Dogs and People Both Achieve the Runner’s High

We're happy to introduce Karen London, Ph.D. as a guest blogger for The Other End of the Leash this week!  Enjoy! If people go running by your home accompanied by their cats, geckos, ferrets, parrots, or rats, then you live in a very different neighborhood, perhaps even a different world, than I do. It’s just not part of our relationship with those species, however close we may be to them. Yet running is something that many of us share with our dogs, to the point that it’s almost cliché for people to swear that their dog is the best running partner they’ve ever had. There are so many reasons why people choose to run with their dogs beyond just knowing that their dogs need the exercise. Unlike most human running partners, dogs don’t ever have meetings that go late. They wouldn’t Read More

Feisty Fido, Second Edition

At the risk of being self-serving, I wanted to let you know that the Second Edition of Feisty Fido is now available. Little did Karen London and I know, when we took a look at the first version before reprinting it, how much time we'd end up spending revising it. True confession: when a few months ago I re-read the first version, written in 2001, I thought, "Oh my, it is truly time to revise this!." (Karen had the same response that I did, and, as usual, we were "on the same page" about it, so to speak.) I do think that the booklet has helped a lot of people and a lot of dogs, and that makes me happy, but I am even happier to have an updated, revised, updated and lovingly, tweaked new version available. For those of you who know the book, here are the primary differences: 1) There is a Read More

Fear in Dogs and In-Utero Experience

I'm working on a column for Bark right now about the ontogeny of fear in dogs. The editors, Claudia and Cameron (the editors of Bark), adopted two sisters from a rescue organization down south. The girls are litter mates who might be BC/terrier X beagle crosses. Both came under socialized and shy, but one (Kit) has rapidly come out of her shell, while the other (Holly) is still profoundly fearful of any kind of novel event. Leaving the house is a trauma for her, as is the appearance of any object that she's not expecting. (Claudia's purse fell off a chair and Holly refused to go anywhere near it, even though it blocked her access to her favorite area of the house. Meanwhile, Kit jumped over it and continued on her way.) Claudia's question to me, and the motivation for the column, is "What Read More

You can teach an old dog new tricks, The Diane Rehm Show

Here's a question for you, based on a column I'm writing for The Bark magazine. The editors asked if I'd write a column about "training old dogs." (The column on training male versus female dogs will be in the next issue... stay tuned!). The question: how does your training vary (or does it?) once your dog becomes geriatric? I've started the column already: "Lassie doesn't sit anymore, at least, not when asked." I'm basing this introduction on the fact that about six months ago, my 15 year old Lassie looked at me blankly when I asked her to sit. She's going deaf, so I thought perhaps she didn't hear me. I gave her our usual visual signal. Nothing. Then I lured her down with a piece of food. She looked up at my eyes and stared at me. And rather than trying any longer, I thought: "Oh, I Read More

Are Males and Females different to train?

This is an honest question! I'm truly curious what you think.  The editor of the Bark Magazine asked me to write my next column on whether male and female dogs need to be trained differently, and whether they perform differently. I have some thoughts about it, but I am primarily interested in what YOU think! I'd especially love to hear from trainers or people who have had a good number of dogs, so that they have seen a good 'sample size' to use to compare the sexes. I must say, I take this on with trepidation! Would it be less potentially controversial to talk about the Iraq war or the recent election?! I'll tell you what my experience has been (and what I've heard others say so far) after I've gotten a good number of comments... The face of Mike, shown below, is suggesting he'd love to Read More