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Blog: Karen B. London
Pauses in Play
Does your dog take breaks?
If I could just choose one tip to share with people who care about how their dogs play, it would be that in appropriate canine play, there are usually lots of pauses. It’s a topic I recently wrote about in my local newspaper. Ideally, it would be common knowledge that one of the most important clues for evaluating play between dogs is the presence of regular pauses. The pauses allow dogs to...
Blog: Karen B. London
Agility Favorites
What obstacle does your dog prefer?
I had a dog whose favorite part of an agility course was the table. My theory is that it made the most sense to him. It was the first piece of equipment that he learned how to negotiate correctly, and it seemed as though he always knew what to do with it, unlike some other obstacles, which periodically confused him. I loved this dog, but he was, hmm, how best to say it—not the brightest dog I...
Blog: Karen B. London
Why That Puppy?
Puppy choices and what they mean
I always ask my clients what made them choose a particular dog or a certain puppy. The most common answers I hear about choosing a puppy are: “I didn’t choose him. He chose me.” “I felt sorry for her.” “He was the only one left.” “The breeder felt that she was the best puppy for our family.” “He had an adorable spot over his eye, just like my first dog did.” “She was the only female and we...
Blog: Karen B. London
Dog Breath Is A Good Thing
Dogs use it to decide whether to search for food.
In a recent study in the journal Animal Behaviour, Heberlein and Turner found that dogs were more likely to search for food after observing another dog foraging if they smelled food on the other dog’s breath. After the first dog searched for food, the two dogs made snout-to-snout contact. If the first dog had successfully found food, then the second dog was more willing to seek food from the...
Blog: Karen B. London
Who Can See Behavior Cases?
Some vets want to be the only ones.
In the human world, people have long ago worked out their separate roles in helping people with behavior problems and mental illness. Different groups of professionals acknowledge the expertise and boundaries of their own and others’ fields. The result is that in the best scenarios, people needing help may have a team of professionals including teachers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and members...
Blog: Karen B. London
Many Dogs Bark at Passersby
A common problem that does have a solution
A lot of dogs bark out the window at everyone who goes by. In fact, this is one of the most common problems motivating people to seek the help of a canine behaviorist or dog trainer. Luckily, most dogs can be taught a more appropriate response than barking like a maniac at every passerby. Dogs tend to bark even more if we say, “Quiet!” Barking is a social, contagious behavior, so when dogs hear...
Blog: Karen B. London
Paula Abdul Helping People and Animals
Auction will benefit Pets and Women’s Shelters (PAWS) Program
Many women in situations of domestic violence delay leaving because they don’t want to leave their pets behind and they can’t take them with them because so few women’s shelters have the ability to house pets. There is a growing recognition that women stay in violent situations rather than leave their pets with their abusers and that bringing pets with them provides comfort and security. As a...
Blog: Karen B. London
It’s National Safety Month
What’s the best pet safety advice you ever needed?
In honor of National Safety Month, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) has compiled some ideas for keeping dogs safe. Their tips include basic first aid information, as well as tips for keeping your dog safe at the pool, outdoors including around wildlife, when traveling, during holidays, such as Christmas and the Fourth of July, and in a variety of other situations. The association...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Four Scientific Studies on Dogs and Play
Having fun is serious business
As members of the dog-loving community, we should all be proud of our emphasis on play as an important aspect of our dogs’ lives. We have long understood that for most of our pups, playing with other dogs and playing with humans enhances their quality of life and improves their overall comportment. During the past few years, scientific research into play has emerged from a long period during...
Blog: Karen B. London
Losing Puppies to Disease
Canine distemper strikes close to home.
Some friends recently lost two puppies to canine distemper. During the time when first one puppy, and then the second was succumbing to the disease, they were caught up in a painful swirl of grief, loss, information-seeking, medication use, and continuous attempts to comfort the puppies, their children and each other. Obviously, it is painful to lose a dog of any age, but there is a particular...

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