Category Archives: Uncategorized

Teaching Dogs Language: Applying Research from Dogs Decoded

A while ago I watched Dogs Decoded, a documentary produced by Nova, which explored our relationship with dogs. It drew attention to something I knew about my relationships with my dogs, but was not consciously aware of.

[Above] This is a really quick overview of Dogs Decoded. The full length version is toward the end of this post.

I have deliberately developed the sophistication of understanding for every dog I’ve ever owned. I teach them words. And I use that vocabulary to build concepts. Continue reading

Lost Dog: What Do You Do When Your Dog Goes Missing?

A couple of weeks ago this crop of Lost Dog signs popped up on every street corner in this rural area around Granite Falls, Washington:

What to do when your dog goes missing

What to do when your dog goes missing

Losing a dog is heartbreaking

This sign is posted on every intersection within at least 20 miles of this dog’s disappearance.

Is this dog microchipped

The photo is helpful. Not all the signs have a picture of the Huge White Dog with Tan Ears

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tips for Staying Safe Walking your Dog at Night

As I write this post, there is another fall storm blowing up here in Northwest Washington. The wind is projected to gust over 60 miles per hour and the rain will come in buckets.

I’m out in this storm, and as I drive along city streets– an activity I’m no longer accustomed to, having recently moved from a rural region with just three stoplights in the whole county– I found it nearly impossible to see pedestrians walking across roads on this blustery night.

We're nearly invisible

Without reflective clothing or at least bright clothes, Wil and I present a “Where’s Waldo” challenge for drivers. (Can YOU see us?)

Can you find us in the photo above?

Can you find us in the photo above?

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How to do Doga — with Gift Ideas for Doggy Yoga Lovers

Who would have thought yoga could be such a contact sport?

Doga is catching on all over the dog world

Dogs love yoga! It is an activity where they can participate with their human partners in a relaxing activity

Meet “Doga” a yoga practice that is becoming quite popular. Simply, Doga is yoga done in partnership with your dog. This can be you assisting the dog in stretches he does, or teaching him to do poses with you.

It might seem odd that dogs would want to participate in one’s yoga practice,  but then again, dogs have evolved to be our partners, and part of partnership is sharing experiences.

Continue reading

How to Choose a Shelter Dog

When I was a kid, I finally talked my dad into letting me get a dog. Baron the Wonder Dog was my inseparable friend from age 10 to 20. When I set off for college, he went with me. We spent a miserably cold winter in Missoula, MT in 1978-79 and left there in March of ‘79. We spent our first night in Seattle at some friend’s house and at 5:30 a.m., Baron asked to go outside. I let him out, went to the bathroom myself, and when I opened the door to let him back in, he was not there. I searched for months and never found him.

Baron's beach holes made great BBQ pits

Rocks were great entertainment for Baron. He’d dig long canyons along which he advanced his pet rock

This led me to adopt a 6 month-old Shepherd-Lab whose owner had surrendered him at the Humane Society. “David Flemming” was 6 feet tall, balding, and wore a gray business suit. At least that’s what Buck said every time we encountered a man of that description. Continue reading

How to Choose Your Next Dog

“Acquiring a dog may be the only opportunity a human ever has to choose a relative.”
— Mordecai Siegal

We just said goodbye to the Thanksgiving turkey and will soon welcome Santa Claus and the loot he drags down the chimney.

Hopefully one of those things will not be a dog.

Consider your purpose for having a dog in your life

Not everyone regards a dog as his partner and best friend.

The selection of a dog must be made by the person who will be the dog’s main human. Whether it’s a kid or an adult, the main human must select his/her dog.

Readers of this blog may pick up on the fact that I rarely speak in absolute absolutes—but this time, I do not mince words.

When you decide you want to commit to a decade – sometimes even two decades—of owning a dog, you owe it to yourself and your new dog to consider the ramifications of your choice. Here are some guidelines: Continue reading