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  1. How smart is your dog?


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    Do you know how smart your dog is? Put your dog's intelligence to the test with these five simple exercises you can try at home. By Rosie Blundell.

    Do you have a superdog who could win the next Britain’s Got Talent? Or a lovable, but plain daft, mutt? Here’s how to find out just how smart your pet is.
    These intelligence tests are more than a bit of fun. One of the keys to a happy dog is stimulating his mind and challenging him to try new things.
    Dogs who were bred for jobs such as herding livestock, which require concentration, intelligence and decision making, need to exercise their brains, just like how just as dogs who were bred for energetic jobs that require a lot of energy need to exercise their bodies. If your dog does not get the mental stimulation he needs, he will keep his mind busy with other things such as chewing and digging.

    Paw preference test
    Firstly, is he wired to be smart? Humans who are right-handed supposedly have a more logical mind and higher language ability than those who are left-handed. There is some evidence that right-handed animals can be better at remembering and using words as well, and researchers have found that more right-pawed dogs pass their guide dog training than left-pawed dogs.
    Paw preference can be tested by placing a small piece of not-too-sticky tape or a sticker on your dog’s snout and seeing which paw he uses to remove it, or by placing a treat or toy under the sofa and seeing which paw he uses to try and grab it.
    Flip the tin test
    If your dog understands what psychologists call “object permanence”, he realises that an object exists even though it has disappeared from view.
    Place a treat or toy on the floor and, while your dog is watching, place a tin or box over it so it is completely hidden. The treat should not have a strong smell as its scent would give its position away.
    If your dog flips the tin or box over the he understands object permanence and realises that objects continue to exist even after they can no longer be seen. This is smarter than you think.
    Drop the treat test
    This test determines the degree to which your dog understands the way that horizontal objects relate to each other.
    Place your dog in front of a table so that the surface is above your dog’s eye level. Place a cushion on the table and stand on the opposite side of the table to your dog. When your dog is watching, hold a treat above the table and drop it onto the cushion and see how your dog reacts.
    If your dog looks on the floor for the treat and ignores the table or tray completely then it shows that he hasn’t grasped the way in which horizontal objects relate to other objects.

    Round the bend test
    This is both a problem solving-test and a detour test. To do this successfully, your dog must have a good understanding of its physical world and work out that he must walk away from a treat in order to get to it.
    Lay two chairs in their sides facing each other, so that the bases make a V-shaped barrier. There needs to be a small gap in the middle that is big enough for you dog to see through but small enough for your dog to not be able to fit through.
    Place your dog inside the V-shaped barrier and stand with him, on the same side of the barrier. Drop a treat onto the floor on the other side of the barrier so that your dog can see it through the gap and watch how your dog tries to get to the treat.
    If your dog immediately walks around the barrier to retrieve the treat then it means he has come across a similar situation before or he may be very good at coming up with solutions to problems.
    Pull the string test
    This tests how quickly a dog can learn something new. Your dog has to learn how to conquer a task it hasn’t encountered before using trial and error.
    Tie a treat to one end of a piece of string and while your dog is watching, slide the treat under a sofa so that it is just out of reach but he can still see it. Leave at least half of the string trailing out from under the object so your dog can see and get a hold of it.
    Encourage your dog to pull the string to get at the treat but don’t let him eat it. If he does nothing, pull the string so he knows how and then hide the treat and pull the string again so your dog gets the idea. Hide the treat for a third time and allow your dog to work out how to get to it on his own.
    If your dog pulls at the string and gets the treat immediately then this shows he is very good at learning new physical tasks.

  2. The Legend of Gelert the Dog

    by Ben Johnson

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    One of the best known, and loved, folk-tales in Wales is the story of a faithful hound.

    luxury handmade fabulous dog pet beds “Gelert”-at-Beddgelert1

    The story goes that in the thirteenth-century, Prince Llywelyn the Great had a palace at Beddgelert in Caernarvonshire, and as the Prince was a keen hunter, he spent much of his time in the surrounding countryside. He had many hunting dogs, but one day when he summoned them as usual with his horn, his favourite dog Gelert didn’t appear, so regretfully Llywelyn had to go hunting without him.
    When Llywelyn returned from the hunt, he was greeted by Gelert who came bounding towards him …his jaws dripping with blood.
    The Prince was appalled, and a horrible thought came into his mind …was the blood on the dog’s muzzle that of his one-year old son. His worst fears were realised when he saw in the child’s nursery, an upturned cradle, and walls spattered with blood! He searched for the child but there was no sign of him. Llywelyn was convinced that his favourite hound had killed his son.
    Mad with grief he took his sword and plunged it into Gelert’s heart.
    As the dog howled in his death agony, Llywelyn heard a child’s cry coming from underneath the upturned cradle. It was his son, unharmed!
    Beside the child was an enormous wolf, dead, killed by the brave Gelert.

