Dogs teaching chemistry

I am a chemist by profession and I have been making YouTube videos of my dogs as long as I've had them in my life. Some videos have become more popular than others, but nothing to the extent of our chemistry video. I actually got the idea to do a video like this because of my sister. She teaches science for 7th and 8th graders. She would show dog trick videos of Paige and Dexter in her class on occasion for good behavior and the students loved it! I thought of the chemical bonding idea, had a free Sunday afternoon, and decided to put it together for fun. What I really love about making videos like these is the ability to represent who I am and how much I treasure my animals.

I got Paige as a puppy when she was only 10 weeks old. I found her on a classified ad from a local border collie breeder. She is my first dog! I quickly realized I had a strong interest in dog training, something I never realized until I got her. Dexter is a two year old mixed breed whom I got from an organization that rescues dogs from high kill shelters in an area outside West Tennessee. They transport the dogs they rescue up the East Coast to the New England area where there are not only more homes, but these areas have more prevalent companion pet regulations, licensing and education encouraging spaying/ neutering. They make a few stops along the way and one was in the DC area. That's when I first met him!

People thought I was crazy for getting a border collie, one of the most intense, highly-driven, physically and intellectually demanding breeds. But it couldn't have turned out more perfect. I spend most, if not all, of my free time training Paige and Dexter, participating in dog sports, attending various classes, competing in shows, doing advertising work like commercials and print and the list goes on and on. There’s nothing I love more than being with my dogs and strengthening our bond through all the fun activities we do...including making YouTube videos!

I train both my dogs with the use of a clicker and positive rewards. Clicker training is a way of training animals in which a desirable behavior is marked with a click and then reinforced (with food, toys, praise, or environment), making the behavior more likely to happen in the future. It not only is a way to teach your dog a cool trick, but it also facilitates a positive, trusting relationship between human and dog and gives the dog more self-confidence.

“Dogs teach chemistry” will lead you to the YouTube video
(1.5 minutes) or on the Snuggly Puppy website.

I also created a second "Dogs Teaching Chemistry" episode

There will be more to come. I have a lot more ideas!

Two dogs standing in hula-hoops.

Two dogs standing in hula-hoops labeled anion and cation.
Two dogs in hula-hoops fighting over chew toy.
Two dogs in hula-hoops fighting over chew toy.

These photos are taken from the YouTube video. The orange and blue balls represent the electrons. Top left: the dogs represent two neutral atoms with electrons; Top right: the anion now has both electrons and the cation has lost its electron (ionic bond); Bottom left: the electrons (balls) are being shared evenly (covalent bond); the bottom right: the uneven sharing of electrons (polar covalent).