Save Our Dogs, a grassroots effort to save working dogs from CA AB 1634/Now SB 250, mandatory spay/neuter
Visit Save Our Dogs
Dog & Cat Owners Say No to AB 1634 SB 250 ~ ROUND 18plus!
See for FACTS on SB 250
Love your Pets? Read my files on Label Animal_Control.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

First week of the year...

I got some fun pics of Helmut, the Beachboy in SoCal, enjoying the beach. I always get a kick out of these blackberry pics from Geno! This is one Anatolian boy that is sure getting a lot of socialization. :)

And here's one a bit so close, he didn't fit into the frame. Looks like he's having fun with a cute golden retriever.

Late at night, trying to sleep, I can't sleep and trying to keep out of range of hubby who is coughing up a storm (he's the one that got the flu shot!), I ran into a cool logic and problem solving game called World of Goo. Intrigued, I downloaded the demo to my bedside notebook and get a kick of it so far. The opening screens, the humor and some of the graphics are so weird! The game is designed primarily by two guys rather than a whole army of programmers. If you like what Wiki has to say about it in the first link, check out its homepage at and download the free demo there.

Must be the doggie person in me but when I saw these rugs over at Weburbanist, I was sure some of them would make great beds for a snoozy Anatolian shepherd. I just don't get the one that looks like the aftermath of a sheep shearing event but there's plenty of oddness to be had there.

Hat tip to Diane who shared a very interesting blog post about service animals, particularly the alternative ones. The movie showing Panda the minihorse being clicker trained is amazing! No captions but if you have some familiarity with clicker training, it's easy to see what is being targeted and how well Panda is doing in this training. The NYT article linked in post is a long and interesting read that might annoy some of my service animal associates but the whole matter is probably a 'do not miss' for most!

Not the least of it all, tonight while resetting a license for some publications I get from Zinio, I ran into Arabian Horse World! Check it out. If you like horsey eye candy, take a look at what is available. You can get the sample copy for only 99c (Nov 08). I was a long time subscriber of the paper version which was a very heavy, glossy paged quality publication that would fill up a rural mailbox in its cardboard box back in the mid eighties. Well, now you can see the stunning photography and beautiful horses but in lighter-than-air digital format. What's not to like? Check out the link.

Labels: , , , ,

Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/06/2009 05:47:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Monday, November 24, 2008

Assorted oddities...

On LGD-L, (Livestock Guardian Dog discussion List which also has a library on subjects regarding these dogs), we read about how flockguardian dogs work with livestock and sometimes run into stories about various species kept under LGD care. One type of goat I hadn't heard of on the forum is a Moroccan goat that climbs trees. One of the by products of tree climbing goats is argan oil.

Chickens do have amazing abilities. I thought this was one of the better videos on chicken head orientation. :)

Constitutional crisis?
I thought it a bit odd, what is going on for Donofrio. He set up a Blogger blog when another site of his went down temporarily. The Blogger blog has since been taken down for about 24 hours as of this writing.

American Thinker has much of the Hawaii birth certificate info up to date.
A news site in Oklahoma has another summary.

I thought Salon was a bit amusing, after all, elected officials say one thing during campaigns and then do another. Honeymoon killer - Salon

Labels: , , ,

Semavi Lady woofed at @ 11/24/2008 07:08:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Law and Order!

Semavi Kale Shadow (Ruya's sibling pinto sister) caught on a picture after she ran in and rolled a puppy for unwanted behavior among Shadow's sheep. You can see from her expression as she leaves the crumpled puppy, just how she feels. Yeah, I know there are 'all positive' dog training advocates that argue that dogs don't do the 'alpha wolf roll'. I don't have time to argue with them. I don't think they've observed how large dogs keep order, which age ranges and the types of infractions - it is complicated and justice is administered 'to effect' - not at all like some sort of 'thug city'. Mama dogs teach their kids the law of the tooth and fang and normally one or two lessons can instill certain respect for the life of the given student. :)

Above type scenario came to mind when I saw this... it is a video showing some chickens disrupting squabbling ruckus from a pair of rabbits.

