Cavaliers as Companions
July / August 2017
Edited by Tina & Dennis Homes

SARA ENGLAND

Sara England is an acclaimed artist and proprietor of an independent, woman-owned & family-run small business in Delaware in the USA. Sara has acquired great prominence for her fun and lively artwork. Travelling to dog and gift shows across the country, Sara’s business has grown steadily over the past few years. Her happy, whimsical breed-specific art is also sold in pet boutiques and gift shops throughout the USA, Canada and the UK.

Sara England
Sara with her dog ‘Chance’

Sara also loves time with the "girls". She had two sisters growing up and loved to spend time with them. "My dream for us was to be like ‘The Golden Girls’, retreating to the tropics together after a happy life with family." Unfortunately, Sara’s younger sister was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in the spring of 2005 and passed away from the disease six months later. It was a tragedy beyond tragedies, and a life changing experience for Sara. "We go about life as if there are many tomorrows, but sometimes there are not. I always hug my family good bye and let them know I love them. I appreciate all the friendships in my life, and hope to never take them for granted. Life is a gift. Live each day with passion. Love your family and friends. Help someone laugh, even in the toughest of times. Humour can get you through. Life is beautiful."

She produces artwork of a vast number of breeds and they can be purchased as matted prints, framed prints, coasters, cheese boards, cutting boards, wine bottle toppers, wooden boxes and clocks. Below are just a few of her wonderful Cavalier prints and to see the full range of her work please go to:
www.saraenglanddesigns.com

Sara England DesignSara England Design

Sara England DesignSara England Design

Sara England DesignsSara England Designs

CANINE INTELLIGENCE

It has long been believed that dogs were domesticated from a wolf type ancestor around 15,000 years ago. However, scientists now believe that two 33,000-year-old skulls unearthed in digs in Siberia and Belgium show that dogs were domesticated long before any other animal, such as sheep, cows or goats. Researchers from the University of Arizona said the skulls had shorter snouts and wider jaws than undomesticated animals such as wolves, which use their longer snouts and narrower jaws to help them hunt. Studies have shown that some wolf pups taken at an early age and reared by humans are fairly easily tamed. But if the pups are taken in at a somewhat later age it becomes extremely hard to tame them. Unlike the domestic dog, (Canis lupus familiaris), as young wolves start to mature they become less responsive towards humans and their more wilder instincts tend to prevail. Young wolves are more social and less dominant than adults; it is therefore assumed that it was these characteristics that were selected for and which resulted in a simple retention of juvenile characteristics into adulthood. It is quite likely that young wolf type dogs were taken into to human encampments and those with the more juvenile, and therefore more responsive, traits were the ones retained and bred from and from these early dogs the modern domestic dog evolved.

Living in close proximity to humans for thousands of years, dogs have developed the ability to understand human behaviour far more than any other animal. It has been established that they understand human gestures such as pointing, head turning and gazing as well as two year old toddlers and indeed far better than primates. Controlled experiments by a group of Hungarian researchers found that dogs are extremely adept in reading our facial expressions. They don’t just rely on verbal communication to figure out what we want; instead they look into our eyes and try to work out what we are up to. This study has revealed that dogs are receptive to human communication in a manner that was previously only attributed to 6 month old infants. The researchers at The Hungarian Academy of Sciences found that dogs will follow our gaze if we make eye contact with them first. As most dog owners are aware, their pet has an uncanny insight in sensing our emotions. They can easily tell our moods and seem to know if we are sad, nervous, stressed, happy, calm, strong minded, confident, passive or anxious.

