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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...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Pushy Pups!
Talking Training
Q. My six-month-old whippet mix is driving me crazy. From the sweet, quiet pup I adopted, he has turned into a hellion. He now barks at me — probably for attention — and at other dogs (especially at the dog park), and even nips me during play. Is he trying to dominate me? A. Pushy puppies, or dogs who display behavior such as nipping at people or barking at other dogs, are often thought to be...
Blog: Guest Posts
Hey, Pal, Your Dog Needs Help
How to intervene when a dog needs an advocate?
It was a glorious Sunday afternoon in the park. My husband and I were having a lovely time at our friends’ impromptu baby shower, a picnic with lots of snacks, sangria and lawn games. Everyone was basking in the sun and celebrating the happy occasion. Everyone except Sparky. Sparky the Lab mix was tied to a nearby tree. He had a long lead and plenty of water, but he was clearly agitated. He...
Blog: Karen B. London
Canine Behavior Type Index
A personality test for your dog
Pet Connect offers an opportunity to learn more about your dog with a quiz that will reveal your dog’s personality. Personality types from the Canine Behavior Type Index have names such as Adventurer, Dreamer, Companion and Deputy. You can find out which category best matches your dog’s personality for free, but you have to pay a fee ($9.95 Australian) to receive the full 15-page report with...
Blog: Karen B. London
Under the Table
Why do dogs claim this spot?
Dogs often rest under the table, and in many cases, we really don’t know why. Sure, we can think of many advantages to being under the table, but that doesn’t mean that we know which reason matters to any particular dog. Here are some possibilities, though: They can see what’s going on, but are not likely to be stepped on by people, especially kids, running about the house. It’s a cozy,...

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