As we have repeated in more than one of our posts, the dogs are not only good companions in life, they also bring great benefits, such as helping us with certain physical and mental health problems. // read more
In REX we are convinced that dogs are intelligent. Although in most cases the dogs are our pets and friends, we must not forget that dogs are very intelligent animals, therefore, they can achieve things like becoming the eyes of someone.
Today we will talk about guide dogs, also known as “service dogs”. These dogs are of crucial importance in the lives of these people, since they become their eyes.
The history of the dog guide begins with Joseph Resinguer, a 17-year-old young man who became blind. Due to his deficiency, he decided to train his three dogs to help him in day to day life. Later, following the example of Joseph, Gerhand Stalling founded in 1916 theSchool of Canine Training to provide aid to those German veterans of the First World War who had lost the visual faculty.
Today, this issue has evolved a lot. Specifically, Spain has the largestCenter of Guide Dog Training inEurope, the ONCE. In Spain, the guide dogs come fromThe Dog Guide Foundation (ONCE) that keeps the races and the bloodlines that have the correct balance in terms of temperament.
Common characteristics of guide dogs
So that a dog can be used as a guide it is necessary to have very specific characteristics. The dog has to be very docile, with a great capacity for learning that can be trained easily, a great submission and, most importantly, it needs to have a great mental and emotional balance. To achieve this in a puppy, the main thing is that the parents must comply with all these requirements, so the choice of the right parents is essential when it comes to raise future guide dogs. Because of the importance of these aspects, the foundations have dogs that are raised exclusively for this purpose and try to get the perfect animal with the help of genetic changes.
The males and females must have between 2 and 4 years of age and their size should range between 28 and 45 kg. Sometimes, these dogs live in shelter houses and only go to the Foundation for reproduction. As for females, the experts look for dogs with a high degree of learning, disciplined, very obedient, smart and, above all, affectionate. So, aggressive, fearful or not sociable dogs are excluded. On the other hand, males also have to meet strict requirements in terms of behavior, but the most common is to use dogs that have already been used previously for this purpose.
However, although the behavior has a great importance, it is not everything for the choice of the parents. It is necessary to pass a series of clinical tests to find out if they have bone problems, some kind of allergy, heart disease or any other disease.
At first, the only race that was used as guide dog was the German shepherd. Today, the races that give best results, in addition to the German shepherd, are the Labrador and the Golden Retriever. Remember that these 3 races are in the list of the most intelligent dog breeds that was published a few days ago in a post. However, other breeds have been also used but with less positive results, such as the Border Collie, Curly Coated, Belgian Shepherd, Boxer, StandardPoodle or Dalmatian.
The essential characteristics of the most common breeds are:
– Labrador: You can see it from golden to black through the tone of chocolate. It is the most widely used as guide dog dogs because of its sociability and adaptability to all environments, but you must be especially careful with its desire for food.
– Golden Retriever: they have golden, long and silky hair. They are dogs with great sensitivity, initiative and intelligence, although they can also become very pigheaded.
– German Shepherd: It is a breed that is well known by most people. This dog is very intelligent, dynamic, with brown hair and, above all, what most characterizes this breed is its high capacity of decision and conflict resolution. In terms of negative things, you should take into account its high temperament.
Guide dogs are trained from puppyhood. At 7 weeks of life they take a test to find out if they might be a dog guide or not. If they pass this test, they live one year in a shelter housewhere they learn a basic education. It is not until their 4 months of life when they start learning the specific guide tasks, such as obey and disobey orders to safeguard the life of their owner. When they reach the 8 months, they take another test which has to prove that the instincts of hunting, protection and guard are completely cancelled. After those 12 months in the shelter house, the puppy comes back to the Foundation where it passes other 8 or 10 months of training. In this period of time many dogs are unfit for the function of guide dog.
After this training, we arrive to a period of coupling where the dog meets the blind person who is going to take care of it and they work together for 3 weeks. Once this phase is completed, the dog is ready to go home with the blind and do its job as a guide dog.
The lives of these dogs last until the age of 8, when they begin to lose capacities, and they tend to be retired and replaced by other dogs when they reach that age. In any case, the blind can keep the same animal if he wants to, but it is true that in other cases, the dog returns to live in the Foundation until a family adoptsit.
