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The Ruff Report: Dogs and Behavior

The average dog can count, understand 165 words, solve complex problems, and a dog's intelligence level is on par with a 2-year-old child, according to Stanley Coren, a psychologist and professor at the University of British Columbia. MORE

An animal behavioral expert says pet parents need to understand the subtle ways that dogs communicate their frustrations, dislikes and fears and take remedial action before the behavior escalates into biting. MORE

The neighborhood dog park - or play area - is the perfect setting for skirmishes to suddenly erupt between normally well-mannered pets, a behavioral expert warns. MORE

That "guilty look" your dog displays when you admonish him for misbehaving is not really remorse after all, because dogs are incapable of feeling sorry, a study has found. Your pet's demeanor is merely a reaction from the tone of the language you use. MORE

Dogs take cues from their masters, so pet parents who want their companions to be well-behaved and have good manners must display appropriate leadership, a leading animal behaviorist says. MORE

Juliane Kaminski, a psychology professor at the University of Portsmouth in England, says her study founds that dogs, who have much better nighttime vision than humans, wait to perform their most mischievous deeds - like stealing food - under the cover of darkness.  MORE

Many dogs suffer from thunderstorm phobia, and pet parents need to take precautions to help their dog cope, a leading animal behaviorist says. This phobia puts many dogs at a much higher risk of serious injury and can even cause a dog to run away from home. MORE

Many dogs will spend more time alone as children go back to school and parents go back to work, which can result in boredom, separation anxiety and unusual behavior. A leading dog trainer offers some tips to ease the transition. MORE

Anxiety and fear from fireworks will cause pets to hide, chew on household items and even run away, but pet parents can take actions to keep their dogs and cats safe. MORE

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the American Kennel Club are urging owners to adopt this simple New Year's resolution: Spend more time and do more activities with your pet. MORE 


The Ruff Report is a column that appears on, a blog written by Joseph A. Reppucci, a retired editor from The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Massachusetts. Mr. Reppucci worked as a reporter and editor on major daily newspapers in the Boston area for more than 30 years. He is the author of the book, The Hunt of Her Life, a heartwarming story about his once-in-a-lifetime rescue dog. Find it on and


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A book about a rescue dog
that will touch your heart

THE HUNT OF HER LIFE, is a nonfiction book about Samantha, an unwanted rescue dog who the author adopts at age 2. This beautifully designed deluxe full-color book, by longtime newspaper journalist Joseph A. Reppucci, contains more than 60 vibrant color photos of dogs to help illustrate the compelling and uplifting story of Samantha - a pretty tricolor bird dog who uses her warm personality to win people over and build a new family after being put up for adoption by a hunter because she is gun-shy and afraid to hunt. Learn how she uses her special bonding abilities with people to help her eventually make a transition from the hunting fields to family life. While reading the The Hunt of Her Life, you will travel with Samantha and the author along a trail filled with surprising twists, sudden turns, mystery and even what some call a miracle. And when the journey is finished, you may never look at people and their pets, motherhood - and perhaps even God - in the same way. The Hunt of Her Life is must reading. It will take you on a captivating journey - a trip like no other - that will touch your heart.

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Book sets signed by the author available here!

THE HUNT HER LIFE BOOK SERIES: Order your set signed by author Joseph A. Reppucci! The Original will touch your heart and the Sequel will lift your soul. *The Hunt of Her Life signed book series sets are only available to U.S. customers.

Signed Set
*The Hunt of Her Life signed book series sets are only available to U.S. customers.

Holiday discount Book Sets

THE HUNT HER LIFE BOOK SET (unsigned) is offered for a limited time each year at a special holiday discount rate of 25% off. The discount applies to orders received from November 1 through December 24.

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The ORIGINAL book is currently listed at 56% OFF on Amazon. Order the Original and Sequel and qualify for free shipping!