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She never makes me feel badHarlow is a sweet dog with many fine qualities, several of which I have already written about in a previous blog. In that piece, I discussed how incredibly nice she is, and I alluded to the fact that she welcomes attention from everyone but is not pushy about it. When we recently hosted Harlow again for 5 days while her guardian traveled for work, I noticed this quality of non-pushiness and thought a lot about how wonderful it is.Tags: behaviorlife with dogsblog
Dog's name: Hank & Zeus How did you name your dogs? Both of these boys were rescues and we decided to keep their names as they fit them so well. Hank is a Cattle Dog and Zeus is full of lightning and thunder. Tell us the story of how you adopted your dogs? Zeus was rescued just after losing one of our seniors. Zeus was skin and bones with no fur. His ears were three sizes too big at just 12 weeks. We rescued Hank at two years old after he spent time in at least four homes (that we know of) and unfortunately was exposed to many terrible things. It was instant love and the two have been inseparable ever since. What makes your dogs smile? Hank loves his granddad more than anything else. He and his grandad like to sneak junk food when they think Mom doesn’t know.Tags: smiling dogs
Endless reasons, endless joyMy parents, despite being otherwise lovely people, are just not that into dogs. My Mom once said, completely seriously, “I just don’t understand why people would want to have an animal living in their house.” Though her view presumably matches exactly zero people reading this blog, I think the question of why we want to share our lives and our homes with dogs is an interesting one. There are certainly plenty of reasons NOT to want a dog (cleaning up vomit, fur on the furniture, budget woes and trash parties anyone?) Clearly the up side of having a dog outweighs the inconveniences of having one, much like the cost-benefit analysis of having human children makes them worthwhile despite the many drawbacks of parenthood. Tags: life with dogsblog
Evidence of environmental effects on behaviorThe dogs who colonized the island of Bali before the end of the most recent glaciation differentiated into their own unique breed at least 3000 years ago. In ancient times, far fewer people visited Bali than other islands such as neighboring Java, which limited migration of new dogs to Bali. For most of the last 100 years, a strict program designed to control rabies meant that few new dogs came to the island. Though genetic studies have found too much diversity among Bali Street Dogs (or BSDs as they are also known) for them to be considered a truly isolated dog population, they are believed to have bred freely and roamed the island with limited outside gene flow for thousands of years. Additionally, unlike many dogs around the world, BSDs have not likely been actively selected for specific morphological or behavioral traits.Tags: behaviorblogresearch
Saving Florida Avocado GrovesJust when I was thinking if it is possible to train my dog Lola to “detect” aphids on our backyard apple tree, I learn that dogs trained at Florida International University have a leg up on us. The Florida researchers looked at using “the highly sensitive canine olfactory system that is capable of detecting odor concentrations at exceedingly minute 1 to 2 parts per trillion” to help in early detection work to find the red-bay ambrosia beetle, a nonnative insect that was introduced from Asia in untreated wooden packing material. That transplant beetle is responsible for the spread of “laurel wilt” that is decimating avocado groves in Florida. Tags: work of dogsresearch
Everything changes with the barrier goneDogs who are barking at each other through a fence are an unpredictable lot once the fence is no longer in the picture. Some of them improve their behavior if they are given the opportunity to meet and interact without a barrier, but others may cause real injury to one another.  A rare few have no interest in any interaction other than barking at each other through the gate or fence, as is the case in the following video. Tags: behaviorblogvideos
Dog's Name: Kai, 7 years old. How did you name Kai?  At the shelter his name was Scrappy, which doesn't fit him at all. So he was renamed Yokai "Kai" after supernatural beings in Japanese folklore. What is Kai's adoption story? I was looking to get a dog from the shelter who was well past the puppy stage but young enough to make it through school with me. Kai was the dog of the month at the Animal Protection League. He had been there for four months because he was heartworm positive. I was drawn to him because of his calm demeanor and the shelter had great things to say about him. A kind stranger donated to cover the cost of his treatment and I knew I would be able to handle the getting him through it, so he was a natural pick!Tags: smiling dogs
