Blue Dog Blog

The Latest News from the Pack at Blue Dog Bakery

By tag: weird facts

We've found yet another way that pets are even more like your children than you might have realized. Dogs, like kids, adopt a "look and learn" approach, which basically means they will mimic human actions when going about their daily canine tasks.

Biologists and psychologists at Vienna and Oxford universities designed and conducted research experiments to test the theory that dogs have the ability to copy what they see. They did this using a simple wooden box, 10 dogs and their owners, and a treat reward. Owners demonstrated to their dogs how to open the wooden box, sometimes using their hands to push a handle and sometimes using their heads. 

Five dogs were rewarded with a piece of sausage for copying and the other five were rewarded for not copying their owners' actions. They repeated this action hundreds of times and recorded the time taken for a dog to do the task correctly 85% of the time. The dogs encouraged to copy their owners reached this percentage three times sooner than those rewarded for not copying them. 

In the second part of the test, all dogs were rewarded for mirroring their owners' behavior. The five who were doing this the second time around reached the 85% mark twice as quickly as the other five. 

The study's results indicated that dogs are subject to automatic imitation. They cannot help but to mirror the actions they see. Even further, the results "suggest that the imitative behavior of dogs is shaped more by their developmental interactions with humans then by their evolutionary history of domestication." 

A dog's tendency to copy human behavior is very much like that of a child. It is how they learn right from wrong and how to adopt similar behavior patterns. 

Be on your best behavior. Your dog is watching and silently taking notes! 

Source: The Telegraph


 

With technology developments on the rise, it's no surprise that many companies have decided top hop on board the ever-growing app craze trend. New apps emerging daily are generally being catered to your gaming, researching, and social sharing needs on devices like touch phones, tablets, and even televisions. While some are playing it safe and launching super addictive games like Candy Crush, others are taking a huge risk and targeting their developments toward a pretty unique audience - your pets! And even better, there are actually people out there who are teaching dogs to use iPads! 

But hold on a second. We're not talking about teaching them to read and write so they can beat your unnaturally smart friend at Words With Friends. No, we're talking about learning how to do basic tasks in order to get a treat. Or even more useful things like how to answer "yes" or "no" when asked questions like "Are you hungry?". Engaging your pet in these sorts of activities is known to be a huge brain-booster and good for their overall health. And let's face it, it could be pretty awesome having a pet who is smart enough to pull up the weather for you while you're getting ready in the morning. 

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, we meet Anna Grossman, a dog training instructor who has an entire class dedicated to teaching dogs to use iPads. Her trick at keeping the dog interested in learning? Smearing peanut butter on the screen! We know all too well the measures that pups will go to in order to get a treat. Only now it's not just sitting, shaking, or rolling over that seals the deal!

Do you have a technologically advanced dog? Email your story to BlueDog@BlueDogbakery.com or post it on our Facebook Page. We'd love to hear your experiences on this topic!

The sounds of slamming lockers, hallway chatter, and tardy bells are in full-force yet again as summer has come to an end. Parents everywhere are rejoicing. Children are excited to be one year closer to the finish line. But you know who is NOT happy? Your pets. They're sad, they're alone, and they're going to take it out on you somehow - probably on your furniture and your floors. While most pets love structured routines, this annual change is a bit too overwhelming for your dog to process. You'll want to make sure they know that they're still the #1 canine in your life by giving them a little extra attention and reassurance.

If your kids are of the lucky few who are still enjoying their long, free summer days, you still have time for some late-summertime activities with your pets. You could spend an afternoon at your local dog park, take him on a hike, or even for a refreshing swim. The ideas are endless, but the most important thing is to make them feel loved. Once your family is back in the routine of being away from the house for long hours at a time, you'll want to continue engaging in these kinds of activities in the evenings and on the weekends. We know, you're exhausted after work. We all are. But your pet is going to be anxious, confused, and maybe a little bit sad. 

What if your kids are already back in the daily grind and you're beginning to see signs of anxiety surface in your pet? The first thing we recommend is investing in a chew toy or three. A very sturdy one. If your dog is an afternoon napper, try getting a comfortable spot together in front of the window so he can soak up the last rays of summer. We've even heard of some pet owners calling to leave messages on the answering machine just so their pet can hear their voice. In the days of modern technology, we honestly don't know who still has answering machines, but hey, if you do you should definitely try this one. And always, always, always make time for them when you come home. Always. 

It might sound silly at first thought, but pet owners are well aware that empty-nest syndrome can be a very real thing for your pets to experience. Just remember to create a happy, healthy home environment that everyone will benefit from, including your pets!