Posted on Planet Shenanigans Facebook page (31 May 2014). Planet Shenanigans asks that:

**If anyone has been a victim/target of these fighting rings, please contact us or comment on this photo..we would like to create more awareness. We want this stopped, yesterday!

I’ve been reading that GSDs are being stolen from backyards in Calgary during the day but now there are reports of thefts happening in smaller towns about an hour from us. Can’t help but feel worried. Bosco would have to be shot with a tranquilizer gun to go with a stranger.


Posted on Planet Shenanigans Facebook page (31 May 2014).
Planet Shenanigans asks that:

**If anyone has been a victim/target of these fighting rings, please contact us or comment on this photo..we would like to create more awareness.
We want this stopped, yesterday!

I’ve been reading that GSDs are being stolen from backyards in Calgary during the day but now there are reports of thefts happening in smaller towns about an hour from us. Can’t help but feel worried. Bosco would have to be shot with a tranquilizer gun to go with a stranger.


Anonymous asked:

Dogs have a baculum bone? Huh. The more you know.

shadyufo answered:

That they do! A great deal of mammals have them with the exception of ungulates, cetaceans, marsupials and a few others. Humans don’t have them but great apes do.

And I recently learned that many female mammals have their own genital bones called baubellums or os clitoridis!

The more you know!



There’s a mnemonic for remembering which animals have bacula: 


Primates - NHP (Adam used his to make Eve)
Rodentia - Rodents, though not rabbits
Insectivora - moles, shrews, hedgehogs
Carinvora - bears, cats, dogs, pinnipeds, raccoons, otters, weaseals, etc
Chioptera - bats

From the fabulous Mr. Oosik himself! This is super helpful but also very beautiful and hysterical.



Examples of “unusual” wolfdogs - these are all animals with verified lineage, ranging from low-content to upper-mid. Each threw a unique trait usually seen only in dogs, which has apparently caused some confusion for people attempting to phenotype them. This is a PSA that phenotyping is not always as easy as it seems, especially in unique circumstances wherein strange genetics come into play. 

Starting from top left: A pure white wolfdog with pink skin and pale green eyes. This is likely the closest thing to true leucism I have personally seen in a verified wolfdog. According to the owner, other pups from this same litter had liver coloration. These dilutes, while not uncommon among domestic breeds like German shepherds and huskies, are rare in wolfdogs. But even so, this pup has a very wolfy cheek ruff, somewhat wolfy ears, and, in other photos, a lanky body structure typical of low-content wolfdogs. 

Beside the white pup is a unique black-phase upper mid-content wolfdog with bi-colored eyes. One is brown, while the other is husky blue. Wolves do not carry the genetic markers to produce blue eyes, so this feature obviously comes from the animal’s dog ancestry. It is further proof that phenotyping wolfdogs is about much more than simply putting check marks next to a list of wolf vs. dog traits. If someone said “it’s impossible for wolfdogs to have blue eyes!” then the animal above would obviously not be a wolfdog. But looking past this one unique discrepancy, it’s obvious to see that there are still many wolfy characteristics in his color, build, and even movement (note that he is single-tracking as he walks!). 

The big blue beast below the bi-colored pup is actually Jude’s uncle (full brother to Jude’s mother, Kai). He is part of the Blue Bay Shepherd breeding stock, and is an upper mid-content wolfdog. Obviously, he carries the genetic markers for the blue dilute that Jude, and indeed, most BBSs, have. He’s also got white socks, which is not common in wolfdogs. Even so, Dillon still has a wolfy coat, cheek ruffs, tail, ears, muzzle, eyes, legs, and posture.

Next are Leroux and his younger half-sister, Tundra, bred by Northernwoods Wolfdogs. They both express the liver dilute, but Tundra also had husky blue eyes! Despite these dog traits, she still displayed a wolfy coat, body type, and, according to the owner, a typical low-content wolfdog personality to boot. Unfortunately, she recently passed away when a store-bought vaccination failed to perform properly in keeping her safe from canine parvovirus. 

The black-and-tan wolfdog below Leroux and Tundra is a fascinating animal to me personally because it closely resembles some of the wolves I’ve worked with as pelts for taxidermy purposes. Its black-and-tan coloration is uncommon in pure wolves, but in wolfdogs, it’s not unheard of, especially in lower-contents. This one, however, is likely a solid or upper mid-content animal crossed with German Shepherd. You can still see that he has a narrow wolf-like muzzle, small angular eyes, rounded well-furred ears, and a wolfy body type. 

Next to him is Soldier, a mid-content wolfdog also owned by Northernwoods. He has one of the most unique faces I’ve ever seen in a mid-content animal, because it is surprisingly dog-like in structure, especially around the muzzle. Wolfdogs typically have tight lips with no droop to their jowls. Despite this doggy look, Soldier’s wolf heritage is highly evident in this photo from his coat, ears, and lanky limbs.

