blog for a while knows, I am raising and training Rogue to be my guide dog. She is the first guide I have ever trained myself, but she is my fourth guide dog.

Some people have the option of hiring a professional trainer or to attend weekly classes, but some do not. I do not attend classes or have a professional trainer to help me with Rogue’s training, but with the help of friends I have made online, who have trained several of their own guides, I have been able to prepare Rogue to take over from Cessna.

I hope more journalists take the time to interview other owner-trainers, so that the public will understand that just because a service dog isn’t from a program doesn’t mean it is a ‘fake’.

In The News: Origin of Popular Canine Cancer Found

In just over a month, it will be a year since we lost our golden princess to an aggressive case of Leukaemia.

Even though this isn’t the same type of cancer Aspen had, I still thought of her when I read the following:

Recently, scientists discovered the point of origin for a common canine cancer. According to researchers, this highly contagious cancer in dogs has been traced to an ancient Malamute type dog.

A Canine Transmissible Venereal tumour is passed from one dog to another through sex, licking or even touching one another.

CTV is common in street dogs throughout the developing world, but has not yet entered countries such as Canada or the United States.

Geneticist, Elizabeth Murchison, and her team have learned that the cancer is a living fossil and the tumours contain the DNA of a single ancient dog who lived 11,000 years ago.

Pretty darn neat, eh?

If you would like to learn more about CTV, please check out these two articles on Pet MD and Live Science.

In The News: Follow The Leader

Apparently it’s possible to identify the social ranking and personality traits of dogs.

In a recent study done by Dr. Mate Nagy of the Department of zoology at Oxford University, 6 dogs and their owners went on fourteen group walks that lasted between 30 and 40 minutes. The dogs wore harnesses that had GPS to monitor their movements.

The study found that it is not possible to determine the leader after a single walk, but after a number of walks the leader becomes clear.

Researchers feel that the information from this study may be able to help search and rescue groups decide upon which dogs will work best together, among other uses.

In the News: Canine Distemper In India

Last year the blog sort of moved away from being primarily dog related and I’m not sure if it’s related, but our readership has also seemed to suffer, so this year I’m going to make a conscious effort to try and limit the number of non-dog related posts that appear here.

I’m going to try something out though, let me know what you think.

I’m going to start sharing links to stories I find in the news that are somehow dog related.

Canine Distemper is killing India’s endangered tigers.

According to an article in the India Times, the virus has been found in the blood of several dead tigers at the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Patna Zoo and in many areas of west Bengal and Darjeeling.

The Canine Distemper Virus affects the respiratory and nervous systems while also causing havoc in other parts of the body. Most of the time death is not caused by the virus, but results from secondary infections. The virus breaks down the immune system of an affected animal, so they’re unable to fight off the attack.

Scientists and researchers feel that the virus is being spread through direct contact, as well as through the consumption of infected dogs. they believe that the spread of the virus could be stopped by the vaccination of local dogs, so are looking into plans for a large-scale vaccination program.

For even more information on the situation check out this link.