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Using artificial intelligence to translate from the canine Who among us has not wished that our dogs could talk to us, clearly expressing how they feel and what they want? We all want to understand our dogs better and it’s exhilarating to imagine that we could translate what dogs say, either vocally or with body language. Combining behavioral research with artificial intelligence just may be the path forward towards this goal.Tags: behaviorscience
Dog's name and age: Devo, 6 years old Tell us the story of how you adopted your dog? I had just turned 40, was single and did not have any kids. It was love at first sight when I spotted Devo at the SPCA. A few months after adopting Devo, we started hiking daily in the local hills. That's where I met my future husband. He and his dog Brownie hiked daily as well and we would make small talk as we passed one other. A couple months later we met at the top of the hill and hiked together for the first time. We were married a little over a year later. How was your dog named? Devo is a Whippit mix so he was named after the rock back Devo from the 80's who sang the song 'Whip-it'. What does Devo love? Daily hikes with the family, playing tug of war with old stuffed animals with his sisters Luna and Brownie. Tags: smiling dogs
Plan ahead to skip Hawaii’s canine quarantineI know the look. In Maui’s Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods, a man sidles over with a mournful expression on his face and a piece of chicken in his hand. “Can  I give her a treat?” he asks. It’s the second time today that Jinji and I have been approached by a total stranger pining for a dog back home. The man, who’s from Palm Springs, Calif., takes out a picture of his nine-year-old black German Shepherd. “I’m going to bring her as soon as my wife and I get a place here,” he says, eyes misting over. “Seriously, I could cry, I miss her so much.” This used to be me.Tags: lifestyletraveltips
New research on an old questionOn top of most lists of undesirable behavior in our dogs is coprophagy, which is eating poop. Most commonly, the poop that dogs are eating is their own or that of other dogs, and most humans find this revolting. Tags: behaviorlife with dogsresearch
Mabou, 5 years old Mabou and her people are part of 4 PAWS where they visit with the ill, help with "stress reduce" days at the local university and meet children at the nearby camp for blind/visually impaired. She loves her people and will hop in-between them on the bed for early morning snuggles. Mabou's people never knew how loud and rambunctious she could be until they got their new puppy Andi. Mabou adores playing with Andi.  Tags: smiling dogs
A humorous one contains great truthsNew Year’s resolutions provide a great opportunity to put energy into the changes we would like to make, and many people want to work towards improving some aspect of their life with their dogs. That’s why part of my focus at this time of year is always to support others in their goals. I’m in favor of all plans to train dogs further, to be increasingly patient with them or to walk them more, along with any other change that is good for the relationship between dogs and people. I love hearing what people strive for in relation to their dogs beginning on January 1, or at any other time.Tags: lifestylelife with dogsblog
A study on its relationship to successful agingSeeking the fountain of youth is a universal quest, but finding the Foxhound of youth may be more realistic. There’s a never-ending list of ways that dogs benefit our health and well-being, and their role in successful aging may be one of them, as long as the canine commitment is a serious one. The impact on retirees of heavy involvement in dog-related activities is one of the current projects of Professor Wendy Hultsman of the School of Community Resources & Development at Arizona State University. She is studying the impact of serious dog leisure involvement during retirement on successful aging. Tags: activities & sportslife with dogsresearch
Avoiding Boredom During Winter StormsMillions of Americans are currently dealing with intense cold, courtesy of Winter Storm Grayson. While it’s natural to focus on food, warmth and other basic necessities, helping our dogs through these tough times is also a crucial concern. So, after making sure that you have enough toilet paper, milk, bread and perhaps chocolate or wine to get you through the storm, the next step may be planning how to keep your dog occupied. First of all, don’t panic! Though it is a challenge, it is possible to keep your dog from going crazy even without spending the usual amount of time outdoors. The key is focusing on mental exercise instead of physical exercise, and remembering that quality time with your dog is a valuable commodity that can compensate for less activity.Tags: Enrichmentsactivities & sportslife with dogs
Sarabi, 5 years old Tell us the story of how you adopted your dog? Our previous Pit Bull of 13 years passed away and we were ready to fill the void that was left behind. We reached out the Missouri Pit Bull Rescue and met with some of the dogs that they had available. Sarabi was doing great in foster care with the cats so her foster mom brought her to meet us. My husband and I were sitting on the floor and she came barreling into the room and runs to my hubby's lap. She plopped down on her back ready for her tummy rub and gave lots of kisses. She was the perfect match for us and our two cats. More about Sarabi:Tags: smiling dogs
Text and Photographs by Joseph O. HolmesWhen I walk deep into Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on the first snowfall each year, I find myself transported to the winter meadows and hills of my childhood and to the hikes and backpacking trips around the tiny Pennsylvania factory town where I grew up. My town was surrounded by Christmas tree farms, apple orchards, corn fields and forested hills. My stomping grounds were the trail down to Kettle Creek bottom, the railroad bridge across the Susquehanna River, and the walk through hemlocks and pines to the swimming hole known as the Haystacks. The steeper streets were closed when it snowed, and we immediately claimed them for sledding.Tags: artdog culture
Paw preference may be predictiveThe general outlook of a dog towards the world can influence that dog’s risk of becoming anxious, stressed or suffering from other welfare issues. Dogs who are hopeful and optimistic are less vulnerable to emotional distress that those who are more pessimistic. Individuals of many species with a negative mindset are more likely to attend to negative stimuli, remember negative events and consider ambiguous stimuli more negative than individuals in a more positive emotional state. A negative outlook can therefore predispose dogs to suffer emotionally in conditions that may pose no threat to individuals with a rosier outlook.Tags: behaviorblogresearchscience
Dog jumpers make for amusing photographsDogs with springs in their legs can create magic in photographs. Consider this picture of a dog who was clearly not feeling sluggish. The dog, an adolescent mix of who-knows-what-breeds, is energetic and enthusiastic. I’ve always thought that she looks like she has kangaroo in her, and this picture supports my argument. Meanwhile, the other dog in the household, a super chill male approaching the age of 9 years old, looks on wisely. Each of their approaches to life is captured in the photo. The young dog is exuberant and bouncy, filled with a coiled-spring-like tension, like Tigger form Winnie-the Pooh. The older dog has his moments of high-spirited fun, but as he gets older, they occur less and less often. He is far more likely to look forward to a restful nap than an intense play session or outing as he enters his golden years.  
