You Had Me at “Woof”

March 16th, 2011 by admin

You Had Me at “Woof”

Dogs bark for all kinds of reasons, they are hungry, they’re scared, they want attention, they want to warn the family, or they’ve been commanded to do so. But few people stop to consider the science behind barking, or why dogs bark to begin with. It’s well known that dogs are closely related to wolves, yet wolves do not bark unless they are threatened or as an alarm for other wolves. So why do domesticated dogs bark more frequently? It’s possible that earlier humans chose to domesticate dogs that bark to serve as an early warning for a group. As a result, dogs that were predisposed to barking would have been more likely to be domesticated. Also some believe that domesticated dogs are in a constant state of “doggie adolescence” and therefore bark more frequently because of their lack of maturity.

Dogs are not the only animals that bark…foxes, monkeys, sea lions and even deer have all been known to use barking as a warning call. Around the world different words are used to signify the sound of barking. In English the word “woof” is most commonly used for barking, but in Bali it would be “kong kong”. In Ireland dogs say “amh amh”, while in Albania it’s “ham ham”. South Korea dogs say “meong meong”, which to us might sound more like the sound a cat would make!

There are many methods to quiet a dog’s barking, such counter conditioning and special collars. Certain drugs can also quiet a dog, although they can also have the side effect of making the dog sluggish. Some owners resort to surgery in the form of a chordectomy, although this will not silence the dog completely. If you can’t stand the loud barking of your dog, be thankful that you are not the owner of Daz, a white German Shepherd with a recorded bark of 108 decibels!

Interested in learning more about the biology of “man’s best friend”? Consider a career as a veterinary technician. At vet technician school students learn about the biology and anatomy of many animals, including cats and dogs. Upon graduation from vet tech school students can work in veterinary clinics, where they’ll come in daily contact with dogs, cats, and many other pets as well.

Infographic from: Dog The Blog

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What is the difference between a vet tech and a veterinarian?

January 18th, 2011 by admin

vet tech and dog - ts-78035084People who want to work with animals but are not interested in becoming veterinarians may wish to attend a vet tech school.

One difference between a vet tech and a veterinarian is the duties that each performs. A vet tech is an assistant to a veterinarian. A vet tech’s duties include assisting a veterinarian during surgeries, performing tests, doing dental work, doing lab work and keeping patient records.

Another difference between a vet tech and a veterinarian is the education required. Vet techs do not need to complete as much school as veterinarians. It is possible to enter the vet tech field with an Associate’s Degree. Some vet tech programs have online courses. Other vet tech programs allow students to enroll part time. Students in vet tech programs are trained in handling animal patients, radiology, pharmacology, anesthesia, sterilization and office procedures. They are usually required to work with veterinarians during their training. Veterinarians must complete a Bachelor’s Degree and then study for at least four years at a veterinary college.

Anyone interested in working with animals who has completed a program in veterinarian technology at a vet tech school or a vet tech college will be well prepared for a career as a vet tech.

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