Thursday, May 26, 2011

Behavior Advisory: Dogs Really AREN'T Wolves!

From Terri Gross' program, Fresh Air, this morning, this is exactly the sorts of "Beeb-ishness" at which radio truly excels. The audio wasn't up when I posted this, around 11:30 MDT, 5/26.

(Edit: 5:35 pm, MDT: Here's the audio link. Thirty-seven minutes seldom passed quicker.)

I've cribbed the first grafs of the article. This is fascinating stuff. Dogs are NOT wolves. Cats and dogs can "count" to relatively small amounts/numbers.
What's the best advice to give man about respecting man's best friend?

Animal behaviorist John Bradshaw says it's realizing that dogs are neither wolves nor furry humans and that dog owners have certain responsibilities to make sure their dogs are psychologically healthy.

Bradshaw, who has spent much of his career debunking bad advice given to dog owners, is the author of a new behavior guidebook for dog owners, called Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet. The book details what pet owners should expect from their dogs and what their dogs should expect in return from their owners.

How To Reprimand Your Dog

One of the most common problems owners face, says Bradshaw, is knowing what to do when a dog misbehaves. For example, many owners might be inclined to immediately physically reprimand a dog for jumping up on visitors. But Bradshaw says that's the wrong way to teach your pet how to behave because dogs see any form of attention — even negative attention — as a reward. Instead, he says, owners should immediately ignore their pet completely.

"Most dogs require their owners' attention [and] they want their owners' attention," he says. "They want people's attention in general. And withdrawing that is a very powerful signal to the dog."

Bradshaw recommends folding your arms, looking away and pretending your dog isn't in the same room. Your change in body language will be apparent to your pet.

"Then you'll find that quite quickly the dog begins to realize that [their bad behavior] is not working," he says. "You can then use a distraction technique to get the dog to do something else, like sit or lie down and then it will get the idea that this is what it's supposed to do when visitors come to visit."

Bradshaw says that dogs naturally want to please and play with people, especially the people who love them.

"[When a puppy's eye's open they have] a very strong ability to learn about people and ... this behavior persists throughout life," he says. "And surprisingly, most dogs, given the choice, will actually prefer human company to other dog company."

Studies indicate that dogs will naturally gravitate towards humans, though Bradshaw says how that idea gets into a dog's developing brain is still somewhat of a mystery.

"But they have an exaggerated tendency to learn from anything that people do right from the minute they're capable of doing it," he says. "They're particularly sensitive to human body language — the direction we look in, what our whole body language is telling them, pointing gestures. They are much more sensitive to things like that than almost any other species on the planet."

Creating Expectations For Dogs And Owners

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Breed-Boosterism, Part (N)!

Don't come around here talking no shit about my Bubba!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Muppets: ~~ The Devil Down To Jamaica.

Thanks to FBFriend Marilyn Harrison for rediscovering this treasure.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Opening Credits, "Pirates of the White Sands"

Y'r Ob'd't S'v't in the role of "Kentucky Jack"; my only credited US role. I was in an Indian film, and got a line in it, too, in Malayalam, the dialect spoken in Kerala and much of South India.

"Pirates" won the People's Prize at the Duke City Shoot-Out, 2006.

Going to Pot? Probably Not!

Murkin Officialdom has a problem with hemp/cannabis: from the look of it, you cannot tell the difference between 'em, and the hypocritical fuckwitz who stand for prohibition of ALL psychoactive "recreation" will not relent...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How to entertain a Pit-Bull!

By my pal, satirist & videographer Jim Terr, the greatest filker west of the Pecos.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shameless Breed Boosterism

Tougher Criminal Sanctions Against Animal Abusers

I'm all over this. People who needlessly, cruelly, wantonly injure defenseless animals would to the same to people who were enough weaker than themselves reliably enough to justify their total social isolation:
Patrick the Miracle Dog has captured the hearts of people across the world, but unfortunately the abused pit bull’s story is not unique.