Dog's name and age: Marley, 1 year old Marley is a Collie and Shepherd mix and is quite intelligent! She's a joy to train and learned 5 commands in her first 3 days home. She had no idea what toys were when she first came home but now she comes up with new ways to play with her old toys to keep things fresh. Marley also enjoys posing for photos (as long as there are treats involved) and even has her own Instagram (@marleythesheppie). But most importantly, she is a wonderful big sis and always has a huge grin on her face. She is truly a blessing to our family.
As we wrap up 2017, we would like to recommend five books that stand-out and grabbed our attention this year. First up is Amy Sutherland’s insightful and engaging Rescuing Penny Jane: One Shelter Volunteer, Countless Dogs, and the Quest to Find Them All Homes (Harper). As an astute and skilled journalist who has volunteered hundreds of hours at local shelters, Sutherland had a front-row seat on the subject of how shelter life affects both the dogs and the people working to find their “clients” new homes. Her tour of shelters throughout the U.S. also provided her with invaluable lessons about best ideas and strategies. This is a thoroughly engrossing and, yes, entertaining read.Tags: lists
Dog-styled chocolate is even cuter than a chocolate frog!A client who is also a friend returned from a trip to New York with the most wonderful gift—a big box of gourmet chocolates. Just as wonderful as the taste of these confections was their appearance, especially the one shaped like a dog—decorated right down to its little collar. It’s so reinforcing to receive chocolate as a thank you for dog training, but to have a sweet treat in the form of a little dog charmed me more than I can say. The perfect thing about this gift was that it was chosen thoughtfully based on what I (the receiver) would most enjoy. Choosing what someone else will like is a good skill for dog trainers because when it comes to positive reinforcement, it’s what the dog likes that matters.
Dog's name and age: Piper, 4 years old. Piper's Adoption Story: My boyfriend and I had talked about getting a dog for a long time but we were never quite sure if it was the right time. Then one day, I came home from class and my boyfriend was cleaning the apartment and asked a simple question, "Do you want to go get a dog today?" So, we did! We were walking through the kennels when I stopped to read about her. I squatted down and she looked at me for a little bit from the back. Then she came up to the gate, pressed herself as hard as she could against it so we could pet her through the door, and we knew she was ours.Tags: smiling dogs
It’s that time of year when we look back and single out our favorite pictures and words of 2017. We start with the films, television and art that made an impression and deserve a shoutout for the way they depicted dogs and the bonds we share them. Some may have been overlooked over the course of a news-heavy year but we recommend you give them a look. Next week we’ll list our favorite books of the year.Tags: artdog cultureeditor's picksmoviestv
I see a well-trained dog performing many tricksAs a dog lover, it is natural to love the charm of this video, but as a dog trainer, my focus is on the beauty of seeing a dog perform a series of tricks so well. Naturally, I don’t know how many takes it took to acquire the footage to put this video together, but I choose not to dwell on that. Clearly, this is a well-trained dog with a large repertoire of behaviors that he can do on cue. While many viewers probably see a story of a dog preparing for Santa’s visit and waiting for him to arrive, I noticed each specific trick that the dog performed.Tags: videos
Leash-related accidents are commonA dog named Daisy lives next door, and my son enjoys taking her out on walks from time to time. On a recent outing, all was going well until Daisy spotted a squirrel and gave chase. My 12-year son is no match for her power or her enthusiasm, but he’s fast and he managed to stay on his feet while running full speed behind her. She would probably have abandoned her chase soon anyway, but alas, she ran through a split-rail wooden fence before that happened, causing my son to collide with it. He was able to stop himself before his whole body slammed into it, but the arm attached to the leash went between the fence rails and got scraped up enough to gross me out.Tags: behaviorlife with dogsblog
Five tips for a successful seasonThe holidays bring surprises—both good and bad—and though there’s no way to predict exactly what will happen, we do know that our lives will be different than usual. That’s a given when we travel, take time off of work or have visitors. It can be hard on our dogs when the days have a different flow than they are used to, and the best way to prevent any changes from leading to trouble is managing the situation to help dogs through these trying times.Tags: holidaysbehaviorlife with dogsblog