Brainiest Breeds

It’s my last week of undergrad and finals and research papers are rampant!  So I thought, why not do some out-of-school research on the Einstein of dogs while currently wishing I was the Einstein of humans?

Now remember, these are generalizations.  So it doesn’t mean that if you have a dog of these breed, that they will automatically be smart!  It also doesn’t mean that you can have a very smart dog of a breed not on this list.  These are simply breed tendencies.

Here’s a comprehensive list of the brainiest breeds, courtesy of

8.  Shetland Sheepdogs/Collies: These are actually two different breeds, and Collies are significantly bigger than Shetland Sheepdogs but they’re ranked at a tie for their smarts!

7. Australian Cattle Dog:  These dogs are extremely intelligent, however, difficult to train because of their massive intelligence and stubbornness!

6. Labrador/Golden Retriever: Not only are they smart, they’re extremely energetic and lovable (which can sometimes peg them as dumb, poor things!)

5. Jack Russell Terrier: Intelligent but demanding!  Sometimes there’s so much going on in these little guy’s brains and body’s that they get into trouble… watch out!

4. Australian Shepard:  Big heart, big head!  These dogs are very needy when it comes to human contact and they train very easily.  Loyalty is their biggest  plus!

3. German Shepard:  There’s a reason why they’re police dogs!  This breed is highly intelligent, easily trainable and highly adaptable!

2. Poodle: They’re not all frou-frou!  Poodles are actually very intelligent and big entertainers.

1. Border Collie:  And here you have, it the smartest dog breed!  Well, as a generalization, of course.  These dogs have incredible focus, determination, and intelligence, which is why they’re usually sheepdogs!


But remember, no matter how smart or… goofy… your dog is, they have just as much love to give!

Animal Cop Shows

To wag your tail goodbye to Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week, we’ll cover some animal rescue television shows that you can catch on tv.  Watching these officers hard at work will help you feel the ultimate appreciation.

Animal Cops: Houston (Animal Planet) – Over the years, there has been a slew of Animal Cops spinoffs, in Miami, Detroit, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Phoenix and even South Africa.  However, currently, Animal Cops: Houston is the only Animal Cops still running.  After a hiatus in 2012, it began again in 2014.  It focuses on the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the work they do.

Animal Rescue with Alex Paen – Like Animal Cops, this show is documentary-style, but instead of following a precinct in their daily work, Animal Rescue publishes reenactments (and some actual footage) of rescue workers (not just animal cops, but police and firemen, too!) rescuing trapped, hurt or endangered animals. Animal Rescue has its own website, where you can find a list of airings of the show in your area.

Animal Precinct (Animal Planet) – Though this show is no longer running, it certainly deserves a shout out.  Animal Precinct was a show that was also documentary-style, and in many ways, inspired the start of shows like Animal Cops and its spinoffs.  It focused specifically on the ASPCA and their animal cop division, the Humane Law Enforcement.  Though it’s no longer being produced, you might still be able to catch reruns on Animal Planet.


Whatever the show, however sad it might be to watch, it puts things in perspective.  Pat your dog and thank your lucky stars he’s in your arms.  And before this week is over, thank an animal control officer, somewhere, anywhere!

Animal Control Officer Spotlight

In honor of it being Animal Control Officer Appreciation week, today’s blog will focus on an outstanding animal control officer that is a forever hero to one family and their dog.

Molly, a one-year-old Labrador belonging to Butch and Debra Chiles, was playing outside in their yard on a chilly March day.  Though their pond was icy and frozen over, the Chiles never worried about Molly approaching it because she never liked the water.

However, it wasn’t long that they were outside when Debra heard whimpering.  She was shocked to see Molly in the middle of their pond, the ice cracking.  Molly begin to fall through and was struggling to stay afloat in the icy water.

Debra, unable to swim and worried that she would put both her and Molly in peril if she tried to save her, panicked and called 911.

Officer Don Wortham arrived within minutes of the call.  Molly had been struggling in the water for almost half an hour.  Within seconds, Wortham had roped himself and was entering the water.  Thankfully, he had been Navy-trained as a diver and knew how to avoid hypothermia.  Wortham slowly made the perilous trek across the ice, which was 12 feet deep in some places.  He fell through midway across but was able to pull himself back up and reached Molly safely.  He managed to grab her out of the water and slide her safely across the ice.

Wortham didn’t relent for a second.  He just kept pulling the rope to get Molly back to the arms of her owners.

All animal control officers are heroes, and Don Wortham is just another one of the amazing officers we have to thank this week!


