Category: A World of Dogs

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 »

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 »

Dogs, Dogs Everywhere

Imagine a Bedouin hunting in the desert. The temperature is close to 120 degrees, too hot for horses to move beyond a plod. The desert hare, or dinner, is out of shooting range. Enter the Saluki. Light-boned and sharp-eyed, with the lung capacity of a cheetah. An expert hunter, specialized for this harsh environment, this… Read more »

On Breed Rescue

Breed rescue plays an important role in solving the problem of global dog overpopulation—an estimated 600 million dogs are strays. How does rescue work? When a purebred dog arrives at a shelter, a rescue coordinator or volunteer photographs the dog and notifies the appropriate rescue organization. Donated funds pay for the dog’s transport, foster stay,… Read more »

Bestselling Material

Aesop wrote his fables a very long time ago. In 1877 Black Beauty galloped onto the stage, and mid-twentieth century, John Steinbeck wrote about his poodle-accompanied road trip in Travels with Charlie. Stories about animals have always been around, but precious few transcend the fluffy-edged sphere of children’s literature. Not so anymore. Ten or twelve… Read more »

Animal Assisted Therapy

These days, the concept and merit of animal assisted therapy is well known and accepted, even if large-scale research studies on the emotional aspects of the topic are still relatively scarce. It’s hard to pinpoint when the therapeutic potential of animals was first recognized, but many credit Florence Nightingale, an influential figure in the development… Read more »