The Real Benefits of Having a Dog

Ever wondered why dogs are so important in our lives? Maybe you already suspected owning a dog has palpable benefits for her humans. Turns out it’s true, and some of them are actually measurable. For thousands of years in fact, dogs have been helping people—as protectors, as shepherds of livestock, even as beasts of burden—and not least of all as our best friends, loyal to a fault. What are the tangible benefits of that connection? A goofy dog makes us all laugh, but how does that laughter improve our health? And we ‘dog people’ do find ourselves walking more every week—but how much more? Let’s look at some of the advantages of having a dog by the numbers.

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Why Do Dogs Tilt Their Heads?

Murph’s quizzical look could have one of several meanings.

Photo by: Paul Fersen

There’s something irresistible about that quizzical head cock in a dog—the tilted noggin, with her eyes and ears akimbo: she looks as though she’s listening with a mixture of attention, excitement, and curiosity, and it’s beyond adorable. While there’s no research to back this up, it’s a safe bet that some people choose to get a dog because of it—they observe a puppy tilting her head to one side and can’t wait to bring home their new best friend with this endearing habit. So why do dogs tilt their heads? There’s a scarcity of research on the subject, but let’s explore some of the top scientific theories.

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Five Common Questions About Labrador Retrievers


Photo by Tim Bronson

Among the most beloved, ubiquitous, and recognizable dog breeds, the enthusiastic and sociable Labrador Retriever not only makes an excellent pet, but is also an outstanding working dog. Originally bred as a water-retrieving hunting dog, the Lab possesses a combination of intelligence and eagerness to please his humans, making him highly trainable for a wide variety of work. Long pressed into service aiding those with disabilities, the Lab also has an excellent sense of smell, making him invaluable for police and military work.

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Five Questions About Golden Retrievers, Answered

By: Orvis Staff


The golden retriever is a true family dog who loves the outdoors.
Photo by Dirk Vorderstraße, via Wikipedia, used by CC BY 2.0

The happy-go-lucky Golden Retriever is the star of the show—quite literally, in many cases—and anyone who has ever owned one can tell you why. They’re a friendly, highly coveted dog breed with a well-known reputation for being the perfect pet. You’ve seen them in movies, competing in agility, at the dog park, and in the show ring. This breed is everywhere, so what’s so special about them? Ask a Golden owner and they’ll likely tell you “everything.

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American versus English Labradors


English-bloodline, American-bred Labrador retrievers make great pets and gun dogs.
Photo via facebook.com/wildrosekennels

Before I start on this interesting topic, let’s establish that I’m talking about field bred dogs here, not bench bred dogs. There’s a difference, but I’m not about to get into that thicket, so I’ll just stick . . .

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The Secret to Calculating Dog Years to Human Years


The old “seven dog years for every human one year” calculation is clearly wrong.
Photo via dogster.com

You know how old your dog is in human years, but how do you translate this to “dog years”? The old saw that one of our years equals seven for the dog. But it turns out that this is overly simplistic and, frankly, not true. A fun article on dogster.com looks at. . .

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