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Dog Spies

Dog Spies

Explore the science behind the dog in your bed
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    Julie Hecht Julie Hecht is a canine behavioral researcher and science writer in New York City. She would really like to meet your dog. Follow on Twitter @DogSpies.
  • Comedians Do Everybody Good (Researchers Included)


    In my perfect world, artist-in-residence is just the beginning. In my perfect world, all researchers and research institutions are paired with a comedian-in-residence. The reason is obvious. Comedians have competencies and expertise in areas where researchers *can* be lacking. Let’s take an oversimplified, overgeneralized look: Researchers excel in gobbledygook, making even the simplest of ideas [...]

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    Pulp Fiction Gangster Gets Dogs


    Pulp Fiction gangster Jules Winnfield is right. “A dog’s got personality, and personality goes a long way.” Cross-species animal behavior studies confirm Winnfield’s statement (although he’s wrong about pigs: pigs have personality, too). Humans aren’t the only ones with ‘personalities,’ that is, usual patterns of behavior or characteristics that are relatively stable over time and [...]

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    Canine Science: A Trend You Can Easily Get Behind


    Most trends I can’t get behind. Hammer pants should have stayed in the 1980s and 1990s and far away from 2014 (there, I said it). Sure, I love a good flash mob, but the more of ’em you do, the older they get. Finally, there’s a growing trend that is here to stay that I [...]

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    The Unexpected Dog Killer

    Alison Kennedy-Benson permission granted Dog Spies

    For some, it happens in the bathroom. For others, it’s the living room. All across America, as fireworks go off on July 4th, many dogs experience varying degrees of fear and stress. Some crouch and huddle in the bathtub; others pace, pant and whine in the living room; others wildly dig and chew; and of [...]

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    Dog-Eared Reading (June 2014)


    I had one of those ‘woe is me’ moments in September 2013, lamenting that on top of my personal dog-related To-Do lists there is so much dog-related reading to take in each month–much of it covering canine science research. It often feels like I’ll miss something, and it can be difficult to keep up with [...]

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    Canine Science Summer Camp


    I always loved summer camp — the forced rituals and the chaos and buzz of lots of people doing similar activities. Even though the age of summer camp is far behind me, I still find myself thrown into grown-up versions of “summer camp.” Earlier this year, I joined up with Academia Film Olomouc (Twitter, Facebook) [...]

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    Why I Locked a Cat in the Bathroom and You Would Have Too

    49079819_98886fb8ef_m Sebastian in the Sink

    The first thing I noticed was his balls. Peering out my back window at the unfamiliar cat lounging in the courtyard, my eyes immediately fell on the two testicles protruding from his backside. “Ok,” I thought. “Strike one for the ‘this cat is homeless’ column.” But there was more. He was not matted or unkempt, [...]

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    Is Dog Training Scientific?


    Dog owners seem pleased when they meet me because they can talk about their dog with someone who is truly interested. Sometimes they share intricate descriptions about something interesting that their dog does (often followed with the question, “Why does she do that?”), and other times, owners have a question like, “How do I get [...]

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    Don’t Let These Dog Projects Pass You By


    Over the last few years, there has been a surge in public-participation science projects, and I don’t mean watching dog videos on YouTube. These science projects reach around the world; sometimes they are entirely online, and other times they ask participants to go out into the world, do something and report back. I keep up [...]

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    Maybe Dogs Don’t Want to be Walked by a Drone


    I like playing the game, “What’s going to make people mad?” Dogs wearing pantyhose = mass hysteria! A dog being walked by a drone = not cool… but hmm… kinda cool? Now that the robots have taken over our cars and our gameshows, they’re also moving in on our dogs. Earlier this month, one innovative [...]

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