October 22, 2014

6:55 PM | Punishment is Dangerous
Last week I spoke about punishment as a training aid, and denounced the way some people say you should never punish when training. But it’s very important to recognise that punishment is very dangerous and should be used sparingly. I … Continue reading →
3:21 PM | Are All Labrador Retrievers the Same?
Or do show dogs and field dogs vary in temperament?Photo: c.byatt-norman / ShutterstockIt’s often said there are personality differences between Labrador Retrievers bred to show (conformation dogs) and those bred to work (field dogs). And chocolate labs have a reputation for being different than black and yellow labs. Is it true? New research by Sarah Lofgren et al (Royal (Dick) Veterinary School, University of Edinburgh) investigates.Although many Labrador Retrievers are family pets, […]

Lofgren, S., Wiener, P., Blott, S., Sanchez-Molano, E., Woolliams, J., Clements, D. & Haskell, M. (2014). Management and personality in Labrador Retriever dogs, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 156 44-53. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2014.04.006

1:39 PM | Data entry portal is down!
Many of you have found your attempts to enter your surveys online stymied in the past week or so. I have also noticed this, and it appears that something is amiss with the server that usually dishes up our website. I am trying to track down the problem and have it remedied, but until I […]

October 21, 2014

4:38 PM | New Systematic Review of Veterinary Homeopathy: Still no Reason to Believe It Works
I have reviewed the overall evidence concerning homeopathy, from basic science through clinical trial research in great detail previously. Despite more than 150 years of effort by advocates for this practice, virtually no reliable evidence has been developed to show … Continue reading →

October 20, 2014

12:00 AM | Dog under Ebola watch gets high-level caretakers
Pending quarantine protocol for pets unlikely to involve private clinics

October 19, 2014

10:57 AM | Chronicles of Athena – Twelve Weeks
I don’t know how to say this in a not-bragging way, but I think I got one of the clever ones. It’s not necessarily a good thing (unless, like me, you place an unreasonable amount of value in cleverness). At … Continue reading →

October 18, 2014

9:17 PM | Domestication and human evolution, streaming!
Domesticated humans, domesticated canids, domesticated finches! The Center for Academic Training & Research in Anthropogeny held a conference on domestication and human evolution, and live streamed it. I watched live, refusing to speak to my husband or dogs during it, which didn’t go over well. You, however, can watch the archive on YouTube.The conference was a series of short talks from researchers. These included:Robert Wayne, “The transformation of wolf to dog: history, […]

October 16, 2014

8:44 PM | State of the Zombieverse
I haven’t been blogging much lately, and it’s mostly because I’ve been writing so much for more mainstream media outlets:“Neutering without a Scalpel” in the summer issue of the Whole Dog Journal. This story was about Zeuterin, a new product for performing chemical castration on a dog — in other words, non-surgical neutering. I tried to cover all the possible pros and cons of using Zeuterin versus the traditional surgical approach. I don’t think either […]
12:00 AM | Changes coming to common rodent poison
Potent anticoagulants to be discontinued

October 15, 2014

11:17 PM | Journal articles, stress, and anti-depressants with me and APDT
I’m teaching another online course for APDT: Analyzing Journal Articles: Pre-Natal Stress and Anti-Depressants. I’m trying something new with this one. It's just one week long. Basically, I’m going to be walking through a recent journal article that I thought had interesting implications for dogs. There will be several short lectures at different experience levels. Some will provide background in the area to students who don’t have an extensive science background. Some […]
7:02 PM | We'll All Try to Remember That, Eleanor
"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan."- Eleanor Roosevelt #quotes #quoteoftheday— Jeffrey N Kirk (@JeffreyNKirk) October 15, 2014
5:52 PM | My Dog Comes First: The Importance of Pets to Homeless Youth
Dogs and cats have both advantages and disadvantages for street-involved youth.Photo: everst / ShutterstockResearch by Michelle Lem et al (University of Guelph) asks homeless young people (aged 18-24) what their pet means to them. Previous studies have focussed on the benefits to homeless people of owning a dog or cat. The aim of this study was to get a balanced picture of both the advantages and disadvantages. Ten homeless young people took part in in-depth interviews about their pet. 8 […]

Lem, M., Coe, J.B., Haley, D.B., Stone, E. & O'Grady, W. (2013). Effects of companion animal ownership among Canadian street-involved youth: A qualitative analysis, Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, XL (4) 285-304.

