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The app that helps you find your lost DOG:

Lost Dog? We Have An App For That – Finding Rover

The app that helps you find your lost DOG: Facial recognition tool detects Fido’s features to reunite him with his owner

August 7, 2014

Scientists at the University of Utah create system to find lost dogs (shown). Their website called Finding Rover matches dogs with an online database.

The app that helps you find your lost DOG: Facial recognition tool detects Fido’s features to reunite him with his owner
■Scientists at the University of Utah create system to find lost dogs

■Their website called Finding Rover matches dogs with an online database

■It studies distinctive features on dogs such as eyes and snout

■This is then correlated with dogs at a shelter to reunite them with owners

■Stray dogs found can also be photographed by a person and matched

Any worried pet owner who has spent days hanging posters, making phone calls and knocking on neighbors’ doors hopes there’s a more scientific way to find a lost dog.

That has become a reality thanks to facial recognition technology that has been tested to successfully reunite a pet with its owner.

A website scours an online database to search for distinctive features on dogs and matches them up with animals that are reported lost.

Scientists at the University of Utah create system to find lost dogs (shown). Their website called matches dogs with an online database. It studies distinctive features on dogs such as eyes and snout. This is then correlated with dogs at a shelter to reunite them with owners

The website is called and was recently used to successfuly reuinte a pet at San Diego County Animal Services with its owners.


For centuries, dogs have been man’s best friend. But it turns out canines would drop humanity for artificial intelligence in a second if offered a treat.

A study in Animal Cognition found that dogs interacted with robots similar to how they would with humans if those robots seemed ‘social’.

The researchers conducted their experiment by having a robot point out hidden food to a dog and measuring their reactions to the robots directions.

But the dogs were better able to find the hidden food when the robot had a human face on it’s monitor, and acted ‘socially’.

The website keeps a database of photos from the three county shelters and tries to match eight distinctive facial markers on dogs with images uploaded by users searching for lost pets.

Eyes and noses are important areas that differentiate pooches, including eye size and their position near the snout. founder John Polimeno wants to expand the photo database to improve the odds of more missing dogs being reuinted, with shelters elsewhere set to sign on.

He’s also showing it to rescues, veterinarians and dog groups and is visiting other countries.

Every dog entering San Diego County’s three shelters is added to the photo database.

Daniel deSousa, the system’s deputy director, says the program can work two ways:

Someone can find a dog, take its picture and sends it to the database, where a match generates a notice to the owner.

The owner then can call the good Samaritan and arrange a pickup.

The other method is that dogs coming in to the shelters have their photos run against the database.

If there’s a match, the owner gets a call.

Pets-Facial Recognition lost dog app pet it dogs

Here founder of the smart phone application Finding Rover John Polimeno is seen during a news conference in San Diego. In May, San Diego County Animal Services became the first shelter system in the country to adapt the facial recognition plan.

The technology powering Finding Rover was built by Dr Steven Callahan and Dr John Schreiner of the University of Utah’s software development center.

They found the eight markers on dogs are far fewer than the 128 points on the human facial recognition program.

‘People are sort of uniform, the shape of their faces, skin tones, all their eyes, noses and mouths are in the same general location,’ Dr Callahan said.

But dogs’ eyes and snouts are in different places.

It’s difficult to measure accuracy, Dr Callahan said, but if there are 100 dogs in a database, a top-three match would be hit 98 percent of the time.

‘It worked surprisingly well, better than I thought it would. I had low expectations,’ Dr Callahan said.

‘It would take off if you had all the shelters in an area included.’

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“Invisible Black Dog Syndrome” hurts adoption chances

Invisible Black Dog Syndrome

“Invisible Black Dog Syndrome” hurts adoption chances

July 30, 2014

It’s not a disease and it’s not contagious, but “Invisible Black Dog Syndrome” is a sad, real condition affecting animal shelters.

The term refers to the propensity of would-be-adopters walking right past the black dogs in the kennels and instead opting for lighter colored or spotted breeds.

“There does seem to be a public perception that black dogs are aggressive or black dogs are associated with evil,” said Lynn Chriswell, a volunteer at the Columbus County Animal Shelter.

Hard statistics on this issue are hard to come by but anecdotally, shelters say that black dogs are the last to be adopted and therefore, the first to be euthanized. Besides the aggressive stereotype, Chriswell says lighting has a lot to do with it.

