About Me

I am a middle-aged dog trainer and gentleman farmer wannabe. I read too many books and spend too much time on the computer. I am a cynic, cook, gardener, hiker, dog trainer and environmental scientist.

Blogging on dogs, science, ethics, culture, books, backyard agriculture and the funny, shiny things that catch my eye.

Note for spammers, PR hacks, link trollers and others with questionable intentions: Don’t offer to send me a book or product to review unless you’ve been a regular reader here for some time and have a very good idea what I like. I’m not much a fan of cuteness, sweetness, gadgets or pointless frippery. I won’t post a link to your product and I probably won’t agree to review it (at least not in a nice way). If you want to be blog-rolled, read posts here for a while, leave interesting comments and link your blog to them. Sooner or later I’ll check your back link and if I like it I’ll blogroll it. But please note that unless you blog about science, working dogs, nature, gardening or another subject that you see blogged about here on a regular basis – don’t hold your breath.

For the recent spate of volunteer “guest bloggers” who are so keen to offer me their services – if I respected your opinions enough to want you to guest blog for me I’d already have asked. Please also note that sending me a message that includes several grammatical errors does not inspire me to promote your writing career.

Lokihug

contact me: smartk9s-at-msn-dot-com

33 Comments Add your own

  • 1. CeliaSue Hecht  |  January 6, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    great, thanks for the first aid kit… what about the all natural one though???

  • 2. Moira  |  June 22, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Very cool blog! Would you consider posting my new film “Dogs in Art” on it to share with all your smart dog readers? You can view it here…

    Thank you.

  • 3. Bill  |  June 26, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Bill…

    Wow, nice blog….

  • 4. Pearl  |  August 21, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    I love your site! I am also a fellow four-legged friend lover and have two kitties of my own, Mocha and Furball. As I was browsing through the Internet and reading through a bunch of pet blogs, I stumbled upon yours. After going through a lot of entries on your site, I can sense a mutual genuine adoration we have for our animals.

    I am a huge enthusiast of making sure our pets receive the care they need and deserve. I am lucky enough to be working with LocalVets.com because it has allowed me to pursue this very passion.
    Our core value is to connect pets in need with veterinarians who care. We currently work with over 2,000 vets across the country from large organizations like Banfield to one doctor locations. We even work with professional veterinary associations such as VHMA, http://www.vhma.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=266.

    I have found LocalVets.com to be a great resource for pet owners like us to use when seeking the closest and most suitable veterinarian in their neighborhood. As you have experience with vet visits, you know first hand how dreadful it can be for your pet and even you. Yet, it is inevitable in order to keep our pet healthy and more importantly, when an emergency arises.

    There are not enough pet owners who provide their pets with the recommended veterinary visits of twice a year, especially for cats with an average of less than one visit a year. LocalVets.com can provide a directory that will be extremely helpful and effective for the pet owner in locating a veterinarian in their vicinity who can help them with their pet’s necessary treatment.

    Let me know if you have a few minutes to discuss an opportunity to include a link on your blog.

    Thanks!

    Yours Truly,

    Pearl

  • 5. Rose  |  December 22, 2008 at 10:03 am

    I like the comment that the main aspect of dog training is the attitude of the person rather than the technique. That is so much the case in much of life.

  • 6. Melissa Mitchell  |  February 8, 2009 at 6:15 am

    what kind of dog is Zip? My Shiloh looks just like him

  • 7. SmartDogs  |  February 8, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    She’s an Australian Kelpie. A 32-lb, obsesessive-complusive, nutjob. Like a Border Collie on meth.

  • 8. Melissa Mitchell  |  February 8, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    My Shiloh is definitely a mix, coming in a just under 6olbs. But other than being bigger she is a dead ringer. She loves to work and learn. Her prey drive is definitely there, but her self control is remarkable. I bet she is a shepherd or other stock dog mix with kelpie for sure. If you would like to see her checkout http://servicedogsawayoflife.blogspot.com/search/label/Shilo .

  • 9. deborahanddaniel  |  February 22, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Hi Janeen and Mark!

    Thank for your comment on my blog House&Hound! Funny that you’re located in Red Wing. My partner Daniel and I are getting married there at the Round Barn in August! Our dogs Gus and Charly are going to make the trip from Minneapolis to be our ring bearers!

