Pam Hogle is a freelance writer and editor who focuses on dogs. Her Thinking Dog Blog ( looks at how dogs think and learn and encourages readers to challenge their dogs' minds as they improve their relationships with those dogs. Pam also teaches at the Bergin University of Canine Studies in Rohnert Park, California, an accredited university that focuses on the human-canine partnership. She lives in Petaluma, California with two thinking golden retrievers, Jana and Cali.

Dogs and Marshmallows

I’ve been interested in dogs and self-restraint for as long as I have trained dogs. So, several years ago, a friend and I applied an adapted version of the Marshmallow Test to her guide dog. Alberta passed with flying colors. Her current guide, Koala, also aced the test. For decades, the Marshmallow Test has been a sort of shorthand for […]

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Dogs Are Exceptional, Despite Attempts to Argue Otherwise

Headlines like this really bother me: Dog intelligence ‘not exceptional.’ Compared with what? How are you defining ‘intelligence’? Seeking answers to these questions, I downloaded and read the full study, which is available for free. It’s 20 pages, plus 8 pages of references. It’s primarily a review of existing literature on the cognitive abilities of a wide variety of nonhuman […]

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Managing Expectations

A wonderful Australian study published July 6 looks at the expectations of potential dog adopters and considers them in light of the potential adopters’ previous dog ownership experience (or lack thereof). It’s a nice look at what people are thinking as they contemplate adopting a dog and whether their expectations are realistic. The authors look at high rates of dog […]

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Scents Can Help Dogs Relax

A small study published in May looked at the effects of four scents on dogs in a shelter kennel. The focus was whether the aromatherapy would help the dogs relax. Though it’s a small study and, oddly the only one of its kind, it points to some additional ways that trainers and canine behavior consultants may be able to help […]

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Onset of Noise Sensitivity Might Indicate Pain in Dogs

Older dogs who develop noise sensitivity might be in pain. Other behavior changes, like a normally friendly dog showing aggression to children or dogs, have long been regarded as potential indicators of pain. But a study published in February might be the first to make the connection between the onset of noise sensitivity and pain. The researchers looked at two […]

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Talking to Dogs

A newly published study finds that dogs pay attention to both the way we talk to them and to what we say. Alex Benjamin and Katie Slocombe’s ‘Who’s a good boy?!’ Dogs prefer naturalistic dog‑directed speech looked at what they term “dog-directed speech,” or DDS, which is similar in tone and affect to baby talk. Their canine test subjects were all adult dog guests […]

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