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    Llywelyn was struck with remorse and carried the body of his faithful dog outside the castle walls, and buried him where everyone could see the grave of this brave animal, and hear the story of his valiant fight with the wolf.
    To this day, a cairn of stones marks the place, and the name Beddgelert means in Welsh ‘The grave of Gelert’. Every year thousands of people visit the grave of this brave dog; slight problem however, is that the cairn of stones is actually less than 200 years old!
    Nevertheless this story has great appeal. History and myth appear to have become a little confused when in 1793, a man called David Pritchard came to live in Beddgelert. He was the landlord of the Royal Goat Inn and knew the story of the brave dog and adapted it to fit the village, and so benefit his trade at the inn.
    He apparently invented the name Gelert, and introduced the name Llywelyn into the story because of the Prince’s connection with the nearby Abbey, and it was with the help of the parish clerk that Pritchard, not Llywelyn, raised the cairn!
    Whether the story is based on legend, myth or history it is still an entertaining one. Similar legends can also be found throughout Europe




  3. Fruits & Vegetables Dogs Can and Can’t Eat

    As dog owners, it’s not uncommon to want to spoil your four-legged family members by sharing table scraps or your favorite snack with them. After all, if it is safe for you to eat, it must be OK for them as well, right? Not necessarily. While many human foods, especially fruits and vegetables, are perfectly safe, some are very unhealthy and downright dangerous to dogs. Dogs digest differently than humans, and eating the wrong foods can lead to long-term health problems and, in extreme cases, even death. As carnivores, they have no need for fruits and vegetables as part of their diet, but an occasional fruit or veggie as a treat is OK.
    Read below to find out which fruits and vegetables are OK for sharing in moderation and which should be avoided.

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    Fruits & Vegetables

    Avocado   No, dogs should not eat avocado. While avocado may be a healthy snack for dog owners, it should not be given to dogs at all. The pit, skin, and leaves of avocados contain persin, a toxin that often causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. The fleshy inside of the fruit doesn’t have as much persin as the rest of the plant, but it is still too much for dogs to handle
    Bananas  Yes, dogs can eat bananas. In moderation, bananas are a great low-calorie treat for dogs. They’re high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper. They are low in cholesterol and sodium, but because of their high sugar content, bananas should be given as a treat, not part of your dog’s regular diet.
    Blueberries  Yes, dogs can eat blueberries. Blueberries are a superfood rich in antioxidants, which prevent cell damage in humans and canines alike. They’re packed with fiber and phytochemicals as well. Teaching your dog to catch treats in the air? Try blueberries as an alternative to store-bought treats
    Broccoli  Yes, broccoli is safe for dogs to eat in very small quantities and is best served as an occasional treat. It is high in fiber and vitamin C and low in fat. However, Broccoli florets contain isothiocyanates, which can cause mild-to-potentially-severe gastric irritation in some dogs. Furthermore, broccoli stalks have been known to cause obstruction in the esophagus


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    Brussel Sprouts  Yes, dogs can eat brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts are loaded with nutrietns and antioxidants that are great for humans and dogs, alike. Don’t overfeed them to your dog, however, because they can cause lots of gas.
    Carrots  Yes, dogs can eat carrots. Carrots are an excellent low-calorie snack that is high in fiber and beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A. Plus, crunching on this orange veggie is great for your dog’s teeth.
    Celery  Yes, celery is OK for dogs to eat. In addition to vitamins A, B, and C, this crunchy green snack contains the nutrients needed to promote a healthy heart and even fight cancer. As if that wasn’t enough, celery is also known to freshen doggy breath
    Cucumbers  Yes, dogs can eat cucumbers. Cucumbers are especially good for overweight dogs, as they hold little to no carbohydrates, fats, or oils and they can even boost energy levels. They’re loaded with vitamins K, C, and B1, as well as potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin
    Grapes  No, dogs should not eat grapes. Grapes and raisins have both proved to be very toxic for dogs no matter the dog’s breed, sex, or age. In fact, grapes are so toxic that they can lead to acute sudden kidney failure. Definitely skip this dangerous treat.