    Deborah

  • 10. alex  |  August 3, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    I read my books, but I admire the ingenuity of designers when it comes to considering bookshelves too.

  • 11. SmartDogs  |  August 3, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Thanks for that – I adore your blog.

    The only think I love more than books is dogs. While I limit myself to just a few dogs my house is over-flowing with books. Well-thumbed, dog-eared, with cracked spines and coffee stains. Like old friends, they may get worn with age – but certainly not less loved.

    Most of the wonderful things I see on your blog are out of my price range – but I enjoy seeing what you’ll post next.

  • 12. alex  |  August 3, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    That’s very kind of you – I’m in a similar position re. books (but no dogs, I’m afraid). I’ve got a couple of corkers coming up this week…

  • 13. Bella  |  September 4, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Hello,
    The DogTime editorial team has been reading through hundreds of pet-related blogs and we’ve selected your blog to become part of the Dogtime Blog Network.
    Who is DogTime? DogTime is the largest online community of animal lovers with 24.2 million unique visitors per month, 600 pet-focused websites and more than 350 blog network members. Our community includes the best dog, cat, bird, fish, reptile and horse bloggers from across the pet category.
    Please visit DogTime.com to learn more about our mission.
    As part of the Dogtime Blog Network, you will reach a larger audience of animal enthusiasts, plus you will have access to DogTime’s powerful tools that can drive both traffic and revenue to your blog.
    Participation is simple, as we will use your existing RSS feed to feature your blog and posts. If you would like to participate, simply reply to this email with your acceptance. Once approved we will send you your DogTime Blog Star badge to post on your homepage (above the fold). For more details about the benefits of participating in the DogTime Blog Network please refer to our FAQs.
    Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
    Thanks and Many Happy Wags!
    Best,
    Network Manager
    Dogtime Media

  • 14. Kathy Hilliard  |  October 27, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Greetings,

    Are dogs better? Millions (and undoubtedly many of your readers) think so. The conflict between the species, like the debate between their owners, has continued for centuries. Internationally best-selling author Bradley Trevor Greive puts the debate to rest by teaming up with world-renowned photographer Rachael Hale to present Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats (http://www.andrewsmcmeel.com/products/?isbn=0740785133 , hot off the press from Andrews McMeel Publishing.

    Author, adventurer, and unabashed dog advocate, BTG’s best-selling Blue Day Book series has sold more than 20 million copies around the world – his words undoubtedly resonate with readers. Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats provides a humorous (and heartwarming) commentary on the magnetic characteristics of dogs, and how and why we love them. Best wishes,

    Kathy Hilliard
    Publicity Director
    Andrews McMeel Publishing
    1130 Walnut Street
    Kansas City, MO 64106

  • 15. Steve Bodio  |  November 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Just got the (wonderful) Vicki Hearne book. Lost your email in the computer dump– drop me a line?

  • 16. Joanne  |  December 3, 2009 at 2:45 am

    My name is Joanne Kunin and I work in Web Communications in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Public Affairs. I am writing to invite you to attend a free Animal Health and Safety Widget Webinar for Bloggers hosted by the FDA on Tuesday, December 8, from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. ET. The featured speakers, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Principal Deputy Commissioner of the FDA, and Dr. Bernadette Dunham, Director of FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, will focus on the importance of animal health and safety for both animals and pet owners. After the presentations, there will be an opportunity to ask questions and/or offer feedback. Read more about this free webinar: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/ucm192665.htm

    One of the FDA’s priorities is to promote animal health and safety information. Toward that end, FDA is developing an Animal Health and Safety widget to make it easier for you to receive and share animal health information. The widget is a Web application that contains FDA animal health and safety news alerts and tips. It displays this content on any blog or Web page. The content requires no manual updates because it is automatically updated by the FDA.

    If you can attend, please send an RSVP to askCVM@fda.hhs.gov then we will email you the webinar access information. This is an open webinar so please invite others that you think may be interested. We will be using the Twitter hashtag #FDApet if you’d like to tweet about or follow the webinar on Twitter.

    Please let us know if you have questions and/or comments.

    Regards,

    Joanne Kunin
    Program Analyst | Office of Public Affairs/Web
    U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    Joanne.Kunin@fda.hhs.gov

  • 17. Melissa Jo Peltier  |  January 3, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    IMHO, this blog is well-deserving of its name. It is a VERY smart, Smartdog Blog!

