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Blog: Karen B. London
Small People Suffer Like Small Dogs
No wonder some feel like biting
“So many small dogs bite when people try to pet them or pick them up. Is it any wonder?” This was my reply to a friend who posted on her Facebook page that she is not a small dog and told the world, “Please don’t pet me.” My friend is 4 foot 11, and not surprisingly, has therefore dealt with this kind of offensive treatment before. People react differently to little individuals of a species...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Don’t Try This at Home!
Five common misconceptions about dog training and behavior
Since dog training has become so popular that it’s even a form of television entertainment, misconceptions about canine behavior have multiplied. Faulty information entrenched in popular culture means that a lot of what “everybody knows” isn’t actually true. Here are my top picks for myths in need of busting. 1. It’s best to stare down an aggressive dog. To dogs, a direct stare is a threat....
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Is Your Dog’s Rough Play Appropriate?
Some like it ruff
We have been videotaping dog-dog play for more than 10 years and, together with our colleagues, have analyzed hundreds of hours of data to test hypotheses about play. We present our results at animal behavior conferences and publish in scientific journals. Here, we focus primarily on dog play that some might consider “inappropriate” or “not safe.” In the field of animal behavior, researchers...
Blog: Karen B. London
You Get The Behavior You Reinforce
It’s not just true with dogs
“It’s time to line up.” Upon hearing this once, 30 kids who had been happily engaged in soccer matches were immediately racing at top speed across the field to line up with their teams. They formed straight lines quickly and cheerfully, just like they do every time their coaches tell them to. Is this a particularly good group of children? Are they all the type that do what they’re told right...
Blog: Guest Posts
The Short Tail of the Rump Scratch
Why so many dogs love being rubbed on the rear
I’m half-asleep. I can hear the “tip-tap” sound of Daisy’s nails on the wood floor. I open my eyes just a millimeter, and see Daisy’s face right in front of mine. Her chin is resting on the edge of the bed, and her expectant face moves gently from side to side with the movement of her wagging tail. It’s time to wake up and eat and walk—the best time of the day! I reach out to pet her cute...
Blog: Karen B. London
Why Do Dogs Bite Mail Carriers?
There are so many reasons
A press release from the Postal Service titled “Postal Service Announces Top Dog Attack Cities” shares the statistic that 5,669 postal employees were attacked by dogs last year in 1,400 cities across the United States. Houston was the city in which the most such bites occurred with 62 and Columbus and San Diego tied for second with 45 each. Of course, many more people nationwide are bitten,...
Blog: Karen B. London
Walking Dogs in the Rain
Does your dog mind?
The dogs out for walks in the rain seemed to be paying no attention to the constant drizzle. Even the people seemed unconcerned by the wetness. Most were a little damp. A few had on rain jackets. Absolutely nobody had an umbrella. I just returned from a visit with my parents in beautiful, flower-filled Portland, Ore., during which it rained almost every day. While I was there, I saw dogs...
Blog: Guest Posts
Smart Dog Seeks Safety In Bathtub
No one expected Mia to survive fire that destroyed home
belgian malinois female smart dog fire rescue
There are smart dogs, and there are Einstein canines. Mia clearly belongs in the latter category. When a fire engulfed her family's home in Greenville, S.C., the one-year-old Belgian Malinois opened four doors to make her way to the basement. There, she stood in a cool bathtub that quickly filled with water as firefighters doused the blaze. Mia's owners, Chris and Codi Brumby, were enjoying...
Blog: Guest Posts
Did the Scent of Feet Bring a Lost Dog Home?
Human scent trails as a recovery strategy
I recently finished writing a story for Bark’s summer issue about best practices for recovering lost dogs, based on the experiences and research of folks at the Missing Pet Partnership (MPP). Among their techniques for locating lost dogs are scent-detection dogs, i.e., using one dog to track down another. What I hadn’t heard of was relying on the lost dog’s nose to get himself home.   Over...
Blog: Karen B. London
Mothering Kids and Dogs
There are so many similarities
As Mother’s Day approaches, I am thinking back to when I first became a mom. It’s hard to remember much because massive sleep deprivation made me so tired that my brain failed at recording all but the occasional bit of information. Some of what I do remember is how awkward I felt with a baby compared to how comfortable I was with dogs, including puppies.   This should not be surprising. I was...

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