Today, let's talk about fish and fish oil, and the types of fat that these pet food ingredients can contribute to your dog's food. Some Background: Dietary fat, more specifically, fatty acids, are classified into families. Two of the most important are the omega-6 fatty acids and the omega-3 fatty acids. Both types are important… Continue reading Does this Seem (not…) Fishy to You?
No, this is not about a Disney Movie. But it IS about freezing. The freezing of dog food, actually. Raw dog food. The number of brands and forms of commercial raw dog foods available to owners has increased dramatically in recent years. A common type of raw diet is in the form of frozen rolls… Continue reading Frozen – Let it Go.
In the world of commercial dog foods, the term "human-grade" is an odd duck. The oddness occurs because the term "human-grade," while in use on labels and in marketing materials, actually has no legal definition. Rather, the regulated terms that are used to delineate between foods that are processed, marketed and sold for human consumption… Continue reading Human-Grade Dog Foods: Some Science
This blog is about science. Not to put too fine a point on this, but the name is, after all "The Science Dog", not "The Anecdotes Dog." Early in this blog's history, I wrote a series of essays that examined the principal underlying constructs of science (see The Steve Series). In a nutshell, the scientific… Continue reading It’s Not Rocket Science….But, it IS Science
The Labs have a problem. Actually, some Labs have a problem. It's in their genes: In 2016, a group of researchers at the University of Cambridge discovered a genetic anomaly in a small group of overweight Labrador Retrievers (1). Specifically, the modification is a short deletion sequence in a gene called POMC. The presence of… Continue reading Do These Genes Make Me Look Fat?
Trainers who use reward-based training methods (aka positive reinforcement training) often expound about its benefits to dogs and likewise caution about potential risks associated with punishment-based training. Although not extensive, there are a few studies that support the behavioral and emotional benefits of reward-based training and several others showing that the use of aversive stimuli… Continue reading Reward-Based Training and Relationship
I have avoided writing this essay. The reason is that, contrary to how it may on occasion appear, I generally do not seek out conflict. Considered debate about scientific evidence and civilized discussions? Yep, enjoy those. However, the acrimony and polarization that frequently accompanies internet discussions about how best to feed dogs? Avoid those like… Continue reading The Raw Deal
I am happy to introduce the newest member of the Case family. Meet Stanley (aka Stan the Man, Stanley Manley, Stanley Pants). Mike and I love having a new puppy in the house (lack of sleep and reduced writing time aside). One of the many things that we enjoy is sharing a new puppy's excitement… Continue reading The Emotional Life of Puppy Stanley
Despite the presumed superiority of our brains, humans are susceptible to a wide range of mental mistakes. These are collectively called "cognitive errors" and they impinge upon our judgement and can lead our decision-making astray. I have written about several of these previously in The Science Dog (attribution error, the availability heuristic and negativity bias),… Continue reading The Nose Knows Bias
In recent years, dog owners have started to demand more transparency from pet food manufacturers (a needed change, in my opinion). Many are interested in selecting new types of foods for their dogs and prefer products that are less highly processed. In direct response to these trends, nutrition researchers have been studying the ingredients that… Continue reading Tastes Like Chicken
The Article: "The Heart of the Matter" plus a webinar entitled "Diet and Dilated Cardiomyopathy" are now available as a Science Dog Nutrition Topics Course. Visit The Science Dog Courses to Learn More!
The Article: "Dogs and Carbs - It's Complicated" is now available as part of the Science Dog Nutrition Topics Course, Carbohydrates and Your Dog. Visit The Science Dog Courses to Learn More!
This week's Science Dog essay is an excerpt from Chapter 8 of "Dog Smart: Evidence-based Training with The Science Dog". I introduced the previous chapter with a story about starting each orientation class at AutumnGold with a version of the training game. While I emphasized that our students are usually impressed by these demonstrations and… Continue reading Choosing Kindly – An Excerpt
This year, for her birthday, Alice got a pony. She named him......Pony. Pony has rapidly become Alice's favorite toy. She carries him everywhere, wrestles with him, wrangles him, growls at him, and generally treats Pony quite badly. (Apparently, Ally has not yet been convinced of the benefits of reward-based pony training). Regardless, Pony and Ally have become inseparable. Until… Continue reading Get Help! Pony is in Trouble!
A favorite activity of the Case dogs is the "Find It" game. We play this out in the training building and begin by asking the dogs "What's Hiding Today?". We all visit the giant toy bin and select a toy for the day's game. I show the toy to everyone, making sure that each dog gets a good… Continue reading The Smell of the Blue Ball