Animal Radio® Network Newsletter July 2009

In this issue:

  • No one is greener than this guy!
  • Lunchbox, Dishwasher and other strange pet names
  • What luxury would you forgo for your pet?
  • What do women prefer more than husbands?
  • How to prevent the most common ailments in cats and dogs
  • Clicker training - now for humans too!
  • A nasty bug lurks in the bushes of summer

A note from the editor: With regard to the concerns about the reports of Spot-On Flea and Tick Control, some have been as minimal as skin irritation, with most of the reports being about improper usage on the wrong animal and even on the wrong species.  The products may also have been used on unhealthy animals.  If you have a flea infestation, don't stop using these products.   Just use caution and read the labels carefully and never use a product labeled for a dog on a cat!   Be aware that if you use these products in combination with flea collars or medicated shampoos, it isn’t hard to create a toxic event for our pets.  Just be cautious. While we continue to cover this important news story, it is key that you're aware of the facts and how it can affect you and your pets. Please keep up to date at with the latest developments.


Ed Begley, Jr. - Going “Green” With Your Pets

Ed Begley first became aware of conservation growing up in smoggy Los Angeles.  By the 1970 (and the First Earth Day) Ed decided that enough was enough and he decided to do something about it.

He is one of those people who doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk. Literally. One of the first actions Ed took himself was to become a vegetarian. "It just seemed like a good thing to do in 1970. But it was so hard back then, that I was only a vegetarian for about a year. Then I started eating some fish because I couldn't find vegetarian food when I traveled. I'd do a movie in some distant city or even on location and they wouldn't have anything to eat," Ed explains. "I became a vegan again in 1992.”  And can you believe he actually has (and uses!) a Los Angeles bus pass!  He also drives an electric car, lives in a solar powered home and recycles everything he can.

Ed currently has an elderly dog and cat.  This, of course, doesn’t include the feral cats that he regularly feeds.   Ed traps and alters the feral cats that he can.  But, trapping a feral cat can be a tough thing to do.  Find out how Ed was able to trap one feline who eluded him for years!

Ed offers some great suggestions on how pet guardians can become environmentally friendly:

Buy organic pet food

Clean your pet’s food bowls frequently – (this reduces pests and therefore the need for pesticides)

Groom your pet regularly using organic shampoos that are non-toxic for your pet and the environment

Change your air and heat filters regularly (pet hair can clog your filters and make these units work harder)

Besides his environmental lifestyle, Ed has also created some environmental friendly cleaning products, “Begley’s Best,” for you to use in your own home.  He has created everything from an all-purpose cleaner to a carpet spot remover.  To find out where you can find these products, visit  You can also catch Ed on HGTV “Living with Ed,” for more points on being “green.”

Listen to Ed Begley, Jr. on Animal Radio®


Top 10 Most Unusual Dog and Cat Names of 2009

For many a pet owner, Max sounds mundane and Bailey is simply boring.

In order to pay homage to those who take pride in their pets’ unconventional names, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, set out for the second year in a row to find the 10 most unusual dog and cat names in the United States.

VPI employees selected 50 unusual cat names and 50 unusual dog names from the company’s database of more than 470,000 insured pets, and narrowed them down by voting for the 10 most unusual names in each category.

“Nearly every pet owner whose pet made the top 10 reasoned that a distinct name was only appropriate for their distinct pet,” said Curtis Steinhoff, VPI spokesman. “Snag L. Tooth, for example, has a noticeable ‘snaggle tooth’ that juts out even when his mouth is closed, and Lunchbox the English bulldog has the stature of, well, a lunchbox.

Whether a name reflected the appearance or quirky personality trait of the pet, each ‘Wacky Pet Name’ winner certainly earned or lived up to its clever name.” 

