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Blog: Guest Posts
A Service Dog Who Bites?
Poor training is not fair to the dog.
A story in the San Francisco Weekly ("Service with A Snarl") describes Tita, a Chihuahua service dog who helps a man named Charles Esler deal with bipolar disorder. A happy, feel-good story, except for one thing: Tita bites. Tita regularly chases and lunges after people in public parks. She snarled and barked at a guard at the Social Security Administration. She bit Esler’s primary care provider...
Blog: Guest Posts
Peanut-Sniffing Poodles & Cash-Crazy Cockers
A nosy dog can catch criminals and help kids.
When my dogs sniff at a tree or dirt patch with special enthusiasm, I wonder what kind of information they’re getting. Their amazing noses allow them to “see” a world that’s practically foreign to us humans. Over the years, smart people have found ways to harness that nose power to help detect drugs, cancer and illegal DVDs. Now they’re training Cocker Spaniels to sniff out cash-carrying...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Canine Role in the Anti-Piracy Crusade
Disc-detecting dogs help shut down illegal DVD operations in Malaysia.
Dogs have been trained to detect everything from bombs to cancer. But until this week, I had never heard of DVD sniffing dogs in the anti-piracy crusade. There really is no limit to what dogs can be trained to do! According to the Motion Picture Association (MPA), its member companies lost 6.1 billion dollars to worldwide piracy in 2005. Struggling to find a solution, they turned to dogs’...
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...
Blog: Karen B. London
Not All Cowering Dogs Have Been Abused
Some dogs are just naturally fearful.
Whenever we don’t know an animal’s full history, we tend to assume the worst. That means we often suspect that a dog who cowers has been abused, when in fact that may not be the case. Sadly, many dogs are abused, but not all the ones who act terrified of new people and new things have suffered in that way. Concerns about past abuse have come up so many times during consultations that I felt...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Five Running Games to Play with Your Dog
Dog Play
Just as the iconic image of the Great Dad shows him playing catch with his kids, the iconic image of the Great Dog Guardian would show a person running around with a dog. A few minutes—or even a few steps—are all you need, so don’t resist these easy ways to add joy to your dog’s day. 1. Chase. This game is simple: You run and your dog chases you. Clap or make a “smooch” sound to get your dog’s...
Blog: Guest Posts
Help Prevent Dog Bites
Learn a few simple tips this Dog Bite Prevention Week.
Yesterday I walked through a crowded Central Park in New York with an old friend and his dog Tracy (as in Spencer Tracy). Tracy is a buttery, 106-pound Golden Retriever, who at six-years-old exhibits the irresistible jauntiness of a puppy. Children are drawn to him like flies to a fly strip, and all around us, they zoomed in on the dog, many of them without warning. I was astounded and relieved...

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