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Animal Radio for April 14, 2018  

Pets Make You More Attractive
Dr. Helen Fisher, Kinsey Institute

Dr. Helen FisherDr. Helen Fisher is a Senior Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute and the Chief Scientific Advisor at She's been studying the correlation between pets and dating. Dr. Fisher says, "Dogs are chick magnets!" Women find men with a dog to be more attractive. But interestingly, or not, this does not work in reverse. In fact, the 'cat lady' has a negative stigma.

Dr. Fisher states that a man with a dog is a very honest signal that they send. Women tend to feel that a man who has a dog is able to follow a schedule, is able to play with an individual and is reliable. If they have a dog, they've got to show up at a certain hour to feed the dog. If they go away for the weekend, they've got to make arrangements for the dog. You've got to take it to the veterinarian when it gets sick, etc. It's a real commitment. So it's a very honest signal fro mate choice that men send to women saying, "Listen, I'm not only here and I'm approachable, you've got an easy way to approach me, just come up and talk to my dog, but also that I'm a caring person, a nurturing person, a person who can take responsibility for a very vital living creature and follow the schedule and give it the love and the care that it needs."

The study was done on the dating and attraction between the sexes, but having a dog is also very useful in other ways like pan handling. Panhandlers that that have a dog with them seem to get more money. This might be because even though the panhandler doesn't have any money, they obviously have enough caring to take care of an animal. Perhaps people who give money to a panhandler hope that they're also giving it to the dog.

Guy with a DogIf women see a picture of a man with a cat and then a picture of a man with a dog, which is going to be the most appealing to them? Dr. Fisher states definitely the dog. She says that cats are not anywhere near as likely to be used as what is called the "social tool." This is because they don't always come when you call and they don't chase after a ball. You don't take them to the park and play with them. They're nowhere near as willing to be man's best friend. If you have a dog, you can take them to the park, you can play games with them, you can really show them off in all kinds of places. If you have a cat, you need to bring someone to your house, whereas you don't have to bring people to the house to show them a dog. You can walk the dog in many places and meet people on the street as you're walking along. So a dog is a much more efficient social tool for the pickup.

Dr. fisher states that it is very important to watch how somebody responds to your pet, because your pet is part of the family and if a new family member can't get along with your animals, there is going to be a problem.

While it's been proven people with animals are more attractive to other people, is there anything that shows where you get your dog from makes a difference? For example, if you adopt instead of a going to a breeder, does that make you more attractive? Dr. Fisher explains that she hasn't studied that, but as an anthropologist, she thinks that the more altruistic signal you can send, the more effective the signal will be. So if you adopt an animal from the pound, it gives you some extra mate value.

Girl with a DogSo should you get a mutt or a purebred? Dr. Fisher tells us that some people are going to want a purebred, because they're in the business of showing animals. However, there are going to be different kinds of pet owners. There are going to be some that want to show them off and some that are going to want to save stray animals.

One thing that's very interesting is that when you interact with the dog, apparently it escalates an oxytocin activity in the brain and oxytocin is linked with feelings of attachment and calm. So the person who gets a dog or even a cat who's probably constantly stroking that animal, is going to probably also have a sort of a global feeling of calm.

An interesting fact that they found in their study at, was that men with a dog really attract women. But, women with a dog don't get quite the same response from men. Dr. Fisher thinks the reason for this is that for millions of years, women have really looked for a partner to help them raise their babies. A man with a dog is really a signal that he can take care of something that is more helpless and needs their care, whereas men, for millions of years, really needed a woman who could bare them healthy babies. They can do that by just looking at a woman and talking to a woman. They don't really need to see her with a dog. So dogs are much more effective as chick bait for men than for women.

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Pheromones In Puppy Training - Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie WhiteSo you just got a new puppy and you have all your training tools at the ready, the collar, leash and dog crate. But beyond that, do you have the one thing that can make your training tasks easier all around? Tap into your puppy's own sense of smell using canine pheromones, and ease your new pup's training and transition into the home.