    My name is Melissa Jo Peltier and I am one of the executive producers of The Dog Whisperer as well as Cesar’s co-authors of his first four (and upcoming fifth) book.

    I am so impressed with your balanced, science and behavior (and experience!) based assessment of dog behavior. I particularly loved the recent entry about excitement vs happiness and the science you used to make your points.

    As I’m sure you know, Cesar has a lot of critics. Disagreement with him is to be expected and in fact is truly welcomed, as he is one of the most open-minded people I’ve ever had the good fortune of meeting – a rare example of a person who embraces change and growth. However, he has been condemned and in fact vilified by many on the basis of a lot of junk science and real science taken out of context.

    It’s such a treat to read someone who recognizes and isn’t afraid to consider the shades of gray in what we know – and what we don’t know – about animal and dog behavior.

    I live in NY but am heading out to LA in a week to begin working with Cesar again and will be sharing some of the wisdom and insights on your blog with him. I’m sure it will stimulate some really exciting discussions between us.

    Glad my Google Alert pointed you out to me!

    Thanks for the excellent blog (and top-notch writing, too!)

  • 18. Joanne Wannan  |  February 6, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    I recently wrote a book called NEW LIVES: Stories of Rescued Dogs Helping, Healing and Giving Hope. It tells of 18 dogs who were rescued from shelters and the streets, who are now performing miracles in animal therapy and as
    service dogs The foreword is written by Dr. Marty Becker (Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul), and cover endorsements are from both the ASPCA and the Humane Society.
    While writing this book, my eyes were opened to how many truly amazing animal shelters and organizations are making a difference. I also discovered the negative affects this slow global economy has caused for these groups. The animal shelters/organizations who are hurting the most aren’t the large national groups. It’s the small local or shelters and organizations that are really struggling right now.
    Because of this, I have created a contest where people can tell their shelter story, and win valuable prizes. Not only that, but 2 lucky winners will each have 15% of the profits from the sale of NEW LIVES donated to the shelter or rescue of their choice.
    Details of the contest are available at: http://www.InspiringRescueStories.com
    I am emailing to ask for your help in spreading the word about the contest – and in the process, about the plight of shelter dogs, via your newsletter and blog.
    I know you are probably inundated with requests, and I thank you in advance for any assistance you can provide.
    Yours truly,
    Joanne Wannan

  • 19. ami  |  April 28, 2010 at 12:29 am

    great work. i really like your musings and research on the reluctance of popular dog culture to acknowledge the advantages of the electric collar.
    Since they (pet dog trainers) have consummated the union with clicker training in the 1980’s they have jealously guarded their golden goose. Clicker training and cookie training makes millions.

    Ecollar training will render them penniless-and so they must denounce it-out of greed and self-preservation. The truth nowadays, is “Cinderella”.

    Ami Truth-Seeker, Dog-Lover, Ambivalent About Dog Folks
    http://www.dogdoright.com

  • 20. Matha Cristy-Couch  |  May 22, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Hi Janeen, I found your blog – probably through Heather H’s blog. I have you on my favorites. I was also very interested to read your comments about the mostly ONB ES gathering you named Small Wonders. I have one of these ONB dogs, Luke, who was fostered by Nancy H. between the Kapsa trial and Jan 2010 when I adopted him. I can write you more later but we are making good progress.. though in irregular jumps and starts. He has started eating from my hand about a month ago. This means trust is building and so I now have been more able to start some more formal training – sit, down, and come are possible when on leash when he is relaxed. I would like to know how an e collar can help this still very easily frightened dog. I don’t yet dare to let him off leash on purpose… of course it has happened when I wasn’t paying attention, but the world didn’t come to an end and he is still here and mine.
    But what a sweet dog! He and my 4 yr old female B&T ES (twice as big as Luke) play like mad which is great. And the times Luke got loose and they dashed for the woods and fields – when I called Tallie, Luke came right along behind her – up to 10 ft away from me or so — but eventually each time I did manage to corral him again. I already have a dogtra e-collar that vibrates for Tallie. What did you teach Nancy about using an e-collar to help Stanley progress?
    Thank you for any hints, perhaps email would be easier than blog comments. I will write more and send pictures if you’d like to have some email back and forth. Martha (in my early 70’s, and over the years have had now 6 ES’s.)

