Archive for the ‘Dog Bonding’ Category

Participate in a Live Podcast with Animal Communicator and Professional Psychic, Lori Spagna

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

On Tuesday, June 19th, 2012, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, the “My Doggie Says…” show will record a live podcast with animal communicator, professional psychic, intuitive energy healer, and behavior expert Lori Spagna. Lori will discuss how animals are teaching us. She will also do live readings with guests who participate in the show. To learn more about Lori and her great work, visit, or

The “My Doggie Says…” show is a lighthearted show about dogs — dog relationships, dog communication, dog training and generally “dog appreciation.” Host Fred Haney interviews experts on all subjects “dog.” To listen to past shows, check out the “podcast” tab on this blog, or look for “mydoggiesays” on the iTunes podcast store.

To join the program, send an email to Lori Spagna at or to Fred Haney at You will receive the dial-in instructions and access code by return email.

Black Lab Exhibits #dogbonding In Its Purest Form

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

The conversation about #dogbonding got a poster child last week in the form of a now-famous black lab that refused to leave the side of it’s yellow lab partner whom had been struck by a car.  You’ve probably heard the story by now, but if you haven’t seen the video, it’s very touching to see the depth of the black lab’s bond to its friend.


Sometimes it seems like #dogbonding is easier for dogs than it is for people.  It’s a natural state for a dog; we humans just need to get out of the way!

Dog-And-Human Relationships: Articles Offer Food For Thought

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

An essential ingredient for truly enjoying your dog is creating a strong “dog-and-human” relationship.  It’s the focus we put on “dog bonding.”  Having a close bond with your dog — based on trust and frequent mutually satisfying interaction — is much more enriching that simply walking your dog, feeding it, and learning to control its behavior.

Here are some articles that might give you some fresh ideas about how to strengthen your “dog-and-human” relationships.

In an article in The Bark, “Building the Dog-Human Bond,” Victoria Schade emphasizes the importance of “trust, mutual respect and regard.”  Victoria, by the way, was a guest on the “My Doggie Says…” show on March 3, 2011.  (Click here to hear her interview)  Here’s Victoria’s article in “The Bark.”

This article, from “ohmidog!,” describes three different kinds of dog-and-human relationships.  Which one are  you?

This article titled “The Human-Dog Bond,” by Joyce Kesling (Responsible Dog and Cat). talks about how your dog-and-human relationship can influence your dog’s behavior.

Here’s an intriguing article, “Dog-Human Relationship & Communications,” that talks about the history of dog-human interaction and makes some non-intuitive observations about how dogs interpret our emotions and behavior.  You might be surprised.

So much of dog training — books, TV programs, and professional advice — are aimed at helping you control — or demand obedience from — your dog.  But in my own experience — supported by interviews with hundreds of dog trainers, authors and dog owners — suggests that the most rewarding experience of a dog comes to people who have the strongest dog-and-human relationships with their pets.

Dogs Like Structure — Video Of Callie’s Five Daily Soccer Rituals

Monday, February 27th, 2012

We know that dogs like structure.  They seem to be at their best in comfortable surroundings and familiar situations.  I think that, given the opportunity, they even invent their own structure.  Callie has certainly done that with her Lake Arrowhead swimming routine — jump from the dock, retrieve the Frisbee, swim ashore, drop the Frisbee to shake off, grab the Frisbee and race back out on the boat dock to do it all again.

In this video, you’ll see the five “ritual” behaviors that are part of Callie’s (and my) daily soccer game.  First, the “invitation” to play.  Second, doing “nosers,” or “bonking” the ball off her nose.  Third, playing “keep away,” so I can’t pick the ball up and end the game.  Fourth, “begging” to keep playing.  And, finally, “high-five” to say, “good game!”


Video of Dog Swimming (1:19): Callie’s Superbowl Sunday Swim

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

It’s always fun to watch a dog swimming.  It’s Callie’s favorite thing to do at Lake Arrowhead.

She jumps off the boat dock, swims out to retrieve her Frisbee, swims ashore, and brings her Frisbee back to the boat dock for another toss.

The water temperature wasn’t too bad — about 43 degrees.  The humans had their “polar bear” swim that day, so we know it wasn’t too cold for dog swimming.  But when Callie got out of the water, we were careful to dry her off as quickly as possible and get her back into a warm and cozy place.

When Callie climbs out of the lake, she’s pretty far from the camera, but notice how she picks up her Frisbee and brings it back out on the dock.  It’s part of her dog training, and it’s a great behavior.

What better way to bond with your dog than to help it do one of its favorite things?


Your Dog’s Energy Level May Mirror Your Own

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Are you aware of your dog’s energy level? Can you sense when it goes up and down? Can you tell when your dog is “full of beans?” Can you tell when your dog is feeling down and drained of energy?

Most of us don’t pay attention to our own ups and downs, much less our dog’s energy changes. “Am I feeling robust and energetic?” Or, “Am I feeling down and lackadaisical?” Many of us go through energy ups and down every day without realizing it.

But dogs may be different. My dog Callie and I play soccer every night or fifteen to twenty minutes, and, because of that, I’ve become pretty tuned in to my dog’s energy levels. Interestingly, this experience has put me more in tune with my own energy fluctuations.

Our daily soccer match always starts with a burst of energy. Callie tracks me down, usually in my office, and gives me a very intense gaze. Her “look” means, “It’s time for our soccer game!”

