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Canine fMRI Scans: The Future Is Bright (Unless You’re a Celebrity Dog Trainer)

One reason why celebrity dog trainers and other self-appointed “experts” are so quick to tell you what your dog is thinking or feeling is this: it’s difficult to prove them wrong. As you may have noticed, dogs can’t communicate verbally.  So they’re never going to explicitly tell us what’s going on inside their heads.  Instead, […]

Real (Non-Millanian) Evidence That Exercise Will Improve Your Dog’s Behavior

Perhaps you’ve heard a little Mexican-American fella with a meticulously coiffed goatee and rollerblades tell you that the three fundaments of successfully managing unwanted canine behaviors are “exercise, discipline, and affection — in that order.” Well, if you’re reading this blog, chances are that you’re a bit more skeptical than the average bear.  If you’re […]

Interval Training Works For Dogs Too (or Kiss Your “Packed Schedule” Excuses Goodbye)

Early this morning an article appeared in the New York Times, extolling the benefits of high-intensity interval training in light of new scientific findings suggesting that short, high-intensity interval workouts may boost cardiovascular fitness just as effectively as longer, more traditional cardio workouts.  The studies upon which the NYT commentary is based can be found […]

On The Difference Between “Reasons” and “Excuses”

We prove what we want to prove, and the real difficulty is to know what we want to prove. – Emile Auguste Chartier Is today the first time you’ve thought that your dog would be happier and healthier if she lost some weight? Probably not. If you’ve read this blog before (somewhat unlikely) or if […]

Learning to Take Pleasure In Being Your Dog’s Play Buddy-Drill Sargeant

No profit grows where is no pleasure taken; in brief, sir, study what you most affect. — William Shakespeare If your overweight dog is ever going to get back into shape, you’ll have to play several different (but equally critical) roles throughout the process. On one level, you’re going to be a general.  This one […]

Overcoming the Destructive Power of Your Dog’s Sweet, Sorrowful Gaze

Regardless of whether you call yourself an “owner,” a “guardian,” or simply a “friend,” in your quest to be the best human possible to your cohabitating canine companion, one of the most challenging obstacles  you will confront will also be one of the most adorable: Your dog’s longing, sorrowful, expectant gaze.

Why The Varsity Report Matters — The 2011 Pet Blogger Challenge

2011 Pet Blogger Challenge As part of its on-going effort to raise awareness about the importance of pet fitness, health, and wellness topics, Varsity Pets is proud to announce that we have joined the Second Annual Pet Blogger Challenge.  The Pet Blogger Challenge is an initiative through which pet industry bloggers candidly expose their goals, […]

Are You Missing the Point of Behavioral Training?

When it comes to relationships, its hard to overstate the importance of communication.  Whether you’re talking about friends, lovers, family members, or co-workers, it may be possible to imagine a relationship in which one party never intentionally communicates with the other, but to actually participate in such a relationship would be absurd.