  • 21. Blaine Stanley  |  June 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Hi Janeen, I found your blog – probably through Heather H’s blog. I have you on my favorites. I was also very interested to read your comments about the mostly ONB ES gathering you named Small Wonders. I have one of these ONB dogs, Luke, who was fostered by Nancy H. between the Kapsa trial and Jan 2010 when I adopted him. I can write you more later but we are making good progress.. though in irregular jumps and starts. He has started eating from my hand about a month ago. This means trust is building and so I now have been more able to start some more formal training – sit, down, and come are possible when on leash when he is relaxed. I would like to know how an e collar can help this still very easily frightened dog. I don’t yet dare to let him off leash on purpose… of course it has happened when I wasn’t paying attention, but the world didn’t come to an end and he is still here and mine. But what a sweet dog! He and my 4 yr old female B&T ES (twice as big as Luke) play like mad which is great. And the times Luke got loose and they dashed for the woods and fields – when I called Tallie, Luke came right along behind her – up to 10 ft away from me or so — but eventually each time I did manage to corral him again. I already have a dogtra e-collar that vibrates for Tallie. What did you teach Nancy about using an e-collar to help Stanley progress?Thank you for any hints, perhaps email would be easier than blog comments. I will write more and send pictures if you’d like to have some email back and forth. Martha (in my early 70′s, and over the years have had now 6 ES’s.)
    +1

  • 22. SmartDogs  |  June 18, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Hi Martha – actually I’m the same Janeen (smartk9s) who’s been in contact with you via email about this.

  • 23. Martha Cristy-Couch  |  July 2, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Well that June 15 comment from Blaine Stanley is just my comment of May 22 in italics. I did not write or send all that a second time …some kind of a tech fart. I know who you are and that we are in email contact. I hope Karen told you about the visit and consultation she and I and Luke had yesterday.. It was great!
    Thank you so much. And onward we go. I posted some more photos on the montannaes site.
    Hope all is going well with all of you at your house.
    Martha

    Martha

  • 24. Anna  |  September 22, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Hi,
    I invite you to join our top with Earth Science, Engineering, Life Science, Space
    and related sites to science at: http://www.allsciencesites.com
    Our top have a friendly interface and it offers free web promotion for your site.
    You can find:
    -title and description;
    – screenshot of your website
    -statistics about the number of your visitors(unique/pageviews);
    -comments about your site;
    -the ranking is by sites unique visitors in a week;
    -first 5 sites are scrolling in the right side of the site on all site pages;
    -7 sites are selected random and showed on the header slideshow of the site;
    -statistics with the visitors you got from our top;
    After you join our top take the voting code and put in your site
    to be accepted to our site.

    We’ll be expecting you at http://www.allsciencesites.com to subscribe your
    site. If you have any question don’t hesitate to contact us.

    Thank you for your time.

  • 25. Dexter  |  December 30, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Hey! Would you consider adding “A Dog Tells All” (my new blog) to your roll? As an erudite yellow lab wanting to share my view of the world, I would appreciate the notice, and of course, I will be happy to reciprocate.

  • 26. Dexter  |  December 30, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Hey! Would you consider adding “A Dog Tells All” (my new blog) to your roll? It is found at http://www.dextersdesk.com. As an erudite yellow lab wanting to share my view of the world, I would appreciate the notice, and of course, I will be happy to reciprocate.

  • 27. georgia little pea  |  February 22, 2011 at 3:31 am

    Oh dear, where do I start?

    First of all, thank you for your email! I’ve posted it for you, with a reply of course, and a link back to this site.

    I’ve just read your profile and am quite intimidated [in a good way - this means I'll try to minimise any silly remarks.]. You weren’t kidding when you said you were A Clever Scientist type. Since I don’t post about science, nature, working dogs or gardening, I suspect it will be quite pointless to ask you to be my Fwiend. [Even if I do occasionally post about funny things, shiny or not.]

    I did try to read your latest post. I think my eyes might have glazed over a little. The line that did catch my eye was that there is no genetic cure for stupidity. That’s unfortunate and I hope you’re working on it. Although I might be too old to take advantage of it, I can think of a few young ‘uns that might benefit.

    That’s about it. Thank you again. I might add you to my reading list just in case you ever post something I can comment on. Until then :) the cook.

