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News: Karen B. London
Considering Euthanasia Because of Aggression
Helpful advice from Patricia McConnell, Ph.D.
Having worked for many years with aggressive dogs, I’ve shared the pain with a number of families facing the difficult decision of whether or not to euthanize a dog because of serious aggression. On multiple occasions, I’ve cried with them—and in private—over the pain suffered all around in these most challenging of situations, but I believe euthanasia should be an option in extreme cases. When...
News: Karen B. London
Dog Surprises On Walks
They come out of nowhere
We were walking through the neighborhood when I saw a man hurrying two off-leash dogs into his house. I appreciated this responsible action that prevented Marley from having to face two exuberant dogs running up to him while he was leashed up. There was a large truck parked in the driveway that nearly hid us from view, so it’s possible that the dogs hadn’t even seen us. Because the man was so...
News: Karen B. London
Chemical Enhancement of Social Information
Oxytocin improves dog performance
A new study in the journal Animal Cognition that reports that oxytocin increases canine responses to human social cues adds to the large number of known effects of this chemical. The more that oxytocin is studied, the more influential it seem to be. All the articles that refer to oxytocin as “the love hormone” are simplifying to the point of distortion. Sure, levels of this chemical rise in the...
News: Karen B. London
Adventures in Dog Bathing
The great escape
The moment I looked out my window and saw the dog running down the street, I had a pretty good idea what had happened. He was dripping wet, which narrowed down the possibilities considerably, as it is too cold for standing water, but the suds all over him were the real give away. This was a dog who had escaped mid-bath and was running all over the neighborhood. I understand that many dogs don’t...
News: Karen B. London
Dog Beds Can Be Stylish
Home décor meets canine functionality
I’ve already put considerable thought in to why the dog is so often under the table even when nobody is there, eating and dropping food by mistake. I suppose it was natural that I would next contemplate why the dog bed is NOT under there. As long as the dog will be resting beneath the table, why not make it as comfortable for him as possible? There’s the added bonus of having the dog bed out of...
News: Karen B. London
Deductions For Your Dog
Some tax laws benefit guardians
It can be psychologically damaging to keep track of how much we spend on our dogs. There’s something to be said for just acknowledging that the dogs create a problem area in the budget and moving on. I realize this goes against what every financial planner says, but it’s hard to put a price on our mental well-being. On the other hand, with possible tax deductions available from the IRS for dogs...
News: Karen B. London
More Determined As They Age
Are older dogs less willing to be interrupted?
“This way,” I said in that sing-song voice that tells the dogs in my life that I am about to get moving and that they should join me. It’s not a cue for a specific behavior, and it’s certainly not a command. It just means, “I am going to be moving, so you should pay attention to the direction I go.” When an off-leash dog hears it, I expect them to take note of me so they can follow me when they...
News: Karen B. London
Running Off Leash
Does your dog have the opportunity to do this?
It makes me happy to see a dog running through the woods, in a field or on the beach. Few thing make dogs happier than the chance to run free, to make choices, and to move at their own pace. Many dogs would likely choose this as their treat of choice if only they knew that it existed and was a possibility. Safety concerns as well as leash laws severely limit many dogs’ opportunities to run off...
News: Karen B. London
It’s Dinnertime!
How does your dog let you know?
What does a dog have to do to get this thing filled up?
The dog was definitely letting us know that he was ready to be fed, and that he wanted us to get our sorry selves downstairs to the kitchen to attend to this pressing matter. Dinnertime is usually between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., and it was nearing the end of that hour. His stomach certainly knows how to tell time. He kept opening and closing his mouth, looking around, and snapping in the air...
News: Karen B. London
Are You Special To Your Dog?
New research confirms that you are
Does your dog recognize you, the guardian, as unique in his life? Naturally, you consider him the most important, best, most special dog in the world, but does your dog view you as a unique treasure, or just as any old tall-two-legs capable of feeding him, putting on the leash, opening the door and playing with him? A recent study in the journal Behavioural Processes titled “Dogs and their human...

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