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Blog: Karen B. London
Losing Puppies to Disease
Canine distemper strikes close to home.
Some friends recently lost two puppies to canine distemper. During the time when first one puppy, and then the second was succumbing to the disease, they were caught up in a painful swirl of grief, loss, information-seeking, medication use, and continuous attempts to comfort the puppies, their children and each other. Obviously, it is painful to lose a dog of any age, but there is a particular...
Blog: Karen B. London
Bedbug-Detecting Dogs
Sniffing out the source leads to less pesticide use
Trained dogs detect land mines, drugs, explosives, missing persons, cancer, and just about anything else that they are physically capable of smelling. Julia Kamysz Lane recently blogged about how dogs can even sniff out peanuts and cash-carrying criminals. JoAnna Lou clued us in to their use in locating illegal DVDs. Now, add bedbugs to the list. There are dogs trained specifically to detect the...
Blog: Karen B. London
Strut Your Mutt
What’s the best dog event around?
Recently I was a judge at “Strut Your Mutt” in Flagstaff, Ariz. The annual event is the work of Paw Placement of Northern Arizona, a local group that does great work finding forever homes for dogs and cats. On this particular Saturday, we three judges had to observe dog-people pairs entered into the official “Strut” competition and determine three winners. The categories were 1) Best Strut,...
Blog: Karen B. London
Saving Coyotes’ Lives
Scientist Marc Bekoff advises people to keep coyotes away from their homes.
When coyotes lose their fear of people, their lives are in danger. The more these wild animals come into contact with people, the more likely they are to be shot by authorities who face enormous pressure to prevent people and pets from being hurt by coyotes. With that in mind, behavioral ecologist Marc Bekoff, who has studied coyotes for decades, urges people to do what they can to keep coyotes...
Blog: Karen B. London
See African Wild Dogs on Safari
Let Patricia McConnell be your guide.
When I was first interning as an applied animal behaviorist, I spent months with Patricia McConnell sitting in on all of her cases, reviewing the details, riding to house calls and going to conferences together. During our morning “getting our paws in the ground” tradition, I learned a lot as we shared experiences about our own dogs, training classes and consultations, all while discussing life,...
Blog: Karen B. London
Do Dogs Feel Regret?
Are they truly sorry for mistakes?
In a recent article in The New York Times, John Tierney discusses recent research indicating that animals may experience feelings of regret. One scientist quoted in the article defines regret as the recognition of a missed opportunity. Some of the most recent evidence that animals do feel regret includes the brain activity of monkeys who have made a choice that results in NOT receiving a highly...
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...
Blog: Karen B. London
Sue Sternberg Creates A Dog Ethogram
Videos of dog behavior are interesting and informative.
Ethologists, those people who study animals’ behavior in their natural habitat, generally feel you need on the order of one thousand hours of observation before you know your study species. No matter how much you read and hear about behavior, there is no substitute for great quantities of time observing members of that species. Sue Sternberg has spent many times the requisite number of hours with...
Blog: Karen B. London
Kids Interacting With Dogs Safely (KIDS)
American Humane launches new program.
The American Humane Association has a new program called KIDS (Kids Interacting with Dogs Safely). The emphasis is on preventing dogs bites to young children, so the program targets kids ages four to seven years old. Many programs are aimed at kids older than eight, but it’s kids younger than that who so often receive serious bites to the face, head and neck. The program focuses on getting young...
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...

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