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Big Jungle, Little Dog
Why Maggie never goes outside alone
Maggie never goes outside alone. Never. She always has a human escort, someone to scan the dense bush surrounding the patch of grass we call a yard. Lurking within that bush could be almost any variety of tropical mammal; mammals that almost certainly consider a small white dog a tasty snack. It could be argued that choosing such a small dog in our line of work—field biology in Belize—was not a...
News: JoAnna Lou
Chihuahuas v. Great Danes
Different breeds share structure and movement characteristics
In agility there's a lot of talk about the effect of stride length and size on movement, but a new study has found that there may be less variation in basic structure than previously thought. Martin Fischer and his team at Jena University in Germany set out to determine gait differences between dog breeds and the impact joints have on movement. The research used high-speed 3-D cameras to film...
News: JoAnna Lou
SAR Teams Come From All Backgrounds
NY based team is honored with the ACE award for their work
Earlier this month I saw the local Humane Fund Award for Canine Excellence recipients honored at the American Kennel Club and Cat Fanciers Association’s Meet the Breeds event in New York. In the past, many search and rescue dogs have been honored with the ACE award, but this year I was inspired by one team in particular--Cassius and Peter Taft. Cassius was a Milwaukee shelter dog destined for...
News: Guest Posts
Critterati Contest Winners Are In
The winners are in for the second annual Critterati photo contest, The New Yorker’s nod to Halloween for animal-loving bookworms. Our very own Cameron Woo was among the judges (with Susan Orlean and Andrea Horowitz) who selected the five winners, including dogs as Mark Twain, Evelyn Waugh and schoolgirl in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie; a horse as the nurse from Romeo and Juliet, and a cat as...
News: Karen B. London
Dogs Have Difficulty “Unlearning”
New research on canine cognition
A recent study published in the journal Animal Cognition shows that dogs have a hard time “unlearning” certain tasks that they have been trained to do. In Minding the gap: spatial perseveration error in dogs, researchers Britta Osthaus, Donna Marlow and Pippa Ducat demonstrated that dogs who have learned a specific sort of detour behavior have trouble deviating from that behavior once the set up...
News: Editors
Mad Men’s Training Advice
The benefits of positive reinforcement, illustrated
For all you Mad Men fans—hope you caught “Tomorrowland,” the final episode of season 4 because I don’t want to give away the ending. But there was something in a pivotal scene that struck me as a perfect example of best practices for both child and dog raising.   So there is Don with his two children and Megan, his lovely, young secretary/nanny, lunching somewhere near Disneyland. Sally and Bobby...
News: JoAnna Lou
Heartworm Superbug?
Should we be worried about resistance
Heartworm disease is a horrible and potentially deadly disease that is fortunately preventable with medication. However, in recent years, animals in the Gulf region have been testing positive for heartworm, despite being on a prevention medicine. This has many people worried about a potential resistant superbug. In response to the growing cases, the American Heartworm Society and Companion Animal...
News: Contests
Show & Tell
Persimmon wars: dog v. squirrel
Tyler loves the Fuyu persimmons from this tree and eats as many as he can get. In this photo, he is showing his concern that the squirrel (not pictured) is eating too many. —Kara Douglas, Walnut Creek, Calif.        Send us your photos. Topics include Dog Is My Co-Pilot, My Dog Tickles My Funny Bone, or just about anything that captures your dog’s special something. Send the photo with a brief...
News: Guest Posts
Paper Master
Origami artist Eric Joisel dies at 53
Among the animals to inspire the French origami master, Eric Joisel, were dogs, such as the Greyhound pictured here. We were saddened to read of Joisel’s too-early death. Using only paper—no adhesive or scissors—Joisel modeled extremely detailed, animated figures of hedgehogs, seahorses, sprites, musicians and much more. You can almost imagine all those flat sheets of paper at his Argenteuil home...
News: Karen B. London
Halloween Trick-Or-Treaters
Is this a good training opportunity?
It’s common for even the sweetest of dogs to be little devils when visitors come to the door. Some dogs are afraid of visitors, which can cause them to bark, lunge or even bite. Others are simply wild with excitement when people arrive, which often leads to leaping, jumping, barking, spinning and generally being out of control. Either way, it can mean that every time the doorbell rings, people...

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