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    Mushrooms  No, dogs should avoid mushrooms. Wild mushrooms can be toxic for dogs. While only 50 to 100 of the 50,000 mushroom species worldwide are known to be toxic, the ones that are can really hurt your dog or even lead to death. Washed mushrooms from the supermarket could be OK, but it’s better to be safe than sorry; skip out on the fungi all together
    Onions  No, dogs should not eat onions. Onions, leeks, and chives are part of a family of plants called Allium that is poisonous to most pets, especially cats. Eating onions can cause your dog’s red blood cells to rupture, and can also cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea. Poisoning from onions is more serious in Japanese breeds of dogs such as Akitas and Shiba Inus, but all dogs are very susceptible to it.
    Potatoes  Yes, dogs can eat potatoes. It’s fine to give your dog plain potatoes every once and a while, but only if they’re cooked, as raw potatoes can be rough on the stomach. A washed, peeled, plain boiled, or baked potato contains lots of iron for your dog. Avoid mashed potatoes because they often contain butter, milk, or seasonings
    Tomatoes  No, dogs should probably avoid tomatoes. While the ripened fruit of the tomato plant (the red part humans normally eat) is generally considered safe for dogs, the green parts of the plant contain a toxic substance called solanine. While a dog would need to eat a large amount for it to make him or her sick, it’s better to skip tomatoes all together just to be safe

    Spinach  Yes, dogs can eat spinach, but it’s not one of the top vegetables you’ll want to be sharing with you pup. Spinach is very high in oxalic acid, which blocks the body’s ability to absorb calcium and can lead to kidney damage. While your dog would probably have to eat a very large amount of spinach to have this problem, it might be best to go with another vegetable




  4. 12 Unbelievable Facts You Never Knew About Your Dog
    Alyssa Jung

    The “smell” center of a dog’s brain is 40 times larger than yours.
    Dogs can smell thousands of times better than humans. Their noses have millions more scent receptors—for example, a human nose averages 5 million while a Dachshund’s has 125 million—making them useful in sniffing out drugs, dead bodies, bed bugs, explosives, and more. Find out more secrets your pet isn’t telling you.

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    No two dog noses are the same.
    A dog’s nose is the equivalent of a human fingerprint, with each having a unique pattern of ridges and creases. If you need to calm your dog down, this type of music works best.


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    Dogs are as smart as a two-year-old baby.
    According to canine researcher and author Stanley Coren, your toddler and pup are about on par when it comes to brains. He also explained that man’s best friend can count, understand over 150 words, and even trick people or other dogs to get treats. Intelligence varies based on breed—Border collies are the smartest. Check out the full ranking of the smartest dogs.


    Puppies are born blind and deaf.
    Newborn dogs are still developing, according to Psychology Today, so their ear canals and eyes are still closed. Most puppies open their eyes and respond to noises after about two weeks. These are the first things you should train your puppy.

    Dogs have a “sixth sense.”
    In a 2010 poll, 67 percent of pet owners reported their pets acting strangely right before a storm, and 43 percent said their pets behaved oddly right before something bad happened. The top clues? Whining, erratic behavior, or trying to hide in a safe place. There are even reports that dogs can sense illnesses, like cancer. Check out more superpowers that all dogs have.

    Dogs only have sweat glands in their paws.
    Even though they sweat out through the pads of their paws, their main form of cooling down is panting. Pet owners, beware of these signs of heat stroke in dogs.


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    Dogs dream like people.
    If you’ve ever noticed your pooch twitching in her sleep, this probably means she’s dreaming. Researchers found that dogs have similar sleep patterns and brain activity as humans, and that small breeds tend to dream more than large ones. Psychology Today suggests they’re probably imagining familiar activities like playing outside or chasing their tail. This is what your favorite dog breed says about your personality.


