Over the Moon!

For many of us, the stars and the moon rise in our dogs, a figure of speech that conveys the love we have for the four-leggeds who complete our lives.  It’s a curious expression, given the moon’s alleged influence on dogs. Many dog owners feel that their dogs act differently during a full moon, and it’s not entirely subjective observation. A study done in 2007 by Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences found that emergency vet visits go up almost 28 percent around a full moon.

The presence or absence of moonlight is also thought to shape reproduction, and while that may sound outlandish, a 2005 study suggests otherwise. Researchers looked at 150 litters of Labrador Retrievers (a total of 973 offspring). They considered the day of conception to be 62 to 64 days before the day the litter was delivered, then divided the month into the traditional four moon phases: A waxing moon, a new moon, a waning moon, and finally, a full moon. Their results found statistically more male puppies in litters conceived during a full moon as compared to litters conceived during the new moon. In litters conceived during a full moon, there were 62 percent male puppies as compared to only 41 percent for litters conceived during a new moon –  an approximately 20 percent difference in the number of male puppies.  You can see this in a chart from SC Psychological Enterprises Ltd. based on data from Alberghina et al, (2021).

Bluetick Coonhound by © Eichenluft | Dreamstime

So why do we include photos of Bluetick Coonhounds in a post that seems to be about the moon?  Are we suggesting that the Bluetick Coonhound is tied to the moon?

Sort of.

Bluetick Coonhounds are the only breed whose AKC breed standard mentions the moon in any way.  From looking at the adjacent image, can you guess how?

It’s all in the tail. The standard reads, Tail: “Carried high with a forward half-moon curve.”  We find that this tailset on slightly below the line of the back, strongly rooted, and not curled over the back nor dropped between his legs – is an important piece of breed type. Without the half-moon tail, this sweet and affectionate charmer seems to be incomplete

By the way mark your calendars! Moon Day happens on October 26th.

Top image  by © Maryswift/Dreamstime


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