For the full lists of 50 unusual dog and cat names, pictures of pets who made the Top 10, and stories on the origin of each unusual name, visit

Following are the results:

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1. Doogie Schnauzer MD

2. Sargent Sausage

3. I Am Sparticus

4. Lunchbox

5. Angus Sir Loin

6. Bam-Bam Noodle Butt

7. Mouse Meat

8. Fluffernutter

9. Kanye East

10. Inspector Foo Foo



1. Snag L. Tooth

2. Clawed Monet

3. Velvet Elvis

4. Eartha Kitty

5. Blue Man Chew

6. Catzilla

7. Thurston Picklesworth III

8. Yardsale

9. Dishwasher

10. Polly Prissypants

Pet Owners Describe How They Named Their Dogs:

1. Doogie Schnauzer MD

Juan Valdez initially picked the name Doogie for his miniature schnauzer because it went well with Dexter, his other miniature schnauzer. Eventually Doogie became Doogie Howser and naturally progressed, because of the dog’s breed, to Doogie Schnauzer. When time came to register Doogie Schnauzer, Juan added the MD for “My Dog.”

According to Juan, the name couldn’t fit any better. “He’s a perennial pup,” said Juan. “He still looks like a puppy, even though he’s six, and, of course, Doogie Howser was known for his youth.” Juan said that people love the name, especially if they are familiar with the series, and that everyone at the veterinarian’s office knows his dog by name because “no one forgets Doogie Schnauzer MD.”

2. Sargent Sausage

Heidi Schardine has nicknames for all her pets—Private Peanut, Commander Cucumber—but Sargent Sausage is no nickname.

“When people hear Sargent Sausage they expect to see a wiener dog,” said Heidi Schardine. “He doesn’t look like a Sargent Sausage to other people, but he totally does to us.” Heidi and her husband rescued the blue heeler mix and immediately fell in love with his unique personality, a personality they felt needed a unique name to match.

Though he usually goes by “Sarge,” Heidi admits that the full name comes out when she needs to get his attention. “I end up shouting, ‘Sargent Sausage!’ without even thinking about it,” said Heidi. “People crack up. They think it’s a joke, but I tell them, ‘No. No. It’s his real name. You can look on his birth certificate.’”

3. I Am Sparticus

You can’t give a 200-pound English mastiff a normal name. At least, that was Natilee Carter’s reasoning. “He is a giant,” said Natilee. “He’s gorgeous. We can’t even take walks without people stopping us and wanting to touch him, or take his picture.” Natilee and her husband knew that the 38-pound puppy they brought home was going to be something special. To find an appropriate name, they looked to some of their favorite movies for inspiration. Motivated by the movie 300, Natilee’s husband recommended they find a masculine Roman name. Natilee, whose favorite movie is That Thing You Do, remembered a song from the soundtrack titled “I Am Sparticus.” They both liked the name and it stuck. “It’s different, but he’s different” said Carter. “He’s quite the conversation piece.”

4. Lunchbox

There are a lot of words that could be used to describe Beth Larocca’s English bulldog, but only one word says it all: Lunchbox. “Her shape just fit,” said Beth. “She looks like a lunchbox. Plus, she eats everything.” A longtime English bulldog owner, Beth believes all good English bulldogs should have a good name. Before Lunchbox she was the proud owner of Gorby, and she once met an English bulldog named Pot Roast. “Everyone loves the name Lunchbox and I can’t imagine her with any other name,” said Beth. “She went as a lunchbox for Halloween a few years ago and people loved it.”

5. Angus Sir Loin

When Roy Mattson needed a name for his Scottish terrier, the name Angus initially crossed his mind. The breed’s Scottish origin motivates many Scottie owners to choose the name Angus, but Roy thought that Angus alone was missing something. The name just didn’t seem to fully capture the personality of the goofy young dog who slept on his back with his paws in the air. “Angus Sir Loin just popped into my head,” said Roy. “People always get a chuckle when they hear his full name.”

6. Bam-Bam Noodle Butt

Before Jennifer Booth’s Chihuahua had a name, she had a reputation. “My kids called her Little Butt because she chewed up their Pokemon cards,” said Jennifer. “I liked the name Noodle, but my girlfriend liked the name Bam-Bam.” In order to satisfy all parties, Jennifer combined the names to create Bam-Bam Noodle Butt. Besides the laughs inspired by the name, it serves a functional purpose. No matter which name is called, or what variation of the name is used, Bam-Bam Noodle Butt will respond.

