The Week: Most Recent Animals:Dogs recent posts.en-usTue, 12 Feb 2013 13:50:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Animals:Dogs from THE WEEKTue, 12 Feb 2013 13:50:00 -0500Behind the scenes at the 137th Westminster Kennel Club dog show<img src="" /></P><p >It takes a lot of hard work to look this good. And with more than&nbsp;2,700 dogs competing in the 137th annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York City this week, the pressure is on for both the hounds and the handlers. Canines representing 187 breeds &mdash;including two new breeds, the Russell Terrier and the Treening Walker Coonhound &mdash; will compete for the coveted title of Best in Show. (Our money is on the Standard Poodle). And in pursuit of the top prize, handlers work hard to make sure their pride and joy is primped to perfection. Take a peek behind the scenes at this year...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/elena-scotti" ><span class="byline">Elena Scotti</span></a> and <a href="/author/lauren-hansen" ><span class="byline">Lauren Hansen</span></a>Tue, 12 Feb 2013 13:50:00 -0500How wolves evolved into man's best friend<img src="" /></P><p>Implausible as it may seem, your harmless little maltipoo puppy descended from a fearsome line of bloodthirsty wolves. And thanks to a new discovery, scientists now have a better idea of how exactly that happened.</p><p>Comparing dog and wolf DNA, new research published in <em>Nature</em> suggests that dogs possess an evolved set of genes that help them more effectively break down carbs and starches than their ferocious, wild ancestors. It's why our cuddly pals are more likely to go for a dog biscuit than, well, our throats.&nbsp;</p><p>Combing through the genomes of 60 domestic breeds &mdash; including golden retrievers...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Thu, 24 Jan 2013 11:20:00 -0500The phenomenon of grieving dogs: The ultimate loyalty [Updated]<img src="" /></P><p>In the face of disaster, danger, and death, some dogs live up to their reputations as man's best friend with heartwrenching acts of loyalty. Ciccio, a 12-year-old German shepherd, proves how faithful he is on a daily basis, heading to his nearby church in Italy when the bells begin to ring each afternoon, just as he did with his owner when she was alive. "Dogs go through grief, just as we do," said Sarah Wilson, an animal behavior expert, in <em>People</em>. "It's all a part of being attached and loved." Here, 12 dogs whose courageous and loyal actions say more than words:</p><p><strong>1.</strong>&nbsp;<strong>Ciccio: Truly devoted...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/lauren-hansen" ><span class="byline">Lauren Hansen</span></a>Thu, 17 Jan 2013 17:40:00 -0500The 9 most newsworthy dogs of 2012<img src="" /></P><p>If you're reading this, then you're probably aware: Dogs rule. This year, a handful of canines rose above the rest, making headlines for their actions &mdash; whether facing imminent danger to save lives, enduring unimaginable physical hardships, or simply making us laugh. A look at nine of the year's most newsworthy pups:&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. Chicago's comfort dogs<br /></strong>After the unimaginable events that befell Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14 that left 27 people, including 20 children, dead at the hands of suspected gunman Adam Lanza, a team of golden retrievers was deployed from Chicago to the picturesque town. About...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/lauren-hansen" ><span class="byline">Lauren Hansen</span></a>Sun, 30 Dec 2012 16:43:00 -0500The world's first driving school... for dogs<img src="" /></P><p ><iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p><p >They provide companionship, help law enforcement sniff out bombs and drugs, assist disabled people in their daily lives &mdash; so why not teach dogs to drive, too? At what appears to be the world's first driving school for canines, the New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has been training rescue dogs to operate vehicles. The goal of the experiment is to demonstrate how intelligent dogs can be, says Bill Hayton at the <em>BBC</em>, in order to get more people to adopt orphaned pups. In the video above, Monty, a giant schnauzer mix who was given up by his owners six months ago...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/frances-r-catanio" ><span class="byline">Frances R. Catanio</span></a>Thu, 06 Dec 2012 08:00:00 -0500Dog panties, dog pedometers, and 7 more unnecessary pet accessories [Updated]<img src="" /></P><p>Somehow the pet industry manages to sell&nbsp;$55 billion&nbsp;a year worth of products, despite the fact that it shills things like&nbsp;dog panties. The specialized short shorts &mdash; which come in&nbsp;cummerbund, panty, and thong&nbsp;styles &mdash; claim to help protect homes from the young and the incontinent, prevent unwanted pregnancies, and, of course, project a sassy sensibility. A look at eight more frivolous pet products:</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 29 Nov 2012 12:17:00 -0500The Massachusetts dog who won a restraining order against its owner's violent boyfriend<img src="" /></P><p>Panzer won't have to fear his owner's allegedly violent boyfriend anymore, now that the 6-year-old Labrador mix is protected under a restraining order. A judge has granted the dog &mdash; along with a human mother and her child &mdash; protection based on a new law in Massachusetts that considers the welfare of animals in homes where domestic violence has taken place. Panzer is the first dog in the state to benefit from the legislation, and is currently in foster care as his owner, a 38-year-old mother, and her son are temporarily living in a shelter. Here's what you should know:</p><p><strong>What exactly...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/frances-r-catanio" ><span class="byline">Frances R. Catanio</span></a>Thu, 29 Nov 2012 08:38:00 -0500Devocalization: The controversial act of removing dogs' vocal chords<img src="" /></P><p>Anyone who's ever owned a particularly chatty dog, or lived in the same building as one, knows that incessant barking can be a nuisance. While most owners take it upon themselves to teach their dogs good barking etiquette, others are taking a short cut &mdash; literally. Surgically removing an animal's vocal chords, a controversial procedure that's been around for decades, is under fire again, as one dog owner, horrified by the results, is petitioning the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA) to outlaw the practice. Here, a guide to the uproar:&nbsp;</p><p class="p1"><strong>What exactly is "devocalization"?...