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News: Karen B. London
“Do As I Do” Dog Training
Evidence that this technique has great promise
As the recently departed Yogi Berra famously said, “You can observe a lot just by watching.” Our dogs probably understand that as well as anyone can, because dogs are able to learn a new behavior by seeing a person demonstrate it. Imagine being able to teach your dog a new behavior by simply showing him the behavior and having him copy you! That fits in with many dog trainers’ goals of finding...
News: Karen B. London
Not on the Hard Floor
Something soft and cozy, please!
Jack does not like to lie down on any hard surfaces. This dog will be with us all weekend, and since our entire downstairs is uncarpeted, it will be littered with sheepskins, towels and blankets. He likes the sheepskin he is on in the picture the most, but he will choose any soft option over a hard one. I’ve sometimes heard people insist that dogs lie down on a hard floor because of the...
News: Karen B. London
Helping Fearful Dogs Handle Visitors
One simple tip to try
Trouble when visitors arrive is a common concern of many guardians. I get calls every week because people want help with dogs who react badly to anyone who comes to the house. More often than not, these dogs are afraid, but people rarely call to say that they have a fearful dog. They call to tell me that their dogs are barking and lunging, growling, or even biting visitors. Comprehensive...
News: Karen B. London
Dogs in Obituaries
Included as cherished family members
It’s been a long time since the majority of people with dogs considered them property, but the inclusion of them in the celebrations and events of life associated with family continues to grow. Birthday parties and gifts for dogs have become increasingly common in recent years, and the number of dogs included in family photos or in signatures on greeting cards is bigger than ever. It’s really old...
News: Karen B. London
Runaway Dogs
Have you experienced the fear?
We were pet sitting a distinctive-looking mixed breed dog named Peanut when my husband (riding his bike home from work) called and left a message. He said that he had just seen a dog he thought was Peanut running down the street and he wanted to check on the situation. The situation was that Peanut was safely at home enjoying a snooze and I was on the phone with a client. Even though I was...
News: Karen B. London
Confrontations with Coyotes
How to avoid them, how to handle them
I often judge trends in the experiences of dogs by what people call to ask me or what my friends casually mention. (Very scientific, I know.) In recent weeks, I have heard about a number of run-ins with coyotes and received just as many phone calls from people who are concerned about the risk of encountering one. The prevalence of coyotes in urban and suburban areas is on the rise and has been...
News: Karen B. London
See the Dog, Not the Story
Accept and respect who your dog is
Today a client asked me what the best advice is for a friend who is about to adopt a dog from a rescue organization. So often, such general questions give me great pause. I’m often inclined to hedge and say, “It depends” or “There’s no single response to such a question.” Normally, if I do choose to give a specific answer to a sweeping question, I regret my choice and change my mind later. In...
News: Karen B. London
Socialization Outside the Household
Meeting the dog at home is not enough
One of the obstacles to proper socialization is a misunderstanding of the details of the process. Specifically, many of my clients have told me that they didn’t worry too much about socializing their new puppy because they have another dog at home, and the puppy and that dog get along great. There is an assumption that if a dog can interact properly with one dog, they can interact with all dogs....
News: Karen B. London
A Dog Named Glacier
Coat color influences choice of name
The color of a dog is often the inspiration when choosing a name, and I enjoy that these names fit the dog. It shows that people made the effort to pick a name specifically for that dog. It’s a rare occurrence when I meet a dog named Shadow (or the Spanish equivalent so common where I live—Sombra) who is not black. I’ve also met my share of black dogs named Raven, Cinder, Midnight, Smoky and...
News: Karen B. London
Your Dog’s Look
How does it measure up to his looks?
“Your dog has a great look!” I called out to a woman at the park. She looked at me suspiciously and actually asked, “Are you talking to me?” I assured her that I was, though understanding immediately why she questioned me on that point. Her dog was not what most people would consider an attractive dog. He was a bit odd-looking to be honest, with a head that was small in proportion to his body,...

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