Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Wolves that have been reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park typically live until nearly 6 years old. New research, which will be published in the journal Ecology Letters, found that the wolves' ability to kill prey peaks when they are 2 to 3 years old.The study researchers say the finding challenges a long-held belief that wolves are at the top of their game for their entire adult lives.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Across a population studied by scientists, more turtles preferred to use their right rear flipper rather than their left when laying eggs... Read more
BBC Earth News
Which paw do cats favour?
More pet info at Dr Jo's website
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Read more about this feel good story
More about pets on Dr Jo's website
Monday, November 9, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
The birds are capable of a level of logical thinking, forward planning and creativity only normally associated with people. Scientists say the work calls for a rethink on the underlying mechanisms governing animal behaviour.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Tickets are available through Ticketek.
Monday, July 27, 2009
For the first task, the researchers placed a bit of tuna at the bottom of an otherwise empty, narrow-mouthed jar. They then observed how the cats attempted to extract the food treat.
Task two involved a fabric mouse on a string that was suspended above each cat's head. The paw that was first used to reach for the toy was recorded.
Finally, the scientists took the same toy for task two and slowly dragged it on the ground in front of the cats.
In humans, the steroid hormone testosterone has been linked to left handedness. This hormonal link also appears to carry over to animals. For example, studies on dogs that haven't been spayed or neutered show the same sex-based split, with female dogs favoring their front right paw and males favoring their left. No sex difference, however, was observed during tests involving neutered dogs.
More at Discovery.com
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
New research shows this is not the case. Dog owners were either told their dog had stolen a biscuit or had not. In other words, the owners did not know if their dogs were truly guilty or not.
Result - the only dogs who showed guilty looks were the ones whose owners thought their dog was guilty.
This means dogs put on that look just for the owner.
Dr Jo says "the guilty look is probably an appeasement behaviour, to deflect the owner's emotions from the dog. The dog has learned to read the owner's behaviour and has learnt to attempt to appease us. We interpret that as guilt.
This does not mean that dogs are absent of any emotions. Far from it. They feel and express many emotions. This syudy shows, however, that humans cannot interpret these correctly. Lots of learning to do!"
Original research abstract
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
The rare marine mammals hunt together by chasing fish to the surface and then "spitting" water at them to herd them for the kill, researchers with the conservation nonprofit WWF recently discovered. Read more
National Geographic news
Monday, June 1, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
1040 cases of canine aggression were analysed and the majority were attributed to English cocker spaniels, Rottweilers, Boxers, Yorkshire terriers and German shepherds. English cocker spaniels were more likely than other dogs to act aggressively toward their owners as well as unfamiliar people.
Among the English cocker spaniels, golden varieties and males were found to be the most hostile. The coat pigment melanin shares a common biochemical pathway with dopamine and other brain chemicals involved in the control of aggressive behaviour.
Poor owner handling also seems to be a factor.
Dr Jo says "I'm sure Cocker Spaniel owners and breeders might have something to say about this."
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Now, the Australian government (the island of Tasmania, where the devils live, is part of Australia) has decided to list Tasmanian devils as endangered. Previously they were just listed as vulnerable.
Friday, May 22, 2009
WWF lending a helping hand (or paw). More here
In a study (Bradshaw, Blackwell & Casey, 2009) of a freely interacting group of neutered male domestic dogs, pairwise relationships were evident, but no overall hierarchy could be detected. The authors propose that associative learning, combined with subjective resource value (V), can provide more parsimonious explanations for agonistic behavior in dogs than can the traditional concept of dominance.
