Archives for May 15, 2014

CleverPet: Stimulate Your Dog's Mind While You're Away

CleverPet: Stimulate Your Dog's Mind While You're Away

There's a pretty cool Kickstarter campaign underway (and already funded) for an interesting device that could keep your dog entertained during the day while you're at work.

The Kickstarter campaign is for CleverPet - a Wi-Fi-connected device that challenges your pet and then rewards it with kibble for correctly engaging the unit. It starts off by simply rewarding your dog for responding to what appears to be an audible cue. Then it ups the ante and rewards the dog for touching one of the device's three light-up pads. The third level of engagement requires the dog to touch a specifically lit pad to receive the food-based reward. From there, the unit interacts with your dog by rewarding her only when she solves increasingly challenging puzzles. You can even record your own voice to teach right or left. With the unit's algorithms, it adapts to your dog's learning level so it's not too hard or too easy. For you code monkeys out there, CleverPet allows you to write your own code to come up with new puzzles for your dog.

The unit's makers (comprised of PhD-level cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, dog trainers and animal-interaction specialists), have ...

Inherited Diseases of the German Shorthaired Pointer

Inherited Diseases of the German Shorthaired Pointer

If you already own a German shorthaired pointer (GSP) or if you are currently in the market for one, you likely realize the high level of intelligence and performance of this breed. With proper training, this high energy gundog can become a hunter’s best friend. Whether running long distance across rough terrain or diving into the water to retrieve a bird, the GSP is happy to work hard, please their owner and most of all, to hunt. Though a relatively healthy breed overall, like all dog breeds, sometimes GSPs can be born with inherited conditions that make life difficult for them or prevent them from doing the jobs that they were bred to perform. 

Some diseases reported in GSPs such as hip dysplasia, entropion, and some cancers, are likely inherited though the specific genetic mutations associated with these disorders are currently unknown. On the other hand, GSPs also can inherit diseases caused by known genetic mutations. Knowledge of specific mutations and how the diseases are inherited, allows for laboratories such as Paw Print Genetics to develop tests to identify dogs that are either genetic carriers or are affected with a particular disease. Paw Print Genetics offers tests for three ...