Pheromones are scent signals emitted by all animal species, including humans. Various pheromones work under the radar to influence the perceptions and behaviors of others within a species.

Shortly after whelping, a pheromone is emitted from the bitch's sebaceous (oil) glands located between the mammary glands. The pheromone, dubbed the canine appeasing pheromone, reassures the puppies, calms them and facilitates nursing. The bitch stops emitting this pheromone as the pups mature, but all dogs retain the ability to "read" this pheromone. Not only do older dogs recognize this pheromone, but it continues to have a natural calming effect on canines of all ages.

In veterinary behavior cases, the dog appeasing pheromone is used for dogs with noise phobias, car travel anxiety, separation anxiety, and other fearful situations. Various forms are available including pheromone collars, plug in diffusers and sprays. The canine appeasing pheromone doesn't sedate the dog; rather it decreases fear and excitability.

The dog appeasing pheromone is also helpful for newly adopted puppies. Those first few days to weeks in a new home are full of changes for the pup faced with novel environments far from the comfort of mother and siblings. The dog appeasing pheromone has been shown to ease the transition of the pup into new home and improve sociability and training during a pup's critical socialization period.

Pheromone Research
For skeptics that need to see the proof in the studies, veterinary behavior studies have examined the positive influence of the dog appeasing pheromone. When comparing treatment responses for dogs with separation anxiety, the use of the dog appeasing pheromone equaled the benefit of the anti-anxiety medication, amitriptyline.

One study looked at 66 puppies as they settled into new homes after adoption. Approximately half of the puppies wore a pheromone collar and half wore a placebo. The study found that puppies wearing a pheromone collar displayed significantly fewer nuisance behaviors like vocalizations or scratching within 3 days of adoption. Pups wearing the pheromone collar woke their owner's less during the night and displayed fewer signs of distress and vocalizations throughout the course of the study.

The researchers concluded that pheromone collars helped both the pup and family. Pups were less stressed and adapted easier. By decreasing the pup's stress and fearful behaviors, the pet owners found a more enjoyable bonding experience with the new pup and faced less frustration through the training process.

NikkiIn another study, puppies 8 to 15 weeks were enrolled in an eight-week long puppy socialization and training class. Half wore a pheromone collar and the other half wore a placebo collar. The pups wearing the collar were calmer in the face of novel experiences and displayed less fear, anxiety, and aggression. In the end, the pups with pheromone collar not only were less nervous, but had fewer behavioral problems and learned better. And a long-term effect on sociability was recognized in dogs up to one year after the class and study was completed.

Pheromones and My Pup
As the new owner of a nine-week old Bouvier puppy named Nikki, I used both the pheromone collar and diffuser upon welcoming my new pup home. One day before bringing Nikki home, I placed a pheromone diffuser close to the puppy crate, where it would have maximum benefit during her first nights in the kennel away from mother and siblings. Immediately upon leaving the breeder's home, Nikki was fitted with a pheromone collar to serve as a source of reassuring pheromones that went everywhere she did. The pheromone collar has become a tool in Nikki's socialization. It's on her when she meets new people or animals, when she explores new environments, and during puppy kindergarten class.

Did pheromones help in my pup's transition and training? The four hour drive home from the breeders was a dream, no crying or whining the entire trip. Now three weeks later from acquiring my pup, and Nikki never soiled in her kennel during the day or night. I'll admit I had my share of interrupted sleep in the first two weeks, but most of Nikki's night time wakes were for genuine elimination needs. Overall her transition into the home was smooth and lacked the wailing, inconsolable cries of a stressed pup.

The canine appeasing pheromone isn't a magic bullet though. Nothing matches a quality pup obtained from a reputable breeder who focuses on health, genetics, and early socialization. Likewise pheromones do not replace the hard work and consistent training efforts that any new pet owner must provide. However, by adding the the canine appeasing pheromone to your new puppy training, you can help your pup become the best he or she possibly can.