The hens are beautiful. I would love to have some Light Brahmas again some day. They are a really gentle breed despite what the video may seem to show. Pretty substantial in size, slow to grow, good layers, broody, good moms, light brown tinted eggs.

Just read that BoingBoing has a new game related blog starting up, Offworld. Might be kind of fun.

Labels: , , ,

Semavi Lady woofed at @ 11/19/2008 05:03:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Monday, November 10, 2008

Polar bears and dogs playing

Polar Bears playing with Huskies.

If you ever meet wild polar bears up close and personal like this, let's hope that they are not hungry! (don't click this link or this one, if you are eating!)

I have an older posting on this topic, here.

Labels: ,

Semavi Lady woofed at @ 11/10/2008 07:18:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dogs, men 'play' same game to woo women-Man-Woman-Relationships

Man-Woman-Relationships-Lifestyle-The Times of India

I have some old weirdly fuzzy / grainy digital pictures of Ruya, the girl (left), manhandling Boone, the boy (right). These were taken when both stars of the show were about a year old and after they badly abused a paper bag of dog fur from Zor that was going to be tossed after I finished working on their Uncle Aslan.

I had to laugh about the above Times of India article since at least with big dog folk, this craziness is pretty well known. And it's part of the reason that boy-girl pairs work better than having a girl/girl or boy/boy pair if you like to have Anatolians in stereo. :)

Ruya taking a big chunk out of Boone's cheek!

Here's some of the text from the article:
Just like men, dogs too know how to win ladies’ hearts – and that too from a young age.

According to a new study, while playing, young dogs let the female pups win, even if the males have a physical advantage.

They might lose the game in the short run, but they could win at love in the future.

The experts found that male dogs place themselves in potentially disadvantageous positions, which could make them more vulnerable to attack, and researchers suspect the opportunity to play may be more important to them than winning.

Infact, the gentlemanly dog behavior is even accompanied with a bow. "We found that self-handicapping tends to occur in conjunction with play bows," the Discovery News quoted lead researcher Camille Ward, as saying.

"A play bow is a signal that dogs use when they want to communicate playful intentions to a potential play partner," added Ward, a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan and director of About Dogs LLC. She is also author of the forthcoming book, Relationship-Based Dog Training.

Labels: , , ,

Semavi Lady woofed at @ 10/11/2008 09:22:00 AM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Anatolians at Ballester Ranch: Dens....big dens!

Check out the big dens at Holly's blog.
I love the pic showing dogs looking out in every direction.
They've got that paddock completely covered, Holly!

Labels: ,

Semavi Lady woofed at @ 10/09/2008 11:05:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Behavior, Training, Rescued Dogs, Neglect and the Abuse Excuse

A Nov 2006 pic of Helmut enjoying a stuffed sock with a hole in it.
Doesn't he look cuddly? :)

Cute training joke! :D See Savage Chickens: Dog Grooming Cartoon
(I'm so behind on Savage Chickens. Must catch up eventually!) :p

In a previous posting, I wrote about my service dog experiences, which probably offers a little bit of background in some of the broader scope of my interest in canine behavior and training. I'm always interested in how people train their dogs and why some people have the behavior problems in dogs that they do and why others are perhaps more successful.

Perception and communication are sometimes among the central issues.

Keep perception and communication in mind when you check out the articles I link to here.

This first one which has been in my blog bookmarks for about a year, regards training and raising dogs (and children!) by Julia V. McDonough who has worked with Doberman rescue and is a must read!
THE ABUSE EXCUSE J McL.pdf (application/pdf Object)

