How Jaco Got His Game

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The Bark magazine published my piece on training Jaco this past June, and it recently arrived as an online link as well! Jaco has been a joy and a challenge. It feels as though every time I learn something new with a dog, I need to apply another new thing to the next dog. That’s certainly been the case here. But he is eager, and happy, and essentially kind and sweet. I feel as though he’s making me a better handler than I am.

Julie Hecht’s Great Posts at Dog Spies

Coda&Skull

 

Julie Hecht of Dog Spies, my favorite blog — natch! — on Scientific American, has written three or four blog posts over the past year and a half that I simply love, not just because she writes favorably about my book (although I do love that), but also because her pieces highlight the science behind cadaver dog scent detection training. She also features a couple of my favorite studies on cadaver dogs.

(Pictured above is one of my favorite cadaver dogs in training, Coda, as she finally locates a buried skull during training.)

Julie, a canine behavioral researcher and science writer in New York City, explains why she’s interested in cadaver dogs: She wants to know “the whys and hows behind dogs and the dog-human relationship. How does a dog start as a dog with a nose and become a dog who uses his nose to stop beside a corpse under a canopy of trees in the woods? How do dogs learn that dead squirrels and rotting trees are not the end goal and should be ignored?”

I’m posting her pieces here from most recent to least recent. But DO read about dead chickens! Not to be missed. You can also follow her on Twitter (@DogSpies).

“Three Reasons Not to Leave a Dead Body on the Carpet”

“The Dog of the Dead”

“Would Your Dog Make a Good Cadaver Detection Dog?”

“One Day, You Will Smell Like a Dead Chicken”

A Good Nose Isn’t That Hard to Find

blogdogI’ve long admired Buzz Hoot Roar, a graphics-driven blog that explains science in fewer than 300 words, so when @VerdantEleanor (she’s “Roar) approached me about doing something with artist Christine Fleming, I said yes with alacrity! We decided to focus on the ongoing competition between machines and dogs and other animals, to see which has the best nose, and is the easiest to use. Okay, dog people, I honestly tried to be objective when I did this research, but one of Christine’s marvelous illustrations sums up why dogs rock, and why A Good Nose Isn’t That Hard to Find.