Read the abstract.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Here's a link to someone else's recommendations. See what you think. Top ten child friendly dogs.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Animal hoarding may be identified as having:
· More than the typical number of companion animals and holding on to all of them (not adopting out)
· Inability to provide even minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation, shelter, and veterinary care, with this neglect often resulting in starvation, illness, and death
· Denial of the inability to provide minimum care and the impact on the animals, the household, and human occupants
Hoarding is actually a behavioural disorder,linked to obsessive compulsive disorder and needs psychological help. There are also considerable health risks with hoarding animals both for the animals and the people involved. If you suspect you or someone you know may be a hoarder, you can read more here.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I love a good New Zealand sauvignon blanc. I was pleased to hear that $12 million was being invested to define the flavours of this wine. Not that I'm pretentious about describing the aromas and flavours of wine. I just know what I like and don't like!
The conclusions of the study: The flavour was a winning combination of sweet, sweaty passionfruit, asparagus and... cat's pee.
Apparently wine connoisseurs routinely describe wine using terms such as cat's pee and now the market place is also catching on. Cooper's Creek winery calls its sauvignon blanc 'Cat's Pee on a Gooseberry Bush'. A wine region called Wairarapa, near the capital of Wellington is the top spot for cat's pee influences in the white wine.
Will this stop me from drinking my favourite refreshment? No, I verymuch doubt it. Obviously I'm lagging behind and need to update my wine vocabulary (but won't I just sound like an animal behaviourist?)! I can just imagine this taking off in my world...
"Oh this camembert is infused with smidgeons of rabbit droppings."
"My how those wet dog aromas have crept into this fondue."
Perhaps Dr Jo and the wine industry should do some cross promotion. A complimentary copy of Dr Jo's 'Cat Toileting Problems Solved' booklet with every bottle of Sauv Blanc! In return I'll recommend my clients with inappropriate elimination issues indulge their palates with a bottle of Kiwi wine with the subtle flavour of cat's pee!
Pet Problems Solved website
Dr Jo on Twitter
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Animal behaviourist Marc Bekoff thinks not. Dogs are full of natural goodness.
While we used to think that animals did not feel emotions, we now believe they have a rich emotional life. Dogs can laugh. They solve problems.
One thing is sure - there is much more to find out about dogs.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Addy, 2, is also trained to find Tara, who has autism, if she is lost and to stop disruptive behaviour.
Theories suggest dogs may detect seizures through changes in brain electrical activity, subtle behavioural changes or picking up a scent humans cannot detect.
Dr Jo comments...
- How far will people go to save an animal? Especially one that is not their pet? Read this article to see why people do it
- How lucky that a video camera just happened to be nearby to capture the moment.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
When unable to cope with problem equine behaviours, some handlers in the past might have used harsh methods or devices while others may have called in a ‘horse whisperer’ to remediate the horse. Often, however,the owner was unable to apply the techniue used by the "expert". And the expert did little to 'reveal' his techniques to the wider world.
Recent studies have begun to reveal humane and effective horse training methods,together with greater sharing of knowledge among practitioners. Reputable horse trainers using natural horsemanship approaches are talented observers of horse behaviour and respond consistently and swiftly to the horse’s subtle cues during training.
Learning theory and equine ethology, the fundamentals of the emerging discipline of equitation science, can be used to explain almost all the behaviour modification that goes on in these contexts and in conventional horsemanship. By measuring and evaluating what works and what does not, equitation science has the potential to have a unifying effect on traditional practices and developing branches of equitation.
Authors: Deborah Goodwin, Paul McGreevy, Natalie Waran and Andrew McLean
More reading here
Book - Equine Behavior: A Guide for Veterinarians and Equine Scientists by Dr Paul McGreevy
Studies have linked odour to immune systems and shown that people are most likely to be attracted to the smells of those who have different histocompatibility genes than their own. Those who have similar immune systems tend to not be attracted to each others' odours.
Clients order a test online and receive it two days later. Then they simply swab their cheeks and put the sample into a machine. Software then matches them to someone with a completely different immune system.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Researchers recorded the sounds and did an acoustic analysis of them to understand how the calls vary between individuals, and when they are used.
The scientists found that hyenas usually made these noises when they were fighting for food or in some kind of social conflict.
