How Do You Play with Your Dog?

fence posts snow 2-2013

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

Expectations: Adults versus Puppies

leaping lamb

Karen London and I are working on our edits to the new booklet on adopting adolescent and older dogs, and something hit me as I was writing that I thought was worth talking about. After considering my own experiences bringing "non-puppies" into my home, talking with folks in rescues and shelters, and working with clients for so many years, it strikes me that one of the biggest problems people have when they adopt an "older" dog (not old, but not puppy either) relate to unrealistic expectations. I don't mean that in the usual sense, say, for example, expecting a dog to behave perfectly on day one, but more in the sense that we have certain expectations of adults that we don't have with puppies. Take house training, for example. Everyone expects puppies to have "accidents" in the house Read More

A Great Laugh: Dogs Finding Nirvana

explodo barbie

My posts will be a bit shorter and perhaps less frequent in the next few weeks, but I couldn't resist passing on a blog post from Bark Magazine that gave me the best laugh of the week. It's about a reported (so yes, this is a story about a story about a story) who read that a dog sold in China for 1.5 millions dollars and reminded us that the dog, a Tibetan Mastiff, is believed to be the reincarnation of a Tibetan monk. I suspect I laughed especially loudly because, like many, I can get truly silly when I'm tired and 2) I go on and off the meditation wagon like a five-week old puppy in and out of a whelping pen (I'm currently back on it, but someone better tie me up to keep me there). The Bark blog was written by my colleague (and co-author); here it is: Karen London's Bark Read More

And the Winner Is!

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As many of you know, we asked for photographs of dogs to grace the cover of our new booklet on welcoming an adopted dog into your home. Karen London and I are working hard on the text right now (too short?! no, too long!? rinse and repeat . . . ) but I can tell you that the official title is Love Has No Age Limit and after looking at over 700 photographs (wow!) we have settled on the photograph you see below. So here he is: A dog named Theo, who like many of the dogs whose photos were submitted, came with an amazing story. He was found running loose along a highway in New Jersey, and sat in a shelter for 3 months before Kimberly Wang of Eardog Productions in New York found his picture on Petfinder. Kimberly spent three hours with him at the shelter, and was entranced by his eagerness to Read More

Your Dog on A Book Cover?

wille close up

As many of you know, Karen London and I are writing a booklet for people who have adopted an adolescent or adult dog. We're hoping it will be useful not just for individuals, but also for shelters and rescue groups, and ultimately for the dogs themselves. Right now our first draft is out to readers, looking for feedback about how to make it as good as it can be, and we're working on the cover. That's where you come in. We've been looking at commercial photographs, trying to find just the right one, and so far nothing has struck us as THE picture. And then I thought of you  . . .I know that many of the blog's readers have dogs they've adopted as adolescents or adults, and how cool would it be if we could put one of YOUR dogs on the cover? So here's the deal: If you think you have a Read More