Survey Shows Changes as Dogs Age (and How You Can Help Your Dog)

A study of dogs across the adult lifespan has important lessons for owners of dogs of any age. They range from tooth-brushing, training, and helping dogs cope with traumatic events.Photo: Bad Monkey PhotographyAs dogs get older, they undergo changes similar to those that happen to humans as they age. This means dogs may be a good model for human aging, but also that those of us with older dogs could use more information about how…

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Companion Animal Psychology News September 2018

Newborn kittens, a puppy searching for owls, and clever raccoons - the latest news from Companion Animal Psychology.Some of my favourites from around the web this month “in a last-ditch conservation effort, a crack team of Canberra researchers plan to harness Zorro's superior canine nose to help find and monitor Tasmania's masked owl.” Scientists want to train this puppy to save endangered owls.Meanwhile, sniffing out error in detection dog data looks at the issues that can…

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Shock collars, Regulation, and Education on the Alternatives

Shock collars should be banned, according to a survey of the use of electronic collars to train dogs in France.Photo: SebiTian/ShutterstockRecently, I reported on a study by veterinary behaviourists in Europe that concluded by calling for a ban on all three types of electronic collar across Europe (remote-controlled, boundary, and bark-activated collars). Another paper by Dr. Sylvia Masson et al, published in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour, investigates the use of shock collars in France, and…

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Can an "Ease of Care" Labeling Scheme Help Exotic Pets?

Could a standardized grading scheme that rates pets from “easy” to “extreme” improve the welfare of exotic pets?A leopard gecko. Photo: Gaschwald / ShutterstockExotic pets face many welfare issues, according to a new paper in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior by Clifford Warwick et al. The paper suggests a standardized scheme for rating the difficulty of caring for exotic pets that it is hoped will make people think twice about keeping pets with hard-to-meet environmental needs.What…

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Companion Animal Psychology Book Club September 2018

"The controversial story of one infamous breed of dog."The Companion Animal Psychology Book Club choice for September 2018 is Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon by Bronwen Dickey.From the back cover,"When Bronwen Dickey brought her new dog home, she saw no traces of the infamous viciousness in her affectionate pit bull. Which made her wonder: How had the breed—beloved by Teddy Roosevelt and Helen Keller—come to be known as a brutal fighter? Dickey’s…

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Summer Reading

Books about animals and some fiction too – the books on my to-read list this summer.Photo: geertweggen / ShutterstockIt’s a tradition here at Companion Animal Psychology to publish a summer reading list. Typically the list includes links to some favourite articles by other bloggers, as with last year’s list concentrating on sound advice on dogs and cats or 2015’s play edition.But now each month’s newsletter highlights favourite posts (see August's newsletter here), I decided to…

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Companion Animal Psychology News August 2018

A cat's purr, heart dogs, and the 'real' age of pets - don't miss out with Companion Animal Psychology News.Some of my favourites from around the web this monthAre dogs really our best friends? Marc Bekoff on the consequences of misrepresentations of dogs.“Heart dog. Say those two words to any dog lover and their eyes will go soft.” Debby McMullen on what the phrase ‘heart dog’ means to her at Victoria Stilwell’s site.Small dogs aim…

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Eight Tips to Help Fearful Dogs Feel Safe

The most important things to know if you have a fearful dog.Photo: Ramon Espelt Photography / Shutterstock1. Recognize that the dog is fearfulThe first step is, of course, to recognize the dog is fearful in the first place.If you know that already, well done for recognizing the signs. Hopefully you will find the following tips helpful.If you aren’t sure, you might like to read how can I tell if my dog is afraid? If the…

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Interview with Jane Sigsworth

Jane Sigsworth on the things people find hard when they have a fearful dog, and the beauty of a safe space for dogs to be off-leash.Recently I wrote about desensitization and counter-conditioning in dog training, an important technique to help fearful dogs. As a talented dog trainer who helps clients with fearful and aggressive dogs, Jane Sigsworth uses this technique often. I spoke to her to learn about some of her case studies – and…

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Companion Animal Psychology Book Club August 2018

"It not only brilliantly opens up the world of dog behavior, but also helps us understand how we can make our dogs’ lives the best they can possibly be."The Companion Animal Psychology Book Club has chosen Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do by Marc Bekoff as the book for  August.From the cover,"For all the love and attention we give dogs,  much of what they do remains mysterious. Just think about different behaviors you…

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