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Blog: Karen B. London
Dogs Have Difficulty “Unlearning”
New research on canine cognition
A recent study published in the journal Animal Cognition shows that dogs have a hard time “unlearning” certain tasks that they have been trained to do. In Minding the gap: spatial perseveration error in dogs, researchers Britta Osthaus, Donna Marlow and Pippa Ducat demonstrated that dogs who have learned a specific sort of detour behavior have trouble deviating from that behavior once the set up...
Blog: Karen B. London
Halloween Trick-Or-Treaters
Is this a good training opportunity?
It’s common for even the sweetest of dogs to be little devils when visitors come to the door. Some dogs are afraid of visitors, which can cause them to bark, lunge or even bite. Others are simply wild with excitement when people arrive, which often leads to leaping, jumping, barking, spinning and generally being out of control. Either way, it can mean that every time the doorbell rings, people...
Blog: Karen B. London
Humane Leadership Degree
Duquesne University offers first online program
Educational opportunities are a reflection of what society considers important. Topics that have value are available for study. We see this phenomenon when schools must cut programs because of budgetary concerns, which is why it’s clear to anyone paying attention that music, art and physical education are, regrettably, at the bottom of our priorities as a society and are often the first to be cut...
Blog: Karen B. London
Low Stress Handling
Sophia Yin’s advice book available free online
Sophia Yin has written another great book to go along with her popular Small Animal Veterinary Nerdbook and How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves. Her latest book is called Low Stress Handling, Restraint and Behavior Modification of Dogs & Cats. The ideas and techniques in this book can improve safety at veterinary clinics, decrease stress in the animals, and make life easier for veterinarians,...
Blog: Karen B. London
Are Some Dogs Pessimistic?
A new study addresses this question
In a recent study in the journal Current Biology, researchers assert that shelter dogs who show behavior indicative of separation distress tend to be pessimistic, compared with more optimistic dogs who are less likely to exhibit separation-related behavior. I’m going to explain briefly how the experiment was conducted and then discuss my concerns with the researchers’ conclusions.   In their...
Blog: Karen B. London
Cutting Nails
Reducing the stress for you and your dog
There are few parts of dog guardianship that are less agreeable than cutting nails. In fact, the only task that I dislike more is picking up poop, and depending on the dog, clean-up duty may even be preferable to nail trimming.   I worked for almost a year as a dog groomer, so I know a few tricks about getting nails trimmed no matter what. Whether it’s keeping a dog occupied with treats or a...
Blog: Karen B. London
My Dog Ate What?
New dog show to premier
National Geographic WILD is airing a new show about real stories of dogs who eat things they shouldn’t and the veterinarians who save them from themselves. The new show, called My Dog Ate What? premiers Nov. 3 at 9 PM.   My first response to this was to be a bit horrified, but after I saw the preview about a dog that ate, among other objects, four pairs of underwear and a pan of brownies along...
Dog Culture: Reviews
Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition
Oxford University Press, 274 pp., 2008; $110
Miklosi
In Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition, Ádám Miklósi has done what nobody else has even dared to try, and he does it brilliantly. This book is the first to compile and analyze the research that delves into the mysteries of the domestic dog. It provides an excellent and thought-provoking review of the scientific literature in a variety of areas: evolution, domestication, study methodologies,...
Blog: Karen B. London
High Cost Pet Pampering
Hotel amenities includes Paw Package
For people who still find their bank accounts overflowing in these troubled times, here is one way to deal with the “problem”: Spend money on your dog. In this story in the Palm Beach Daily News, the author tells of her adventures with her Jack Russell Terrier getting spa treatments together at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota.   For $130, Maggie the Jack Russell received an hour-long massage from a...
Blog: Karen B. London
Dog Dish Saves The Day
Woman uses it to escape fire
Susan Garcia was trapped in her basement during a house fire and used her dog’s dish to break out. She said it was the only metal thing she could find, and she used it to break a tiny window that is impossible to open. At the time, her husband was outside breaking windows trying to get to Susan, and screaming for her.   After Susan broke the window with her impromptu tool, she removed the glass...

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