Award Season Goes to the Dogs
The inaugural Golden Collar Awards, launched by Alan Siskind of the website dognewsdaily.com, were handed out in grand award show style in Hollywood on February 13th. Dogs walked the red carpet with their owners, trainers and co-stars. Golden Collars were awarded in five categories: Best Dog in a Foreign Film, Best Dog in a Television Series,
Best Dog in a Reality Series and Best Dog in a Direct-to-DVD film. Actress Charlize Theron was also awarded a special prize for her work on behalf of animal welfare. Profits from the event, went to animal welfare organizations.
The big winner was Uggie, the screen stealing Jack Russell from The Artist (he also appeared in Like Water for Elephants). Uggie’s trainer Omar von Muller accepted the award and said, “This is very important for all the trainers in the movie industry, because we have never been recognized before, and people just don’t understand that it takes hundreds and even thousands of hours to train a dog.”
Giggy from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Hercules from Pit Boss tied for best dog in a reality TV series. French Bulldog Brigitte, who plays Stella on Modern Family, won for best dog on a scripted TV series. Koko, a West Australian kelpie was named Best Dog in a Foreign Film for Red Dog, an Australian movie soon to be released in the US.
For Dogs’ Ears Only
The first ever TV ads aimed at dogs aired in Britain this month and may soon make appearances on American TV. The dog food manufacturer Barkers ran the ad, a minute-long send-up of The Italian Job, with bells, whistles and barking noises above 17,000 Hertz, in the range that dogs can hear but that people cannot. The goal is to get dogs to react to the ads and draw attention to the products by their behavior. The ad had been tested by playing it while the dogs where busy and distracted with a toy. Most of the 12 dogs tested stopped playing and reacted to the sound, mostly by pricking up their ears, tilting their heads and many walked up to the television set to investigate. Nestle has a similar campaign underway in Europe for their Beneful line of dog food. Nestle said in a statement the commercial follows an award-winning campaign in Germany that featured “sniffable” posters to attract dogs.
33,000 Years of Friendship
Scientists believe that two, 33,000-year-old skulls unearthed in separate digs in Siberia and Belgium show dogs were domesticated long before any other animals. The researchers believe dogs could have been the first species of animals to be domesticated by humans, before farm animals were bred for their meat and skins. “This appears to have happened first out of all human relationships with animals.” said Dr Hodgins, whose findings were published in the journal PLoS ONE.
Furthermore, the two skulls indicate that the domestication of dogs by humans occurred repeatedly throughout early human history at different geographical locations, which could mean that modern dogs have multiple ancestors rather than a single common ancestor.