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News: Guest Posts
First Chomper
New York’s governor hires a trainer for his testy Maltese.
Why is it that when small dogs are aggressive and biting it’s treated as a joke? Take New York Governor David Paterson’s Maltese, Cheerio--a full-time tough guy with at least two bites to his credit. Imagine if those teeth belonged to a bigger dog with a tougher reputation living in the home someone with a lot less clout. I’m just glad the governor finally recognized that a pint-sized...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Four Scientific Studies on Dogs and Play
Having fun is serious business
As members of the dog-loving community, we should all be proud of our emphasis on play as an important aspect of our dogs’ lives. We have long understood that for most of our pups, playing with other dogs and playing with humans enhances their quality of life and improves their overall comportment. During the past few years, scientific research into play has emerged from a long period during...
News: Guest Posts
The Problem of Celebrity
Some veterinarians and behaviorists decry Merial’s partnership with Cesar Millan.
Earlier this month, the executive board of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) issued a statement that it was “deeply troubled” by the Merial’s decision to partner with Cesar Millan to promote their products. Merial is a huge animal-health company and the maker of Frontline and Heartgard. As part of the promotion, the company is offering veterinary clinics a free Cesar...
News: Guest Posts
A Service Dog Who Bites?
Poor training is not fair to the dog.
A story in the San Francisco Weekly ("Service with A Snarl") describes Tita, a Chihuahua service dog who helps a man named Charles Esler deal with bipolar disorder. A happy, feel-good story, except for one thing: Tita bites. Tita regularly chases and lunges after people in public parks. She snarled and barked at a guard at the Social Security Administration. She bit Esler’s primary care provider...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Eight New Dog Training Trends
What’s new with the dog pros
Dog training is a dynamic field (although probably not as dynamic as dogs themselves), and at the annual national conference of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) in Louisville, Ky., in mid-October ’08, it was fascinating to witness the ways in which the field continues to evolve. Following are, in my opinion, some of the most notable trends in dog training, all of which figured...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Teaching Your Dog to Take Treats Gently
What to do when a dog is part alligator
Question: My dog takes treats so hard that she’s hurt my hands on occasion. I’ve had the same thing happen to me to varying degrees at the dog park or in classes when I give a treat to another dog. I dread training sessions with my own dog, and I’ve become hesitant to give treats to other dogs. Is there a solution to this problem? Answer: I sympathize! Your experiences with dogs who chomp...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Five Running Games to Play with Your Dog
Dog Play
Just as the iconic image of the Great Dad shows him playing catch with his kids, the iconic image of the Great Dog Guardian would show a person running around with a dog. A few minutes—or even a few steps—are all you need, so don’t resist these easy ways to add joy to your dog’s day. 1. Chase. This game is simple: You run and your dog chases you. Clap or make a “smooch” sound to get your dog’s...
News: Guest Posts
Help Prevent Dog Bites
Learn a few simple tips this Dog Bite Prevention Week.
Yesterday I walked through a crowded Central Park in New York with an old friend and his dog Tracy (as in Spencer Tracy). Tracy is a buttery, 106-pound Golden Retriever, who at six-years-old exhibits the irresistible jauntiness of a puppy. Children are drawn to him like flies to a fly strip, and all around us, they zoomed in on the dog, many of them without warning. I was astounded and relieved...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
VIDEO: Training Your Dog to "Leave It"
Sophia Yin, DVM, MS, has training plan for the sidewalk scavenger
  To us, the idea of eating food wrappers, horse poop and other smelly things found on the ground is gross. To your dog, it’s like walking into a room filled with French pastries and desserts—and they’re free! They can also be extraordinarily dangerous. Watch as Dr. Yin demonstrates how to change your dog’s hazardous habit.
News: Guest Posts
AKC Announces Mixed-Breed Program
Mutt lovers question the new “separate but equal” designation.
After 125 years as an advocate for (select) purebred dogs, the American Kennel Club (AKC) announced its new mixed-breed program last week. For the past several years, rumors abounded that AKC was on the cusp of allowing mixed breeds to participate in activities, such as agility, obedience and rally. Some folks claimed AKC was growing enlightened, while others claimed it was simply trying to shore...

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