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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Evolution of Barking
Study finds humans responsible for barking
Since I share a home with two Shetland Sheepdogs, barking is a part of my everyday life. While I enjoy hearing all the funny noises my pets make, barking can have serious consequences: It is one of the behavior problems that lands dogs in shelters. Ironically, humans may be responsible for the very barking we complain about. Csaba Molnar, a former ethologist at Eotvos Lorand University, has...
Blog: Guest Posts
How Dogs Drink
They’re not so different than cats after all
I love research that reveals surprising similarities between species, especially species often depicted as rivals. Last year, when MIT researchers “discovered” cats had a sophisticated and speedy mechanism for drawing fluid into their mouths, which was one reason they aren’t as sloppy as canines, it just seemed like one more example of the old cats are sleeker, neater, smarter argument. The...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Dogs Use Non-Aggressive Fighting to Resolve Conflicts
Dogs have many ways to resolve conflicts
In an obedience class for adolescent dogs, Denny, a male Rottweiler, and Meadow, a female Doberman, investigate one another. Denny circles Meadow and tries to mount her from behind for the third time in a row. This proves too much for her. In an instant, Meadow’s lips retract as her body becomes tight, and before we know it, Denny is on the ground with Meadow standing over him, growling. Meadow...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Breeds and Behavior
How Closely Are They Linked?
I’m interviewing a new client whose dog tends to bark and charge and nip the heels and dan- gling hands of retreating strangers. Her dog is smallish and stocky, with a coarse, medium-length coat of mottled blue-gray, black, white and brown. His nose and ears are pointy. While I reassure her that his behavior actually makes sense from his doggy point of view, a little voice in my head whispers, “...
Blog: Karen B. London
Dogs In Motion
A new study of canine locomotion
Many studies of locomotion in dogs focus on sick dogs while others focus on particular aspects of locomotion. The recently published book Dogs In Motion includes the comprehensive findings of a study of more than 300 dogs and how they move. More than 30 breeds were studied with several techniques helping reveal how dogs move. Researchers Dr. Martin Fischer and Dr. Karin Lilje used high-speed...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Spin Out
Canine compulsive disorder is no laughing matter
You've probably seen it on TV or on YouTube. Case One: A dog lies on the couch chewing a bone.His hind leg starts to twitch repetitively.He tenses up and stares back at it anxiously as though it’s an intruder sneaking up on his bone. His raises his lip, he growls. Then blam! He attacks his leg. Canned laughter. $100,000 prize winner, America’s Funniest Home Videos. Case Two: A Bull Terrier spins...
Blog: Karen B. London
New Research on Canine Marking
Who is peeing and where?
Urine marking in dogs is a well-known behavior in the sense that everyone is aware that it happens, but it is poorly known in the scientific sense because so few studies have examined it with a rigorous approach.   Scientists Anneke Lisberg and Charles Snowdon applied such needed rigor to the subject and report the results in “Effects of sex, social status and gonadectomy on countermarking by...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Aging Lessons
Longevity researchers turn to dogs.
Their muzzles may be grizzled and their teeth worn, but old dogs lead the way when it comes to unraveling the secrets of long life. As with their extra-old human counterparts, the question arises: What has enabled them to dodge cancer and other common or crippling diseases?   Both dogs and people are living longer these days—a well-reported trend. Still, not all dogs make it to their 13th year....
Blog: Guest Posts
Time to Kick the Dog Out of Your Bed?
C.D.C. study: Pets can be dangerous bedfellows.
Why does someone always want to rain on the parade? Here are countless people and pets—my household very much included—enjoying perfectly wonderful and healthy nights together, when some buzzkill at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention starts throwing around zoonoses and pathogens, even bubonic plague!   I read about the C.D.C study warning about the risks of pets in your bed in The New...
Blog: Karen B. London
Old Dog Bone Fragment Found
What does it mean?
A graduate student studying the diet and nutrition of people living in Texas between 1,000 and 10,000 years ago has found evidence that those people were eating dog meat. Samuel Belknap III was sorting through dried human waste and found a bone that DNA tests suggest came from a domesticated dog, not a fox or wolf. The bone was found in a pile of human excrement and had the orange-brown color...

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