Tag: Oliver

An insight into how breeds come about.

The background to breeds.

Funnily enough, Jeannie and I were speaking just recently about the creation of breeds, in particular because we were fascinated as to the breed origins of Oliver.

Oliver. Taken at home, 17th May, 2020.

Oliver’s eyes are to die for!

Well a recent article on the Treehugger blog threw some light on this.

I hope it is permissible to share it with you.

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Labradoodles Are More Poodle Than Lab

Study helps deepen understanding about how breeds are formed.
By
Published September 22, 2020

Australian Labradoodles aren’t officially recognized as a breed. Purple Collar Pet Photography / Getty Images

The Australian creator of the Labradoodle was trying to find the perfect guide dog for a blind woman whose husband was allergic to dog hair. He tried about a dozen poodles before breeding a poodle with a Labrador retriever. The resulting Australian Labradoodles became incredibly popular as a mix of two well-liked breeds.

But a new study finds that the breed that developed from that popular cross isn’t an even split of both breeds – it is primarily poodle.
Australian Labradoodles have been around for several decades and have been bred to each other and tinkered with since then. By contrast, many Labradoodles that are found in the U.S. are first-generation mixes of one Labrador and one poodle. These dogs were used as the control dogs in the study, researcher Elaine Ostrander, geneticist at the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health, tells Treehugger.

“We were interested in taking a genomic snapshot of a breed in the making—the Australian Labradoodle. The breed has only been around since the 1980s as opposed to the many breeds we see at the dog park which have been around since Victorian times and were created in Western Europe,” she says.

The Australian Labradoodle has gone through several generations, with careful and thoughtful addition of Labradors and poodles added, reflecting what breeders and owners want. We wanted to see if genomics could be used to tell what was happening to the genome of these dogs as they evolved into a breed.
The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), an international federation of many national kennel clubs, recognizes about 350 dog breeds. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes 195 breeds. The Labradoodle is not an official breed.

“We were also curious to see if the breed met the statistical definition of a breed. There are many measures in terms of genomic diversity and ability to ‘breed true’ that are taken into account when determining when a dog population is really a ‘breed’ at the genetic level,” Ostrander says.

Many of these breeds have been created through intense breeding programs focused on enhancing specific traits. When designer breeds are created, the genetic diversity is limited because there are a small number of animals being bred together. This often leads to a high incidence of disease and other problems.
Lots of Poodle DNA

For the study, researchers analyzed genetic data from Australian Labradoodles, Labrador retrievers, poodles, and a number of other breeds. The results were published in PLOS Genetics.

Ostrander says they were somewhat surprised at what they found.

“First, the Australian Labradoodle meets the definition of a breed at the statistical level. Those arguing for it to have breed status with various registries have a good argument,” she says. “What we didn’t expect was the degree to which today’s Australian Labradoodle has such a large component of its genome from the poodle. While the breed started as a 50-50 mix, it is clear that poodle traits are highly valued and many more poodles than Labradors have been added to the breed at strategic points.”

That’s likely because poodles have a reputation for being hypoallergenic, she points out, and elicit a lower allergic reaction than many other dog breeds in people with allergies or asthma.

“Owners buy Labradoodles for many reasons including their trainability, family friendly traits, and, importantly, they want a dog that won’t make them sneeze or otherwise respond,” she says. “Interestingly, the Labrador is very much present in every Australian Labradoodle we tested. Likely people are seeking the family-friendly traits of the Labrador and breeders work hard to retain that as well.”

Labradoodles weren’t the first doodle dogs and definitely are not the last. The first poodle mixes were likely Cockapoos because Cocker spaniels and poodles were two of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. in the 1940s. Today, you’ll find schnoodles (schnauzers), sheepadoodles (Old English sheepdog), and whoodles (soft-coated wheaten terrier). Poodles have been mixed with beagles, pugs, Australian shepherds, corgis, and even Saint Bernards.

The lore behind Australian Labradoodles is that English and American Cocker spaniels were mixed in with the breed early on.

“We did find some minor evidence for the addition of other breeds in some lineages of Australian Labradoodle. Likely this represents the historical relationship of those breeds with the poodle or Labrador more than anything else,” Ostrander says. “We did not see that in every lineage we looked at and where we did see it, the addition was very small and, likely, many generations ago.”

The findings are helpful, the researchers point out, because it shows how quickly genetics can be changed by thoughtful breeding.

“Imagine a breed has a significant risk for a disease. Careful breeding can reduce the incidence of those deleterious variants in just a few generations,” Ostrander says. “This is incredibly important to breeders who have taken very seriously the criticism they have received over the years regarding how established breeds are less healthy than mixes. We all want our dogs to be healthy, regardless of what breed they are.”

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This deserves a very careful read and, to those really interested in the subject, perhaps this will serve as an incentive to do more research. There are links in the article to the FCI and AKC.

And I will finish with the closing statement by Elaine Ostrander: “We all want our dogs to be healthy, regardless of what breed they are.

