In this issue: our new website, new puppy class, did dogs give us an evolutionary advantage?  meet the Whippet, and preventing doggie dandruff
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PREPARE your puppy for a LIFETIME at your side!  This is the most important class your dog will ever take.  Early puppyhood is a critical time for socialization and learning. Lack of socialization can cause lifelong issues that are difficult to resolve when your puppy is older.

The new Puppy Start Right Preschool class starts May 14th.  Click here for more information.

A World of Dogs

Dogs: Our Winning Technology?

Dogs, any dog lover will tell you, are essential.  Without dogs we humans are, as a species, poorer, stymied, incomplete somehow.  Many of us cannot imagine modern life without dogs, and if pushed, even hardened dog detractors can usually be made to concede the usefulness of dogs in everything from search & rescue work to livestock herding.  Now, however, it seems the significance of dogs to humankind is no longer merely a notion shared by dog fanciers.  Recently, an anthropologist presented a compelling case that a possible reason humans won out over Neanderthals in the evolutionary battle for survival was our close relationship with dogs.

The context is one of archaeology's biggest mysteries: why early humans came to dominate and Neanderthals died out.  Neanderthals had a lot going for them and shared many traits with early humans.  They, too, made advanced tools, had a language, and lived in complex social groups.  There are many hypotheses about human ascendancy, and a brand new one, based on analysis of excavation finds and cave art, speculates that we owe it to our domestication of and collaboration with dogs.   Dogs, the theory goes, made humans vastly better hunters.  They helped us identify and catch prey, and they saved us precious energy by transporting animal carcasses, post-hunt, strapped to their backs.  (Paleolithic dogs were big and strong, weighing 70 lbs. and upwards).

Another component of the theory builds on the "cooperative eye hypothesis," the notion that humans may have evolved the highly visible white parts of our eyes--a distinct advantage when hunting--specifically to facilitate better communication with each other.  Meaning we can "speak silently" to each other using glances and expressions, and we are the only primates to do so.  The only other species with an affinity for eye contact and the ability to follow someone else's gaze?  That's right.  Dogs.  Potentially, we even developed this trait in conjunction with dogs--we shaped one another.  Humans may have been dogs' ticket to survival and evolutionary triumph (there are 400 million dogs in the world today, and counting).  Wouldn't it be great if they turned out to be ours, too?


 

Like Dogs Today, May Newsletter on Facebook

San Antonio Pets Alive Urban Pet Marketplace
Visit LoMa Behavior and Training at the Urban Pet Marketplace, hosted by San Antonio Pets Alive on Saturday, May 17th, 10:00 to 2:00.  Location: Travis Park, 301 E. Travis Street (downtown San Antonio).  A portion of the sales generated from this event are donated to San Antonio Pets Alive!

New website
Check out our 
new website.  We've had an overhaul to make it easier to find everything.

Upcoming Seminars and Classes

Out and About Manners, starts May 3rd
Dog With Issues (aggression, reactivity, fear), starts May 6th

Language of Dogs, May 7th
How to Outsmart Your Dog, June 4th

Community Service
Lorraine is committed to providing quality education to the San Antonio dog loving community.  If you are a member of a veterinary team, a staff member or volunteer with a local dog shelter or rescue group, you are eligible to attend many of the seminars for free or at steep discounts.  Check out the list of seminars.

Dog in the Spotlight

Whippet

Like their larger cousin the Greyhounds, Whippets were engineered for speed.  Long, slim legs, a narrow head, defined musculature, and a chest deep enough for powerhouse lungs make these sleek-coated sighthounds aerodynamic athletes-and-a-half.  Bred to hunt rabbits for the stewpots of English miners, Whippets have a strong prey drive and will chase anything that moves.  They love all manner of speed sports, from agility to lure coursing to track racing, and are spectacular jumpers and on-a-dime turners.  In fact, the world's premier Disc Dog competition, The Ashley Whippet Invitational, is named after the Whippet who became known as the greatest frisbee-catching dog of all time.

As fleet-footed as Whippets are outside, indoors they frequently turn into mellow couch potatoes that enjoy family time most of all.

To give a Whippet a second chance, search online for nearby rescue groups.

Tips and Tools?

4 Ways To Prevent Doggie Dandruff

Groom often.  Dogs' grooming needs vary greatly, but all dogs benefit from regular brushing.  It keeps their coats burr-free, distributes natural oils, and massages the skin.

Lock in moisture.  Use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners when you give Fido his bath.  After he dries, spritz him with a gentle pet oil available in a spray bottle from holistic pet stores or massage your own all natural hand cream into his skin.

Special shampoo.  If your dog has severe dandruff issues, always consult your veterinarian before attempting treatment.  Often, the vet will recommend a medicated shampoo in such cases.

Feed good fats.  Dogs, like humans, need good fats in their diet to thrive.  If you already feed your dog high-quality food rich in healthy fats, consider adding oil supplements designed for dogs.
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