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News: Karen B. London
What They Might Think During Departures
Putting words into the minds of dogs
As we drove away and saw Marley’s face in the window, watching us drive away, my son said, “I’ll bet he’s thinking, “Please come back! Why are you leaving me?” His woebegone expression did match the words my son had chosen for him. We began to discuss how different individuals react to the same situations in different ways and express themselves in unique ways, too, and why shouldn’t that apply...
News: Karen B. London
Quality Time Without Other Dogs
Dogs benefit, sometimes in unexpected ways
“He doesn’t really play with toys,” his guardian said as he dropped the dog off for an afternoon visit with us. Their realtor didn’t want dogs at home during their open house, not even resting contentedly in their crates, and work schedules meant they needed a little help. We were taking one of their dogs and his brother was going to watch the other. Though we were not expecting Moose to play...
News: Karen B. London
Learning About Glass Doors
Some dogs figure it out right away
Dog stands outside of glass sliding door
It’s scary for dogs and guardians alike when a dog makes contact with a sliding glass door, and it can certainly be injurious. Most dogs who live in or visit a house with such a door eventually run or walk into it, but some never seem to learn to watch out for it. I’ve known dogs who would run into the glass door every time they are trying to pass through if it were not for some assistance from...
News: Karen B. London
Social Roles and Relationships in Dogs
CAAB Chat about friendship, jealousy, grief, and bullying
CAAB Chats are a new program featuring monthly discussions among CAABs (Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists) about topics that matter to people who love animals. This month’s CAAB Chat is about Social Roles and Relationships in Dogs, and will involve a conversation about friendship, grief, jealousy, status, bullying, gratitude, and more. Anyone can register to listen in to the live chat (which...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Q&A with Denise Fenzi
Dog trainer Denise Fenzi talks about methods and perceptions with
On engagement and relationship building: Over the past 30 years or so, there has been a steady shift from force-based methods to much kinder and gentler methods of training. Most of these kinder methods have emphasized using food rather than force to get behaviors, and I’m a huge advocate of this change. However, in the switch to food-based training, we seem to have lost some of our basic...
News: Guest Posts
Home-Schooling for Dogs Could Be Catching On
“Do As I Do” scores high
A rambunctious five-year-old Labrador Retriever who until a few months ago knew not a word of any language, obeyed no command, charged around the house or zipped through any hole in the fence before one could utter the name he didn’t seem to recognize has become my 91-year-old mother’s great and constant companion. He sits or lies by her when she is sitting or lying down. He moves with her when...
News: Karen B. London
Dogs Welcoming Soldiers Home
The dogs’ behavior is fascinating
The kinship I feel with dog lovers allows me to share the following with no concern that any of you would fail to understand: Yesterday I was in need of an emotional pick-me-up, but I was short on time, so I wandered over to YouTube to look for a dog video that would quickly make smiling a sure thing. The first video I came to was called “Dogs Welcoming Soldiers Home” and I watched it once just...
News: Karen B. London
Positive Training Is Better
It’s not news, but it is science
I hardly think it will be a shock to anyone reading this, but according to a recent study in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, positive training techniques are better than negative methods. Specifically, they promote less stress in the dog, and are better for the dog-person relationship. A soon-to-be published study called “Effects of 2 training methods on stress-related behaviors of the dog (...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Is Your Dog a Southpaw?
Links between canine lateralization, behavior and emotion
Dalmation Jumping by Amanda Jones
A few years ago, dog trainers and behaviorists renewed their love affair with tail-wagging, constantly checking to see whether dogs were wagging their tails higher to the right or to the left. Our awkward attempts at positioning ourselves to observe this behavior were surely entertaining to others. Why were we so eager for the information conveyed by these asymmetrical tail wags? Because they...
News: Karen B. London
Wag the White Part
The trick is in the voice
“Are you such a good dog? Can my sweet girl wag her tail!” It’s lovely to see a dog respond to these questions with a great big tail wag. It’s even more charming if she can take it a step further by performing one of my all time favorite behaviors. Here’s a description of the next step. The person continues by saying, “Now listen very carefully because instead of wagging your whole tail, I want...

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