Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Mistakably Maligned American PitBull Terriers

By: Ed Gonzalez

Many people have the inclination that The American PitBull Terrier is ferocious, fearsome and dangerous. A lot of bite attacks have happened and instinctively the PitBull Terrier is always blamed for this. Remember, it's quite difficult to determine the dog by the way it looks. There are tremendous inaccuracies if this will be the only basis to determine bite attacks and blame it on these dogs. First of all, DNA tests have to be done to determine what kind of dog bit the victim. This has never been accomplished.

In the September 15, 2000 in the issue of Vet Med Today states that “ Breed Specific legislation does not address the fact that a dog of any breed can become dangerous when bred or trained to be aggressive.  From a scientific point of view, we are unaware of any formal evaluation of the effectiveness of breedspecific legislation in preventing fatal or nonfatal dog bites. An alternative to breed - specific legislation is to regulate individual dogs and owners on the basis of their behavior.

Because of this The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that we should not discriminate dogs based on their breed. There isn't a fragment of proof that the American PitBull Terrier is a diabolical dog,  as others may say. Infact, The American Temperament Society does regular temperament checks on popular breeds. There was an aggregation test done in 2008 and this is how it was described.The test simulates a casual walk through a park or neighborhood where everyday life situations are encountered. During this walk, the dog experiences visual, auditory and tactile stimuli. Neutral, friendly and threatening situations are encountered, calling into play the dog's ability to distinguish between non-threatening situations and those calling for watchful and protective reactions.The dog fails the test if it shows :unprovoked aggression, panic without recovery and strong avoidance.

The American PitBull Terrier passed the test with a scoring rate of 85.3%. This is a lot better than the Collies, Golden retrievers who are commonly known as family dogs and ares considered friendly. The average dog population score is 77%. This all boils down on how the owners train their dogs. They can be dog aggressive but other dogs are aggressive also towards other animals.

The true  reality is that the American PitBull Terriers have several good characteristic traits like::

1. They are quite friendly, tender and dearly affectionate dogs.. Dogs of this kind love to kiss you by licking. PitBulls are not haughty dogs. These dogs will tell you how they feel about you by wagging their tails and through their kisses.

2. PitBulls are relatively healthy and aren't difficult to take care of. They require moderate attention. The PitBull's coats are short and they are normal shedders. You need to brush these dogs once in a while. Dogs of this type don't have genetic disorders but they must be checked by your vet when they are puppies because of hip dysplasia. A lot of these dogs do not weigh more than fifty to sixty pounds except for some bigger sub – breeds. Just make sure they exercise constantly..

3. PitBulls like people, as long as their owners train them how to socialize in the right manner. These dogs love being with people. When you meet a PitBull that has been cared for and loved by their owners, you will realize why they like being with people. They can get too excited when meeting new persons but this can be solved through training and using positive reinforcement measures.

4. These dogs are faithful to their owners. They will be your best friend from the time you take them until the day they leave you for dog's heaven. PitBulls are so protective of their owners and property. The only drawback is that they are not guard dogs.

5. They are so anxious to please their owners. These dogs will always give their best efforts to make you happy as long as owners know what they expect from their dog. Some people say that they are stubborn. Once they know you are the boss, they will try hard to make sure that you are satisfied with them. This type of breed is not recommended for first time dog owners. You need to have the confidence to deal with them because they will know that you are unsure of your own self.

6. PitBulls can tolerate pain to a high degree. This is what make them excellent family dogs. No matter how rough your children play with them, they will not react. They will remain happy playing with them and will not exhibit any reaction. You must acquire prong collars because they have sturdy necks and shoulders. The ordinary collars will not soothe them.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Kate Middleton, Bird Game Hunting, and Chinese Dog Eating Festival

By Mona Sabalones Gonzalez


How can a dog lover eat meat? And yet I just can’t live without my lechon and liempo (pork in the Philippines). Animals after all are meat eaters, too.

It helps that I get my meat in a supermarket. For the life of me, I could never bear to kill an animal myself (unless it’s a cockroach and I take great pleasure in that).

