If you have been following the adventures of Ziva’s tracking you may find this interesting. It is amazing to me what they are capable of.
Great post, Lisa. Thank you!
Thanks for posting! We’ve been very active in NoseWork and I find it FASCINATING. Dogs are so cool!
I’ve been reading, “The Dog’s Mind: Understanding Your Dog’s Behavior,” written by Bruce Fogle, D.V.M., M.R.C.V.S. In the chapter on “Scent,” he mentions the information in this video, as well as:
*The average dog can detect and identify smells that are so dilute that event the most sensitive of scientific instruments cannot measure them.
Dr. Fogle also talks about H.M. Budgett’s text, “Hunting by Scent.” Dr. Fogle says that it is still a landmark in observations of the dog’s ability to follow a scent. Budget showed that dogs could follow a track even when the quarry put on rubber boots or jumped on a bicycle. He hypothesized that when one odor trail ran out, the dog started following another, the scent of broken grass for example. Budget also wrote that the best condition for a dog to follow a trail is when the ground temperature is a little higher than the air temperature – early evening. Not unexpectedly, that also happens to be the favorite hunting time for keen-scented carnivores.
This is a fascinating book that delves deeply into a dog’s behavior from the perspective of well-documented scientific research. You’ll learn about the genetics of the brain, the senses, hormones, communication, imprinting and learning, our influences upon the developing mind, aggression, social behavior, breed differences, and the mind of the ill and elderly dog.
In the chapter about understanding aggression, there was an interesting anecdote about a change in behavior between two dogs. A family with a dog acquired a younger second dog. They were always careful not to upset the older dog by petting that dog first when they returned home, etc. After a few years, as the older dog aged, something changed: when they’d return home and pet the older dog first, the younger one would aggressively go after that dog. With the help of a trainer who studied the interactions between the dogs, the family learned that the dynamics between the two dogs had changed. Within the “pack,” the dogs themselves had established a new hierarchy, and the younger dog now held a higher rank. The humans in the pack were upsetting the balance by petting the older dog first. When they understood the change, and gave attention to the younger dog first, peace and harmony returned to the pack.
This book had great reviews on Amazon from readers, including: This book is an excellent guide to dog behavior and, although not being a training manual, it includes a lot of information on how to train your dog. Apart from discussing how dogs learn (e.g. by observation, classical conditioning, or operant conditioning), it includes a short list of “canine learning” rules and an appendix that teaches you how to teach commands, as well as how to correct behavior problems by counter-conditioning (training him to do something else instead of its undesirable behavior) and desensitization (teaching him to accept the stimuli that cause unacceptable behavior).
The first part of the book covers material on dogs anatomy and physiology, including their genetic background (that of wolves), their brain characteristics and hormonal system, their senses (that might include a sixth sense), and the basics of their communication system. The latest part is essential to understand and properly interpret your dog’s gestures and the sounds he emits in different situations.
The second part, on dog psychology, is, in my opinion, the really interesting part of this book. It describes how dogs develop their “personality” traits, how the learn, and how they behave as social animals. Many aspects of dog behavior are clearly explained, from their fears and phobias (and how to treat them) to their innate habits. Breed differences are also discussed, as well as how to deal with behavior problems (e.g. aggressions or house training).
I cannot but recommend this book to anyone who lives with dogs. There are similar books with a less formal style (as Patricia McConnell’s “The Other End of the Leash”), but they are not as thorough nor as informative as this book is. It should be noted that, despite its undeniable scientific rigor, “The Dog’s Mind” is far from boring. It is quite easy to read and even momentarily humorous.
I have to admit I love Patricia McConnell’s books, and just bought another, “The Cautious Canine: How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears.” I think Dutch is afraid the mailman has ulterior motives, LOL.
Very informative review. Thank you!
Geez, my comment was so loooooooooong! Sorry, I don’t know how to go back and edit it.