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News: JoAnna Lou
From Shelter Pup to Police Dog
N.Y. State trains homeless canines to join the police force
Recently, I was reading about a superstar police dog and discovered a really cool fact—about one-third of New York State's police dogs are rescues. This particular German Shepherd, Sgt. Harry J. Wheeler, was found wandering the streets of Brooklyn eight years ago. Fortunately, he was taken in by Glen Wild Animal Rescue, which thought his keen perception and protective nature would make him a...
News: JoAnna Lou
Guide Dog to Reach Hiking Record
Lab leads man up all New Hampshire's 4,000-foot mountains
Only 46 people have climbed all of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot mountains, but this weekend Randy Pierce and his trusty Yellow Labrador, Quinn, will attempt to become the first blind person and guide dog to accomplish this formidable challenge. As if that wasn't already an incredible accomplishment, they will have finished this goal in a single winter. Seven years ago, a disease rendered Randy...
News: JoAnna Lou
Most Trendy Dog Names
Vetstreet identifies naming themes over the past 12 years
Pet names can tell you a lot about a person’s personality. Some people follow themes around favorite things. I love Pixar movies so I named all of my pups after characters from the movies. Others have a preference for sweet sounding names or tough sounding names. And as more people consider their pets a part of the family, more dogs are getting names traditionally set aside for humans. In 2011,...
News: JoAnna Lou
Helping Injured Pups Walk
Experimental drug could help dogs and humans with spiral cord injuries
I love when medical research benefits both canines and humans. This latest study aims to help dogs and people retain their ability to walk with a new medication. The U.S. Department of Defense is funding research to explore an experimental drug that will help dogs and humans with spinal cord injuries. The collaboration between the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Texas A&M...
News: JoAnna Lou
More Pet Airline Drama
United adopts Continental's PetSafe program amid controversy
Until dogs of all sizes can ride in the airplane cabin, air travel will always be a controversial topic among pet lovers. The latest dispute is over United Airlines' new pet policy. Starting next month, United Airlines is adopting Continental's PetSafe program (the two companies merged in 2010). Now animals will be transported as cargo rather than checked luggage. Both options sound horrible to...
News: JoAnna Lou
Canines v. Chimps
Dogs understand pointing better than chimps
A few years ago I took my dogs to the Harvard Canine Cognition Lab to participate in some really interesting research. One of the studies looked at the dogs' understanding of gestures, such as pointing. I didn't think my pups were really making the association in the lab, but at home I do think that they seem to understand when I'm pointing at things. Maybe it's just a shared understanding we'...
News: JoAnna Lou
TV for Dogs
New station features content designed for canines
These days it seems that there are dogs in just about every commercial and television show. But now content is being created to appeal, not only to pet lovers, but to dogs themselves. Starting last week, pups in San Diego now have their very own television station. DOGTV is designed to keep dogs from being stressed and anxious when home alone. DOGTV's content was developed using research on...
News: JoAnna Lou
Soothing Shelter Pups
Organization donates MP3 players for homeless pets
About a year ago I wrote about Through a Dog's Ear, a series of songs based on rhythms and musical patterns that proved most effective in calming dogs. The company's CDs play in more than 125 shelters around the world. Research proves that music has a soothing effect on animals, so it seems like a necessity to have these songs playing in stressful environments. Shelter budgets are already...
News: JoAnna Lou
Bite Prevention Ed Needed
Study finds kids need to learn how to prevent bites
When my therapy dog, Nemo, visits the library for the reading program, the kids always seem to go right for the tail. Nemo is very forgiving and patient, but I always use it as an opportunity to teach them the right way to approach and pet a dog. A new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that dog bite prevention knowledge is poor in children. The researchers surveyed 300 five-...
News: JoAnna Lou
Sheepherding Bunny [Video]
Self-taught rabbit takes on the role of sheepdog
I love watching Border Collies herd sheep. They're so graceful and efficient. But a talented bunny in Sweden is giving sheepdogs a run for their money. You may have seen the YouTube video of a tiny rabbit herding sheep on a farm in Sweden. Champis, the 5-year-old mix-breed bunny, has become an online celebrity in the last two weeks. More than two million people have watched the video clip in...

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