Dr. Michael W. Fox

Dr. Fox and the Super Dog Project

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DR FOX & THE SUPERDOG (BIO-SENSOR) PROJECT

DEAR DR. FOX :I have been a dog trainer and behavior consultant for over 20 years and am certified by five dog trainer organizations.  I invite you to read my experience and qualifications here 

I am writing a book on Puppy Socialization for owners.   I am researching the BioSensor program by Dr. Carmen Battaglia and have found that it is controversial with some sources saying that there is no data to back up the claims.  http://www.border-wars.com/2012/02/bio-sensor-is-bad-science-the-failure-of-super-dog.html is an example.

 Your name has come up in the discussion, and I am wondering if you could comment on the method.  Thanks in advance for any information you can give.

C.W.: Los Angeles CA

DEAR C.W.: While I was associate professor of psychology at Washington University, and having my PhD dissertation Integrative Development of Brain and Behavior in the Dog published by the University of Chicago press and soon after the popular best- selling version Understanding Your Dog came out, the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps contacted me as a civilian advisor to improve the in-field performance and well-being of their military dogs serving in Viet Nam and being raised and trained at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. This was because in both these publications I set out a protocol of early handling of puppies to increase their stress-tolerance and adaptability and emotional stability later in life.

The German shepherd dogs that I saw initially were kennel-confined and shy, and in dire need of social and environmental enrichment, remedies which I helped initiate. Their offspring were given various forms of sensory and social stimulation during their first weeks of life. These were based in large part on procedures and findings detailed in my doctoral dissertation and summarized in Understanding Your Dog.  I worked with Col Castleberry DVM and his staff to set up what we decided to call the Superdog Project. One officer, Jeff Lynn DVM, worked closely with me and earned a Master’s degree from Washington University, Dept. of Psychology, detailing and evaluating this project which was indeed a success.

It has disturbed me that various individuals have made claims to have developed or were involved in this Superdog project with whom I have had no professional relationship and who never cited my original research on the beneficial effects of early brain and sensory stimulation in puppies. I see them as trying to capitalize financially and reputation-wise for work which I did for no remuneration and with the only purpose of helping these military dogs under the stresses of combat and save a few soldiers’ lives in the process.

So long as the American forces continue to operate in foreign countries with military dogs I would like to see better protective footwear and protective vests ( including cooling vests) and goggles provided as needed for the dogs along the lines established by the British military, and suitable local dogs, better adapted climate and disease-wise, being trained for military use and then brought back to the U.S. after service for adoption.

 

Check the link below for a Dr. Fox C-Span feature concerning "Animal Testing"

Dr. Michael W. Fox on C-Span



--Video Link--

OUR ANIMAL RELATIONSHIPS: THE MOMENTS OF TRUTH PROJECT
Dr. Michael W. Fox

What right do we humans have to exploit other animals?  Where does that right come from and what are the limits if any?  What duties or obligations do we have in our relationships with our dogs, cats and other animals domesticated and wild?

          Follow and support Caroline Kraus and her Moments of Truth Project documentary film as she travels across the U.S. asking people, who variously live, work with and care for animals, these and other relevant questions.

Is there an overriding consensus and what are the reasons why people respond very differently to these questions, which in part examine our character, culture and future?

The viewing and discussion of this kind of documentary should be part of every school curriculum and will be of interest to all who work with, profit from and care for animals. Project Home Page: http://momentsoftruthproject.com/  To see the interview with Dr. Fox go to http://momentsoftruthproject.com/dr-michael-fox/