What to do when we are with a guide dog
Currently, it is very common to see guide dogs in any place, whether on the bus, in public places or stores, among others. You must not forget that guide dogs are special, so theycannot be treated in the same way as the rest of dogs. Many times we make mistakes when we touch them or distract them, and that may hinder the task for which they are entrusted. When the guide dog is in the street with its harness, it is working, so it should not be diverted by nothing or anyone. For this reason, we are going to give you some indications to be taken into account when a dog guide crosses our path:
– Do not touch it
– We must ignore it
– Do not approach it with another dog
– Do not feed it in the street
– If we want to help the blind, we must not take the arm which carries the dog without having previously talked with him.
You know, the guide dog is a completely fascinating animal, an animal perfectly educated and trained to make life easier for blind people. It is not amazing that a dog becomes the eyes of someone?
The coming week we will continue talking about the great intelligence of dogs and how thanks to it they can serve human beings. This time, we will talk about their invaluable support in assisted therapies, you cannot miss it!
Many families await the arrival of a new family member. This great event, which is a cause for great joy, can also bring us some concerns, if we already have a canine companion in our house. You may have some questions: will your dog attack the baby? Can it transmit a disease to the baby? Will it change its attitude? Will it be good for the child?
Do not panic!, with some good guidelines we will avoid any problem or incompatibility between the baby and the animal. Moreover, many studies claim that children who live with dogs from their earliest age develop many social skills, a sense of responsibility and even increase their capacity for empathy. // read more
Today we bring you a theme that is quite important for dog owners. The night comes, we are tired from the journey, we go to bed and we cannot sleep and not because we are not tired! Your dog spends the night crying and making noises…
Why my dog does not sleep? What can I do? These are questions that you surely have. // read more
If you are a cat lover and you have one of these cats as a pet or you want one, you must take into account this serious disease which tends to be very common in cats: leukemia.
If you are reading this, it is because you want to know what are the symptoms of feline leukemia, its prevention and treatment. Although we already anticipate that, unfortunately, it does not have cure :(.
For all of you, we have written this article that will probably resolve all your doubts.
What is feline leukemia?
Feline leukemia is a deadly chronic infectious disease that is caused by anoncogeneretrovirus (feLV). This virus infects the cells of the immune system destroying them or damaging them, leaving the animal exposed to a wide variety of diseases or secondary infections such as the delay in growth or even the cancer. Unfortunately the diagnosis is complicated because this disease has no cure.
This frequent disease is variable according to different factors such as: geographic area, population density or the state of health of the animal, among others. However, the prevalence of this disease is decreasing from 5% to 1.5% per year due to the preventive measures.
Regarding the age in which cats are more susceptible to be hit by the virus, we need to point out that the first year of life is the maximum peak of risk to get the disease, that is to say, between 2 and 8 weeks of life. From the fourth month of life the disease will not reappear. But, even if adults are more resistant, if they are permanently in contact with high doses they can be infected.
On the other hand, the genre of the animal is also important sincethe higher percentage of infection appears in males. As for the months of the year with more probability of contraction of the virus, these are April and, especially, the cold months, although it should be noted that some studies established that the greatest rate of cases of feline leukemia appears usually during the autumn months.
Transmission of the virus
Most of the cats, probably 100%, are carriers of the endogenous retrovirus integrated into the genome of their cells.
To be able to transmit the virus,the infected cat must have direct, close and continued contactwith the healthy cat. The transmission is interrupted if the cats are separated. The virus is not very resistant to the environmental conditions of a home and it is easily destroyed by most disinfectants, soaps, heat or direct sunlight. Therefore, once the virus is out of the animal’s body, it does not survive more than a few hours.
The virus usually spreads through fluids, via oronasaland through saliva, nasal discharge, urine, milk, blood, semen, vaginal fluid, leukocytes and urogenital epithelium. Not all cats have the same chance of contracting the virus, those related to colonies or those that leave home without the supervision of their owners tend to have more chances of contracting the virus.
Regarding humans and other pets you should not worry, this virus cannot infect these bodies.
After the exposure to the virus, 3 things can happen:
- Immunization: On many occasions, those cats that have been exposed to the virus can develop immunity. If this is the case, they will only suffer fever, lethargy or apathy for a few days, but the virus will be removed from their body.
- Latency: In other cases, the virus can be removed from their blood and saliva but it will remain in their bone marrow or in another organism, reappearing in stress situations or, on the contrary, disappearing forever.
- Infection: Finally, there are cases where the virus stays forever in the body. These cats can have a normal life but, over the years, they developdiseases related to leukemia and they tend to die.
There are different answers to this virus, but according to the statistics, 25% of the infected cats develop anemia and 15% cancer. It is likely that, during the early stages of the disease, the symptoms do not appear. However, after a few weeks, months or years the feline health starts to deteriorate and the diseases derived from the virus appear.
