Oct
15
2006
0
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Why do people look like their dogs?

Business/marketing writer Seth Godin postulates on his blog (Seth Godin: Why do people look like their dogs?) that it’s a psychological thing – and that it might be a marketing opportunity if you’re in the business of selling dogs!

people that look like their dogs

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Written by Steven in: Dog-related news |
Aug
17
2006
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Dog eats iPod (it had to happen sooner or later)

It had to happen. We should have warned you: “By all means, enjoy watching HoundTV with your dog, but please don’t leave your dog alone with the iPod!”

Photographer and photography writer/editor/reviewer/blogger, Mike Johnston, writes on his (excellent, if you’re into photography) blog that his son’s beloved dog ate his son’s beloved iPod. Bummer.

Written by Steven in: Dog-related news |
Aug
11
2006
5
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Dog attacks: bad news, good news, and help at hand

A couple of items in the news today about dog attacks:

Melbourne’s Age newspaper reports this morning that an 11 year-old boy was mauled by two dogs in Far North Queensland. Unfortunately this is an unremarkable story, except of course for the boy and his family; as well as the dogs (who will be ‘destroyed’) and their owner.

Which brings us to the other, more encouraging story – ABC online reported yesterday that “The New South Wales Government is shifting its strategy on controlling dangerous dogs away from banning breeds to targeting individual menacing dogs” – surely a move in the right direction.

Blaming particular dog breeds for aggressive behaviour is ignorant and old-fashioned. Any breed of dog can be conditioned to behave well or badly.

Reducing the risk of dog attacks is really not rocket science – it’s just that governments are busy and it gets pushed down the list behind terrorism and everything else. There are just two things that would make a huge difference:

  • Dog owners must be compelled – by law, and preferably through social methods like advertising campaigns – to keep their dogs safe.
  • Kids need to be educated about how to deal with dogs. Most kids learn either that dogs are friendly (especially if they have a family dog), or to be feared. Neither belief is useful for avoiding or minimizing an attack. One visit per year by a behaviourist or vet to a primary school would be ample to educate kids sufficiently. This could probably even be arranged for free – as a marketing opportunity for the practitioner (I’ll give this a try at my step-son’s school and report back!). Or what about integrating it into the existing ‘life education’ curriculum (along with ‘say no to drugs’, healthy eating, etc)?
  • As a sidebar – parents of young children need to be reminded that they need to be supervised at all times. – Although I suspect that the very parents who need reminding are the ones who would pay the least attention to such a message.

Any other suggestions? Leave a comment.

…and of course HoundTV is getting involved too – our resident veterinary behaviourist Dr Jacqui Ley will reveal a few tips on preventing dog attacks for both dog owners and parents, on the show in a few weeks.

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Written by Steven in: Dog-related news |
Aug
06
2006
2
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It gets worse

The other day we reported that 50,000 dogs had been slaughtered in China’s Yunnan province in a bid to curb rabies.

Well, it gets worse: According to the official Xinhua News Agency, Officials in the eastern city of Jining said on Thursday they would kill all dogs within five kilometers (three miles) of villages where rabies was found – and the city has about 500,000 dogs.

Why doesn’t China have a vaccine for rabies? I don’t know. It’s been around since, like, 1885 (really).

What can we do? There may be very little we in the West can do to help, especially in the short term. Although surely awareness of the problem is the first step.

Other ideas:

  • Write to the Chinese Embassy in your country to express your outrage
  • Phone talkback radio and discuss the topic
  • Contact the peak animal welfare bodies in your country (e.g. RSPCA) to see what they are doing
  • Write to Bill Gates and ask him to consider expanding the scope of his charitable works to introducing rabies vaccinations to China

Did we miss anything? Leave a comment.

— Update —
There is an interesting and eloquent (if somewhat long and rambling!) post about all of this over at the big dog blog. Well worth a read if you have time.

Written by Steven in: Dog-related news |
Aug
02
2006
1
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50,000 dogs slaughtered in China

As you have probably noticed, the editorial policy of HoundTV is usually to report the up-beat and entertaining side of the dog world.

This is so awful, I don’t even know what to say about it, other than to report it: Death squads in Yunnan round up 50,000 dogs

The mind boggles.

(A search on google news reveals several other reports on this, some including quotes from World Health Organisation officials on how rabies should be dealt with)

Written by Steven in: Dog-related news |

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