Protecting your dog from these hazardsPeople who refuse to leave a shy or fearful dog alone because they swear that all dogs love them are a real nuisance. It’s frustrating that there are so many individuals out there who refuse to listen to guardians who stated clearly that they do not want anyone to approach or pet their dog. Discussions about how to handle such people are a regular part of my work.Tags: behaviortrainingblog
(Or, how I mourned my own dog)It seemed like it happened so fast. One day, our Lab mix, Remy, had the tiniest wobble in his back end. I gave him some anti-inflammatory medication, which helped for a few days; then he got worse, falling over backwards as he tried to defecate. Within two weeks, his back end was completely paralyzed. The neurologist at Tufts had “spinal tumor” at the top of her diagnostic list. Remy was at least 12; we had adopted him as a young adult, so we didn’t know his true age. He had come from a midwestern shelter to our home in Massachusetts. My husband, Mike, pointed out that the dog hadn’t been sick a day in his life (that we knew of) until his paralysis. And so, with what seemed like very little notice, my husband and I and our nine-year-old son, Nate, had to say good-bye to Remy. It was Nate’s first experience with grief.Tags: literatureessays
Tucker is a favorite staff memberFlipping through their yearbooks this week, my sons were thrilled to see that the most adorable staff member (and one of the most popular) had his photo in the yearbook along with everyone else who works at or attends their school. Tucker is a service dog for one of the Latin teachers, and he is a beloved member of the school community. It only makes sense that his picture is in the yearbook. Although Tucker’s focus is on the woman who he has been trained to assist, he does more than his main job when at school. The kids say that the teacher is very generous with him and that when appropriate, she allows them to interact with him. That is especially helpful when a child is stressed out or sad for some reason. Many of the students appreciate it when he pops his head out from behind a desk and amuses them. He adds levity to the class and has cheered up many people during the year, all without losing track of his real responsibility.Tags: work of dogsblog
Dear neighbors who walk their dog unleashed, Hi! I’m the guy with the tan pit bull mix named Rufus. I want to take a moment and ask you to walk your dog with a leash. No, I get it. Your dog is amazing and well-trained. You’ve been through extensive training and your dog knows a slew of verbal commands. Your dog is a service animal and visits children’s cancer wards and retirement communities and is the best-behaved dog you’ve ever had. I get that. The truth is, I don’t care about your dog. When I’m walking Rufus leashed and you’re walking your dog unleashed, my concern is for my dog, not yours. While I understand you’re 100% convinced that your dog won’t do anything spontaneous, I get it. Neighbor, the truth is that your dog is an animal and any claim that you’re 100% certain your dog won’t do anything is incorrect. They MAY not, but you can’t be certain. It’s simple; dogs are animals and react instinctively.Tags: life with dogsblogreaders write
They reflect our close relationship with dogsA form of simple dog burials began in the Levant region (now Jordan, Israel, Lebanon and Syria) during the sixth century B.C.E. and continued for over six centuries. These purposeful burials have been found in more than a dozen sites, including one that has over 1000 dogs. Previous consideration of these canine burials had led to the conclusion that they were evidence of rituals related to various cults, including the healing cults and or that they symbolized the sacred status of dogs. A recent analysis proposes a new interpretation of these burials. Tags: blogresearchhistoryscience
Since 2011, SOAR—Segunda Chansa (“Second Chance”) Oregon Animal Rescue—has been partnering shelters in Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico, with shelters in Portland, Oregon, to expand adoption opportunities for abandoned dogs in the Loreto area. To date, they have sent 248 dogs from Loreto to Portland, where they have all been successfully adopted. Their partners in Loreto are Segunda Chansa, a private dog rescue and Animalandia, a spay and neuter clinic.Tags: internationalhumaneshelters & rescuesblog
