#PPGSummit 2019: Sound Bites

By Susan Nilson “We need to be careful when using genetics as an easy ‘explanation’ for behavior…Genetics has an important and undeniable contribution to behavior, including aggression. However, how and to what degree genetics interacts with environmental variables is far from known. Understanding how environmental risk factors mixed with more susceptible genotypes may help contextualize risk and our understanding of […]

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What’s Shocking about Shock?

By Don Hanson The Shock-Free Coalition did not come to its conclusion that using shock for the training, care, and management of pets was unnecessary and harmful out of the blue. Its position is based on the careful review of the growing number of peer reviewed, scientific studies that demonstrate that shock is not only unnecessary, but is harmful, both […]

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The Escape Artist Dog

By Beth Napolitano According to PAWS (2019), we are justified in worrying about our dogs’ safety when we are out with them in public places: “Escaping is a serious problem for both you and your dog, as it can have tragic consequences. If your dog is running loose, he is in danger of being hit by a car, being injured […]

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Saying Goodbye

By Alicia Obando According to Tzivian et al. (2015), the loss of a pet may be “very stressful to the owner, whether these deaths were caused by euthanasia, accident, or by the progress of illness. The longer one has a pet, the greater the attachment can become, and this strong attachment may provoke a distress reaction upon a pet’s death. […]

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June 18, 2019: New Study Examines Evolution of “Puppy Dog Eyes”

A new study has found that facial musculature between domestic dogs and gray wolves differs only around the eye. The study reports that exaggerated eyebrow facial movements in dogs cause their eyes to “appear larger, giving the face a more paedomorphic, infant-like appearance, and also resembles a movement that humans produce when they are sad.” This potentially elicits a “caregiving response […]

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May 16, 2019: Australian Capital Territory Overhauls Animal Welfare Legislation

Under the legislation, “[p]et shops and boarding kennels will be licensed and all pets recognised as ‘sentient beings with intrinsic value’.” In addition, confining an animal, “or even transporting it in a way which causes it injury, pain or stress, will attract a maximum penalty of $16,000 and a year’s imprisonment. An identical penalty will apply for anyone who places an electric […]

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Helping Pet Families in Need

By Alicia Obando I had become quite familiar and active with the pet care and rescue organizations around my city of Chicago, Illinois. I saw that there were lots of organizations helping find homes for homeless pets. This was great work done by mostly unpaid, hard-working volunteers. Even though so many of us were working towards this cause of helping homeless […]

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Humane Education

By Stephanie Peters Humane programs that incorporate animal interaction have a profound capacity to help students on a personal level. Angel Banuelos-Price is a fifth grade teacher at Boone Middle School and she has enthusiastically welcomed my educational programs with Marmalade from the very beginning. She observes that Marmalade’s presence in her classroom reduces her students’ stress and anxiety levels, and […]

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A Better Awareness of Overarousal

By Anna Bradley When mentioning “arousal” or “overarousal,” dog owners may have some idea as to their definition, but in my experience the consensus seems to be that the terms generally refer to negative trigger events. This is inaccurate, however. Arousal triggers include positive as well as negative events. Examples of positive arousal triggers may include greeting a familiar person, getting […]

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