  • 28. Yrag  |  March 30, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    I would appreciate it if you would consider the facts before you publicly flame a business when you were not even involved in the incident.

  • 29. NoniB  |  June 19, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Great! Just when I find this site and get started reading the wonderful content, I have to go off-line in about five hours for the next three weeks! I was fascinated by the article about Charlie and the other two, the dog fascinated and terrified by his reflection, and the rest of the insight into your trio’s activities. Fascinated because we have a six-month old crossbred (an oops moment on the part of the mommy’s owners)…he’s a brilliant, funny, sweet, stubborn, protective, crazy boy who’s daddy is an Australian shepherd and mom’s an American pit bull terrier. She is a truly sweet and smart girl; dad is sooooo typical for his breed, so this puppy is being raised carefully to be polite, confident, and well mannered. What a challenge he can be; he want so much to please but he also cannot tolerate too much quiet time, so I’ve found ways to run his legs off without being able to run at all. (Me, I mean; I am hobbling pretty well now and getting a new knee in a few hours to fix that problem! Since we don’t have animals for him to herd and we don’t allow him to nip/herd US, I find ways to keep him busy and challenged and try to save him from himself before he gets into trouble…it’s all rather like raising another toddler to adulthood, very similar in so many ways. A few days ago, I fell outside and this young dog at first thought I was playing with him; when he realized that I was ‘hurt’ he then was frantic to ‘fix’ me by licking me. Because of some pretty severe orthopedic issues I could not get up off the ground without an aid, so I asked/told him to “bring me the stick” and pointed to a good sized branch that we’d just pruned off a tree a few days earlier. He had been playing with it since and I’d just left it there for him. He immediately started to pick it up, then hesitated and looked at me again. I repeated my request and the puppy dragged the stick to me. I was able to use it to get back onto my feet and up the little hill to the house. He’s already shown great intelligence on several occasions and displays a keen work drive, is fearless walking on unstable material (pile of remodeling rubbish), and is very interested in scenting (air and ground). Even if he does not go into Search and Rescue professionally, I will feel a bit more secure with this boy around! And I will be following this blog to ‘pick’ your trainer brain. Especially am I interested in the aspect of ‘touch’ with training dogs…

  • 30. Candace Lange  |  August 4, 2011 at 11:35 am

    My 11 year old bloodhound/coonhound mixed female dog has a greenish opaque discharge from both eyes almost constantly. A neighbor recommended an alum powder solution as an eye wash but could not remember the dosage. Do you have any experience or recommendatons?

  • 31. Viatecio  |  August 29, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Candace, take the dog to the vet, if you have not already (it is now over 3 weeks later I am replying). It sounds like she has an eye infection that might require a little more than alum powder, and she will also need to be checked for any foreign bodies in the eye that might be causing an issue. You will probably need an antibiotic ointment that is safe for the eyes and, depending on the cause, you might also need to wash the eyes out with saline every so often, especially since she is mixed with a breed that is a poster child for ectropion and might have that condition.

    I see that alum is popular in home remedies for ocular health, but I do not mess around with eyes in this manner (especially since having worked for a busy ophthalmology practice). They are too important, and I’m not about to risk mixing something wrong, especially since with no standard dosage, or putting the wrong thing in them.

  • 32. SmartDogs  |  August 29, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Hey V – thank you for posting that. Candace’s comment got lost in my pile-o-mail and I missed it.

    Any time you are not 100% sure what you are dealing with or any time you are dealing with potentially damaging problems – you need to get your dog to a vet. A good vet is worth every penny you pay her (or him) and keeping your dog health is a good investment even in a crappy economy.

  • 33. Gary Wilkes  |  October 13, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Hi, Janeen,
    Here’s an early Christmas present. Ulrich, Wolfe & Dulaney. JEAB (1969) (the JEAB archives are on the web) Following the paper by Azrin regarding elicted aggression via electric shock, Ulrich asked the question, “What happens if you have shock delivery contingent on the shock induced biting?” His words – “completely suppressed.” They never cite that at AVSAB. I have the paper trail covered from Skinner through about 1980. Ironically, I know about 2/3 of the authors. If you like, I’ll start feeding you some more info. The fraud is bigger than you have stated, but probabl not bigger than you thing.
    Best Regards,
    Gary Wilkes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 270 other followers

%d bloggers like this: