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  1. Why Does My Dog... Look Guilty?

    Fabulous dog beds guilty one

    We often assume that our guilty because of the way they act when we catch them doing something they’re not supposed to do. This guilty look — which we are all familiar with from various Internet memes — is frequently perceived as a canine acknowledgement of wrongdoing or as an expression of remorse. But in reality, your dog’s guilty look means something vastly different

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    What Guilty Looks Like

    A dog’s posturing may translate as “guilty” because of the lowered, insecure movements reminiscent of how a human may act when feeling ashamed and repentant. The “guilty” dogmay squint his eyes and blink more frequently. He may also avoid eye contact or lower his head and look at you with the whites of his eyes exposed.

    He may press his ears back, closer to his head. He may lick his lips and yawn, lower his tail and sink to the ground in a cowering motion. He may also turn away from the scene of the crime, as though he’s so embarrassed by what he’s done that he cannot face the aftermath.


    But your dog’s guilty look may not indicate guilt at all; instead, it is most likely a reaction to a human’s upset or angry response. Two studies, one led by Alexandra Horowitz and the other by Julie Hecht, found that when a dog is confronted by an angry or upset owner, he is more likely to present the guilty look, independent of actual guilt or innocence. 

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    Bad Dog? Maybe Not

    In Horowitz’s study, a treat was placed in front of a dog. The dog’s owner commanded him not to eat it and then left the room. Horowitz gave some dogs treats but not others. “In some trials the owners were told that their dog had eaten the forbidden treat; in others, they were told their dog had behaved properly and left the treat alone,” ScienceDaily reported in 2009. The owners were not necessarily told the truth about whether their dogs had eaten the treats or not.

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  2. fabulous handmade dog beds spooky

    When Your Dog Barks At Nothing, Are They Really Barking At Ghosts?

     

    Rachel Crocetti

    If you are the owner of a dog, you may have asked yourself at some point if your pup can see things you can’t. I mean, sometimes pups will stand somewhere in a house and bark at seemingly nothing.

     

    It’s even spookier when the dog is looking directly at a wall or area of a room while barking, and you see nothing.

    The question of whether or not dogs can sense the supernatural has been researched extensively by scientists.

    According to Animal Planet, this “sixth sense” that many dog owners believe their pups have could be a result of dog senses being stronger than that of a human’s.

     

    Dogs have exceptional hearing and sense of smell, and a dog’s view allows him to sense small movements with his sight as well. They can see delicate movements, have a sense of smell 1,000 to 10,000 times stronger than that of humans, and can hear at higher frequencies.

    There have been many claims of dogs who have sensed when a family member or owner was going to pass away. Also, there are many instances where dogs will remain by their owner’s bedside as they are dying, or even by their grave after they have passed.

    Pet psychologist Marti Miller believes that both humans and dogs possess a sixth sense that connects them to the paranormal. The catch is that humans judge or deny what they are feeling while dogs “don’t judge what is going on in the environment,” theoretically making them more sensitive to supernatural goings on.

     

     

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    With these crazy dog senses, canines are often able to sense danger before humans can. For example, before the tsunami in 2004, many animals, including dogs, exhibited behavioral differences and ran for cover or refused to go outside. Animal experts believe they could have possibly felt the vibrational changes before the earthquakes shook things up.

    The truth is, because dogs can’t offer their explanation, there’s no telling the reason behind a dog barking at what seems like nothing. Until a dog can tell us about Caspar the friendly ghost taking residence in our home, we won’t know whether or not Fido can sense ghosts. Miller states that there’s no way to know if dogs can actually see ghosts or not, but she does believe that “if you observe a dog standing in the corner, barking at nothing visible, then there’s a pretty good chance that he’s barking at an entity, spirit, or energy that doesn’t belong there.”

    So whether your pup is barking at an energy or spirit from someone who has passed, or is just barking at a wafting smell of something tasty that your neighbor is cooking, we may never really know for sure. What we do know is that dogs are pretty awesome, and these superhero senses that they have only make them even cooler.

  3. fabulous handmade dog beds christmas

    The Dog’s Christmas Dinner - what your dog can and can’t eat
    When preparing your Christmas dinner it is fun and a special treat to put some safe bits and pieces by for your dog too, so they can enjoy a special Christmas dinner or treat. But not all food is safe for dogs to eat. Some human food can cause digestive upsets in dogs which is unpleasant but some are far more dangerous and can even result in death.
    Once you have viewed the list of food items that are OK for dogs to eat, please remember to still feed human food to dogs in moderation. Too much of any strange food, whether it is harmful or not, can upset your dog’s stomach. No one likes feeling full and bloated on Christmas day. You are in charge of making sure your pet does not eat beyond their own comfort levels. Moderation is the key.

     

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    OK for your dog’s Christmas dinner
    There are quite a few human foods to avoid feeding to your dog but there are some yummy staples of a Christmas dinner that your dog can safely eat in moderation.


    Turkey
    Your dog can enjoy small amounts of boneless, skinless white meat.


    Cranberry sauce
    Feel free to let your dog try a little on their turkey if you like but only a little and only if it is pure cranberry sauce with nothing else added like sweeteners or other fruits, nuts etc...


    Potatoes
    A tasty festive treat but make sure you only feed your dog plain mashed or boiled potatoes with nothing else added (e.g. salt, butter). Again, moderation is important. Potatoes, no matter how they are prepared or cooked are very starchy, which dogs can struggle to digest.


    Vegetables
    Take it easy with veggies but you can feed your dog some carrot, parsnip, green beans, courgette, Brussel sprouts, broccoli florets (very small amount only), peas, spinach, cauliflower etc... Most green or mixed veg is fine for dogs. If you do a mashed carrot and swede with your Christmas dinner your dog is sure to love that but don’t add butter or seasoning to their portion. Avoid corn on the cob and bulb vegetables such as onions and leeks.


    Eggs
    I love scrambled eggs and smoked salmon for my Christmas Day breakfast. As a treat you can cook your dog an egg too. Eggs are a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals and are good for our dog’s health. If you are worried about the salmonella risk of feeding raw eggs, cook them. Scrambled is a great way to cook eggs for your dog, but don’t add milk, butter or salt of course. As for the smoked salmon, I think the jury is out on that one but I keep that all for myself anyway, lol.


    Fruit
    Can be high in sugar and can also be acidic, which can upset your dog's digestion so give in moderation and remove the pips/stones first. The fruit to avoid is rhubarb. The stalk of the plant and also its leaves are toxic to canines.

     

     

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    Don’t feed to your dog

    Bird bones
    They are hollow and whether raw or cooked they can easily splinter, making them a dangerous puncture or choking hazard.


    Turkey or chicken skin
    This is far too fatty for your dog. Fat can cause inflammation of the pancreas (Pancreatitis).


    Gravy
    Very tasty but too salty and fatty for dogs. They will enjoy their turkey dinner just as much without gravy. It is best avoided.
    Onions, garlic and other bulb vegetables (e.g. chives, leeks, shallots)
    Onions are a definite no as they are poisonous to dogs. This includes any variant such as onion powder. Also avoid feeding your dog other bulb vegetables e.g. chives, leeks and shallots. Garlic is a contentious issue and while a little bit of garlic is not toxic to your dog it can have a dangerous cumulative effect.


    Herbs and spices
    Dogs are not used to eating herbs and spicy foods and stomach upsets may result.


    Stuffing
    A mixture of breadcrumbs with onions, spices and herbs. Therefore best avoided (see above).
    Pigs in blankets (sausages wrapped in bacon)
    Too salty and fatty for dogs.


    Grapes, raisins, currants, sultanas
    These are fatal to dogs, even in small amounts. Seek veterinary help immediately if your dog eats these foods. Some dogs can cope with eating a few but many cannot and you have no idea which way your dog may react so don’t risk it at all.


    Mince pies, Christmas pudding and fruit cake
    Apart from being full of dangerous fat, these festive treats contain dried fruits (such as raisins, see above), spices and sometimes alcohol.


    Avocados
    A festive favourite for many of us but both the fruit and the stone of the avocado contain a chemical that is dangerous to dogs.


    Chocolate
    So tasty but a big danger to dogs. It contains Theobromine which can be deadly to canines, even in small amounts. Keep it well out of their reach at all times.


    Yeast and uncooked dough
    It rises and ferments in the stomach. Not only painful but can be fatal. Keep yeast and dough safely away from your dog when doing your Christmas baking.


    Human deserts and sweets
    These are way too sugary or if they are sugar-free they contain artificial sweeteners. The sweetener Xylitol is very dangerous to dogs and sugar is bad for your dog’s waistline and teeth.


    Nuts
    Macadamia nuts and walnuts are toxic to dogs and salted peanuts of course won’t do your dog any favours. Other nuts such as cashew nuts, pistachios and almonds are OK in small quantities but may be hard to digest and may cause stomach upsets.


    Fruit pips and stones
    Dogs love fruit but only in moderation and be sure to remove all pips and stones first. Many fruit stones and pips (e.g. apple, cherry, peach, pear, plum, and apricot) contain cyanide, which is poisonous. But actually the danger of intestinal blockage is why this is on our list, which probably poses the greater risk.


    Milk and dairy products
    Take it easy when it comes to giving your dog any milk and dairy products. Dogs have difficulty digesting lactose so upset stomachs can result.


    Mushrooms
    Some are OK but some are not so our advice is to avoid feeding them to your dog.

     

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    Other dog Christmas food tips
        No booze or caffeine – clear cups and glasses away and put all coffee and alcohol out of reach of your dog.
        Keep pets out of the busy kitchen to prevent accidents.
        Don’t over feed your dog – with dog food/treats or with human food/treats.
        Dispose carefully of wrappers, human food and especially bones.
        Take the rubbish out and whether the rubbish bags are inside or out secure them so they can’t be broken into. Dispose of leftovers, especially the bird carcass, carefully.
        Ask all visitors not to feed your pet anything. It is easier than trying to get everyone to follow the food rules above and if everyone gives your pet tit bits it will soon add up to a lot of extra food.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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    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