5:37 PM | NC Zoo's New 10-Year Plan
A 10-year strategic plan for the NC Zoo is in the works now, David M. Jones, Zoo Director, told the NC Zoo Society Board, which just adjourned its quarterly meeting. The Board asked that he make a presentation of the plan to the Board's next meeting, January 14. It also offered to fund a presentation of that plan, suitable for offering the NC General Assembly, as it convenes in early 2015 to set the next bi-ennium budget for North Carolina. The Society Board also agreed to build a 5-year, $20 […]
1:45 PM | Unforgettable? (Think so.)
Something this little girl is not likely to forget!— Binder Park Zoo (@binderparkzoo) October 10, 2014

October 14, 2014

8:32 PM | "A Failure to Communicate" @OregonZoo
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) reports problems at Oregon Zoo. "The delegation reports power struggles between the Oregon Zoo's veterinarians and animal keepers; animosity from zoo staffers toward Metro; and a lack of information from Metro to the Oregon Zoo Foundation, the nonprofit that recruits private donors."
7:41 PM | Q: How Do You Know It's a Wolf?
A: ""When your hair is standing up on the back of your neck, you know it is a wolf and not a coyote." Wolves are visiting northeastern Utah. The question is, will they ever be allowed to stay? @sltrib— Brian Switek (@Laelaps) October 14, 2014 "It is a little unnerving to be by yourself at 11,000 feet and hear something howling back."
5:59 PM | Punishment is Good
Before we start, I’d like to remind you that the opinions expressed in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my colleagues. With that out of the way – I think punishment gets a bad … Continue reading →

October 13, 2014

11:35 PM | The Santa Ana Mountain Lions
South Californian mountain lions are having their genetic diversity cut by human roads and fences. New TSS.— Nautilus (@NautilusMag) October 13, 2014
10:06 PM | Trick or Tweet...or Quack
Trick or ReTweeting! MT"@sylvanheights: Make plans to join us at Sylvan Heights for Trick or #Tweet!" #TrickOrTreat— russwilliamsiii (@russwilliamsiii) October 13, 2014

October 12, 2014

4:25 PM | 3 Year-Old Critical After Zoo Fall...
...and reported mauling by jaguars. Little Rock Zoo. "The grandfather said he picked up a spool for a water hose and threw it at the cats, which caused them to let go of the child. The black jaguar moved away, but the yellow jaguar circled back and bit the child on the rear of his neck. The child's father then threw a camera bag that struck the cat and caused it to release the child. Zookeepers then arrived and kept the cat at bay with fire extinguishers." -Arkansas Times
3:39 PM | "Polar Bear Shortage" Affects NC Zoo
Things have changed for the NC Zoo and its soon-to-reopen polar bear exhibit: "When the park began work on the project in 2011, it hoped to one day have as many as six polar bears that would be exhibited in a state-of-the-art facility, with 2.5 acres of land area, a stream and pool, an ice cave and a den where a mother could give birth and raise cubs. "But a worldwide polar bear shortage, blamed in part on a loss of habitat and hunting grounds due to polar ice melt, has nearly stopped the […]
12:50 PM | Dallas Has Ebola Pet Plan
There may be a pet in apartment belonging to new Ebola patient in Dallas — “We have a plan in place to take care of that pet,” mayor says.— MashableLIVE (@MashableLive) October 12, 2014
2:53 AM | :(
Swiss #zoo serves some of its #animals to visitors at meals— Barbara J King (@bjkingape) October 12, 2014
2:49 AM | "Goat Bomb!" ("selfie perfection")
Selfie perfection. RT @epriesand: Best #selfie at the @sandiegozoo Petting Zoo MT @kpriesand: Goat bomb!!! 🐐— San Diego Zoo (@sandiegozoo) October 11, 2014

October 11, 2014

9:42 PM | Google, London Zoo, YouTube & White Space
A grand partnership?
9:06 PM | Hawk Attacks Drone; Hawk Wins
Hawk attacks a quadcopter drone, wins in terrifying fashion— HuffPost Science (@HuffPostScience) October 11, 2014
1:52 PM | Unmasking Kidney Disease In Hyperthyroid Cats after Treatment
I have two hyperthyroid cats that both had "completely normal" kidney function until we started treating with methimazole. On treatment, the serum T4 concentrations in both cats have come down nicely to 1.2 and 2.0 µg/dl, respectively (reference interval, 1.0-4.0 µg/dl), so these values are within the low-normal range, which is what I aim for after treatment.In the first cat, the serum creatinine has increased from 1.2 mg/dl up to 2.0 mg/dl, whereas the serum creatinine value in the […]
12:50 PM | Operation: Nest Egg
Less than 24,000 wild kiwi remain; Operation Nest Egg raises chicks until they can defend themselves— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) October 11, 2014
12:43 PM | October is Kiwi Month
The National Zoo contributed seven chicks to the North Island Brown Kiwi Species Survival Plan #WeSaveSpecies— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) October 11, 2014
8:29 AM | Chronicles of Athena – Eleven Weeks
It’s been another busy week for our Athena. Well, firstly there was a slight suspicion she may have been a boy. When we went to the vets on Monday, after some considerable genital palpitation, we decided we’re 98% certain she’s … Continue reading →
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