Defender Radio and The Switch

As many of you know, I’m a dog guy. I share my home with JJ the Hamilton Hound, who you’ll often hear clicking around and bringing me toys while I’m interviewing folks. And as you may also know, I’m a huge fan of Dr. Marc Bekoff. He’s a prolific author, professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, and as an ethologist has incredible experience, wisdom, and insight into the animals around us. Along with his friend and regular writing partner Dr. Jessica Pierce, Marc co-authored Unleashing Your Dog: A field guide to giving your canine companion the best life possible.

I’m describing this book as the book anyone should read before they read a dog training book – because this isn’t a dog training book. Unleashing Your Dog examines our relationships with dogs and challenges us to give our dogs what they need to truly be who they are while living in a human world. Marc joined Defender Radio to discuss the motivations for the book, how we can all use the tools of ethology to learn more about the non-human animals in our lives, and what exactly unleashing your dog means.

Get your copy of Unleashing Your Dog:

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Direct download: Defender_Radio_Podcast_627_Marc_Bekoff_Unleash_Dogs.mp3
Category:Season 06 -- posted at: 7:10pm EDT

Bears are dying in British Columbia as spring turns to summer. I’d like to have a cute, chipper way of introducing this interview, but that’s the sad fact. Largely due to poor attractant management, bears wander into communities in search of easy meals, an inconsistent response from various residents results in their ongoing presence in the community, and, eventually, it often leads to conservation officers killing the bear for alleged habituation.

It doesn’t need to be this way. Luci Cadman of the North Shore Black Bear Society in British Columbia works tirelessly to educate communities and push for enforcement of existing by-laws regarding attractants and human behaviour that leads to these conflicts.  She joined Defender Radio to discuss the reality of living near bears, the things individuals and whole communities can do to stop the killing, and why this isn’t a bear issue, but a human one.

North Shore Black Bear Society:

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Direct download: Defender_Radio_Podcast_626_BCs_Bears_Human_Problem.mp3
Category:Season 06 -- posted at: 10:33pm EDT

Cats love to climb, jump, pounce, and play. Unfortunately, they often want to do this outside, where those skills help them kill wildlife and birds in large numbers and are exposed to innumerous risks to their well-being. It’s not fair to tell cats they can’t be who they are, and it isn’t exactly fair to let them be at risk of causing damage or being injured.

There is, however, a middle ground: catios.

The BC SPCA recently hosted a tour of catios in the Vancouver region with great success and are strong proponents of people giving cats a safe way to live their lives and engage their behaviours fully. Marieke van der Velden , an outreach specialist for the BC SPCA joined Defender Radio to share the secrets of catios and how easily cat lovers can build or buy them for their furry friends.

Learn more about catios:

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Check out The Young Defenders:

Direct download: Defender_Radio_Podcast_625_Catios_BC_SPCA_.mp3
Category:Season 06 -- posted at: 4:44pm EDT