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Yorkie Central, Issue #019
September 03, 2007

Welcome to Yorkie Central!

Issue: 19

September 2007

This month marks 21st month online.

Here at Yorkie Central we hope to give you the latest in Yorkshire Terrier and dog news in general.

I would like to let my readers know that during the month of September and most of October there will be little or no updates to the website, due to a charity challenge holiday I am taking part in. I will be in China, carrying out a Great Wall Trek and have been raising money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society in the UK.

My next newsletter will be the November one.

If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favour and pay it forward.

If a friend did forward this to you and you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting the Newsletter page at our site,

In this issue you will find:

  • How A Dog's Vision May Cause Mistaken Behavioral Problems
  • Just added

How A Dog's Vision May Cause Mistaken Behavioral Problems

Most people are aware that their dog's senses of hearing and smell are keener than those of humans. Not as commonly understood, though, is the dog's deficiencies in some sensory processes. Whether this leads to problems often depends on the way people interact with the dog. The following information helps explain many canine behaviourisms, and canine reactions that owners don't understand and/or respond to inappropriately when it comes to a dog's visual perception, which create problems or diminish the positive quality of their relationships.

Dogs don't recognize details within an outline, such as noses, eyes, etc., on a human face, but are fairly keen at perceiving outlines.

In a Pavlovian experiment they were trained to discriminate between perfect circles and egg-shaped outlines. They performed nicely. But, when the ellipse was gradually rounded until it was 8/9ths of a circle, the dogs failed to recognize the difference, a task most people perceive easily. If repeatedly asked to do this, the dog lost all its previously learned responses, even to the big differences between circles and ellipses. Many dogs became neurotic and had to be retired to kennels for a rehabilitation program of rest. This experiment shows the dog's extreme sensitivity to visually perceived stimuli when they suddenly produce inconsistent feedback.

In real-life, the owner's hands usually signal positive treatment, such as petting. When the same hands inflict punishment or pain, the dog usually displays a momentary, often subtle, ambivalent behaviour, vacillating between affectionate and defensive responses. During initial interviews with clients, this reaction is clearly seen in dogs that have been punished by hand, so to speak. Further, when strangers reach to pet these dogs, the actions may trigger a full expression of submission or aggression, depending on the nervous makeup of the dog and its environmental history.

Most owners are not aware that their puppy's vision does not reach maturity until about 4 months of age.
Until then, things appear in various degrees of fuzziness, which makes visual identification of objects and individuals difficult. This can cause some pups to bark or growl at family members. If punished, the pups become confused and the seeds are sewn for problems such as submissive wetting and biting.

Imperfect ability to distinguish various shapes may explain why some dogs, in dim lighting, become unnerved, growl at or shy away from their owners. Though they can virtually "see in the dark" as compared with people, their poor ability to distinguish shapes may be impaired in reduced light. So, when they arc approached in low light levels by the owner, they may growl. Rather than simply clear up the mystery by speaking the dog's name, many owners punish or back away from the pet, reinforcing the behaviour. From that point, the problem usually escalates and the relationship between owner and dog degenerates.

Just Added

We have recently added some great new pages. Check them out:

Dog Adoption: What To Do When Bringing Home An Adopted Adult Dog...most humane society shelters evaluate all aspects of their dogs, from health to behavior and personality... Read more!

Leaving your pet behind when you have to go on a business trip or away for any other reason is tough... Read more...

Dog Breeding: How To Best Prepare The Birth Area...The area established for the mother-to-be and litter should be large enough for the box, her... Read more…

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you think!

From all of us here at Yorkie Central have a great month! We look forward to hearing your comments and getting the next edition of Yorkie Central ready for you and your friends!


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