Now the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have called upon Kate Middleton to ask her husband Prince William to stop bird hunting. This, of course, is a centuries old tradition among the British royals.

We wonder why they would go to Kate, however. Why not go straight to the Prince?

PETA was incensed to learn that Prince William purchased 250 ducks, partridges and pheasants for his brother’s 27th birthday, which will be released into the Sandringham Estate of the Queen so that guests can hunt them.

I once saw a video of a bird on YouTube that was shot as game and it was just heartbreaking.

Chinese dog eating festival banned

Perhaps, it would be more effective for PETA to set loose the power of social media. That is what happened in the case of China, which has had a 600 year dog eating tradition where 15,000 dogs are killed annually to mark a 14th century military victory of the Ming dynasty.

The Chinese legend says that a Chinese general killed all the dogs in Qianzi just before a battle to stop them from barking and in this way, warning the enemy. The strategy was effective and to celebrate, every slaughtered dog was eaten.

Dog meat in China is considered to have medicinal value, and during the cultural revolution of Mao Zedong, keeping dogs as pets was illegal.

Thanks to social media, photos of the dog eating festival were released and it sparked outrage and hefty debate, and the practice of the festival, which was slated for October, was banned this year. Talk about people power:)

Now, if PETA started to use social media to spark public outrage over bird hunting, perhaps they could get similar results.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

In China, dogs as pets are getting more love

Looks like dogs are their own best ambassadors. At least, that is the case in China, where for thousands of years, dog meat has been a delicacy.

Now, dogs are becoming popular pets. It has occurred with the country’s growing prosperity. A CNN article said some dog owners will pay as much as $600 upwards for a dog – as a pet. The popular breeds are poodles, huskies, bichons and Labradors

This newly-grown love for dogs as pets is particularly occurring in Shenzhen -- where dogs are commonly eaten. With four of its six districts now forming part of China’s special economic zone, people from the provinces are coming in for jobs, getting newfound prosperity, and buying dogs as pets because they get lonesome.

This growing love of dogs has resulted in interesting laws in different parts of China. In Jinan, capital city of the province of Shandong, residents must get the permission of their neighbors before their dog can be licensed.

Dogs are painted to look like wild animals

Shanghai has a one-dog policy, as do the cities of Chengdu, Guangshou and Beijing. In Jiangmen, which is near Shenzhen, dog ownership was banned, but the law elicited so much protest that the law was repealed.

This is an interesting development, and a very positive one for dogs in Shenzhen where rows of restaurants serve dog meat, and markets display dog meat alongside beef and lamb. Now, many—but not all—dog owners have turned into dog lovers, and have stopped eating dog meat.

Here’s a video of a dog whose hair was dyed to make it look like a panda bear.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Walking Your Dogs and How It Should Be Done

By: Ed Gonzalez

Walking your dogs is a must for all owners to accomplish and they must be willing to take their dogs on a stroll. If not,  these dogs can become depressed and bored with their daily lives Taking them for a walk is not simply going outside and start walking with them. You must be able to do other things before taking them for a walk. Here are some reminders that will help you.

Before Taking Them For A Walk:

Make sure that wherever you are going, dogs are allowed. It is just right that you find out that your dogs are welcome to the place you are going to. You must be sure that the weather conditions are conducive. If the weather is rainy or very hot, then this is not the right time. You must let your dogs wear a good and convenient leash. The dog collar must fit well. Any pet shop or vet can recommend the right collar for your dog.  Always put your dog on a leash or else you might have a difficult time controlling your dog. Don't forget to bring a picture of your dog or medical record cards of your dog. This is is the card that your vet gives to you for your dog's medical check up. This is needed just in case of emergencies or if anything goes wrong. Ordinary plastic bags,  trash bags or a number of paper sheets are needed in the event your dog decides to make it's mess. If you are taking your dog for a long walk then you need to bring water and a dish bowl. You can bring with you an elongated stick to make other stray dogs scared so they will not go near your dogs. Never use this stick to hit your dog but you can use it to let your dog know what it can and can't do. You can bring a camera for picture taking, plus a back pack for all the things you need while you can hold on to the stick. Start training your dog how to walk in your homes. This is if the dog is not yet ready to go out for walks. Teach them the usual commands such as sit, stand, come and stay. Remember,  your dog must walk beside you and never in front of you. You are the pack leader and not your dog. If your dog commits a mistake during training, this must be corrected.

