9 TED Talks every dog owner should watch

Screenshot from a TED Talk with a dog trainer

What makes a Rottie live 50% longer than the average? What does it actually mean when a dog howls? How can you spot the warning signs of a dog bite?

All these questions (and many more) are covered in 9 of our favourite dog-related TED talks.

So get a cup of tea and a notebook and prepare to be educated by some of the greatest canine minds in the world.

1. What every person can learn from dog training

“Imagine I get in a taxi and I tell the driver, ‘I don’t want to go to Manchester’, ‘Oh, and I don’t want to go to Derby,’ ‘and I definitely don’t want to go to Chester’. What’s the driver going to say? ‘Well, where the heck do you want to go?”

That’s the analogy Noa Szefler uses to demonstrate how most owners try to train their dogs. They tell the dog all the things they do not want them to do, but none of the things they do want.

Noa (and her beautiful Collie mix Pele) demonstrate that there’s a better way of training, by rewarding behaviour that’s desired, and how it even works on boyfriends…

2. What can we learn from old dogs?

Meet the dogs who are defying death, and the 3 “Holy Sh*t” moments (his expression, not ours!) that could teach us all the secret of living to be 150 years old.

David Waters has travelled the length and breadth of the states studying Rottweilers that live to be 150 in human years, and on the way, uncovers some pretty shocking findings.

3. How do dogs see with their noses?

In this short animated film, you’ll learn:

  • How dog’s noses work
  • Why they can process smells 10,000 times better than us
  • How they can tell when you’re sad just from your smell

This is the only video here that is not technically a TED Talk, but is based on one instead.

4. Rediscover the Pit bull

Thanks to evil dog-fighting gangs and biased media coverage, the humble Pit Bull has not only got one of the worst reputations in the dog world but is actually a banned breed in some places.

Mitzi Bolanos is a Pit Bull fanatic and makes a passionate plea (backed up with cast-iron statistics) to governing bodies everywhere to stop the breed prejudice.

5. Barking & Marking: Decoding the language of dogs

Watch Chris Ramsay explain his theory on how the behaviour of the domesticated dog mimics that of its wolf ancestors.

My favourite bit is the translation of the different types of barks – now I finally know why my dog Peanut howls like that!

6. Dog-friendly training

Ian Dunbar, a veteran of the dog-training world, asks us to see the world through the eyes of a dog, and explains why traditional training methods are, at best flawed, and at worst, damaging to our dogs.

He gets extra marks from me for his story about the child on the plane.

7. How dogs tell us what we need to know

Barbara Sherman is a veterinary behaviour specialist, who’s studied dogs in all kinds of environments.

Her fascinating talk explains how you can interpret your dog’s body language and almost literally read his mind.

She goes on to show how a father misses the ‘attack’ cues when his child gets in the dog’s face, and how a simple solution removed the danger for good.

BONUS: 1 hour lecture on dog training

Behaviorist dog trainer Rob Peladeau talks at Google HQ about training, behaviour and tools and techniques.

Whilst we don’t necessarily agree with everything he says, there are some real gems in this talk.

So which was your favourite? Comment below or send us a message via Facebook or Instagram.

Al Elliott

Hi there, I'm Al and I'm the founder of this site. I just wanted to thank you for stopping by, and if you like what you see, please share this with your friends using the share buttons above! (Oh, and if you want us to feature you and your dog in our next article, send us a message via Facebook: https://m.me/WoofHQ )

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