The History of the dog, Questions

Dogs can smell hormone changes in the body which is one of the ways they are able to sense how a person is feeling.

Dogs can sense emotion from your body language, this is your posture, your gait (if youare rushing or if you are calm and walking slowly.) Canines can normally tell when someone is fearful of them because people often stare and many dogs misinterpret this as threating behaviour, this raises the question of whether dogs can actually smell fear or whether they can read the body language of fear. I believe dogs can smell fear to some extent but other, environmental factors have to be taken into account.

Happy Wagging, Freya xx

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A day in the life
The Importance of Canine Communication

Dogs, Mans best friend? Dogs are one of the most social pack creatures on earth, from day one they start to learn about communication but why is this important for dogs to know how to communicate with humans and their canine companions?

It is important for canines to communicate and socialise because dogs thatdon’t learn to interact with other dogs and humans may become fearful which maylead to aggression. “Dogs have a truly universal language that can be incredibly subtle and wide ranging… However this is a language that needs to be practised for our dogs to be fluent.” –Stan Rawlinson (The Dog Listener). Thisis because canines are social animals so if they do not learn to socialise this could lead to behaviour problems and issues with other dogs. It is also important that dogs also learn to communicate well with people potentially this could be through vocalisation and body language.

Dogs mainly communicate to other dogs though their body language, this is a variety of things like eye contact and posture but submission and dominance is also a main factor in how dogs communicate. Dogs that do not communicate well can find it difficult to interact well with other dogs because they do not understand how domination works and a fearful dog can come across as a dog trying to be dominant, this is very common in dogs with black faces or fluffy dogs because their eyes can’t be see very well, and eye contact plays a large role when it comes to dog-dog communication and canines reading and understanding facial expression, another feature of body language.Similarly to dog’s eye contact human to dog eye contact can be misinterpreted when a person is fearful of dogs because humans will often stare if they are afraid and some dogs could take this as form of defence. In addition eyecontact is important in dog to human communication because, many studies have provided substantial evidence that dogs may be able to understand peoples facial expressions but arecent study by Current Biology Journal (February 2015) is said to be one ofthe first to show solid proof that dogs can tell the difference in emotion. “Ourstudy demonstrates that dogs can distinguish angry and happy expressions inhumans, they can tell that these two expressions have different meanings… even for faces they have never seen before,”- Dr Ludwig Huber (study Co-author).Vocalisation is an important part of canine communication especially when dogsare trying to communicate with people, many breeds were bred to guard and protect humans and property and were trained to bark as an alarm or as a danger call much like why wolves howls. However dogs very rarely back as a form ofcommunication when they meet other dogs unless it is to warn them off orgrowling. Trying to get dogs to understand you as an owner is importantteaching dogs how people interact is vital when your dog is mixing with otherpeople. Also dogs will whine, and yap for attention, however they will rarely do this when with other dogs apart from odd playing noises. All of these factors explain how canine communication is important when dogs are learning to communicate with people and other dogs.

Happy Wagging, Freya xx



A day in the life
Dealing with the loss of your four-legged friend.

The loss of a dog can be devastating, whatever the reason for it, because of the strong bond that we share with them through out there life no matter how short. But how do you cope once they are gone especially if there aren't any other dogs in the picture to share your grief with and give you a reason to smile again.

Don't feel guilt, and understand that its normal to feel sad, lonely and understand grief is something that cant be pushed you need time to deal with this loss as they are more than 'just a dog' it can be extremely difficult when others devalue your loss because they don't understand. the main thing is to find support and sometimes this doesn't always come from friends and family but outside your social circle.

When a dog or any other pet dies, the whole family is effect and because children become so attached to animals and for some they have been there for their entire life.

"Tips for a helping a child cope with the loss of a pet

  • Let your child see you express your own grief at the loss of the pet. If you don’t experience the same sense of loss as your child, respect their grief and let them express their feelings openly, without making them feel ashamed or guilty. Children should feel proud that they have so much compassion and care deeply about their animal companions.
  • Reassure your child that they weren’t responsible for the pet’s death. The death of a pet can raise a lot of questions and fears in a child. You may need to reassure your child that you, their parents, are not also likely to die. It’s important to talk about all their feelings and concerns.
  • Involve your child in the dying process. If you’ve chosen euthanasia for your pet, be honest with your child. Explain why the choice is necessary and give the child chance to spend some special time with the pet and say goodbye in his or her own way.
  • If possible, give the child an opportunity to create a memento of the pet. This could be a special photograph, or a plaster cast of the animal’s paw print, for example.
  • Allow the child to be involved in any memorial service, if they desire. Holding a funeral or creating a memorial for the pet can help your child express their feelings openly and help process the loss."

