The 10 Most Googled Dog Questions

In common with most dog owners, we naturally turn to google when we have a question about our dogs behaviour. Here are the most common questions!

What is the average length of a dog’s pregnancy?

The average length of gestation for a dog is 58 to 65 days with the average length being 65 days. It also depends very much on the individual dog and time of conception.

How to stop my dog from barking?

To stop your dog from barking you must first determine the source of the problem. Is your dog bored, lonely or just trying to get your attention? Try and schedule daily walks and playtime to tire your dog out.

How do I get rid of dog fleas?

Prevention is important so ensure adequate hygiene and regular washing and vacuuming of bedding. There are excellent flea control products on the market which break the larval life cycle and will stop the cycle of itch and scratch.

Do dogs dream and what do they dream about?

Dogs do dream, and enter a deep sleep REM stage (like humans) where you will notice rapid breathing and panting. As to what dog’s dream about…this is dependent on breed (working dogs probably dream about chasing sheep, while terriers probably dream about chasing rats!).

Do dogs eat grass?

Many dogs chew grass then spit it out. Most veterinarians consider it a harmless behaviour (unless the grass is contaminated).

Is chocolate harmful to my dog?

Chocolate contains a toxic component (theobromine) which dogs can’t metabolize. Small amounts will usually cause mild vomiting and diarrhea however larger amounts can cause convulsions, seizures and even death. Not to mention, chocolate contains high levels of fats and sugars which are bad for dogs anyway.

Why do dogs bury bones?

Burying bones is an instinctive behaviour in dogs (as is the urge to dig). In the wild, food would be concealed from predators and the dog would return to eat it later.

Why does my dog try to lick me?

Dogs lick humans for a variety of reasons, to show affection, because they like the taste of our skin or simply to communicate a need. Licking in dogs is also a natural behaviour they picked up from their mother as a puppy.

DO DOGS GET EMBARRASSED?

As an experienced pet owner, you certainly pay close attention to your dog’s body language, so you may feel you notice the subtle signs of emotion. Is there truth in the assumption that dogs feel human emotions such as embarrassment when caught out in compromising situations? Do they also feel secondary emotions such as guilt and empathy?

Instinctive behaviour

Researcher Dr Marc Bekoff, author of “The Emotional Lives of Animals” is convinced that dogs experience embarrassment (such as when wearing a silly outfit!) as well as secondary emotions such as jealousy and empathy. Other researchers such as Alexandra Horowitz (author of “Inside of a Dog: What Dogs Smell, See and Know”) believes these emotions to be purely instinctive reactions to stimuli. She also believes that dogs are expert at reading human emotions and feelings, but that shame and embarrassment are way too complex for them to understand. Basically, dogs have learnt to be submissive to humans and know how to put on the perfect shame face when accused of a crime!

No clear answer yet….

Despite the research carried out into animal emotion, there is still no definitive answer on whether animals such as dogs feel complex emotions such as embarrassment, or guilt and shame. Most owners will have funny stories to tell about the times they have caught their dog out doing a terrible deed and will have no doubt that their dog feels embarrassment and other emotions. Other owners will have no opinion or believe the behaviour to be purely instinctive. Whatever the case, no one will argue the case that dogs have some feelings…hopefully future research will reveal more about the inner workings of the dog!

DO DOGS REALLY WATCH TV?

The question of whether dogs watch tv (or other media devices) is an intriguing question! Dogs will respond to what is on the screen usually by barking howling or whining. But what are they really seeing and thinking?

Dogs see distorted images

Dogs are extremely intelligent and can see and interpret complex images in a similar way to humans. The difference is that dogs view the images in a slightly more distorted manner, in two primary colours, by what is referred to as “dichromatic vision”. Humans only see colours in the spectrum of red and yellow while dogs only see within the spectrum of yellow and blue. So, what dogs see on the screen are blurry images, accompanied by sounds of interest (such as squeaking barking or whining).

Certain breeds respond differently to images

Dog breeds such as working dogs may be more stimulated by a moving image on screen than a breed that is more motivated by scent (such as a beagle). Most dogs also see movement much more quickly than humans, which is another reason why they whine and tilt their head in response to a flickering tv screen. In addition, the positioning of the tv set also determines the dogs level of interest. Objects at ground level have been proven to provoke more interest, as do images of real animals rather than cartoon images.

Is TV beneficial for dogs?

Some promote the use of TV and computer programs for dogs, however there is debate over whether dogs enjoy watching such programs. While dogs prefer to watch images of other canines in preference to other images, they have short attention spans and tend to glance at the tv briefly before looking away. In some cases, the sounds of the tv may be helpful to a dog who frets when left at home alone, and a good distraction aid, although a radio will also have the same effect.