To learn a little more about Julia's credentials, go here. Below is a teaser from that page...
Hired in 1998 by Doberman Rescue Unlimited, Inc, a 501(c)3 organization, Julia singlehandedly set to work developing an in-house training and behavioral rehab program for the dogs in DRU's care. Today, her "DRU University" program is held up as the gold standard of shelter dog training programs by knowledgable balanced trainers and concerned shelter workers around the country. Thanks to Julia's balanced, results-oriented approach, hundreds of dogs deemed "unadoptable" by other trainers and shelters have gone on to live peaceful and productive lives with adopters who have been educated to a much higher, more dog-savvy standard.
She has her own website where she talks about her training philosophy. There is a page with several of her articles -- including the one referenced above (Abuse Excuse). I have some favorites! See the one called "False Positives" (on training philosophies), another "The Prong Collar: Fact vs Fiction" and especially this one "Dead Dogs Walking" (on evaluation tests that are used in shelters). I have previously written in other dog related forums, similar opinions on the these same three subjects, but not nearly as eloquently as Julia has. To see all the articles, go here.

Edit 06-Feb-2008: Julia comments with a link to updated info on Julia's activities and accomplishments here. Thanks Julia! :)

::: Related - I have a long running page on Prong Collars.

Labels: ,

Semavi Lady woofed at @ 1/31/2008 07:59:00 AM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Anonymous Julia V. McDonough, IACP CDT sent us a woof // February 06, 2008

Just wanted to thank you for your kind words about my articles. I've since left DRU after 7 years of service, but will carry what the shelter and rescue world taught me (both good and bad) for the rest of my life. I have a more up-to-date bio page here:
It's important in this age of "furkids", guardianship language, and the dumbing down of dog ownership that we take a stand for common sense. Thanks for standing with me.   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // February 06, 2008

Julia, thanks for visiting. Keep up the good work! :D   

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Prevent Dog Bites by Teaching Sharing

Teaching a puppy to share or trade, is a good practice. This article does a great job explaining the importance of teaching this in an article by Yvette VanVeen in Toronto's The


Semavi Lady woofed at @ 12/08/2007 06:32:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Friday, November 30, 2007

Dogs Can Too! (LOL)

Famous Internet Dog cartoon
...but for how much longer? ;)

A pretty famous cartoon above. And it came to mind after I read this at Fox News.

Dogs Taught to Use Computers in Austrian Study
In order to test whether dogs can visually categorize pictures, and transfer their knowledge to new situations, four dogs were shown landscape and dog photographs, and expected to make a selection on a computer touch-screen.
. . . Doggie not used in the study . . . (Doggie not used in the study, but I thought he is cute!)
In this test, the dogs had to choose between a dog-on-landscape image and a landscape-only photo. Good doggies: They aced the test, selecting the images that included dogs.

The results indicate, according to the authors, the dogs were able to form a concept of a "dog." Whether the dogs recognized the pup pictures as actual dogs, however, is an unknown.
The scenarios that come to mind when I think of the Internet Dog cartoon above being used in this test just crack me up. :)

Of course, with dogs recognizing other dogs on the computer, Mr Cartoon Dog might not be so right after all. . . LOL ;) :D

Okay, a more serious perspective. I think that our dogs are a lot more aware and perceptive of things than we are prepared to recognize sometimes. They do amazing things in search and rescue and in more everyday facets of life. It's just that it is us humans are sometimes unwilling or unable to take notice. Or if we do, other people think we are nuts.

I think I'm in good company. Heehee.

Labels: , ,

Semavi Lady woofed at @ 11/30/2007 01:45:00 AM | Permanent link | (3) Comments

Blogger jan sent us a woof // November 30, 2007

It's always nice when those not familiar with the intelligence of dogs finally catch on to what we know. Humans just need to learn how to build good tests.   

Blogger Semavi Lady sent us a woof // November 30, 2007

Boy, that's for sure. I remember reading the news about one you recently blogged, where some study tested to see if dogs would respond to emergencies. The testers staged fake emergencies and the dogs didn't fall for it.

I was wondering after reading that one, if there could only be a test to test the common sense of people who design such studies.

Of course, there are still pet lovers that seem to have the impression that if you fake a seizure or a diabetic coma, you can train a service dog to alert to a real one.

Yep, humans still have a long way to go. LOL :) :)   

Blogger dawn224 sent us a woof // December 05, 2007

I love that cartoon :)   

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Isobel, a True Working Dog

Isobel, running with joy!
Happy dog stories always make me smile!