Your dogs are your family, Take time to grieve and most off all, remember every fun time you had with your dog. and remember they loved you as much as you loved them.

Happy Wagging, Freya xx



The History of the dog
Selective Breeding

All Breeds of dog are a result of cross breeding and every breed was a 'Mutt' at some point in history.

Selective breeding is when “breeders ‘push’ the breed into the desired direction in order to maintain the standards and quality of the breeds.” Selective breeding or ‘Artificial section’ as named by Charles Darwin is a term used for the method where traits are developed and improved by breeding particulars that carry those characteristics, it is done by every species including the plant kingdom. All ‘purebred’ dogs are a result of selective breeding. Selective breeding can hold great advantages for dogs such as reducing disease and improving resistance. But this also has disadvantages for example the moral and ethical issues that surround this subject as well as how it can affect the quality of dogs lives for the worst. Most dogs are selectively bread weather they are ‘Designer dogs’ or purebreds.

Firstly an advantage of selective breeding is that you can breed out defects, such as disease and Genetic disorders, whilst breeding inmore resistant blood strain, this is normally done by testing and Pre-screening of defects and only breeding from healthy dogs and this will eliminate, in time, disease and disorder, therefore in theory developing a healthier dog. “Purebred dogs were more likely to have 10 genetic disorders” (compared to cross breeds) according to astudy carried out by University of California Davis, to find out if ‘Mutts’where in fact healthier that ‘Purebreds’.

Another point would be that Selective breeding can remove undesirable traits and behaviours in dogs for example breeding to calm relaxed breeds together would theoretically give you a docile calm dog rather if you crossed to temperamental, highly strung dogs you are likely to get similar characters in the offspring, however environmental factors play a large part in this. Undesirable factors include the looks an animal, not only the ones thathelp in making dogs healthier such as breeding a brachycephalic nose longer to reduce respiratory issues but also to make an animal look more attractive, however this is not always the case.

On the other hand, a disadvantage is that selective breeding currently being used to create ‘purebred dog’ bloodlines as a result losing variety, a study by the Imperial college of London in 2008 showed that acollection of 10,000 UK pugs had the equivalent gene pull of 50 individuals. This shows how artificial selection has been abused, which leads on to my finally point, this form ofinbreeding can lead to future health problems in offspring such as a lack of Biological fitness which can cause offspring to become infertile- in turn this could cause a breed to die out.

Finally there are many moral issues surrounding selective breeding. Pedigree dogs in the UK is an argued subject, “certain aspects of dog conformation stipulated in the UK Kennel Club breed standards have a detrimental impact on dog welfare.” (Royal Veterinary College 2008). An experiment carried out carried out by Caen Elegans in 2015 showed how much dogs breeds health have been effect for the worst. Using photos from the book ‘Dogs of All Nations’ by W.E. Mason used photographs Taken in the 1915 displayed opposite photos that closely represent the UK Kennel Clubs’ standard of that breed. Some of the examples of how Selective breedinghas held great disadvantages are the Bulldog, Boxer and the Pug, all of which are brachycephalic breeds; from research I have come to the conclusion that the brachycephalic breeds are the ones that have been the worst affected by selective breeding during the last one hundred years. This is an example of how selective breeding is ethically wrong because human actions meant that thesedog are suffering with a poor quality of life, which goes against their animal rights.

Happy Wagging, Freya xx


22/01/16: Occupytheory.(2014) advantages and disadvantages of selective breeding [online]

24/01/16: BBC(unknown) Biotechnology [online] BBC Ethics:

27/01/16: Walter Esplin Mason (2007). Dogs of AllNations. Edition. Maurois Press [book]

22/01/16: CaenElegans (2012) 100 years of breed ‘improvement’ [online] science and dogs 

27/01/16: Dr Mary Fuller DNV (2013)Mixed Mutts and Designer Crosses: Healthier Than Purebred Pets?

19/01/16: Costantino. M (2010), the DogBreed Handbook. Kerswell Farm Ltd. Kerswell books Ltd.



The History of the dog
The changing role of Dogs in Society, specifically the ways dogs aid todays society.

Dogs have had a lot of uses throughout history. There is growing evidence that supports that dogs and people have evolved together and dogs still shows us that they are always adapting to our ever changing environment and lifestyle.