National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week is Coming Up!

Starting tomorrow, it’ll be National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week.  This is an important week because it allows us to honor all that animal control officers do for the well-being of dogs and other animals out there (which is a lot!).

This appreciation week is endorsed by the National Animal Care & Control Association.  Animal Control agencies everywhere are encouraged to have their own celebrations this week to honor their diligent workers.

It takes a lot to be an animal control officer.  Nine times out of ten, if you’re an ACO, you have a love and adoration for animals, big and small.  One of the hardest things to do as an animal-lover is to watch animals suffer.  But animal control officers do this nearly every day.

NACCA, the endorsers of ACO Appreciation Week, encourage local agencies to give out awards to officers as well.

This week, check out our blogs to see our appreciation for some outstanding animal control officers!

Theia, the Zombie Dog

Zombies have gained a bit of popularity since The Walking Dead.  But the zombies in The Walking Dead, much like the zombies in other tv shows and on film, are all humans.

Recently, Spokane, Washington has had their own mini Zombie apocalypse.  But there’s only one zombie – and it’s a dog.

Back in February, farmhands in a town called Moses Lake had taken to a one-year-old stray pitbull.  She often hung around the farm and they would feed her.  She was well-known in the community and fed scraps by many people, not just farmhands.

Sure enough, when the dog went missing for a few days, her absence was noticed.  She showed up, emaciated and dirt-covered, at the farm she often came to for scraps.  It eventually came to be revealed that four days prior to her arrival, she had been seemingly dead.

Sarah Mellado, a local Moses Lake resident, ended up taking the dog in and naming her Theia.  She took her to Washington State University’s veterinary hospital where their Good Samaritan Fund committee raised $700 to begin treatment on her.  She came in with a dislocated jaw, leg injuries and a caved-in sinus cavity.

The details came out over the next few weeks.  Theia had been hit by a car and severely injured.  A local ranch hand misguidedly thought it would be best to put her out of her misery and took a hammer to her head.  Thinking she was dead, he put her in a box and buried her in the ground.

But Theia wasn’t dead.  She dug her way out of her makeshift grave and has been making an amazing recovery ever since.  Theia still has trouble breathing, and though she could survive with her limited breathing, her new owner wants to make sure she is never in the kind of pain she went through again.  She has a GoFundMe set up to help raise the remaining money it will take to make Theia good as new.

Zombie dog or miracle dog?  I’d like to think Theia is a little of both.


Easter with Your Dog

Easter-time is here!  Whether or not you’re religious, Easter can be a fun holiday to celebrate, with the baskets and bunnies and egg hunts!  Here’s a few tips on how you can include your dog in on the holiday fun:

  • If you’re having dinner with the family, help your dog feel like part of it! Maybe give them an extra special dinner with some treats and maybe even a little ham (but not too much human food.)
  • Make your dog an Easter basket! You can just go to your local pet store and pick up their favorite treats and some toys.  Get a standard Easter basket and maybe even some kid’s toys that can double as dog toys (just make sure they’re safe/non-toxic)
  • Do an Easter egg hunt with your dog! If you have kids, they’ll love to participate!  You can use treats inside of plastic eggs.  Be careful about this; find durable eggs that won’t break/they won’t be encouraged to eat.  You can also use hard-boiled eggs, which is a great sense of protein for your dog!  Put them on a leash and walk them around, point to eggs to get their attention on it and something like, “What’s that?” in an encouraging voice.

If you celebrate Easter, there’s always ways to include your dog!  Have a happy holiday!

Travel Tips for You and Your Dog

Easter is around the corner, which means that you might be travelling somewhere for the holiday or just taking a little spring break!  If you’re taking your dog with you, this can get complicated.  Here are some travelling tips when you can’t leave your pup at home, straight from Cesar Millan:

  • If you crate your dog, you might feel bad, but for many reasons, it’s the best option for them, when driving so they won’t get injured and it’s necessary when flying. Just make sure they’re well-exercised beforehand so they’ll want to rest.  When you put them in the crate, make sure you use an upbeat voice.  They’ll get anxious if they hear you use a “sad” tone.
  • When driving with your dog, adjust your driving to keep them in mind. They don’t have a seatbelt, so they can get injured even from a harsh brake.  Don’t feed your dog too much before the trip either, because they can get carsick too!  Make sure you take enough breaks to exercise them and let them go to the bathroom.  Make sure to have plenty of water on you!
  • If you’re going to flying with your dog, it is best to put them in their crate before entering the craziness of the airport. It will be much less hectic this way.
  • Remember, talk to your dog! If they’re in the car with you, interact with them!  They’ll love being part of the adventure if you make it exciting for them, too.