The biologists found that they could tell many individuals apart from their giggles alone, which often have peculiarities of pitch and volume related to their age and social standing in the group.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
In the school situation the Delta Pet Partner team works within the framework of the Student Welfare Policy – ‘the school values a culture of mutual respect, appreciation of individual differences and belief that each child has the right to learn and grow in a supportive environment among people who are caring and cooperative’.
Volunteers act under the direction of the school staff, in particular the reading recovery teacher assigned to each school. Primarily our volunteer teams will work with children either on a one to one or a group basis – as the children read aloud to the dog. Our volunteers may also be able to assist with informal chats, participating in group activities to help improve the self esteem, motivation, socialisation and communication of those children.
For more information visit Dr Jo's website and Delta Society Australia.
Friday, May 8, 2009
There were four boa constrictors, seven geckos, dogs, parrots, chickens, tortoises, a water dragon and a rat in a small plastic box-over 1000 pets in total!
Quite a menagerie!
When does lots of pets become too many pets? Hoarding
Garner and Janicke Nordgreen, a doctoral student in the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, attached small foil heaters to the goldfish and slowly increased the temperature. The heaters were designed with sensors and safeguards that shut off the heaters to prevent any physical damage to a fish's tissue...
Dr Jo says "Didn't we suspect this. I don't fish. I'm always kind to animals but this stillmakesme feel guilty!!)
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
After studying a cockatoo that grooves to the Backstreet Boys and about 1,000 YouTube videos, scientists say they've documented for the first time that some animals "dance" to a musical beat.
The results support a theory for why the human brain is wired for dancing. In lab studies of two parrots and close review of the YouTube videos, scientists looked for signs that animals were actually feeling the beat of music they heard.
The verdict: Some parrots did, and maybe an occasional elephant. But researchers found no evidence of that for dogs and cats, despite long exposure to people and music, nor for chimps, our closest living relatives.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The cherished pet "just went wild" upon seeing her.
Thanks To Sami at 2UE for this one!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
There are some rules that all who enter must follow, including no children under the 5th grade , cats too young to be held have scarves around their necks, customers may not hold or stroke a cat if it resists, must let napping cats lie, and never bring cat nip or cat food to the café.
It would seem that one hour of communion with a loving fur-ball at the cost of about $9 US dollars, is a bargain that many cannot resist.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
click on title to view webcam
Friday, April 24, 2009
The team, some of which produced the world's first cloned puppy, Snuppy, created Ruppy by first infecting dog fibroblast cells with a virus that inserted the fluorescent gene into a cell's nucleus. They then transferred the fibroblast's nucleus to another dog's egg cell, with its nucleus removed. After a week dividing in a Petri dish, researchers implanted the cloned embryo into a surrogate mother.
Transgenic dogs will give researchers another potential tool to understand disease.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
An attendent will be with the animal at all times during the flight and animals will be secured in cases. This should reduce the number of pet injuries when being transported as cargo.
Dr Jo says "I'm guessing it may be a while before we see this in Australia. Qantas? Virginblue? Jetstar?"
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Apparentlyof the 340 injuries to postal workers in NSW last year, 170 were linked to dogs. Along with reversing drivers, the life of a postie is never easy!
More reports here.
Dr Jo says "Try giving the dogs a treat each day.This way a postie will be a friend for life, not an enemy to bark at or chase and send away."
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
It seems that the snakes, after heavy rainfall, are looking for places to campout and for potential nest sites. More here.
Decided to capture and relocate our snake. Called a snake handler and while he saw it, it managed to hide either in our pond or in the bushes nearby. Still a snake lurking!
More news about snakes...
Snakes on a plane
The Daily Telegraph
Dr Jo says "Problems involving owner underwear is actually quite common in our pets. Most simply enjoy being near it when left alone. It reminds them of us as this is where our scent is concentrated most. Occasionally some will even ingest it. Some dogs have been known to raid the laundry basket and parade your g-string or larger granny-style undies in front of your entire dinner party!"