Next up are a some adorable low-content pups also produced by Northerwoods Wolfdogs. They are actually Soldier’s offspring! One has piebald marking and bi-colored eyes; another has piebalding and atypically dark eyes. Their pale-colored sibling looks much more wolfy than either of the black ones. A final pup produced in the same litter was almost solid blue. 

Lastly, there is the adorable ball of fluff known as Zo. Zo is a mid-content wolfdog who threw a woolly coat. This is not typical of the breed, and a few folks have attempted to phenotype Zo as a low/no-content animal on account of this fact alone. But misrepresentation works both ways. Imagine someone adopting a mid-content animal, expecting it to be a low/no, because it happened to have a few more dog traits than usual. Phenotyping is about looking at the bigger picture! This means taking into account multiple aspects of the pup’s genetic make-up, and not dismissing it simply because of one or two unique traits. Zo acts quite wolfy, has a an incredibly long, narrow skull, and has a very smooth stop to her brow. As she continues to grow, her woolly coat has become less and less poofy, revealing long legs, a narrow chest, and wiry frame. She will look very wolfy by the time she is a year in age. 

In conclusion, a wolfdog with a few dog traits is actually perfectly normal, even if they are unique. Genetics are, after all, very diverse, and so the ‘rules’ of phenotyping are not set in stone. 

Does this mean that any woolly, liver-colored, pointy-eared dog with blue eyes is a wolfdog? No. Most certainly not. In order for an canine to be a true wolfdog is must show wolf traits as well as dog ones, which is why I have pointed out aspects of both dog and wolf in each of the animals above. 



In Search of Kenya’s Elusive Wild Dogs

by Elizabeth Pennisi

Most visitors to Africa come for the lions, elephants, and rhinos. But for the tourists who helicoptered into this somewhat remote region of central Kenya last month, wild dogs topped their list. Once so common in Africa that they were shot as vermin, the elusive canines are becoming poster children for conservation: Fewer than 7000 are left in Africa, their native range.

A reporter visiting the center, I love dogs and so jumped at the chance to track some down in advance of the tourists’ arrival. It was a dusty, bumpy ride into the bush, for a fleeting view of animals that aren’t really dogs after all. But along the way, I came to appreciate their incredible story.

They are full of wanderlust, and their packs show camaraderie and coordination to rival the best military unit. Yet they are quite vulnerable, and even though several teams of researchers have dedicated large chunks of their lives following these animals, much about them remains mysterious.

Despite the name, Lycaon pictus is a distant relative of household canines. Dogs, wolves, and coyotes can all interbreed but not with wild dogs, which are sometimes called painted wolves because of their colorful and variable coat patterns…

(read more: Science News/AAAS)

photos by Stefanie Strebel and Elizabeth Pennisi


Anonymous asked:

Also what are the difference between staffys, american staffys and APBT?? Are they more or less the same or do the other 2 breeds not have as much risk for DA?

notapitbull answered:

 Staffordshire Bull Terriers were historically and still are used for dog-fighting, ratting, badger-baiting, and hunting foxes in the UK. In North America we most often see the show-bred Staffs and not the lean, game-bred, working type of Staff. Staffs tend to be extremely small-animal aggressive and dog-aggressive (though the dog-aggression is not common in show-bred Staffs because they have not been bred for it).
"Working" Staffs look very much like APBT.
The way that I tell these dogs apart from APBT is that they’re obviously quite smaller and they tend to have sort-of big heads compared to their bodies, lol (like show-bred Staffs, but leaner and less compact). Compare the appearance of the dogs above to this show-bred Staff below:
Staffs are the original “pit bull” and so they maintain many of their terrier traits; they’re small, they have a very “baby-like”, cute face, they have high-set ears, large eyes, a round head, and they’re extremely fast and agile. Compare the Staff with the APBT..

 American Staffordshire Terriers were once bred for dog-fighting, but this is before dog-fighting was banned and before show-breeding the AmStaff really started rolling. The AmStaff has not been fought in the pits for as long as the APBT, and so is not very dog-aggressive anymore. Most AmStaffs today are bred and owned by dog showers or pet owners, because of this they are not game like the working SBT or APBT are.
American Staffordshire Terriers look similar to the APBT but are much more… “manufactured”, is the best way to put it. They don’t look very natural like the APBT does, and this is due to the standards set by the AKC for that breed. This results in the AmStaff having a very solid, square, blocky appearance. Some are a little thinner than others but for the most part they generally look the same.
Note the wide chest, short body, thick neck, and very square head.
American Staffordshire Terriers are most commonly cropped very long and this is usually a good identifier of their breed if one were to phenotype them. Some gamebred AmStaffs resemble APBT and their ancestors more than the show-bred dogs:
Compare the body, head, and neck of the American Staffordshire Terrier to that of the APBT:
… and then to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the difference is quite glaring.

Hope this helps! :)