Saturday Snooze!

This is an older post that for some reason wasn’t published until now!

Apparently dogs can teach us to sleep better!

If you can hear a note of skepticism in my voice then you are not mistaken.

For I am writing this post during the afternoon of Tuesday last. Jeannie and I were going out to dinner with neighbours in the evening and I was wondering if I could squeeze in a siesta fairly soon. Why?

Well last night [Ed. Back in 2017] (as in early on Tuesday morning), at 3am to be exact, a wet nose belonging to a German Shepherd, namely Cleo, was gently pushed into my face. Even in the dark I could sense that Cleo had an upset tummy. I quickly got up and opened our bedroom door; the one that opens onto the deck behind our house.

Five minutes later Cleo was back in the room and a few minutes more saw me back asleep.

At 4am on that same early Tuesday morning I received the second greeting of the day from a wet nose. This time it was Oliver and, yes, he too had an upset tummy. Oliver is not so self-disciplined as Cleo and I had to put on my dressing-gown and take Oliver outside via the front door.

Do you understand why I was so tired that afternoon!

But according to a recent article over on the Care2 site dogs can help us sleep.

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Your Dog Can Help You Sleep Better if You Follow These Simple Tips

By: Paula Jones   September 18, 2017

About Paula   Follow Paula at @PaulaDJWrites

We all know that dogs are the best of friends. They’re more than happy to greet you with excitement when you get home from work, and they’re thrilled to go on adventures with you, too. But dogs are more than just friends. They’re good for your health—in more ways than one.

First, good dog owners know that exercise is the name of the game. If you live on a small property or in an apartment, then it’s necessary to walk your dog regularly. And at the bare minimum, you most likely play tug-o-war inside or wrestle on the floor together. Your dog needs the exercise to stay happy and healthy—and so do you.

Second, your pup doesn’t just keep you active but she lowers your blood pressure. It’s hard to measure if you’ve never been one with blood pressure issues. But if you’re hypertensive, then maybe getting a dog isn’t such a bad idea.

Beyond keeping you active and your heart healthy, science shows that dogs help you sleep better. And sleep, as we know, is a huge part of being healthy. In a recent study of 40 healthy adults without sleeping disorders, scientists discovered that dogs aided in better sleep efficiency. That means you get more out of your sleep time with a fun-loving pet at your side.

And let’s not get this confused with sleeping with your dog in your bed. The same study indicated that people who let their pets sleep on the bed actually had worse sleep, not better. Which makes sense, right? If your pup continually crowds you out of the little space you have, you’re bound to be tirelessly stopping yourself from falling off the bed all night long. Not to mention if the dog needs to be let down for water or to use the bathroom. Your best bet for better sleep is to leave your pooch on the floor.

How to have the best night of sleep ever with your dog

As any dog owner knows, it’s not fun getting up the middle of the night to open doors, fill water bowls or take the dog out to pee. If you want to ensure that you’ll reap all the benefits of better sleep, then try these tips right before bed.

  1. Prepare your dog for bed: Welcome the dog into the room, snuggle for a bit on the bed or floor, and then place your pup on the floor in his bed.
  2. Open a door: Your pup might get restless at night, or scared. Leave a door open for the pup to roam or hide. Unless, of course, your pup can’t handle the freedom of nighttime roaming.
  3. Fill the water bowl: Be sure to always have fresh water nearby. It’s an easy and simple fix when you know your pup likes to get up for a midnight drink.
  4. Create space to borrow: Some dogs like to hide under the bed, in the closet beneath clothes or in the bathroom. The dog might be scared of thunder or lightning or simply find it cozier than out in the open. Ensure your dog’s comfort by keeping these options open.
  5. Don’t forget the dog: Bedtime is often a haze. You’re tired and just want to sleep. Before rushing off to sleep, make sure your dog hasn’t been left outside on the patio or in the backyard.
  6. Does Rocko eat dinner?: Make sure your dog eats a regularly scheduled meal in the evening.
  7. Unexpected events: There are some things you just can’t plan for, like vomiting or diarrhea. Dogs eat strange things when you’re not looking. Respond as compassionately as possible.

Dogs can help you sleep better by making you feel more safe and secure. But if you don’t prepare you and your loyal friend for a good night sleep, then you’ll find yourself waking up in the middle of the night—more than once. Get the most out of your sleep by being prepared, and remember to put your dog on the ground not on the bed for the best night’s sleep possible.

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Now I’m bound to say that since that night in September, 2017 we have not had a problem with our six dogs. I can’t remember  since then one of our dogs having an upset tummy that kept us awake.

But I’m sure that there are dog owners who from time to time do have this problem and I hope you find this post useful and interesting, albeit three years late!

Friendships!

Some dogs make incredible friendships!

Having six dogs here at home we are used to many of them making extra-special relationships.

It’s often the dogs that are extremely different, and I thinking of size here, that form the closest bonds.

More of that later.

But the reason I refer to our dogs here is to endorse in spades what is covered in this article from The Dodo.

