What Dog Owners Think about Lead-Pulling

(And why it is such a common problem.....) One of the many joys of living with dogs is going for walks. In our family, all of our dogs have loved to hike and run, and Mike and I spend time together almost every morning with our dogs at our local forest preserve. The dogs enjoy … Continue reading What Dog Owners Think about Lead-Pulling

Are There Benefits of Insect-Based Dog Foods?

Insect-based dog treats and foods were first introduced into the commercial pet food market quite recently - about 6 years ago. While early products were primarily offered as treats, complete and balanced dog foods that contain various types of insect meals are increasingly available. I have written about the insect species that have been studied … Continue reading Are There Benefits of Insect-Based Dog Foods?

A New Scoop for Citizen Scientists

In recent years, the expansion of citizen scientist experiments to include owners and their dogs has been instrumental in furthering our understanding of canine behavior, social cognition, emotional responses and training. Not only are these studies of great practical importance, they also provide information about the complexities of dogs lives in ways that laboratory experiments … Continue reading A New Scoop for Citizen Scientists

Does Your Dog Love You More than He Loves Food?

(Do you want to know?) Our Dogs Love Us Of this, we are pretty certain. Of course, this is the science dog, so we like evidence. One of the ways in which researchers study dogs' relationships with owners is to measure dogs' preferences - called differential responses - in a variety of situations. In many … Continue reading Does Your Dog Love You More than He Loves Food?

NEW Science Dog Webinar

You See a Dog... You Read Their Story... You Fall in Love... Dr. Carri Westgarth Senior Lecturer, Human-Animal Interaction, University of Liverpool Studies of importing rescue dogs from overseas In this webinar Dr. Westgarth presents her research studies of the importation of overseas rescue dogs. Despite this being both a very popular and contentious practice, … Continue reading NEW Science Dog Webinar

Protein Quality of Freeze-Dried Foods

I have written about freeze-dried pet food safety in a previous Science Dog essay. While we have a bit of evidence regarding risks of pathogen contamination in freeze-dried products, there has been little published research regarding the nutritional quality of freeze-dried foods or treats. This is an important question because freeze-dried foods and treats are … Continue reading Protein Quality of Freeze-Dried Foods

If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding!

This week's blog is an excerpt from "Dog Smart: Evidence-based Training with The Science Dog." Even those who are not Pink Floyd fans understand this principle. “You cannot have dessert until you first eat your vegetables” This common admonition means that you can only have the thing that you really want if you first complete … Continue reading If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding!

What Do You Know about Canine Nutrition?

TAKE THE QUIZ! Nutrition Courses and Webinars for Dog People Basics of Canine Nutrition Puppies to Seniors Dog Food Smarts Master's Class Certificate Program Other Popular Courses and Webinars: Nutrition Controversies in the Dog World Feeding Puppies for Health and Longevity Dogs are Carnivores, Right? Understanding Canine Body Signals Human Grade: Meaningful Distinction or Marketing … Continue reading What Do You Know about Canine Nutrition?

Fussy Cat

New Science Dog Course - Coming Soon! Nutrition Courses and Webinars for Dog People Basics of Canine Nutrition Puppies to Seniors Dog Food Smarts Master's Class Certificate Program Other Popular Courses and Webinars: Nutrition Controversies in the Dog World Feeding Puppies for Health and Longevity Dogs are Carnivores, Right? Understanding Canine Body Signals Human Grade: … Continue reading Fussy Cat

Did Lassie Love Her Job?

One of the many ways that the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) is unique is in how many different roles that dogs have in human society. Most who read this blog share their lives with dogs who are well cared for and who are deeply loved. However, around the world, some dogs lack homes altogether and … Continue reading Did Lassie Love Her Job?

The (Dis)connection between Grain-Free Foods and DCM

Almost 4 years ago, in July of 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a public alert stating that they had reports of an apparent increase in the national incidence of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. At the time, it was speculated (without evidence) that the perceived increase in cases was related to the consumption … Continue reading The (Dis)connection between Grain-Free Foods and DCM

The Eeyore Effect

Measuring the Emotional Toll of Aversive Training Methods The tension between dog trainers who use primarily reward-based methods (positive reinforcement) and those who rely more on aversive methods (positive punishment/negative reinforcement) is not new. Many trainers (myself included) believe that not only are reward-based methods more humane than methods that rely heavily upon aversives, but … Continue reading The Eeyore Effect

Evidence-Based Nutrition with The Science Dog Courses

Nutrition Courses and Webinars for Dog Folks (and their Dogs) Basics of Canine Nutrition Puppies to Seniors Dog Food Smarts Master's Class Certificate Program Other Popular Courses and Webinars: Nutrition Controversies in the Dog World Feeding Puppies for Health and Longevity Dogs are Carnivores, Right? Understanding Canine Body Signals Human Grade: Meaningful Distinction or Marketing … Continue reading Evidence-Based Nutrition with The Science Dog Courses

More Human-Grade Research… and a Rant

Dog foods that are produced with human-grade ingredients have increased in number and popularity in recent years. In addition to containing food ingredients that are classified and handled differently than typical pet food ingredients, these products are usually less highly processed when compared with extruded kibble (see "Human Grade Dog Foods: Some Science" for details). … Continue reading More Human-Grade Research… and a Rant

Wait. Should I like that?

A number of studies have shown that dogs possess the ability to learn new behaviors and even problem solve by observing the actions of other dogs or humans. Several forms of social (aka observational) learning are defined by researchers. Discussions regarding dogs' proficiency, the types of tasks that can be learned, and the relative cognitive … Continue reading Wait. Should I like that?