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  Mon Mar 05

Can You Teach a Dumb Dog New Tricks?

If your canine seems clueless, it may be that it has been bred to be more independent, or not so eager to please its owner, Yin says.

Training will require more patience and the right kind of motivation, whether it's praise, petting, or treats.

"For breeds, instincts make a difference, but for the basics - 'sit,' 'come,' 'down' - they'll all learn at the same rate. With good technique, the difference might be a month," she says.

Her Australian cattle dog, for example, stays at her side when they're out and loves a pat on the head. Her Jack Russell terrier, a high-energy breed that didn't make the smart list, has to be rewarded lickety-split with a treat or he'll lose interest in learning. A pat on the head just won't do it.

The beagle, a breed trained to work independently, probably needs more training time, Yin says. And the bulldog, which scored well below average on obedience tests, can learn quickly - as long as he doesn't feel pushed around or punished

The beagle and bulldog are among the dog breeds on the bottom of Coren's list. These dogs had to hear commands 80 to 100 times or more before they obeyed them 25% or less of the time. They include:

1. Shih Tzu 2. Bassett hound 3. Mastiff/Beagle (tied) 4. Pekingnese 5. Bloodhound 6. Borzoi 7. Chow Chow 8. Bulldog 9. Basenji 10. Afghan hound (least obedient)
Redenbach doesn't like categorizing dogs as smart or dumb; she says that's too simplistic. Like Yin, she says positive and consistent training will make a good dog.

"The number of intelligent dogs I have met has been on the increase over the years, because the better trainer I become, the smarter I see they are," Redenbach says.

   
  Wed Feb 07

Dogs Can Detect if someone has Cancer

Dogs can detect if someone has cancer

Dogs can detect if someone has cancer just by sniffing the person's breath, a new study shows.

Dogs can identify chemical traces in the range of parts per trillion. Previous studies have confirmed the ability of trained dogs to detect skin-cancer melanomas by sniffing skin lesions.

Also, some researchers hope to prove dogs can detect prostate cancer by smelling patients' urine.

Lung- and breast-cancer patients are known to exhale patterns of biochemical markers in their breath.

"Cancer cells emit different metabolic waste products than normal cells," Broffman said. "The differences between these metabolic products are so great that they can be detected by a dog's keen sense of smell, even in the early stages of disease."

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/01/0112_060112_dog_cancer.html

   
  Sun Feb 04

St. Bernard

While I was Researching The St. Bernard. I found this:

Barry der Menschenretter (1800–1814), also known as Barry, was a dog of a breed which was later called the St. Bernard that worked as a mountain rescue dog in Switzerland for the Great St Bernard Hospice. He predates the modern St. Bernard, and was lighter built than the modern breed. He has been described as the most famous St. Bernard, as he was credited with saving more than 40 lives during his lifetime.

The legend surrounding him was that he was killed while attempting a rescue; however, this is untrue. Barry retired to Bern, Switzerland and after his death his body was passed into the care of the Natural History Museum of Bern. His skin has been preserved through taxidermy although his skull was modified in 1923 to match the Saint Bernard of that time period. His story and name have been used in literary works, and a monument to him stands in the Cimetière des Chiens near Paris. At the hospice one dog has always been named Barry in his honor and since 2004 the Foundation Barry du Grand Saint Bernard has been set up to take over the responsibility for breeding dogs from the hospice.
TODAY:
St. Bernard dogs are no longer used for Alpine rescues, the last recorded instance of which was in 1955. As late as 2004, the Great St Bernard Hospice still maintained 18 of the dogs for reasons of tradition and sentiment. In that year the Barry Foundation created breeding kennels for the breed at the town of Martigny down the Pass, and purchased the remaining dogs from the Hospice.

The animals bred by the Foundation are trained to participate in a variety of dog sports including carting and weight pulling. The dogs at the Barry Foundation are reportedly smaller than the average St Bernard.

