We’ve assembled a few ideas to keep your dogs safe during the 4th of July celebrations:

  • July can be very HOT. Be sure your pets have shade and plenty of water.
  • Be sure to keep alcohol and party food out of your dogs’ reach. Ask your guests not to give“treats to your dogs (or provide pet-healthy treats).
  • Loud noises from parties and fireworks can be very distressing for pets. Be sure your dogs have a safe, quiet place for your pet to “escape.” This is especially important if your dogs are left alone while you are out watching the fireworks!
  • If your dog has anxiety problems, ask your vet (in advance) if medication may ease the stress.
  • Make sure your dog’s tags are current.  If you haven’t already dog so, this would be a good time to get your dogs  microchipped. More pets get lost on July 4th than any other day of the year.

Find out about 4th of July Celebrations in major cities across the US at july4thfireworks.info!

And for our Canadian friends, get details on Canada Day Celebrations at canada-day-events.com.

April 16, 2018: Darwin’s Dogs, a project of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and U-Mass Medical School, is launching a “citizen science” survey. The data collected will tell a lot about how people perceive breeds and mixes, how different breed mixes affect the appearance of a dog, how well people can guess their canine friends’ ancestries from looks alone, and how that might affect our lives with dogs.

This information is vital to many future projects throughout the scientific world.

The survey asks you to guess the ancestry of 31 different mixed-breed dogs, based on photos and appearance traits.

The answers won’t be revealed for 60 days. At that time, everyone will be sent the correct answers, along with their guesses, and how they did in relation to other people.

You can take the survey at:


(You can practice a bit on our own breed quiz.)

Australian Shepherd: I have a better idea… let’s herd all the lightbulbs into one place.

Basset Hound: You go ahead. I’ll just take a nap.

Beagle: Aaaroooooo-oooooo-oooooo!

Bernese Mountain Dog: Is it just me, or is it really warm in here? I’m going out to lie in the snow.

Dachsund: You’ve got to be kidding.

German Shepherd: I’m on it! Of course, I’ll need to replace the light fixture and the wiring to bring everything up to code.

Golden Retriever: Who needs a lightbulb? Let’s go outside and play fetch!

Irish Wolfhound: I think I can reach it.

Labrador Retriever (Lab): Oh, me, me! Let me change all the lightbulbs!

Old English Sheep Dog: Huh? Who turned out the lights?

Pointer: There it is! What are you waiting for? There it is! Change it!

Poodle: I don’t care who changes it, but we definitely need more light to admire me!

Rottweiler: Not my job.

West Highland White Terrier (Westie): I’ll just bark at it until it comes on.

San Antonio, TX, August 30, 2017: Singles, active young couples, families with children, senior citizens – each household will have its own lifestyle, preferences and needs. Dog breeds have specific characteristics that can make them a good or poor fit for a home. For example, some have been bred for centuries to guard, others to hunt, and others to be cuddled lapdogs. Some require a firm, dominant owner and some need a gentle touch. For best success, the breed should match the home and its people.

“Our dog trainer once told us a story about a woman who called her, panicked that her new puppy was chasing and knocking down the children in her day care center.” said Telemark Productions’ President, Ellen Brodsky. “The woman asked the trainer what she should do. When the trainer asked what breed the dog was, the woman said it was an Akita. So our trainer told her she needed to get a different breed of dog! It turns out Akitas have one of the highest prey drives in the canine kingdom. Anything that squeals and runs away triggers an instinctive reaction in the dog to chase it and take it down. This is definitely NOT the best breed to have in a day care center, even though it looks so soft and cuddly.”

Dog Breed Selector

Dog Breed Selector screenshot.

Telemark Productions’ best in class Dog Breed Selector was developed to help people find the right dog for them.  People answer questions about activities, home environment, and other preferences online, then the Selector weighs all their input and comes up with the 30 best match breeds.

The Selector results are linked to detailed breed profiles and photos, so people can learn more about the recommended breeds.  Each profile also includes links to breed clubs, breeder referral lists and rescue organizations to help people find a dog.

The Dog Breed Selector is now available on the DogSpotters.com website. It has been updated for ease-of-use and mobile device compatibility.

DogSpotters.com also features a Dog Breed Comparer, which allows users to compare different breeds side-by-side, and Guessing Games based on photos of puppies or adult dogs where people can see how skilled they are in breed identification.

Telemark’s Dog Breed Selector started out as part of Telemark’s Guide to Dogs CD-ROM which sold over 45,000 copies worldwide. From 2000 to 2017, Telemark’s Dog Breed Selector consistently ranked as one of the most popular features on IAMs.com.  Each year, Telemark has updated the Selector to reflect new breeds and changes to breed standards, so it now includes over 200 breeds.

The Breed Selector, Comparer, and quizzes now have a new home on DogSpotters.com.  Give them a try and share them with your friends!

Download Press Release (pdf)


Dog Breed Selector – dogspotters.com/dog-breed-selector

Dog Breed Comparer – dogspotters.com/dog-breed-selector/dog-breed-comparer

Dog Guessing Game – dogspotters.com/dog-breed-selector/guess-breed-quiz

Puppy Guessing Game – dogspotters.com/dog-breed-selector/guess-breed-puppy-quiz

Want to find the breeds that bark the least?

The best jogging companions?

Dogs that are great with kids?

Dogs that shed the least?

See our new Top Dog Lists:

Please note that if you are looking for a dog breed that is the best compromise of various traits (for example, SMALL and GOOD WITH OTHER PETS), you should try our Dog Breed Selector.

Have you ever wondered why dogs are so friendly and affectionate?

You may be surprised to know that scientists have wondered the same thing.  To answer the question, scientists from Princeton University and Oregon State University compared the behavior of a group of dogs with their closest relative, wolves.

The wolves in the study  were raised by humans and fully socialized.  Even so, the wolves were much more “aloof” than the dogs.  The wolves would give a friendly greeting to humans, but then mostly ignore them, while the dogs continued to interact with the people around them.

When the researchers examined the genetic structure of the dogs and the wolves, they found that the “friendly” dogs had variations on chromosomes 6 and 7.  Disruption on a gene for a protein called GIF21, which regulates the activity of other genes, was associated with the friendliest, most social dogs.

This same genetic disruption also causes “hypersocial” behavior in rats.

Perhaps the most interesting fact is that a similar genetic disruption can be found in humans with Williams-Beuren syndrome, which leads to mental disabilities, but also causes the victims to be very trusting, friendly, and affectionate.

It is very likely that early humans kept and bred the  friendliest dogs – dogs that possessed the genetic abnormality.  These dogs passed on the abnormality to their offspring, giving rise to the modern, domestic dog.

Whatever the reason, it is clear that dogs love their human families, and we love them back!

For more information, visit ScienceMag.org.

The sport of DogSpotting has been popularized worldwide through a FaceBook group where players can post pictures of dogs they’ve seen.

But students at various universities, including University of North Carolina (UNC), are creating local FaceBook groups for on-campus dogspotters. There are two advantages of local groups:

  1. Members can get to know one another offline, and
  2. When an interesting dog photo is posted, members can go directly to the location on-campus in hopes of spotting the dog and adding it to their own lists.


miniature schnauzer puppy and mirror

miniature schnauzer puppy and mirror

For most dog owners, the answer to this question is a resounding YES! Clearly, your dog thinks of himself as a distinct “being.”

But the question of self-awareness is much harder to test. After all, you can’t ask the dog.

For years, the standard test of self-awareness has been the mirror test. The animal is shown a mirror. Typically, the researcher will first put a spot of paint on the animal’s face. If the animal looks in the mirror and then attempts to remove the paint, it is clear that he recognizes “himself.”

Elephants, chimpanzees, dolphins, and even magpies have passed the mirror tests… but dogs do not. It’s possible that a mirror isn’t a valid test for dog, since dogs rely much more on scent than on sight. Or perhaps dogs just don’t care if there’s a spot of paint on their face!

Recently, researchers have begun to question both the methodology and the conclusions of the mirror test, and to find different ways to understand and discuss the question of self-awareness. But whatever the researchers find, dog lovers are likely to draw their own conclusions!

Read More

What Does Your Dog See When He Looks in a Mirror? Science of Us. May 23, 2016.

Due to problems with iOS 7 compatibility, we have decided to pull DogSpotters from the App Store. We will gladly refund your money if you send us purchase information and where to send your refund. We apologize for this inconvenience.