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News: Karen B. London
For the Love of a Dog
My book club adored it
A pile of the book at the meeting of our book club
This month, my book club read Patricia McConnell’s For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend, and it received thumbs up from the whole group. Only about half the members of our group have dogs themselves, but we all have emotions and that’s what the book is about. I first read the book years ago, and I was thrilled to find that I enjoyed it again and that it has...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Fear in Dogs
Where does it begin?
Holly
Imagine this: a purse falls off a chair in the vicinity of two seven-month-old puppies. Terrified, one of the puppies refuses to go anywhere near it. Her sister takes a look, gives it a quick sniff and then leaps over it and goes on her merry way. Scenarios like this happen every day to Holly and Kit, the Border Collie/Beagle mixed-breed pups adopted by the editor of The Bark a few months ago....
News: Karen B. London
Free Webinar by Patricia McConnell
Helping Adopted Dogs Adjust to New Homes
Trisha McConnell and Willie
Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D. is giving a free webinar this Thursday, December 6, 2012. Did you catch that? It’s a FREE webinar given by Trisha McConnell, who is a scientist, canine behaviorist, dog trainer, and one of the dog world’s most sought-after speakers. The webinar is called entitled Helping Adopted Dogs Adjust to New Homes. It’s well known that the...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Lessons from Sheepdogs
The source of a lifetime of learning
As I write this, I have just come back from a day at the 2011 World Herding Dog Trials in northern England. I was in the UK once many years ago, watching the International Sheepdog Trials. I was just getting started with sheepdogs and had not yet begun to work as a behaviorist. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot, and I hope to learn a lot more in the future. But the lessons I’ve been taught by...
Culture: Readers Write
A Dog by Any Other Name
The science and art of naming your dog or Sometimes, what you say is what you get.
“His name is ‘Baby,’” Helen told me as she stroked her dog’s massive black head. “Baby” weighed in at about 65 pounds, was seven years old and had bitten 13 times. The last bite had been to Helen, when she tried to stop an attack on her disabled son. Needless to say, we had a lot to talk about, and one of the topics was her dog’s name. Helen explained to me that Baby had always been “her baby,”...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
What are the Differences Between Male and Female Dogs?
Do male and female dogs learn differently?
“If you want a good dog, get a male. If you want a great dog, get a female and cross your fingers.” That old saying has been passed down through generations in a variety of fields from retriever training to sheepdog handling. But is it true? Are there significant sex-related differences in the training and performance of the domestic dog? When the editor of Bark asked me that question, I had an...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Love Story
Our extraordinary love affair with dogs.
In 1992, I fell in love with a dog named Luke. I brought him home from a herding dog trial one chilly October evening, not sure whether I’d keep him, not sure I wanted another dog. A gangly adolescent, Luke had been a disappointment to his first owner, who reported that he wouldn’t come when called and had failed his first herding lessons. I’d had my eye on him ever since he was a pup, and had told...
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...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Take Dog Training One Step at a Time
In dog training, taking things one step at a time can make a world of difference
Maddie was a lovely little dog, with creamy white fur and an open, smiley face. She seemed willing and smart and ready to learn, but her guardian had brought her to me because the dog was driving her crazy. Every time the family asked Maddie to sit and stay, she jumped up and licked their faces. No matter what they did, they couldn’t seem to get her to stay still, even for an instant. Someone...