In a separate research project carried out by Professor Stanley Coren at the University of British Columbia it was found that the average dog can understand about 165 words, signs and signals. This is roughly the same as a two and a half year old child. Measuring the intelligence of an animal is a highly debatable subject and many scientists and animal experts have differing opinions. This is mainly due to the fact that we tend to compare intelligence of animals with humans which in many ways can be misleading. Ants and bees live in highly complex social groups with strong communication that we have very little understanding of, so the intelligence of a species must take into account its life cycle and environment. Because dogs have been integrated into human society for thousands of years their grasp of human communication is quite advanced. It has been found that if you point your finger at an object quite a lot of dogs will look at your finger and then also look at where you are pointing. A wolf will only look at your finger. It was found that certain breeds faired much higher in controlled intelligence tests. Border Collies and Retrievers were ranked the most intelligent whilst hounds and terriers were less bright. Afghan Hounds were found to be the least smart! Professor Coren found a Border Collie that could recognize 200 spoken words and was able to recognize names of items and correctly retrieve them.

It has also been found that dogs can count, possibly up to five. They can also deliberately deceive, which is something that children develop later. Psychology research has found that as human faces are asymmetrical and when people look at each other their gaze instinctively moves towards the right side of the face. It is believed that it is a subconscious way of trying to read the emotions and state of the person that we are communicating with. Research has found that the domestic dog does exactly the same thing and is the only non-primate species to do this. It is therefore their way of tuning into to our moods and emotions. Dogs can instantly tell if you are smiling, frowning, looking angry and they know what these human expressions mean even though they are not a part of a dog’s body language.

BODY LANGUAGE

Body language is of great importance to a dog as without verbal language it is their foremost means of communication. When two dogs meet they can usually size each other up within just a few moments and quickly know if they are going to be friends or foes. Although they do have a whole array of barks, growls and whimpers, these vocal sounds are rather incomplete without body language, posturing and facial expressions. Let us look bit by bit at the various ways a dog communicates.

Facial Expression
When relaxed the ears are usually held forward, eyes appear to have a soft look when gazing and not a hard staring look. Mouth maybe slightly open or closed in a relaxed way and not gripped tight. When anxious the eyes may be glancing sideways and away. Ears may be held back and mouth could be clenched tight or the dog may even be lip licking. When fearful it could also show these expressions but even more extreme with the ears press very tightly back and panting or breathing heavily through a somewhat clenched mouth. When intimidating the eyes stare hard like searchlights with ears forward and cheeks raised showing bared teeth. Breaking eye contact is a sign of subordination, so dogs test each other to achieve dominance. The dog that blinks first or looks away first is the loser and therefore ranked lower.

Head
Head held down could be submission or depression. Head held high with a craning neck usually means interest.

Tail
Held high is a sign of alertness, confidence and also dominance. This is where a dog normally carries its tail straight out and it suddenly goes up. It must not be confused with a dog that has a naturally high or gay tail carriage. Tail wagging is generally accepted to be a sign of playfulness but it can also be a sign of agitation. When held low it could be submission or fearfulness. Held horizontally and wagging rather slowly can be a sign of caution. A study by Italian neuroscientists at the University of Trieste studied the behaviour of a group of thirty dogs over a period of a month. They observed the dogs’ reaction when they were joined by either their owner, an unfamiliar human, a cat and a very dominant dog, in this case a Belgium Shepherd. To the scientists’ surprise all the dogs’ tails wagged vigorously to the right when they were shown their owners but less so when they saw an unfamiliar human. The cat produced a small wag to the right but the dominant Belgium Shepherd sparked a sharp move to the left. The scientists concluded that the muscles in the right side of the tail reflect positive emotions while those on the left expressed more negative feelings.

Gesture
Front legs and head held low to the ground but with eyes looking up and rump held high is play soliciting and is a sign of happiness and an invitation to play. Rolling over is both submission and deference. A dog that averts his gaze from another dog and drops low to the ground rather nervously maybe trying to defuse a situation by acting submissively. Paws on top of another dog’s back is a sign of dominance. Tensing of muscles and the raising of hackles is a threat and a sign of an imminent fight. Humping another dog is not necessarily a sexual action, it is often a sign of asserting dominance within a pack and who holds the alpha position. This is particularly true when bitches hump each other.