Temperament:
Known as a classic example of a Gentle Giant, the Saint Bernard is calm, patient and sweet with adults, and especially children. However St. Bernards, like all very large dogs, must be well socialized with people and other dogs in order to prevent fearfulness and any possible aggression or territoriality. The biggest threat to small children is being knocked over by this breed's larger size. Overall they are a sweet, gentle, calm, loyal and affectionate breed, and if socialized are very friendly. Because of its large adult size, it is essential that proper training and socialization begin while the St. Bernard is still a puppy, so as to avoid the difficulties that normally accompany training large dogs. An unruly St. Bernard may present problems for even a strong adult, so control needs to be asserted from the beginning of the dog's training. While generally not instinctively protective, a St. Bernard may bark at strangers, and their size makes them good deterrents against possible intruders

   
  Tue Jan 23

Blanket Chart

Horse blanket2: Here's how to choose the best blanket for your horse.

 

Horse blanket2: Choosing A Blanket for Your Horse

Here are 5 factors you must consider when choosing and using a blanket for your horse.

1. Fabric: Nylon is very strong and resilient and it doesn't hold stains, but it's very expensive. Polyester is lightweight, more affordable, and but it’s not as strong as nylon. A blend often gives you the best of both worlds.  The strength (and thus durability) of a blanket's outer layer is expressed in denier units  The higher the denier number, the stronger the material. It takes a 1,200-denier polyester to match the strength of only 840-denier nylon.

2. Linings: Polycotton, nylon, and fleece-like wicking material are the most common. Many people prefer a wicking liner because it's more breathable than the others, and breathable blankets are usually healthier and warmer for your horse.

3. Fit: Measure from the center of the chest at the point of the shoulder, around the shoulder, along the barrel following closely to the skin, continuing around the hip to the center of the tail.  The size of the blanket corresponds to the inches you just measured. For example, if your measurement comes out to 78 inches, then your horse wears a size 78.  A blanket measured this way allows four fingers at the chest and a few inches below the top of the tail.

4. Placement: Don’t make the legs straps too tight or else your horse’s hind legs will pull the blanket backwards and rub the chest. If they’re too loose, your horse can get its hind legs caught in them. It is safer criss-cross the straps for most horses.

5. Blanketing Your Horse: If your horse freaks when you try to pull the blanket over his head, you have two choices. The first is to unhook it entirely and place it gently over his back so he doesn’t freak out. Better: Work with a trainer to desensitize your horse to movements like this. It will make your horse braver, encourage him to trust your leadership, and make it immeasurably easier for the staff at your barn (or your friends) to blanket your horse for you.

   
  Mon Jan 15

Pleuropneumonia in Horses - shipping sickness

Over recent years, quite a number of valuable horses have developed acute infection within the lung and chest commonly referred to as 'travel sickness' or 'shipping disease'.
Horses that have raced or been subjected to strenuous exercise immediately prior to long distance travelling are particularly prone to developing pleuropneumonia, which if not recognised and treated early, is invariably debilitating and may be fatal.

 

