Blog Profile / The Other End of the Leash

Filed Under:Pets & Animals / Dogs
Posts on Regator:294
Posts / Week:0.9
Archived Since:July 25, 2009

Blog Post Archive

“Self-Control Depletion” & Dogs

This post could be sub-titled “No, a tired dog is not always a good dog,” or alternatively, “Why We Choose Pasta with Cream Sauce Over Vegetable Soup on a Difficult Day.” Okay, maybe it’s just me that makes poor decisions about lunch when I’m exhausted, but this research suggests that I, along my dogs, are [...]

How Do You Play with Your Dog?

Surely our mutual love of play is one of the reasons that dogs and people get along so well. As Karen London and I write in Play Together, Stay Together, “Play is powerful stuff. It influences so many things, including development, motivation, emotions, physiology, communication and behavior. Wow! That’s an impressive list.” After years working [...]

Pukka’s Promise: Book Review

One of the best things about being an author is being sent pre-publication copies of books. It’s great fun to see what’s going to be out on the bookshelves and eReaders in a couple of months. (Of course, one of the worst things about being an author is being sent pre-pub copies of books. They [...]

Dogs & Wolves: Diet and Sociability

We all know that dogs are wolves in one sense (can reproduce and their young are reproductively viable) and, as importantly, that dogs aren’t wolves at all. Just try to teach a wolf “leave it” if you happen upon a dead rabbit. Here are two new studies that shed light on the social systems of [...]

The Black Dog Syndrome – Fact or Fiction?

We all know about the “Black Dog Syndrome,” the belief that all black dogs are harder to place from shelters and rescues than dogs of other colorations. I’ll admit that when I first heard about it I didn’t question whether it was true. For one thing, when I bred Border Collie puppies I saw a [...]

Safe Off Leash?

Last weekend Jim, Willie, Tootsie and I stayed in a lovely log cabin owned by friends in the woods in eastern Wisconsin. I mention that because for the first time in her nine years of life, Tootsie got to run off leash in an unfenced area off the farm. Wooo Hooo! Some people might not [...]

New Research on Dogs and Music

I recently read an interesting study about the effect of different types of music on kenneled dogs. (“Behavioral effect of auditory stimulation on kenneled dogs,” by Kogan, Schoenfeld-Tacher & Simon, J of Veterinary Behavior 7, 2012, 268-275.) The authors’ goal was to determine if different types of music, as has been reported in other species, [...]

Happy New Year and Happy Pictures!

Trisha is feeling a little under the weather this week, but didn’t want to leave you without a few cheery pictures. Here is Willie playing a good game of chase with Lily, Katie’s Dogo Argentino, in the upper pasture this week. From all of us at McConnell Publishing, have a happy, healthy, and safe New [...]

Thank You and Happy Holidays!

I had planned to post a different article (about new research on the effect of different types of music on kenneled dogs) but want to interview one more expert before I finish it. It’s a fascinating issue overall–how the acoustic environment effects dogs (and us too), and one that deserves an in-depth inquiry. And so, [...]

Play Bows as Meta-Communication

We all know the signs of imminent danger between two dogs right? Immobile stiff bodies, direct eye contact, round eyes. Except when dogs are playing and then the exact same postures and expressions are nothing but pauses between frolics. That is a perfect example of what’s called meta-communication, or communication about communication. Here’s a video [...]

What’s In Your Library?

Now that winter is here, it seems like a good time to talk about some good books and DVDs to keep us busy during those long, dark evenings. Here are a few books and DVDs that I’ve enjoyed, some dog related, some not. AWAY TO ME DVD: First, check out the trailer for a new [...]

Observations and Interpretations – Video Analysis

I hope you got a chance to watch the video I posted last week from trainer Aki Yamaguchi (thanks so much!). I greatly enjoyed reading the comments; some of you did a fantastic job providing detailed descriptions of the behavior of all three dogs. My goal in posting the video (beyond the fact that it [...]

Video Analysis – The Obnoxious Pup

Here is a fantastic video for our analysis, provided by dog trainer and blogger, Aki Yamaguchi, or “BCNerd” (love the name!). In it you’ll see three dogs, one an adolescent with the typical over enthusiasm for his age. There’s lots I can’t wait to say about what is going on here, but I’m going to [...]

The Texas Two-Step

What a great time we’ve had the last two nights: I had the pleasure of doing a fund raiser for the Austin Humane Society in Austin Tuesday night, and for the Animal Defense League in San Antonio last night. Both nights had fantastic turn outs and raised lots of money for good causes. By the [...]

Autonomy II: Do Ask, Do Tell

Last week I posted a blog about giving our dogs more autonomy, and asked for comments about ideas on how to do so outside of working dogs on sheep. Many of the comments sent in response to that post are extremely helpful, and I encourage you to read through them. However, I know that time [...]

Autonomy & Domestic Dogs

How much autonomy does your dog have?  Willie’s work with sheep is  what motivates me to ask this question. As I mentioned earlier, Willie and I attended a sheepdog clinic 2 weeks ago with Patrick Shannahan, and the big take away for us was that, too often, Willie looks to me to tell him what [...]

International Shipping!

Yippee! After months of hard work (no kidding), Katie finally convinced our website that it could handle shipping to North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. We partnered it with a big discount on packages of books and/or DVDs for folks who would like to begin a “library.” We’ve had lots of inquiries from folks in [...]

Can Dogs Tell Stories: The Answer

Recently I asked the question, “Can Dogs Tell Stories?” I didn’t mean stories in the sense of fictions we tell children to help them go to sleep at night, or novels about sexy spies, but stories as internal narratives that describe the “who, what and where” of an event in the past. In other words, [...]

Favorite “Non-Traditional Cues,” Part II

Wow. You all are amazing. So far there have been 165 answers to the question posed two weeks ago, “What’s Your Favorite Non-Traditional Cue?” I’ve read through every one of them with great interest (and often amusement). My plan was to go through all the comments, list every cue mentioned with it definition  (some people [...]

Can Dogs Tell Stories? The Question

I’m working on a section of my new book right now about stories; about how stories are integral to the way we humans make sense of the world. Story telling is so important to people that to some, the ability to tell them defines us as a species. One writer asked “Who would we be [...]

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