Category Archives: dog books and stuff

Aside

From one of our favorite podcasts / radio shows (This American Life) this is a terrific episode featuring two stories about dogs! What animals sacrifice for us, and what we sacrifice for them. Including a story from Susan Orlean about … Continue reading

BarkBox!

We here at Dawg House found a GREAT new subscription service that is right up our alley! We think you would love it too.

It’s called BarkBox!

The first step is to go to their website barkbox.com and choose the size of your dog.  Then, you choose your plan (you can pay monthly, every 3 months, every 6 months) and then you get to wait =).  The boxes are shipped on the 15th of every month, and every month you get a bevy of different dog related products geared to the size of your pup.

Somehow, Clio knew that the box was for her!! In this months’ box, we received:

1. Hyper Pet slingshot dog toy that is full size.  Our dogs love it!  You can shoot it really far, which is great for dogs that love to chase and fetch. Plus, it floats!         (hyper-pet.com)

2. A bottle of Nature’s Miracle dog freshening spray that is really light in scent and conditions the coat as well. This one may be more for us, but our dogs love that we snuggle with them more often when they smell better. (ilovenaturesmiracle.com)

3. Acadia Antler–a small company from Maine that collects naturally shed moose antlers from the wilderness.  Moose antlers are the toughest antler, so they will last a long time.  They are non splintering, odor and mess free, and even provide calcium and other trace minerals.  Plus, they are very appealing to your dog—so much so we actually have to bribe our dogs to get it away from them! They have every size and shape available. (acadiaantlers.weebly.com)

5. Milk-Bone Trail Mix–it’s a great snack for the dog on the go! If you hike, bike, or even have a vigorous play session with your pup–this treat is for you! The pieces are small as well, so would work great as a training treat. (milkbone.com)

6. Bocce’s Bakery treats–called Elvis treats! They are peanut butter, banana and bacon. Yes. You read that right. But they’re not for you–they’re for your dog. (boccesbakery.com)

Hopefully you all will give this service a try—in addition to getting a great box of interesting treats and toys, learning about new products from mainstream companies, and supporting a variety of  small companies, 10% of the proceeds are donated to an animal rescue group.

What could be better than that? Finnegan says “nothing”!!

Second Chance and Underwater Dog Photos

Seth Casteel is the photographer of the fantastic “underwater dogs” photo series, which you can see at his website Little Friends. Check out these great images of dogs diving for toys underwater! Wired Magazine posted a profile and interview with Casteel here.

On February 9th, the photos mysteriously landed on Reddit, Facebook, Google+ and then Warholian, becoming one of the hottest trends amongst viewers on at least five or six continents.

More than 1,000 people all over the world have subsequently asked him to shoot photos of their pets. He’s got a line of publishing houses fighting to get the rights to his forthcoming book of underwater dog photos, and he’s made appearance on, or in, most major American news publications from the The New York Times to Good Morning America.

Casteel’s website also drives donations to the non-profit rescue site Second Chance Photos, whose mission is to create professional shots of adoptable dogs in order to give them a better shot at finding a home. You can see some compelling and heartbreaking before and after pictures at their site.

Apps to Keep Your Dog Healthy, Active and, Maybe, Quiet

This was a great article in the New York Times sent to us by Izzy’s mom! Enjoy!


by Bob Tedeschi

I’m part owner of a nervous little dog with a bark like an ice pick through my brain and a tendency to use that weapon at random, several times a day.

Pippi, who is officially my wife’s dog, also has a fondness for dark chocolate. And when we make the mistake of leaving it within her reach, her behavior approximates that of a barking cocaine addict. During those moments I sometimes wonder whether she might actually expire.

Smartphones can now answer that question with great precision and perform many other dog-related tasks because of apps like Pet First Aid ($4 on iPhone, $3 on Android) and PupTox ($1 on iPhone).

Others, like iSqueek ($2 on iPhone), Squeaky Fun Time (free on Android) and Dog Whistler (free on iPhone and Android) are meant to interact directly with your pet and may even help shorten your dog’s barking jags.

A third category of apps is meant to give your dog’s social life a little boost (as in the free Dog Park Finder for the iPhone) or let you leverage your pup to strengthen your own social network.

Here, DogBook is the one to watch. Free and only for the iPhone, this is the mobile version of the DogBook service on Facebook, which lets dog owners post profiles of their pets and connect with other canine lovers.

The app is promising, but flawed. You can search for Facebook friends who have also joined DogBook. But when I searched the list, very few had actually posted profiles of their dogs.

The app displays the profiles of your friends’ pets, but if my friends are any indication, these profiles offer limited (and not very entertaining) information. You can also view profiles of dogs who live near you, but because they belong to strangers, the information is even less interesting.

The search feature is marginally entertaining, though, because you can search for specific dog names and breeds and see how many people within a certain geographic area own animals like yours.