Patrick is one lucky dog—rescued from the bottom of a Newark garbage chute in March—no one can dispute that. Having St. Patrick as a namesake, and the luck of the Irish, may or may not have played a role in his remarkable progress.

Patrick’s plight has called attention to animal cruelty in New Jersey and throughout the country and has inspired animal rights activists to call for tougher penalties for animal abusers.

The alleged accuser of Patrick appeared in court on May 6 and pleaded not guilty. Hundreds of protesters appeared outside the courthouse on Patrick’s behalf, attracting considerable media attention.

But a recent bill approved the day before the alleged accuser’s appearance in court didn’t get as much press. The New Jersey Assembly’s Judiciary Committee approved a bill, modeled on a recently enacted Maine law, which would allow courts to include animals in domestic violence restraining orders. Connie Wagner (D-Bergen), deputy speaker of the assembly and Assemblywoman Charlotte Vandervalk (R-Bergen) sponsored the bill.

The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) applauded the committee for approving the bill and for “voting to protect all survivors of domestic violence,” said N.J. State Director of HSUS Kathleen Schatzmann in a statement.

Studies show that violent abusers in domestic violence cases often target their victims’ animals to maintain control over their victim, according to the HSUS. “Permitting judges to prohibit abusers from contact with animals, protects those animals and provides peace of mind to human survivors of domestic violence since abusers often threaten, injure or kill family pets,” according to a release issued by the HSUS.

“We’ve heard so many stories of pets being abused or even killed as retaliation against a partner when a relationship goes sour,” said Wagner in a press release issued by the New Jersey Assembly Democrats. “Oftentimes, it’s done without thinking of an attempt to hurt the other partner, but whether it’s intentional or not, animals should not have to suffer.”

The HSUS said that it is now encouraging the Senate Judiciary Committee to post its version of the bill for a committee vote, which is sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean Jr., (R-Morris) and Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May).

On Monday, legislation calling for stricter penalties for killing a police dog will be on the agenda in the New Jersey Assembly. The legislation stems from a recent incident in Gloucester County in which a police dog named Schultz was killed, according to the Assembly Democrats.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Return of the Prodigal Dog: Chuck Returns!

The Nakkim family is celebrating the return of their four legged friend. Chuck went missing from his Palo Verdes Estates home in 2007 after breaking out of his yard, prompting an exhaustive search that was ultimately unsuccessful. “He was gone. We looked everywhere. We drove up and down the streets,” said Lisa Nakkim, Chuck’s owner.

It was only recently that the family started entertaining the possibility of getting another dog, but fate had other plans for them. Just a few miles from their home, Linda Shelton was walking to work in Torrance when she noticed an emaciated dog wandering the city streets. She befriended him and brought him to her office.

“He was, I’m sorry to say, the smelliest dog ever,” Sheldon said. “I could see the potential in the dog. He just has a wonderful, big heart.”

A coworker of Sheldon was able to read faint markings on Chuck’s ID tag – and the subsequent phone call was answered by an incredulous Nakkim. “Every word that she kept saying I’m thinking, ‘Oh my gosh. Is this really happening? Is this really Chuck?’” Nakkim said.

A happy reunion took place at the Torrance city hall, and Lisa Nakkim said her daughter nearly fell apart when she recognized her long lost friend. “My daughter said, ‘Oh, we got a dog,’ and I said, ‘No, Lexa. That’s Chuck.’ She started crying. She just lost it,” Nakkim said.

The reunion of Chuck and his family can be seen in the YouTube video below. The once 100 pound dog was down to only 60 pounds at the time he was found, but is said to be packing on the pounds already, and his family couldn’t be happier. “He’s back 100 percent,” said Nakkim’s husband, Eric. “It’s like a lost member of the family coming home.”

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Typical Americans Celebrating News Osama's Death

Outside the White House

And just off Times' Square

The Critics respond: