Bites at Animal Planet

Dogs 101

4 Mar

Forget Superstitions: Black Cats (and Other animals) Could be Born Lucky

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Photos: Black Dog: m01229/Flickr; Black Cat: TraumTeufel666/Flickr

Toss your superstitions aside. It turns out that being a black cat or dog (or other animals) is actually incredibly lucky since it helps these animals live longer, new research shows.

Discovery News reports that the dark or black coloration in these animals stems from melanism, "or development of the dark-colored pigment melanin in the skin and its appendages (fur, hair, eyelashes, etc.)." However, it's still a mystery as to how or why melanism leads to better health.

"We don't know for certain," Gregory Barsh of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, co-author of the study that appeared in PLOS Genetics told Discovery News. "Factors such as foliage, humidity, temperature, and/or infectious agents are all possibilities, and could affect camouflage, resistance to heat or thermoregulation, or resistance to infections."

The dark-peppered moth is a great example of melanism working to help a species. The moth's coloring helps camouflage it from prey since it can blend in better with its surroundings.

For even more information on this story, we encourage you to visit the full article on Discovery News!

Learn more about black-furred dog and cat breeds in the videos below:

2 Mar

The Top 10 Most Popular U.S. Dog Breeds

America still loves its Labrador retrievers.

Labs have reigned as the nation's top dog last tear for the 24th year after breaking poodles' decades-old record in 2013, according to American Kennel Club rankings set to be released Thursday.

Bulldogs are climbing their way up the leader board to a new high - No. 4 - and their bat-eared cousins, French Bulldogs cracked the top 10 for the first time in nearly a century.

Bulldogs rise can link from their unmistakeable push-faced expressions and generally calm demeanor. The French Bulldog has also surged in popularity from 49th to 9th in a decade. Could appearances in movies, TV shows and advertising be the reason of their recent success?

German shepherds, golden retrievers and beagles are usual repeats, with Dachshunds slitting out of the top 10, to 11th.

The top spot is unmistakable. Labrador retrievers hit the top 10 in the 1970s and haven't left since.

10. Rottweiler

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9. French Bulldog

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18 Feb

Beagle Miss P Wins Westminster Best in Show

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Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Congrats to Miss P (registered as Tashtins Lookin For Trouble), who took home Westminster's top title, Best in Show.

The 4-year-old 15-inch beagle is the grand-niece of Uno, the first beagle to win the title in 2008, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"She never let me down. She didn't make any mistakes," her handler Will Alexander told the outlet.

Miss P is co-owned by Eddie Dziuk, who also co-owns Uno, and Lori Crandlemire and daughter Kaitlyn.

While there is no prize money for winning Westminster's top prize, winners earn prestige in dog show circles, plus potential for lucrative breeding rights. Miss P will also be quite busy today - appearing on morning talk shows, meeting with Donald Trump, a lunch date at Sardi's, and a small part in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots.

Want to learn more about beagles? Visit our Dog Breed Selector!

3 Nov

Dogs in Cars: Capturing Canine's Happiest Moments

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Chulo, Dapple Chiweenie (Lara Jo Regan)

What do dogs love almost as much as their best friend? We're guessing probably long car rides with their heads out the window, with the wind blowing through their fur. Photographer Lara Jo Regan captured these extreme moments of happiness in her new book Dogs in Cars, which you can purchase here. We've got a few photos as a sneak peek, though, and the book is not only adorable, but it also is a guaranteed way to make you smile as you see dogs in their purest form of happiness.

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Napoleon, Lulu and Stitch, Pugs (Lara Jo Regan)

Continue reading >

23 Oct

Which Breed is the 'Hot Dog'? New Book Tracks Data

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Click to see a higher-res version. Courtesy of HarperCollins

In addition to being animal lovers, most of us here at Animal Planet are creative types who find inspiration from a variety of places - the news, the Web, other TV, books - you name it! So when David McCandless's new book Knowledge is Beautiful came across our desks, we obviously geeked out.

Even greater was that McCandless's visually appealing infographics played to our animal-loving-side as well. We loved looking through his "Best in Show" graphic (shown above) to learn more about specific dog breeds. Using data that ranked dogs by popularity, intelligence, etc., McCandless was able to show which breeds come out on top, which ones are perhaps overlooked and others that were rightly ignored. It's an interesting look at how breeds "rank" compared to one another. Perhaps we can see about adding in his information to our Dog Breed Selector...

To see more of McCandless's beautiful infographics, check out his blog. You can also purchase your own copy here.

Learn more about the Border Collie, the "Hot Dog!" in the above infographic, below!

