One dogs contem....contemp....con-tem..pla-tions on daily life........oh, stop rolling your eyes already and give me break, I'm a dog, for Gods sakes...

Canine Telepathy: Can Your Dog Read Your Mind?

Can your dog read your mind?
That was the question posed in a recent study published in the journal Learning and Behavior about canine behavior. The answer, apparently, is both a little bit yes and also, a little bit no.
Researchers at the University of Florida set out to better understand the origins of exactly how it is that dogs respond to human gestures, focusing specifically on what the study's lead author, Monique Udell, called "attentional states."
To do that, they set up several different experiments. Dogs from both domesticated situations and shelters were given the choice to beg for food from a person with her face or eyes concealed, versus one whose attention was fixed on the dogs. The same experiments were also conducted with wolves -- the idea being that it would show whether or not they have some kind of genetic barrier that prevents them from responding to cues of attention in the same way dogs can, as previous studies have suggested.
What the researchers found is that both the dogs and the wolves were less likely to beg for food from the experimenters who had their backs to them, which indicates a "capacity to behave in accordance with a human's attentional state," the authors wrote. In other words, most of the canines and wolves displayed some kind of ability -- perhaps inherent -- to sense how people were acting, regardless of whether or not they grew up in contact with humans.
But the researchers also found that, generally speaking, the dogs raised as pets rather than in shelters were more likely to respond to cues when they had a human's attention. Which indicates that in the course of living with, and being cared for by humans, they'd learned to better understand their cues.
"What this shows is that it's not a question of nature versus nurture," explained Udell. "It's always going to be a combination to the two that informs a dog's responsiveness to humans."
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In other words, Fido does have some natural ability to sense when he's got your attention, but he hones that sense through a lifetime of experience, too.
Udell added that people could take this information and use it to help train the dog of their dreams.
"Dogs aren't born being man's best friend," she said. "The experiences they have and the type of environment they live in -- these influence their behavior. If you want a dog that's very responsive to humans, that does take work."

Canine lovers scheme Detroit's first dog park

In most major metropolitan areas, there are dog parks," says Kales Building sales manager Carly Mys. That's why she and 25 canine-loving residents are in the initial stages of plotting a playground for Detroit's doggie denizens.

Led by Detroiters Mys and Alison Woodburn, the Detroit Dog Park group hopes to build a secured outdoor community center where dogs and owners alike can socialize.

"It is in the initial steps, but we're really excited about it. Who doesn't like dogs?" Mys asks. "Let's have some fun!"

While the Detroit Dog Park team is looking in several different locations, Mys says they hope to build the dog park in the greater downtown district. They're hoping to secure enough land to build a larger park with benches and secured gating.

So far, interest has been red-hot. They received over 400 responses to a survey they created, and the group hopes to use the results to tailor the park to the community's needs.

What's the cost? While the price of the land can't be estimated yet, Mys says, "based on some of the research we've done, Canton recently opened one. They said that it cost 38 thousand dollars. I don't know what the cost will be yet, but we'll get there."

Researching dog parks in other cities, Mys says it can take up to three years to build a dog park. She and her team hope to work with the community and the city to speed up that process. "I know that the group of people we're working with is very passionate," she says. "And Detroiters rock, and dog owners, too. So we're moving forward."

Canines learn proper doggy etiquette though playtime

Can you identify between acceptable and unacceptable behavior among dogs? More importantly, can your dog tell the difference?
Although owners can housebreak, teach commands and communicate with their dogs, only another dog can teach certain canine behaviors. A good place to learn them is at the guided puppy social classes at Lucky Dog Academy in Plainfield.
Puppies 6 months and younger engage in 30 minutes of supervised play followed by another half hour of light training on the academy’s agility equipment. Both activities foster a well-rounded adult dog. Puppies can attend the social just once or multiple times.
“It’s great to introduce new sights and sounds to your puppy,” said trainer Carrie Rzewnicki. “It helps them build confidence so they can interact with strange objects and not be afraid of them. Your puppy will think, ‘I’ve encountered this in the past. I can handle it.’ ”
Play fighting
Learning proper socialization techniques is important for all puppies, even if yours is the only pet in the house. At some point, your dog will meet another dog, perhaps on a walk, at the dog park or while visiting friends and relatives. Unfortunately, the small window of time puppies have to learn those skills closes at 16 weeks.
“The way two dogs play together is different from the way humans play with dogs. We just can’t replicate that,” Rzewnicki said.
The first major difference is that young dogs tend to play with their mouths and bodies. Dogs like to play at fighting, which is perfectly normal, unless their ruff-housing (mouthing, growling and slamming into each other) descends into actual fighting.
“If they’re just opening and closing their mouths, that’s fine,” Rzewnicki said. “It’s also fine if they’re bashing into each other like football players. But if they’re biting down and not letting go, we separate them.”
Dogs also may not clamp down on another’s collar or neck. Other cues dogs pick up from other dogs is the bow that says, “I want to play,” and the unbarked rule that each dog gets a chance “on top.”
“It’s inappropriate for one dog to get on top of another and not let the other one move,” Rzewnicki said.
When to stop
Dogs that have tired of play may start yawning or sneezing, typical calming signals. But inexperienced puppies may not recognize those signals and continue their antics, initiating a doggy fight. Still other puppies may not know how to self-regulate their behavior to communicate “enough’s enough.”
“Just like kids, puppies might get too tired,” Rzewnicki said. “That’s when we step in and say, ‘OK, time for a break.’ ”
A few simple agility lessons follows playtime. Puppies can run through the tunnels and jump over the bars (set very, very low). If they later enroll in agility classes, they will learn how to move their back legs separately from their front legs and become more body aware. This develops both strength and confidence.
Best of all, puppies share these early socialization experiences with their owners, promoting bonding. “Your dog will listen better to you and you’ll enjoy each other more,” Rzewnicki said.

