Blog Profile / The Other End of the Leash

Filed Under:Pets & Animals / Dogs
Posts on Regator:417
Posts / Week:1.4
Archived Since:July 25, 2009

Blog Post Archive

fMRI on Dogs: Too Wonderful!

When I was doing my PhD research in the 1980?s I wanted to see how a dog’s brain responded to different types of sounds before and after training. This was in the 1980?s, and the only method available for animals was to do Evoked Potential tests, in which simple, tiny electrical sensors were glued to [...]

Are Military Dogs “Equipment” or “Members”?

Here’s a political issue I’m happy to discuss on the blog: The classification and treatment of dogs in the American Military. Dog lovers may or may not support the use of dogs in the military, but I can’t imagine anyone not in support of working dogs being treated well after their service is over. We, [...]

Preventing Dog Bites

A million years ago, my first Border Collie Drift lept up and nipped a man’s nose at the Wisconsin State Fair. Even though the man was clearly not injured, with virtually not even a red spot on his nose, I was shook up and appalled. He was furious. “Your dog attacked me!” Well, he did. [...]

Rabbits are like Dogs, but Not

So much to learn, so little time! I recently did a guest appearance on Wisconsin Public Radio and didn’t do a very good job answering a question about a rabbit who pottied on the couch instead of its litter box. Thanks to an alert listener and member of the Wisconsin House Rabbit Society, I’ve learned [...]

Lure & Clicker Training to teach Sit – Advantages & Disadvantages

It makes me so happy to say that Tootsie is doing great. Right now she’s sleeping in her crate beside my desk. The door is open, but she loves it there. The only places she likes as well are 1) being in bed with me, 2) being on the couch or 3) being by herself [...]

My Turn to Ask Advice (Website related)

We’re working on a new website, and anyone who has been there knows that it’s like building a house: the number of decisions needing to be made becomes ridiculous after awhile. That’s the bad news, but here’s the good news: I have the luxury of your feedback to help us make one of the decisions. [...]


Balance is a term used by sheep dog handlers, but I find myself thinking of its value in so many other contexts related to dogs. In sheep herding, “balance” refers to a dog’s ability to place itself exactly where he or she needs to be to take control of the sheep without frightening them. It [...]

Why I farm

Last  Saturday my teenage ewe, Butterfinger, had her first lamb. I found her in the barn pen, licking off a slippery package of skin-covered bones covered with tiny whorls of wool and placental slime. Even though she was a first-time mom, she was a good one. She attended to her lamb just as she should, [...]

New DVD on Animal Assisted Therapy!

We just released a DVD of the seminar I did in Naples, Florida on Animal Assisted Therapy and Activities, “Lending a Helping Paw.” I’m excited about it, because it gives me the opportunity to help individuals and organizations who want to help others. It is an example of an activity we can do with our [...]

Don’t waste calories!

Well, this could be a blog about my as-yet-to-be-successful attempts to lose 10 pounds, but more on point, it’s a discussion about the value of a dog’s dinner in training and behavior modification. I am inspired to write this after seeing Kathy Sdao’s seminar last January in Orlando, and reading her new book, Plenty in [...]

Repeating Cues: Information or Affect?

A blog reader asked a great question recently, in response to my comment that I couldn’t help myself and repeated “Stay, Stay, Stay” to Willie when in a dangerous situation at the side of a busy highway. We all know that repeated cues, like the ever popular “Sit, Sit, Sit” are not exactly “best practice” [...]

Tom Turkey (& Okay, a Sale)

So Katie Martz, Client Services Coordinator at McC Publishing, came into my office this afternoon and said: “You’re going to hate me for asking, but would you mention the sale on your blog?” She knows that 1) I’d rather not mention business-related things on my blog and 2) that people really do appreciate hearing about [...]

Who’s Doing Research on Canine Cognition?

Julie Hecht, who holds a Masters in Applied Animal Behavior and Animal Welfare from the University of Edinburgh, gave a great talk at IFAAB this year that included a summary of the labs around the world that are studying canine cognition. Since I so often get inquiries about graduate level education in all things dogs, [...]

Size Matters

Here’s an interesting study that came out in 2010 comparing the perceptions, behavior and training of larger versus smaller dogs (“Behavior of smaller and larger dogs:  Effects of training methods, inconsistency of owner behavior and level of engagement in activities with dogs.” Arhant et. al. Appl An Beh Sci 123 (2010), 131-142.) There’s a lot [...]

Clever Hans Revisited

You probably know the story of Clever Hans, the horse owned by a math teacher named von Osten who decided to teach his horse to do math in the same way that he did his pupils. After extensive training, Clever Hans appeared able to solve relatively advanced mathematical problems, including multiplication and long division. Clever [...]

Best. News. Ever.

Today, it’s all about the farm. I had a blog written about the effect of acoustic environments on us and our dogs, some new products available for us to use to calm our dogs, and some new results of “calming” music that Katie and I have seen with our dogs. And then I erased it [...]

You’ve Got a Friend?

If you’ve been following last week’s blog and the comments, you know that there’s been an active discussion about “whether dogs can (or can’t) form “true” friendships. This was motivated by an article in Time Magazine by Carl Zimmer that discussed the evidence of friendship in several species of mammals, including dolphins, baboons and horses. [...]

Do Dogs Form “Real” Friendships?

I had an entirely different blog written and about to be posted, but there’s a swirl of discussion going on right now about an article that came out in Time Magazine by Carl Zimmer about “friendships” in animals. He has lots of good information from researchers who argue that true friendships are formed in many [...]

Is Silence Golden?

As many of you know, I did a seminar on new research on canine behavior in Madison last October. (Oh, and by the way, have I mentioned it is now available as a DVD — hot off the press? Tee Hee, we’re pretty excited about it!)  It was a great experience for me, because like [...]

Missing the Sense, Scent of the Missing

Part of the fun of preparing for the seminar I did in Orlando was working on the canine olfaction section. The overall topic of the day was Canine Communication (often compared to primates like us), and most discussions in this vein emphasize visual communication. That’s all well and good, I’m a visual signal groupie from [...]

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