Kevin Myers

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Kevin defies convention by openly being both a dog lover and a curmudgeon. A reformed druid with an acerbic sense of sarcasm, he began to learn about animal training after discovering the methods he employed had not been refined since dinosaurs and humans walked the earth together.

Since then, he has made it his mission to educate himself about the science behind training and behavior so he can be a better human to his dogs. In February 2009 he founded Dog Lovers Digest, http://www.dogloversdigest.com, in the hope of providing good information about the love, care, behavior, and training of dogs.

He is currently skulking about the Smoky Mountains in eastern Tennessee with his wife Jackie and their dogs Gavin, Annie, Tosha, and Elbee. His heroes are Charles Darwin, Douglas Adams, and the inventor of the frosty mug. 

Blog posts by Kevin Myers

Dog Behavior in Human Terms

“My dogs are my children.” This is a phrase I’ve often used to answer the question “Do you have children?” It has become an automatic response I utter without really thinking about what it means to me personally, or how it’s perceived by others.

I think I initially used it to brand myself as a dog lover and as a way to deflect follow up questions by people fascinated by the childless status of married people. But despite the fact that I sometimes refer to them as children, I view, value, treat, and train them as dogs.

The relationship I have with my dogs is very much influenced by the fact that although I view them as fellow living beings, there are more differences than similarities between us. To be sure, I engage in some anthropomorphizing when it comes to my dogs, but I know that treating them as fellow humans establishes a standard which they cannot live up to.  We may share similar basic needs, but their motivations are not mine.

 
Dog with glasses on reading a paper.

Become a Better Reader for your Dog.

After a year and a half of blogging about dogs, I hope I have become a better writer. But if you were to ask me to name the one thing that has improved most a result of my blogging, I would have to say it’s my reading skills.

I’ve written many posts during my blogging tenure and there is one thing they all have in common. Each piece is tempered by my own predilections and prejudices, beliefs and disbeliefs, and the lifetime of experiences behind them.

We tend to be very passionate about our dogs and I see that passion surface in both good and bad ways in blogs and more importantly the discussion of those blogs across the internet. Even though we are reading the same articles we seem to take away very different things from them; so much so that I often wonder if we are reading the same articles! Our passion seems to take an editorial role in the articles we read by highlighting some words and ideas while using whiteout on others.

 

Stop Kissing and Smell the Roses – Human Greetings Seen through a Dog’s Eye

When it comes to the greeting behavior of dogs, information abounds from the human perspective on how our dogs should behave when greeting both humans, and other animals. However, not many have thought to ask our dogs their opinion of our greeting rituals. So I set out to interview my 8 year old Australian Shepherd, Gavin, and get his opinions on some of our human greetings.

Kevin: Let’s start with the traditional human handshake; tell us what you think of that.

Gavin: We see this as being closet in form and meaning to our traditional butt sniff. It seems like it conveys a lot of information. A strong handshake is like a good, thorough, butt sniff; “Hello, this is who I am, I am interested in you.” A weak handshake is like our cursory butt sniff; “Yeah, I see you, got better things to do.”

Kevin: Let’s move on to the hug.

 
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