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December 2019

Hiking Hounds - Asheville, Dec. 22

Hiking houndsHiking Hounds is one of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities. Each month, volunteers take shelter dogs on hikes as part of the enrichment programming. You'll spend a few hours in Bent Creek hiking the trails with dogs who will love you for it.

The next hike will be on Sunday, Dec. 22.

Start time is 10 AM for repeat hikers and 9:30 AM for new hikers. Hikes are typically 3-5 miles at a brisk pace with elevation changes and provide vigorous exercise for our volunteer hikers as well. They do not cancel hikes because of rain, as our pups don’t mind getting wet. Hikers generally return to the shelter at 16 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville around 11:30 AM to 12 PM.

Note: New and repeat hikers alike are required to sign up in advance. If you'd like to sign up for this hike, email ahshikinghounds@outlook.com. Hikers are signed up on a "first come-first serve basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. If you don’t get an email from Hiking Hounds, assume they didn’t get yours! Please be sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.


Adopt Now for Just $5!

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Here's a gift that makes a life worth living!

For the rest of December, adoption fees at Asheville Humane Society will be just $5 for all forever friends age 6 months and up! These precious pets don't want a lot... just a special place to call home by your side! Make their wish come true this month.

Although the love of a pet is priceless, all of the following are still included when you adopt! Each adoption fee includes spay/neuter, all up-to-date vaccines, behavioral training when appropriate, microchip and free 1-year registration, a free starter bag of food, and a free wellness visit with a participating veterinarian. 

To see available animals, visit www.ashevillehumane.org. The Adoption Center is located at 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads, near the WNC Farmers Market). It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM (Tuesdays until 7 PM). The dog and cat rooms are closed daily for naptime from 1 to 2 PM, giving animals a much-needed break. The lobby remains open where you can speak with staff, enjoy refreshments, read or watch videos!


Pilates with Puppies - Asheville, Jan. 25

Screen Shot 2017-09-11 at 3.04.01 PMNote: Why a post about an event in January? Because "Pilates with Puppies" is VERY popular and sells out fast... so we wanted you to have advance notice!

On Saturday, January 25, 2020, Cisco Pilates will hold a "Pilates with Puppies" class from 10 AM to 11 AM at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption & Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads near the WNC Farmers Market).

Pilates with Puppies will be a basic Pilates class, with puppies provided by Asheville Humane Society. Please bring your own yoga or Pilates mat and a small towel. Please do not bring your own puppy! The cost is $15, which is a donation to Asheville Humane Society on behalf of Buncombe County animals.

Pre-registration is required and these classes are very popular. Early registration is suggested as space is limited and this event is expected to sell out! Visit https://www.ciscopilates.com/pricing/ to sign up. Questions? Email alexis@ciscopilates.com

Image: Cisco Pilates


Do Dogs Get Jealous?

Guest Post by Clara Lou

Leisure-1551708_1920Have you ever tried to pet another dog when you’re playing with your pooch? Your buddy will try to come between you and the other dog to whom you now gave attention. Initially, your buddy will try to push you or the other dog away, but your dog might also end up whining, biting, and attacking you or the other dog.

This kind of behavior suggests that dogs really get jealous when they are not the center of attention. But a more important question is whether the jealousy in dogs is the same as the jealousy we humans feel. Let’s find out.

Understanding Jealousy in Dogs

I believed that the jealousy in dogs is no different than it is in humans until I met a sled dog racer in Canada. He was making his Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies ready for a ride. They all looked cute, and when I maneuvered to pet them the sled dog rider warned me, “You pet one dog and you have to pet them all.” Further, he said, “They get jealous of each other if any one of them gets more of love, affection, food, or anything. They turn into green-eyed monsters.”

This incident made me look deeper into dogs’ jealous behavior.

What I Found

I am going to discuss two different experiments that helps us understand this behavior better. Friederike Range, of the University of Vienna, did an experiment to study jealousy . Two dogs were given the same task to perform, but one gets rewarded while the other does not. Both the dogs were taught a simple trick of ‘shaking hands’. A dog would extend her paw and put it into the person’s hand.

For the experiment, both the dogs with their respective persons in front of them were seated side by side and were instructed to perform handshakes. But only one dog received the treat as a reward -- the other didn’t. You would think the unrewarded dog would react to this unfair distribution of rewards by performing the same tasks and wouldn’t follow his master’s instructions. This is exactly what happened. The unrewarded dog stopped obeying his master’s command and also showed stress signs when his partner dog kept receiving treats.

Many people would believe that this is not jealousy exactly. It might well be the case that the dog who did not get the treats stopped obeying his master simply due to the fact that all unrewarded training tricks and commands tend to disappear because of the learning process which theorists call “extinction.” Very simply, a dog would not perform the task if he won’t get any rewards in return. Do you also think the same? But wait, you might want to read further.