Backing away is a sign of submission when the head and gaze is held low. However working Collies regularly move backwards when herding sheep, but this movement is totally different and although their head is low to the ground, their neck is usually arched upwards and their gaze is high and are ready to leap into action to circle the sheep. Puppies that are raised without the company of litter mates, particularly between three to six weeks of age, are the worst canine communicators. Some people are quite alarmed at seeing litters of six week old puppies play fighting and biting each others’ ears and yelping. However, this is not real aggression, it is play fighting and socialization and is very important as it reinforces behaviour patterns that are vital throughout their lives.

As well as body language and verbal communication from barks and growls, dogs also use their highly developed sense of smell to acquire the information and the status of other dogs. Although we might find this none too pleasant, dogs can learn a great deal from smelling faeces and urine of other dogs, (I guess you could say that they talk through their backsides!!!) Dogs have anal sacs in their rear quarters that contain a mixture of pungent acids. When they defecate the muscles around the anus squeezes out a few drops on to the stool. This smell holds a great deal of information about the dog that can be picked up by other dogs that smell it, (in other words ‘poetry in motion’!!!) They also leave behind information in their urine and this may be a way of ascertaining territorial rights within certain areas. Male dogs try to lift their leg as high as possible to ensure that their scent covers the marking of any other dog. But bitches often squat and urinate over where another bitch has urinated so as to claim rights to this area and prove that she is the alpha bitch.

DOGS AND MUSIC

Dogs have an acute sense of hearing and although it works in a similar way to humans, there are several important differences that show how a dog’s hearing has evolved. A dog is born deaf and cannot hear until it is around 21 days old. Puppies have problems understanding from which direction sounds come from until they are reasonably mature. Dogs are sensitive to extremely loud noises and also to high pitched sound. Not only do they have a highly developed sense of hearing and can hear a wide range of sounds, but they also have the ability to pin point the exact origin of the sound, discriminate between sounds and make a accurate interpretation of the sound, and decide whether it is threatening or non-threatening.

Dogs can hear at four times the distance humans can and their ears are better configured to gather more of the available sound waves. Canine and human ears are very close in anatomical characteristics; the difference is the outermost section of ear. Few of us can wiggle our ears, so we are unable to move our ears in the direction of the sounds we detect. Dogs, however, have 15 different muscles and are able to move their ears in all directions and can move them independently of each other which allows them to do a much better job of tuning in to specific sounds. Dogs can hear low notes just as we do, but their hearing is much more intense. They can also hear much higher frequencies and sounds than humans. The frequencies that dogs can perceive and hear are almost twice that of humans.

So can a dog understand or appreciate music in the same way as a human? Are they able to recognise tonal patterns or is music to them just a mass of random sounds? Two recent studies have shown that the behaviour of dogs can be affected by the type of music that they are hearing. A team of researchers led by Deborah Wells, an animal behaviourist employed by Queens University in Belfast, exposed 50 dogs in an animal shelter to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Greig’s Morning and other classical pieces, the dogs became calm and laid down. When the researchers played music by Metallica and other heavy metal bands, the dogs became agitated and began barking. Pop music and radio talk shows seemed to have little effect. A similar research project conducted at the Re-homing Centre of the National Canine Defence League in Evesham yielded comparable results. Debrorah Wells believes that dogs may be just as discerning as people when it comes to music. Alison Jaskiewicz, co-founder of the Canine Freestyle Federation says, "Dogs have a taste in musical styles just as people do. If you move dogs to different types of music, you will see their preferences reflected in their bodies, in their eagerness to move, in their tail set, in their ear set, etc."

An Arizona Animal Welfare League has started playing classical music to calm animals in a rescue shelter and they have found that certain kinds of music does indeed help to keep the animals calm. A UK study published in the journal Animal Welfare also revealed that shelter animals overwhelmingly spend more time in a relaxed state when exposed to classical music. The dogs bark less and seem more relaxed when people visit the shelters.

Some Cavaliers have a strong aptitude for music. . . . .
Some Cavaliers have a strong aptitude for music. . . . .

