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Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Will Work for Toys
Kong's Mark Hines on toys and training
It’s not surprising that retired sport dogs Kaya and Dakota are well behaved, polite and respond phenomenally fast to a wide variety of cues. They live with Mark Hines, behavior and training specialist for the Kong Company, who’s logged thousands of hours with them, and thousands more consulting with service dog organizations, shelters, military and law-enforcement handlers, prison programs,...
Blog: Guest Posts
Why Is a Stranger’s Crotch More Interesting Than Mine?
Part 2
Here is a recap of the study we discussed in Part 1, Oh, hello! Why yes, that's my crotch *: Crotch factoid #1: A dog enters a room, sees his owner lying on the floor, and he gives considerable attention to his owner's upper body.Crotch factoid #2: A dog enters a room, sees a stranger lying on the floor, and he initially goes for the crotch. Why the difference? Why is a stranger's crotch...
Blog: Karen B. London
Where Does Your Dog Sleep?
In your room? In your bed? In your arms?
Dogs are social animals. Most of them feel comfortable being near the rest of the family and that includes at nighttime. Humans, too, often enjoy having their canine companions with them while they sleep. Many people have their dogs in their room on a dog bed, in a crate or on the floor by the bed. Others allow them the foot of the bed. Still others snuggle with their pup right next to them, even...
Blog: Guest Posts
Oh, Hello! Why Yes, That’s My Crotch
Part I: Sniffing researched
The holiday season is in full swing. But before you dive into Aunt Bessie’s famous cookies, you might have to get past a few pinched cheeks and possibly some bad breath. You know what I'm talking about—from handshakes and hand-kisses, to “man hugs” and double kisses, between now and New Year’s, we humans enter hardcore greeting mode.  Accompanying the acceptable greeting rituals noted above, we...
Blog: Karen B. London
Is Your Dog Smarter Than a 2-Year-Old?
A scientist’s observations
We’ve all heard that dogs and 2-year-old children are roughly equivalent in intelligence, but comparing across species is truly an apples and oranges sort of proposition. I always want to ask about the age of the dog. Why does the human age matter while “dogs” seems to be an ageless concept? And I’m also curious about which dog and which person. Are we talking about a dog who knows 1,000...
Blog: Guest Posts
Death in the Pack
How does it change the dynamics?
I spent this morning at my veterinarian’s office with my dog Renzo, as the result of an early morning counter-surf operation. Returning home from meeting a friend for coffee, I found in his bed: one coffee mug (the broken handle and the dregs of the coffee were on the kitchen floor), a decimated spatula, a tattered New York Times, a torn-up milk jug (which had been drying out before going into...
Blog: Karen B. London
Can Dogs Pretend?
Perhaps they engage in “make-believe”
Snoopy loved to pretend. He pictured himself most commonly as a great hockey player, Joe Cool or as the World War I Flying Ace. It’s easy for readers of the Peanuts comic strip to accept the fantasy world of its canine star. It’s much more challenging to know whether dogs in the real world can pretend. In Jason G. Goldman’s blog Animal Imagination: The Dog That Pretended to Feed a Frog (And...
Blog: Guest Posts
Bella, Best Friend to an Elephant, Dies
On Friday, we were sad to hear about the death of Bella, a sweet cream-colored stray who was the unlikely best friend of an Asian elephant named Tarra (see The Bark in Nov./Dec. 2008). Bella first came to The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tenn., in 2004, and over time, Tarra and Bella forged a deep bond, sometimes wandering the grounds all day together. Last Tuesday, sanctuary staff...
Blog: Karen B. London
Cool Weather Crazies
Is your dog peppier now?
There’s a wondrous time between the sweltering heat of summer and the deep cold of winter. It’s the season of vibrantly colored leaves, cool mornings, favorite sweaters and apple cider. If you have a dog, it might also be the season of insane amounts of energy expressed in the form of running in circles, racing back and forth or with a bit of a lapse in attention and responsiveness. These...
Blog: Guest Posts
What Do Barks, Whines & Yips Mean?
Test your dogspeak skills with this fun game
You'd think dog owners would ace this test: can you correctly identify all six dog barks? According to the study, even people who don't have dogs could interpret dogspeak for stranger alert and on the attack. But many dog owners (myself included) had a tougher time differentiating between barks for "let's go for a walk" and "give me that ball." How did you fare? Does your dog's communication...

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