From The Canadian Press - 18 Nov, 2007

Northern Manitoba dogsled team has the blind leading the not-blind.

Isobel, a six-year-old husky cross, has all the great qualities of a sled dog. She loves to run, has strength and endurance, and works well alongside the other dogs tethered to the sleds that take tourists out on the subarctic terrain of Churchill, Man.

It takes a while for visitors to notice that she is completely blind.

"The dog lost its vision, but it didn't lose its spirit," Dr. Evan Fisk, Isobel's Winnipeg-based veterinarian said in a recent interview.

"It can smell, hear and feel other dogs nearby."

Isobel not only follows other dogs on the sled team owned by Jenafor Ollander and her common-law husband, she sometimes runs lead in tandem with another husky.

"She runs tours every single day right now ... and we have tourists from all over the world that are absolutely amazed," Ollander said.

"I'm sure some of them think I'm crazy when I tell them she's blind."

Isobel wasn't born blind. Everything seemed fine until one day three years ago, when she suddenly came to a halt in the middle of a sled run and started staggering around.

"We hooked her back up in her house and noticed that both of her pupils were completely dilated," Ollander said.

"I remember a couple of people mumbling, 'What good is a blind sled dog? You should just take her out and shoot her.' And I'm a bit stubborn in nature ... and I said, so what if she can't be a sled dog? she's a good dog."

Isobel was taken to Winnipeg, where Fisk noticed her retinas had detached, possibly the result of a virus.

Back in Churchill, Isobel was kept indoors. Ollander figured she would be happy and safer inside.

Ollander was wrong.

"She stopped eating and drinking and we were quite concerned about what was going on," Ollander said.

"We happened to bring one of our other sled dogs home, and she perked right up. So it dawned on us that the problem was she was depressed and she missed her pack more than anything else."

Isobel was soon reintroduced to her canine comrades and her behaviour improved right away. She started eating and drinking again.

With some hesitation, Ollander's husband decided to take a chance and hook Isobel up to the sled team and see what would happen.

"That dog ran like you wouldn't believe. She ran better than when she had her eyesight," Ollander said.

Isobel has been running ever since. She relies on the other dogs, human vocal commands, and her other senses to avoid obstacles.

It's not a complete surprise for Fisk.

"I believe that their senses adapt and they adjust, just like a person," he said.

"We know that people hone in well on their hearing skills and their sense of vibration and time and distance and smell and everything like that. And dogs become really acute at that. When they lose their vision, the rest of their senses kind of take over."

Isobel is sometimes put up front with another dog for races, and has beat other dog teams in head-to-head competitions.

She still has a couple of good running years left in her. But she's already nearing the age when many sled dogs hang up their harness.

Finding a good home for her might be a challenge.

"We've had several people who've offered to adopt her ... but we're really concerned because she just loves to run," Ollander said.

"We want to make sure that she doesn't end up in a situation where she gets depressed again."

"She's OK in the dog yard where she has her dog yard buddies."

And isn't she a beautiful girl!

Labels: ,

Semavi Lady woofed at @ 11/18/2007 05:47:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mad Mad World of Scientists

One more post for today!

I wanted to blog this one a couple days ago, but today is a catchup day for some of this stuff so here we go.

From The Scientist, this article will probably tickle everyone. I do not know if/when the article might go offline but here is the link to the original, and the text for it is pasted below! I encourage you to visit the original article. There are often thought provoking comments at the end. ;)
Did they really do that?

Four decades ago, a group of scientists actually thought it was a good idea to give an elephant LSD
[Published 7th September 2007 02:22 PM GMT]

In a cartoon by former NASA roboticist Randall Munroe, a man reaches out and pulls a lever. Immediately a bolt of lightning strikes him from the sky. When the man is a "normal" person, he sensibly thinks, "I guess I shouldn't do that." When he is a scientist, however, he scratches his head and asks, "I wonder if that happens every time," and reaches again for the lever.

Curiosity is what makes scientists tick. This curiosity can lead to great discoveries, but it can also inspire bizarre experiments that appear highly peculiar to the rest of society. Such experiments come in a number of different varieties.

