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Dog Spies

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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.
  • Why Do Dogs Love Snow?


    Allie Brosh, Hyperbole and a Half Yesterday, East Coasters prepared for the blizzard of the century. I learned of the storm’s potential severity while at the supermarket — all the bread was gone. All of it. Why bread? Do people just sit at home chomping on bread during snow days? “Alright kids! Finish sledding so [...]

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    Why Do People Sometimes Give Up Their Dogs?


    “We would love to tell you that every dog can flourish in every home, but the truth is that, no matter what you do, sometimes a dog and family are not a good fit.” ~ Patricia McConnell and Karen London, Love Has No Age Limit: Welcoming an Adopted Dog into Your Home My first dog [...]

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    Do Dog Athletes Get Dog Injuries?


    My inbox has changed in the last few years. I still receive work, friend, and family emails, but I increasingly receive dog product and promotional emails, which I’ve learned to delete as quickly as possible. Apparently, I’m not a fan of newfangled dog products that no dog would want (and that could only have been [...]

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    A Dog Rolling Over During Play Is a Combat Tactic, Not Submission


    I’ve got the ‘dog play’ bug, arguably one of the better winter bugs to have. I recently covered which toys dogs prefer (the answer: new ones, although old ones can be reinvigorated), as well as the unfortunate finding that when a dog’s not “playing right,” it could be you, not them. But toys and people [...]

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    It’s Not You It’s Me: If a Dog Won’t Play With You, It Could Be Your Fault


    You’ve probably heard the expression, Life Is Short: Play With A Dog. “Okay!” you think. “I’ll do it!” After all, dogs play together until they are gray in the face. Dogs also play with people, although that’s not always a given. Have you ever tried to play with a dog and it just doesn’t work? [...]

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    Studies Find Dogs Prefer New Toys, But You Can Make Old Toys New


    Despite their individual differences, dogs as a species still have overarching ‘dog like’ attributes. If you live with a dog, you might have reflected on a particular doggie characteristic this holiday season without even realizing it. Dogs like new things. The scientific term for a preference for novelty is called neophilia, and neophilia could explain [...]

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    28 Santa-Approved Dog Science Articles


    Can’t believe so-and-so said that in front of everyone? Is it time for a break from members of your own species? The dogs are here to help. 2014 was a big year for canine science, although that’s not entirely true. Every year, particularly since the late 1990’s, has been a ‘big year’ for canine science [...]

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    Why Dogs Hump, Brought to Life In a Way You Can’t Unsee


    I’ve been writing about dog humping for years. Jon Stewart mentioned my first piece, “H*mping: Why Do They Do It?” on air. Fine, it could have had something to do with the dog-friendly workplace at “The Daily Show” being featured in that issue of The Bark magazine, but for some reason, my humping article grabbed [...]

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    Could Our Love of Dogs Obscure Their Most Important Parts?


    Ask me about my childhood dog Brandy, and I hope you have at least an hour to spare. The story of how she came into my life (told here) is entertaining enough (and to hold your attention, I would play up the parts about the mother-daughter conflict that preceded visiting the shelter, as well as [...]

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    What Did Your Dog Just Say? Researchers Want to Know


    The Beagle stopped dead in his tracks. It. Was. Coming. As the fire truck neared, the Beagle held his stance, put his head back, and out came a long, deep howl. The Beagle’s human companion waited patiently by his side for the inevitable to conclude. Dogs make noises. There’s no getting around it. To bring [...]

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