Books, Books, Books

Well, I had wanted to write about a book one of you asked about: The Wolf in the Parlor, but life seems to have its own schedule and I have only just started it. It is one of the gazillion books I am sent by publishers to review and I have to admit I have a hard time keeping up. (But I'd miss them if they didn't come! It's one of those high quality problems.) The book is by Pulitzer prize winning science writer Jon Franklin and has received rave reviews from the kind of places that authors dream of (Publisher's Weekly, Booklist etc.) As I said, I've just started it, but I can tell you that the book's main thesis is that people and dogs, around 12,000 years ago, linked their evolutionary paths together and evolved socially and physically to take on supportive roles. He argues, according to Read More

Using Play to Treat Aggression

The last great talk in the Play Symposium at APDT was a wonderful presentation by Karen B. London. She begin with the belief that play is under-utilized as a reinforcement and tool to treat aggression-related problems in dogs. Several types of behavioral problems were listed as being amendable to using play, including over-arousal, frustration-related aggression, the fear of strangers and reactivity to other dogs. Dr. London reminded us that play is so useful because it 1) is a high energy exercise that can motivate dogs and channel their energy in positive ways, 2) play is a skill if you think about it, and it can be used to teach incompatible behavior (go get your ball instead of barking at the stranger) and also can be used to help dogs learn emotional control, 3) an increased amount Read More