Canine Intelligence: Going into the Mind of Your Dog

Dr. Brian Hare, canine cognition researcher Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Brian Hare on the Working Like Dogs radio show at www.petliferadio.com. Dr. Hare, the Director of the Canine Cognition Center at Duke University, is the author of The Genius of Dogs. Also, he is the co-founder of the innovative website www.dognition.com. This website contains instructional games …

Why do dogs eat grass?

Why do some dogs not only like to lie on the grass, but also eat it? Everyone seems to have a theory about why dogs sometimes eat grass, but nobody really knows for certain. Some people think dogs eat grass to get more fiber in their diet.  But since modern commercial diets contain enough fiber, that theory has been dismissed …

Meeting new dogs: What’s the best approach?

Service dog Whistle and his new friend, Bueno, after their first meeting   As an experienced assistance dog handler, you may consider yourself to be a total “dog person,” but that doesn’t mean you should assume it’s OK to approach every unknown dog.  For me and Whistle, getting up close and personal isn’t always the best approach. When I am …

Assistance Dogs at Craig Hospital

Retired guide dog Heather Recently my husband Franz, Whistle, and I traveled to Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado, for my annual physical and re-evaluation of my disability-related medical needs. I’ve been coming to Craig for over 10 years. They are consistently  recognized as one of the top rehabilitation facilities in the country. During my stays throughout the years, I have …

How’s your assistance dog’s off-lead recall?

How’s your assistance dog’s off-lead recall? Whistle is an amazing assistance dog and he spends a lot of his time working with me. However, I try to give him several times throughout the day and evening when he can spend some free time in the backyard relaxing and just being a dog. When he and I were first working together, …

How to Choose the Best Chew Toy for Your Assistance Dog

Toys are an important part of your assistance dog’s overall health and well-being. Having appropriate, engaging chew toys is important not only for entertainment but it can also support their dental health and ease anxiety. I don’t know about you but when I got my first assistance dog, I did not have much experience with highly trained dogs and I …

U.S. Department of Justice Rules on Assistance Dogs to Become Stricter March 15, 2011

James J. McDonald, Jr., managing partner, Fisher & Phillips, LLP wrote a good summary about the March 15 changes impacting U.S. assistance dogs. His summary is listed below. It’s long but I found it to be very informative. Regulations issued in 1991 following the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act required that public accommodations (which include restaurants, hotels, retail …

Current Assistance Dog Legislation

As a member of an assistance dog team, I know I sometimes take for granted all of the policy and administrative decisions that are being discussed and implemented. These laws and policies are very important, as they can directly impact our ability to function in public as effective assistance dog teams. Recently I heard about two legislative proposals directly related …

Growing Up Guide Pup

What a lucky dog! One-year-old guide dog in training Ricki spent her birthday at Disneyland in California, but took a break with her people, Matt and Amie Chapman, to talk to me and Whistle on the Working Like Dogs show recently. Matt and Amie are producing a weekly video series on YouTube called Growing Up Guide Pup, which captures the …