The most common symptoms are: fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, gradual weight loss, deterioration of the coat, swollen lymph nodes, anemia, skin infection or respiratory infection and gastrointestinal signs.
Among the types of cancer that cats can develop as a result of this virus are: bone marrow cancer, leukemia, lymph nodes, thymus, kidney, intestines, liver, eyes, or nose cancer.
The prognosis for a cat suffering from feline leukemia is not very favorable. Statistics say that between 80 and 90% of infected cats die between 6 months and 3 years after making the diagnosis. Their life expectancy, on some occasions, is longer and there are even cats that can stay healthy without showing the symptoms. The age of infection is decisive for their subsequent evolution, because if the cat is older, it is less likely to contact the virus.
As we have said repeatedly, this virus has no cure and the life expectancy of the infected cats is very short. Therefore, the best thing we can do for our feline friends is to prevent contagion.
For a good prevention, you should take into account that the focus of the virus tends to be where there are many cats, so you should not let your catssocialize with other cats if you do not know if they are carriers of the virus. We must also give them a good nutrition and a good life away from stress.
On the other hand, there are several vaccines that havedifferent efficacy results, some even offeran immunity of at least 12 months. Despite this, it should be noted indeed that no vaccine produces sufficient protection. At the same time, it is important to note that this vaccine is not an essential vaccine and it is only recommended for those cats that have risk of contagion. Before the vaccination, it is important to diagnose if the cat is infected or not, because if so, the vaccine is useless.
If the vaccine is finally chosen,we have to say that there are two doses separated by 3 – 5 weeks. After a year,you will have to revaccinate the cat (one dose) and if the cat is still at risk, you will have to continue vaccinating every year.
With all this, we strongly recommend you to vaccinate your feline friends in order to avoid greater problems. You know, it is always better to prevent than to cure;).
If the other day we talked about puppy feeding and vaccination, today’s post is dedicated to the process of socialization of the puppy with other dogs and people.
Now that our puppy, properly vaccinated, can go out, it is time to start with its education and socialization. Educate a dog takes time and dedication, but if we teach our puppy the good behaviors we have been successful. If, on the contrary, we do not educate it when it is a puppy it is much harder to pretend to modify its behavior when the dog is already an adult. The same thing happens with people, right?
So far the puppy has been at home and the only contact that it had has been with you and with the people who live with it. Now is the time to socialize with other dogs, in the daily walk but also at home if you have more pets.
When you go out with your puppy, it is important to let it interact with other dogs. Let it play and smellits new friends. But if you feel that it is intimidated or the other dog barks, move it away.
At home, leave it interact with your other pets and let them play together.
The adult dog of your house will be the model for the puppy, and that is why it is important to have a well-educated and stable dog so it will feel curiosity for the puppy and play with it. On the other hand, if the adult dog is not balanced it can bite the puppy causing mental consequences.
The socialization process will depend on the puppy and the time you invest in it, each dog is a world! You should not force your puppy to support something that scares it because you might cause a phobia. You should have a bit of patience.
It is also normal, that your dog may have to socialize with people, besides you. How to do it?
You should introduce your puppy to your friends and family in a quiet environment, for example you house, and for short periods of time. Allow your puppy to approach them whenever it wants, and let it smell them or play with them. In this way your dog will feel that it is in control of the situation.
The person who interacts with the puppy must be a dog lover. There are people who feel afraid by dogs, even if they are puppies (for dog lovers, it is somewhat difficult to understand, we know it, but it is true) and therefore the situation will not be comfortable neither for the puppy nor for the person.
Once your dog feels comfortable with people, you can introduce it to any kind of people, not necessarily quiet.
When your dog accepts adults, you can also introduce it to children for short periods of time. When the puppy interacts with a child, you should supervise them, since children can play abruptly with it. This is important to get used to children.
It is important, in addition, to spend some time to teach it some canine obedience exercises. If you do not see results in the short term do not despair, everything takes time.
How to start educating a dog?
There are a lot of things that we have to teach our puppy if we want to have a well-educated dog, but first some basic things:
The most important thing is to make your puppy answer when you call itby its name. To reach this objective, it is crucial to always call it by its name. We know that sometimes it is inevitable to use a whole series of affectionate nicknames, but if every time we call it differently it will not know it’s real name!
The puppy must get used to the collar and the leash, so whenever you have to take it to the street the situation does not become an Odyssey and the dog sees it as a normal routine. Allow the dog to see and smell the collar so it recognizes it. Putting a collar should not be a problem, however, some puppies are much frightened when it is around their neck. If this is your case, you will have to have a little patience.
