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Blog: Karen B. London
Contagious yawning in dogs
Empathy may cause it
It’s been known for a long time that yawning is contagious in various species of primates, including humans. (It’s actually highly contagious. If it were as easy to catch a cold or malaria, it would be all but impossible to stay healthy.) In recent years, the contagious nature of yawns between dogs and people has been a research subject of considerable interest. Studies have demonstrated that...
Blog: Karen B. London
Encountering Dogs While Running
Strategies for safety
Where I live (in Flagstaff, Ariz.) we have the same problems with off-leash dogs that most communities face. There are some people who think, for whatever reason, that leash laws don’t apply to them and their dogs. All runners, including me, have faced dogs charging at us on the trails and on the roads. It’s a risky situation when you are faced with a dog who is, at best, overly enthusiastic, and...
Blog: Karen B. London
My Dream Dog Video
Racing against a greyhound
I know I am preaching to the choir when I proclaim that dogs are incredible animals with amazing abilities. So I’m pretty sure I’m in good company when I say that I have a list of dogs’ traits that are so extraordinary that it’s worth finding ways to demonstrate them to the world. I even have a wish list for videos I’d love to have that show dogs off a bit. Sometimes I acquire the videos I desire...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Prey Drive: Fact or Fiction?
Correct terminology or jargon?
Prey Drive
If you have an urge to create discord and angst, here’s one way to do it: Go to a dog behavior conference or seminar and boldly state, “I think we should discuss the meaning of the term ‘prey drive,’ and decide whether or not we should continue to use it.” Then, make a dash for the exit before it gets ugly. To most people in the dog world, the term “prey drive” refers to a dog’s eagerness or...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
H*MPING
Why do they do it?
Humping Pugs
On a beautiful, warm afternoon, I watched a group of dogs frolic in a dog park. Suddenly, I heard a woman’s high-pitched yelp, followed by the pounding of human feet. There was no need to look; it was obviously about humping, which we can also refer to as mounting. Dogs hump the air, they mount pillows and blankets, and they can be found poised behind the neighbor’s dog or befriending Uncle Joe’s...
Blog: Karen B. London
Visiting a Therapy Dog Class
Strangers with a purpose
My family was recently invited to attend a dog therapy class. The goal was to provide the dogs an opportunity to practice being on their best, most friendly behavior when presented with strangers, even if those strangers were behaving in unusual ways. We were particularly welcome visitors because our family includes two boys, ages 7 and 8. Finding parents willing to bring their young kids around...
Blog: Karen B. London
Sometimes Dogs Aren’t Sad
They’re just resting
It’s common to misinterpret dogs’ signals and think that they mean something that they don’t. Examples of this abound with everything from the common statement by people who are not overly dog savvy that the dog must be friendly because he’s wagging his tail, to the more complex issues related to the meaning of barking and other vocalizations. Lately, I’ve noticed that many people look at a dog...
Blog: Karen B. London
Social Gaffes
A consequence of adoring dogs
I’m pretty sure that as a child, I offended some friends when I went to their houses to play and paid more attention to the dog than to anyone else. Though I’ve always been social with people, this is a gaffe I made repeatedly. I never meant to be rude. It’s just that the dogs were so captivating that I couldn’t help myself. It wasn’t only in childhood that I attended to dogs first and foremost...
Magazine: 2012
Dogs Are Definitely Welcome
Editor’s Letter
Claudia Kawcynska & Charlie the dog
We’re easing our way into another summer season, tuning up for vacation flings, scoping out dog-friendly resorts and venues, and hoping to find time to settle back and simply enjoy a few peaceful moments with our dogs. As our cover proclaims, at long last, I went to New York for a much-anticipated visit with the “Daily Show” dogs. We had put out a few feelers earlier this year, and some of you...
Blog: Karen B. London
Dandelion Dog
She helps me find weeds
Yesterday I was searching for dandelions to yank from my lawn and garden with Schultize, a dog who is staying with us for a couple of weeks. After about 10 minutes of pulling these weeds, Schultize was consistently in my way. Several times, I found myself having to wait for her to move so I could use my weeding tool without risk of hurting her. She just kept sitting right near a dandelion. At...

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