    Your dog’s feet might smell like corn.
    Some pet owners might notice the faint scent of corn chips or popcorn lingering around their dog. This is called “frito feet,” and it happens when sweat and bacteria builds up in the paws.

    “Dog breath” is actually unhealthy.
    You might expect your dog’s mouth to smell like, well, dog. But persistent bad breath can actually be a sign of dental disease or other health problems. If you don’t already, have your dog’s teeth examined by a veterinarian every year. Watch out for other common signs that your dog is sick.


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    Tail wagging has its own language.
    If your dog excitedly wags their tail, it means they’re happy to see you, right? Not necessarily. According to, dogs wag their tails to the right when they’re happy and to the left when they’re frightened. Wagging low means they’re insecure; and rapid tail wagging accompanied by tense muscles or dilated pupils can signal aggression. This is how to determine your dog’s energy level.











































    5 of the UK’s Most Scenic Dog Walks

    For the growing puppy or active adult dog, an outdoor adventure is just the thing for burning off energy, improving health and fitness, and exploring new places – not to mention doing wonders for your own wellbeing too!
    While we may be in the midst of a frosty and foggy spell so typical for British winter time, few things beat away the cobwebs better than a long and leisurely dog walk. And when it comes to scenic settings for dog lovers, the UK has an abundance on offer.
    From coastal walks in Cornwall, to pooch-friendly ruins in the Scottish Borders and beyond, we’ve rounded up 5 of the most beautiful walks in the UK for dog-lovers across the country.

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    1. THE MIDLANDS: Berrington Hall
    The National Trust offers picturesque dog walks all over the country, but one of our favourites for you and your four-legged friend is Berrington Hall, nestled in the Heresford countryside. The walk spans 250 acres of parkland and woods, and dogs are welcome in all areas of the parkland, courtyard and most of the gardens. With a fourteen-acre lake, there’s much to see for both you and your furry friend, and you can end your walk at the Servants’ Hall tea-room when you’re done.

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    2. SOMERSET: Brean Beach


    One of the UK’s most dog-friendly beaches is Somerset’s Brean Beach. With a natural pier, vivid cliffs and a Victorian fort, walkers can stroll along the beach before climbing up Brean down for unbeatable views of the fort and the lively sea swelling below. As well as unlimited access for four-legged friends on the beach, there are dog-friendly campsites dotted around the vicinity, perfect if you want to make a weekend of your walk.


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    3. SCOTLAND: Dryburgh Abbey, Scottish Borders


    Scotland has a plethora of dog-friendly days out on offer, but by far one of the most beautiful is Dryburgh Abbey in the Scottish Borders. Fused with history and culture, it’s a 4.5 mile walk that was much beloved by the great national figure, Sir Walter Scott. Taking in woodland, riverside tracks, 3 stiles, the historic abbey and countless riverbanks, the abbey ruins welcome dogs, so you can get your history fix with your furry friend in tow. Spend the night at the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel, a four-times winner in the Scottish Hotel Awards “Dog Friendly Hotel of the Year” category.

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    4. BERKSHIRE: Kennet & Avon Canal


    Berkshire’s 87-mile-long Kennet and Avon canal stretches from London to the Bristol Channel, passing through some of West Berkshire’s most stunning landscape. One of the most beautiful walks on offer for dog-lovers is a five-and-a-half-mile circular pub walk from the Rowbarge in Woolhampton. A predominantly flat walk with a few gentle inclines, this scenic route is the British countryside at its very best, passing a quaint tea-room, canal boats and wildlife a-plenty. Finish your walk in the garden of The Rowbarge; a traditional and characterful dog-friendly pub, it holds dog walks to raise money and awareness for local charity Dogs Trust. 

    fabulous dog beds Perranporth Beach

        5.CORNWALL: Perranporth Beach
    Cornwall is known for its endless stretches of rugged coastlines, and miles of beautiful beaches. For anyone looking for the perfect walk for your pup, Perranporth Beach is hard to beat. Stretching across 3 miles, when the tide is low the beach joins with its neighbour Penhale sands to form one of the largest stretches of unbroken beach on the North Coast. With dunes, rock pools, caves and a stream, it’s certainly a scenic route, and locals’ favourite The Pavilion Boatshed Ice-Cream Parlour host frequent ‘doggy’ days where they make ice-creams for your pet pooch to raise money for the K9 crusaders charity.