It has to get used to the noise. There are many dogs that when they hear a loud noise they hide or want to scape. A good way to get your puppy used to the noise may be watching TV with it. If the movie is an action movie much better. It must also get used to the noises of everyday machines such as washing machine, vacuum cleaner, etc.
How should a puppy play?
It is also important to let the dog play, but not sharply. Occasionally, the puppy can feel excited when playing and it can bite you, but without wanting to hurt you, of course. We must teach it to inhibit its bite, so if it bites when playing it does it smoothly. We have to teach it to obey to the orders NO! And DROP IT!
Here some first steps to teach our new friend to interact with other dogs and humans. Remember that all the time that you invest in your puppy will be well spent. Like children, puppies are like a sponge, they absorb everything!
A puppy just arrived in your family? If you have or you had a dog you will know what to do, but if this is your first canine friend you will have many questions such as: what should I do with it, how should I feed it, when can it go for a walk or what are the vaccines for puppies.
What is clear is that a puppy needs special care, therefore, today’s post is about the first steps to follow with a puppy. As is always the case when something new arrives into our lives, we are a bit lost and we need advice and orientationto do so in the best possible way. Therefore, we want to guide you in this beautiful process of educating your puppy, here we go!
We start with nutrition, how should you feed your puppy?
We will start saying that, to reach the proper emotional development, a puppy must not be separated from its mother before the 45 days of life.
As happens with newborns, breast milk is the first ideal food for a puppy because it is rich in all necessary nutrients for the puppy to grow up healthy and strong.
Althoughpuppies are ready for weaning from six to eight weeks of life, it usually happens from four weeks of life, when puppies begin to show interestin solid food. It is good to take advantage of this moment offering them a special formula for puppies. If you decide to give them dry food, it is good to add water and to grind it until you get a kind of porridge. When the puppy grows up you must remove the water and offer it dry food. The passage from liquid to solidmust be gradual and not sudden, because this can cause problems in the digestive system,still immature, of your puppy.
Make sure that you choose the best feed for your puppy. Normally, the feed for puppies have specific components for them. In Rexpetfood, for example, our feed for puppies, puppy junior, has an additional contribution of chondroitin and glucosamine which help the growth of joints and cartilage.
In terms of quantity, it is preferable to giveit daily smallquantities of food. This depend on the age and sizeand you have to take into account the recommendations of your veterinarian that is who can advise you better.
Since the beginning of solid feeding until weaning (2 months approximately): 4-6 meals per day
From two to three months of life: 4 meals per day
From four to six months: 2-3 meals per day
Afterthe sixth month: 2 meals per day
We see that, during the development of the puppy, we have to reduce the meal frequency, although we repeat that this always depends on the race and the specific needs of our puppy. At the same time, it is very important to offer it fresh and clean water to drink.
To make sure that your puppy is well fed and that it has the weight corresponding to its age, sizeor race, it is good to weigh it regularly.
Once we know how we must feed our puppy, we go with another theme that is also very important: vaccines.
It is important to have a plan for the correct immunization of your puppy through the appropriate vaccines. Puppies receive the first immunity from their mothers, thanks to the antibodies contained in breast milk. The antibodies are transmitted during the first 24 hours of life and then disappear, sothe puppy is not properly protected if the vaccination does not start on time.
It is important to say that the puppy receives antibodies against the diseases for which the motherhas been recently vaccinated.
In addition, puppies can born with parasites transmitted by the mother throughits placenta and milk during breastfeeding, so you must deworm your puppy before you begin the vaccination.
Usuallypuppies begin their vaccination schedule around the 6th, 7th or 8thweek of life and after that, they receive booster doses every 2-3 weeks until they have around 4 months. From the 4th month, they receive annual vaccines.
What are the vaccines for puppies?
Your puppy must be vaccinated at least against Canine distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis and Leptospirosis. Additionally, it can get the vaccine against Tracheobronchitis (kennel cough) and Coronavirus.
Here we offer you a vaccination plan model:
6 weeks Canine distemper, parvovirus
8 weeks Booster shot against Canine distemper, Parvovirus and first vaccineagainst Hepatitis and Leptospirosis (quadrivalent)
10 weeks Booster shot of thequadrivalent
16 weeks rabies
Each year rabies, quadrivalent
And now that we knowhow we must feed our puppy and what are the vaccines for puppies, the six-million-dollar question: when can it go for a walk?
You surely want to go out with your puppy and let it play and interact with other dogs. Well, once it has all the mandatory vaccines, you can take it for a walk.