At one end of the spectrum are the experiments that, in the words of Marc Abrahams, editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, "first make you laugh, and then make you think." The research is serious, but the subject matter contains hints of the absurd.

For example, a 2006 study at the University of Western Ontario sought to find out if the average dog would seek help in an emergency. Cooperative dog owners pretended to have a heart attack while walking their pet. At a pre-determined spot, they clutched their chest, cried out dramatically, then collapsed to the ground and feigned lifelessness. The dogs were not impressed. Most of them sniffed their owner a few times before wandering around aimlessly -- except for one toy poodle. This bold pooch rushed over to the nearest person, jumped up on her lap, and offered his belly to be petted. The researchers concluded that most dog owners should not expect their pet to turn into Lassie during an emergency.

Then there are the bizarre experiments that make you cringe, not laugh. The classic example is the 1962 elephant-on-acid experiment. A trio of Oklahoma City researchers became curious about what would happen if they gave an elephant LSD. There was just one problem. They had no clue how much LSD to give it.

Elephants are really big creatures, so the researchers figured their subject would need a really big dose. They settled on 297 milligrams, about 3000 times the level of a normal human dose. They shot the drug into the elephant's rump. It trumpeted angrily, woozily rocked back and forth, then keeled over. Soon, tragically, it was dead. In the article that appeared in Science a few months later, the researchers euphemistically noted, "It appears that the elephant is highly sensitive to the effects of LSD." The lesson is that having three researchers work on a problem does not make it three times more likely someone will display common sense.

And then there are the experiments that simply make you shake your head in disbelief and exclaim, "Someone really did that?" Stubbins Ffirth was a doctor-in-training who lived in early nineteenth-century Philadelphia. To gain his medical degree, he undertook to determine whether yellow fever is contagious. He used himself as the test subject, exposing himself to the disease in every way he could imagine. He smeared himself with the blood, urine, sweat, and black vomit of yellow-fever patients. He dribbled the vomit into his eyes. He even drank undiluted vomit fresh from the mouth of a patient.

Miraculously, Ffirth didn't get sick, prompting him to declare yellow fever non-contagious. Of course, he was wrong. It hadn't occurred to him to test for transmission by mosquito bite. Ffirth's experiment demonstrates the difficulty of identifying all the possible variables in a real-world situation.

The history of science is full of bizarre experiments. Many of them, for all their weirdness, display a touch of genius. In 1978, Russell Clark published results of an experiment in which students from his psychology class sexually propositioned strangers in public places to find out if men and women responded differently. No surprise, almost all men accepted the invitation, and all women rejected it. Initially ridiculed by the scientific community (journals refused to publish it for years), the study now earns widespread praise for demonstrating the importance of gender differences in sexual attitudes, something to which psychologists had previously paid little attention.

Unfortunately, if you're designing an experiment that makes your colleagues raise their eyebrows in surprise, it can be very difficult to know if you're heading down the path of genius or madness. The difference usually only becomes apparent in hindsight.

Alex Boese's book about bizarre experiments, Elephants on Acid from Harcourt, goes on sale November 5, 2007. He is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes, and lives near San Diego.

Alex Boese

Links within this article:
L. Walsh, "D'ya hear about the moon bison?" The Scientist, March 2, 2007.

Annals of Improbable Research

K. Macpherson and WA Roberts, "Do dogs (Canis familiaris) seek help in an emergency?" Journal of Comparative Psychology, May 2006.

RD Clark, "Gender differences in receptivity to sexual offers," Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, August 1989.

A. Boese, Elephants on Acid

Museum of Hoaxes

Labels: , , ,

Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/11/2007 05:19:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

Monday, June 18, 2007

Right Wags are All Right

Anatolians Indulging in Right-Wags

Zor in the foreground, Ruya is the headless one. All indulging in right-wags. Boone on the left didn't have a tail in this picture. The dogs had been playing a wrestling game and had paused to wag at each other. Some Anatolians don't just wag their tails but it goes round and round and round like a propeller. Can't think which direction it flies around in, counter clockwise or clockwise? Bertha (grandmother to Ruya and mother to Zor) had one of those propeller tails sometimes - depending on her mood. Other times she wiggled butt, or merely flicked the very tip of her tail in greeting. (ecstatically expressive to plain Ho-Hum!)

