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Cats v Dogs: Which is Best? Print E-mail
Friday, 05 February 2016 13:42

This television programme deserves a prize: for stupidest title.  Best at what?  Best at climbing trees?  Best at tricks?  Shame on BBC2 for dumbing down what could have been an interesting programme showing how the different species have evolved over the years to develop different behaviours.  If you can stand the silly presenters, it is interspersed with some interesting facts and research.  For example, the huge number of receptors in a dog's nose that allowed the Pointer to air-scent presenter Packham simply by his dead skin was fascinating.  But trying to "discover" which is the more intelligent is a classic example of lack of human intelligence!  Intelligence is a multi faceted topic: some cats would score higher than dogs on certain aspects, while there is huge variation within the dog population. 

Pub training Print E-mail
Friday, 29 January 2016 14:39

Here in Suffolk we are incredibly lucky in that most pubs are very dog friendly.  But I worry that an irresponsible minority may spoil it for the majority.  Today we were in a well known local pub with a two year old English setter who happily and quietly lay under the table, emerging only to take the barman's offering of biscuits.  Then a couple came in with two dogs and to our amazement put marrow bones and bowls of very smelly tinned foods down on the floor.  (Never seen this before - and hope never to see it again).  But worse was to come: a group of friends entered with an assortment of dogs, one of which kept on barking.  Every time it did so, its owner told it to shush - so, of course, it barked again.  Great way of getting attention!  The other dogs were all pulling and leaping around and then one escaped and its owner asked the barman if he minded it running loose.  He might not - but a dogless couple in the corner trying to enjoy their lunch clearly did and they beat a hasty retreat.  Owners need to remember that not everyone likes dogs and that they should ensure their dogs sit quietly under the table, bothering nobody.  If not, we may find more pubs closing their doors to our four legged friends.

Home alone Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 January 2016 14:28

Vets advise that dogs are left home alone for no more than four hours at a time. But recent research shows that more than two million dogs in this country are regularly left for five or more hours.  Most of us admit to occasionally leaving our dog for more than four hours but not routinely.  Dogs are naturally social animals and to spend so much of their time in isolation can result in depression and anxiety and unwelcome behaviours such as chewing, digging, barking and defecating.  If you have to regularly leave your dog for so long, then you should consider options such as a dog walker/sitter or day care - or not have a dog at all.

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