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Your Dog’s Ancestors Were Weasels

Posted in Humor & Relationships on Dec 02, 2009

Nine Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Your Dog

By Kevin Fisher

1. Your dog’s ancestors were weasels.

Well actually they were tree-dwelling-mammal called Miacis that lived about 40 million years ago in central Asia.

2. Oh and he probably has family in China

Peter Savolainen of the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden studied the DNA of dogs around the world. He found evidence suggesting that all modern dogs originated from a pack that roamed the plains of east Asia about 15,000 years ago. So don’t be surprised if your dog barks in chinese!1

3. Your dog is from a very hardworking family .

Over the years dogs have earned their keep as night watchmen, messengers, shepherds, bomb detectors, soldiers, and even doctors! yes. Dr. Donald Broom, a researcher at Cambridge University Veterinary School showed that a dog can be trained to detect cancer simply by smell. He performed a meticulously controlled double blind study (reviewed by the British medical journal BMI) which stated “The results are unambiguous. Dogs can be trained to recognize and flag bladder cancer.”2

4. He may be older than you think

The old theory of multiplying dog’s age by seven isn’t completely accurate. A dog is able to reproduce by the time he’s one year old (thankfully a little out of reach for even the most precocious 7 year old) and reaches full physical growth by his second birthday. A more accurate formula is to count the first year as 15 human years, the second year as ten human years and every year after that as five years.

5. And yet he’ll always be a puppy

The evolution of dogs from Wolves is a prime example of neoteny or paedomorphism which means that juvenile traits are prolonged into adulthood. This is a natural result of human intervention: young wolves tend to be more social and less dominant than adults. Even traits like soft fuzzy fur, and large "puppy dog" eyes are not entirely natural but the result of human intervention.3

6. He’s better than a blanket

The average body temperature for a dog is 101.2 degrees almost three degrees higher than the average human temperature, so the next time your dog comes over to snuggle on a cold night welcome the gesture with open arms (as I’m sure you do now) and you’ll get the better end of the deal

7. He’s such a cute little killer

If you own a terrier you own a killer. All terriers (The word terrier comes from the Latin word Terra meaning Earth) were bred to be killers of small vermin like rats, badgers and otters. This is one of the reasons most terriers enjoy a good tug of war so much, it’s genetic and goes back to the rapid shaking of the prey upon capture; the coup de grace . It’s not true that playing tug of war will make your dog more aggressive, it’s actually an excellent way to release energy.

8. No matter how many carrots you eat your dog will always see better than you

This is due to the tapetum lucidum, a light reflecting layer behind the retina. It acts like a mirror to focus the incoming light, interestingly that’s also what’s responsible for the strange reflective glow in your dogs eyes at night

9. Prostates and pointing

Dogs are the only other animal that has a prostate (it creates the liquid that makes up 30% of the volume of semen). On a more interesting, less squishy note dogs are one of the few creatures other than man that understand the gesture of pointing.4

Los Angeles-based happytails creates eco-friendly spa, grooming and wellness products for the modern dog. We use the finest (“better than human quality”) ingredients to solve the toughest problems that dogs face, like itchy skin, tear stains and bad breath. Happytails is sold and recommended by veterinarians around the world for one simple reason- they work, naturally!

The products can be ordered at HappytailsSpa.com , by calling 1-866-HAPPY-20 or by visiting your local pet boutique.

1. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/dogs-that-changed-the-world/interactive-map-discover-ancient-breeds/1282/

2. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/01/06/60minutes/main665263.shtml

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoteny

4. http://www.springerlink.com/content/y62350012045573l/fulltext.html

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