My Havanese puppy loves to nip my heals and the backs of my legs. When I stand like a tree, he pulls my jeans or nips my legs and then stops. He also likes to nip my hands and arms. I am trying to teach him to kiss me instead of nip me but that is not working so well either.
When the Obamas announced in November that they would be getting a puppy for Sasha and Malia the whole world breathed a collective “aww” and envisioned the presidential kids carrying the young pup around like a doll. Well, the Obamas have officially announced the big reveal. Their new four-legged family member is a male Portuguese Water dog named Bo. Bo is 6 months old rather than being under 16 weeks. He’s already too big to be carried around by Sasha and Malia, but he’s just the right size to be cuddled by everyone in the family.
Easter is typically a time when families come together and participate in numerous traditions. For some this means going to church. For others the focal point is the Easter egg hunt and Easter baskets. But for one little dog representing a not-so-unusual case, it involved some Cadbury chocolates and a veterinary visit.
Scenes from a Saturday morning cartoon? A twisted scheme of some sort? Neither of the above. It’s the assigned mission at the August 2000 Advanced Operant Conditioning Workshop (a.k.a. chicken training camp), taught by Bob Bailey and psychologist Marian Breland-Bailey. Nine animal trainers from the U.S. and Canada, including myself, are here to meet the challenge. We have five days. Sounds like a joke, but it’s serious business. We’re here not just to train chickens. We’re here to learn the intricacies of a universal mechanism of learning called operant conditioning.
Patricia McConnell has once again presented us with a book that is not only informative but heartwarming as well. Dr. McConnell uses sound research on the subject of neuroscience and emotions to help us better understand emotions in our dogs, and she does it in a way that can be easily understood by anyone interested in this subject.
“The client, an elderly couple, had a 6-year-old male, neutered Rhodesian Ridgeback that was aggressive to dogs” describes Dr. Jennie Jamtgaard, an applied animal behavior consultant and behavior instructor at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “They had watched Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan and seen Millan place aggressive dogs in with his group of dogs and then hold them down on their sides or back if they were aggressive. So they brought their dog to the dog park and basically flooded him [immersed him in the aggression-inducing situation].”
Haicheng, China, 1975. A massive earthquake hits. Buildings are demolished, roads destroyed, but thanks to an evacuation several hours earlier, thousands, possibly tens of thousands of human lives are saved. The Chinese claimed they’d predicted an earthquake within hours of its occurrence. Their forecasting system: animals.