Tag Archives | Dogs

Nazis Tried To Train Dogs To Read And Talk In Effort To Win WWII

hitler-dog-620_1903562cThe ultimate goal of a large-scale project known as “Wooffan SS” was for dogs to take over as SS officers, spies, and concentration camp guards. The Telegraph sifts through the sordid kennel of history:

The Germans viewed canines as being almost as intelligent as humans and attempted to build an army of fearsome ‘speaking’ dogs, extraordinary new research shows. Hitler hoped the clever creatures would learn to communicate with their SS masters — and he even had a special dog school set up to teach them to talk. The incredible findings show Nazi officials recruited so-called educated dogs from all over Germany and trained them to speak and tap out signals using their paws.

The Germans hoped to use the animals for the war effort, such as getting them to work alongside the SS and guard concentration camps to free up officers. The bizarre ‘Wooffan SS’ experiment has come to light after years of painstaking research by academic Dr Jan Bondeson into unique and amazing dogs in history.

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Dog Eats Sleeping Owner’s Right Foot, Saving Him

dog-eating-toesAn inspiring case of everyday-life heroism, as an Oregon man awoke to find that his likely-gangrenous foot had been gnawed off and consumed by his pet dog — there have been reported similar cases in the past. Via the Huffington Post:

A diabetic Oregon man with no feeling in his feet woke up to find his dog had eaten part of his right foot, including three toes.

The man told emergency responders that he fell asleep on his couch and woke up to find pieces of his foot missing.

Roseburg veterinarian Alan Ross says that the dog may have been trying to rid his owner of dead tissue, and says he may have been attracted to the foot if it were infected or gangrenous.

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The Pets We Kept Before Dogs Found In 16,500-Year-Old Cemetery

Source: Mariomassone (CC)

Source: Mariomassone (CC)

Alasdair Wilkins writing at io9.com:

A burial site recently uncovered in Jordan is the oldest ever discovered in the Middle East, at least 1,500 years older than any other cemetery previously discovered. But it’s not just its great age that makes it special — the cemetery also reveals what animals humans kept as pets long before the domestication of dogs.

The site, which dates back about 16,500 years, was discovered in ‘Uyun al-Hammam in Jordan. The University of Toronto researchers discovered the site back in 2000, but it’s taken eleven years just to come to grips with what the site has to teach us. Indeed, this cemetery stands to be particularly useful, as it has eleven different sets of human remains — more than all other burial sites of this type combined.

But it isn’t just the human corpses that have attracted attention, as they’ve also discovered remains of ancient pets.

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The Science of the Wet Dog Shake

Scientists have finally decoded the mystery of the infamous wet dog shake! Kelly Ryan of the Herald Sun reports:

It’s not the length of the hair, it’s the size of the hound that determines how fast it has to shake to get dry.

Scientists have worked out the optimum amount of shaking that dogs and other animals have to do to dry themselves after a soaking…

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Pentagon Spends $19 Billion To Discover That The Best Bomb-Detector Is A Dog

Photo: Piotr Grzywocz (CC)

Photo: Piotr Grzywocz (CC)

Having been unable to eat in the presence of some canines throughout my life (folks, you really should have trained your dogs, you know who you are…) this one comes as no surprise. Spencer Ackerman writes on the always interesting WIRED’s Danger Room:

Drones, metal detectors, chemical sniffers, and super spycams — forget ‘em. The leader of the Pentagon’s multibillion military task force to stop improvised bombs says there’s nothing in the U.S. arsenal for bomb detection more powerful than a dog’s nose.

Despite a slew of bomb-finding gagdets, the American military only locates about 50 percent of the improvised explosives planted in Afghanistan and Iraq. But that number jumps to 80 percent when U.S. and Afghan patrols take dogs along for a sniff-heavy walk. “Dogs are the best detectors,” Lieutenant General Michael Oates, the commander of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, told a conference yesterday, National Defense reports.

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‘Gay Dog’ Refused Entry To Australian Restaurant

Sparkey The Gay DogSeriously, WTF?! Did the dog sound like George Clooney, what was the tip-off? Sarah Mennie writes in the Herald Sun:

A restaurant in a northwest suburb of Adelaide that refused a blind man entry because it thought his guide dog was “gay” was ordered by the Equal Opportunity Tribunal to pay him $1500.

A statement given by restaurant owners Hong Hoa Thi To and Anh Hoang Le said one of the restaurant’s waiters said that Mr Jolly’s partner Ms Chris Lawrence stated “she wanted to bring a gay dog into the restaurant.”

Mr Jolly and Ms Lawrence were refused entry to the restaurant – which displays a “guide dogs welcome” sign — even after providing staff with a guide dogs fact card.

At an Equal Opportunity Tribunal conciliation hearing on Friday, the restaurant agreed to provide Mr Jolly with a written apology and attend an Equal Opportunity education course, in addition to paying him $1500.

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Jonathan Safran Foer: Let Them Eat Dog

Novelist Foer (Everything Is Illuminated) on why we should (or should not) eat dogs:

Despite the fact that it’s perfectly legal in 44 states, eating “man’s best friend” is as taboo as a man eating his best friend. Even the most enthusiastic carnivores won’t eat dogs. TV guy and sometimes cooker Gordon Ramsay can get pretty macho with lambs and piglets when doing publicity for something he’s selling, but you’ll never see a puppy peeking out of one of his pots. And though he once said he’d electrocute his children if they became vegetarian, one can’t help but wonder what his response would be if they poached the family pooch.

Dogs are wonderful, and in many ways unique. But they are remarkably unremarkable in their intellectual and experiential capacities. Pigs are every bit as intelligent and feeling, by any sensible definition of the words. They can’t hop into the back of a Volvo, but they can fetch, run and play, be mischievous and reciprocate affection.

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