“The budget isn’t there to have tremendously wonderful lighting and so a black dog essentially disappears in his kennel,” Chriswell said. “He’s a black animal in a grey kennel without a light above to show how beautiful he really is.”

Walk through the shelter with this in mind and you can see how the dark coats simply don’t stand out next to their fair-haired brethren. In some corners, all you see is a big set of shiny teeth!

“They’re grinning!” Chriswell exclaimed. “But that can be misconstrued as aggression.”

Being hard to see means being hard to photograph and therefore, hard to advertise for adoption. The black pups sit in shelters patiently waiting for someone to take the time to take a closer look; Someone like Pat Hairston of Canines for Service.

“Drop the expectations!” Hairston said. “There are so many wonderful dogs that are thrown away every single day.”

More than half of Hairston’s new recruits from shelters are black dogs – the ones who seem to be left behind.

For Hairston the unexpected consequence of this “syndrome” is that her organization has the Cadillac of breeds: black labs and black lab mixes.

Some of her dogs are now in training to help wounded soldiers get back on their feet.

“Ask the kennel worker if they can pull that dog out and take it to a room so you can meet it,” Hairston recommended. “Because if it’s in  that grey shelter, you may not see its personality and the full potential of that dog.”

The “syndrome” also applies to black cats.


dog days of summer pet it dogs Canada

Dog Days of summer & rising temperatures

The “dog days of summer” are here, but don’t let the phrase fool you. This hot time of year can be dangerous for your pup, says a Kansas State University veterinarian.

July 25, 2014

“As it starts to get hot, the risk of heat exhaustion or death from heat stroke increases,” said Susan Nelson, clinical associate professor in the department of clinical sciences at the university’s Veterinary Health Center.

Leaving your dog unattended in a hot car can be deadly. Nelson says if temperatures are around 80 degrees Fahrenheit or above, your pets shouldn’t be left in the car. Cracking the windows doesn’t let in enough cool air and the temperature inside the car can soar to more than 100 degrees in just a matter of minutes.

Even walking your dog at this time of year can be dangerous. If your dog is lagging behind, panting excessively or has saliva thicker than usual, it’s time to cool off your canine, Nelson said.

“If you continue to push your dog and its internal temperature rises, it’s going to get weaker and more wobbly,” Nelson said. “The dog may start to seizure and even become unconscious as symptoms progress. Those high temperatures will shut down the internal organs, which can be fatal when a dog overheats that much. Even if you get the dog to a veterinary clinic, it may be too late.”

For minor overheating, you can cool your dog off by wetting it down with water and letting it rest in the shade. You also can turn a fan on the dog or put it in an air-conditioned car. To avoid heat exhaustion, walk your dog during the coolest parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening.

If your dog is experiencing more severe symptoms of heat exhaustion, wet him down with water and get him to a veterinarian immediately — as timely treatment is imperative in trying to reverse any damage the heat has done to the dog’s body. While driving to the veterinarian, directing your car’s air vents toward your dog while it is wet will also aide in the cooling process.

A dog’s tolerance of heat varies depending on its breed and age, Nelson said. Elderly dogs and puppies can’t regulate their body temperatures as well, so they will have a harder time coping with the heat. Dogs with shorter snouts, like boxers and pugs, already have difficulty breathing, making them more susceptible to the effects of heat.

“These breeds already have compromised airwaves, so when they’re panting heard because of the heat, it starts to cause swelling of the tissues in their throat,” Nelson said. “They then can’t move the air very well and they can quickly succumb to the effects of heat stroke.”

A little bit of panting is normal, but it’s important to keep an eye on your four-legged friend to make sure they aren’t overdoing it, Nelson said.

Content Source: Kansas State University

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yulin dog meat festival june 21 2014

Dog Meat Culture vs. Modern Society in China

July 24, 2014

The Yulin Festival, held on June 21, celebrating the summer solstice, has been held annually for years by local residents by eating dog meat and lychees washed down with strong grain alcohol.

Guangxi province with its offerings of barbecued, stir-fried and boiled dog hot pot and offers a glimpse of the deeply rooted traditional food culture that is increasingly at odds with a modernizing society.

While the question of what makes eating dog meat different from consuming beef or pork will continue to be debated, more members of Chinese society are countering with responses that it is inappropriate to categorically state that all animals should be either eaten or not eaten. Chinese animal rights activists and animal lovers argue that every animal has a value and the contributions from dogs used in the aid of law enforcement, in providing guidance to visually blind and handicapped individuals as well as companionship and emotional support for children without siblings and retired empty nesters is well recognized.