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Shelter Dog Separated From His Best Friend Won’t Stop Calling For Him

“Rocky makes him happy.”
By Lily Feinn
Published on 9/18/2020

At Miami Dade animal services, a dog named Schwabo cried for days in his kennel. He missed his family, and most importantly, his best friend Rocky.

The lonely howls pulled at the heartstrings of shelter volunteer Jani Bradford, who watched him stare out the glass divider searching for his friend.

Facebook/Jani Bradford

9-year-old Schwabo and 11-year-old Rocky had spent their lives together until their owner surrendered them due to landlord issues. Without Rocky, Schwabo seemed lost and refused to eat.

“He grew up looking up to Rocky and now, even though he’s older, Rocky is like his big brother,” Bradford said. “He’s very, very attached to Rocky.”

When Schwabo and Rocky first arrived at the shelter, Rocky was placed on the adoption floor while Shwabo, who was limping due to arthritis, was sent to the back for observation. Rocky quickly received an application, but the potential adopter never showed up, so the two dogs were reunited — and Schwabo couldn’t have been happier.

“Schwabo was a different dog from the moment he saw Rocky,” Bradford said.

FACEBOOK/JANI BRADFORD

Though the two are bonded, they couldn’t be more different. “Rocky’s older but he acts like a puppy. He loves playing with the ball, he can play all day long,” Bradford said. “Schwabo acts a little older … He’s very calm, very low maintenance.”

While Rocky likes to live a more active lifestyle, Schwabo just wants to hang out and watch his best friend play.

“Schwabo doesn’t do much — he lays in his bed and loves watching Rocky doing all his goofy stuff,” Bradford said. “Schwabo needs Rocky. He just loves being around him, watching him play all day. Rocky makes him happy.”

FACEBOOK/JANI BRADFORD

Thankfully, the two dogs will never need to worry about being separated again.

FACEBOOK/JANI BRADFORD

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All I can say is well done Jani!

This is a very beautiful story.

And to come back to our own experiences here at home, here is a picture of Oliver (LHS) and Pedi.

Pedi is wonderful at forming very close bonds with all our larger dogs. That is Brandy and Cleo as well as Oliver above.

From Wolf to Dog.

A very interesting article in Scientific American magazine!

A single page article in this month’s Scientific American magazine is fascinating. The sub-heading is: “An amicable disposition also governed the course of evolution for an animal that turned into a favorite pet.

A little later on in the article one reads:

When our research group began its work almost 20 years ago, we discovered that dogs also have extraordinary intelligence: they can read our gestures better that any other species, even bonobos and chimpanzees. Wolves, in contrast, are mysterious and unpredictable. Their home is the wilderness, and that wilderness is shrinking.

The article was written by Prof. Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods and is part of a much longer piece on Homo sapiens.

In fact tomorrow I shall republish a post I wrote in 2015 about the origins of the dog!

Sheena getting to know Oliver.

Sheena is here to stay!

“The easiest introduction ever!”

Those were Jeannie’s words not mine. When you consider the number of dogs that Jean has introduced into her pack, especially down in Mexico, that is quite a statement!

Very soon after Renate coming round to our place at 10 am yesterday morning Sheena came into the house. I tried to take a few photographs in those early moments. They are not the best I have taken!

Sheena within minutes goes to her bed.

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Little Pedi watching Sheena!

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Sheena getting to know Oliver.

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Now we have yet to go a full day (as this is being written on Friday for publication at midnight PDT tonight). But Jean and I have a good feeling about Sheena.

Picture Parade Three Hundred and Thirty-Nine

Just a few from me!

All taken either from here at home or from a short ride away in the car.

A walk above the creek! 10th May, 2020.

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Rain here at home. 17th May, 2020

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Water iris in our pond. 17th May, 2020

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Mount Sexton behind cloud. Taken here at home. 19th May, 2020.

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Oliver. Taken at home, 17th May, 2020.

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A local scene. 19th May, 2020 taken at 09:00.

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Mount Sexton at 5am on the 27th May. Taken from the deck here at home.

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Taken on the 27th May at 09:30, again from our rear deck. The cirrus clouds were fascinating.

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A new leaf. Taken from home at 09:30 on the 27th May.

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I looked up and saw this bird right by me. 27th May, 2020. We think it is a Junco.

Hope you enjoyed them.

No particular theme just a bit of fun!

Yoga time!

A Chihuahua follows his owner perfectly!

This is a dear YouTube that is just over a minute and a half long. It was sent to me by Bob.

It shows a chihuahua copying a human perfectly. I don’t think the video is a fake.

It reminds me of our Oliver who is the best of our six dogs when it comes to observing us and copying certain actions. Mind you, Oliver is not the only one of our six dogs to copy us but he is the best.

As the person who posted the video wrote: “Here is the dog doing yoga with his owner Nic. Such a special connection that he’s able to perfectly repeat his moves.” That’s Nic Bello.

Enjoy!