New Seminar in August, Chicago, Illinois

Oh boy, what fun. As many of you know, I'm not doing many more full day seminars anymore, but I couldn't resist pairing up with the Steve White for a two-day seminar outside of Chicago, Illinois on August 10th and 11th of this year. Thanks to a Facebook reader who jumped in with dozens of others with ideas for a title, we are calling the seminar Sense(s) and Sensibility. Thank you Mairi and kisses to your lovely dog, Layla! On Saturday, I'll be doing an updated and expanded version of  "Lost in Translation," or How Dogs use Sight, Sound, Smell and Touch to Communicate. As usual, I'll take a comparative approach, looking at the way our sensory systems (notice the focus on vision?!) affect the behavior of the animals at both ends of the leash. The day will be full of slides, videos and Read More

Blog Redesign and Open Mike

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First off, some good news. Many more people from all over the world have joined us in the past few months, the traffic to The Other End of the Leash blog has increased rapidly in the past six months. (Hello Serbia, United Arab Republic, Boliva, Nepal...!) What a joy it is to have this international conversation with dog lovers from so many different perspectives. However, our increased traffic was causing some website problems; as a friend says, a "high quality problem" indeed. Along with fixing website glitches, we are taking this as an opportunity to renew and refresh, and so we have made some design changes to the blog. When you go to the home page you will automatically be on the page of the most current blog post. Comments will be visible directly below, and previous posts are Read More

“Self-Control Depletion” & Dogs

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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 not alone. A study by Miller et. al. followed up on earlier work about the effect of self-control on risk taking and decision making. ("Too dog tired to avoid danger: Self-control depletion in canines increases behavioral approach toward an aggressive threat." Psych Bull Rev 2012 19:535-540.) Here's the background to this study: Multiple studies on humans have found that we appear to have a limited amount of self-control (A shock to us all, no doubt). It is as though we have a bank Read More

How Do You Play with Your Dog?

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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 as Applied Behaviorists, it was clear to Karen and I that play has the power to strengthen one's relationship with a dog, or alternatively, to destroy it. You can use play to teach self control and good manners, or to inadvertently teach a lack of frustration tolerance and a lot of rude behavior that ends up getting a dog into trouble. You can use play to allow a dog to release tension, to learn a behavior incompatible with a problematic one, or Read More

Pukka’s Promise: Book Review

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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 pile up. They sit on your desk looking at you, begging in some passive, rectangular way for endorsements.) Most of the books are somewhat interesting, a few of them are downright, uh, horrible.  And every once in a while a truly great one comes along, that sucks you in and causes you to change your schedule and read, read, read until the last page is turned and the book closes and you are mad at yourself for staying up so damn late. That describes Ted Kerasote's new book, Pukka's Promise: The Read More