Warren London

Unique Mothers Day Gifts for Dog-Lovers

7 Unique Mother's Day Gifts for Dog-Lovers

Whether you’re shopping for your mother or another special woman in your life who adores her dog, finding the perfect canine-themed Mother’s Day gift can be challenging.

Take the hassle out of shopping with these gift ideas that are sure to put a smile on her face!

Floral Arrangement

If she has a deeply affectionate breed, like a Bulldog, Collie, or Pug, chances are she loves to shower others with love. What better way for you to turn the tables and shower her with love than with a breathtaking floral arrangement?


This device might just be the gift she’s dreaming of if she’s as active as her Weimaraner, or other sporting breed. With this sleek device that goes directly on her wrist, like a traditional watch, she can track daily fitness activity, sync the device to her electronic devices, and view her daily performance directly on the screen—all while having the time of her life with her furry friend.

Sweet Treats

On the other hand, non-sporting dog breeds like Pugs, French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers are known for their love of treats. If the dog mom in your life is anything like her non-sporting, four-legged foodie, she'll love a decadent delivery of sweet treats like chocolate covered strawberries or gourmet cookies. (You won’t have to lift a finger to send her a tasty treat because FTD has you covered online.)

Photo Session

If that special dog mother in your life owns a Vizsla or another breed that tends to be overly attached to her owner, she more than likely takes pride in showing off her dog to others. What better way to melt her heart than by giving her and her canine companion a private photo session with an experienced pet photographer? You can also take things a step further by retrieving the images once they’re edited, and compiling a photo album that captures all of those candid moments. It’s a gift she’ll cherish forever!


Perhaps she enjoys the finer things and owns a Yorkie, English Bulldog, Cocker Spaniel or some other high-maintenance breed? If so, you can’t go wrong with jewelry as it is more than likely one of her favorites. An engraved locket with her four-legged companion’s image inside is sure to be a hit. Or you can go for more generic pet-themed jewelry, depending on your budget.

Pampering Session

Regardless of the breed she owns, there’s a chance the special pet mother in your life is worn too thin by her family, career, or other obligations and could desperately use a break. If she can find someone to cover the children, offer to take her furry friend off her hands for the weekend while she enjoys some much-needed time to herself. Schedule a mani-pedi session for her and invite her to indulge.

Dog Painting

Does she enjoy wall art? If so, snap a picture of her dog and solicit the services of a painter to recreate an image on an oversized canvas. She’ll be delighted with the outcome and eager to add a new addition to the existing collection of artwork in her home.

Written by Eric Bittman — April 24, 2015

Dog Friendly Destinations for You and Your Pup!

Dog-Friendly Destinations for You and Your Pup

Going on vacation is the best, but if you have a pup at home, vacation means a few days away from your furry baby, as vacations aren't always the most dog-friendly; most restaurants don't allow dogs, and many hotels and rentals either don't allow dogs at all or require steep pet-stay and/or cleaning fees. So where can you go for fun human-and-dog accommodations? From dog shows to inner tubing, here are three great vacation destinations for you and your best friend.

1) The Pacific Northwest


The Pacific Northwest has a lot to offer when it comes to what dogs love. Manzanita, in northern Oregon, is nicknamed "Muttzanita" by dog lovers because of its dog-friendly nature. Run and play in the surf or dig for bones on the seven mile strip of beach, go hiking on Neah-Kah-Nie Mountain, and at the end of the day take your furry friend shopping at Four Paws on the Beach pet boutique.

Up the coast and inland is Leavenworth, Washington. The Iron Horse trail has miles of hiking; following the Great Northern railway line, it passes through the gorgeous forests and waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest. If your pup likes to swim, call up the Leavenworth Outdoor Center and rent safety equipment for you both to go tubing on the Wenatchee River. Keep in mind that pet fees can get a little extreme, so compare rates at the pet-friendly lodges and hotels before making reservations.

2) Woofstock

If you have a social-butterfly canine at your side, why not take a trip toWoofstock? Toronto, Canada is home to the largest dog festival in North America and admission is free. Every year, Woofstock draws more than 300,000 people and dogs who love silly events like Wiener dog races and the Running of the Pugs. While you’re there you can see the fashion show, the Stupid Dog Trick Contest, and the Ultimutts Stunt Dog Show. You can even enter your super-furry model in the Best Costume competition. From Wiener Dogs dressed as hot dogs, to Chihuahuas in frog costumes, see if you can outdo the best in show at Woofstock.

