Scent marking

Dogs gather essential social information using their sense of smell, whether smelling other dogs directly or by sniffing their urine and faeces.

Marking serves as a way to claim territory, advertise mating availability and to support the social order. A dogs society is based on hierarchy, it's what they understand. They communicate age, gender and status within their packs via the pheromones in their urine. Both male and female animals can engage in marking behaviour.

A dog uses urine marking to help make a new environment smell like home, masking unfamiliar odours with their own scent.

In addition, marking functions as an efficient way to protect a dog's perceived space. It's much more efficient than physically challenging each interloper who approaches that space.

Paw and pad care

Pads provide extra cushioning which help protect your dogs bones and joints from shock, provide insulation against extreme weather, aid walking on rough ground and help protect tissue deep within the paw. With all that work to do, it’s no wonder your dogs paws take a bit of a beating. You can help you dog maintain their paws and pads by following these simple steps:

Dog teeth

Like humans, dogs have two sets of teeth in their lives. As puppies they have 28 baby teeth that start to break through their gums between 3 and 6 weeks of age. Puppies do not need to grind much of their food so they do not have molars. Puppy teeth begin to shed and be replaced by permanent adult teeth at approximately four months of age. Although there are some breed variations, most adult dogs have 42 teeth. Molars should start to emerge once your puppy reaches 6 or 7 months of age.

The order of tooth replacement starts with incisors, then canines (fangs), and finally premolars. The teething period can be a frustrating time for your puppy. Teething can lead to your puppy clamping it's teeth down on anything it can find, in an attempt to relieve the discomfort. Teething can be accompanied by drooling, irritability, and fluctuations in appetite.

Do dogs dream?

Many scientists believe that there is evidence to support the idea that dogs do in fact dream. Scientists using an electroencephalogram have tested canine brain wave activity during sleep. They've found that dogs are similar to humans when it comes to sleep patterns and brain wave activity.

Why do dogs chase?

The answer lies within something called internal reinforcement. Dogs inherit instinctive behaviour, for example a dog doesn’t have to learn to lift his leg to pee, he just does it, this is an instinctive action, also known as a “motor pattern”.

Chasing behaviour is part of the inherited predatory hunting sequence. This sequence is genetically “hard wired” into the dog, and prepares it for chasing and catching prey in order to survive.

“External reinforcement” is the way we usually train dogs: we give them a treat or give them a pat when they do the right thing.

Dog ear mites

Otodectic mites are tiny insects that live in the ear canals and feed by piercing the skin. They are highly contagious to both cats and dogs, but not to humans. Ear mites are the most common cause of ear symptoms in puppies and young adult dogs.

Ear mites should not be confused with the mites that cause sarcoptic mange. This is an entirely different disease, but one whose signs can also include crusty ears.

Dog ear infections

Ear infections are quite a common problem for dogs, and most infections are caused by allergies, yeast, ear mites, bacteria, hair growth deep within the ear canal, and more. Symptoms your dog may have that would indicate an ear infection include:

Border Collie History

The origins of the breed are not that easy to trace back through history, however it seems most likely that the ancestors of the Border Collie that we know and love today came from Ireland. As far back as the 5th century BC Celt farmers bred herding dogs to assist them with work around the farm. These were often powerful dogs, difficult to control and rough with stock. The world “collie“ is a derivative of the Celtic dialect name for “useful”.

For centuries shepherds continued to breed and train dogs to assist them in managing livestock and in 1873 the first sheep dog trials began in Bala, Wales which naturally encouraged more consistent breeding from the more successful dogs.