“Everybody laughs when they hear the name, but it works really well,” said Jennifer. “And her butt does wiggle like a noodle when she walks.”

7. Mouse Meat

After caring for a rambunctious shar pei, Kathy Powel wanted to find a little lap dog. The miniature dachshund she eventually adopted was only four weeks old when Kathy first saw her, so small Kathy could only think that compared to her shar pei, this tiny pup was mouse meat. Kathy tried other names, but nothing worked quite like Mouse Meat. “She’s a dapple, which is fairly rare in a litter, so I think it’s appropriate that she has a rare name,” said Kathy. “People always ask me how I got the name. Really, it just popped in my mind and kind of stuck.”

8. Fluffernutter

A fluffernutter sandwich, according to Jim Jacques, is made by spreading peanut butter on one piece of bread, marshmallow fluff on another, and putting the pieces together for a sandwich. When Jim first saw his brown, white and sable Papillon, the dog’s unique color instantly reminded him of a fluffernutter sandwich. “He’s very distinct looking, so a distinct name fits him well,” said Jim. “People always stop to ask, ‘What’s her name?’ because he’s so cute they think he’s a girl. The name always makes them laugh.”

9. Kanye East

Appearance isn’t always the determining factor when naming a pet - sometimes it’s attitude. “Kanye has always been crazy, ever since he was a puppy,” said Kelvin Morgan. “He would just go nuts, he would get so excited, and there was something about the way he presented himself, like he was in charge, and all-knowing. It kind of reminded me of Kanye West.” Not wanting to give his one-of-a-kind dog a name already in use, Kelvin came up with his own variation of the name: Kanye East.

“The name suits him well,” said Kelvin. “He loves the spotlight and he loves attention. Everybody asks me about the name. I think my mom is embarrassed by it, but everyone else likes it.”

10. Inspector Foo Foo

Jordan Wright’s Shih Tzu never starts a day without giving his report. If anything is amiss, if anything is out of place, if anything has been tracked in or dropped on the floor: Inspector Foo Foo is all over it.

“He’s a very nosy dog and tidy housekeeper,” said Jordan. “If something is out of place in the house, or if there has been a message left on the answering machine, he will look at you until you have figured it out. He is not the ‘Inspector’ for nothing.”

While the inspector title came naturally, “Foo Foo” was a result of the Asian origin of his breed and a tribute to Wright’s former Pekingese, Mr. Woo.

People like the name,” said Wright. “They think it’s funny and it fits him to a T.”

Pet Owners Describe How They Named Their Cats:

1. Snag L. Tooth

Alison Reppel is confident that there is no cat quite like Snag L. Tooth. The rescued feline has a crooked tail and a signature “snaggle tooth” that juts out from his lower jaw—even when his mouth is closed. “We started referring to him by Snags, not only because it describes him physically but also because it suited his personality,” said Alison. “He gets in to little snags all around the house, knocking over pots and pans or ripping apart any cardboard that we may leave sitting around.”

In addition to his unique name, Snag L. Tooth has a whole set of unique habits, including many dog-like behaviors, such as drinking from the toilet. “People always appreciate his name when they learn it. However, to experience the full effect he needs to be seen to admire how unique he is and how the name exemplifies his personality,” said Alison. “He usually gets a laugh or two from new people and he’ll always make himself known around someone new.”

2. Clawed Monet

Before Clawed Monet, there was Picatso. After adopting a new cat, Faith Korey needed a name to match that of the artist-inspired Picatso, so she thumbed through a book titled The Literary Person’s Guide to Naming Your Cat. There she found the suggestion of Clawed Rains, inspired by the actor Claude Rains. She liked the idea, but really wanted another name in honor of an artist. The result was Clawed Monet. “I think it’s really important that pets have distinct names,” said Faith.

“If you have a pet named Max or Sam, everybody’s got that name. A distinct name shows that you have gone through some trouble and really thought about what you want your cat to be named.”

