The Search for the Greatest American Dog

The other night I saw a preview for a new show that’ll premier on CBS this summer called “The Greatest American Dog.” From what I can tell it’s an American Idol-like contest for dogs. Except not geared so much to their singing talent as their brain ability. The Premise It looks like producers scoured the dog-loving free world for any and all kinds of talented dogs. They picked 12 to live together in a house and compete for “Greatest American Dog” honors. I’m still not sure if they’re going to do an American Idol like start to the series where … Continue reading

Dog Quirks: The Funny Little Things They Do

Murphy (with Mr. Meow’s help) digging in the snow… I got to thinking this morning what a funny dog Murphy has been when he started running all over the place like a wild maniac because he was so happy. (It was cold, something he loves, and he’d found a “treasure” on our walk to bring home, a stick, so he started his morning off right. That’s a lot to celebrate!) All of my dogs have exhibited this wild abandon where they race here and there at top speed in wild-eyed glee. I don’t know what it’s technically called, but I … Continue reading

Why Do Dogs Howl?

My shepherd/husky mix Miko used to howl a lot. Any time he heard the fire sirens, he would run out into the yard to howl. He would even lift his voice in song with us when we sang Happy Birthday! In fact, if I had gotten to name him as a puppy, I might have named him Raoul, because that’s what his howling sounded like: RAOOOOOOOOUL! Howling is a form of communication for dogs. Some dogs like to bark and some like to howl; some do both! What the howl may be trying to communicate is a different story. Howling … Continue reading

Grain-Free Food Can Improve Behavior and Allergies

I started an experiment the day I took Chrestomanci to the vet: I put all of the animals on grain-free food. I’ve always wondered about whether or not I ought to take my pets off of corn-filled kibble, but the extra expense has always given me, and especially my husband, pause. When I asked the vet about Chresti’s dandruff problem she said that wetter grain-free food might help. A locally-owned store next to the veterinarian’s office sells a variety of such foods, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to at least go in and get a bunch of samples. I … Continue reading

The Barkathon

Last night was a baaaaaaaad night. The dogs barked me awake at 12:10. Again at 12:30. At 1:00. At that point, I got up to let them out, thinking they really had to go. But alas, the barkathon began anew at 4:50. And 6:00. And 6:20. And so on. Why all the barking? As far as I could tell, someone in the complex was having a party. Unusual noises, music, and louder voices that usual had Moose and Lally in a bit of a frenzy! At least for the first part of the night. What they heard in the very … Continue reading

Franklin the Bassett Hound is Back at Work

Franklin was a sad pup for ten months when he wasn’t allowed to go to work with owner Matt Schwendiman. Schwendiman owns and operates Matt’s Barber Shop in Canal Fulton, Ohio, where Franklin was a much loved fixture. An inspector gave Franklin — a four year old Bassett hound — the boot almost a year ago, saying that dogs were not allowed in barber shops according to the Ohio State Barber Board. Thanks to an article in the local paper and a lot of community support for Franklin, the Ohio State Barber Board decided to change the rules. Now the … Continue reading

Translating Those Barks, Whines, and Yelps

When I first got my Lally, she tended to play a little rough. I talked to the shelter’s favorite trainer about it, and she suggested that whenever Lally played too rough, I yelp like a puppy: high pitched, short, and loud. I felt kind of silly, but I tried it… and it worked! Dogs may not understand “OUCH!” but they know that pain-filled yip and tend to back off when they hear it. Experts divide a dog’s sounds into five different types: the whimper or whine, the yelp, the growl, the bark, and the howl. The whimper is high pitched … Continue reading