Good luck and safe travels!

Happy National Puppy Day!

Drumroll please… today is National Puppy Day!  Which is pretty much the best non-holiday holiday ever!  You now have an excuse to look at cute pictures and videos of puppies and give your dog some extra attention.

But National Puppy Day is about more than just going gaga over adorable pups.  It also serves as a more meaningful cause.  The day actually has its own website.  Here, there are lots of links to help you decide just how you’ll celebrate NPD.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Colleen Paige, the founder of NPD, encourages adoption on this day. If you can’t, seek out a local shelter and donate a small (or large!) amount of money to them.
  • Get an official t-shirt that says “I don’t deserve this” to take a stand against animal abuse and unhealthy puppy living. It’s really cool, take a look at it here!  You can also use the same logo/message on other types of things like mugs, pillows, wall art and more.
  • Awareness! Spread the word.  You should never buy a puppy from a pet store.  These dogs are unhealthy, and if you purchased them, even to get them out of the situation they’re in, you would be supporting puppy mills, which neglect dogs and their needs.  Adopt, don’t shop!
  • Do you have a friend who’s crazy about puppies? Send them an adorable dog flower arrangement, even if it arrives a bit late! makes them especially for NPD!  (You can also use a promo code of 10% off if you type in GOODLIVING)

Another thing you can do is… share a picture of YOUR puppy, young or old, big or small!  Happy National Puppy Day!  Here’s my Herbie…


The Bark of Music

We all know that our mood can certainly be affected by different types of music.  But can this be the same for dogs?

Yes and no.  Since dogs here things differently than we do, they automatically will react to things differently.  Upbeat songs might not sound upbeat to them and slow, sad songs might not sound slow to them.

Dogs have a bigger range than we do, so they can hear different components out of the music that we can’t.  Evidence has shown that dogs react to different types of music in different ways and are capable of not only hearing the music, but listening to it.

Overall, dogs prefer softer tones over upbeat.  Classical music, such as Mozart or Beethoven, will sound most pleasing/comforting to your dog.  In an experiment conducted by Dr. Deborah Wells, it was found that shelter dogs who were exposed to classical music actually began barking less and resting more.

Heavy metal music, as expected, caused a bit of commotion, according to Dr. Wells.  Whether it was heavy metal or death metal, the dogs appeared more agitated and stood up/paced much more.

Now you can get a feel of what kind of music your dog likes and doesn’t like.  So as much as you might rock out to Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” like I do, it’s not necessarily the most pleasing thing to your dog, so maybe put your earphones in.  But if you enjoy listening to Mozart on the weekends, blast it (just not too loud)!  It might just get your dog all cozy and relaxed.

Happy National Animal Poison Prevention Week!

It’s Monday, March 16th, which means it is officially National Animal Poison Prevention Week!

This week is all about educating owners on what can poison their dog, what the signs that they’ve been poisoned are, and how to prevent it.

If you dog ingests something poisonous, you need to do something the second you see it happen.  It is never okay to think, “Oh, well, let’s wait it out.”  Chances are, if you’re questioning whether or not something is poisonous, it probably is.  You also shouldn’t wait to see if anything happens.  Many toxins in poisonous chemicals don’t act immediately, so it would not be obvious right away that something is wrong.

If your dog (or any pet!) gets into something poisonous, the best course of action is to call their veterinarian and state that it is an emergency.  However, if your veterinarian’s office is not open, yu can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435.  Just a warning that the call is free but you could receive a $65 consultation charge to your credit card.  They will get you in touch with an emergency veterinary clinic near you.  You can also cut out the middle man and look up emergency veterinary clinics yourself.

To be extra safe, have a plan established ahead of time, with multiple phone numbers you can call.  That way, if worse comes to worse, you will be prepared no matter how much you are panicking and you can get your pet help even quicker.

Many plants can be lethal to dogs even when you don’t think so because of herbicides, fertilizers and pesticides.  This is the most common case of poisoning.  Be sure to keep other dangerous chemicals such as detergents, oils, soaps, and rat poison up on a high shelf, closed away.  Large amounts of chocolate a well as ibuprofen, acetaminophen and other over-the-counter drugs can also be toxic to your pet.  Keep those closed away, too!  Dogs are like toddlers!

Help spread this knowledge to your friends as a reminder to keep your dog extra safe from all of those chemicals that can potentially do damage!