Showing posts from September, 2019

Dogs Who Attended Puppy Class are More Trainable

Going to puppy class has benefits for later dog behaviour, study shows.

By Zazie Todd, PhD.

Puppies have a sensitive period for socialization from 3 until about 12-14 weeks, during which it is especially important to have a wide range of positive experiences. Many people take their puppy to puppy class during this time, but some people wonder, “Is puppy class worth it?” A new study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour finds several advantages for dogs that attended puppy class when younger compared to those who didn’t.

The study, by Dr. Ángela González-Martínez (Santiago de Compostela University) et al., took place in Spain and compared dogs who had completed puppy class one year earlier to those of the same age who had not taken a puppy class. The dogs were assessed using a questionnaire called the C-BARQ which was completed by their owner.

The results showed that dogs who attended puppy class were more highly rated as trainable, and were less likely to have non-social fe…

Scent and Scent-ability

The benefits of nose work for ‘naughty’ and ‘reactive’ dogs
Guest post by Luisa Dormer and Sienna Taylor.

For many people, taking their dog to training classes is an enjoyable experience that helps to make the bond between them even stronger. For a number of dog owners, however, the thought of taking part in such activities can fill them with dread due to their dog’s ‘naughty’ behaviour. Examples of behaviours that are considered problematic include being destructive, hyperactive, straying and showing aggression towards other dogs (Wells and Hepper, 2000).

Dogs that are considered hyperactive, or have a tendency to stray or run off on walks, may have strong hunt, play and prey drives. Hunt and prey drives can be defined as the dog’s innate desire to pursue, capture and kill prey, whereas a play drive is the innate desire of a dog to want to play. Dogs that display behaviour such as barking, growling, snapping, biting and lunging when they see other dogs can be referred to as ‘reactive’…

Companion Animal Psychology Book Club September 2019

" a treat for dog lovers, but also essential reading for anyone interested in our relationship with nature, and what that says about us.” - Ed Yong.

This month's choice for the Animal Book Club is Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story of a Singular Bond by Alexandra Horowitz.

From the book description,
"From Alexandra Horowitz, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Inside of a Dog, an eye-opening, informative, and wholly entertaining examination and celebration of the human-canine relationship for the curious dog owner and science-lover alike.  We keep dogs and are kept by them. We love dogs and (we assume) we are loved by them. We buy them sweaters, toys, shoes; we are concerned with their social lives, their food, and their health. The story of humans and dogs is thousands of years old but is far from understood. In Our Dogs, Ourselves, Alexandra Horowitz explores all aspects of this unique and complex interspecies pairing.  As Horowitz considers the current culture of dogd…