Painted Dogs
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Naśladowca Jacoba Jordaensa, "Peasant Family Having a Meal", XVII w.
Art + Stories, Art

Painted Dogs

The Canine in Fine Art
Aleksandra Galewska
Reading
time 6 minutes

Our dog behaviour expert has decided to check what the old masters knew about dogs.

Dogs, except for the older and ailing ones, tend to be naturally quite agile. The more that is happening around them, the more restless they are, vigilantly watching the situation. Sounds and movements, especially right next to them, make dogs more alert. It is very likely that their survival instinct and learned reactions allow them to avoid unpleasant experiences when among many people: being poked, stepped on or shoved. It is exactly thanks to their excessive alertness that dogs prefer to sleep in groups, close to one another, which allows them to rest while somebody else keeps watch.

I would like to propose a game. There are many videos on the internet in which real and homegrown experts explain the emotions and behaviour of dogs. We will, however, try to reach further out, to art from a few centuries ago, and look at dogs in paintings.

I have found many works of ar

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Can Cats and Dogs Ever Get Along?
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Illustration by Marek Raczkowski
World + People, Nature

Can Cats and Dogs Ever Get Along?

Tips for Peaceful Pets
Aleksandra Galewska

The phrase ‘they fight like cats and dogs’ is universally known. So much so that people who have never owned a pet think that housing both species under one roof is a one-way ticket to tragedy, bloodshed, or a swift renovation of the apartment. In this case, a popular saying resulting from over-simplification and snap judgements is quite unfair to these two animals, and presents a slightly distorted image of their world.

A cat is not necessarily the same thing to a dog that a mouse is to a cat. Dogs don’t eat cats – they chase cats as a result of their hunting instincts. Dogs chase any targets moving away from them, because such behaviour is determined by their DNA. This happens more in some breeds than in others, but all dogs love to pursue moving objects, and we shouldn’t ever forget that. This is not caused by an urge to exterminate a particular species, but simply because a cat is an attractive prize that just happens to be ‘available’ (often more so than a deer or a weasel). Quick and afraid, the cat runs away whenever it feels threatened, while the dog – bored by insufficient movement and a lack of activity – makes its life more attractive by running after the fast furball.

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