3) Ten Thousand Waves & West Hills Hunt

One city, two dog-friendly destinations. Except these two places are on opposite sides of the interest spectrum.

First, Santa Fe's Ten Thousand Waves mountain spa resort is a dog-friendly, traditional Japanese-style inn that offers everything for dogs as well as their humans. The resort is only 10 minutes from Downtown Santa Fe and borders the national forest nearby, so if you are runners, lace-up for a morning jog and hike.

Santa Fe is also home to the West Hills Hunt, the seasonal coyote hunt from September to April. So if you happen to be a hunter with a trained hound dog, this is the vacation spot for you. You can also attend as a spectator, but it's important to take a hunting safety course beforehand so you know what to expect and are aware of the proper etiquette for spectators.

And remember to shop at Warren London for all your dogs grooming needs!

Written by Eric Bittman — February 16, 2015


Jordan Walker knows the ins and outs of raising pets. He shares his pet passion and knowledge writing content for Coops And Cages and similar blogs. In this article, he discusses top tips on keeping dogs fit while having fun.

Regular exercise is important to a dog in many ways. Dogs that get their daily dose of fitness have a higher metabolism, a smaller appetite, and better muscle tone. Fit dogs have lower chances of canine obesity, which is a growing problem for other pets, as well. In addition, getting a dog exercised lessens chances for dogs to develop inappropriate behaviors like chewing, excessive barking, and indiscriminate peeing and pooing.

So, in many respects, dogs are like humans. They need good food and enough exercise to ward off illness and pudginess, as well as to look and feel great. But will they be as fussy about exercise, too?

Running Off Leash

Fortunately, dogs are animals that are fairly easy to please. Dogs live in the moment and take pleasure in the simplest things. One of the most wonderful occasions for a dog is when it can get out of its cage or get off its leash and be free to just run. An owner can see the change immediately. The dog perks up, gets excited, and runs enthusiastically everywhere. The best place to let a dog run off leash is a dog park. Dog parks create opportunities for socializing dogs and provide them instant furry playmates with the same energy level. It’s a great place to get a dog some exercise and fun with less exertion on the part of the owner. However, if an owner does want to interact with their dog, they can do so all within the dog park. Most parks don’t charge a fee, but they do somewhat strictly require dogs to be updated on their vaccines and free of illnesses that may spread to other dogs. Of course, some behavior training is desired to prevent fights.

Food Puzzles

Once upon a time, the dog’s ancestors had to hunt and forage for food. Contemporary canines have retained this instinct of using their nose and working to find their food. Pet owners can take advantage of this age-old impulse to keep their dogs’ senses in top condition and let them have fun in the process. Many doggie toys such as Kong rubber toy puzzles available on the market today are hollowed out in the middle, allowing for treats and small bite sizes of food to be stored. The toys are given to the dog as challenges to solve with food as reward at the end. When food is at stake, a pet owner can bet that a dog will pull out all stops to get to the bottom of any brainteaser. Kong toys come in several variations and colors, tailored for different dog ages and sizes. With chew toys, owners should make sure these are actually chew-proof (will not be gnawed to bits) and do not pose choking hazards for pets.


Another natural instinct of dogs is swimming. Dogs are born with the instinctive ability to swim. Although some dogs are wary of the water, others and certain breeds are much more drawn to it, knowing somehow that splashing means having fun. Owners can take advantage of a dog’s natural inclination to play in the water by adopting swimming as one of their dog’s means of exercise. Swimming is great aerobic conditioning but low-impact, which makes it great for elderly dogs or those dogs with joint problems.If they are just getting their paws wet, dogs should be first introduced to a shallow pool or pond. Once they get the hang of it though, they can be allowed free reign over the backyard pool. However, tight supervision should be exerted in lakes and beaches because of the potential drowning and other hazards. In addition, dogs should be rinsed off after playing in a chlorinated pool to prevent skin irritation.

