Posts Tagged ‘Dogs’

NOVA | The Meaning of Dog Barks

October 13, 2011 Leave a comment

NOVA | The Meaning of Dog Barks.

How good are you at deciphering the meaning behind a dog bark? Research suggests that we humans are pretty good. Go ahead and test yourself.



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Dog knows names for 1,022 items | Seattle Times Newspaper

January 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Living | Dog knows names for 1,022 items | Seattle Times Newspaper.

The article above is about a South Carolina dog named Chaser, a female border collie.  Chaser’s owner, John Pilley, is a psychologist who got intrigued with what a dog could understand of human language.  Some years before he came across news of a border collie in Germany who was taught to recognize 200 items by name.  Pilley wondered if the dog’s understanding of language had any connection to our own understanding.

To that end Chaser was taught 1,022 proper nouns.  This number is not the known limit of Chaser’s vocabulary. It’s simply that Chaser’s owner just got tired of teaching nouns, and he moved on to grammar and verbs.  By the end of the training Chaser learned to paw, fetch, and nose an object.  The most interesting aspect is that she also could pick out an object not in her vocabulary if it was among items she did know.

But is she truly using vocabulary?  It’s been shown before that border collies and other animals pick up on subtle cues from their owners in order to arrive at a “right” answer.

John Pilley worked to overcome many of these problems by sending Chaser to retrieve items in another room so that his signals would not affect the dog’s choices.  But still, there is doubt that what Chaser is doing even reflects what a human child does.  The dog, some say, learned by brute repetition.  The true miracle is that an owner had the patience to teach her.

I’m of the opinion that all animals have their own forms of communication.  Like in the link I gave to the podcast discussing animal communication and how it’s more complicated and articulate than we ever imagined, dogs do have the ability to communicate across species.

Think of that the next time you pick up your dog’s leash because you just know they’ve got to do their business.

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David Rothenberg, An Artist, Studies The Pointer

October 13, 2010 Leave a comment

David Rothenberg.

This site came up on my radar recently.  The link above is to a 2005 exhibition where Rothenberg had digital frames hung on the wall.  In each a pointer stands rigid as the background around the dog moves in the wind.  From the site:

Pointers explores a limbo state between moving and static images. Digital video loops made from found 16mm films depict hunting dogs on point, remaining motionless within moving landscapes.

Like taxidermic statues, the pointer’s controlled posture mimics the fate of their prey and the near stillness of a photograph. Impending violence and death is displaced from the frame of the image and suspended in time.

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Training & Hunting Your Dog in Extreme Weather

September 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Today's dog was bred without an off switch. Be careful that they don't get heat stroke when working in extreme heat.

Duckhill Digest has a good article about having your dog out working in extreme weather.  There is good information here about how to keep your dog safe when working in the heat.  Find more at the link below.

DuckHill Digest – August 23, 2010 – Digest 29.

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He Does Mow The Yard Quickly, But He Couldn’t Mow A Straight Line To Save His Life

September 1, 2010 Leave a comment
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Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel & Ducks Unlimited Announce 2010 “Dog of the Year”

July 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Innis, a yellow Labrador Retriever from Holland Michigan. 2010's Dog of the Year.

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel & Ducks Unlimited announce 2010 “Dog of the Year”.

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel is celebrating its fifth year in partnering with Ducks Unlimited.  Each year they’ve made a commemorative gift set.  A portion of the set’s sales goes to support DU’s efforts to restore and manage wetlands.  For each year’s set a special dog is selected to have his or her likeness placed on the commemorative tin.

This year yellow Lab owners were asked to submit stories about their dog and what made it special.  From all of the entries received the judges were unanimous about who the winner would be.  He is Innis, a yellow Lab from Holland, Michigan.

And what swayed the judges?  Innis’ owners wrote:

“In March of 2009, my 5 year old faithful companion Innis was diagnosed with cancer in his knee joint. In April his left hind leg was amputated and I thought this would most likely be the end of his hunting career. However, his desire and his love of the outdoors did not stop him. On the opening of the 2009 duck season, Innis made a long retrieve and a blind retrieve as he always had. His next big test would be our annual pheasant hunting trip to Minnesota which he passed with flying colors. Innis has been an inspiration to me. He has shown me that even when life is not going our way, we should not let it get us down and we should keep doing what we love. He is my faithful friend and companion.”

Read more about Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel & Ducks Unlimited’s partnership at the link above.

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