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Cognitive Skills

Doggy Inside Jokes: The Unconventional Cues Our Dogs Learn

which means to stop his attempts to be noticed and petted.üTo teach her dog Trixie to enjoy coming back into the house (as an alternative to continuing to play outside), Valerie Balwanz initially used treats as a lure, and gave the behavior its own name: Inside

Training Your Dog to Learn

Operant conditioning and classical conditioning, though mostly applied to human psychology nowadays, are structures that were first developed in observing dog behavior. They are somewhat opposite methods of behavioral modification, however both are effective in training animals (and young children). They work simply to reverse bad habits and teach good ones. Read on to learn the difference, and get your dog obeying all your commands, every time.

The Dog’s Mind

Dr. Hare opened the Duke Canine Cognition Center (DCCC) in the fall of 2009. With his wife and co-author Vanessa Woods (a research scientist at DCCC, as well as an award-winning journalist and author of Bonobo Handshake), Hare wrote the book to provide a comprehensive review of what they’ve been studying at the DCCC – everything about dog cognition or, as they call it, “dognition.” Their goal was to bring historical and current information about canine cognition to the general public. In the not-too-distant past, if you heard the word “dog” and “mind” in the same sentence, someone was probably talking about obedience, as in: “My dog minds pretty well.” Or, “You’d better mind me, or else!” Today, if you hear those two words in relation to each other, you are at least as likely to be listening to someone talking about canine cognition – the fascinating possibility that dogs are far more able to process thoughts and grasp concepts than previously given credit for.

What Does The Dog Think?

Current research has demonstrated that many species, including our beloved canines, share brain circuitry very similar to the human part of the brain that controls emotion – the amygdala and the periaqueductal grey. While there's no doubt among most dog lovers that dogs have emotions, this concept is still being discussed in the halls of academia. Some insist that even though animals show emotional behaviors that we can observe, we can't assume the behaviors mean the animals who display them have emotional feelings. (I don't know how anyone can think this, but some scientists really do!) Others, such as the esteemed neurobiologist Dr. Jaak Panskepp of Washington State University, argue that if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck – it's probably a duck!

Teaching Your Dog to Read

Don't laugh. If Bonnie Bergin, EdD, has her way, dogs all over the world will soon be reading – maybe not books and articles, but individual words or sets of words strung together. Now president of the Bonnie Bergin Assistance Dog Institute, the world's only academic college that awards associate and master's degrees in dog studies, Dr. Bergin originated the service dog concept when she founded Canine Companions for Independence more than 30 years ago.

Teach Your Dog to Focus On Cue!

Teaching your dog to focus on you (on cue!) is a vitally useful skill – and not that difficult if you follow our step-by-step directions. If you’ve ever watched an obedience competition and marveled at the dogs who gaze intently at their handlers’ faces throughout the entire test, never once breaking eye contact, you know exactly what we’re talking about.

Latest Blog

Disaster Readiness – Yes, Again!

If you have been following the weather news, you might have guessed what this post was going to be about, am I...

Having hands would be helpful, but he does okay. (I think he deliberately drops his ball into places that will sometimes elicit my help...but I wasn’t helping, so he had to deal.) ...

"You're leaving us again, aren't you?" Spending long days at the emergency animal shelter, where pets displaced by local fire are being cared for by volunteers. It's hard on our own dogs, but at least they have homes. ...

One dog is enjoying our evacu-cation in a hotel more than the other.

Our neighborhood is under a mandatory evacuation due the the #bearfire, but we don't think our house is actually in danger currently. The fire went FAR, FAST, night before last, so they wanted folks out of the way. The wind has died down and the fire line is holding. In the meantime, like Woody, we will try to enjoy ourselves, until we can get back home.

My thoughts go to those who lost homes and animal friends. Best local relief org:
https://www.nvcf.org/donate
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#noon #nofilter #cafires #smoke ...

If I was half as brave as this pup, there isn't anything I couldn't do.

Dogs are the best, man. Surgery 24 hours ago and he is doing great. Thanks for the well wishes.
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Stuff that's wrecked. Surgery day tomorrow. Send us good juju! ...

I know, it's a *terrible* idea to let the 70 lb pit-mix play with the puppy with the broken leg... but for crying out loud!

Vet has ascertained that the puppy's left hock was broken weeks ago, and is beyond reasonable or certain repair. So the little guy is going to have it amputated soon. In the meantime, he is a puppy... and Woody is golden. Ah, my heart. This puppy is killing me!

Fortunately, he has an adopter lined up and ready to take him.
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Rip out your heart and hand it over. This tiny foster guy, found in a ditch and covered with fleas, has a badly broken rear leg, needs amputation. Working with a local rescue to get his surgery scheduled STAT. Hosting until he has surgery, recovers, and can find a perfect home. ...

He's a fishing dog, belongs to a fisherman. (He is actually fishing for crawdads, his dad says he catches as many as a dozen a day!) ...

When the forecast is over 105 for the next week... ...

Grandson watched an episode of Stranger Things with his older cousin and was too scared to go to sleep last night. We called in the sleep specialist for help. Woody is a champion snuggler...problem solved. ...

One dog worries about me more than the other. ...

JUST found out it's National Mutt Day! Celebrate your mutt! Woohoo! ...

You don't need to see his eyes to read their message: Come outside. Now. ...

Made it through the war, I mean the night. Thank dog for modern pharmaceuticals. ...

The lip *and* a dork ear. This guy just slays me with his cute. ...