Normally the process of vaccination ends within 3-4 months of life, so your puppy will be in perfect conditions to begin to interact with other dogs on the street. But remember that, until the puppy is not vaccinated, you must not go outside because it can contract different diseases by being in contact with other infected dogs or with the stools of these dogs.
And now that you can take your puppy for a walk, it is time to start with the process of socialization with other dogs and people. We will talk about thisin our next post, do not miss it!
We are sure that you are tired of hearing: my dog is the smartest! My dog is so clever! My dog is smarter than yours! But are those claims true? We understand that your dog is for you the best and the smartest, but theoretically there is a list of the most intelligent dog breeds.
Following our previous post about canine intelligence, today we bring you this ranking of the 10 most intelligent breeds, as evidenced by certain scientific studies. Is your dog in this list? Here we go.
1. Border Collie
On the top of this ranking we find the Border Collie. This energetic dog is the only one who lives to work,so it needs to be busy and not get bored to be happy. If it gets bored, it can be a problem since it tends to annoy.
Theyneedgreat physical activity, therefore they are ideal dogs for exercise along with the owner. They are commonly used in “Agility” since they have a great capacity of concentration that is rare in other races and great agility.
Regarding its character, the Border Collie is awake, a good watchdog, affectionate and docile, however it can be fearful or shy if it does not socialize with other dogs when it is a puppy.
The ideal places to have this breed of dog are the field and large areas with animals, because, as we have said previously, it needs great physical activity. In addition this race is often used for grazing.
2 – Poodle or caniche
In second place we have the Poodle, Yes, as you read! This race is not what it seems, thanks to its great intelligence is a dog habitually used in hunting, surveillance, rescue, and as a water dog.
They are dogs that do not get easily distracted but they geteasily bored, they are quite naughty and creative. To avoid these “pranks” is necessary to keep them busy, since if they thinkactively they will not get bored.
Regarding its nature, Poodles are dogs very intelligent, joyful, very playful, loyal, methodical, energetic, mischievous and, although they are small, they have a great heart that makes them excellent companions for children.However, if you do not train them or if they do not socialize properly, they can become destructive.
The Toy poodle is usually used for hunting birds.
Following the classification we find the German shepherd. One of the most active and self-confident races. At a glance, we can say that the German shepherddoes not seem very loving, but this is not true, its rude appearance deceives and it is one of the most affectionate breeds.
These dogs can be taught almost anything given their high intellect, moreover, they can reach impossible exercises for the human being, therefore, this type of dog is often used as a police dog, performing tasks such as: the search of drugs, of explosives, search of people, protection and defense, rescue or it is even used as dog guide for the disabled. Anecdotally we have to add that this race was used as a tracker dog by the Germans during the Second World War.
Regarding their nature, we have to say that, apart from their great intelligence and their great obedience, they are alert, agile, balanced, tough, active, loving, with a great sense of smell and high ability to solve problems on their own.Despite this, if they do not socialize enough during the puppy stage, they can become very territorial. In addition, we should add that one of the most common features of this race is the overprotection of the family.
On the other hand, we cannot pass up that this dog can live in the field or in the city, but if you decide to keep it in an urban environment it is necessary to respect its hours of physical exercise.
4 – Golden Retriever
Ideal for the family. The Golden Retriever is one of the most common breeds when you think of a family dog, patient and calm.
This breed has a great ability to focus on an assigned task, so it is quite common that the Golden works up to the collapse. It is important to not let yourdog reach this end by imposing excessive work. In addition to this great ability of concentration, itis easy to train due to the high desire of pleasing its owner and excel in obedience tests. To get a proper training it needs a positive and optimistic training.
Regarding its nature, this breed is friendly, with enthusiasm for food, quiet, intelligent, docile and confident; in short, a good pet for the family, especially for children,since it is patient with them. An important feature of this race is that they are not only dogs of a single owner, but they have also a friendly attitude with strangers, becomingfor that reason poor guard dogs.
Despite not being good protective dogs, given their high level of obedience, they are especially functional as guide dogs, assistance dogs and help, search or rescue dogs. However, the Golden retriever is widely used for hunting, not only because of its patience, but because of its soft mouth that allows it to bring the preys in perfect conditions.
5 – Doberman Pinscher
In the middle of the ranking we have the Doberman pinscher. This breed, due to its fierce and aggressive appearance, intimidates us more than other breeds. However, the Doberman is a loving and loyal dog that only acts fiercely if it is trained to do so.
This dog is ideal for self-defense or as a police dog because it is big, intimidating and brave, though it is always compliant. This makes it very docile except when its owner asks it to have a more defensive attitude.