Cause   Top Low grade viral infection, breathing contaminated air in poorly ventilated transports and the stress of travel appear to be the main underlying causes.
Travel stress includes:
  • noise
  • cramped spaces
  • high speed driving
  • swaying of trailers, and
  • inadequate rest stops.
    'Short tying' the head can lead to the spread of bacteria from the nose and mouth area into the deeper parts of the respiratory tract, predisposing the horse to travel sickness. The risk of travel sickness is increased if horses are unable to put their heads down to drain normal respiratory secretions.
    Travel sickness is also a problem in horses travelled by air over long distances. Studies have shown that general airborne contamination is highest at the rear of the aircraft and transports, and horses travelling at the rear are most likely to develop the condition.
    Transporting horses which are suffering from underlying viral disease, or are tired and dehydrated after racing or competition, increases the risk.
    Dusty feed and hay containing bacterial germs and moulds, and breathing in dust from roads, results in inhaled contamination, which overloads the lungs' defence system. Unfortunately, many modern 'streamlined' floats and horse transports are often poorly ventilated.
Symptoms   Top It is important to watch for and recognise the tell-tale signs early, especially during the few days following a long trip.
Horses with early pleuropneumonia:
  • become depressed
  • develop a fever
  • go off their feed, and
  • pant in shallow, rapid breaths.
    Early signs may be confused with colic, as horses resist moving, stand with the front legs apart, and paw the ground. As the condition worsens, the horse may turn to look at its painful chest.
    Immediate veterinary advice should be obtained. Unfortunately, once pleuropneumonia worsens, it is difficult to treat, and can result in death within 3-5 days.
Prevention   Top
  1. Always ensure that horses are cooled down, and given a drink before long distance travel. In very tired, dehydrated or stressed horses, long distance travel of over 12 hours duration should be delayed until they recover, preferably at least overnight.
  2. Ensure ventilation is sufficient to keep air flowing without causing chills. An adequate rate of air change is important in large transports carrying a number of horses over long distances.
  3. Provide dampened feed or pellets to reduce dust and airborne contamination. Lightly dampen hay, in particular, by wrapping a biscuit of hay in a wet chaff bag for 2-4 hours to reduce dust and other airborne contamination. This will increase palatability of hay and provide additional moisture during long trips. Locate feeders below chest bar height.
  4. Do not tie the head too short - give the horse as much space as possible to feel comfortable and be able to put its head down. Stallion dividers may be required to prevent horses squabbling during transport.
  5. Avoid transporting horses suffering from respiratory disease. If a horse has symptoms, do not transport it as it may infect others during the trip.
  6. Ensure the trailer is in good condition and level on the towbar. Drive steadily and smoothly. Keep the back flap down to reduce intake of swirling dust on dirt roads.
  7. Stop every 3-4 hours and open the trailer doors. If possible, unload and allow the horse(s) to walk around, or preferably graze or feed with the head down for at least 15-20 minutes. Provide access to drinking water at rest stops. A 60ml dose of Recharge over the tongue will replace electrolytes and stimulate drinking.
  8. If a horse has competed or raced hard, give it a day off after a long trip. Turning the horse into a grassy green paddock to graze with its head down for a few hours, or putting dampened feed in a bin at floor level, will encourage drainage of the respiratory system.
  9. After travelling a horse over a long distance, keep a careful watch for loss of appetite, depression, fever and obvious discomfort for the first few days. It is a good idea to monitor the horse's temperature morning and night for at least 3 days after long trips, and seek vet advice if the temperature is elevated (the normal body temperature of an adult horse is 36.5-38.5°C).
   
  Tue Nov 14

Calories Burned in Horse Activities

Whoever thinks horse riding and care isn't excercise never owned a horse! Between the shoveling and the grooming and the training, you're burning up a lot of calories-- for example, riding at a trot burns more calories than a brisk walk!


Horse Activities - Calories burned per hour:

ACTIVITY: For 130 lb person: For 155 lb person: For 190 lb person:
Shoveling 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
General Horse Riding: 236 cal/hr 281 cal/hr 345 cal/hr

Riding horse at the walk:
148 cal/hr 176 cal/hr 216 cal/hr
Riding horse at the trot: 384 cal/hr 457 cal/hr 561 cal/hr
Riding horse at a gallop: 472 cal/hr 563 cal/hr 690 cal/hr
Horse Grooming 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
Baling hay/cleaning barn: 472 cal/hr 563 cal/hr 690 cal/hr
Shoveling Grain 325 cal/hr 387 cal/hr 474 cal/hr
Fencing 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
Polo 472 cal/hr 563 cal/hr 690 cal/hr
Hiking, cross country (if your horse is hard to catch...) 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
Brisk walking 4 MPH 236 cal/hr 281 cal/hr 345 cal/hr
Walking, carrying 15 lb load: 207 cal/hr 246 cal/hr 302 cal/hr
   
  Sun Feb 04

This photo maybe disturbing but read this story. He was Amazing!!

