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Browsing articles in behavior
Blog: Karen B. London
Telling Our Dogs We Want To Play
They CAN understand us
One of the coolest studies of behavior I have ever read is a 2001 study by Rooney, Bradshaw and Robinson (Do dogs respond to play signals given by humans? Animal Behaviour, 61:715-722.) The question they asked was simple: Can humans tell their dogs that they want to play? And the really cool part is that the answer was “Yes, people can signal playfulness to dogs.”   One really interesting aspect...
Blog: Guest Posts
Gene Linked to Compulsive Disorder
Dogs and humans have a lot in common
Last spring, Julia Kamysz Lane blogged about a study that suggested a link between compulsive tail-chasing and high cholesterol in dogs. Now, Bark contributor Mark Derr reports for The New York Times on a study linking compulsive behavior in dogs—think: excessive licking, fence running, spinning, staring and more—to a gene for the first time. The discovery is important not simply for the...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
To Tug or Not to Tug?
Discovering the benefits of playing tug-o-war
A few weeks ago, I wrote about entertaining your canine crew with a variety of indoor activities, including a tugging game. One of our readers commented that they’d always heard playing tug-o-war can encourage biting, a common misconception about this game.  I can see why tugging could be mistaken for encouraging aggressive behavior with all the pulling and growling, but the bad rap is...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
ASPCA Humane Awards
Submit your human, canine, and feline nominations.
Each year, the ASPCA celebrates the important human-animal bond by honoring ten inspiring animals and people who have demonstrated compassion and bravery. The awards are given to dogs and cats that have demonstrated extraordinary behavior and to people who’ve made a significant impact in the lives of animals in the past year. Do you know any two or four legged friends who fit the bill? The ASPCA...
Blog: Guest Posts
Canine ESP
Dog senses recent earthquake on video
I’ve been through one earthquake with my dog and I don’t remember her sensing it before it happened, but then again I wasn’t watching to see if she sensed anything and I didn’t have a handy camera monitoring our every move. But apparently this unidentified news station in Arcata caught a canine’s ESP on tape.  Dog Senses Arcata Earthquake at News Station - Watch more Funny Videos National...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Hungarian Super Pups
A training method that focuses on the whole dog.
You may have already seen the viral You Tube video of a group of dogs decorating a Christmas tree, or the recently posted sequel of the same pack setting up a beach scene.  These incredible videos have been leaving many animal lovers wondering who trained these dogs, particularly if you don’t speak Hungarian. The group behind these well-trained pups is dog club, Népszigeti Kutyaiskola. The...
Blog: Karen B. London
Puppy Mouthing
Saving your hands and your sanity
Puppies use each other as chew toys, so when they move away from their littermates and start hanging out with humans, it is only natural that they should continue their mouthy ways. Trouble is, we humans have skin that is so very delicate. In fact, it breaks when our puppies chew on it, and that is no good for anybody.   There are many suggestions for stopping puppy mouthing, and only some work...
Blog: Guest Posts
Moscow’s Amazing Strays
Dogs adapt to new order. What’s next?
Have you seen the stories about dogs in Russia riding the subways from the suburbs into downtown Moscow to scavenge for food? I missed these reports the first time around, but caught them during a recent email-to-a-friend cycle. At first, I thought it had to be fake. But according to The Sun and The Wall Street Journal, sure enough, the dogs commute like workers. Once in town, they put in a long...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
From Timeouts to Clicker Training
What we’ve gained from studying animal behavior.
I’ve learned a lot about human behavior from my experience training dogs and always knew it would somehow influence how I raise my future kids. I often joke that I’ll corral unruly children in crates, which is usually met with nervous laughter, but in all seriousness, many of the techniques we use to modify human behavior stems from what we know about animal behavior. A recent Slate.com article...
Blog: Guest Posts
Turf Wars
The battle for supremacy moves to the litter box.
From the moment Maggie bursts through the front door, the leggy Terrier-X is five feet off the floor, chasing Truman, my burly Shep-X, around the house and luring him into endless games of bitey-face.   My sister-in-law’s dog visits at least twice a month, often for days at a time. As soon as the cats hear her car in the driveway, they scatter: Jay heads for the bedroom to pout in the closet and...

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