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Blog: Karen B. London
Fearful Dogs in Crowded Places
It’s terrifying, not socializing
“Does he bite?” I asked. “Yes,” she answered. “Does he bite children?” was my next question. “Well,” she said, “We don’t want him to. That’s why we brought him here—to get socialized.” I had approached this little dog to distract him when I noticed him in a staring contest with two big dogs. He was acting tough but was clearly terrified. My concern was that someone would run between them and be...
Blog: Karen B. London
Fences For Fido
Oregon’s new law will mean more requests
Oregon’s new anti-tethering law specifies that it will be considered second degree animal neglect if tethering a dog results in an injury to the animal, and first degree animal neglect if it causes the dog to be seriously injured or killed. The purpose of the law is to improve dogs’ quality of life and to enhance community safety. (Tethered dogs are more likely to bite than dogs who are not tied...
Blog: Karen B. London
Photographing Shelter Dogs on Walks
Weekly journey is uplifting
The dogs that Shannon Johnstone takes on walks are experiencing a freedom that they haven’t known in a long time, if ever. Each week, she brings one dog with her to a park that was built on top of an old landfill and observes the dog enjoying a rare moment of happiness. She photographs them on their walk and once they reach the top, which is about 500 feet up and one of the highest places in the...
Blog: Karen B. London
Beyond Friendly
Dogs with extreme social enthusiasm
It’s almost a cliché—Golden Retrievers who are so friendly, so eager to greet people that they seem in danger of wagging their entire back ends off. Such behavior is by no means confined to this breed, and it’s not exhibited by all Goldens, though it is undeniable that some of them do typify it. I recently met a Golden Retriever who was as lovable and friendly as any I’ve known. It was...
Blog: Karen B. London
The Importance of Context
He was talking about a dog
It’s a good thing his kindergarten teacher knew that Carson was talking about a dog when he burst into the room Monday morning and shared his news: “We got a sh*tter!” His teacher had been hearing for weeks that they were going to add a new dog to the family. This allowed her to probe into the situation to find out what he meant rather than send him to the principal’s office because of what he...
Blog: Karen B. London
Explaining a Glitch in Fetch
It makes sense after all
We were playing fetch with Super Bee, a friend’s dog, and her unpredictable behavior was making the game less fun for us. All was smooth when we threw the ball and she went to retrieve it. One hundred percent of the time, she gleefully ran it down, picked it up, and brought it back. The difficulty occurred in the transfer of the ball back to us so that we could throw it again. Though she...
Blog: Karen B. London
Do You Play Bow to Your Dog?
Starting play the canine way
If you want to extend a special kindness to your dogs, consider communicating in ways that naturally make sense to them. Play signals are one opportunity to do this. When dogs want to play, they let others know with play signals, which they use to get play started and to keep it going. These signals can mean different things, but the message is always aimed at keeping play safe by telling other...
Blog: Karen B. London
Canine Car Restraints
Center for Pet Safety tests products
Lindsey Wolko knew that dogs are safer in cars if restrained, which is why her cocker spaniel Maggie was in a safety harness the day Wolko braked hard to avoid an accident. Despite that, Maggie was seriously injured and very scared when she slammed into the driver’s seat and her legs became tangled in the harness. She has since fully recovered from the damage to her spine and hips, but many dogs...
Blog: Karen B. London
Therapy Dogs Make Flying Better
“Pups and Planes” program launched
Therapy dogs have long been helping people who are staying in hospitals, students taking finals, those individuals who have recently experienced trauma and those who suffer from generalized anxiety. All of these people feel better after their contact with a friendly canine, and now that same benefit is available for people about to fly or who have just landed. The San Antonio International...
Blog: Karen B. London
Cats Steal Dog Beds
A familiar scene in many homes
In any household, there is bound to be conflict, whether it is between human brothers and sisters who can’t agree on what game to play, dogs who want the same chew toy, or spouses who can’t find a movie to watch that looks good to both of them. When you add in conflicts across species, there are even more opportunities for discord. People and pets may not feel the same way about a variety of...

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