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Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Big dogs, Small dogs
Does size affect behavior?
Big vs Small Dogs
He chose the dog, but I chose the name,” the woman explained. Their dog was an especially petite Boston Terrier, but his name — Titan — was one more typically bestowed on a larger dog. I’d seen this type of incongruity before, and though it’s sometimes just for the sake of being ironic, often it’s about conflict. Couples who disagree about whether to add a large dog or a small dog to their family...
News: Karen B. London
Wet Dog Shake
The science behind the behavior
I had always assumed that dogs shake vigorously after a bath or a swim in order to share massive quantities of water with all people in the immediate vicinity. That hypothesis fits in with my philosophical view that dogs have a generosity of spirit that knows no bounds and that they love us very much. It also matches my personal experience as a dog groomer and as a dog guardian. A recent study...
News: Karen B. London
Archaeologist Dog Finds Bones
No tools can do what she can
It really should come as no surprise that a dog can be trained to find bones. In fact, it’s hard to think of a job better suited to them. Yet, Migaloo the Black Lab is believed by her guardians to be the first dog who has been specifically trained to find buried human bones at archaeological sites. Trained cadaver dogs have previously discovered human bones that were nearly 200 years old, though...
News: Karen B. London
TSA honors 9/11 Victims
Puppies are named after them
After September 11, 2001, more explosives detection dogs were trained to work in airports and other areas of mass transportation all over the country. To honor those people who lost their lives on that day, the Transportation Security Administration began naming the dogs in their puppy program after them. Lisa Dolan’s husband, U.S. Navy Captain Bob Dolan, was one of the people who died at the...
News: Karen B. London
Pit Bull Chihuahua Cross
Unusual pairings happen
When I said that she looked like a Pit Bull Chihuahua cross, I didn’t really think that’s what she was.  Though our whole family thought that’s what she looked like when she showed up in our driveway, we also thought that such a mating was unlikely. It didn’t matter much to us—we just enjoyed her for who she was—a delightful dog who was energetic, expressive, friendly, bouncy, and very licky....
News: Karen B. London
Visitors Who Don’t Like Dogs
It’s an awkward social situation
A friend of mine was telling me that when her sister-in-law comes to visit, it can be very uncomfortable because that sister-in-law really hates dogs. She voices a lot of criticism of the cleanliness of houses with dogs and the fact that so much time is wasted cleaning up after dogs, which my friend naturally finds annoying. To her, the dogs are family and the extra effort to keep the house clean...
News: Karen B. London
Suitcases Stress Dogs
Packing no fun for anybody
A friend of mine posed the question, “Am I the only crazy lady who has to pack bags for a trip in secret so the dog doesn’t have a meltdown?” The answer to this is, “No!” Many of us have watched our dogs become nervous as we pack, or even as we pull the suitcase out of the closet. Even if dogs are comfortable in a kennel or at a friend’s house when their guardians must travel without them, it...
News: Karen B. London
Royal Dogfight
Queen’s dogs cause injuries
Sure, there are differences between the lives of most of our dogs and the lives of the Queen of England’s dogs, but there are probably more similarities than differences. (And if your dogs have recently been filmed with the Queen and Daniel Craig as James Bond for a short piece shown in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, perhaps your dogs have even more in common with the royal dogs than...
News: Karen B. London
Named After a Dog
“Wild Karen” the inspiration
I recently met another woman named Karen, and our conversation turned to dogs. Of course, there’s a tendency for many of my conversations to take that route, but this one arrived at the subject quite directly. The other Karen told me that she bet the story of how she got her name was more interesting than the story of how I got mine.  She almost wins that one by default because my story is that...
News: Karen B. London
An Urban Legend
Beautiful, even though it’s not true
Various forms of the following story have been all over the online world in recent months. As it turns out, it’s yet another urban legend, but that doesn’t take away from its value. Like most fictional stories, its emotional power comes from our recognition of the great truth within it. This is one version of the tale: Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish...

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