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Blog: Karen B. London
Researching Social Cognition
Dogs finally get some respect
Science recently ran an article about the importance of dog research. It’s an understatement to say that times they are a-changing. The fact is that times have changed so much that it’s a whole new era. This journal is among the most prestigious of scientific publications, and to see a big article about the value of dogs as research subjects is mind-blowing to those of us whose discussions of dog...
Blog: Karen B. London
Dogs and Their Outstanding Noses
How has your dog amazed you?
It is well known that dogs have an extraordinary sense of smell. Nearly everyone who has lived with dogs has a story illustrating these astonishing olfactory abilities, and here is mine: Our dog Bugsy (half black Lab, half handsome stranger) was not the cleverest of dogs, and we eventually learned to embrace the moments when he showed his lack of Einsteinian brain powers. One day on our farm, he...
Blog: Karen B. London
Beware of Silent, Stealthy Aggressors
They can be the most dangerous.
Threat displays can function to thwart serious aggression, which is why many of them occur without ever leading to real trouble. By showing their weaponry or signs of strength, dogs are communicating that it would be unwise to challenge them. Dogs can assess each other, and often one or more decide that to proceed would be unwise. However, dogs who never give any warning before behaving...
Blog: Karen B. London
Find Your Dog A Date
Matchmaking for canines
I once introduced a friend of mine to my roommate because I felt so strongly that they would like each other. Now that they’ve been married for six years and have two kids, I still consider my matchmaking success with them to be among the biggest accomplishments of my life. Her dog even fell in love with him, so the happiness was complete all around. (This couple happens to be in a picture...
Blog: Karen B. London
Dogs Doing Shakespeare?
It’s quite captivating!
Since Shakespeare’s time, a variety of actors have performed his plays, but dogs were usually relegated to the minor roles. Now, thanks to a new production, they finally play more than bit parts. Professional human actors provide the voices for canines playing the starring roles in scenes from Shakespeare’s greatest works, and the result is an entertaining DVD. Shakespaws is beautifully done from...
Blog: Karen B. London
Interpreting the Dog’s Mouth
Clues to behavior and emotion
When assessing dogs, I often look at the mouth. With such a strong interest in canine aggression, I have spent a lot of time looking at this part of dogs’ bodies, and wrote about my observations recently in my local newspaper. The basics of interpreting the internal state of a dog from the mouth involve the following questions: Is the mouth open or closed? Is the dog panting? Does the dog display...
Blog: Karen B. London
So There’s This Rabbi and This Dog
Can they make beautiful music together?
The sound of the shofar is a part of the religious ceremonies of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur—two sacred Jewish holidays. The shofar is usually made out of the horn of a domestic ram, and its deep call is both beautiful and poignant. Typically, the sound of the shofar creates a solemn mood. Typically. Leave it to a dog to have other ideas. It’s hard to say what this dog was trying to contribute...
Blog: Karen B. London
No Animals Were Harmed
Or were they?
Recently, several movies have shown unauthorized disclaimers at the end of the credits stating that no animals were harmed in the making of the film. Only the American Humane Association has the authority to grant this disclaimer to a film, and that’s after careful monitoring and inspection of the set and the animal actors involved in the film’s production. Some films have posted this disclaimer...
Blog: Karen B. London
Sniffing for Snails
Detection dogs to the rescue in Hawai’i.
Invasive species can quickly decimate the native species of a region, but getting rid of the invaders can be challenging. In Hawai’i, the wolf snail has been linked to the decline and even the extinction of many species of snail that are endemic to (only occur in) Hawai’i. Wolf snails are on the top 100 “World’s Worst” invaders list, and eradicating them in our 50th state is a high priority among...
Blog: Karen B. London
Have a Fearful Dog?
Check out fearfuldogs.com
Whether you call them shy, cautious or just plain scared, there are a lot of dogs struggling to deal with this issue, and just as many people trying to help their dogs deal with and overcome their fears. A great website called fearfuldogs.com offers great information and lots of links to direct you to the help you need. The site was started by a woman whose dog Sunny, pictured here, survived a...

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