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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...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Cautious Canines
Understanding and helping fearful dogs
For the first month after he was adopted, Sunny spent his time in the corner of one room, in which he ate, slept, eliminated and watched the world go by. Murphy whimpered, barked, and chewed the carpet and the door whenever she was left alone. Tucker growled and lunged at every man he encountered. Maggie was inconsolable during thunderstorms— pacing, whining, circling, jumping in and out of the...
Blog: Karen B. London
Dogs Can Be Gross
What they do is not necessarily appealing to us
As a member of a species that generally doesn’t swallow the afterbirth or eat feces, I feel qualified to discuss the fact that some dog behavior grosses humans out. I was thinking about this recently as I raced to my refrigerator for a piece of cheese to use to encourage a dog to drop the tissue that had fallen from my pocket as I reached for my lip balm. He was attempting to chew the tissue (...

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