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Pet nation

A record 63% of all US households now own at least one pet. We cherish them as playmates, friends, and part of the family. But would you throw a $30,000 party for your dog? NBC's Al Roker explores how doggone far we go.

Clicker training a deaf pit bull?

This wonderful story from Maryland goes to show how flexiible clicker training can be ...

[Sara] Borin developed sign commands using a combination of American Sign Language and common sense. When Ms. Borin places an index finger on her nose, that means "watch me." That command is helpful when she wants to teach Sage new commands or tricks.

"I'm teaching her to weave in and out of my legs as I walk," she said. "Because it looks cute."

Ms. Borin teaches dog training classes using a clicker method, and Sage's ears will twitch if Ms. Borin clicks the clicker right next to her ear. She feels the vibration of the clicker, Ms. Borin said.The Frederick News-Post

Clicker training coming to msn.com

Congratulations go out to Kathy Sdao, our friend and ClickerExpo faculty member, who will be writing a regular dog behavior column for msn.com at their recently launched dog site. Kathy's column will appear few times a month in the "Dog Talker" section. Kathy, a trained scientist, is a gifted teacher and trainer. She has been a practitioner of clicker training for more than 17 years and is highly respected among her peers in the training world. Kathy has taught and trained an incredible variety of animal species. Her passion for training is matched only by her skill.

The Cat Who Scared the Bear

It's nothing but a picture, but what a great picture: A 15-pound house cat defending his property scares a black bear up a tree.

Gladwell misses on Millan

This week, Malcolm Gladwell wrote a fawning piece about Cesar Millan in the New Yorker (May 22). Gladwell shows why he's a very good writer, but not a good reporter (which may be the reason I thought his last book, Blink, was a vapid but nonethless enjoyable read). In this article, Gladwell doesn't even indicate that there is anything controversial at all about how Millan achieves his ends. No scent of behavioral science enters the discussion. There's no attempt on Galdwell's part to be objective, ferret out alternative opinions or provide balance. Malcolm is definitely not in the middle. He's wonderous.