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Dr Jo says... "Cats need taurine in their diet.They also need a high concentration of protein. I wonder how much this cat is getting. Perhaps she should try a good quality dry food. The cat may not taste this as meat but he will get the nutrients he needs."
Thursday, April 9, 2009
On a lighter note, a post mortem of Yellow band discovered that she was in fact a he!!
Full story here
Increasing temperatures will expose pets to new infectious diseases spread by ticks, fleas and mosquitoes, according to new research in Europe.
- The European dog tick is transmitting a malaria-like disease into countries where it was once rare and increasing numbers of Ixodes ticks increase their risk of passing tick-borne encephalitis to horses and dogs.
- Cat flea typhus, still a rare disease, may also become more common in both cats and dogs.
Dogs in central Europe will increasingly become vulnerable to the roundworm dirofilaria spread by mosquitoes.
- Increasing spread of sandflies due to climate change may also increase canine leishmaniosis
Original source: news.com.au
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Dr Jo says "No one asked me to talk about my ferrets :("
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
- owners reprimanding the dog by physical and verbal means
- owners allowing the dog to initiate play and to win tug-of-war games
- allowing the dogs onto household furniture
- feeding the dog directly from the family table
- not being trusted with children
- not responding to basic commands
- variable obedience to different people
- variable degrees of obedience depending on the location
- displays of problem behaviours such as destructiveness and barking only when family members were present
- displays of fearful reactions in specific circumstances and excessive displays of specific behaviours
- owner tolerance of significant degrees of aggressive behaviour
- inadequate or ineffective obedience training
- biting of adult household members
- possible influence of ad libitum feeding
O'Sullivan et al.(2008). The management and behavioural history of 100 dogs reported for biting a person. Appied Animal Behaviour Science, 114: 149-158.
A recent study (Herron et al, 2009) has shown that such aversive techniques result in the dog being more aggressive towards their owner. Dog owners need to learn that aversive techniques can put them in danger and find other more appropriate solutions to their pet's behaviour problems.
N.B. Next time you watch an 'educational' television show about dogs, look out for aversive techniques being used!
Herron, M.E. et al (2009). Survey of the use and outcome of confrontational and non-confrontational training methods in client-owned dogs showing undesired behaviors. Applied Animal Behaviour Science Vol. 117: 47-54.
Also see this article
So yes, dogs can be "jealous"
Dr Jo says "I own a mixed breed - what does that say for my looks!!"
Monday, April 6, 2009
Dr Jo says "Bet her family were glad to see her home"
Could your dog survive as a castaway?
- A dog's main aim in life is to find food and shelter. OK, nowadays its not antelope and caves. It's more like gourmet cuisine and your sofa. But it's an inbuilt survival strategy.
- Feral dog populations do well in most countries. These animals have learnt to scavenge. They may be hungry but generally their survival instincts kick in when abandoned.
- Your pampered pooch has teeth and will defend himself when required. When he is hungry or threatened, he will ensure he survives. He will compete with others for his precious resources,especially when these are in limited supply.
Thanksfully most dogs never need to use these instinctive skills. Could you be living with a wild dog?
Should we hunt crocodiles?
Thursday, April 2, 2009
The dry desert heat can make anyone thirsty, but the marauding pests - who some estimate now roam the outback in their millions, are causing havoc in their pursuit of a drink.
Pride of the pride...Asali the lioness was the smartest of the pride and gets a reward.
IT'S an act of feline co-operation that would put many a moggie owner to shame. The keepers at Taronga Zoo have trained an irascible, 125-kilogram lioness to volunteer her hip at the edge of her cage so they can administer vaccination injections - no sedation, no drama, no claws before bedtime.
Sydney morning Herald
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
March 24, 2009 -- A team of veterinarians has found a surprising link between compulsive tail-chasing in dogs and high cholesterol, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Small Animal Practice.