3. Velvet Elvis

Catherine Peters adopted a Stuart, but Stuart just didn’t fit the gorgeous black cat with long hair and green eyes, so she started brainstorming. One day while petting the cat formerly known as Stuart, she couldn’t help but think that his soft, long coat felt like velvet. The idea brought to mind vintage posters of Elvis, printed with sections of soft “velvet” fabric. “Velvet Elvis came to fit him really well because when we first got him he was really skittish and he would hide under the bed, sometimes for days,” said Catherine. “If we saw him come out, we would say, ‘We had an Elvis sighting today.’ He’d also stay up meowing for hours some nights, and we’d call it his ‘Elvis croon.’” Catherine has another cat who was going to be an Oliver and ended up named Willy Wonka. “When I tell people their names together they love it. They usually laugh. I don't think I picked their names as much as I let their personalities dictate their names. I feel like they picked their names.”

4. Eartha Kitty

Elisa Haber wasn’t sure if the sick, starving kitten she found at her apartment complex was a boy or a girl, but she was sure that she would do everything in her power to bring the young cat back to health. After bringing the kitten to her veterinarian, Elisa discovered that her new pet was female and that her husband’s suggestion of Chester wouldn’t do for a name. A big fan of Eartha Kitt, Elisa recognized some similarities between the famous singer and the rescued kitten and thought the name Eartha Kitty would be a good fit.

“This cat has got catitude,” said Elisa. “She’s a fighter. She’s got a gorgeous coat and a lot of moxie. She’s bossy and she sings. So the name’s perfect.”

5. Blue Man Chew

Jeanneane Smith somewhat reluctantly adopted Blue the cat from a client who could no longer care for him. With his long gray hair and huge copper eyes, Blue had always caught Jeanneane’s attention. His personality made an even greater impact and forced Jeanneane to reconsider Blue’s name. “I did not think that Blue was a very manly name for a cat with his take charge and edgy personality,” said Jeanneane. “Blue’s transition to his new home transpired about the time when the Las Vegas show Blue Man Group was the hottest ticket in Vegas. So, Blue became Blue Man.”

Not used to having a cat in the house, Jeanneane soon became familiar with some of their more quirky behaviors, particularly the tendency of pouncing and chewing at ankles. “I became very aggressive with my reprimands of Blue Man,” said Jeanneane. “And, thus, the phrase, ‘Blue Man, don’t chew!’ evolved into a part of his name: Blue Man Chew.” Blue Man Chew’s unique name is matched by a unique appearance. To keep his hairball accumulation at a minimum, Jeanneane makes sure that he is regularly groomed from neck to tail, leaving a narrow strip of hair, or Mohawk, down his spine. “When I tell people his name, they say, ‘What was that?’ They’re expecting a single syllable,” said Jeanneane. “Everyone loves the name, especially if they know him. It just fits his attitude.”

6. Catzilla

Laurel Roy’s cats had their names—Catzilla, Spazz and Samantha—when she rescued them from the shelter, and it only took a few weeks for them to prove the names were well deserved. “I didn’t really think about changing their names because I can't imagine more fitting names, especially for Catzilla and Spazz,” said Laurel. “Catzilla walks around like she owns the place and she doesn’t get along with any of the other cats at all. She hisses and doesn’t share the bed. She’s always wrestling with them.”

7. Thurston Picklesworth III

When Meredith Rosenberg adopted a cat her friend found in the street, she was determined to make sure his rags-to-riches experience included a snazzy name. “We sat down and tried to think of the funniest name possible,” said Meredith. “We literally sat in a bar drinking wine and thinking up silly names. It was a process of trial and error. We put several names together until we came up with Thurston Picklesworth III and it just seemed to fit. It sounds regal.”

According to Meredith, Thurston Picklesworth III has taken quite well to his new life and name. “I just can believe that Thurston was thrown out in the street,” said Meredith. “He is the sweetest cat ever. He is so gentle and so kind.”

8. Yardsale

On a drive home from vacation in Shenandoah National Park, Lauren Faber and Brian Prusnek were struck by the sheer number of yard sales taking place along the Virginia countryside. The couple took a detour to stop at a local winery and while there found themselves unable to resist the pleas of three little girls with a cardboard box and a sign reading, “Free Kittens.” Lauren and Brian adopted two of kittens, which the girls had named Rosalie and Esme, after characters in the popular teen novel series Twilight.

