Clicks for Pet Tricks

pet clickerAnimals can learn tricks that will amaze humans. Using a clicker, people can teach “pocket pets” to do the tricks.

Clicker training involves marking a desired behavior with a sound – made by pressing down on the clicker and then rewarding the animal with a favorite treat, toy, or praise. Pets learn quickly that the sound of the clicker means they’ve done something you like and that a reward is forthcoming.

Source: Pet Connection: Clicks can make your pets do tricks

Authors Strengthen Bond Between Pet and Pet Owner

dogNicole Nicassio-Hiskey, senior keeper of marine life at the Oregon Zoo, and Cinthia Mitchell, owner of Doggone Fun! Doggy Daycare Center in Tualatin, are two animal trainers who have written a book about pet enrichment. They aim to help pets and pet owners be happier at home.

The book offers “enrichment prescriptions” wherein there are 108 simple, and inexpensive techniques people can do at home (along with their pets) to redirect problematic behavior into appropriate outlets. The authors’ goal is to reduce pet owners’ behaviors into giving their pet up to shelters and, ultimately, strengthen the bond between pet and owner.

Source: Pet Talk: Enrichment is invaluable for pets of all species

Small Dogs, Big Role

small dogA large number of small dogs are getting the bigger role as they train to become police dogs in Japan. When people think about police dogs, they tend to think about tall, muscular breeds like German Shepherds and Dobermans. Now, even chihuahuas can take on the spotlight in sniffing out crime.

The toy dogs have been taken on as “contract police dogs” and have even proven themselves to be popular to be included in a picture book. These contract dogs are trained in private training facilities unlike official police dogs. Owners can let their dogs stay in the facility for further training for 50,000 Yen per month.

Currently, the number of large police dogs in Japan are going down and the opposite can be said for smaller dogs.

Source: Police offer bigger role for smaller dogs

Scientists Unveil Cats’ Road to Domestication

catScientists that have been excavating a Stone Age village in China have recently recovered an old, rare, and very valuable snapshot of cats in the early stages of domestication. The illustration is the first evidence that shows us the processes in which our feline friends first learned how to live with humans.

According to the evidence, all domestic cats can be traced back to the Near Eastern wild cat. A wild cat was deliberately buried next to a human of high-status around 9,500 years ago on the island of Cyprus. This suggests that even at that time, humans had special feelings for cats even then.

Further evidence has risen when cat bones from Quanhucan, a farming village in Central China, dated more than 5,000 years old. This suggests that the village used to be a heaven for hungry cats.

Scientists are interested in finding more about the cat’s first chapters with humans.

Source: Cat domestication may date back more than 5,000 years

Dog Trains Itself to Let Best Friend Inside the House

dogInky and Scooby, two dogs who are known to be very close to each other, hate to be apart from one another. Inky, the younger of the two dogs, has trained himself to open the door whenever he sees his best friend outside.

The dog outside the house has been heard to be whimpering. Upon entering the house, the two dogs are ecstatic to be reunited with each other.

2-man Team Rides Bike Across The Country

bicycle dogMike Minnick and Bixby, a man and his pet dog, are on a mission to ride across the country on a bike, reports Ann Wood of Wicked Local.

Along the way, the duo gets a chance to meet people who are supportive of the journey they are taking. Since Bixby was a puppy, he always enjoyed the outdoors. During their long rides, the 2-man team encountered many obstacles such as hills. Not taking any chances, the duo usually gets off the bike and will walk part of the way instead.

The journey was conceptualized when Mike met two brothers who were riding their bikes from coast-to-coast while he was a bartender. The man claims that the trip has given him a new perspective on life.

Source: Man & dog cycle the coast & stop in Provincetown

Are Pets Reflections Of Their Owners?

dogResearch from Newcastle University suggests that dogs that are showing signs of depression, anger or aggression may be an indicator that the owner is going through some tough times, as mentioned in an article on Independent.ie.

The study aims to prove that the emotional well-being of a pet may also be a reflection of the owner. This is because the pair naturally spends a lot of time with each other on a regular basis. Therefore, their physical and mental state directly affects each other’s mood and health.

Source: Dog’s mood may show owner needs aid

Man And Parrot Duo Inspires People

parrotHerb and Barney, a man and his pet parrot, do their rounds on a bike to bring joy into people’s lives. Herb constructed a cage for his pet, which is attached to his bicycle.

The man states that birds are naturally sociable and need to be stimulated. During the duo’s riding sessions, Barney gets to observe and explore its environment. The people that they encounter often react in a positive manner and openly approach the team.

Individuals who are stressed out from their daily routine may appreciate spending a few minutes with the parrot, as a way to take their mind off the current situation. The duo has clocked in over 2,700 miles in bike rides.

Source: All this parrot has to say is ‘Thanks for the ride’

The Health Advantages Of Owning A Cat

CatOwning a cat can be advantageous to an individual who suffers from health problems. Safe Haven for Cats, a no-kill animal facility, caters specifically to felines and is run by volunteers.

The calm purring sound a cat makes has been linked to lower blood pressure and faster healing in patients with fractures. For children, the responsibility of taking care of a pet can help them become more reliable and mature around the home.

Professionals in the financial industry who are diagnosed with hypertension and own a feline are less stressed compared to others who do not own a pet. Senior citizens can benefit from the presence of a cat by having a steady companion, which can prevent anxiety and depression.

Service Dogs On The Golf Course

Golfer and dogRick Kaplan, a retired jeweler, enjoys two things, golf and training rescue dogs to become service dogs. Besides basic obedience skills, the man also teaches canines a thing or two about golf manners, reports Alan Blondin of Myrtle Beach Online.

Perspective service dogs that are in training are taught how to be around golf carts and pick up items such as balls, tees and clubs. Furthermore, Rick makes sure that the animals remain quiet around other players on the course. This skill set can be advantageous for war veterans who enjoy playing golf and also need the help of a service pet.

James Miller, a war veteran who suffers from PTSD and receiver of one of the dogs from Rick’s charity (Canine Angels), mentioned that his lifestyle has changed for the better.

Training a canine to become a service pet can be costly and time-consuming. As a result, Rick relies on a group of volunteers and generous donations to keep the charity operational.

Source: Dogs’ training helps make golf easier, more enjoyable for veterans