Monday, August 31, 2009

It's no easy job...

... to be looking for a new home. One has to take naps in between all the looking!
Yawn, Rupert

Friday, August 21, 2009

Marsh's Buggy

Yesterday I met a big buzzy bug with wings...

I had never seen a friend like that so I barked at him for awhile...

Nothing happened.

Then I thought that bug might be fun to play with! I was veeerrryyy gentle....

But then suddenly he got up and flew away fast. I chased him all the way to the fence, but he kept on going. He was gone....

I hope he comes back to play again.
Love, Marsh (still looking for my perfect family...who will let me play with a bug once in awhile)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It has come to my attention...

... that my pictures make me look like a giant fluffy bernese mountain dog. No way! I am no bigger than many of my border collie friends! Well, I may be little chubbier than they are (for now) but that just makes me extra huggable, don't you think?

Here I am with my two favoritist things in the whole world; my foster mom and my kong toy!

Ok, gotta go, it's time to lick someone's face!

Love, Rupert

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dog Dayz of Summer by Tippy the honorary border collie

Strange things started happening here at the farm last weekend. I heard it was the DogDayzofSummer. I wonder if it had something to do with full moon? See for yourself:

Dogs flying in the air everywhere

(anyone looking for a good flying dog please consider the talented Miss Peaches)

Humans got confused and danced with dogs rather than with other humans

Canines were working sheep AND humans

Sheep shrank and grew beaks

Foster dogs (Casey here) suffered from acute tongue-itis

And everyone giggled non-stop (this is GigglingBrady who is still looking for a home)

Maybe they all giggled because Santa came early?

It all made me little tired but I hope DogDayzofSummer comes back soon!
luv, Tippy

Photos courtesy of NEBCR volunteers and Stacey of Cold Nose Photography

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Check this out

We here at NEBCR are strong proponents of positive training methods. We use them with our personal dogs and we have seen great results using them to rehabilitate some of the 'special' foster dogs we've had in our care over the years. Please check out this piece that nicely summarizes our sentiments regarding some of the new popular training methods and behavior theories out there...

Debunking Dominance Theory

Explain it all away

Throughout the pet business right now, "dominance theory" is a popular explanation for absolutely anything that happens, from a puppy tugging on your trouser leg to birds flying up instead of down. Conquering "dominance" has become justification for absolutely any punishment people can think up, from shocking dogs to stuffing parrots into the toilet. (Yes, seriously.) And the awful thing is that otherwise sensible people believe this nonsense. Apparently the idea that some animal is trying to "dominate" YOU really resonates. Yikes—gotta stop that, right

You may be pleased to learn that some British scientists have blown a hole in the whole dog dominance business. Researchers in companion animal behavior in the University of Bristol veterinary department studied a group of dogs at a re-homing center, and also reanalyzed existing studies on feral dogs. Their conclusion: individual relationships between dogs are learned through experience rather than motivated by a desire to assert "dominance."

According to these specialists in companion animal behavior, training approaches aimed at "dominance reduction" vary from worthless to downright dangerous. Making dogs go through doors or eat their dinners after you, not before, will not shape the dogs' overall view of the relationship, but will only teach them what to expect in those situations. [1]

In other words, that stuff is silly, but harmless.

"Much worse, techniques such as pinning the dog to the floor, grabbing the jowls, or blasting hooters [noise makers] at dogs, will make dogs anxious, often about their owner, and potentially lead to an escalation of aggression." [2]


Veterinarians and shelters are seeing the results of this misapplied dominance. As one veterinary behaviorist put it to me at a recent scientific meeting, "A puppy has to submit to whatever the owner does; it has no choice. Then around the age of two comes just one Alpha roll too many, and the dog defends itself at last and tries to take the owner's face off." So now the dog is in the shelter. And these dogs are fearful, unpredictable, and very hard to rehabilitate.

Teaching people the power of clicker training is the benign and much more effective alternative. I'm so glad you all are out there, showing people through your own example and your happy, cooperative, attentive clicker dogs that there is a better way.

Happy clicking,

Karen Pryor
Sunshine Books, Inc.
49 River St., Suite 3
Waltham, MA 02453


[1] If you'd like to read the original paper:
Bradshaw, John W.S., Emily J. Blackwell, and Rachel A. Casey. "Dominance in Domestic Dogs—Useful Construct or Bad Habit?" Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research (May/June 2009), 135-14.
[2] From a nice summary of the research:
"Using 'Dominance' to Explain Dog Behavior Is Old Hat," Science Daily, May 25, 2009.
© 2009, Karen Pryor Clickertraining (KPCT)TM

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Marsh is enjoying the dog days of summer.....

Hi, it's Marsh.
Summer update.... laying around, playing ball, swimming, herding my friends....loving life.

Here I am wrestling with my buddy, Winnie. She will be ready for adoption soon. She is REALLY fun to play with. She's showing me her 'play mad-teeth' here. I look a little freaked, but I'm just pretending. It makes the game more exciting.

Later we relaxed on the deck holding paws.
I'm still looking for my forever home, but until then ..... Aaaahhhh ..... summer .....