April 2014

Letters & Corrections

Correction: In the list of WDJ-approved dry foods presented in our February issue, we reported incorrect ranges for the amounts of protein and fat in some of the dry foods made by Dogswell. The products in the company’s Live Free dry food line contain 36% to 40% protein and 14% to 18% fat. The products in Dogswell’s dry Nutrisca line contain 30% to 32% protein and 16% to 18% fat. We regret the errors. …   More...

Bonding With Your Adopted Dog

Subscribers Only — As a trainer, I am hyperaware of the dynamics between dogs and their owners. I have watched countless human-canine teams in group classes blossom together in beautiful demonstrations of communication and cooperation. Unfortunately, I have also seen people struggle. Teaching a dog a new skill can be difficult for any owner, especially if the person has never practiced it before. A good coach can help solve the sticking points in training . . . but more troublesome is when an owner’s bond with a dog seems very weak, or non-existent.   More...

How to Catch a Dog on the Loose

Subscribers Only — Generations ago, the assumption was that Lassies just simply came home. They may have meandered, they may have wandered, but for the most part, a dog on the loose wasn’t something anyone batted an eye at.   More...

Trading With Your Dog to Combat Resource Guarding

It’s important to be able to ask your dog to give something to you, especially something he is not supposed to have, and especially if you’re frequenting public places where he might pick something that belongs to someone else or that might be harmful to him. If you only take things away that are forbidden to him, he’ll learn to play the keep-away game, or worse, he may learn to resource-guard. The “trade” game will help you avoid these problems.   More...

Training Your Dog to Be Polite

Subscribers Only — One of the great things about sharing your life with a dog is . . . sharing your life with your dog! True dog lovers always look for opportunities to include their canine companions in their activities. Decisions about recreational selections are often made based on whether the dog can participate or not. A hike in the woods wins over a kayaking trip. An outdoor café gets the nod over a fancy restaurant. Relatives who frown on canines sharing holiday festivities might get passed over in favor of those who welcome your furry family member and even buy her presents.   More...

Whole Dog Journal's Gear of the Year 2014

Subscribers Only — We asked WDJ’s contributors for their recommendations for “things they can’t imagine living without” in their dog-care kits – their favorite dog toys, training tools, and treats. Here are some of the products that made their lists of things that they must have for their dogs.   More...

Caring For and Preventing Your Dog's Ear Infections

Subscribers Only — Severe and/or recurrent ear infections cause more than chronic discomfort or even maddening acute pain for your dog; inadequately or belatedly treated, they can cause total deafness. I once helped transport a rescued Bouvier who had suffered such serious chronic infections that she required a total ear canal ablation (TECA, a procedure in which the entire middle ear canal is surgically removed). While such operations are usually a last-resort effort to both reduce the dog’s suffering and preserve the dog’s inner ear (hearing organ) and ability to hear, in this case, the damage from her many past infections was already done and she was completely deaf.   More...

New Hope for Treating Osteosarcoma On the Horizon

Osteosarcoma is by far the most common form of bone cancer in dogs. About 75 to 85 percent of tumors occur on the legs, but can develop in any bone. Middle-aged and older large- and giant-breed dogs are most commonly affected. The first sign is usually limping, which may start suddenly, or develop gradually, and is often accompanied by swelling at the tumor site. Within one to three months, the pain will be constant, and the tumor can cause the bone to fracture. Radiographs (x-rays) are usually all that is needed to confirm the diagnosis.   More...

At the Gate

Last month in this space, I mentioned that my son’s puppy (Cole, now 7 or 8 months old) had presumably received all the “puppy shots” a puppy his age would ordinarily receive, when a vaccine titer test revealed that he lacked circulating antibodies to distemper. Thank goodness we had asked for the test – apparently, the first one that anyone at that veterinary practice had ever ordered – because without it, we wouldn’t have known that Cole was still absolutely vulnerable to becoming seriously ill should he ever encounter the distemper virus out in the world. He was vaccinated again, and three weeks later, we ran another vaccine titer test, and this time, the results came back as quite positive; he now has circulating antibodies to the distemper virus in his blood.   More...