To ensure that the interaction was important rather than the case of frustration and jealousy, a similar experiment was conducted. But this time it was a little bit different. This time the same task was performed on the two dogs with their respective masters in a separate room. Also, they were not being rewarded at all for obeying their master’s instruction of shaking hands.

Under this circumstance, both the dogs did not only present their paws for a longer time but also didn’t show any signs of frustration or annoyance. So, definitely, the motive to perform the trick was not to get a reward. It was jealousy that the other partner was getting rewards for the same task he was doing.

One More Experiment to Understand This Behavior Further

When human beings are involved in different social settings and situations, every aspect of the reward is closely considered to determine the jealousy. Dogs, however, do not see the situation under the same microscope. This can be understood from a similar experiment to the one previously discussed.

Now, again, two dogs sit side by side in front of their respective owners. Both the dogs are instructed to perform a “shake hand” task. This time, both the dogs get treats as rewards but the difference here is one dog gets a very desirable treat, a piece of chicken, and the other one gets a comparatively less desirable treat, a piece of bread.

The outcome was surprising. The response from both the dogs was not affected by the unfair share of rewards, unlike what a human might have done if he were in the place of dogs. Dogs are sensitive to fairness (whether they are being rewarded or not), but not to the equity (the quality of rewards).

The Bottom Line

It can be said that dogs get jealous when they think you have been unfair to them; whether it’s food, love, affection, attention, or anything. Other animals like primates also respond to primary and secondary emotions, but dogs only respond to secondary emotions. If you have any questions or want to share what you feel, please comment. Long may the canines live!

Clara Lou is a co-founder and the marketing head at PetLovesBest. She happens to be an active animal activist in her town who has done a few notable works for the welfare of animals, especially pets. She loves to enjoy writing about pets and animals.

Image: Pixabay.com


Hiking Hounds - Asheville, Dec. 15

Hiking houndsHiking Hounds is one of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities. Each month, volunteers take shelter dogs on hikes as part of the enrichment programming. You'll spend a few hours in Bent Creek hiking the trails with dogs who will love you for it.

The next hike will be on Sunday, Dec. 15.

Start time is 10 AM for repeat hikers and 9:30 AM for new hikers. Hikes are typically 3-5 miles at a brisk pace with elevation changes and provide vigorous exercise for our volunteer hikers as well. They do not cancel hikes because of rain, as our pups don’t mind getting wet. Hikers generally return to the shelter at 16 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville around 11:30 AM to 12 PM.

Note: New and repeat hikers alike are required to sign up in advance. If you'd like to sign up for this hike, email ahshikinghounds@outlook.com. Hikers are signed up on a "first come-first serve basis" and you must have a confirmed reservation to attend a hike. If you don’t get an email from Hiking Hounds, assume they didn’t get yours! Please be sure you can actually make the hike; if we have late cancellations, a dog gets left behind without a hike.

For more information visit the Hiking Hounds Facebook page.


Best Gifts for Pets

Screen Shot 2019-12-03 at 12.24.01 PMSafety.com has published a cool guide to the best holiday pet gifts. Included in the guide are photos, information and links for unique pet gifts, including:

  • Furbo Treat Tossing Dog Camera
  • Embark Dog DNA Test
  • Petcube Play 2
  • Custom Pet Face Stickers
  • Whistle GO Explore Health & Location Tracker
  • Wopet Automatic Pet Feeder
  • and more.

Check out the free guide here: https://www.safety.com/best-christmas-gifts-for-pet-owners-2019/

Image: Safety.com


Pet Honoring Service - Hendersonville, Dec. 8

Cigar-galaxy-2401996_1920On Sunday, December 8 from 11 AM to 12 PM, there will be a Pet Honoring Memorial Service at Bright Star Studio, 1712 Asheville Highway, Hendersonville. This is a simple service to remember, bless and honor each pet, their family and our special relationship with them. It is free to add your pet to be honored, and pictures of pets can be added to the ceremony table. Open to the public, the Pet Honoring Memorial Service can be attended in person at Bright Star Studio. You can attend remotely by phone by calling: 1-857-232-0159, ext. 329054.

The Pet Honoring Memorial Service is held at Bright Star Studio the second Sunday of each month. For more information, visit: https://brightstarstudio.net/pet-memorial-service/

Image: Pixabay.com


$5 Adoption Fees - Asheville, through December

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Here's a gift that makes a life worth living!

For the rest of December, adoption fees at Asheville Humane Society will be just $5 for all forever friends age 6 months and up! These precious pets don't want a lot... just a special place to call home by your side! Make their wish come true this month.

Although the love of a pet is priceless, all of the following are still included when you adopt! Each adoption fee includes spay/neuter, all up-to-date vaccines, behavioral training when appropriate, microchip and free 1-year registration, a free starter bag of food, and a free wellness visit with a participating veterinarian. 

