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Blog: Karen B. London
Does Tail Length Matter?
Robot dog helps answer this question
  Dogs communicate with their tails in ways that are more complex than people thought even a few years ago, and new studies continue to reveal more about the information that tails convey. Many people have wondered whether dogs with docked tails or naturally short tails are less able to communicate than dogs whose tails are long and have not been docked.   In a recent study called “Behavioural...
Blog: Karen B. London
Language Ability of a Dog
It goes way beyond a big vocabulary
[Editor's update: A February 9 episode of Nova will feature Chaser.]   In a recent study in the journal Behavioural Processes, John W. Pilley and Alliston K. Reid have demonstrated an impressive level of language ability in a Border Collie named Chaser. It’s certainly easy to be most impressed by the fact that she knows the names of 1,022 objects, which she was taught over a nearly three-year...
Blog: Karen B. London
Burglar Goes Through Doggy Door
Homeowner shoots the intruder
  The great thing about dog doors is that they allow access in and out of your home. That is also their biggest drawback. A man entered a home in Oklahoma City through a dog door, apparently with the intent of robbing it, but instead, he was shot by the owner of the house. Though he got away, he was later apprehended at a convenience store when the clerk saw that he had been shot and called 911....
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Yawns Are Contagious!
Catch one from your dog.
Dog Yawns
A new study provides the first scientific evidence that dogs yawn in response to human yawns. The contagious nature of yawns has previously only been demonstrated in humans and other primates, but in a recent issue of Biology Letters, scientists Ramiro M. Joly-Mascheroni, Atsushi Senju and Alex J. Shepherd report that dogs can also “catch” human yawns. The dogs in the study each spent five...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
8 Tips for Vet-Visit Bliss
Play by the Numbers
Dog & Vet
Many dogs dislike going to the vet. Their objections can take the form of unruly behavior, signs of stress (shaking and salivating), or even aggression.Unfortunately, we can’t point out to our dogs that these medical appointments are highly beneficial and for their own good, or simply explain to them in plain English that even though it might not always seem like it, the vet has their best...
Blog: Karen B. London
Killing Over Dog Urine On Lawn
What’s this really about?
  When I heard about the man who killed a neighbor after that neighbor’s dog urinated on his perfect lawn, my initial response was “Can you say ‘overreaction’?” When I learned more details about the case, I realized that the sad result of the situation was more about the behavior of the people than of the dog.   While it is true that the incident was started by one man’s dog urinating on another...
Blog: Karen B. London
Toys Are Meant To Be Used
Damage means that they have been
Dogs like to chew on many of their toys. It is common for people to say, “He ruins all his toys!” I like to think of it a little bit differently: When toys are damaged, it’s just a sign that the dog has used them. Toys don’t stay in pristine condition if they have truly been enjoyed, but that just means the toys have been used, not that they have been ruined.   Of course, if the dog is at risk of...
Blog: Karen B. London
Multipurposing Dog Gear
Finding non-dog oriented uses for supplies
The items needed for our dogs form an extensive list—leashes, collars, food, books, training treats, bowls, gates, toys, things to chew on, poop bags, tags, seat belts and on and on. Having spent years accumulating these items instead of a hefty savings account, I appreciate their value. In fact, I consider much of the pet gear I have to be so worthwhile that I use it for purposes that extend far...
Blog: Karen B. London
Dogs Ease Exam Stress
Students benefit from canine visits
  Many colleges and universities are experimenting with new ways to ease the stress of exams for their students. The point of such activities as dance breaks in the library and yoga classes late at night is to help students cope with the extreme anxiety of finals. From oxygen bars to simultaneously dropping 10,000 rubber balls from a roof, it seems that no idea is too odd to consider. Things have...
Blog: Karen B. London
He’s A Penn State Dog
Does your dog wear your school colors?
I recently got to dog sit for a friend who is a big Penn State fan. Actually, I didn’t know that until she brought her dog over and I saw his shiny new navy blue color, which says “PENN STATE PENN STATE PENN STATE” all the way around in white writing.   When I lived in Wisconsin, I saw lots of dogs with red and white collars or with ones adorned with badgers to show their allegiance to the...

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