Backyard Games

Backyard games are perhaps the most fun activities that dogs can do in the name of fitness. In fact, these games can be fitness activities disguised as fun. The toys needed are basic, and even a few yards can be enough for the creative owner, depending on the toy used. Frisbee discs, balls, pull toys, and other interactive toys are the tools of choice. Dogs seem to have a natural talent for fetching stuff and will love to run after and fetch Frisbees and balls, especially if these happen to be their favorite toys, or even better, if they get a treat for every fetching feat. Owners can even build up their dog’s excitement by throwing the disc or ball but telling them to stay for several counts before letting them fetch the toy. At this point, the dog will literally jump off its feet and tearing after the toy. With such great incentives (favorite toys and tasty treats) involved, backyard sessions are also perfect for learning tricks.

Doggie Daycare

Unfortunately, pet parents will have to go to work on some days and be unable to play with their furry bud. Even then, dogs will still need to get their daily dose of exercise and cannot just be left at home to their own devices. That is if owners don’t want their pets to get bored and get into mischief. A great, fun way to keep a dog active while away is to drop them off at a doggie daycare center. These centers provide a wide range of activities that provide fun and fitness for dogs of all ages and sizes. A great dog daycare will have staff who will know how to look after a dog’s needs, have separate areas to match age and size of their canine charges, and plenty of dog-friendly activities.

No matter what the fun activity is, it should be tailored to fit the dog’s needs and physical conditions. Dogs are individuals, each with its unique health requirements. Owners should also ensure that they are there for their dogs and having fun with them, or even better, exercising with their dogs. At the end of the day, dogs are dogs and will always love a chance to have fun.But what they will love most about their day is that they spent it with their human, which always makes the day and everything else in it extra special.

 Warren London

Image sources: [1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

Author: Jordan Walker

Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops And Cages as well as a couple of other pet-related blogs. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for 'attempting' to play the guitar. If you would like to catch him, you can via Google+ or Twitter: @CoopsAndCages.


Written by Eric Bittman — January 30, 2015

Essential Tips and Care for Your Dog

Dogs are loving pets. But caring for them is a bit of hard work. Here are some tips to consider in taking care of your dog:

If you do not have a dog yet, consider the area where your dog can exercise. If you have a big yard where you could exercise or play with your dog, you might want to get a large dog such as a German Shepherd, Labrador, or Golden Retriever. If you have a smaller space, get a smaller dog like a Terrier or Dachshund. These types of dogs need little exercise compared with the larger dogs.

You also need to consider your dog if there are children in your house. Some dogs like Pit bulls and Dalmatians sometimes get to be temperamental.

It is important that you groom your dog. A regular groom is recommended. Dogís ears should be cleaned, with the wax and dirt removed every week. Ear cleaning also helps you detect presence of ear mites or infections. The dog should be bathed weekly with warm water and dog shampoo.

It is also recommended that you brush your dog at least once a week.

After grooming your pet, do take it to a veterinarian to get its anti-rabies shots and over-all checkup.

A diet that is balanced and nutritious is recommended for your dog. Contrary to what many people think, dogs do not just eat meat. They also need carbohydrates. A diet consisting of 50 percent of protein or meat and 50 percent of carbohydrates is the preferred diet for dogs.


As implied earlier, dogs need some amount exercise. Aside from their health, dogs exercising will prevent them from retrieving and chasing, digging, and chewing on various things. Exercises depend on your dogís sex, age, and health level. A dog likes to jog, fetch, and race-walk a lot. One warning however, start slow in exercising your dog. Unfortunately, some dogs enjoy themselves so much when they do these exercises. They do not know when to stop it.

Having a dog to last you for a long time does not end with just owning one. You have to take care of it. Although that may be hard work, it would also bring you fun and enjoyment when you see that your dog is healthy and loves you. Having a pet dog of your own is a pleasurable experience.


For Warren London Products go to WarrenLondon.com!

Written by Eric Bittman — December 01, 2014

Warren London Halloween Contest 2014

The Warren London Halloween Contest 2014 was a great success!  We had so many great entries and appreciate everyone sending in their pictures of their dogs in costume.  After a very tough decision on picking winners, our staff voted for our favorites and here they are!  To get our nail polish pens click here!
1st Place Winner is Brianna Titus! $100 to Warren London
2nd Place sent in by Angie Kovarick! $50 to Warren London
3rd Place sent in by Jessica Keto! $25 to Warren London
And the rest of our great entries!