Recent studies show that mixed-breed dogs represent a little over half of all dogs who share our homes in the U.S. This number far outpaces any other single breed, thus it’s fair to say that the mixed-breed dog is America’s most popular canine pet. Guardians of mixed-breed dogs have long had to hypothesize their dog’s ancestry, but today can rely on science to unfold a dog’s genetic profile.Tags: DNA/Genes
Much of science plays out behind closed doors, and that is exactly what SPARCS is fighting against.  SPARCS, which is short for the Society for the Promotion of Applied Research in Canine Science, is a non-profit bridging the gap between dog lovers and canine science. Started in 2013, it achieves its mission in a straight-forward way: Get a bunch of animal behavior & cognition scientists, geneticists, and veterinarians in a room, have them discuss significant dog science topics, and live stream the three-day conference free on the Internet. If SPARCS is new to you, it's time to join the club. The live streaming conference received over 40,000 hits in past years.Tags: blognews
It led to serious tension on the setPeople sometimes view their own dog very differently than other people do. Or, as Hagrid wisely said in Harry Potter, “Ah, well, people can be a bit stupid abou’ their pets.” This is really just another way of saying that love is blind and that we don’t always realize the shortcomings of the animals we love. When aggression is involved, this can lead to conflict with other people. Actor Mark Harmon faced some conflict at work due to the aggressive behavior of his dog, Dave. Dave bit a crew member who was playing with him on the set of NCIS, and the man needed more than a dozen stitches. The bite led to a lot of tension in the workplace and possibly to the departure of Harmon’s co-star of 15 years, Pauley Perrette. Tags: pop culturetv
As summer approaches and temperatures rise, so does the danger of dogs dying in hot cars, left to overheat by negligent owners. Even on a day when it’s 70 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can hit 90 degrees in just 10 minutes. On a hot day, the temperature inside a closed car can shoot as high as 116 degrees in the same amount of time. What can you do to keep dogs safe this summer? The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, has some tips. 1. Never leave a dog in a hot car. Leaving an animal in a car for any amount of time is dangerous. Cracking a window doesn’t eliminate the risk of heatstroke or death, and in some states negligent owners can face up to one year imprisonment. If you have your dog with you:Tags: humanelifestyletipswellness
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, hundreds of pets die each year as a result of being left in parked cars. This often occurs when pet owners make a stop with the intent of only being gone a few minutes. Many a pet owner has said to themselves, “Oh, there's no need to worry. I won't let anything get me sidetracked.” But the fact is, getting sidetracked or delayed can happen to anyone. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances can and do arise, such as having to wait in a long line, running into someone and getting tied up in a conversation, or any number of other scenarios. Not to mention, it takes only a few minutes for a car to heat up to dangerous temperatures. Many pet owners also believe a car can't get too hot for their pet with the windows cracked open or on a cloudy day. Sadly, these mistaken notions have resulted in countless pet emergencies and deaths.Tags: lifestylelife with dogstips
Follow these four basic ground rules when walking the dogHaving a dog gives you a sense of connection to other dog people within your community. It can also lead you to assume that all dog-walkers have the same goal, whether it’s to make friends or just to allow dogs to do their business and be done. If you use dog walking for socialization but keep finding yourself curbed by others, you may be committing a canine etiquette faux pas. While everyone walks their dogs in their own ways for their own reasons, following a few ground rules will help you stay on good terms with your neighbors and fellow dog owners.Tags: dogpatchbehaviortrainingtips
It’s a quality she shares with the QueenMeeting your future in-laws is a daunting prospect for anyone, but when the Queen of England will be your grandmother-in-law, it’s bound to be especially nerve-wracking. Luckily for Meghan Markle, the relationship is off to a good start, in part because she and the Queen share a love for dogs. Similar interests are always helpful in potentially tricky in-law relationships, and dog lovers always have common ground. When Markle first met the Queen’s dogs, they liked her, and she described the dogs as very sweet. They wagged their tails and cuddled up on her feet during tea. Prince Harry reports that this is a contrast to the way they have barked at him for all 33 years of his life. Tags: newsblog