. . . . . but they need to start young
. . . . . but they need to start young

. . . . . very young!!!
. . . . . very young!!!


OBESITY IN DOGS

A recent study conducted by Hill’s Pet Nutrition believes that a large number of pet dogs and cats in the UK are facing a ‘dietary time bomb’. The study of over 100 vets states that a great many of the caseloads are man-made dietary related problems. As well as obesity, other diseases that are exacerbated by poor diet include diabetes, high blood pressure, pancreatitis, kidney problems and heart disease. One researcher said that these similar to many of the health problems that are also found in children and mirrors the modern lifestyle of fast food, excessively large food portions and too little exercise. Amazingly the survey found that many people were totally unaware that their pet was overweight. Often people say that they are only feeding the recommended amounts of proprietary dog food when in fact they are also giving their dogs far too many titbits and table scraps.

If you have an overweight dog it is very important that this excess weight is reduced. Obesity can complicate other conditions such as arthritis and cardiopulmonary disease by adding stress to an already injured anatomy. The most important thing when embarking on a weight loss programme is to ensure that calories burned exceed calories eaten. Ideally you should reduce fat and calories and increase exercise.

You must be firm; no treats or table scraps or extra food because you succumb to your dog’s large pleading eyes! If your dog is excessively overweight you should first consult your vet who may recommend a low calorie proprietary diet food. These type of foods tend to contain few calories but more fibre to give bulk and make your dog feel fuller. Some dogs may need vitamin, mineral and fatty-acid supplement to maintain good coat condition while on a low calorie diet. You could also try feeding three small meals through the day rather that just one large meal.

THE LAUGHING CAVALIER

The Laughing Cavalier

This famous portrait entitled The Laughing Cavalier was painted by the Dutch artist Frans Hals in 1624 and is on permanent view at the Wallace Collection in London. It has been described as one of the most brilliant of all Baroque portraits. The odd thing about the painting is that initially he does appear to be smiling, but a closer look at his lips reveals that he is not. It’s just that his upturned moustache creates that effect. However, having a title such as The Laughing Cavalier I’m sure that most Cavalier owners would prefer the version below.

A Cavalier as The Laughing Cavalier

HOT WEATHER

We’ve had some really hot weather just recently so on sweltering hot days it is always best to walk your dogs either early morning or in the evening. Pavements can get really hot and have an adverse effect on your dog’s paw pads. Please take note of the following:

Hot Asphalt

DOGS ON BEACHES

With summer here it can be great fun walking your dog on a beach as long as you take a few precautions. Swallowing sand can be a hazard as it can easily build up in the intestine and cause a blockage. Sand can get attached to balls and frisbees on beaches, but as long as you are sensible and take a few wise precautions, time on a beach can be most enjoyable for both yourself and dog. Obviously you must avoid letting your dog drink sea water or diarrhea and sickness could result so try to avoid continually throwing things for the dog to retrieve because this is how that can ingest sand. Try not to let your dog swim for too long and always ask if jellyfish are in the area as these creatures sometimes target dogs. Avoid beach debris such as broken glass, fish hooks or sharp shells, and give your dog a good inspection and a fresh water rinse at the end of the day.

HOLIDAYS AND DAYS OUT WITH YOUR DOG

Dog Friendly Britain is a really good website for finding great places to go with your dog, including dog friendly accommodation, pubs and restaurants that accept dogs, dog friendly beaches plus all sorts of dog events across the country. Check out their site at www.dogfriendlybritain.co.uk


Property Laws

SLEEPING DOGS

It always amazes me how dogs can be lying on their bed in a deep sleep and when you rouse them they immediately jump up and are ready to play or go for a walk. How I wish that I could respond with such vigour when the alarm clock goes off in the morning. It takes me ages to arouse myself from deep slumber!