Written by Eric Bittman — November 06, 2014

Dog Food for the Older Dog

What changes do you need to make to your dog feeding regime as your dog gets older?
The changes you make to your dog feeding regime, and when you make them will vary depending on the age of your dog, and the breed of your dog.
It is considered that the larger and giant breeds of dog age earlier than the smaller and toy breeds of dog.
Your objective in managing the nutrition of the older dog is to enhance his quality of life, delay further ageing changes, and to extend his life whilst maintaining his optimal weight.
You are also trying to slow down the onset of disease and improve immune function.

Older dogs will generally be less active than younger dogs so as a rule will require a less energy dense dog food, unless of course the dog's appetite is reduced for some reason.
Continuing to feed a dog the same amount of food with less exercise will inevitably result in obesity, a problem all too common in many dogs today.
In the old dog obesity can be a bigger problem than in the young dog as there may also be concurrent arthritis and organ problems which will be made worse.
A keen eye is needed to assess the energy needs of your dog as it ages, so be aware and switch brands if your dog's weight shows marked changes as it ages.

For the older dog a good quality animal protein based on meat, fish eggs, milk or cheese is better than cereal protein.
A balance needs to be struck between providing too much protein which may be a problem for dogs with renal failure (a common problem in older dogs), and providing too little.
As ageing dogs tend to have less muscle and bone they will have less of a tissue protein reserve and need a certain level of protein in their diet to avoid a negative nitrogen balance.
Your veterinarian is the best person to monitor your ageing dog's renal function and advise the appropriate level of protein in his diet.
When your dog's protein intake is low due to inappetance, this can be increased by heating the food to increase palatability and release more aromas, and by feeding smaller more frequent meals and by supplementing with vitamins.

Carbohydrates are mainly provided by cereals and legumes in the diet, and these are a cheap source of energy.
Care should be taken with the sugar content of some of these foods

Fats are essential in the diet to provide a vehicle for fat soluble vitamins, and are essential for the health of old dogs.
However too much may result in obesity, so again moderation is the rule.


Fibre has a role too in the elderly dog as many are predisposed to constipation.
Adding fibre in the form of wheat bran or cooked vegetables two or three times a week will help to keep your elderly dog regular!

Most dog foods will have more than adequate levels of calcium and phosphorus for the older dog.
There may be a case for reduced levels of phosphorus and salt in the diet.
Some supplementation of zinc and vitamins may be helpful in the older dog, particularly the vitamin B complex.

The main food types for the older dog are - dry, semi-moist or canned.
Diet changes should be made slowly to prevent tummy upsets and diarrhoea.
Be sure to have plenty of water available for your dog, particularly if fed a dried food, and also if kidney and liver disease is a problem.

Reduced appetite in older dogs may be helped by feeding them 2 or more times per day with smaller portions so that they get their full daily requirement.

There are many commercial senior dog food diets now available.
It will pay you to thoroughly examine the different types to increase the life span and vitality of your older dog.


To Try Warren London Dog products go to our website here!

Written by Eric Bittman — November 03, 2014

Facts About Dog Agility

Dog agility trials are becoming more and more popular the world over. They began in England, as so many good things, do, but "agility fever" quickly spread all over the globe. Now there are clubs and events everywhere that there are dogs.

Some clubs include the Kennel Club (in the U.K.), the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA), the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Agility Association of Canada (AAC). However, you need not be affiliated with or even live near a club or training facility to enjoy the sport of dog agility

Dogs are intelligent creatures, and they love a challenge. As the aforementioned kennel clubs are well aware, every breed has its own strengths and assets, both physically and intellectually. It's great fun to explore what your dog can do, and even train for competitions! Click Here for our Warren London Webpage!

Even if you train your dog on your own dog agility course, and don't wish to be affiliated with any groups, it's still a good idea to stay in touch with them via phone or e-mail to stay aware of any events that may be happening in your area. Dog owners are a great group of people, and love to share advice and success stories. Dog agility events are also a great way to get outside and meet and greet other great pets.

