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BARKS from the Guild Magazine

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BARKS from the Guild 2020 Covers

Since 2012, BARKS from the Guild has been helping pet care professionals stay up-to-date with current research, methodologies and thinking so they can help more pets and their people.

We cover all things animal behavior and training, pet care, canine, feline, equine, avian, pocket pets, and exotics, as well as business, sales, marketing and consulting.

In a world of information overload, we provide a platform for current, accurate and scientifically sound education that both pet professionals and pet guardians can trust.

By doing this, we can all help prevent behavior problems, while protecting the overall well-being of each individual animal.

And it’s all yours for free! Subscribe today to get your free lifetime digital access to PDF downloads, option for print-on-demand issues, back issues (2014-2021), subscriber benefits and more.

November 2021 – Cover Feature

How Cats Are Made: Nature, Nurture, and the Now

Ginger kitten

Handling kittens during the sensitive period of 2-7 weeks of age has lasting effects on their future friendliness, resulting in cats that bond quite readily to other people © Can Stock Photo / famveldman

It is not uncommon for adopters to base their decision primarily on the cat’s outward appearance and be less interested, or not interested at all, in the cat’s socialization history, life experiences, and behavior.

In Karsh’s study on placing adult cats, she found that “appearance of the cat, particularly the cat’s color, was usually the most important factor” to the person acquiring a cat (Karsh & Turner, 1988). The lack of interest in the behavioral history of cats could also be the result of the assumption (and the expectation) that all cats behave similarly. In other words, “a cat is a cat.”

(Issue 51, November 2021, pp.16-24). Read article

November 2021 – Featured Article

Dog Parks: The Good, the Bad, and the Reality

two dogs at dog park gate

Truly dog-social dogs are usually the best fit for dog parks and it is important for owners to objectively assess and make decisions based on what type of dogs they have whether or not they would be successful in that type of environment © Rachel Brix

According to the most recent report issued by the Trust for Public Land (TPL) (2019), dog parks “are among the fastest growing park amenities in the combined parks systems of the 100 largest US cities. There are currently 810 dedicated dog parks in the 100 largest cities, an increase of 37 over last year [2018].”

TPL (2019) also reports a 74% increase in dog parks in from 2009 to 2019. While the numbers are steadily increasing in larger cities, many suburban and rural areas are still in need of safe spaces for dogs to run and play although those numbers are increasing as well…

Although the number of dog parks is consistently increasing due to need and popularity, not everyone thinks dog parks are a good idea. Unfortunately many of the horror stories about dog parks get the most press, and the smaller success stories often go unnoticed.

(Issue 51, November 2021, pp.34-38). Read article 


November 2021 – Featured Article

Thinking Outside the Shelter

Animal shelter behavior volunteer training blood draw

(Left to right) Owner Kate, Blake the dog, and behavior volunteer Laura practice
cooperative vaccination, reducing stress associated with the procedure and making restraint unnecessary © Friends For Life

Behavioral services for companion animals can be so resource intensive that shelter administrators may consider in-house behavior programs to be a luxury rather than a necessity.

When shelter leadership does take a chance on starting up a behavior department, minimal funding is often allocated.

Our shelter was no exception: Friends For Life’s (FFL) behavior program started out as a department of one. Unsurprisingly, FFL had more behavior cases than one person could handle. The ability of the department to function effectively came to depend on the support of skilled volunteers.

(Issue 51, November 2021, pp.30-33). Read article 

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