"We kept Rosalie’s name, but we knew Esme needed to change,” said Lauren. “We got back on the road and the new name seemed to be provided from a higher force. One after another, the signs read in the multitude of front yards: ‘Yard Sale.’ We figured that Yardsale was a vast improvement over Esme.” The name also resonated with Brian, who has heard the term “yard sale” used while snowboarding to describe a bad crash in which someone’s gear ends up scattered in the snow. “People who are familiar with pets—vets or caretakers—love the name,” said Lauren. “People who are new to pets are kind of confused.”

9. Dishwasher

Alli Kildahl was cleaning her mom’s kitchen one day when she started to wonder what kitchen appliance would make the best cat name. She considered Blender, Microwave and Toaster, before deciding that, if she ever got a cat, Dishwasher would be a great name. About a year later, Alli’s sister gave her a black Manx as a house-warming gift. “I attempted to think of a better name, before I soon realized that Dishwasher was the only name that seemed to fit,” said Alli. “She always washes her dishes, and it helps to have at least one dishwasher in the apartment, even if she is feline.”

Dishwasher has several unique traits that complement her unique name, including the ability to fetch and a love of running laps through the house while making what Alli describes as a “vroom” noise. Dishwasher also likes to watch water run, chew on plastic and lick feet.

10. Polly Prissypants

There are common sources of pet name inspiration—color, behavior, origin—and then there’s South Park. “I got the name from an episode where Eric Cartman is having a tea party with his stuffed animals and he doesn’t know he’s being videotaped,” said Rachel Dillon. “He named one of the stuffed animals Polly Prissypants and I thought that was so funny.” At one particular veterinarian’s office, Rachel had to sign Polly Prissypants in on a waiting list, causing great confusion for the technician who had to call Polly Prissypants in for her appointment.

“I get funny looks at the vet,” said Rachel. “Most of the time I just call her Kitty, but when I have to use the full name, people usually look at me funny. Once I met a vet tech who actually knew where the name came from and she appreciated it.”

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Guardians Forgo Luxuries Rather Than Skimp on Dogs

Many owners in this deepening recession would forgo luxuries rather than skimp on their dog’s needs.  They would eat fewer meals; cancel gym memberships and delay buying new clothes.  That’s according to an American Kennel Club online survey of more than 1,000 people.

Respondents were self-selected, meaning they voluntarily participated in the survey, so the results may not apply statistically to the general dog-owning population, but their answers prove once again owners’ devotion to their dogs:

96% say they would give up their latte habit

79% would cancel a teeth-whitening appointment in favor of their dog’s annual teeth cleaning

67% would cancel travel plans if they couldn’t afford boarding their dog

65% would regularly eat ramen noodles before they would cut back on high-quality dog food

The only must-have item among owner’s expenses:  More than 70% would keep their Internet access!

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Dr. Jim Humphries - Veterinary Minute

More Women Prefer Dogs Over Husbands

More women prefer dogs over husbands.  I’m quite confused over this story!  An online poll released shows more women would rather have a pet than a husband.  Can you relate to this story?  An overwhelming 78% voted for a furry, rather than a hairy, companion.  The poll had a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

“Life is too short to commit to someone you’ll need to know over time,” says Nancy Keller, 29 years of age.  “I’d rather have a pet and simply date,” she says, “It’s less stressful for everyone involved.”

In a related subject, Sealy, the maker of all of those wonderful mattresses, published an interesting report entitled the Sealy Snooze Report, about people’s sleeping habits.  Among the findings was 67% of respondents said they preferred to sleep with their pets; 51% say their partners are just too disturbing in their sleep; 55% of women say that their partner was far more annoying than their pet.  But 38% of the respondents stood firm and said there’s no room in their bed for their pets. 

I say, leave sleeping dogs and husbands lie.