Agility competition for dogs became popular all over the world in the 1980s, and agility enthusiasts have been looking for top-notch dog training equipment that is better looking and more durable than home-made obstacles, while still being affordable. This high-energy form of competition and fun is something that can bring people and dogs together in a spirit of excellence, and we interact with our customers accordingly.

Some of the dog training obstacles include A-frames, dogwalks, weave poles, mini contact equipment, contact trainer, jumps (single, double, and triple), chutes, barrels, and teeters. Everything you need to set up a competition course should be easily ordered and quickly assembled.

Your dog training equipment should be durable enough to withstand practice session after practice session with no risk of injury to you or your dog. Equipment should be made out of durable, well-sealed materials that are weatherproof and built to last. Safety and visual appeal are what matter in dog training equipment.

Written by Eric Bittman — November 03, 2014

Great Tips for Training Your Dog!

Who's really in charge at your house? Is it YOU, or is it the furry, 4-legged dictator who runs the show? If you're not leading the pack, your precious pooch just might be, and the behavior is probably less than desirable. Check out this article for some easy dog training tips to help you regain your leadership position in the pack, and squelch that bad dog behavior.

This article is the first in a 3-part series about changing dog behavior using positive dog training methods.

Be a leader, a dog will follow.

Hum, what does that mean?! Simply put, if you lead the pack, your dog will follow you to the ends of the earth. Some basic and easy adjustments in your dog training routine can result in huge changes in dog behavior. The simple truth is...dog behavior is a result of human behavior. That is, your dog reacts to you. If you take the time to teach your dog appropriate behavior, and you are consistent in reinforcing it, your dog will work so hard to please you. One key to changing and reinforcing new dog behavior is using positive dog training methods. This article introduces some basics in beginning to get some respect from your dog.

Dogs are pack animals, and they want a leader to tell them what to do and what dog behavior is appropriate. If you donít step up as leader, your dog, no matter how big or small or cute and fluffy, will take over as leader (not just of other dogs, but of you, your spouse, your kids, the cats, and anything else that moves and breathes). This is not the ideal situation, as you can see from the following example. 

The Franks are a real family where the dog runs the house. King didnít want the role of leader, but no human stepped up as leader so he felt he had to. His "pack" consisted of dad, mom, and two kids. Being leader was a big job--keeping track of the pack, teaching them the rules (which King made up), and enforcing the rules was a 24-hour job. He successfully taught the family to stay away from his food and toys (growling and snapping when they got too close), not to disturb him if he was napping in main traffic areas like the middle of the kitchen floor, that certain pieces of furniture were his and his alone, and that he decided who got to come into the house. The young boy became a playmate whom he could nip and jump on; the older child and the parents were there to care for him. Any infractions of these "rules" were quickly and severely disciplined by King with growling, biting, snapping, baring teeth.


If King's household is like what you experience in your family, we've got some gentle and positive dog training tips to help you take back your leadership role. 

Put these simple steps into your dog's daily life and watch the dog behavior changes. Each of these steps shows your dog that YOU are the leader. Letís start simple, with 3 very basic and easy (for you) new dog training ideas. Once you've mastered these, in the next article, I'll introduce several more.

Show me your tummy!

Make it a positive experience for your dog to roll over for that yummy tummy rub. This submissive posture indicates a deferment to your leadership.

Praise, praise praise!

Praise for being a good dog. Any dog behavior you like and want to keep, praise it and give a small treat occasionally. This focus on what you want is much more successful than a focus on what you donít want. No free treats or praise for the dominant dog. If your dog wants to be petted, have him sit first! Everyone wins and the dog is learning manners at the same time. 

Get out of the way! 

A leader gets respect. For Scout, that means no lying in high traffic areas (hallways, middle of living room or kitchen), no sitting on your feet, and no refusing to move out of the way. Gently scoot your feet in the direction you want to go while using excited tones and waving your hands to get him up and moving.

For a dog, trying to live with everyone "just getting along" does not work. Dogs live in packs with hierarchies, not democracies. Remember, no human leadership means Fifi will take over and set the rules. Itís time for you to step into the leader position. If you do, you will notice positive changes in your dogís behavior right away. You and your dog will begin working as a team.