Regarding itscharacter: it is good, loyal, intelligent, easy to train, quite active and fairly excitable. They are dogs that are always on alert. If the issue that matters to us is how they behave with children, we have to say that this breed is not the ideal family dog, since they tend not to have much patience with children, but despite this, they are not the most problematic dogs, and females are more patient.
6 – Shetland Sheepdog
This Scottish dog is generally not well known, being catalogued by the people who have this race as the only dog that is as smart as humans.
This breed extremely loving is one of the most desirable dogs for a family with children. In addition to being used for grazing, it is ideal as a guard dog because of its affectionate nature with the family but reserved with strangers.
Aside from loving, the Shetland sheepdog is lively, intelligent, playful, loves to please, obey and pursue things (hence its shepherd function) and without forgetting that it is very active. This last quality is very important because this type of dog must do at least one hour of exercise a day and activities that stimulate its intelligence. If this is not done, it will result in unwanted excessive barking, phobias, and nerves.
As we have said on many occasions, it is also necessary to train this dog with positive methods.
7 – Labrador Retriever
One of the most popular and intelligent breeds of the world. The Labrador is a fabulous dog that will surpriseyou by the number of activities that it can perform.
This friendly, extrovert and manageable dog enjoys a great sense of smell which allows itto follow any trail, therefore it is trained and used for the search of humans, bombs, drugs or even as therapy and rescue dog. All this shows that if itis able to be trained for these tasks,it has a great intelligence.
As the Golden Retriever, one of the breeds that we often confuse with the Labrador, these dogs are very balanced, tolerant toward children and non-dominant dogs, being ideal for a family environment. More in particular males, because females tend to be more independent.
However, if you have decided to have a dog of this breed you must take into account the following issues: these dogs mature at the age of three and due to their high activity they tend to be poorly diagnosed ADHD, food is their weak point and water is their ruin. Despite this, they are very advisable for all houses.
8 – Papillon
This breed of dog, which exists for 700 years, is known for its energetic, loving and playful character. Belonging to the group of miniature dogs of the Kennel Club of England, also named“Papillon” because ofits full of fur ears that look like a butterfly with outspread wings.
Thanks to its pleasant nature, itadapts quickly to homes, even as a protector since,in the presence of strangers,it“raisesthe alarm” with its strong bark, all due in large part to its protective instinct.
That energy means that the dog needs constant and daily physical activity. For its sporty personality and its great intelligence, it becomes a perfect breed for those who want to take their pet to “Agility”. This intelligence is encouraged through ‘positive education’, that means reinforcements and affectionate stimuli to learn, such as: rewards, caresses or simply with a loving tone of voice.
9 – Rottweiler
Of German origin, is a dog that works and helps its owner, being used in the past as a cattle Herder. Robust, vigorous and compact in appearance, it has a character of strong temperament, a quality that makes it very confident and brave.
Despite this somewhat authoritarian character, which would normally bring to light with strangers, this race is obedient, kind and docile with people close to the family, especially with children, becoming one of the best domestic breeds of large dogs.
Despite its strength and character, it is not used as a guard dog because it does not bark much, although this lack is replaced by its strength and size.
10 – Australian cattle dog
In the last position we find the Australian cattle dog, which, despite its name, does not only exist in Australia.
This dog is considered the best dog for grazing livestock in the world, and for that reason it is considered the most intelligent. The Australian cattle dog is not a domestic dog but a dog destined to work.
This breed is also used as watchdog, this is in large part due to its character; reserved with people and cautious with new situations.
Among its features we find: its happiness, it is affectionate, playful, with high levels of energy and an active mind. It is necessary to give it a task to do and plenty of exercise. If you leave it at home for too long, it can become violent and start barking strongly.
They have a great connection with their owners and respond quickly to the emotions, so they can defend them without waiting for the order to do so.
After this post about the most intelligent dog breeds, we can affirm that: the dog may be man’s best friend! And this, in large part, is thanks to the intelligence they have and that makes them closer to us. If you have a canine “friend”, please take care of it as it deserves, it will return it multiplied by three.
Is your dog among the 10 most intelligent dog breeds of the list? If it is not, it is okay, we are sure that you think that your dog is the best and the smartest throughout itsdaily actions.
Today in our blog we are going to talk about one of the most common diseases that can affect our canine “companions”: the Leishmaniasis, a serious parasitic disease in dogs caused by a parasite called Leishmania.
Undoubtedly, the Leishmaniasis is one of the biggest health problems that our dog may suffer. How to not worry!
