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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Helping One Another
Homeless dogs help injured soldiers learn a new vocation
The Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. is on the forefront of using the human-canine bond to help soldiers. Previously, I wrote about research being done on the effects of service dogs on post traumatic stress disorder, but recently I found about Dog Tags, a partnership between the Walter Reed and its neighbor, the Washington Humane Society.  Developed by the Humane Society, Dog...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Zoom Room
New franchise brings pet lovers together with dog sports
Animals have always been a part of Jaime Van Wye’s life, so it’s only natural that she would grow up to become a dog trainer. Through her work, she’s trained dogs in search and rescue, bomb and drug detection, criminal apprehension, tracking and even taught a Labrador how to pee in a urinal—and flush.  Through her interactions with people and their pets, Van Wye identified the need for greater...
Blog: Karen B. London
Dogs at the Farmer’s Market
Handling dogs and crowds
In my town, Flagstaff, Ariz., dogs are welcome in many places, and one of the hot spots for dogs is the Sunday morning Farmer’s Market. It’s great to see people and dogs out enjoying the beautiful weather and the purchase of fresh foods. Regrettably, what’s not always so great is seeing people frustrated or angry with one another because of the dogs.   Sometimes people, especially kids, pet dogs...
Blog: Guest Posts
Extreme Pet-Proofing
Beyond bitter spray and baby gates
Before adopting my first dog, I did what any soon-to-be dog parent would do, I pet-proofed my home. I was vigilant. Exposed electrical cords were tucked out of sight, my favorite white shag rug was Scotchgarded and put in a room where my dog would never go without supervision, and I bought a baby gate for confining him in the kitchen when I was out. I felt extremely satisfied with my preparation...
Blog: Karen B. London
Trainers, Vets, Behaviorists—Together
American Humane creates new committee
The Animal Behavior and Training Advisory Committee has been set up for many purposes, one of which is to foster collaboration and cooperation. The members of the committee include trainers, veterinarians and behaviorists that are all well respected experts in their particular areas.   The committee will offer guidance in areas as diverse as pet dog training summits, content of American Humane’s...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
When Your Dog’s Activity is Restricted, Keep Her Brain Engaged
Make downtime productive
Question: My extremely active five-year-old dog injured her leg, and I’m supposed to prevent her from exercising for about the next six weeks. Frankly, I don’t see how either of us will survive if she can’t run off her extra energy. What can we do? Answer: Vets will often advise that you restrict your dog’s activity following surgery or while she recuperates from muscle or joint injuries. The...
Blog: 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,...
Blog: Karen B. London
Leave It
The best cue for showing off with your dog
If a piece of hot dog or other delicious treat is on the ground and you tell your dog to “Leave It,” will your dog do as you ask or will he run to the food and snarf it up? If the answer is that your dog will eat the food, that is a shame for two main reasons: 1) If the food was spoiled, poisonous to dogs or simply fattening, you missed an opportunity to protect your dog from harm; 2) “Leave It”...
Good Dog: Activities & Sports
Target Training Your Dog: Go to Your Mat
A Teachable Moment
The ability to target a specific place is a valuable skill for your dog to have and will pay for the teaching time invested many times over. The finished exercise looks like this: On your cue—let’s use “Go to your mat”—your dog moves out to find her place, lying down and staying until the release word is given. This behavior is very useful for times when she needs to take a little break, or...
Blog: Karen B. London
Finding Time to Train
One minute here, one minute there
Many people struggle to find the time to train their dogs, and with today’s busy lifestyles, I am very sympathetic to the problem. (Between my work with dogs, my writing, teaching at the university, being a wife and mom, coaching soccer and my running, I am always strapped for time. In fact, lately I have adopted a policy of, “If it’s not on fire, I’m not putting it out yet.”) And yet, I think it...

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