Be the leader - your dog will love you for it and you'll be surprised how hard he'll work to please you.

Get started using these 3 tips and check back in a few weeks for the next set of easy dog training steps for outstanding dog behavior!

Written by Eric Bittman — November 03, 2014

Look at the History of Dogs

There is no incongruity in the idea that in the very earliest period of man's habitation of this world he made a friend and companion of some sort of aboriginal representative of our modern dog, and that in return for its aid in protecting him from wilder animals, and in guarding his sheep and goats, he gave it a share of his food, a corner in his dwelling, and grew to trust it and care for it. Probably the animal was originally little else than an unusually gentle jackal, or an ailing wolf driven by its companions from the wild marauding pack to seek shelter in alien surroundings. One can well conceive the possibility of the partnership beginning in the circumstance of some helpless whelps being brought home by the early hunters to be tended and reared by the women and children. Dogs introduced into the home as playthings for the children would grow to regard themselves, and be regarded, as members of the family 
In nearly all parts of the world traces of an indigenous dog family are found, the only exceptions being the West Indian Islands, Madagascar, the eastern islands of the Malayan Archipelago, New Zealand, and the Polynesian Islands, where there is no sign that any dog, wolf, or fox has existed as a true aboriginal animal. In the ancient Oriental lands, and generally among the early Mongolians, the dog remained savage and neglected for centuries, prowling in packs, gaunt and wolf-like, as it prowls today through the streets and under the walls of every Eastern city. No attempt was made to allure it into human companionship or to improve it into docility. It is not until we come to examine the records of the higher civilization of Assyria and Egypt that we discover any distinct varieties of canine form. 
Warren London 
The dog was not greatly appreciated in Palestine, and in both the Old and New Testaments it is commonly spoken of with scorn and contempt as an "unclean beast." Even the familiar reference to the Sheepdog in the Book of Job "But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock" is not without a suggestion of contempt, and it is significant that the only biblical allusion to the dog as a recognised companion of man occurs in the apocryphal Book of Tobit (v. 16), "So they went forth both, and the young man's dog with them." 
The great multitude of different breeds of the dog and the vast differences in their size, points, and general appearance are facts which make it difficult to believe that they could have had a common ancestry. One thinks of the difference between the Mastiff and the Japanese Spaniel, the Deerhound and the fashionable Pomeranian, the St. Bernard and the Miniature Black and Tan Terrier, and is perplexed in contemplating the possibility of their having descended from a common progenitor. Yet the disparity is no greater than that between the Shire horse and the Shetland pony, the Shorthorn and the Kerry cattle, or the Patagonian and the Pygmy; and all dog breeders know how easy it is to produce a variety in type and size by studied selection. 
In order properly to understand this question it is necessary first to consider the identity of structure in the wolf and the dog. This identity of structure may best be studied in a comparison of the osseous system, or skeletons, of the two animals, which so closely resemble each other that their transposition would not easily be detected. 
The spine of the dog consists of seven vertebrae in the neck, thirteen in the back, seven in the loins, three sacral vertebrae, and twenty to twenty-two in the tail. In both the dog and the wolf there are thirteen pairs of ribs, nine true and four false. Each has forty-two teeth. They both have five front and four hind toes, while outwardly the common wolf has so much the appearance of a large, bare-boned dog, that a popular description of the one would serve for the other. 
Nor are their habits different. The wolf's natural voice is a loud howl, but when confined with dogs he will learn to bark. Although he is carnivorous, he will also eat vegetables, and when sickly he will nibble grass. In the chase, a pack of wolves will divide into parties, one following the trail of the quarry, the other endeavouring to intercept its retreat, exercising a considerable amount of strategy, a trait which is exhibited by many of our sporting dogs and terriers when hunting in teams. 
A further important point of resemblance between the Canis lupus and the Canis familiaris lies in the fact that the period of gestation in both species is sixty-three days. There are from three to nine cubs in a wolf's litter, and these are blind for twenty-one days. They are suckled for two months, but at the end of that time they are able to eat half-digested flesh disgorged for them by their dam or even their sire. 
The native dogs of all regions approximate closely in size, coloration, form, and habit to the native wolf of those regions. Of this most important circumstance there are far too many instances to allow of its being looked upon as a mere coincidence. Sir John Richardson, writing in 1829, observed that "the resemblance between the North American wolves and the domestic dog of the Indians is so great that the size and strength of the wolf seems to be the only difference. 
It has been suggested that the one incontrovertible argument against the lupine relationship of the dog is the fact that all domestic dogs bark, while all wild Canidae express their feelings only by howls. But the difficulty here is not so great as it seems, since we know that jackals, wild dogs, and wolf pups reared by bitches readily acquire the habit. On the other hand, domestic dogs allowed to run wild forget how to bark, while there are some which have not yet learned so to express themselves. 
The presence or absence of the habit of barking cannot, then, be regarded as an argument in deciding the question concerning the origin of the dog. This stumbling block consequently disappears, leaving us in the position of agreeing with Darwin, whose final hypothesis was that "it is highly probable that the domestic dogs of the world have descended from two good species of wolf (C. lupus and C. latrans), and from two or three other doubtful species of wolves namely, the European, Indian, and North African forms; from at least one or two South American canine species; from several races or species of jackal; and perhaps from one or more extinct species"; and that the blood of these, in some cases mingled together, flows in the veins of our domestic breeds.

