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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Conflicting Gestures of Affection
Hugs have the opposite meaning to dogs
As a kid, I remember watching the emotional scene in the movie Homeward Bound and seeing the oldest boy hug his Golden Retriever, Shadow, upon being reunited. I also remember reenacting the scene many times with my poor cat (unfortunately for the cat, I didn't have a dog when I was younger). We regard our pets like family, so hugging them feels natural. According to a recent survey, 30 percent...
Blog: Guest Posts
It’s Raining Cows and Dogs [Video]
The play’s the thing for these mismatched pals
We know dogs are pros at crossing the species barrier, especially when it comes to fun. But it’s still surprising and enlightening to watch it happen. A friend of The Bark recently sent us a couple videos of a friend’s German Wirehaired Pointers and Jersey cows playing together—and we had to share them. Here’s another. ►Also, for more on dogs with unusual playmates, check out today’s story by...
Blog: Guest Posts
The Seal Who Played with Dogs
Memories of cross-species games
Butch was my seal. Or so I fantasized, and bragged to my grade school friends. His origins, age—even his true sex and name—were a mystery. But he was real. He wore a faded collar that had become painfully tight, creating a ring of raw red flesh, like a gruesome necklace he couldn’t unclasp. My own, childishly romantic theory was that he had escaped from a traveling circus. It was the 1960s, and...
Blog: Guest Posts
The National Museum of Animals & Society
A great place to explore and enrich our interrelationships with other animals
“…animals are always the observed. The fact that they can observe us has lost all significance.” (John Berger, About Looking, 1980) Our relationships with other nonhuman animals (aka animals) move us all over the place. We love some, hate others and are indifferent to a wide range of fascinating species. Animals intrigue and inspire us and as we inquire about who they are we learn much about who...
Blog: Karen B. London
Piloerection
What’s going on when a dog does this?
“His hackles went up. What does that mean?” It’s such a great question and one that I hear from clients regularly. When the hair on a dog’s back goes up (technically called piloerection), it’s usually a sign that the dog is aroused or excited in some way. It is an involuntary reaction, just like the goose bumps we humans get, so it’s important not to have any expectation of a dog being able to...
Blog: Karen B. London
Canine Mischief
Dogs find their own entertainment
Facebook gave me a laugh earlier this week when a friend posted this: “this really happened to me today...i had 15 minutes between meetings so i ran home to let the dogs out. pearl (the puppy) heard kids playing down the street, ran down to see them and then quickly ran through the open door of a house (of a woman who hates dogs), ran through her house, pushed open their bathroom door (where...
Blog: Karen B. London
People as Dog Breeds
Canine thoughts at work
In a recent article entitled “Are You a Man or a Dog?” Susan Breslin puts forth a plan for understanding the other people at work. Her idea? Pretend they are all dogs. Actually, she gives a three-step plan: 1) Identify their breed, 2) Identify your breed, 3) Find your pack. I have previously written that it helps me understand my sons when I think of one as a Greyhound and the other as a Viszla/...
Blog: Guest Posts
Social Dominance Is Not a Myth: Wolves, Dogs and Other Animals
Social dominance is real but has been widely misunderstood and misused
The concept of social dominance is not a myth. A myth is an invented story. The concept of dominance has been, and remains, a very important one that has been misunderstood and misused, often by those who haven't spent much time conducting detailed studies of other animals, including those living in the wild. Dominance is a fact. Nonhuman (and human) animals dominate one another in a number...
Blog: Guest Posts
Daisy and the Pussycats
Stray cats have turned a dog’s happy yard into a source of misery
It’s 1:30 a.m. and Daisy is pacing. Again. She hears a cat somewhere—or at least she thinks she does—and is in a hurry to get outside and attack it. If we don’t let her out, she’ll pace and whine for an hour or more. If we do let her outside, we’ll be reinforcing her demanding, unnecessary behavior. It’s the middle of the night, and we’re stuck. All of us. I was so happy for Daisy when we...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Cats and Dogs: The Meet-up
Can cats and dogs get along
You’ve heard the heartwarming stories: Dog meets cat. Cat loves dog. They bond and are best buds forever. But the real world is a different story, animal behaviorists say. Whether you’re introducing a new cat to a dog, or vice versa, it’s worth remembering that cats are from Mars, dogs are from Venus. “There’s a reason there are no cat parks,” says Pam Johnson-Bennett, animal behaviorist and...

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