Cultivating Dog-Smart Kids

For half a century, the Lassie stereotype has endured in American hearts and minds. The ideal dog is noble, has the vocabulary of a college student, and near-telepathic understanding of what’s expected of him. It makes for lovely storytelling, but the imprint left on generations by Lassie and similar fictions, from Dorothy’s Toto to Disney’s… Read more »

Did You Know: These Doggie Facts?

With their swiveling ears, dogs can locate the source of a sound in 0.06 seconds. Dogs have far fewer taste buds than humans, but the 200 million scent receptors in their nasal folds (compared to our 5 million) nevertheless make some of them very finicky eaters. The hair on a dog’s muzzle, eyes, and jaws… Read more »

If You Like It, Reward It

A simple fact of biology is that all organisms do more of what rewards them. If you received twenty dollars every time you smiled, you’d walk around grinning. If wearing a certain coat predictably unleashed a flurry of compliments on you, chances are that coat would spend very little time in your closet. Dogs are… Read more »

Did You Know: These Doggie Proverbs?

A dog with two tails (an overjoyed person) Every dog has his day (even the lowest among us gets a moment of glory) A dog’s chance (no chance at all) Three-dog night (a night so cold that two dogs in the bed is not enough) Hair of the dog (a supposed hangover cure: another drink… Read more »

Preventing Dog Theft

Don’t: Leave your dog alone in the yard. Don’t: Tie your dog outside a store. Do: Tag and microchip your dog. Keep his license up to date. Do: Make sure your dog has a bullet-proof recall. You can check out our Fun Foundation and Total Recall classes if you need help with this one! If… Read more »

Yorkshire Terrier

The terrier ancestry is clearly present in the bold, quick, occasionally aloof Yorkie. Ironically, given today’s often pampered, bejeweled dogs, the Yorkie hails from rugged Yorkshire in the North of England and was originally used as a ratter. Silky hair and teeny stature fool some into thinking the Yorkie is more toy than dog. This… Read more »

Allergies in Dogs

There are five types of canine allergies: Bacterial, contact, flea, inhalant, and food. The least common are bacterial and contact. Bacterial allergies result in skin disease and require antibiotic treatment. Contact allergies are reactions to substances in the dog’s environment, such as wool or cleaners, and often disappear when the irritant is removed. Flea allergies… Read more »

Military Dogs

Dogs around the world have followed warriors and soldiers into combat as far back as history records stretch. The Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Romans and many other early civilizations used dogs as sentries or on patrols. Some early armies even brought dogs into battle. Today’s active service dogs are highly skilled and valuable. Their primary jobs… Read more »

How Dogs Learn

Dogs learn in two ways: by association (emotional response) and by consequence (doing things). An example of associative learning is dogs’ reaction to the sight of a food bowl: fits of joy. They have learned that this bowl predicts mealtime. We can use dogs’ associations to teach them things. For instance, new puppies don’t care… Read more »

Bark! Bark! Bark!

Nonstop barking can drive even the saintly to desperation. Fortunately, there’s help to be had. The approach depends on the cause. Watchdog barking is triggered by visual or auditory stimulation—passersby, slamming car doors, a cat on the lawn. Watchdog barkers were sentries in a previous life. Boredom barking happens when a dog is left alone… Read more »

The Basset Hound

This sweet-looking, floppy-eared, low-to-the-ground hound boasts scenting abilities bested only by the Bloodhound. Known as a patient and affectionate family dog, the Basset hides her impressive talents behind a somewhat plodding pace and less-than-athletic exterior. But don’t be fooled. When well trained, the Basset can distinguish herself in Rally-O, tracking, field trialing, and pack hunting.… Read more »