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News: Editors
Dogs Take Over the Pilot Seat
Mark Vette, an animal behaviorist from New Zealand, who made a splash a few years back by training dogs to drive cars, has taken his skills to a new height and has now successfully trained dogs to not just co-pilot, but to actually pilot planes. As with his driving “dare” he has taken on this newest challenge to promote the talents and adoptability of shelter dogs, certainly a noble cause. You...
News: Karen B. London
Toddler Has a Canine Chauffeur
Modern fun for a boy and his dog
I’m not old enough to remember when the only toy a boy and his dog had was a stick, but I’m sure old enough to be impressed by a remote control car that carries both of them around! In this video of a toddler and a dog in a car, it appears as though the dog is fully in control of the vehicle. At first viewing, I found that a bit unsettling, even with a trustworthy dog. I realized later that the...
News: JoAnna Lou
Increase in Attacks on Guide Dogs
Service dogs' faithfulness can also make them vulnerable.
Service dogs spend their days dedicated to their people, so intensely focused on their every need. This faithfulness also makes them especially vulnerable. A study recently published in the journal Veterinary Record found that the number of reported dog attacks on guide dogs in the United Kingdom has risen significantly in the past few years. A total of 629 attacks were reported between 2010 and...
News: Karen B. London
Disappearing Treats
Dogs react to magic
Magician Jose Ahonen made treats disappear right in front of dogs’ noses. When I watched videos of his work, I saw dogs who understood that a treat had been there and that it MUST still be nearby. Their reactions made it clear that they knew the treat had gone missing. One common response was for the dogs to look down at the ground as though the treat had fallen. A fallen treat is probably a...
News: JoAnna Lou
Evacuating Dogs on a Plane
WestJet allows dogs to sit in the cabin while transporting displaced Fort McMurray residents.
As wildfires spread in Fort McMurray, Canada, about 88,000 people have left the area after a mandatory evacuation. Calgary based airline WestJet played a key role in getting evacuees out of the oil sands community, running about 70 flights in and out over the last two days. Their participation is part of an existing relationship with Suncor and Shell, so it had the benefit of being privately...
News: Karen B. London
A Dog in the Lap
Feel the weight, feel the love
Sometimes people acquire a lap dog on purpose, choosing with great care a dog who is small, cuddly and loves to sit with people. Other times, an unintended lap dog, particularly a large one, brings to mind that famous comment referring to software: “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.” That is, you can consider it a problem or you can accept that it is just part of the system. There are a lot of...
News: Editors
Are Some Dogs Hardwired to Overeat?
Researchers at Cambridge University looked at Labrador Retrievers (the most popular breed in the U.S. and the UK) to assess why that breed is more prone to obesity than other breeds. Their findings, recently published in the journal Cell Metabolism, point to a possible genetic reason behind this. “About a quarter of pet Labradors carry this gene [difference],” lead researcher Dr. Eleanor Raffan...
News: JoAnna Lou
Pets and Homeless Youth
Study finds both benefits and challenges for homeless youth and their dogs.
There's no question that having a dog in your life has many benefits. And it's been confirmed again in a new study that looked at homeless youth and their pets. Researchers from Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) found that young people with animals are less likely to engage in potentially harmful behavior, like alcohol abuse and hard drug use, because they don't want to be separated from their...
News: Karen B. London
How Do Dogs Feel About Hugs?
The short answer is that it depends
Girl hugs uneasy dog
Behaviorists, including myself, have cautioned people for years about hugging dogs because dogs don’t like it. One of the most easy-to-find types of photos shows a jubilant person hugging a dog who is miserable to some degree or another. It is very common for dogs to dislike being hugged, but for people to love hugging them. It should come as no surprise that members of two different species have...
News: JoAnna Lou
How Much is a Dog Worth?
The Supreme Court of Georgia will soon decide if pets are worth more than their 'market value."
Our pets are cherished family members who share our bed, accompany us on walks, and cheer us up when we're sad. But in the eyes of the law, animals are pretty much considered property. This distinction will soon be up for debate in Georgia. Back in 2012, Bob and Elizabeth Monyak boarded their two dogs at Atlanta kennel Barking Hound Village while they were on a family vacation in France. When...

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