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News: Karen B. London
How Can This Be Comfortable?
Dogs rest in the weirdest positions
I don’t understand how dogs can possibly be comfortable in some of the positions they choose to be in. Take Marley, for example, in this picture. Even with every effort to remember that he is not a human and that I shouldn’t project my preferences on him, this makes no sense to me.  He looks like a “before” picture in an ad for a chiropractor. Over the years, I’ve seen dogs resting with their...
News: Karen B. London
Dog Pushes Baby in Swinging Crib
Gentle help from Charlie the Beagle
I strongly believe that when you have a new baby, you should accept all assistance available to you. “Turn down no offer of help” was some of the best advice I ever got, and I frequently pass it on to other parents. One family’s dog is able to offer rocking services to keep a baby swinging gently in her crib. In this video, you can see that the dog looks at the camera operator, who I presume is...
News: Guest Posts
A Dog Rolling Over During Play Is a Combat Tactic, Not Submission
I’ve got the ‘dog play’ bug, arguably one of the better winter bugs to have. I recently covered which toys dogs prefer (the answer: new ones, although old ones can be reinvigorated), as well as the unfortunate finding that when a dog’s not “playing right,” it could be you, not them. But toys and people are only part of play. I haven’t said anything yet about the huge topic of dog-dog play! Fear...
News: Karen B. London
Your Dog Feels You
More evidence that dogs attend to human emotions
Science is subject to trendiness, just like fashion, language and entertainment are. So, just as we are all facing an abundance of mid-calf boots, abbreviations and post-apocalyptic films, there is no shortage of studies on the influence of human emotions on our dogs. One of the latest studies, Fetching what the owner prefers? Dogs recognize disgust and happiness in human behaviour, in the...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Don’t Take Two Littermates
Littermate syndrome has potential downsides.
The email described a familiar scenario: “We were planning to adopt one puppy, but the breeder said that raising two sisters would be easier. After we brought the girls home at nine weeks, their behavior became increasingly out of control. My husband and I could not get their attention for more than a second or two—it was as if we weren’t even in the same room. And then they started displaying...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Naturally Fearful Dogs
Not all “scaredy” dogs have been mistreated.
“She must have been abused,” is a comment I hear with alarming regularity. When a dog cowers and shakes or barks and growls at a person wearing a hat, it’s natural to think that the strong reaction is proof of previous harsh treatment by someone wearing a hat. It’s easy to conclude that a dog who’s scared of children was teased by the neighborhood Dennis the Menace. Similarly, it’s logical to...
News: Karen B. London
Don’t Visit Without Them
Must-have travel items for guests
If you’re traveling with your dog this holiday season to stay with friends or family, you probably have more stuff jammed into your car than if your dog were staying home. I hope you’ve still have some space left, though, because you’ll want to make sure you have those extra items that can help make the trip with your dog a success. I’m not talking about the obvious stuff like food, food bowls,...
News: Guest Posts
What’s Wrong with the "Wrong" Dog
One of the most shared recent articles in the New York Times was one about a “wrong dog” and how the op-ed blogger felt she was wronged by agreeing to adopt a young dog from a rescue group. I was going to write about this but then our good friend, and former Bark science editor, Mark Derr, wrote a great post for Psychology Today that brought up all the points, and then some, that I had wanted to...
News: Karen B. London
A Star is Born
Singing along to “Let It Go”
This dog sleeps right through Charli XCX’s “Boom Clap” featured in “The Fault in Our Stars,” but watch how he reacts when Frozen’s “Let It Go” by Idina Menzel comes on. The way his ears respond first followed by a slight movement of the head, then a head raise and a look directly at the camera makes the sequence look choreographed. The dog acts very much like an actor in a musical at the start of...
News: Karen B. London
Christmas Trees are Not Indoor Bathrooms
This may not be obvious to your dog
“Brought home my first Christmas tree about 25 seconds ago. The dog peed on it about 23 seconds ago. So. Joy to the world and season's greetings and all that.” My friend’s Facebook post describes a situation many of us have faced. Though Christmas trees are decorations to us, their purpose is far from clear to most dogs. Anxiety has always been a part of my experience when I bring a dog to visit...

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