Even though the idea of dogs being used for companionship is thought to be a fairly new concept there is some research into how the Chinese bred dogs like the Pekinese, specifically for companionship mainly because of the belief that they would word off evil spirits. Nowadays bonds between dogs and humans are needed for everyday life to run smoothly for many different people, companion ship is taken one step further in order to help disabled and handicapped people become independent. Guide, Hearing and Assistance dogs are strong examples of this. Presently there are many new uses and needs for dogs. During recent times us as humans have been able to use our knowledge of dogs and use their heightened ability to our advantage such as sniffer dogs used in Police, army and search and rescue as well as dogs being able to detect illnesses like, cancer, epilepsy and heart defects.

An example of how the role of dogs has changed can be seen with both Medical detection dogs and dogs assisting in Medical research. Dogs are used more and more as assistance for people with medical problems such as epilepsy and different types of Cancer by sniffing out chemical changes in the body. Dogs have 300 million scent receptors in their nose compared to a human 5 million, it is thought that dogs can smell cancer it is believed that it’s linked to volatile organic compounds produced by malignant cells. Studies have shownthat dogs can detect lung cancer just from a person’s breath “Ehmann et al carried out the first published study showing that sniffer dogs can reliably detect lung cancer from a breath sample (sensitivity 71% specificity 93%).” EuropeanRespiratory Journal, (2012). And dogs can very reliable detect prostate cancer“research indicated a 93% reliability rate for dogs. She said the results from the new study were “spectacular”.”- Claire Guest (2015)

Every year there is new research and this is vital into moving forward with medical research and continuing to evolve with dogs, Vets like Professor Noel Fitzpatrick believe that veterinary medicine is much more advance and they are aiming to combine veterinary medicine with humans’ treatment.“The Humanimal Trust promotes and supports the integration of new developmentsin veterinary and medical science”- Fitzpatrick Referrals (2014) Noel Fitzpatrick is the founder of Humanimals “I passionately believe that a framework among human and veterinary clinical colleagues, that is open, honest and most of all, organised, will bring us closer to a just society where all patients win – not one species at the expense of the other, but rather saving a life to help save another” Prof. N. Fitzpatrick (2014) this benefits today society because advances in medical research improves lives.

Happy Wagging, Freyaxx


28/4/2016:Professor Noel Fitzpatrick (2014) Fitzpatrick Referrals supporting TheHumanimal Trust [Online] Fitzpatrickreferals.

27/4/2016:R. Harris (unknown) Cancer Detection Research [Online] Medical Detection Dogs

28/4/2016:J. Meikle (2015) Dogstrained to detect prostate cancer with more than 90% accuracy. [OnlineNewspaper] The Guardian

28/4/2016:Medical Detection Dogs, Dogs saving lives (unknown) The Scientific Evidence[Online] Medical Detection



Tips and Tricks!

Dogs in Cars, Dogs in the Sun, Dogs being walked in the middle of the day on hot tarmac. All conversation that we have every summer year after year. But it's all just common sense, isn't it? Clearly not, many new dog owners, fair weather walkers and well morons- to put it bluntly, seem to continue to misunderstand there dogs needs and body language. But I'm not here to rant.
Here is some advice and tips to help your dog stay cool in hot weather!

"Cool Me Down!"

As much as we wish they could, dogs can't talk. They can not tell you when they are getting to hot. And the key to having a fantastic summer is understanding your pooch.

Key signs to look out for this summer!

Excessive Drooling!
Rapid Heartrate!
Panting!- this is a bit of an obvious one, but dogs don't sweat so they can become a lot more sensitive to the sun. If any of these things occur then get your dog in a cool place with plenty of water.
Have fun with your dog!

Hot weather doesn't mean you have to stay indoors with your dog all summer, there are some really easy and cheap ways to keep your dogs happy and cool in the summer.

  1. Paddling pool- If your dog loves water and toys then this is a fantastic way to keep your dog cool in summer. Get the whole family involved ,let you dog run in and out, it only has to be enough water to cover their paws (don't make them swim). It will wear out even the most energetic dog. It is a great way to built up a young dogs confidence as well, but be careful, you don't want your dog to be scared of water for life, don't force them.
  2. Ice- Put a wet flannel in the freezer and you have a great chew toy. If your dog isn't a big drinker, freeze some biscuits in water or a low salt chicken stock and you have a doggie ice pop! some pet shops sell doggie ice cream too, if you want to splash the cash!
  3. High fashion Ice-Pack- Freeze a wet Bandana, and wrap it around their back or collar and it will keep them cool when if they insist of sunbathing.

Even if you are careful dogs can still get heatstroke, hear are some things to look out for. ALWAYS SEEK A VETS ADVICE.

