Three Cheers for the UPS Driver

When UPS driver Gavin Crowsley first saw this dog, he thought it was a Dalmatian. Sadly, no, Phoenix was a terribly emaciated Great Dane, down to just 70 pounds. Phoenix was chained up with no shelter, food, or water, and Gavin just knew he had to stop to help. “I could see every bone in [...]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Nice Mite photos

A few nice Mite images I found:

Arrenurus cuspidator Mite
Mite

Image by nebarnix
A 6 image stack of an Arrenurus freshwater mite. 10X lomo, side illumination with external flash. Ring of white paper placed around the slide for light diffusion.

The mite was placed in a vial and stored in the fridge for several hours and then released back into the jar of pond water after the photo session.

Mighty Mites
Mite

Image by Photos o’ Randomness
Between periods, they let 4-6 year old Mighty Mites play. It was so cute!

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Yellow Ribbons and Wishful Thinking

For families of veterans a yellow ribbon is an article of faith. How about for dog people?

For families of veterans a yellow ribbon is an article of faith. How about for dog people?

A movement that has been making the rounds for a while now is encouraging people to place yellow ribbons on dogs that need space. "Needing space" is a euphemism for dogs that display aggressive behavior toward other dogs and/or toward people. (Labeling dogs as aggressive is bad. So we give them a different label.)

While this idea comes from a sentiment that I can certainly empathize with, I think it is not only doomed to failure but that it actually has the potential to cause more problems than it solves

Yellow Ribbons Will Never be Widely Adopted

First there’s the issue of whether or not enough people will use this to make it a reliable tool. We can’t get people to stop buying dogs from pet stores and puppy mills. We can’t get trainers to stick to science to choose and discuss their methods. (This goes for trainers on both sides of the fence by the way. "Do as I Do Dog Training?" Really? Let’s start a new training method based on a couple of studies.) Hell, we can’t even get people to agree on administering vaccinations to prevent disease in our children, let alone our dogs.

But we’re going to get people to reliably put yellow ribbons on dogs that need distance from each other?

Right. The check is in the mail too.

False Security or Denial?

Do you believe that these ribbons would be, if they somehow gained widespread adoption, a trustworthy indicator of an aggressive dog? Do you think that the absence of a ribbon would be a good indicator of a friendly dog?

Go to any conference, or even a working seminar, that allows "friendly" dogs and objectively watch the dogs that (alleged) professionals decide to bring. Chances are you’ll see at least a few that honestly do not belong there. Strike up a conversation and the rationale for bringing the dog there will be appalling…if there even is any recognition that there is a problem.

The sad fact is that denial is a very powerful force, powerful enough to make the desire to have one’s dog with oneself more important than the comfort of the dog. People, especially dog enthusiasts are terrible at self-selection when it comes to their dog’s behavior. The sad fact is a creative explanation for a dog’s behavior is often an acceptable substitute for actually addressing the problem.

And what happens when it’s possible to place a warning signal on an aggressive dog? Who’s problem is the behavior then?

Your Dog is Your Problem

Whether your dog "needs space" or not, your dog is your responsibility. Period. Placing a warning on your dog so that others can look out for her, or relying on other people to tell you that it is safe for your dog is not a good idea. Either way, you are relying on the judgement of others.

Of course many of the ribbons’ advocates are thinking “but the ribbons are only meant to serve as a warning, not as a crutch!” But that’s how they are likely to be used, and at best they are a distraction from what we need to be teaching our clients to do, as well as doing ourselves.

In situations in which you will meet dogs that you are not familiar with:

If your dog does not want to interact with other dogs, keep her away from other dogs.

If your dog does want to interact with other dogs, keep her away from other dogs.

It’s really simple, and all you need to do is look out for yourself and your dog, which is what you should be doing anyway.

Yellow Ribbons and Wishful Thinking is a post written by . You can see the actual post at Dog Training in Bergen County New Jersey


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My (Maternity) Style // Two Miles High

Maternity Style, 2 Miles High // Bubby and Bean

It’s been a month and a half since my last My Style post, and there is one reason for this: most of my clothes no longer fit!  Although I’m slowly learning how to incorporate pieces that are flattering for pregnancy, I’ve been amazed at how much my body has changed over the last 5 months.  Despite the fact that I’m still eating healthy foods and exercising almost everyday, I have already gained over 20 pounds at 19 weeks (and I won’t even get into how much my normally tiny boobs have grown – yikes).  I am fully embracing these new feminine curves, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that adjusting to an ever-growing body wasn’t a challenge.  Everyone has advice and suggestions, but pregnant or not, every body is different.  For example – most of my friends who are or have been recently pregnant live/lived in jersey maxi dresses, and have done it gorgeously.  But now my beloved maxi’s just make me look awkward and unbalanced.  I’m discovering that these days, what works best for me are shorter jersey dresses, over-sized tees with draping fabrics that are slightly clingy, and good old-fashioned leggings.  This ‘uniform’ is not only the most comfortable, it also works as a blank canvas for adding fun shoes and accessories.  For me, style is still important, baby bump or otherwise. :)

