This session will emphasize the "Big Picture", beginning with an understanding of the modern domestic dog by examining his wolf and mammalian heritage. Evolution and geological time will be examined to understand mammalian proliferation and canid development. I will also discuss the process of domestication and how selection for tameness shaped our domestic dog.
Canid anatomy and physiology, with an emphasis on dogs' senses, reproductive cycle, social development and maturation will be reviewed. I will explore the history of breed development, honestly examining the dangers and benefits of selective breeding.
I will describe common dog diseases: hip dysplasia, bloat, rabies, cancer, tick borne diseases and the emergence of new, significant viral infections. I will also explain zoonotic diseases, outlining the inter-species transmission of pandemic influenza, which continues to loom as a great threat to the human population.
The focus will be on a wide range of dog topics: aggression, dog bites, breed selection, and interesting statistics about the dog industry. This session will also cover working dogs, with special emphasis on long distance racing sled dogs, service dogs, police dogs, search and rescue dogs, as well as the potential and increasing use of cancer sniffing dogs.
*Attendees may choose to participate in either or both days.