Showing posts from May, 2016

Invitation to the Train for Rewards Blog Party

Join the blog party to celebrate rewards-based training of our dogs and other companion animals. #Train4Rewards Planning for the Train for Rewards Blog Party By Zazie Todd, PhD Are you a blogger? Do you support rewards-based training for dogs and other animals? Would you like to take part in the #Train4Rewards blog party? You are invited to write a blog post about rewards-based training of dogs or other companion animals, post it on your own blog on the set date, then come and share a link to it here. Bloggers from anywhere in the world are invited to take part. Read on to find out more. On Wednesday, 15th June: 1. Publish a post on your blog in support of the #Train4Rewards blog party. It can be words, photos, video, a podcast, or a combination, and relate to any kind of companion animal.  I’ve put some suggestions below to get you started. Double-check your post to make sure the tone is friendly and supportive to people who might not know anything about positive r

Dog Attacks on Guide Dogs: The Personal and Financial Cost

A new report finds there are 11 dog attacks on guide dogs every month in the UK, on average. The lifetime cost of a guide dog for the blind is approximately US$75,000 By Zazie Todd, PhD Guide dogs provide essential assistance to people who are blind or partially sighted. When other dogs attack guide dogs, the consequences can be severe. The charity Guide Dogs has been keeping records of these attacks, and a new paper by Rachel Moxon (of Guide Dogs) et al details the problems faced over a 56 month period from 2010 to 2015. During this time, there were 629 attacks. 68% of the victims were qualified Guide Dogs (almost three-quarters of which were in harness at the time of the attack). 20% were dogs in puppy walk (aged up to 1.5 years), 8% were dogs in training, and the remainder were retired, breeding dogs, or buddy dogs. “Within the current study, 20 dogs were withdrawn from the Guide Dogs programme as a direct result of a dog attack,” write the authors, “20% of qualified g

Behaviour Problems in Puppies from Pet Stores

Dogs originally bought from pet stores are more likely to be aggressive to their owner compared to those from responsible breeders, even after owner-related factors are taken into account. Photo: Anucha Pongpatimeth (Shutterstock) By Zazie Todd, PhD Research by Frank McMillan et al (2013) found that dogs obtained as puppies from pet stores are more likely to have a whole range of behaviour problems than those from responsible breeders, including 3x more likely to be aggressive towards their owner. Pet store puppies come from commercial breeding establishments, otherwise known as puppy mills, which are run for profit and not animal welfare. Since well-informed people are less likely to go to pet stores, one potential confound is that the owners of pet store puppies may know less about how to raise a dog. A new study by Federica Pirrone et al (2016) takes owner factors into consideration too. The results show 21% of the dogs that were obtained as puppies from pet stores wer