A more useful tool for socially minded dog owners is Dog Park Finder, which puts the content of DogGoes.com into a mobile-friendly format. The free version of the iPhone app shows the location of roughly 2,600 dog parks, including those closest to you. Dog Park Finder Plus ($2) adds about 2,500 dog-friendly hiking spots and beaches. (Hey Walkies, a highly rated and free iPhone app, offers similar features, but is limited to New York City users.)

What if you’re out with your dog and it eats something toxic, like, perhaps, someone’s stash of dark chocolate?

Here is where PupTox and, to a greater extent, Pet First Aid come in handy. The apps can save you from a frantic trip to the veterinarian’s office.

Pet First Aid offers users a list of hazardous substances for household pets and points out toxic elements you may otherwise overlook. Avocados and antifreeze, for instance, can be toxic for pets.

The list includes a section on chocolate, where you can calculate the lethal dosages for dogs of certain weights. The app further differentiates between milk chocolate and pure chocolate.

Pet First Aid includes a section for adding veterinary contacts and pet identifications, and lists vaccinations and other information. One of its developers is also the publisher of PetCPR.com, which offers pet health advice.

Far bigger online publishers are also pushing their content to mobile phones, including AOL, which produces the free Paw Nation. This polished, useful iPhone app is technically pet-agnostic, but the information skews heavily in the direction of dogs.

Users can choose from several categories of stories and videos, including pieces on animal nutrition and health, celebrity pets and question-and-answer sessions with veterinarians and specialists from the American Kennel Club.

Some recent features include advice for giving dogs ibuprofen and Benadryl, tips for owners of snoring canines and guidance on why a dog’s ears can get smelly. (Tips: smelly ears can be cured with medicine, but you’re more likely to need a surgeon to get rid of snoring.)

App developers haven’t built programs for your dog to play with your device, as they have done with cats. But iSqueek and Squeaky Fun Time are close, in that they can at least attract your dog’s attention.

ISqueek, for instance, includes interactive photos of 18 different squeaky toys. The toys were true to life and annoying. Perhaps predictably, Pippi was quickly drawn to the sound when I tapped the toys. Squeaky Fun Time offered uninspired graphics and less sound control, but it was free and the closest thing to iSqueek that I could find on the Android platform.

The app that held the most promise for me was, likewise, free. Dog Whistler emits high-pitched tones that you can tweak in various ways, especially on the iPhone version, so you can train your dog to, for instance, not threaten your sanity with incessant barking.

The app receives mixed reviews, so I was prepared for the worst. (As one iTunes reviewer wrote, “It doesn’t work on the dog, but it really annoys my brother.”)

I opened Dog Whistler and waited for my daughter’s school bus to unload in front of our house — a trigger for Pippi’s most frantic barking. When it did, and Pippi started growling, I pointed the iPhone at her and hit the whistle.

Man, did it hurt my ears, but it didn’t keep her from barking.

The Dog Who Knows 1,000 Words

“For one amazing dog, the words “sit,” “fetch,” and “roll over” aren’t the limits of her language — they’re only the beginning. Six-year-old female border collie Chaser has been trained by her owner to understand more than 1,000 words, along with simple sentences.”

Chaser and Neil deGrasse Tyson

“Chaser’s owner, John Pilley, has spent years training and testing the limits of her intelligence. The 82-year-old psychology professor used children’s toys and other objects to teach Chaser nouns, and she’s still learning new things.”

“The flexibility we see in dogs seems to be very similar to what you see in young children at a very important age in their development,” said animal researcher Brian Hare at the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences.

“Hare studies primates, including chimps and bonobos, which have shown the ability to learn sign language and solve sophisticated problems. But their learning is slow compared with Chaser’s ability to quickly learn and recall new words.”

Text from ABC: World’s Smartest Dog

See a GREAT video with  Neil deGrasse Tyson on NOVA Science Now

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Dogs and Fear Of Strangers

Dr. Sophia Yin

There’s a really well-written article on Dogster this month about how dogs perceive strangers and react to them. Particularly, the article is geared toward dogs with a fear of strangers (as well as aggression toward them) and how we as humans can help to shape and modify that fear response. Dr. Sophia Yin is the guest blogger, and even if your pup isn’t fearful or aggressive toward strangers, it’s really a great piece on stimulus and perception in dogs.

Here’s an excerpt and link:

Many humans can’t understand why their dogs would be afraid of them when they’re obviously making friendly human gestures. Turn the tables around and the picture becomes clear. Say you’re afraid of spiders and your friend shoves her pet tarantula in your face. If she simultaneously reassures you, “She’s a friendly tarantula. See her amicable expression?” or “She can’t cause harm, she’s just an innocent baby,” would you suddenly feel safe?

Dogs and Fear of Strangers

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Bunnies Made of Cheese

How to Teach Physics to Your Dog

Stumbled across this picture while looking for blog-stuff…. I like cheese, too! It’s from the blog of Chad Orzel, the author of How to Teach Physics to Your Dog, which looks like a very good dog/science/physics read.

http://scienceblogs.com/principles/2008/08/bunnies_made_of_cheese_the_sec.php

http://dogphysics.com/book_info.html