Written by Eric Bittman — March 25, 2014

The Power of Canines In Conversation

The Power of Canines in Conservation

Dogs are used to detect explosives, find disaster survivors, sniff out drugs and hunt down bad guys. There is little these canine noses can’t find. With a sense of smell that is anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute than ours, it is no wonder we ask for their help in tracking things down. One of the ways dogs are helping with their amazing noses is through conservation programs. With special training, some dogs are becoming canine conservation sniffers.

Programs such as Working Dogs for Conservation, the African Wildlife Foundation (AFW) and Wild Helpers are training and working with the dogs to make a difference in our world. These high-energy, alert, dedicated dogs are being used to help other species and the planet in many ways.

Airport Security

One of the biggest challenges to protecting many species is the smuggling of various live animals and animal parts, such as bear bile and gall bladders, snakes, shark fins and baby monkeys. These canines are used in airports around the world, such as South Korea’s Incheon Airport. They are also used in marinas to sniff boats in places like the Galapagos Islands.


Photo by ukhomeoffice via Flickr

Scat Sniffers

The detection of scat, or feces, is very helpful to conservationists. Scat can provide a wide array of information about wild animals, such as diet, stress levels and reproductive health without ever disturbing the animal itself. With the DNA that is present, individual animals can even be tracked. Organizations like Conservation Canines (CK9) of the UW’s Center for Conservation Biology use dogs to track wildlife scat. The center analyzes the scat for valuable information without invasive tracking and tagging.


Plant Locators

It’s not just animals that these dogs are good at finding in the wild. Detector dogs are being used in some places to locate native plants. A collaborative project of The Nature Conservancy has trained six dogs to locate the endangered Kincaid’s Lupine. This plant is host to the endangered Fender’s blue butterfly which is found only in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Photo by Muffet via Flickr


Pest Infestations

Pest control is usually done by conducting visual inspections by people. This can be a lengthy and costly procedure. However, dogs can be trained quickly to accurately detect any given pest or infestation. They are able to detect these pest earlier in the infestation, in a more efficient manner, allowing the infestations to be treated before they get out of hand and become a larger problem. Many pest control companies in the UK utilize trained dogs for detection.


Tracking Poachers

Poaching is a large problem to many species around the world. Animals such as the elephant, rhinoceros, mountain gorillas and Grevy's zebras are all at risk of endangerment or extinction. Organizations, such as the African Wildlife Foundation, are using sniffer dogs to protect these beautiful animals by tracking down the poachers and preventing these illegal activities. They can also train the canines to detect illegal animal products like ivory or rhino horns.

Photo by US Army Africa via Flickr

The Right Dog for the Job

The training is done by professional trainers who specialize in working dogs. The training is very similar to that which is used for police canines, Army dogs and border security canines. These dogs are hand-picked to have the proper personality, dedication, and disposition. Not every dog can become a working dog.

Written by Eric Bittman — February 21, 2014