For more information on the DAP products, visit CEVA.

Featured veterinarian known as "Dr. Debbie" on national pet radio program, Animal Radio. Ebook author of "Yorkshire Terriers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Pugs: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Mini Schnauzers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; and "Shih Tzu: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend." Dr. Debbie's books.

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Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks

Lori and Flo BearMajor Pet Store Raided After Whistle Blower
Police and Animal Care and Control officers in Bellevue, Tennessee recently raided a national pet store chain location after getting a tip and photos concerning animal cruelty. That tip, along with the pictures, came from an employee at the store. After stopping by the PetSmart for a look, they took away six rodents including hamsters, mice and a guinea pig. The city's Animal Control Director said, "These small animals, whether they're reptiles, fish, hamsters, guinea pigs, they suffer the same as do dogs and cats." The district attorney's office will decide whether any charges should be filed. PetSmart has released a statement saying, "We are always committed to putting the needs of the pets in our care first. We empower our store associates to do what's right for all pets, which includes instruction to have any sick animal immediately seen by a veterinarian if needed. There is no adverse effect on a store team that takes every step possible to care for pets."

Man Wearing Shirt with Dog's PictureWearable Pet Portraits
For pet lovers who have the cash to spare, they're spending a lot of money at a New York City Soho boutique to have their pet's likeness embroidered on shirts, sweaters, bags, hoodies, anything that allows them to have a unique wearable pet portrait. The designs start at $500 and can cost upward of $1,000, depending on the size and extra embellishments. First, the artists make an illustration on a computer based on several photos of the pet. Then using embroidery software, they create a pattern. The whole process takes one to two weeks. When they're done, the customer also gets the sample embroidery that they can hang on their wall.

Canada Has Shortage of Pet Rentals
If you don't own a home and you have a pet, you know that finding a home to rent that accepts pet can be difficult. There's a new poll of Canadians that's been done on that subject, because in Canada there's a housing shortage and it is notoriously difficult just to find a home, let alone one that allows pets. According to this poll, 64-percent of British Columbia respondents felt landlords should have the right to refuse to rent to pet owners compared to 36-percent who felt landlords should not be able to deny a tenant's pets. Of course opinions varied between homeowners and tenants. The majority of support comes from those who already own property, be it homeowners or landlords themselves. Seventy-six percent of landlords support their right to refuse to rent to pet owners and 70-percent of homeowners agree. However, it's not all bad for pet lovers who rent in Canada. Ontario is only province that doesn't allow landlords to prohibit renters from getting a pet once they've already moved in.

DachshundMuseum For Weiner Dogs
A museum dedicated to the Dachshund, Germany's short-legged, long-bodied "Weiner Dog," just opened this month in Bavaria, where locals are obsessed with the little dogs. The museum has more than 2,000 exhibits. Two proud doxie owners and former florists gave up their jobs to open the museum in Bavaria, which they say is the world's first. They built it from nothing in just three months. In the U.S. we tend to call them "weiner dogs," but in Germany they're known as "sausage dogs." It's one of Germany's oldest breeds and sausage dogs, or doxen's can be long, short or wire-haired and are one of the country's most popular dogs.

HawkAttack Raptor
Police in Connecticut are warning people to be on the lookout for an aggressive hawk that has attacked the back of at least one person's head. It happened in the Connecticut town of Fairfield where police and animal control officers are on the lookout for the aggressive raptor. They're hoping to capture it and relocate the hawk away from people. The state's Department of Wildlife is also working on this case and has issued a warning saying they recommend that if you're going outside with small pets or children and you see a hawk, that you bring them inside so that they don't get attacked. This whole ordeal began when a woman was in her yard and the hawk approached her from behind and attacked her head. Police have also interviewed the woman's neighbors, who said they have heard of other similar incidents in the area.

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