January 2015

Integration

Wow! It’s the start of WDJ’s 18th year of publication. Sorry to sound like a cliche, but where did the time go? When I was hired to edit the inaugural edition of the magazine in early 1998, I had an extensive history of editing horse magazines; I told my new boss flat out, “I don’t know that much about dogs!” Of course, I had a dog – I’ve always had dogs – but most of what my publisher had planned for WDJ to cover was new to me, such as raw diets, minimal vaccine schedules, complementary and alternative veterinary medicine, and especially, force-free training.   More...

Gear of the Year

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...

How to Create Just a Little More Physical Space Between You and Your Dog (When You Want It)

Subscribers Only — Do you live with a canine space invader? These are the dogs who always seem to be in your way – under your feet, blocking your path, nudging a nose under your hand as you try to type on your laptop, pressing tightly up against you as you share the sofa. They are often sweet, appeasing, attention-loving snugglers, so it’s hard to discourage the behaviors, but they can also get annoying. I know this all too well, as Bonnie, our appeasing, beguiling, attention-loving, 9-year-old “Scorgidoodle” (Scottie/Corgi/Poodle), is an exceptionally talented space hog.   More...

Solving A Behavior Problem Crisis

One of the most irritating – and common – phone calls I receive in my capacity as a professional dog trainer is when dog owners urgently ask me to help solve their dog’s behavior problem immediately – even though, as it often turns out, the problem has actually existed for years. Sometimes, it’s even phrased as, “If we can’t get this fixed now, we’re getting rid of the dog; we just can’t take it anymore.”   More...

Our Safety Harness Recommendation

Subscribers Only — As Dorea Fowler and her two daughters were nearing the end of a road trip from Atlanta to Florida, Fowler allowed her 7-year-old Boxer, Ruby, to move up and sit unrestrained in the front passenger seat of her Toyota Highlander. They were traveling uneventfully down the highway at about 65 mph, as they had for hundreds of miles, when suddenly Fowler’s SUV was struck from behind. Upon first impact, the Boxer stood up; then Fowler’s vehicle spun out of control. As the car rotated, Ruby went airborne, flew across Fowler’s lap, and hit the driver’s side window with her head. The car then hit a guard rail head on. The vehicle’s air bag and seat belts protected Fowler (and her two children), but Ruby rocketed forward into the windshield between the driver’s door and air bag. When the vehicle came to rest, Ruby was lying on her side across the front seat. The Boxer was still alive, but rigid as a board, indicating to Fowler (an RN) that Ruby had a serious head injury.   More...

Behavior Medication Opens Doors

Subscribers Only — After about six weeks of living with Trill, Dr. Sharp knew that the frightened, anxious dog needed something more. The training and behavior protocols were working in the sense that the dog was cooperative, but Trill still had a panicked look in her eyes much of the time. Sharp was concerned: No animal should have to live with that much fear, she thought.   More...

What To Do When Your Dog Is Afraid Of Everyone – Even You!

Subscribers Only — There is a certain class of fearful dogs – those who are so afraid they don’t even trust the people who are trying to help them. These dogs can come from the streets, puppy mills, or someone’s backyard. Choosing to work with, foster, or live with a dog who is afraid of people is choosing to embark on a powerful journey. The ups and downs can be emotionally challenging, but the rewards of building a mutual trust where none existed can be an amazing experience.   More...

Weather The Storm

Apologies to that rockabilly Eddie Rabbitt, but not everyone loves a rainy night. Especially if there’s thunder and lightning. Fear of thunderstorms – formally called astraphobia – is surprisingly common in dogs; some experts estimate that up to 30 percent are affected with it to some degree or another. (Most cats, apparently, couldn’t care less.) The most severely thunderstorm-phobic dogs can become intensely fearful and panicked, to the point where they become a hazard to themselves.   More...