El Paso Dog Trainer And His Three Canines Help Dogs With Behavioral Issues

By Oralia Ortega - Main Anchor
Monday, June 20, 2011 - 5:35pm
It's not often you hear of business partners with four legs. But that's the case for an El Paso dog trainer. He has worked with hundreds of dogs with behavioral problems with the help of his canine companions.
Michael Larson has his entourage in tow ready to ruff it out through any canine conduct case. "I've worked with over 500 dogs over the past 11 years," said Larson.
Through his company, Canine Behavior Services, Larson has trained three of his own dogs to work alongside of him: London, a Doberman Pincher, Nut-Nut a pitbull mix and Jayne, an American Bulldog.
Each dog has specific skills to treat specific dog issues. "What I use London for is to teach other dogs how to be appropriate with each other," said Larson. "Nut-Nut loves to play so I use her with dogs that either don't know how to play or play too rough. Jayne works with either dogs that have big fear or big aggression problems. He's very calm. He's very accepting."
You may know one of Canine Behavior's clients: Ann Marie Giron. Her dog, Jo-Jo, a Pitbull Terrier, won Purina's "Rescue Dog of the Year" contest. "It's amazing how much I've learned from him, having had dogs my whole life," said Giron.
She says she took Jo-Jo to other trainers but didn't like their dominant approach. She likes Larson's calm but assertive method. "Never have I heard him raise his voice. Never has there been any type of physical correction or anything else," said Giron.
She says Larson can help any dog owner through any situation so I put his skills to the test with my dog, Seven. She's a hyper little Cairn Terrier, who's been through 12 obedience courses. One of several things that Seven will not do is come when I call her.
In a couple of minutes, Larson was able to do something that had not seemed possible over three years and a dozen behavioral lessons.
"Come here, come here. Good girl! Can you sit? What a good girl," said Larson after showing his technique for getting Seven to come.
"It's not the basic sit, stay, 15 minutes-a-day type of obedience training. It's understanding the nuances of the dog's body language and being aware of what's going on," said Giron.
Larson charges $70 per session. He comes to the location where your dog is having the behavior issue: whether it be at your home, at the dog park or any other location. Larson says some dogs may require as little as one lesson, while others may require several of them.
For more information, visit Canine Behavior Services website at

South Korea Dog Meat Festival Cancelled After Animal Rights Protests

Dog Meat Protest
First Posted: 6/28/11 06:12 PM ET Updated: 6/28/11 09:29 PM ET
Dog may be a staple ingredient in various Asian cuisines, but that wasn't enough to silence South Korean animal rights activists, whose repeated protests lead to the cancellation of a Seongnam festival focused on promoting canine meat's consumption.
As the AFP is reporting, the festival -- planned to “showcase canine food products, including barbecued dog, sausages and steamed paws” and to be held in a traditional open-air market -- quickly stirred fury from South Korean animal advocates and many Internet users, who conducted several online campaigns to force the event's cancellation. "This is making our country an international laughing stock, and making the whole world mistakenly believe that all South Koreans eat dogs," Park So-Youn, head of Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth, is quoted as saying.
The continued protests eventually led to a lack of appropriate space for the event. "We couldn't possibly go on with the plan due to endless phone calls of there are few willing to rent us a place for the event," Ann Yong-Geun, an adviser to Korea Dog Farmers' Association and a professor of nutrition at Chung Cheong University, told AFP.
Though the event has already garnered international headlines, just how popular dog meat truly is throughout South Korea remains a matter of debate. As the Wall Street Journal notes, dog meat soup, for example, "is not as popular as most news stories make it seem. A minority of people eat it regularly. It’s consumed most frequently in summer but is available year-round. And it’s more popular with men than women and is said to possess qualities that “help stamina.”
Of course, for those who do enjoy their dog meat, the South Korean event's cancellation seems unlikely to have lasting implications. As the Daily Mail reports, a similar, week-long festival kicked off without a hitch in China. "It is just like other meat," one local explained. "Smaller animals tend to be more delicate and sweeter while very big dogs have a strong, muscular taste."


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