Since the recent study and reports about dogs doing right sided wags for 'friendly' things and left sided wags for more wary emotions, I've been thinking about this more when I watch our dogs play.

Is it not just dogs? I also remember Tess, my Arabian horse having more of a right sided fling to her tail when she put it over her back to play, after tipping the manure cart over deliberately when she wanted to get a rise out of me. She sometimes carried her tail straight out behind her but held it to one or the other side at different times. I wish now I had payed closer attention to her tail. I watched her ears, face, eyes and other elements of stance a lot, but not always her tail. I know that in Arab horse circles, back when I used to attend Arabian Horse Fairs and the like, a tail carried completely centered was supposed to be most desireable. Other horse folks would say that carriage to the side was due to some issue in the spine or the muscles. But I've looked at horses running when letting off their own steam and when they are pushed or stressed and I'm not sure what I think. Aren't these tail carriages sometimes different? Doesn't tail carriage to the side in horses also have something to do with lateral expression of emotion?

From The Scientist
Tailing Lateralization

A dog’s tail reveals unambiguous messages about its mood. Now, a study on tail wagging may lend credence to the contested theory that nonhuman vertebrates have asymmetric brain function. Angelo Quaranta and colleagues from the University of Bari and the University of Trieste in Italy trained video cameras on the posteriors of 30 dogs while exposing them to four separate visual stimuli: the dog’s owner, an unfamiliar person, a dominant unfamiliar dog, and a cat.

Familiar and nonthreatening sights induced right-biased wagging, indicating left side "approach" brain activation. The dominant unknown dog procured left-leaning wags, indicating right brain "withdrawal." Peter MacNeilage, a member of the Faculty of 1000 and a University of Texas professor in psychology, calls the work "a confirmation of what others have argued" – that nonhuman vertebrates have behaviors linked to specific brain hemispheres.

Prior to this research, he says, "In a single subject population, not one study has shown both avoidance and approach. ... Usually when people study the two hemispheres, they use different experimental paradigms. In this case [Quaranta] uses the same experimental paradigm, making it more consistent. This paper supports the theory that when one half of the brain is sensing some danger, it’s more connected to the opposite side of body." A mystery remains, however: "Why do animals have this brain lateralization in the first place?"

1. A. Quaranta et al., "Asymmetric tail-wagging responses by dogs to different emotive stimuli," Curr Biol, 17:R199–R201, March 20, 2007. | [PubMed]

Labels: , ,

Semavi Lady woofed at @ 6/18/2007 06:37:00 PM | Permanent link | (2) Comments

Anonymous Anonymous sent us a woof // June 21, 2007

Interesting that you mention the "propeller tail" Leydi certainly has a propeller tail, I never knew that Anatolians could or would wag their tail like she does, I have to pay attention to the direction, I think when I look at her standing in front of her it goes counter-clockwise, now I have to look for the right wags in everybody   

Anonymous dog collar addict sent us a woof // June 24, 2007

i've been watching my dog, jersey, for the past few days now, & when she sees people that she knows she DOES wag her tail more to the right. COOL!!   

Thursday, September 21, 2006

If You're Happy and You Know It, Wag Your Tail?

A happiness test for dogs?

How much does breed character and differential bonding with select family members affect the results?

My Anatolians have been known to zoom around or speak/sneeze/sing when I come home, yet barely notice when James comes home -

. . . o O ("oh, it's just you...," say they. )
*tail tip wags slightly*

Yes they do love him and lean on him when so inclined, but you guys must know what I mean. :)

Do they establish what is normal for the individual dog before going off to decide if the dog is happy?

At left, Ruya in 2004, in the midst of a game with Boone.

Labels: ,

Semavi Lady woofed at @ 9/21/2006 06:15:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments