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Labrador Retriever

Nature, nurture or nasty?

Stockholm University research has shown that dogs are getting "dumber". Researchers found that current pedigree dogs are "disinterested, shy and less responsive to commands than their ancestors." They also found that show-quality and "handbag" dogs are the most likely to be affected by this lower intelligence.

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A black Labrador, a burglar, and a bravery award

I have to admit to a weakness for black Labradors, since their is one asleep on my sofa as I write this. He is often to be found snoozing on my sofa, but if he feels there is the need to defend his territory, he is up on his feet and barking, quick as a flash. His hackles go up, creating an impressive mohican effect down his back, and his barks are ear-shattering.

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The dogs discover Goodrich Castle

We had a rare Saturday with nothing
already arranged. The weather was good, so we decided to ignore the various chores waiting to be done at home, and go out for the day. We are members of English Heritage, and we consulted the guidebook for a suitable venue. We were members of another similar organisation, but defected to English Heritage as they welcome dogs. When I say they welcome dogs, I really mean they welcome dogs, as opposed to just tolerating them. The organisation we left has some site which claim to welcome dogs, but that translates to permitting them in the car park on a lead. Which is absolutely no good to me or most dog owners. With rising crime it's asking for trouble to leave your dog in a car in a distant car park, apart from the dangers of overheating.

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The dogs go to Goodrich Castle

We had a great day at Goodrich Castle, and really appreciate English Heritage for allowing dogs.

Titles, toileting and treats

When I went to Good Citizen training classes with Buddy we met a lot of new people and dogs. Which was great for us both. Except that I'm not very good at recalling names, and suddenly I had lots to remember. The other problem I had was that many of the owners I met had given their dog a traditionally human name, which just added to my confusion. So I had not only to memorise Tara and Katie, Ellie and Sally, Nick and Harvey, and Connie and Sally, but I also had to remember which was the dog and which the person.

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A cartoon and a training session

Tim Glass, author of Just This Side of Heaven sent me a link to a cartoon depicting what it can be like being an author with a dog at a book signing. I told him not to take it personally if people want to meet one of his lovely Beagles with more enthusiasm than they do him. Apart from the fact that dogs are usually cuter than their accompanying people, they are just more approachable too. You don't feel at all self conscious when greeting a dog, even a celebrity one.

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Marley & Me and me

So I finally got to see the film Marley & Me. Guess what? I cried. I don't mean sniffling in my tissue, and a bit of demure wiping of the odd tear away, I mean the kind of heartfelt sobs that shake you, and leave you fighting to draw the next breath in. I mean when your face screws up of its own accord, your mouth twitches and you feel a wail rising from deep inside you, and doing its best to escape you. (Of course I suppressed the wail for the benefit of those around me.)

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Endal, dog of the millenium

Endal became Allen Parton's assistance dog - the rest is history!

I am my dog's Mom

I was listening to the British comedian Alan Davies telling a story about his Alsatian dog, and I noticed that he spoke of the dog as referring to him as Alan rather than Dad. This is something that becomes apparent about dog owners once you've been around them a while - some refer to themselves as their dog's mom or dad, others imagine the dog using their Christian name. I don't think there's anything wrong with either one, but I don't actually think that's how our dogs relate to us.

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Sharing

229 - Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Help! My Dog is Scared of the Vet

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson talks about a wide range of dog, animal and pet related issues in a fascinating interview based around his book Lost Companions: Reflections on the Death of Pets. Through her book, Help! My Dog is Scared of the Vet, Toni Shelbourne is offering help to the many dogs who are afraid of the vet. The DogCast Radio News brings you all the dog related stories you might otherwise miss out on.

189 - The Dog Healers and War Dogs Remembered

In this episode you can hear Mark Winik talk about his debut novel, The Dog Healers, and listen to Julia Robertson explain why she founded the charity War Dogs remembered. Plus there's the DogCast Radio News, and what Mischief the German Spitz puppy has been up to.

188 - Service Dogs UK and Roxie the Doxie Finds Her Forever Home

In this episode you can hear about Service Dogs UK, a fantastic charity which trains assistance dogs to support veterans of any service - military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics and the coastguard - who develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to their job. Also, listen to Dr Jody A Dean, a clinical psychologist talk about how her book, Roxie the Doxie finds her Forever Home, is helping children understand and talk about adoption and other family issues. Plus the DogCast Radio News and some thoughts on the alpha dog myth.

187 - Muffins Halo and Chorley Fun Dog Show

In this episode you can hear about Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs, and what motivates people to enter their dog in a fun dog show. In the DogCast Radio News, listen to stories about the latest dog related research. Plus there's a new member of the DogCast Radio team!

186 - Maxwell Muir on wolves

In this episode you can hear trainer, behaviourist, writer, broadcaster and wolf expert Maxwell Muir talk about what wolves mean to him personally, their plight in a modern world, and his hopes for their future. Plus we have the DogCast Radio News.