Most dogs spend over half of their life sleeping and some breeds may sleep as much as 18 hours per day! So why do dogs sleep so much? Their mode of sleep is somewhat similar to that of a human with two main types of sleep: rapid eye movement (REM) and slow wave sleep. However, dogs wake up much more frequently than we do. Therefore, although it may seem like your dog is spending so much time asleep, there are far more breaks and interruptions. Different activities will also play a huge part in how much a dog sleeps. Search and rescue dog will sleep less than a dog living in a home as a pet. The level of activity your dog gets will also hinge on the amount of sleep.

Dogs may sleep out of boredom, but they also know when to be awake and aware of their surroundings and next thing you know, they’re back to taking a nap. Age plays a factor as well; as you can imagine, older dogs sleep more than younger dogs do, and of course young puppies spend a huge amount of time asleep.

There’s the old saying "let sleeping dogs lie", and if there’s not a reason to disturb your dog while he’s sleeping, don’t do it. Let him snooze. Although your dog may sleep a lot you should always be aware of any abnormalities in your dog’s sleeping pattern. If your dog is unwell and is on medication or is quite elderly he may indeed sleep more than normal. While it’s important to not interrupt your dog from its precious snooze time, be aware of any changes in your dog’s sleeping habits and start keeping track of the length and intensity of sleep if your dog seems a bit too out of it and unaware of things which previously used to wake him up.

An obvious reason contributing to why your dog may sleep so much is the environment. If you create a healthy, peaceful environment with comfortable beds and blankets your dog is more likely to have a peaceful sleep than if he is in an uncomfortable environment. Any dog trying to conserve body heat curls its body. A dog that sleeps on its back with the feet up in the air means that he is trying to cool its body temperature since the stomach is not covered with such dense hair.

CANINE LOVE

Why are dogs such popular pets? And why do some people develop such strong bonds towards their dogs? Is it because dogs have a capacity for affection, love and friendship? When you come home from work the dog comes running to greet you with his tail wagging. He jumps up on you; he is so happy to see you! His feelings are so visible! A dog is able to speak without words, his actions speak for him. They tell what their true feelings are. With people, their true feelings are best discerned by watching their actions. Forget their words, just watch what they do. It’s like the proverb ""Actions speak louder than words". One lesson that the dog can teach us is that it is not words that reveal true affection, rather the affection itself. What is it that makes us love a dog? It’s their simple and honest love. There is no deception or dishonesty with the dog. He has a loyal heart with affection and friendship that will remain true throughout his life. This can give us all a lesson in the power of honesty and love.

Welcome FriendsHappy Cavalier

WHY OWN A DOG?

Why own a dog? There’s a danger you know,
You can’t own just one, for the craving will grow.
There’s no doubt they’re addictive, wherein lies the danger.
While living with lots, you’ll grow poorer and stranger.

One dog is no trouble, and two are so funny.
The third one is easy, the fourth one’s a honey.
The fifth one’s delightful, the sixth one’s a breeze,
You find you can live with a houseful of ease.

So how about another? Would you really dare?
They’re really quite easy but, oh, Lord the hair!
With dogs on the sofa and dogs on the bed,
And crates in the kitchen, it’s no bother, you've said.

They’re really no trouble, their manners are great.
What’s one more dog and just one more crate?
The sofa is hairy, the windows are crusty,
The floor is all footprints, the furniture dusty.

The housekeeping suffers, but what do you care?
Who minds a few nose-prints and a little more hair?
So let’s keep a puppy, you can always find room,
And a little more time for the dust cloth and broom.

There’s hardly a limit to the dogs you can add,
The thought of a cutback sure makes you sad.
Each one is so special, so useful, so funny.
The vet and food bills grows larger, you owe BIG money.

Your folks never visit, few friends come to stay,
Except other "dog folks" who live the same way.
Your lawn has now died, and your shrubs are dead too,
But your weekends are busy, you’re off with your crew.

There’s dog food and vitamins, training and shots.
And entries and travel and motels which cost lots.
Is it worth it you wonder? Are you caught in a trap?
Then that favorite one comes and climbs in your lap.

His look says you’re special and you know that you will
Keep all of the critters in spite of the bill.
Some just for showing and some just to breed.
And some just for loving, they all fill a need.