14 Jul

Together Counts Want You and Your Pets to Have a Healthy Summer

The Together Countstm program helps children and families maintain an active, healthy lifestyle through energy balance: balancing the calories you consume with the calories you burn.  Energy In and Energy Out – It’s as simple as that!

However, it isn’t just people that need to be active and healthy: our pets need to be as well. It’s a classic example of treat others as you would like to be treated! Our pets are our best friends and we need to keep them in the best shape possible. Apl-together-counts-kids-dogs-field-500w

But it isn’t always easy! How much exercise does a dog need? How much exercise does a cat need? Why are there so many different kinds of food? What’s the benefit of dry food vs. wet? All of these questions seem impossible to answer. Well, we are here to help with our many guides about pet health and the best ways to care for your pet while also caring for yourself. Check out some of our guides now to get started on optimizing your pet’s health!

Check our Facebook page every Monday for tips and activities to keep you and your pet healthy. Make sure to tag your pics and progress with #movemondays! We know how hard it is to motivate yourself on Mondays, especially in the summer, but with your workout buddy (or buddies) and a little push from us, both of you will be active and balancing your energy in no time!

Check out the Together Counts website for more information about how you and your family can lead active and healthy lifestyles this summer.

10 Jul

Celebrities Love Their Pets, Too!

We are all ferociously dedicated to our pets and celebrities are no exception. Yes, they are busy with filming and concerts and promoting their newest endeavours, but they will always have time for their pets! Check out some of the stars and the newest additions to their families!

Pop Star Lady Gaga and her French Bulldog, Asia:

One thing is for sure: Lady Gaga is obsessed with the newest addition to the Little Monsters family. Her French Bulldog puppy, Asia, has dominated her Instagram and Facebook pages since she got her in late April. And why wouldn't she?? Just look at that face. 

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10 Jul

Congrats to Japan's Shiba Inu, WORLD PUP Champion!

Dog lovers everywhere have spoken! Congratulations to the SHIBA INU, your WORLD PUP Champion! 

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After a *ruff* few weeks of competition, the beloved Shiba Inu of Japan has prevailed as top dog in our first-ever WORLD PUP! The competition was tight from the start but the Shiba inu defeated Belgium's Brussels Griffon in Round 1. And moved on to eliminate the USA's Alaskan Malamute in Round 2. In Round 3, the brave little Shiba defeated Spain's Great Pyrenees. And, in the final championship match, the Shiba bested China's Shar-pei. Congratulations to our intrepid, brave, confident, little friend!

The celebration continues on Twitter!  Check out the photo gallery of our favorite supporters so far cheering on their championship title! Tweet at us with your photos (@AnimalPlanet) if you'd like to be included in our photo gallery.

 

Shiba Inus are wonderful dogs — and we all know the Internet LOVES them. BUT! Buuut, they are NOT for everyone — check out our Dog Breed Selector, do plenty of research and decide if they are right for you. Here's the Dogs 101 on the breed: 

 

Continue reading >

10 Jul

Throwback Thursday: Petey from 'Little Rascals'

 

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Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive

There are few shows dearer to our hearts than Little Rascals, or Our Gang as it was called in its earlier days. And no one was more iconic from that show than Petey, the adorable pit bull who followed and protected the gang. Besides his love of his children companions, Petey was known for the ring around his eye. But did you know that ring was actually part of his natural coloration?

Petey was originally played by a pit bull named Pal the Wonder Dog, who was born with a partial ring around his eye that was completed with make-up for his on-screen appearances. This ring was even recognized as an oddity by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! His iconic look was featured not only in the TV show, but also in Harold Lloyd’s 1925 film The Freshman and the Buster Brown films. When Pal passed away, his son, Pete, took over as Petey at just 6 months old.

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3 Jul

Japan's Shiba Inu and China's Sharpei Battle for the WORLD PUP Title

We're down to the final match-up! And, it's definitely a real showdown of total pup cuteness! Here are your two favorite world class pups that have made it to the final championship round: 

Japan: Shiba Inu vs. China: Shar-Pei

 

Round 3 officially closed yesterday with Spain's Great Pyrenees dominated by the internet's greatest love (after cats), Japan's Shiba Inu. And, England's beloved Old English Sheepdog lost to China's Sharpei.

Who are you rooting for? Tell us what you think in the Comments section below.  And, be sure to vote in this final round which closes next Wednesday at 3 p.m.

VOTE NOW >>

 

Click on the image to see the full-sized bracket and vote:

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VOTE NOW >>

 

Continue reading >

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Welcome to the Bites @ Animal Planet, where you can connect with the people who bring Animal Planet to life. Find out what's in the works here at Animal Planet, share your feedback with the team and see what's getting our attention online and in the news.

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