Listen to Dr. Humphries on Animal Radio®



On Animal Radio® this month


Ed Begley first became aware of conservation growing up in smoggy Los Angeles.  He is one of those people who doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk. Literally. How many celebs in Los Angeles actually have (and use) a Los Angeles bus pass? How many have created environmentally friendly cleaning products?  With "Begley's Best," Ed has created environmentally friendly cleaning products for you to use in your own home, with everything from an all-purpose cleaner to a carpet spot remover. Ed also offers some great suggestions on how pet guardians can become environmentally friendly. You can catch Ed on HGTV “Living with Ed,” for more points on being “green.” No one is greener than this guy!

Get Your Licks on Route 66 brought by Fido Friendly Magazine and North Shore Animal League America was a huge success.   We checked in with Susan Sims, Fido Friendly Magazine, who was wrapping up the end of the tour. In early June she set off in a Toyota Venza as the official chase car behind the 36-foot mobile adoption bus.  They began in Santa Monica, CA and then traveled the length of Route 66 – through CA, AZ, NM, TX, OK, KS, MO and IL – with a culmination event in Chicago, IL in early July followed by a wrap party hosted by Supporting Sponsor, Bissell, in Grand Rapids, MI. Hundreds of dogs and cats found their forever homes during the tour and they look forward to planning the 2nd Annual Get Your Licks on Route 66 for 2010.

Karen Pryor states that Clicker Training has been around for about 10 years and we now know much more about it and what it teaches us about the animals. The clicker training “movement” has taken off and now there are so many people doing it.  But its not just for dogs any more - today, clicker training is used worldwide on dogs, cats, horse, birds, zoo animals and increasingly, humans!   In her new book, Reaching the Animal Mind, Karen states that the fundamental principle is easy - in order to change what somebody else is doing, you have to change what you’re doing.  That’s often a lot of trouble – as most people don’t want to change they way they do things!



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Dog Run or Nightclub?

Vinnie Penn, Animal Radio's Resident Party Animal

I was visiting a friend of mine in New York not too long ago, when I was shooting a TV series.  (Please visit to check out what else I’m up to outside the Party Animal Segment - The TV Show is Called “That’s What He Said,” and some of the episodes are up on the website.)

I got together with a buddy of mine who I hadn’t seen in a while, and we took his big old dog out for a walk to one of those dog runs.  Kilgore is the name of his dog. 

I had never been to one of those dog runs before and my buddy is doing the whole New York thing, “You can meet girls, the girls I meet down here and this and that…”  But he kept Kilgore really close to him, saying that he didn’t play all that well with other dogs.  Sometimes he will or sometimes he won’t.  But it was all about him.  All about the girls he could meet down, and there were some good looking girls down at the dog run with their little dogs, their medium sized dogs, their Beagles running around. 

But, I thought what about Kilgore?  This is where he should be hooking up!  Doesn’t he get a chance?  I mean, it’s a dog run!  It’s not a nightclub!  But my boy couldn’t understand that.  He said he didn’t know what I was talking about and said that he didn’t get the dog to pick up girls, but that dog runs are just a good place to meet girls.  Yes, but it’s also a great place for your dog to meet another dog! 

I’m not talking about impregnating another dog, or having a moderately horrific dog humping another dog scenes in front of everyone.  But, this is the dog run, it is the nightclub for dogs! 

Am I wrong?  Kilgore didn’t get to do much other than run around in a circle a couple of times; catch a Frisbee once or twice.  But every time he even eyed a sweet looking Rottweiler or Doberman Pinscher on the other side of the grassy knoll that they had there, my buddy Rich would yell, “Kilgore – get over here now!”  I told him to let him sniff, let’s see what his opening sniff is; let’s see what his come on sniff is!

Listen to Vinnie Penn on Animal Radio®


10 Most common Ailments in Cats and Dogs by Doc Halligan

A large percentage of the most common ailments in cats and dogs can be prevented with proper diet, care and exercise. Here is a list of the ten most common medical conditions reported in cats and dogs, and the ways you can help prevent them!