God, winter’s a hassle, the dogs hate it too.
But they must have their walks though they’re numb and you’re blue.
Late evening is awful, you scream and you shout
At the dogs on the sofa who refuse to go out.

The dogs and the dog shows, the travel, the thrills,
The work and the worry, the pressure, the bills.
The whole thing seems worth it, the dogs are your life.
They’re charming and funny and offset the strife.

Your life-style has changed. Things won’t be the same.
Yes, those dogs are addictive and so is the dog game.

Unknown Poet

BOOK REVIEWS

Good Guide to Dog Friendly Pubs, Hotels and B&BsGood Guide to Dog Friendly Pubs, Hotels and B&Bs
by Catherine Phillips
Publisher: Edbury Press
ISBN: 9781785034442

What happens when you want to take a holiday, or even just pop out for a drink, and your dog looks up at you with those expectant eyes? Do you know which pubs welcome muddy paws with a bowl of water and a dog biscuit? Or where you and your dog can both enjoy a comfortable overnight stay? From the editors of the UK’s No 1 travel guide, the much loved Good Pub Guide, comes the latest edition of the Good Guide to Dog Friendly Pubs, Hotels and B&Bs. Featuring fully updated information, the guide provides you with hundreds of wonderful places in the UK to drink, eat and stay with your pet. With this book to hand, there’s no need to leave your dog at home. Faithful friends deserve a break too!


HELP! My Dog Doesn’t Travel Well In The Car: HELP! My Dog Doesn’t Travel Well In The Car:
Solving motion sickness and other travelling issues

by Toni Shelbourne and Karen Bush
Publisher: Shelbourne & Bush
ISBN: 1533481725

Does your dog suffer from motion sickness when in the car? Bark in your ear or jump about, making it difficult to concentrate and being a dangerous distraction to the driver? Or perhaps he isn’t keen about getting in at all? Sharing the car with a poor passenger makes even the shortest trip stressful and miserable for everyone – but help is now at hand. In this book you will find solutions for all these issues, plus advice on spotting the warning signs, products and therapies, how to make journeys more pleasant, and step-by-step travel training exercises.


Goth Girl and the Wuthering FrightGoth Girl and the Wuthering Fright
By Chris Riddell
Publisher: MacMillan
ISBN: 1447277899

People are flocking to Ghastly-Gorm Hall from far and wide to compete in Lord Goth’s Literary Dog Show. The esteemed judges are in place and the contestants are all ready to win. Sir Walter Splott is preparing his Lanarkshire Lurcher, Plain Austen is preening her Hampshire Hound and Homily Dickinson and her Yankee Poodle are raring to go. But there’s something strange going on at Ghastly-Gorm – mysterious footprints, howls in the night and some suspiciously chewed shoes. Can Ada, the Attic Club and their new friends the Vicarage sisters (Charlotte, Emily and Anne) work out what’s going on before the next full moon?

Goth Girl and The Wuthering Fright is the third beautifully illustrated book in the Goth Girl series by Chris Riddell, sequel to Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse and Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death.

PHOTO OF THE MONTH

“Should I really be up here?”
"Should I really be up here?"


THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH

"Dogs don’t rationalize. They don’t hold anything against a person. They don’t see the outside of a human but the inside of a human"
Cesar Milan


For further online Cavalier news and stories don’t forget to read the regular Chatterbox page at www.cavaliers.co.uk and for some truly inspirational articles log on to the Pawz and Pray page at pawzandpray.com


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

If you have any questions about owning a Cavalier then click on the envelope to email Dennis and Tina who will only be too pleased to try and help you.

However please remember that we are not Vets or Lawyers so questions on these topics should be addressed to the professionals for advice.

Questions and answers that are of interest to other owners may be published on this page.

The Cavalier Club is not responsible for external website content.
 
Back to Top
 
This document maintained by the webmaster@thecavalierclub.co.uk.
Material Copyright The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club