Monthly Archives: May 2013

What a Blockhead! Head Shape and Trainability in Dogs

An interesting paper appeared in a recent issue of Behavioural Processes (2009, vol. 82, pp. 355).  The author, William Helton from New Zealand, examined results from three published studies in which breed and head shape were reported, to answer the … Continue reading

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What Do I Do Now: Conflict Behavior in Dogs and Cats

Some time ago, I wrote a [blog about redirected behavior], and started it like this: “Most pet owners are familiar with the situation: your dog or cat is upset about something, perhaps has been challenged or even attacked.  But rather … Continue reading

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Confrontational Behavior Modification Techniques and the Risk to Owners

I have expressed my concern about confrontational behavior modification techniques in earlier blogs: the use of “positive punishment” or dominance and pack theory-based techniques, especially in the hands of untrained users, has been shown to be ineffective and to produce … Continue reading

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Modern Animal Behavior: A Lot Has Changed In The Last Few Decades

The modern science of animal behavior, which we call ‘ethology’, has come a long way in the past few decades, from a largely observational, descriptive science to a modern, quantitative science based on solid foundations of evolutionary biology and quantitative … Continue reading

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Response to Comments about My Cesar Millan Blog

I want to thank everyone who wrote in to provide support, and so many wonderful examples, in response my KOMO-TV spot and my follow-up blog entry.  The response has been most impressive.  I, of course, knew that there were many … Continue reading

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KOMO News Interviews Me About Cesar Millan

It’s been an interesting week.  Last Friday, a local trainer and colleague, Grisha Stewart of Ahimsa Dog Training (www.ahimsadogtraining.com) contacted me to ask if I would discuss Cesar Millan’s techniques with a reporter from KOMO-TV here in Seattle.  Millan was … Continue reading

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Kitten Socialization

Cats, like all mammals, are social creatures.  While cats are far less social than dogs, to think of cats as asocial is wrong.  The degree of social behavior and the ability of an individual to adapt to a changing social … Continue reading

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A Reading List in Animal Behavior, Part 1

I am frequently asked about readings in animal behavior.  One of the nice things about practicing in a region like Seattle is that our audience is so well educated.  So not infrequently I have clients who want to learn more, … Continue reading

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The Genetics of Behavior: What Color is Your Dog?

Behavior has many causes: this is a general statement that many people believe is true, and it often causes people to extend the conclusion to one that suggests that we can never understand behavior, that it will always remain a … Continue reading

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Heart Rate: A Window to the Brain?

I recently attended a conference of companion animal behavior practitioners and researchers, held in New Orleans this past March (see earlier blog entry).  One of the most interesting, and most important, presentations at the three-day meeting was titled, “Assessing Behavior … Continue reading

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