In countries where dogs and cats may be certified as emotional support animals, they provide service men and women returning from battle with constant companionship and love, helping them cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. Therapy dogs and cats that visit long-term hospitalized and hospice care patients or elderly residents in assisted living facilities, bring emotional support and reduce loneliness for many of these individuals. Dogs have been trained to recognize, sniff or sense seizures and symptoms of severe allergic reactions (e.g., anaphylaxis to food, chemicals or bee stings), allowing the dog to alert other humans for help or to retrieve Epi-pens for the administration of life-saving injections.

It is easy to go on about the benefits and contributions of our companion dogs and cats but what will really shift the culture away from consuming dogs and cats in China is generational change. We see this already with young Chinese children growing up with dogs and cats that have developed strong love for their pet family members. The human-animal bond grows stronger with each generation of China’s pet owners and is truly heartening to behold. It is not uncommon for our veterinarians at ICVS to see three-generations of the family – grandparents, parents and the only child – accompany the ailing pet to the animal hospital for treatment. During the Spring Festival, it is a joyous event to watch local dog owners venture out early in the morning on Chinese new year’s day in matching red silk jackets with their Pekinese dogs. China is having a love affair with its pets, the same as what pet owners in many other countries have already experienced. But in such a large and populous nation, it is reasonable to assume that this will take some time before the majority of society agrees that we should abandon the traditional custom of consuming these animals.

dog eating meat festival pet it dogs Canada

So until that day, what we should keep in mind is that we already face concerns about the quality of the air we breathe, the safety of the food and water we consume, the drugs we use and the authenticity of products we purchase on a daily basis. The internet is saturated with online posts about latest food safety scandals and the media is rife with reports lamenting the difficulty of enforcing quality standards and carrying out inspections in such a large and highly fragmented market. Supplying and demanding dog and cat meat products that are unregulated, uninspected and lacking quality assurance from any officially authorized regulator presents a real public health risk for the vendors as well as the consumers.

The WHO states that more than 95 percent of the rabies fatalities in China are traced back to exposures (e.g. bites or licks on wounds and mucous membranes) from dogs. Dogs and cats may be carriers of rabies and not exhibit any signs associated with the disease (e.g. aggression, excess salivation or “foaming” at the mouth, etc.). With less than 10-20 percent of the dog population across China vaccinated for rabies, the possibility of butchering or consuming a dog that may have been exposed or infected with the rabies virus cannot be ruled out.

Moreover, among the dogs and cats rescued off transportation trucks destined for the meat markets, the animals are usually a mix of strays and lost, abandoned or purloined pets (e.g. wearing collars). These rescued animals, after being taken to animal hospitals for medical treatment, have been diagnosed with a host of diseases, including canine distemper virus, parvovirus, coronavirus, feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia virus, and found positive for internal and external parasites. While these canine and feline viral diseases are not contagious to humans, it is hard to imagine that the State Food & Drug Administration would allow these animals to pass inspection and be sold for meat. Agriculture and health officials have raised concerns about the way that these animals may have been slaughtered with some dogs being poisoned or drugged. So from a public health as well as societal perspective, even the State Council Information Office advocates “when there is already a vast variety of meat, maybe it is time to stop serving dog.”

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Dogs Get Jealous, Too pet it dogs Canada

Dogs Get Jealous, Too

July 23, 2014

Dog owners were right all along. Our pups really do get jealous when we direct our affection elsewhere—especially when it’s toward another “dog.”

Once thought to be too complex an emotion for nonhumans, or perhaps just a social construct, jealousy in canines—and the “pay attention to me” behaviors that arise from it—probably evolved to protect important social bonds in the pack, according to a new paper.

Study leader Christine Harris, a psychologist at the University of California at San Diego, was playing with her parents’ border collies when she got the idea to study jealousy in dogs.

“I noticed that when I was paying attention to two of them at the same time, petting them and talking to them, they weren’t content to share that attention,” she said.

“One would push the other’s head out from underneath my hand so that both hands were on him. The other did the same. They each wanted exclusive affection.”

Sniffing Out Rivals

Adapting a jealousy study used on 6-month-old human babies, Harris and colleague Caroline Prouvost set up experiments with 36 dogs in their homes. The team videotaped the dogs’ reactions while their owners ignored them and instead paid attention to a stuffed animal (a realistic-looking dog that whined, barked, and wagged its tail), a jack-o-lantern pail, and a pop-up book that they read aloud.

