The Bark Stops Here

Here's where I'll post odds and ends of interest: Upcoming local events, health bulletins and announcements. Periodically, I will post an original article addressing dog training and behavior. In addition, please visit the Southport Veterinary Center Blog page by clicking here, where I am a guest author. So check back often to see "The Inside Poop".

News

townvibe

Please visit the link below to read the article "No Bad Dogs" in the November-December 2012 issue of townvibe.

townvibe

"No Bad Dogs - Jody Rosengarten teaches fairfielders how to be better dog owners" by Robin H. Phillips

The Daily Westport

I will be writing a recurring column for The Daily Westport addressing various dog behavior problems as well as answering questions from pet owners. Please visit my column at The Daily Westport by clicking here.

Radio Show

I am a sit regular guest on the phone-in radio show, David Smith's Exchange, WICC 600AM. I will be live usually the first Monday of every month from 3:00pm to 4:00pm. You are welcome to call with questions at (203) 333-WICC (333-9422) or toll free at (800) 922-6060 or via the internet at www.WICC600.com. If you would like any additional information please email me by clicking here, and please be sure to include your contact information and email address.

Articles

New Articles October 2015

anthropomorphization

(Posted October 11, 2015)

To anthropomorphize is to attribute human traits to non-humans (because we’re so great). Though this is meant to be flattering, I see it differently.

As I mentioned in my first book, Rover, Don't Roll Over, a client once said, "I love my dog, I just hate when she does doggy things." This reminded me of Henry Higgins asking, "Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man?" A current client is eager to have her Papillion play with other dogs so long as there's "no chewing, sniffing or chasing." This would be funny but for her kicking any pup who solicits play at the dog park.

Now you'll never catch me using the word "just" when referring to a dog, but to anthropomorphize implies that there’s something wrong with a dog as is. Like the westerner admiring an Asian's Anglicized features or the African's processed hair, how narcissistic are we?

I just spoke to a man who opened the conversation saying, "Daisy is not a dog, she's a person." This was repeated four times in five minutes. My "sounds like you don't like dogs" slight was wasted on him.

Whistle While You Worry

Soothing A Nervous Pup

(Posted September 29, 2015)

By conveying calm confidence you set the tone for shy or fearful Pavlov to respond in kind. If you catch yourself tensing, sing. No kidding, sing. A different part of the brain is engaged when we sing masking anxiety the spoken voice conveys. I suspect the happy hormones singing releases have a lot to do with it, too.

Did you know that people with severe stutters sing stammer-free? It’s true. I’ve been telling clients this for years as many rolled their eyes thinking, I suspect, that was just me being all woo-woo. That’s until the movie The King’s Speech came out in 2010 and made an honest woman out of me. Since learning this, when working with a biting dog or if trimming my parrots’ nails, I break into show tunes. This technique is not recommended on a job interview or blind date.

P.S. Not being a whistler, I can’t say whether whistling garners similar results. Still, if you’re game, why not put your lips together and blow?

Grumble vs Growls

(Posted September 29, 2015)

Because they’re both guttural utterances, Grumbles and Growls are commonly confused. What I call a Grumble is happy, full-bodied and wavery like a yodel. A Growl emanates from deep in the throat and is quieter and more level than a Grumble. Grumbling Pavlov’s body is relaxed, when Growling he’s still, as if holding his breath. If resource-guarding, Growling Pavlov’s neck turtles out slightly led by his chin. Where there’s a devil-may-care quality to a Grumble, a Growl that has no sense of humor. Grumbles are intended to engage but Growls say, “Make my day.” Mishandled, Grumbles easily evolve into a Growl.

I paid a house call to evaluate a newly adopted Minpin’s “extreme aggression” as evidenced by her frequent “growling.” A few minutes into the session, Angel crooned a, “Wanna play?” Grumble that was harshly rebuked by both parents. Defensive, Angel stiffened and eventually did Growl in response to the finger that wagged menacingly in her face, a causal relationship that eluded Ma and Pa. So I waited for Angel to Grumble again and asked her to sit before tossing a stuffed rooster that she chased with utter glee. This was repeated dozens of times throughout our 90-minute, snarl-free session.

Jody Rosengarten
The Bark Stops Here
(203) 372-BARK

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