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Good Dog: Behavior & Training
How Much Human Speech do Dogs Understand?
Both Ends of the Leash: Walking the Talk
Alex, the world’s most famous African Grey parrot, died September 6, 2007, and the world is a sadder place for it. You may be wondering why a column about dog behavior would begin with a memorial to a parrot, but there is an important connection between Alex’s behavior and that of your dog. It was Alex, and his human, Irene Pepperberg, who stretched our understanding of what goes on in the minds...
Wellness: Healthy Living
Vet School Profile: Colorado State University
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Forget the idea of the solitary researcher toiling away in his lab. At the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS) at Colorado State University, they decided long ago that cooperation beats isolation, and that inspiration and innovation can come from many different places. Indeed, what truly sets CSU’s veterinary college apart is its collaborative spirit, its mission to...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
10 Years of Modern Dog Culture
The evolution of an era
Ten years ago, The Bark set out to chronicle a growing societal movement, one we came to call the modern dog culture. Though we started the magazine as part of our advocacy for off-leash dog parks, we didn’t limit ourselves to that topic. And, as we tackled other dog-related subjects we noticed the emergence of a new way of living with dogs that enthralled and fascinated us. Taking “Dog Is My Co-...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
Frisbee Celebrates 50 Years
A Flying Icon Spins Gold
For everyone who’s spent afternoons wrestling slobber-laden Frisbees from a Golden Retriever, tried to get an Airedale to chase a flying object or gone through a closetful of unrecognizably mangled plastic discs, it’s time to salute an American icon. This year, Frisbee—the pastime of dogs and the sport of college students everywhere—celebrates 50 years. Well, actually, people have been throwing...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
Puggo: Based on a True Pug
A real-life, couch-sleeping counterpart
Few larger-than-life types in history can claim to have inspired a character in a movie or television show. Of course, there’s Citizen Kane and Charles Foster Kane, a fictional tycoon based on publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst; the character of Hollis Mulwray in Chinatown was said to have been loosely inspired by famous Los Angeles water boss William Mulholland. And then there’s Puggo of...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
Dog Quotes
Who said that?
We are no less likely to be vague about the origins of quotations about dogs than we are to be vague about the origins of quotations in general. Who said “Love me, love my dog”? Or that a man biting a dog is news? Was it Harry Truman who thought your only friend in Washington was a dog? Did Charles de Gaulle say that the better he knew men, the more he liked dogs? These were some of the questions...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
Carnival Chalkware Dogs
Collectibles make their mark
Cotton candy, the screams of joyriders, and the tinny music of the merry-go-round and Ferris wheel—long before the modern-day amusement park, the carnival was summer’s go-to place for a good time. These well-worn collections of thrill rides, shooting galleries, games of chance, sideshows and entertainment traveled from place to place. When the carnival came to town, people turned out in droves,...
Dog's Life: Work of Dogs
Life Vest
Helping law dogs
Law enforcement dogs—who are often sent ahead of their human counterparts to investigate dangerous situations and apprehend shady suspects—have one of the toughest jobs in the canine world. Unfortunately, many crime prevention agencies and police departments lack the funds necessary to outfit their dogs with life-saving Kevlar vests. Through the help of private donations, Vest-A-Dog is committed...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
Collecting Antique Dog Tags
Small treasures
In 1888, a stray Terrier mix named Owney was informally adopted by the U.S. Railway Mail Service. Owney’s travels began in Albany, New York; riding on mail sacks, he journeyed all over the U.S. As he traveled, employees of the Railway Mail Service would attach tokens and dog licenses to his custom-made harness and jacket. After his death in 1897, his body was preserved, along with his special...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Positive Reinforcement in Dog Training
Research validates positive reinforcement
There was a time when behavioral research focused primarily on primates, wolves and rodents. Today, our domestic canine companions are increasingly being considered as valid subjects for studies intended to improve quality of life for dogs and their humans. Some of these studies were presented at the Sixth International Veterinary Behavior Meeting in Riccione, Italy, in June 2007, and reported in...

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