Knowing your concern, we are sure that you have many doubts about the Leshmaniasis. In this post, we are going to answer the most frequent questions about this disease. We start!
How this disease affects Spain?
Specifically, the only canine Leishmaniasis we can find in Spain is the “Leishmaniasis infantum”. In addition, it is not present in all Spanish communities, the most affected by this disease are: Aragon, Catalonia, Madrid, Balearic Islands, Andalusia, Valencia, Murcia, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura and Castile and Leon.
¿Leishmania o Leishmaniasis?
Society tends to confuse Leishmania with Leishmaniasis. That is why we are going to make a distinction between them. The Leishmania is an infection, not a disease, in which the clinical signs do not usually appear in the animal because of the undetectable humoral immune response and the very low parasitic load. In contrast, in the Leishmaniasis we can find signs of the disease, with an activated immune humoral response and a high parasite load.
In most cases we find that it is simply a Leishmania infection and not the disease, but this does not mean that it cannot reproduce rapidly. So the difference between these two concepts is enormous, since the infection is less severe and curable and the disease is very severe and has no cure.
How this disease can be transmitted?
This disease is transmitted through a mosquito called sandfly. This little light brown insect is characterized by the fact that it has hairiness, two wings and, unlike other types of mosquitoes, it does not emit any buzz when flying.
To transmit this disease, the sandfly has to be a female. This female has to bite an infected animal and then bite a healthy animal, therebytransmitting the disease. This curious species of mosquito is commonly found in arid areas, but to live and be active it needs high levels of humidity in the environment. Among its favorite places to live we find: parks, forests and gardens, but never beaches. Its favorite placesare rural or peri-urban areas, as these habitats have all the features it needs.
This insect is more dangerous at night or twilight hours, as it is when it has greater habit of activity. A part of this time, the most common and most dangerous season starts with the heat, more or less between May and October. However, keep in mind that the risk is constant in places where the weather is warm during all seasons.
Regarding human transmission, this disease is not very relevant. We just need to be careful with immunosuppressed people. The most common thing that can happen if this mosquito bites you is that you have a strong reaction to the bite, so the consequences are not more than a simple inconvenience.
Symptoms and Treatment of Leishmaniasis
What are the symptoms of Leishmaniosis?
The first symptoms that usually appear are: weight loss, anemia, asthenia, cachexia and muscular atrophy, especially in the face. Another clear consequence of this disease are skin lesions that usually appear around the eyes and snout (“clown face”) as well as annoying skin ulcers. It can also lead to conjunctivitis, abnormal nail growth or, in cases where the disease is advanced, it can cause kidney disease.
What should I do if I think that my dog has this disease?
First, if you notice any of the above symptoms and you think that your dog may be infected by Leishmaniasis, you should take the dog to the vet and do a blood test. It is essential to catch the disease as soon as possible, so when there is any doubt, go to your vet.
The incubation period of the disease is from 3 months to 18 months, and the parasite may be there for years and not wake up until later. This disease, unfortunately and for the moment, has no cure, so the disease does not go away because the parasite lives in the dog’s body all its life. The treatment used in these cases is by injections for several weeks, but all you can do is lessen the symptoms of the disease, but not cure it.
However, after the treatment, the dog will have to take a number of revisions since the symptoms may reappear at any time. It is very important to take the dog to the vet to apply the treatment, since most untreated dogs that contract the disease eventually die.
How to avoid the risk of contagion?
If the animal does not receive any protection, the risk of contagion can move from 3% to 18%, increasing in those rural and peri-urban areas, in warm regions and in those cases where people walk their pets at dusk. It is advisable that in the summer the dog does not walk at sunset.
How do I protect my dog?
As far as possible, you can use insecticides to eliminate those mosquitoes that have come into your house.
What is really important is to use means to prevent bites. There is not a remedy 100% effective but there are different solutions on the market with a high percentage of capacity against the disease. One is a vaccine with a high level of efficiency. First you apply 3 doses, with an interval of 3 weeks between them and then an annual dose to maintain immunity. You can also find a series of spray products, pipettes or animal collars which give some protection, acting as repellents that prevent the possible bite.
Can it also affect cats?
For those who have cats and are wondering if the disease can also affect them, relax. Cats are the perfect hosts for the parasite but they only manifest skin lesions, so for cats it is not a serious illness.
With all this, we hope that you have dispelled all the doubts about canine Leishmaniasis.
If you think we have forgotten something or you still have questions, contact us and we will try to answer them.
Have you ever think about how our dogs think? Many times, we do not really know why they do what they do.
