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News: Karen B. London
Visual Versus Vocal Cues
Dogs watch us and we talk to them
There’s a little list in my mind of information that dog trainers know and that they wish everyone knew. At the top of that list is the fact that dogs primarily communicate with visual signals whereas humans most often express themselves vocally. This difference explains so much of the confusion between our otherwise largely compatible species.   Dogs often pick up on visual cues that we use,...
News: Guest Posts
Cats 1, Dogs 0
Study links asthma risk to dogs, not cats
I feel like I have a built-in radar for dog versus cat stories. Or rather, I’m sort of a magnet for them. I know it drives some Bark readers crazy—those who don’t feel a need to make comparisons and think I should stop feeding the feud. Well, if you are such a high-minded egalitarian read no further. If you’re with me (and keeping score), add a hash mark to the “Cat’s rule” side of the ledger.  ...
News: Karen B. London
Decoding Dog Growls
Each kind contains specific information
Dogs growl in different contexts—when guarding something of value, when threatened by a stranger and during play. These growls can sound remarkably similar to the novice human ear, but a new study in the journal Animal Behavior suuggests that the meanings of these growls are very different to dogs.   Scientists in Hungary recorded growls by dogs in different situations and analyzed the structure...
News: Karen B. London
Lost Wallets
Can your dog’s photo help?
According to a psychology study by Richard Wiseman in Edinburgh, Scotland, the likelihood that your lost wallet will be returned to you is influenced by the photos in it. The highest percentage of wallets were returned when there was a baby picture inside (88 percent), but the next most effective photo was one of a dog at 53 percent. A family portrait prompted a 48% return rate while wallets with...
Culture: DogPatch
The Best & Brightest in the World of Dogs
During the past 25 years, there have been amazing advancements in the dog world. To commemorate them, we set out to find the people behind these accomplishments—the innovators, thinkers and achievers who relished challenges and whose creativity, compassion and commitment helped reshape the world of dogs and our understanding of it. Without further ado, we present our honorees: The Bark’s 100 Best...
News: 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...
News: Guest Posts
Which Is Better?
Cats v. dogs—a serious consideration
New Scientist has stepped deep into the dogs v. cat debate with a comparison of species across 11 categories--from brain size and bond-ability to smell, sight, hearing and domestication. Of course, dogs claim a win but the 6-to-5 squeaker was far closer than I would have thought. Who knew cats, on average, have more acute sniffers? Or that they have a subliminal power in their purrs? My big...
News: JoAnna Lou
Fur Is the Best Medicine
Pet therapy helps to reduce the need for pain pills.
As a pet therapy team, my Sheltie, Nemo, and I have visited patients at the hospital and read with kids at the library. Nemo loves children, so he’s always excited about the reading program, although sitting in one place for 15-30 minutes can sometimes be a challenge! But my favorite place to visit is the hospital. I love bringing some canine sunshine into the dreary rooms and chatting with the...
News: 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...
Dog's Life: Humane
Heart to Heart with Frank Ascione, PhD
Academia and humane interests converge at University of Denver
Frank Ascione, PhD, is the first professor to serve as the new American Humane Endowed Chair and executive director of the Institute for Human-Animal Connection in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver (DU). This position is significant because it is a collaboration between a major academic institution and a major animal welfare agency—the American Humane Association—made...

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