The resulting behaviors suggest the dogs assessed each “rival” and decided whether it warranted action. If it did, they did their best to break the bond that left them out, according to the new study published July 23 in the journal PLOS ONE.

More specifically, of the 36 dogs observed—a varied lot including a Boston terrier, Yorkshire terriers, chihuahuas, a pug, and mutts—78 percent would push or touch the owner when that person was petting and sweet-talking the fake dog; 42 percent were upset over attention toward the pumpkin pail, and just 22 percent were bothered when the book was the focus.

Also telling, nearly a third of the dogs tried to place their bodies between the owner and the stuffed dog, and 25 percent snapped at the toy. (Only one dog snapped at the pail and book.) And 86 percent of the dogs sniffed the stuffed animal’s rear end as they would a real dog. It appeared, the scientists say, that the dogs saw the dog like interloper as a true threat.

That was a bit of a surprise. “We weren’t sure we would get such behaviors over a stuffed animal,” since since it lacked the animation and smells of a real dog, Harris said.

“I think their reactions would have been even stronger had the rival been real.” (Including real rival dogs in the experiment would have muddied the findings, as it would be difficult to control the situation and collect data evenly.)

“Our research suggests that when confronted with a rival for a loved one’s attention, dogs engage in behaviors aimed at regaining the rival’s affection and getting rid of the rival.

“These behaviors would seem to be motivated from a jealous emotional state”—though of course, she pointed out, the findings don’t speak to the subjective state of the dog’s mind.

Dogs: Just Like Us?

So do dogs go green with envy in the same way we do? Probably not.

“Humans and dogs are different in a number of ways,” Harris said. “For example, I would doubt that the dog ruminates on the transgression after the fact, whereas humans do. Humans also ask themselves all kinds of questions about the meaning of an infidelity (am I boring? unlovable?) and about the relationship (will this be the end of my relationship?). These types of thoughts are obviously going to impact the experience and feelings of jealousy.”

Instead, what she imagines is shared across both species “is the urge to stop the interaction, to engage in behaviors that reestablish the loved one’s attention. The appraisal that a loved one is interacting with a rival seems sufficient to motivate this state.”

The findings “are another step in dispelling myths about what dogs supposedly cannot do,” said Marc Bekoff, a fellow at the Animal Behavior Society and an expert in dog behavior.

There are compelling reasons based on solid evolutionary theory that even complex emotions like envy and guilt aren’t exclusive to human beings, said Bekoff, who wasn’t involved in the study.

“And there is no reason to assume that what animals experience is any less real or deep for them than our emotions are for us.”

It’s perhaps not surprising that in the study of human infants this dog study emulated, the babies, like the dogs, were much more likely to exhibit jealous behaviors when their mothers were attending to a realistic doll than when reading a book—a nonsocial activity.

More Green-Eyed Monsters?

Not only does the study show more broadly that jealousy is not a human construct, it also suggests the emotion does not have to be based on sexual rivalry—which is the way people often think about it.

Instead, it may have its roots in the need to secure resources in all kinds of valued social relationships, be they sexual, parental, sibling, or just friendly.

Dogs seem like the perfect species in which to look for something like envy: They are cognitively sophisticated, form bonds with humans and with each other, and will try to manipulate the way we give them attention (as the collies did). But what about other animals?

The official studies still need to be done, but Bekoff said to expect a lot more evidence showing how sophisticated the emotional lives of nonhuman creatures can be.

“We need to keep the door open on the cognitive and moral capacities of other animals.”

Content Source: National Geographic

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Six former sled dogs at the Burnaby SPCA branch pet it Canada

Six Former Sled Dogs Up For Adoption

July 23, 2014

Six former sled dogs up for adoption at the Burnaby SPCA branch


Six former sled dogs at the Burnaby SPCA branch are looking for their forever homes.

The shelter received the dogs from a sled dog operation that was shutting its doors in Pemberton.

The company’s tenancy agreement was running out and it could not care for the dogs anymore.

Burnaby SPCA branch manager Ryan Voutilainen says the new code of practice for the sled dog operators requires them to have a retirement plan for the dogs, but in this case, it did not happen.

“The code of practice is still a new thing for sled dog operators. It may still be something they are working on,” says Voutilainen.