And when your dog does not listen to you? Then you do not know what to do. So we always ask a number of questions, especially when itdisobeys. Did I fail training it? Did I spoil it? Or worse, despite loving it as anyone and being my best friend, is it a complete fool?
If you too have this and other questions, it is likely that you find interesting the post we bring today in REX Pet Food. To do this, we need to talk about canine intelligence.
Canine intelligence is a very controversial issue, given that there is not a universal concept of it. In fact, if we were in contact with different people, as a veterinarian or a dog trainer, or a person whose profession does not have anything to do with animals, each one would give a different definition. And that is because if it is difficult to get inside the mind of another person, imagine to get inside the mind of an animal!
The Spanish Royal Academy of Language defines intelligence as “the ability to understand or comprehend” and the “ability to solve problems.” That is, how we find a solution to a problem.
Throughout history, we tried to givedifferent nuances to differentiate between human and canine intelligence.
In Ancient Greece, the first person who talked about the issue and affirmed the existence of such intelligence was Aristotle. To differentiate canine and human intelligence he based his hypothesis on the idea that the only difference between them was the amount of intelligence that was available and not the quality of it.
In short, his thought concludes that dogs enjoy intelligence, which he defined as “not only the knowledge but also the skill to apply knowledge in practice”.
We are sure that after knowing this phrase of Aristotle, it shall come to your mind this question; how did I manage, after a series of repetitions, to make my dog do something or listen to me when before it did not listen?
Types of Dog Intelligence
It is not until 1994 that the specialists began to do rigorous studies, currently accepted, on dog intelligence. That is when the canine psychology professor Stanley Coren, started a study to measure canine intelligence, becoming the model in everything related to this discipline.
The result of the study concludes that these pets are intelligent and that we can differentiate three types of intelligence:
It is the dog’s ability to carry out the tasks for which it is raised, that is, what the animal knows at birth simply because of its genetic inheritance or instinct. It is innate to the nature of the animal, something that it has in its genes that is impossible to change. An example of this type of intelligence would be the hunting instinct of some races.
It is the ability of the can to solve problems and learn from new situations. In a more technical sense, it is the ability to recognize cause and effect. The dog shows the learning ability when, for example, it is able to deduce that if you wear the shoes, you take the leash and you call it, it is time to go out for a walk.
In addition within the adaptive intelligence and thanks to their ability to recognize and relate cause and effect, we can say that dogs can solve problems by themselves. As an example of this, we find this case: your dog sees you in a room through a glass,the most common thing is to look for the door to enter. If this happens, if the animal is able to find the door, it is because it has solved the problem of “I see my owner. I cannot get inside the room. How do I enter inside the room?”
Functional or obedience Intelligence
The two intelligences exposed are important and interact with each other, but the latter influences more the relationship between dogs and humans. The functional intelligence allows the dog to perform new behaviors that are not programmed in its genes at birth. And the development ofa greater predisposition to this intelligence depends on the dog, on the desire to please, on the motivation used for learning and on the self-satisfaction the dog feels afterdoing the task.
As you can see, the instinctive and adaptive intelligence are specific to each dog. But in the case ofthe functional intelligence, it is essential to know how to treat and educate the dog.
What are the most intelligentdogs?
If you have a dog, this is a mandatory question. Is my dog more or less intelligent than other dog? Indeed. The race is crucial to know how to train your dog.
If you are lazy, you would want to know what studies have been carried out to find out which dogs are easier to train.
The professor Coren, for the study on canine intelligence, focused on the effectiveness of learning through obedience tricks and human tasks that the dog must learn.
To establish a scale of intelligence, he counted how many repetitions of an exercise were necessary for the dog to reproduce it. Hence, the following list of the most intelligent dogs was developed by race: Border Collie, Poodle, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Doberman, Shetland Sheepdog, Labrador Retriever, Papillon, Rottwailler and Australian Cattle Dog.
Instead, in the same study, he noted races that need between 80 and 100 repetitions to learn an exercise, among them we find: the Beagle, the Pekingese, the Chow Chow and the Shihtzu. Coren highlights the great importance ofproper education from the very puppy stage, as this allows an improvement in personality and an increase in its functional intelligenceand in its obedience.
So you know, even if your dog belongs to one of these breeds of the “black list” with effort and perseverance your dog will obey.
All this shows that dogs are born with some inherent instincts that help them integrate into the family and society and, above all, that according to their genetics they will be more predisposed to one activity or another.
In short, all these studies conclude that dogsand humanshave very similar behavior. For something they are our best friends. Do not you think?
What do you think? Do you think that these studies are true or it is just a matter of education of the dog? We look forward to your feedback!