1.  Dental Disease – prevented by daily tooth brushing and yearly dental exams by your vet.

2.  Ear infections – regular ear cleanings can help prevent infections.

3.  Bladder Infections – avoided by feeding a proper diet and adequate water intake.

4.  Stomach Upset – prevented by feeding a proper diet and not giving table scraps.

5.  Skin Irritation – providing adequate flea control, brushing and a proper diet will prevent skin problems.

6.  Kidney Disease – feeding a proper diet and ensuring your pet drinks enough water can help ward off this disease.

7.  Arthritis exercise keeps joints healthy and can slow the onset by preventing your pet from becoming overweight.

8.  Upper Respiratory Disease – proper vaccinations will prevent some infections.
9.   Diabetes  – not letting your pets get fat will help prevent this disease.

10. Intestinal Disease – again, proper diet and avoiding table scraps will prevent intestinal problems.

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What Clicker Training Teaches Us About Animals

Karen Pryor – Reaching the Animal Mind

Reaching the Animal Mind is a book about clicker training, which has been around for about 10 years.  We now know much more about it and what it teaches us about the animals. The clicker training “movement” has taken off and now there are so many people doing it.

Clicker training is way of communicating with animals completely different from they way we’ve been training animals since the stone age, which was by making them do stuff and being nice to them when they did what we want, and being nasty to them when they didn’t.   This is now old fashioned compared to modern clicker training. 

Clicker training is used to identify for the animal exactly what it’s doing that we like.  Dogs respond to clicker training not because they love you, not because it respects you (which really means it fears you), but because it understands the game and wants to win, and the two of you are in the game together.   This system leaves punishment out when you are teaching an animal something new. 

The clicker training method teaches the animal to think and to explore and to watch us and guess what we want.  This makes them enthusiastic and bright eyed and interested in their people.  It’s so easy to do once you try it. 

Reaching the Animal Mind is a great tool for anyone with an animal in their life.  Want to teach your dog to sit or get off the couch?  Train your cat to give a high-five?  Or even instruct your dog to find your car keys?  You will find this and other amazing activities in Karen’s book.

Today, clicker training is used worldwide on dogs, cats, horse, birds, zoo animals and increasingly, humans!  The fundamental principle is that in order to change what somebody else is doing, you have to change what you’re doing.  That’s often a lot of trouble – as most people don’t want to change they way they do things!

Listen to Karen Pryor on Animal Radio®


If you could feed your dog the best - this is the food you would feed your furry-friend.

Official food of Animal Radio's Ladybug!


I’m Smitten With Kittens  By Karen Lee Stevens

With the warmer weather and longer days of summer upon us, we can look forward to spending more time outdoors with our friends and family. Before you pack a picnic lunch or slather on the sunscreen, however, you need to be aware of a particularly nasty bug lurking in the bushes. No, it’s not the flu bug or the June bug for that matter; it’s something much more serious. It’s called the kitten bug.

A new report issued by People Obsessed with Pussycats (POP), a feline health organization, states that this little known disease is responsible for sending sufferers into severe fits of “oohs” and “aahs” at the mere sight of a fluffy feline and often causes spontaneous fits of laughter and an overwhelming desire to curl up in the sun for long naps. Those afflicted with the most serious form of the kitten bug spend hours wistfully thumbing through cat magazines and secretly maxing out their credit cards at

POP officials warn that the kitten bug is highly contagious and while there is currently no cure, new treatment methods are showing promise in human clinical trials. One such therapy, National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, has proven especially helpful in mitigating the symptoms of this dreaded disease. The annual event encourages cat lovers to visit their local animal shelter and adopt a cat or kitten. And pretty please, remember that mature (read: adult and senior) kitties make purr-fect pets too!

In summary, POP’s research has shown that the kitten bug is not considered life threatening, but it can be life changing—for both humans and felines. So, ask your doctor for a purr-scription for a shelter cat or kitten and rest assured, good health and happiness is just a whisker away.

***Please Note: The preceding article is fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. No kittens were harmed in the making of this article.

When Karen’s not fighting symptoms associated with the kitten bug, she writing her next column, so send your story ideas to her at For more of Karen’s columns, visit

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