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Not In The Dog House Publishes New Features On Mixed Breed Dogs

New Features On Mixed Breed Dogs

May 28, 2014

Not In The Dog House Publishes New Features On Mixed Breed Dogs

Genetic engineering sounds scary, but a version of it has been taking place for hundreds of years under the rather milder title of selective breeding. While this has taken place for all manner of domestic and farm animals, it is nowhere more evident than in man’s best friend: the dog. Breeders have created an astonishing variety of dogs by choosing to breed them for specific traits, and now they are starting to blend these independent breeds into new and original configurations. Not In The Dog House is publishing regular editorials on the latest mixed breeds to help owners stay informed.

Their article on the Pomsky ( a Pomeranian Husky mix, introduces the concept of mixed breed dogs and advice on handling these hybrids, as well as getting specific about the appearance, temperament, energy levels, grooming requirements, overall health and areas of concern for potential owners.

Their article on the Shepherd Pit (, created by interbreeding a German Shepherd and a Pit Bull, follows the same format for easy cross comparison while also providing a deeply informative introduction to this cutting edge mixed breed.

A spokesperson for Not In The Dog House explained, “We are creating these new features because our website is popular with owners and breeders alike, and all like to know about the latest dog breeds to hit the market. These mixed breeds are a relatively recent evolution of breeding practices, finding dogs from different breeds with complementary traits. They are hugely popular because they are novel, and as such can come at a premium. That’s why we give owners advice on finding the right breeder and avoiding potential scams. Armed with this knowledge, they can find the best and newest breeds from the right breeders, and enjoy the new world of mixed breed ownership.”

About Not In The Dog House: Not In The Dog House is a site dedicated to all dog lovers, and is committed to the continuing development of the premier resource center for dog ownership anywhere online. Not In The Dog House is all about how to treat a dog like man’s best friend. This includes information from selecting a breed to dog training tips, to advice and guidance on the different dog breeds that match different lifestyles.

For more information about us, please visit

Contact Info:
Name: Joe Bragg
Phone: (415) 632 1664
Organization: Brand Outreach


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dog park steinbach pet it dogs Canada

Is A Dog Park Needed In Steinbach?

May 28, 2014

Dog Park Needed In Steinbach

A petition is circulating around Steinbach in attempt to convince the city to open a dog park.

Dallas Gerbrandt and Kali Martens are spearheading this initiative. Gerbrandt explains a dog park is a fenced in area where dogs can run around without a leash.

“They can get as much exercise and play as they want,” he says. “And it keeps for a good, calm, quiet dog at home.”

Gerbrandt is hoping even non dog lovers will sign this petition. He says having a dog park in Steinbach will mean fewer dogs will be running around other parks while you’re trying to enjoy a picnic.

Gerbrandt says right now he’s having to drive to Winnipeg to bring his dog Frankie to a dog park. He says that’s annoying, not only because smaller communities like Niverville already have a dog park, but also because in his eyes, Steinbach has plenty of room to set aside such space.

If constructed, Gerbrandt says it should contain two separate areas within the main enclosure; a large dog area and a small dog area for those twenty pounds and lighter. Fencing, picnic tables, dog bag receptacles, signage, garbage disposals and a water fountain are a few things the park could contain in order to be successful.

Gerbrandt and Martens say suggestions for Park Rules and Regulations would include…
– off-leash parks are for dogs, their handlers and those accompanying them.
– dogs must be on leash when entering and exiting the off-leash park.
– no handlers shall have more than two dogs under his/her control.
– handlers shall maintain voice control over their dog and must carry a leash while their dogs are in the off-leash park.
– dogs must be up to date on vaccinations and free of disease and parasites such as fleas and ticks.
– no dogs in estrus/ heat are allowed in the off-leash dog park.
– all persons entering the off-leash park enters at his or her own risk. The City of Steinbach is not liable to any person or dog for any injury or harm incurred or caused by any other person or dog entering or remaining in the off-leash park.
– handlers shall carry equipment for the removal and disposal of dog feces and shall pick up and dispose of any and all feces left by the dog.
– handlers shall immediately leash and remove the dog from the park if the dog exhibits aggressive behaviour towards other park users or dogs.
– no food or snacks allowed (except for training treats).
– smoking is not permitted in the park.

Petitions can be found at Pet Valu, Pet Vet, Homestyle Kitchen and Deli, Southeast Veterinary Clinic, Fabutan, Pets of the Ark and Eastman Employment.

Martens explains only residents of Steinbach can sign this petition. She is hopeful they can bring the petition to City Council in summer after which they could redirect their attention to any fundraising that needs to be done.

By Steinbach Online

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