January 24, 2011

PetScoop: GPS Backpack Remotely Controls Dogs


Researchers at Auburn University's Canine Detection Research Institute have created an external, real-time navigation system to guide detection dogs remotely. This new "backpack" is equipped with GPS, sensors, a processor and a radio modem, and directs the dog with vibration and tone. The system should enable these specially trained 'super dogs' to take on risky tasks such as security, combat operations, and support for the disabled.

Discovery via DVICE

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January 18, 2011

Super Smart -- Chaser the Border Collie Knows Over a Thousand Words


Many dog lovers wonder whether dogs actually understand our words or simply the body language and tone of voice that accompanies them.

John W. Pilley, a psychologist who lives in Spartanburg, SC decided to put his dog's language skills to the test. He has taught his border collie Chaser 1,022 words, the largest vocabulary of any known dog. Dr Piley describes his experiments with Chaser in the current issue of the journal Behavioural Processes (see abstract after the jump).

The New York Times article on Chaser points out that border collies are bred for their ability to pay close attention to the shepherd. "Watch a collie work with a sheepherder [sic] and you will come away amazed how small a gesture the person can do to communicate with his dog," said Alexandra Horowitz, a dog behavior expert at Barnard College and author of Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know.

Chaser's words skills may have some bearing on how children acquire language, although that is a matter for scientific debate. In any event, Dr. Pilley's goal is to develop methods that will help increase communication between people and dogs. Chaser is scheduled to star in a PBS Nova episode on animal intelligence airing February 9.

ArrowContinue reading: "Super Smart -- Chaser the Border Collie Knows Over a Thousand Words"

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January 10, 2011

Training Your Pet -- Tips, Books and TV Shows


Training a pet can conjure up overwhelming feelings of a lot of work--frustrating, time-consuming and tedious. But in fact every move we make, we are training our pets, children, relatives, associates. Training is a natural, on-going process. And apparently a lot of people enjoy it. As our favorite dog trainer Patricia McConnell aptly describes it:

... at least, if you define "training" the way I do. I'm talking about teaching a pup to associate coming when called to feeling happy happy happy, to learn it's fun to be with you, that what you say has meaning and that there are ways to behave that makes life so very, very nice.

Patricia McConnell is the author of many books, one of which has recently been updated, The Puppy Primer. If you have a new family member who walks on all fours and barks, this book comes highly recommended. And if, unlike us, you have the patience for formal training rather than providing only benevolent guidance, you can find a 6-week program in Family Friendly Dog Training: A Six Week Program for You and Your Dog.

Speaking of training, Animal Planet's reality show It's Me or the Dog, featuring dog expert and trainer Victoria Stilwell, began its third season Saturday, January 8, at 8 pm EST. We have set our DVR to record the series.

And, if you are lucky enough to have a new puppy, your local PETCO is offering FREE 30-minute potty training seminars on the weekends in January -- click the link for details.

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December 6, 2010

Pet Training Bells Holiday Gift Pack


Poochie Bells hang from your doorknob, and with them you train your dog or puppy to tell you when it's time to go out. Pet training bells are recommended by professional trainers, with a 95% success rate.

This Puppy Training Bells Holiday Gift Pack adds some festivity to the function. When the holidays are over, you can swap out the festive grosgrain ribbon for its off-season counterpart for year-round use.

Receive 20% off + FREE Shipping -- no minimum order. Use code EFD2626.

Thumbnail image for waitingsanta.jpgFor holiday gift ideas, browse our Super Cool Pets 2010 Holiday Gift Guide!

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October 24, 2010

Dogs Notice Our Every Move -- Tell Me Who's Watching by Lisa Hartman


Have you ever noticed that your dogs are always watching you? They notice details many humans overlook -- small things mean a lot. They know your routine and when you change your behavior. An engrossing article by trainer Lisa Hartman on dogs' obsession with their humans, Tell Me Who's Watching, will strike a chord with all of us who live with dogs.

"Every breath you take, every move you make, I'll be watching you." While this line from a popular song written by Sting was about obsessive love, the lyrics could equally be applied to your dog. Did you know you are training your dog even when you are not trying to train him? Every move you make sends a message to your dog and unofficially trains him to behave a certain way.

dialdynamitedog.jpgLisa Hartman is a well known and respected New York and Miami dog trainer and author of DIAL A DYNAMITE DOG, a dog training book that "cuts to the chase" and speaks to the pet owner in "plain english".

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August 16, 2010

Vibram K9 Treat- Filled Acorn Dog Toy

Treat your super cool pet to a new fall toy. This durable rubber Acorn Dog Toy is one tough nut to crack. It combines two activities doggies love best--eating and chasing after something that moves. The colorful Acorn contains a treats compartment for fun and effective training.

Thumbnail image for dog_tags_chewyshoe.jpg This Acorn Dog Toy is from the folks who brought us the Chewy Shoe Dog Toy, Vibram K9. They support Dog Tags: "Service Dogs for Those Who've Served Us" and have donated, along with their retail partners, $72,000 to the Puppies Behind Bars program that provides inmate-trained service dogs to injured United States veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. They continue to donate $2 from the sale of each Chewy Shoe in red, white and blue.

At Amazonand FetchDog

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August 2, 2010

Reliabowl -- Feed and Water Your Pet When Traveling


This durable Reliabowl allows you to bring more than a gallon of easily accessible water along in the car, the RV, the boat with no spills, no waste and no messy caps or bottles. Plus, the container does double-duty with an elevated food bowl carved in the top.

To use the Reliabowl, just tip the unit onto its side and the bowl automatically fills as your dog drinks. To store, tip the unit back. The water flows into the storage area, eliminating the chance of spills.


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May 21, 2010

PetScoop -- Southern Golden Retriever Display Team CRUFTS 2010

If you love dogs, particularly Goldens, treat yourself to this video of the Southern Golden Retriever Display Team CRUFTS 2010. This video is 8 minutes--even the first couple are worth it--but the entire thing is impressive and adorable.

Make sure your volume is adjusted down at first--it was loud.

Super cool find via Pet Connection.

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April 27, 2010

Portable Wireless Electronic Pet Containment System


Create a temporary yard enclosure for your pet without burying wires. The portable Wireless Pet Containment System from PetSafe will enclose your pet in an adjustable circular area of up to a 1/2 acre, around 180 feet in diameter. When your pet strays into the warning zone, the receiver delivers a safe and mild static correction.
Full set-up typically takes less than an hour, and no installation, no wire burying, and no stakes are required. This system is ideal for portable installations or people who relocate frequently. Perfect for summer rentals, visiting family and friends. For dogs over 8 pounds.

At Amazon and Orvis.

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April 21, 2010

PetScoop: Through a Dog's Eyes on PBS Tonight Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET


An enlightening documentary for dog lovers, Through a Dog's Eyes will air on PBS tonight Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, based on the book of the same name by Jennifer Arnold, founder of Canine Assistants.

The documentary will provide insights into the ways canine assistants improve people's lives and will change the way you look at your own pet. Click to view the trailer.

Through a Dog's Eyes
will be out this June in DVD and the book will be released this September 2010. Both are currently available for pre-order.

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