To see available animals, visit www.ashevillehumane.org. The Adoption Center is located at 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads, near the WNC Farmers Market). It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM (Tuesdays until 7 PM). The dog and cat rooms are closed daily for naptime from 1 to 2 PM, giving animals a much-needed break. The lobby remains open where you can speak with staff, enjoy refreshments, read or watch videos!


Free Pet Photos with Santa - Asheville, Dec. 8, 15

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On Sunday, Dec. 8 and Sunday, Dec. 15 from 6 to 8 PM, your pet can be photographed with Santa at Asheville Outlets, 800 Brevard Road in Asheville.

Bring your furry friend to meet Santa and capture the moment with a FREE photo package, courtesy of Asheville Outlets. Santa will be waiting inside the Food Court at his holiday home and Brother Wolf Animal Rescue will be on-hand to share information on how you can volunteer, foster, or adopt a pet this holiday season.

This event is free to attend. All pets must be on a leash or carrier.

Image: Asheville Outlets


What Does a Dog's Tail Tell You?

Guest Post by Rachel Hudson

Happy-47816_1280Discover essential information about a dog's tail. Learn what it says about your pet and better understand what to do and how to react in certain situations!

Even though animals are unable to talk, it is possible to interpret their behaviors and thought-process through certain physical aspects. This applies to dogs and cats, but many people are wrong more often than not, making a straightforward assumption. For example, people misinterpret a dog wagging its tail as a sign of friendliness while it is also misunderstood for being happy. However, it is not always the case, since multiple meanings can be conveyed through dog tail signs.

Dog Tail Position and Meaning

A dog can communicate its feeling and thought-process through the position of its tail. There are four common positions.

1. Dog Tail Held High with Wagging

This is a sign of happiness, but it also includes a higher degree of alertness within the animal. Even though a dog in this state is showing cautious excitement, it also has a certain degree of dominance.

2. Dog Tail Held Still and High

This is a sign of dominance while the dog is also super-alert to its surroundings.

3. Dog Tail Between Legs and Pointing Down

This is a sign of submission from the animal, which may also have a fear of its current situation.

4. Dog Tail Held Straight

This is a sign that a pet is in a neutral state, and it is trying to take in as much information from its environment as possible.

One should remember that each breed of dog has its own nature, and tail signs differ from one animal to the other.  Some breeds have curly and stubby tails that may not be able to provide exaggerated expressions as tails in other breeds. Hence, it is important to look very carefully into these tails to understand animals. For example, Chinese Shar-peis or Chow Chows do have a curved rear that is quite high. Greyhounds and whippets have a significantly lower tail.

The 'height tail’ sign is used as an emotional meter. A pet is considered being in a relaxed state when the tail is kept at middle height. When held in a horizontal position, the dog is quite alert and attentive. If it goes up, it is an increasing sign that an animal is being agitated and one can expect a confrontation anytime soon. At the same time, an animal is showing signs of submission if the rear position goes lower. It is also an indication of fear.

However, scientists promise to soon invent an apparatus that will translate animal sounds into human language. It is a pet translator. So, gadgets and electronic reviews can help you in the future.

Additional Aspects of Tail Wagging

Just like there are numerous dialects of human language, different dialects also exist when it comes to a dog's tail. One should not make the mistake of taking certain positions as the reference for every breed. Once this awareness is achieved, it is possible to read more accurately about the feeling and behavior of each animal. Does a wagging tail mean a dog is happy? No, because position alone is not a reference to the pet’s state, as even the speed of wagging can give plenty of detail.

For example, slight wags can indicate the dog's desire to greet or say hello. Only broad wags can be taken as a friendly move, as it gives out signs that the animal will not threaten or challenge at that point. It is the closest movement that is associated with happiness, unlike the common perception. Even if there is wagging in the tail down position, it does not generally signify a happy animal.

A slow wag should not be taken as a sign of happiness. Instead, it is used to signify a neutral state of the animal. It could also denote signs of insecurity – especially when the rear end is not in an unusually high or low position. There are instances when tiny movements are made at high-speed. It is an indication that the animal is about to fight, run, or do something quite active. If the dog manages to hold the rear end quite high while bringing about vibrating action, it is a visible sign of threat intended to scare.

Subtle differences can be observed even with the direction of wagging. There are preferences to the direction in which tail wags. If this direction is on the right side, a pet is having positive thoughts about the situation, and the reverse is true when the wagging happens on the left side.

The Bottom Line

There is a lot more information hiding behind a dog. It is probably the place where the pet has its conversation. The emotional indicators given out by the rear end alone are so subtle, but they can give a massive insight into the animal's communication process. However, it takes a lot of experience to judge the animal accurately. It does not take long to pick up the cues and start assessing a dog well before a situation gets out of hand.

What are your thoughts about dog tails? Let us know in the comments!

Author's bio: Dutch origins. Animal rights advocate. Rachel H.moved to the US at 28 after getting her Teacher Certification in the Netherlands. She decided to move on and start a new life in Los Angeles and start to work on https://besttechexpert.guide. 

Image: Pixabay.com