Maternity Style, 2 Miles High // Bubby and Bean
Geometric Ring Set
Maternity Style, 2 Miles High // Bubby and Bean

During our road trip last week, we decided to take some shots in front of the stunning lake and mountains of Dillon, Colorado (9,111 feet).  This scenery was literally right out our back door, and we spent a lot of time just sitting here, staring at the beauty that surrounded us. On this particular day, we’d had a late breakfast on the outdoor patio of a local eatery called Arapahoe that was just down the street.  Despite the sunshine, it gets chilly fast when you’re up that high in the mountains, and I also wanted to dress up my very neutral tee-and-leggings ensemble a bit.  Throwing on a lightweight coral cardigan did the trick.  I also added a few of my favorite accessories – some black and gold bracelets, a long gold triangle necklace, and some geometric midi rings.  These are the type of small additions that allow me to still feel put together when I’m wearing pregnancy outfits that could, for all intensive purposes, otherwise be labeled as yoga clothes.

Maternity Style, 2 Miles High // Bubby and Bean
Blowfish Shoes Tugo

My favorite part of this outfit, hands down, was the shoes.  I actually got them back in early June, but it’s been way too hot in Chicago to wear them yet.  Lucky for me, they were perfect for Colorado high country weather.  They’re called the Tugos and like many of my favorite pairs of kicks, were made by the fabulous folks over at Blowfish.  I love the bootie style, the buckle detailing, the color, and the fit.  But the best part is the hidden heel.  I wish I could say that I was one of those bad ass chicks who rocks regular heels during pregnancy, but I’m just not you guys.  I feel completely off balanced and uncomfortable in them these days, and I’m also paranoid about falling over and hurting the bebe.  So these hidden-heel booties are a dream come true – they give me a little extra height so I still feel semi-dressed up, but without the awkward/risky pregnant lady stiletto type situation.  Blowfish is currently sold out of the Tugo style, but check out the very similar Top Notch style in their ‘Heels and Wedges’ section.

I also just have to quickly mention that for my frizzy-wavy haired self, Colorado is a dream.  I used to live there, way up in the mountains, but had almost forgotten that the need for a flat iron is completely diminished when you’re at an altitude that lacks humidity.  Getting out of the shower and not having to touch your hair is pretty freaking incredible.  I slipped a brush through it once daily, and that was it. 

Maternity Style, 2 Miles High // Bubby and Bean
Maternity Style, 2 Miles High // Bubby and Bean
Maternity Style, 2 Miles High // Bubby and Bean
Shoes: c/o Blowfish  //  Grey High-LowTop: F21  //  Cardigan: old  //  Leggings: Target
Bracelets: thrifted and c/o Oasap  //  Sunglasses: H&M  //  Necklace: gift  //  Rings: F21

 

I plan to start doing maternity style posts here more often, and would love any links my fellow pregnant mamas may have to outfit posts you’ve done as well.  I still haven’t bought any real maternity clothing, but considering the fact that fall is around the corner and my current pairs of jeans can only be pulled up to about mid-thigh these days, I do see some maternity shopping in the not-so-distant-future. If you have any favorite shops, brands, or styles that you’d like to recommend, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Cool Topical images

Check out these Topical images:

Arts and Culture – what we heard 1 of 2
Topical

Image by Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

Arts and Culture Table 2 5 of 5
Topical

Image by Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

Arts and Culture Table 3 4 of 4
Topical

Image by Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library

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#Blogger Opp ~ Always On The Move

A Ladybug on the Go
Prize:
Bass Egg Speaker
Ozeri Pedometer
Fan Band
and more….
ARV $ 140
Hosted by:

Read more »


LoveMy2Dogs

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Kill as many humans as you want, but don’t dare kill a dog

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Topical Bleyage – Soul Train

FREE DOWNLOAD:::: http://www.sendspace.com/file/7dkz5i Label: Dacru Records (Belgium) Rel. date: 06.07.2011. EP: Static http://es-es.facebook.com/pages/T…

There are many methods of teaching the Bible, and not all of them are created equal. My name is Joe Miller and in this episode of the 10 Minute Teacher, I in…
Video Rating: 5 / 5

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7 Tips for Taking Your Dog to a Pet Expo

As you know, we’ve been traveling around to the Amazing Pet Expos in Texas this past year. The events are huge with an average of 10,000-12,000 attendees at the one-day event–plus a LOT…



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DogTipper

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Solving A Problem With The ABCs

Cutie jumping up.

