Beetle Bailey is an old school comic strip and it shows! This strip may illicit a cynical laugh, but we know better. It’s humor is predicated on outdated notions about dog intelligence. “Dumb dog” is an uninformed invective. As pointed out in this blog, in The Heart of Your Dog, and elsewhere, dogs are surprisingly intelligent and perceptive animals. Now,… read more →
It’s important to remember how closely related the family dog is to it’s wolf roots. Genetically speaking dogs are much more closely related to wolves than we are to chimps and gorillas. We adopt dogs and treat them as people. Yet, your dog’s inner wolf will not be denied. Dogs and wolves are territorial and need to explore their environment,… read more →
This video explains how brain scans were used to understand how dogs react to voice sounds, compared to humans. It is a good insight to how our dogs are tuned in to us.
You’ll have greater success reaching the heart of your dog, if you always use positive emotions in your voice. Brain scan studies in Golden Retrievers and Border Collies have shown remarkable similarities in the way humans and dogs responses to vocalizations. Attila Andics, a researcher in the MTA-ELTE Comparative Ethology Research Group in Budapest reported this in the journal Current… read more →
The events at the Cincinnati Zoo made me realize that it is cruel to keep gorillas in captivity. My response is in this YouTube video. If you agree, please share and spread the word.
Snoopy and Lassie tell us a lot about the dramatic changes in the status of the family dog that began in the mid-twentieth century. Snoopy has his famous dog house. He lives outside. He is fed outside. This is consistent with the life of most family dogs up to the time that Charles Schulz began drawing his Peanuts strip. Dogs… read more →
“Smartest Dog in the World” is quite a claim. Chaser seems to back it up though. In case you missed his appearance on CBS’s 60 Minutes you can view it here http://www.cbs.com/shows/60_minutes/video/cucSLY74AU2N8tLukKHWqFnN1JluvEjw/the-smartest-dog-in-the-world/ Psychology professor, John Pilley, Chaser’s companion, proves the natural communication ability of dogs. Chaser understands over 1,000 toy names. Pilley has been working with Chaser up to 5… read more →
There are heated arguments on both sides of this issue. A 2008 article in the journal Genetics sheds some light on the question. Investigators studied 148 breeds, looking for markers that might control behavioral stereotypes: herding, pointing, excitability, boldness, and trainability. Using dogs showing extreme examples of these characteristics they were able to tentatively identify the associated genes. More significant… read more →