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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.
  • Put Your Nose First: Smellwalks for You and Your Dog


    There was no way I was going to miss something called a ‘Smellwalk.’ A social dilettante at heart, I revel in time spent in the mind of others — especially those who add an entirely different color to the palate of my worldview. While I think loads about the olfactory experiences of dogs, I give [...]

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    What’s a Dog For?


    A few years back, John Homans, former executive editor of New York magazine, published What’s a Dog For? — an intimate reflection on his beloved family dog, Stella, as well as a snapshot into the flourishing field of canine science. Looking down at the wagging tail by your side, you could easily answer the above [...]

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    Is Off-Leash Good For You and Your Dog?


    Live with a companion dog, and you’ve probably come across the Rainbow Bridge idea, a mythical land where pets go when they pass to meet with their owners at a later date. While I don’t know what’s to come — although I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to hoping my end mirrors that of [...]

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    The Dog Killer in Your Pocket


    Your pocket can hold many potentially lethal items, so let me be more specific: ‘What’s the Dog Killer in Your Pocket That You Wish No Longer Existed?’ Can you guess? Let’s review the clues: It can be lethal to dogs It can be found in your pocket You wish it no longer existed Can you [...]

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    Do You Know a Fat Dog When You See One?


    We’ve all met dogs with a small head and large body who bear a striking resemblance to the people with shrunken heads from the movie Beetlejuice. Some dogs naturally come with this particular head-to-body ratio, but for others, it’s often man-made. Yes. Some dogs are overweight. Peter Sandøe, professor of bioethics at the University of [...]

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    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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