Home
Browsing articles in behavior
Blog: Karen B. London
Singleton Puppies
Tips for healthy social development
For dogs, like many other species, early experiences are critical for normal social development, and it is pretty well known that puppies have the best chance for normal social development if they are allowed to be with their littermates for 7-8weeks at least. It is really the exception for puppies not to have littermates or not to get to be with them for at least these few weeks. However,...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Living in a Multi-Dog Household
A Full House
Illustration by Lauri Luck
My multi-dog household includes three unrelated, rescued mutts with golden fur and bushy tails, each weighing around 50 pounds: one female (Bahati, 13), and two males (Tex, 7, and Bentley, 2). On a typical morning, Bentley and Tex play in the living room, biting at one another’s hind legs. Tex flops onto the rug, Bentley bites at Tex’s neck and Tex flails his legs in defense. Their play rouses...
Blog: Karen B. London
Reactions to Pregnant Women
Dogs’ behavior may change
Pregnant Karen & Tulip
Sniffing your belly. Backing away from you when you walk. Being more responsive to your cues. Being less responsive to your cues. Staying right near you all the time. Growling at you. All of these are possible reactions by dogs to a pregnant guardian. I’m often asked if dogs are able to sense when a woman is pregnant. I spoke to Rachel Rounds, a journalist in the UK who was expecting, and she...
Blog: Karen B. London
Peeing on the Christmas tree
Another holiday hazard
The first year I took my dog to my in-laws for the holidays, I was concerned that he might pee on the tree, so I took steps to make sure that he didn’t do so. I went back to Housetraining 101 for the first 24 hours of our visit. By that I mean that 1) I took him out to the yard and for walks often so he had plenty of opportunities to eliminate. 2) I reinforced him with top quality treats for...
Blog: Karen B. London
Optimization of Fetching
Do dogs know calculus?
Mathematician Tim Pennings watched his dog Elvis fetch balls thrown in the water and noticed that the dog consistently chose the quickest route. Running is faster than swimming, so the overall time the dog spends heading to the ball depends on how the dog decides to split his path into running and swimming parts. Elvis could run directly into the water and swim a long way to the ball, which...
Blog: Karen B. London
Head in the Wind
I liked acting like a dog
I stuck my head out and caught the wind on my face and began to enjoy myself. My inspiration was a strong desire to alleviate seasickness during a boat ride between the Indonesian islands of Lombok and Bali, and it worked. My stomach felt good. I felt good. The breeze on my face was refreshing, the smell of the ocean was invigorating and I felt cool for the first time in almost two weeks. The...
Blog: Karen B. London
Sudden Bouts of Playful Energy
Fun and craziness for all
The puppy friskies, the evening zippies, the canine crazies—No matter what you call them, those furious bursts of energy are common enough that most dog guardians experience them regularly. It’s hard to nail down the cause of them, but the result is dogs flying back and forth across the yard or the house, leaping onto the furniture, pushing off the walls, trampling the garden, twisting and...
Blog: Karen B. London
Mess Around Water Bowl
Handling daily drips
While Hansel and Gretel are famous for leaving a trail of bread crumbs, most dogs would never waste food like that. There are many, however, who do track water in every direction from their water bowls. Some dogs seem to hold the water in their mouths and purposely transport it before expelling it from their mouths. Others simply seem to collect it on their furry faces and inadvertently drip it...
Blog: Karen B. London
Cell Phone Use During Walks
Is this a problem?
He didn’t notice that his dog had picked up a plastic bag during their walk together. The dog began to gag slightly and a little kid on a skateboard said, “Is he supposed to eat that?” Only then did the man, who was talking on his cell phone, look down at his dog, and react quickly, pulling the bag, and the food inside it, out of his dog’s mouth. It could have been a very bad situation, but...
Blog: Karen B. London
Halloween Costumes Impose Limits
Be aware of your dog’s struggles
Gray Dog was adorable dressed as a shark, and he was definitely the unofficial winner of the costume contest at a recent early Halloween party. (He was the only dog there, which may have given him an edge, but he was deserving of the triumph.) Gray Dog is a well-adjusted, social, go-with-the-flow dog who accepted his party clothes without incident. He seemed to welcome the extra attention from...

Pages