Simon, a six-month old Lab, may or may not be showing this younger pup how to go down the stairs — but it sure looks that way.
As with most pups, 8-week-old Daisy, managed to get up the stairs just fine, and probably without thinking first about the far scarier return trip — i.e. coming down.
When she hesitated, the owners called for Simon, who very patiently — except for a few head bites — showed her the way.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 15th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, behavior, daisy, dogs, labrador, learning, navigating, pets, puppies, pups, retrievers, simon, stairs, steps, teaching, training, video
Or maybe an entire pack of them.
School districts being bureaucracies, though – often quicker to look for reasons why they can’t do something, rather than actually trying something new — that doesn’t happen too often.
But in Bucks County, Pa., dogs are turning up in more and more classrooms, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
At Holland Elementary School in Bucks County, a 140-pound Rhodesian ridgeback named Kicho shows up regularly as part of a reading program.
“Sometimes, I get jittery inside when I read, but not with Kicho,” 9-year-old Conner Weinberg said. “He’s very kind and calm. He’s my friend. I think of him as my own dog.”
Kicho is one of a several dogs that have become beloved classroom companions, in Council Rock, three other Bucks County school districts and a private school, according to the Inquirer report.
The program was founded five years ago by Wendi Huttner, a Bucks County trainer and breeder of Labrador retrievers, and Deborah Glessner, a retired Council Rock School District librarian. Their nonprofit organization, Nor’wester Readers, now fields 34 teams of dogs and handlers who make weekly visits to classrooms in the Council Rock, New Hope-Solebury, Pennsbury, and Bensalem districts and to the Center School in Abington.
The basic idea of the reading program — much like the one Ace took part in with Karma Dogs – is to give children “positive reinforcement; they get the affirmation of these big brown eyes, a wag of the tail, and a kiss on the cheek,” Huttner said. Children who may feel shy about reading in front of teachers or peers can open up to a dog.
“When you are reading to your teacher, your parent, your uncle, or your librarian, and you don’t know the right word or you mispronounce a word, you are corrected,” Huttner said. Dogs, however, “are not judgmental,” she said. “There is a child in just about every class that nobody else can reach, but a dog can. They have magic. . . . It’s a wonderful thing to see.”
At Council Rock’s Richboro Middle School, Jillian, a retriever (pictured above) and her handler, Nan Muska, visit children with severe cognitive deficits who are getting training to help them cope with daily living, along with some others who have multiple disabilities and are largely nonverbal.
“My students light up,” said Tim Qualli, the school’s multiple disabilities support teacher. “They really enjoy being with her.”
(Photo: Tom Gralish / Philadelphia Inquirer)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 4th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bensalem, bucks county, cognitive, council rock, dog, dogs, holland elementary school, kicho, learning, new hope, nor'wester readers, pennsbury, pennsylvania, pets, programs, reading, reading to dogs, rhodesian ridgeback, richboro middle school, school districts, schools, solebury, students, teaching, therapy, wendi huttner
Willow’s owner claims her dog can read — only three phrases, but still.
What do you think? Is the dog actually reading the words? Or is something else at play?
Posted by jwoestendiek October 10th, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, cards, commands, dog, dogs, learning, nbc, pets, read, reading, reads, skills, today show, tricks, video, willow, words
Dogs possess a 2-year-old child’s capacity to understand human gestures, including pointing, head-turning and gazing, according to two recent studies.
Pet owners often use baby talk, scientifically known as “motherese,” with both children and dogs, allowing canines and kids to receive similar social stimulation, according to a report on MSNBC.com.
The studies suggest dogs may understand humans better than even chimpanzees, our closest living animal relatives do.
In one study, Gabriella Lakatos, a researcher in the Department of Ethology at Eotvos University, used a combination of finger-, elbow-, leg- and knee-pointing gestures to help dogs locate hidden food. Then they put children through a similar drill – allowing them to search for their favorite toy.
Two-year-olds children and dogs understood everything except knee-pointing, according to a paper published in the current issue of Animal Cognition.
Lakatos said that “in human children between the age of two and three years, important changes take place that go beyond the capacities of dogs.” Many of these changes have to do with development of language skills.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 15th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2-year-olds, animals, canine, capacity, children, chimpanzees, cognition, dogs, eotvos university, gabriella lakatos, gestures, learning, pointing, studies, two-year-olds, understanding