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 14 Nov 2012 15:44:00 -0500Does looking at pictures of puppies improve concentration?<img src="" /></P><p>Is Monday malaise leaving you sluggish at work? Try looking at photos of baby animals, furtively if necessary. According to a new study out of Japan, so-called cute photos &mdash; sleeping kittens, chubby babies, frolicking puppies &mdash; may actually increase one's productivity levels. Here's a quick guide to the aww-inducing news:</p><p><strong>Wait, a study about cute photos?</strong><br />Yes, a team of scientists from Hiroshima University wanted to revisit and improve on a previous experiment which found that people who looked at cute images behaved more carefully &mdash; an ingrained response that has to do with an...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 01 Oct 2012 12:22:00 -0400America's first pet-obesity clinic: A guide<img src="" /></P><p>American men, women, and children aren't the only ones losing the battle of the bulge. Studies suggest that many of our dogs and cats are obese, too. How are we to confront the rising problem of pet obesity? With a pet obesity clinic, of course. Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Massachusetts has opened the nation's first weight-loss center catering exclusively animals. Will a pet obesity clinic really help our chubby pets? Here, a brief guide:<br /><br /><strong>How overweight are U.S. pets?</strong><br />They're even fatter than we are. Studies show that up to 60 percent of the dogs and cats in the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 12 Sep 2012 07:20:00 -04008 ways dogs improve your health<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">A dog is man's best friend in the most ordinary situations, but it's when you're down and out that your canine partner really comes through in the clutch. From easing military veterans' battles with post-traumatic stress disorder to reducing heart and lung pressure for heart-failure patients, the tail-wagging beasts are walking therapy centers. They're also great motivators to get you off the couch and exercise, and can even improve infant immune systems. Here, eight ways dogs improve our health:</p><p class="p1"><strong>1. Lessen the side effects of chemotherapy</strong> <br />Once a week for the past seven years, Veronica Pardo, a...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 22 Aug 2012 08:39:00 -0400How the internet saved a dog stranded at 14,000 feet<img src="" /></P><p>The internet came to the rescue yet again last week, when a group of hikers used an online message board to organize the rescue of a wounded dog stranded high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Official rescue teams can't devote limited resources to saving pets, so the freelance mountaineers had to do it all on their own. How did they pull off this harrowing and heartwarming feat? Here, a brief guide:<br /><br /><strong>How did they discover the desperate pooch?</strong><br />Two hikers, Scott and Amanda Washburn, stumbled across the dog, a German Shepherd, whimpering and tucked into rocks along a trail near the top of Mount Bierstadt...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 20 Aug 2012 08:02:00 -0400Are babies who live with dogs healthier?<img src="" /></P><p>Some parents worry about keeping a pooch in the house when they bring home a new bundle of joy, concerned that the pet could be harmful to the infant's health, or that a jealous dog could become aggressive. But according to a new study published this week in the journal&nbsp;<em>Pediatrics</em>,&nbsp;dogs actually make babies <em>healthier</em>. The report&nbsp;presents strong evidence that babies living in households with dogs, and to a lesser degree, cats, are actually better off than kids living in pet-free homes. Here's what you should know:&nbsp;</p><p><strong>How did researchers conduct this study?<br /></strong>The authors tracked the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 10 Jul 2012 12:59:00 -0400Pupcakes and 7 other people foods transformed into dog treats<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">"If you have ever been the guilty recipient of puppy-dog eyes when refusing to share a slice of cake with your dog,"&nbsp;says Martha De Lacey at Britain's&nbsp;<em>The Daily Mail</em>,&nbsp;"now there is a solution to the problem: Pupcakes."&nbsp;A baker in England has whisked together dog-friendly ingredients like gluten-free flour to create these cupcakes &mdash; which are topped with a doggy treat. Here, a pictorial guide to seven other people foods made for dogs:</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 21 Jun 2012 15:50:00 -0400San Francisco's puppy-power plan to remove panhandlers from the streets<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">"When it comes to tackling San Francisco's entrenched panhandling problem, City Hall has tried just about everything," says Heather Knight at <em>The San Francisco Chronicle</em>. "But it's never tried puppies &mdash; until now." On Aug. 1, the city is scheduled to launch a new program, Wonderful Opportunities for Occupants and Fidos (aka WOOF), that will pay panhandlers to take care of abandoned dogs as long as they pack up their cardboard signs and stop begging on the streets. Bevan Dufty, the city's homelessness czar, says it's a "win-win for the panhandlers and the puppies &mdash; even if it may prompt...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 15 Jun 2012 07:48:00 -0400Why childless Japanese are choosing pets over parenthood<img src="" /></P><p>As Japan's birth rate plummets, its pet population is exploding. With fewer children to dote on, many Japanese couples and single adults are lavishing attention on their animals, pampering them with everything from spa treatments to Chanel attire, and sparking a boom for the pet industry. Why has Japan suddenly become a "pet superpower"? Here, a brief guide:</p><p><strong>Why do so many Japanese obsess over pets?</strong><br />The country's birth rate has slumped to a perilously low 1.39 children per woman (America's birth rate was 1.93 children per woman as of 2010). If the trend holds, the government estimates that the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 11 Jun 2012 13:10:00 -0400