May 2016

Cayenne for Canines: They're Not Too Hot!

Subscribers Only — Since 1985, the International Herb Association has announced its Herb of the Year during National Herb Week, which this year is May 1 through 7. The IHA has just published Capsicum: Herb of the Year 2016, a book that reviews chili peppers and their growing conditions and uses, and the organization helps garden centers and herb farms promote its featured plant.   More...

A Former Inmate’s Success Story

Subscribers Only — Rob was one of the inmates in the Pen Pals program when I spoke there several years ago. It was a delightful surprise to see him at the Pet Professional Guild trainer conference in Tampa, Florida, last fall and have a chance to chat. It is clear from his comments that the program contributed to his successful reintroduction into society. Rob is currently working with a mentor trainer to gain additional experience and knowledge in the field of dog training and behavior.   More...

Prison Dog Training Programs: An Inside Look

Subscribers Only — Katie Locks is the owner of Lucky Dogs Training and More in Amelia Court House, Virginia. Since 2004, she has worked with rescues and individuals to strengthen the bond with dogs through training. She trains for the Southside SPCA as well as Lab Rescue of the Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac, is a mentor trainer for Animal Behavior College, and is the lead trainer for Pixie’s Pen Pals, a prison dog program.   More...

Tips from Dog Kennel Operators

Subscribers Only — Don Hanson, owner of Green Acres Kennel Shop in Bangor, Maine, and Allison Bennett of Warms Hearts, Cold Noses, in North Hatley, Quebec, helped me compile this list of tips – ways to make boarding your dog a good experience for everyone involved, and to help clarify why kennel operators have the rules they do. …   More...

The Boarding Kennel Checklist

Subscribers Only — If a boarding facility operator refuses to answer a question, or indicates that she shouldn’t need to answer these questions at all, that is an excellent cue for you to walk away and look elsewhere. If I were offering to care for someone else’s dog, I would expect them to ask me these same questions. They are perfectly reasonable.   More...

Raw Dog Food and Salmonella Risks

Thanks to dogs’ industrial-strength digestive systems, their strong stomach acids usually disarm the Salmonella bacteria before they can cause illness. And even if enough of the bacteria survive and manage to take up residence in the dog’s digestive tract, he may well be completely asymptomatic; not all canine carriers of Salmonella become ill. This makes it difficult to know how widespread Salmonella infections are in the canine population.   More...

Tips on Stopping a Loose Dog from Approaching You

Being approached by loose dogs, especially when my dogs are on leash, is my least-favorite experience as a dog owner. When we’re walking in a public place, such as a beach or park, I can usually identify the owner and ask that he please wrangle his dog. Of course, this request may be met with varying responses, ranging from appropriately apologetic for their dog having invaded our space, to accusatory, suggesting I am the problem for not allowing my dogs to roam free and socialize. But as uncomfortable as it may be to deal with unpleasant dog owners, it can be even worse to deal with a loose dog whose owner is nowhere in sight!   More...

Find Activities That Fit Your Dog's Personality

There is nothing sadder than the look on my 8-year-old dog Otto’s face when he sees me loading my new puppy Woody into the car, on our way to puppy kindergarten classes. This is pretty much the only time I take Woody somewhere and don’t ask Otto to come along, too. Otto’s expression was so bereft, it got me looking around for some other activity to take up with Otto (and Otto alone).   More...