This is a photo of Man o’ War in his coffin. At the time, he was the most famous Thoroughbred in history.  He died on November 1, 1947 at the age of 30 of an apparen...t heart attack. He was the first horse to be embalmed, and his casket was lined in his riding colors. Man o’ War’s funeral was broadcast internationally over the radio and over 2,000 people came to pay their final respects. Photo and information at: http://agraveinterest.blogspot.com/2011/05/devoted-pets-and-cemeteries-they_06.html?m=1 The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky is a twelve hundred acre working horse farm, with a world-class equestrian competition facility where over 15-thousand horses take part in various competitions each year.  This is also the resting place of the most famous Thoroughbred of the Twentieth Century - Man o’ War. He was born March 29, 1917 at the Kentucky Nursery Stud farm, owned by August Belmont, Jr.  One of almost 17-hundred Thoroughbreds foaled that year, he was named “My Man o’ War” by Mrs. Belmont in honor of her husband who would be going off to fight in France during World War One.  One year later, the high tempered yearling was sold at the Saratoga Sales in New York. Purchased by Pennsylvania horseman, Samuel Riddle for $5,000, trainers hoped that ‘Big Red” as he was called off the track, could be trained as a racehorse.  His instincts and intelligence made him a fast learner.  On June 6, 1919, Man o’ War won his first race, with Johnny Loftus as the jockey.  According to legend, at the completion of that first race a spectator asked a groom who Man o’ War was sired by.  The groom replied, “He’s by hisself and there ain’t nobody gonna’ get near him.” The groom’s words were prophetic.  Except for Man o’ War’s sixth race, which he lost to a horse named Upset, he won them all and went on to be named Horse of the Year for 1919 and 1920.  As a three-year-old, he was ridden by jockey Clarence Kummer.  He stood 16.2 hands high and had a stride of 28 feet! All told, Man o’ War won 20 out of 21 races in his career and nearly 250-thousand dollars in purses – the leading money winner of his time.  Kummer was the top money-winning jockey in the U.S. for 1920. Although he was extremely favored as a possible winner, Man o’ War was not entered in the Kentucky Derby because Sam Riddle didn’t like racing in Kentucky and believed it was too early in the year for the horse to run a mile and a quarter. Man o’ War did win the Preakness Stakes in Maryland, breaking a track record.  He also won the Belmont Stakes in New York, setting another record time.  All told, he broke 5 American racing records that year.  At the end of the racing season in 1920, Man o’ War was retired from racing. “Big Red” was taken to Faraway Farm near Lexington to become a stud horse. Groom/Trainer  Will Harbut was put in charge of him and a life-long friendship began between man and horse.  “Big Red” became one of the top-breeding stallions in the nation, siring over 60 champions, including Horses of the Year - Crusader and War Admiral. War Admiral won the Triple Crown in 1937.  Man o’ War was also the grandfather of American horse legend, Seabiscuit.  Harbut and “Big Red” became inseparable friends.  They led tours and entertained over one million visitors to Faraway Farm.  Harbut told engaging stories about Man o’ War and his life, on and off the track.  “Big Red” and Harbut graced the covers of several magazines during the 30’s and early 40’s.  Both enjoyed performing before the crowds, each seeming to instinctively understand what the other needed or wanted. Then on October 4, 1947, Will Harbut died of a heart attack.  In Harbut’s obituary he was listed as being survived by “his wife, six sons, three daughters and Man o’ War. It was rumored that Man o’ War grieved himself to death.  After Harbut’s death, the spark went out of the horse.  He died just 4 weeks later on November 1, 1947 at the age of 30 of an apparent heart attack.  He was the first horse to be embalmed, and his casket was lined in his riding colors.  Man o’ War’s funeral was broadcast internationally over the radio and over 2,000 people came to pay their final respects.  Thousands more sent their condolences.  The most famous Thoroughbred in the world had touched people deeply.   Owner Sam Riddle had commissioned artist Herbert Haseltine to sculpt a life-size bronze statue of Man o’ War in 1934. It was now placed on the horse’s grave at Faraway Farm. In 1977, Man o’ War, along with several of his offspring, were moved to the newly established Kentucky Horse Park and reburied at the Man o’ War Memorial.

   
   
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