  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting
  • Hyperventilation

Dogs with heat stoke can have seizures and in extreme fall into a coma or it may even become fatal. I'm not trying to scare monger I just want all you lovely doggies to enjoy the sun as much as you.

Happy Wagging, Freya xx​



Our Story

Hello Everyone, especially all our Pointer Friends!

For some of you this title will baffle you, but I will explain don't worry. I have and have always had a 'passion to point' or in other words a love of pointers, both German and English I can honestly say, all my life, I have never lived in a house where a pointer is not part of my family.

This year we lost our beautiful Teazle (right) to cancer and two weeks before that my dad lost Snooze (front, left) who was Teazles sister. It was very hard for my mum that needed to make a tough decision and have Teazle put down. So then three amigos (left) became one. Widget (below) is the baby of the family, she is the oldest of all the other dogs, but she is still a baby and that picture perfectly sums her up.

There is just something about pointers that makes people so attached. They are a one of a kind type of dog with an abundance of energy and an equal ability to be the laziest sofa dog ever. Widget is a demanding biscuit thief but with an amazing and funny character I have not seen in any other dogs. If you own or have owned a pointer you know where I'm coming from.

"I haven't been point-less since 85" is a quote from my mum she has owned more pointers than you can count on your hands, and 1985 was when she had her first pointer and she says once you have had one you will always want another because you become absolutely smitten. 

I love so many different breeds of dogs but I think because I have grown up with pointers I have a massive soft spot for them.  Comment and share your stories of your favourite breeds and why they hold a place in your heart. 

Happy Wagging, Freya xx



The History of the dog
How evolution and selective breeding changed the special senses.

Hello Everyone

This is a bit about why dogs senses are how they are and how selective breeding has impacted breeds.
As I'm writing this I currently in the garden and have a small fury, ball in mouth (looking much like a stuffed pig at a hog roast) trying desperately to gain my attention by crying at the highest note her little voice can go, I may have to go and play with her before I can get any more of this written....

It is clear thatas the human environment has evolved, the use for canine has changed dramatically. Adaptions to the canine senses have been a result of evolutionand selective breeding by humans. Wolves and dogs have always had a good way ofadapting their senses; if one sense is not functioning as it should the other senses will compensate.

One way canines have adapted their senses is vision. A study carried out by Jonica Newby, DVM showed evidence that a dogs vision is directly effect by the length of the muzzle. Brachycephalic dogs that evolved with short noses have a higher density of vision cells that are arranged in area centralis this means these dogs see very alike to humans “Could mean shortfaced dogs are more attuned to reading the facial expressions of their owners” (TheBark, 2004). This was adapted through years of selective breeding however it is arguable that the facial recognition that dogs have developed is a more evolutionary process.

Similarly there is evidence to suggest these brachycephalic dogs have had their sense of smell hampered due to selective breeding "The whole brain had rotated in more pug-likedogs… and the olfactory lobe had shifted to the bottom of the skull.”- MichaelValenzuela (2010) a study into brachycephalic brains showed that their brains had morphed and the lobe used for scent in the brain had largely shifted position compare to the more wolf-like breeds.

Although Dogs have exceptional hearing over years of both selective breeding and evolution, hearing has declined greatly from how good wolves hearing once was, this is because certain breed don’t use their hearing as much and the physical appearance of the ear has evolved and changed a great deal. Dogs have adapted scent andsight so well hearing has not been a main sense, an example of this is how dogs have adapted the shape of their ears to assist in collecting scent particles.However dogs still use hearing for a variety of things such as guarding properties and protecting owners at night.

Finally taste has been altered over time by evolution. A combination of relying on humans, more variety and having a cushy life dogs have evolved to become fussy eaters. Dogs have developed an inbuilt trust in what humans feed them, they can take a treat without sniffing it first so the harmful v. harmless instinct has begun to be overtaken by favourites and dislikes. This is evident in smaller dogs the breeds bred to be companions and ‘lap’ dogs as they seem to be more spoilt by owners as people attach to them like children, as a result smaller dogsare very discriminative of food stuffs. “If you asked your child would she rather eat spinach or a Twinkie, the answer is obvious”- Louise Murray, DVM (2012)

Again I'm not trying to go too in-depth just making food for thought, hope you liked it!

