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Blog: Guest Posts
The data is in: Adopt this dog
Erica Feuerbacher smiles when she talks, and why shouldn’t she? As a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida with the Canine Cognition and Behavior Lab, she spends a lot of time with dogs (or at least dogs in the form of data). Through her research, she meets many, many, many dogs, some of whom live in animal shelters. This is the story of her latest research and a special subject named...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Dog Speak: The Sounds of Dogs
More than just noise
A friend suggested that one of the reasons we love dogs so much is that they can’t talk back. But I wonder whether that’s true. Sure, a dog won’t tell you, “You really shouldn’t have that second cookie,” but does that mean dogs are not talking back? Dogs are anything but mute, and while we usually focus on wagging tails and beguiling eyes, vocalizations—among them, barks and growls—provide us...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Do Dogs Understand Our Words?
Say What?
“This is not your food! Don’t even think about eating it. This … is … not … your … food.” What do our words mean to dogs? Not that I’m about to stop speaking to dogs anytime soon, but I do wonder what my daily utterances signify to Millie, Piper, Upton and Finnegan, the dogs I converse with on a regular basis. Do I sound like a cross between Charlie Brown’s teacher and Gary Larson’s “What Dogs...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Skin Deep
Looks aren’t everything, but they do play a role in communication
Dogs excel in their role as our best friends. Spooning with us on a cold night, they seem almost hyper-domesticated. If there were a gold medal for “Achieving Domestication,” dogs would win it. Some days, however, the story is quite different: chasing squirrels, digging up newly planted flowers, eating — then throwing up — grass, romping in a mud puddle post-bath, rolling in an overripe carcass...
Good Dog: Studies & Research
Dog Smart: Exploring the Canine Mind
Researchers exploring the canine point of view
Canine Mind
Doesn’t it sound reasonable to study the behavior of cranes? After all, cranes are quite different from humans — they can f ly, spend lots of time on one leg and don’t need an external GPS to find their way to Florida. But what if we replace “cranes” with “dogs”? Why study dog behavior? Unlike cranes, dogs are not a wild species with feathers, migratory patterns or conservation needs. Dogs have...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
H*MPING
Why do they do it?
Humping Pugs
On a beautiful, warm afternoon, I watched a group of dogs frolic in a dog park. Suddenly, I heard a woman’s high-pitched yelp, followed by the pounding of human feet. There was no need to look; it was obviously about humping, which we can also refer to as mounting. Dogs hump the air, they mount pillows and blankets, and they can be found poised behind the neighbor’s dog or befriending Uncle Joe’s...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Dog Daycare
More than fun and games
You have an all-day work event, your dog walker comes down with something and your back-up help is out of town. Then you see the ad for a local dog-daycare facility: “We can help! We offer 12 hours of fun and socialization for your dog.” The message is accompanied by cute photos of pooches at play. Should you be sold? Across the U.S., dog-daycare businesses — franchises and single-owner...
Blog: Guest Posts
Why Is a Stranger’s Crotch More Interesting Than Mine?
Part 2
Here is a recap of the study we discussed in Part 1, Oh, hello! Why yes, that's my crotch *: Crotch factoid #1: A dog enters a room, sees his owner lying on the floor, and he gives considerable attention to his owner's upper body.Crotch factoid #2: A dog enters a room, sees a stranger lying on the floor, and he initially goes for the crotch. Why the difference? Why is a stranger's crotch...
Blog: Guest Posts
Oh, Hello! Why Yes, That’s My Crotch
Part I: Sniffing researched
The holiday season is in full swing. But before you dive into Aunt Bessie’s famous cookies, you might have to get past a few pinched cheeks and possibly some bad breath. You know what I'm talking about—from handshakes and hand-kisses, to “man hugs” and double kisses, between now and New Year’s, we humans enter hardcore greeting mode.  Accompanying the acceptable greeting rituals noted above, we...

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