I start the game by kicking the soft, under-inflated ball almost the length of our backyard. Callie races after the ball and traps is under her tummy. Then I make a shorter and higher kick, and Callie leaps into the air and “bonks” the ball off her nose. We call it a “noser.” It’s like a header but when you’re a golden retriever your nose gets in the way.

Sometimes we do a rapid volley of nosers. I kick the ball back to her as quickly as possible, and she leaps up and “bonks” the ball as hard as she can. This usually gets her really pumped up for a few minutes.

But invariably, sometime during our game, I’ll kick the ball to Callie and she’ll just look at me, as the ball flies over her head and lands on the grass. It’s as if she’s saying, “What was that all about?” She makes no effort whatsoever to go after it. My next few attempts are likely to have the same result. It is as if she doesn’t care about the game any more.

So now I’m wondering, “Is there a way to get the game back on track?” Another thing I wonder is, “Is she mirroring my energy level?” For the next kick, I’ll run to the ball faster and try to project more energy. Sometimes that works. Callie senses my increased enthusiasm and reflects it with an outburst of harder “nosers” and faster chasing after the ball.

Other times Callie ignores my new energy level and the ball flies over her head, and, once again, she looks at me like I’m crazy.

Another trick I’ve tried is to “fake” an end to the game. I kick the ball back to our starting place and put it back on the chair where it sits when we’re not playing. Sometimes Callie tries to play “keep away” so I can’t pick the ball up. She’ll put a paw on the ball, for example, or trap it under her tummy, or position herself between me and the ball.

After the ball has been back on its chair for a few seconds, I pick it up again and ask Callie if she wants to play. Usually by this time, she’s stationed herself in the middle of the yard and she’s giving me that “let’s play soccer” look again.

So, starting over, I kick the ball toward her and she goes scampering after it. Usually this works, and it re-energizes her, at least for a few minutes.

Sometimes I think this interaction is just about a dog’s energy level and enthusiasm for the game. At other times, it seems like she’s reflecting my energy — or lack of energy. It probably also has something to do with focus and concentration — both of which, I believe are closely related to energy expression.

This energy interaction has been fascinating to follow. I’ve learned a lot about Callie’s energy levels as well as my own. There have been times when I was certain Callie was simply mirroring my energy — that her lack of enthusiasm probably reflected the fact that I was distracted or thinking about something else. In these situations, I am able to regain the energy of the game by getting more enthusiastic and putting more into it myself.

Sometimes I think that Callie’s enthusiasm has helped to spark my enthusiasm to a higher level which has led to some really fun “noser” volleys.

Any way you look at it, this “energy exchange” has enriched my relationship with Callie. I understand her a little better — and probably myself, as well.

Try paying attention to your dog’s energy patterns!

A Doggie Diet for People, Too: Peggy Frezon on the “My Doggie Says…” Show

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Improve your dog relationship by putting your dog on a doggie diet while you are trying to lose weight yourself.  Peggy Frezon is the author of “Dieting with my Dog.”

Peggy Frezon is an author, pet columnist, and multiple award-winning freelance writer from New York. She contributes regularly to Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines and is published in more than a dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Her work can also be seen in magazines such as Woman’s World, Teaching Tolerance, Pockets and others, and in books including The Ultimate Dog Lover, Miracles and Animals, Soul Matters, and David Jeremiah’s Grace Givers. She writes two web columns, Pawsitively Pets and Animals 4 People, is a staff writer for Be the Change for Animals, and blogs at Peggy’s Pet Place. Her first book is Dieting with my Dog (Hubble & Hattie, 2011).

Listen to Peggy as she talks about feeding her dog veggies, sharing an exercise program, and the psychological benefits of having a “furry little conscience.”

Loving and Losing a Pet: Conversation with Barbara Abercrombie

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Barbara Abercrombie is the author of “Cherished: 21 Writers on Animals they have Loved and Lost.”

Hear Barbara talk about her experience in bonding with a pet and the process of grieving upon the loss of a pet.

An American Hero Dog’s Story: Tomorrow on the “My Doggie Says…” Radio Talk Show

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Join the “My Doggie Says…” show tomorrow night, Wednesday, October 5, to hear Michael Hingson talk about his new book “Thunder Dog” and how the American Hero Dog, Roselle, rescued Michael and others from the World Trade Center, on September 11, 2001.

The “My Doggie Says…” show is broadcast live on KFNX-1100 in Phoenix, every Wednesday evening from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.  Live streaming can be found at  Every week, Fred interviews an author of a book about dogs, or an expert in dog training or animal behavior, or some other important aspect of building a special bond with your dog.   To call the show: (602) 277-KFNX, or (866) 536-1100.  Callers welcome!  Past shows can be heard as podcasts on and on iTunes (search “mydoggiesays.”)

Pat Miller, of, this Wednesday on the “My Doggie Says…” Radio Show

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Listen to Pat Miller talk about her approach to dog training and achieving harmony between “human and non-human” animals.  Pat is the founder of, a a web site devoted to harmony and bonding between people and their pets.

The “My Doggie Says…” show is broadcast live on KFNX-1100 in Phoenix, every Wednesday evening from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.  Live streaming can be found at Every week, Fred interviews an expert in dog training or animal behavior, or some other important aspect of building a special bond with your dog.   To call the show: (602) 277-KFNX, or (866) 536-1100.  Call-in and get a free copy of the “Dog Appreciation Lessons” CD!