Happy Wagging, Freya xx


18/6/16: Joyce D. Kesling (2005) the canine scenes [Online] responsible dog and cat training

22/6/16: Ferris Jabr (2010) Changing Minds: Has Selective Breeding Restructured Some Dog Brains? [Online] Scientific American

23/6/16: Primal Pooch (unknown) Canine Evolution & Anatomy [Online]



Our Story

The bond between humans and animals baffles even the smartest of people, but mans relationship with dogs is a strong connection that has evolved over thousands of years. I know first hand how a dog can completely change your life.
Thistle is my Shih Tzu-Jack Russell cross breed. She is now 5 years old now and 4 years ago I was quiet ill, and I was diagnosed with M.E and Thistle was my rock! She knew what I was thinking, she still does everyday and she know when I was feeling sick. Thistle also knows when I'm busy and chooses that moment to do something naughty, noisy or annoying in order to be noticed and get my attention. When I was studying for my exams she would lay on the table next to me and every so often 'flop' on to work, upside down, legs in the air, and her big brown eye would look at me as if to say 'take a break' or 'play ball with me instead'. The point I'm trying to make is that like anyone else I believe my dog understands me as I understand her. And watching your dog grow up and developing such a strong connection with them, like a mother and her child, gives you the reason to get up in the morning.

Thistle is my reason in the morning even though I generally have to drag her out of bed. Love your reasons in the morning that is what will get you through life.
Happy Wagging, Freya xx




The purpose of a nutritional and a balance diet in dogs, isto maintain good animal health. When you apply good nutrition to dogs it decreases the risk of disease, improves overall bodily functions and promotes long-levity. This is why it has become one of the five vitals. “Many years of scientific research have shown that nutrition is essential for the provision of energy to sustain a healthy  life and help reduce the risk of certain diseases.”-WALTHAM (2009). Insufficient nutrient intake can be damaging to dogs heath as they will not be able to maintain metabolic functions, this causes them to become malnourished and cause’s substantial weight loss which can lead to irreversible damage to internal organs and the immune system, this is very common in active breeds of dog, with high metabolism rates because there body does not take in as much nutrients as it uses up. Similarly too much of certain nutrients can be just as detrimental and cause dogs to become obese, this can stimulate health issues such as cardiac diseases, which can lead to joint problems later in life. This is a common problem for smaller ‘lap’ dogs that do not get enough exercise and they synthesise too much of certain nutrients which causes them to become over weight. However dogs of different sizes, breeds andlife stages all need different nutrients and as a responsible dog owner youneed to ensure your dog is healthy and is getting the right diet to meet the Animal Welfare Act 2007. A balanced diet consists of the main macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrate, Fat and Water), a small amount of dietary fibre,Vitamins and Minerals.

Water is the most important part of nutrition in any diet and is vital for survival, 60% of a canines body is made up of water. From the day puppies are born they need fluid, new-borns will have milk from the mother.As a puppy there body is about 75% water. Water plays a major physiological role in the functions of the body its main purpose is part of most of the metabolic changes in the body, if a dog becomes dehydrated it causes the bodies processes to become unstable, being dehydrated as little as 10% can cause fits and inextreme cases it can be fatal. Because dogs do not sweat they need a lot of water to control body temperature and to replace what is lost through panting(Respiration) as well as this dogs need to produce extra fluid for lubrication of joints and for protection of the eye. Water is best way to flush waste products out of the body.

Protein is made up of amino acids. In the digestive tracts amino acid is produced by breaking down dietary proteins using enzymes. Protein is used for growth, building,repairing and  regenerating cells, transporting molecules around the body sending hormone messages and building up immunity to fight off bacteria and diseases. Protein Intake is different for dogs at different life stages not only do puppy’s needmore protein but pregnant dogs need higher levels of protein for the development of a foetus. Carbohydrates have a purpose to maintain gut flora with Non-digestible carbohydrate. However absorbable-carbohydrates is not an essential macronutrient in a dog’s diet as, they are semi-carnivorous animals,and they can synthesis their own blood glucose from amino acids in protein.Similarly the sugars in absorbable and digestible-carbohydrates, when they arebroken down by enzymes, can be valuable in providing instant energy if the dog does not get enough protein in its diet. A main purpose of good nutrition in dogs is for the body and the cells in the body to function correctly lipids areused to maintain cells, produce hormones that send messages around the body and help keep both skin and coat healthy. There are many different types of Vitamins and minerals and each have a purpose in the body.

This a very rough explanation going into only a small amount of detail but I hope this helps with a basic understanding of Canine Nutrition.

Happy Wagging, Freya xx


20/5/2016: Hills Pet Food (unknown) A strong commitment to better nutrition[Online]

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18/5/2016: T. J. Dunn, Jr., DVM (unknown) Principlesof Dog Nutrition [Online} PetMD