When Walking The Dog:

Owners during this time must be watchful and alert. Look around if there are a lot of people. Are there a lot of cars passing by? Is it safe to walk your dogs in the surrounding area? You must be decisive where to walk your dog. The owner must see to it that the dog is behaving properly. Always be in control and keep your eye on what is happening around you. Dogs have limitations when it comes to distance and pacing in walking..You must be the one to clean your dog's mess because it does happen while the dog is walking. By using your plastic bag and trash bag plus sheets of paper, this should pose no problem for you. Your dog will find it thrilling to go out for a walk. You must have to enjoy the walk with them. Never take chances, if your dog is not use to befriending other people or interacting with other dogs. By doing this, you will avoid any disastrous incidents that can happen. If there is a place that is fenced in and your dog is allowed to run,  then set your dog free but keep a watchful eye on the dog. Try talking to your dog while you are spending time walking with your adorable pet. It's a great time to bond with your dog. Be quite observant with your dog because if it starts to pant then the dog is tired and must be given a five to ten minute rest. When walking at night, always bring a flashlight so you can see where you are walking and your dogs can avoid certain things that can be harmful to them like animal feces and urine. Never let your dog smell any sort of garbage. Watch out for plants because some of them can be harmful to your dogs.

After Walking Your Dogs.:

When going home you must walk at a slower pace. This allows your dog to cool down. Upon reaching the house, clean the feet of your dogs so that dirt and other particles can be taken out. Allow your dog to rest and give them water because they might be thirsty. When the weather is hot like summer, you must be more cautious when planning a walking session for your dog. Bring additional water and make your walks even shorter. Too much heat can cause disturbing effects to both you and your dog. This is because insects are very active during this time of the year. If you intend to walk on the shoreline of the beach,  be careful of such creatures like the jellyfish because it can cause harm to your dogs.

Have the best time of your life while walking your dog.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

City noise affects sex life of birds, Netherlands’ Leiden University study says

By Mona Sabalones Gonzalez

Urban birds are changing their song. We mean that literally. Mating calls in the past, in a quiet jungle were usually low frequency and rather nice. With the noise pollution of the city’s technology, mating calls need a high pitch to be heard. A study in the Netherlands showed that female birds find the high pitch mating call less sexy.

The study was done by Wouter Halfwerk, behavioral ecologist at Leiden University, Netherlands. The paper was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences.

The study showed that because of all the noise in the city—airplanes, car engines, construction noise, etc., male birds were forced to raise their mating calls to a higher pitch.

High pitched sounds can be heard better at short distances, and are good in a noisy environment. For example, the laughter of children can cut through lots of background noise because it is high pitched.

But female birds prefer low pitched sounds. The trouble is, in the city, these mating calls are drowned out by the surrounding noise. Halfwerk was able to discover this by studying the Great Tit, a bird that can imitate the sounds of up to 30 random birds in the Netherlands.

Halfwerk recorded the mating calls of 30 different male Great Tits, half of which gave high pitch sounds, and half who gave low pitch sounds. He then conducted paternity tests on the hatched eggs of the female birds who responded to the calls.

Most birdies were the offspring of male birds that used low frequency sounds. The study stated the low-pitched male birds probably swooped down in the last minute to lure the female out of her nest and fertilize her.

Halfwerk then played the mating calls of the birds that were prerecorded. They noted that female birds responded to the low pitched sounds. However, when they added urban noise to the background of the low pitched mating calls, the females were drawn to the high pitched mating calls, most likely because these were the sounds they could hear.

It’s understandable why female birds would be more drawn to low frequency sounds. In a forest, these are the sounds that have long wavelengths. They can bend around the trees and other forest barriers, and go long distances. Birds traditionally sing in low frequency sounds.

The study concludes that noise pollution can affect bird populations in a negative way.

Here’s an amazing BBC video of a bird that copies a wide range of jungle sounds in the forest, including a chainsaw!

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