Let’s look at the ABCs series thus far, especially this post, and see how we can apply the ABCs to solving a real problem.

I started a new basic class this Saturday and a few of the dogs jump up when they meet people, as one might expect for adolescent dogs. In the following class hour, a Canine Good Citizen class, another adolescent had the same issue with the polite greeting test.

I like this problem as an example for the ABCs because the components in the formula are clear and easy to identify.

Antecedent -> Behavior -> Consequence

Person Approaches -> Dog jumps up onto person -> Attention is given to dog

The antecedent is "person approaches". It’s not "dog sees person." This is because the dog cannot be part of the antecedent. In more complex situations the tendency might be to describe an antecedent with the dog included such as "the dog sees another dog" but that won’t work since one of our most powerful measures in solving a problem is controlling the antecedents, either as part of a behavior modification plan or even permanently. It we put the dog in the antecedent we’ve lumped the problem together and solving it becomeS more complicated.

In this case we are going to control the antecedent in two ways: we are going to avoid greetings as much as possible until we can better control them, and while we are training we will carefully control how quickly people approach and how close they will come.

The behavior is the easiest component to identify. The dogs I worked with Saturday were all exuberant "teenagers" that love people and really want to let them know that when they meet them.

After our rather long talk about counter-conditioning and desensitization (go to the category page scroll down a bit) it is worth noting that when we see the relaxed/goofy body postures, wagging tails, and what most observers would call "happy dogs" we know that these dogs are not reacting to the approaching people with fear or aggression and that CC&DS is not what is called for. We don’t want to change how they feel about people, we want to change how they react to them.

The consequence is what often confuses people. For these dogs just getting to the people is reinforcing enough to maintain the behavior. Hugging someone who is holding up their hands and saying "Stop! Get off! Down! Enough!" isn’t reinforcing for us, but that’s not the point. It is for the dog and it is maintaining the behavior.

So how do we apply the formula to this problem?

I already mentioned controlling the antecedent. Obviously this is not a viable long-term strategy. Short term we need to curb greetings because the reinforcement is strengthening the behavior, but this is a temporary step.

In this case changing the consequence is tricky. The only way we could keep the "A" and the "B" and alter the outcome would be to make greeting people unpleasant, and this could have obvious side effects. If we teach the dog that greeting some people results in something bad, he will become wary and maybe even defensive around strangers.

But there is a way to manipulate the situation: if the dog (like most) makes it obvious that he will jump up before the person arrives, we can have them stop or move away when he does this. This is the common "red light/green light" or "yo-yo" drill that many trainers use in classes. Done effectively, it actually becomes a way to use DRI to fix this problem.

  1. Our dog is on leash, held by his owner. Sitting at his side.
  2. Person approaches, dog gets out of sit. Person turns (dramatically if possible) and walks away.
  3. Repeat several times.
  4. Eventually, person approaches, dogs holds sit! Person continues to approach. When very close dog gets up. Person moves away.
  5. Eventually, person approaches, dog holds sit all the way until person reaches team and can greet human.

This is obviously an ideal scenario, mainly because I didn’t want to write another 500 words just describing the scenario. (I need to film this with a green dog and then edit the heck out of it.)

By starting with a sit and using getting up it as the criteria for having the person move away we focused on what we wanted instead of what we didn’t want.

Sometimes having the handler reward the dog with food is appropriate. Sometimes it adds to the dog’s excitement and makes things worse. Sometimes it even takes the dog’s focus completely off the exercise. It depends. In this rosy scenario attention was the main reinforcer and I went with it.

How long did it take? With the dog in the CGC class I was able to actually do this procedure in a few minutes. But this was a dog that had already passed a basic class and had a strong history of reinforcement for sitting. Pick a behavior that your dog is already proficient at when using this kind of problem solving.

What problems have you had success with solving? What problems have you stumped? What do you think of this approach to problem solving? Let me know in the comments!

Also, have you joined my email list yet? Every week I send an update on new posts to the blog, with a few extra notes from me. I’d love to have you onboard!

Solving A Problem With The ABCs is a post written by . You can see the actual post at Dog Training in Bergen County New Jersey


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