August 2014

Interview with Laurel Braitman - Author of "Animal Madness"

Subscribers Only — Dogs can change our lives. Little did Laurel Braitman know how much one Bernese Mountain Dog would change hers. Not long after Laurel had adopted Oliver, the 4-year-old dog began to exhibit anxious behaviors, soon culminating in his exodus from the window of her fourth-story apartment. A young neighbor boy witnessed Oliver’s fifty-foot fall and screamed, “Mom! A dog fell out of the sky!” …   More...

The Top Five Things to Look for on a Commercial Dog Food Label

Subscribers Only — Recently I visited a fancy new pet supply store?* – seriously, the fanciest store I’ve ever seen. It boasts a fenced and rubber-matted area for patrons’ dogs to play while their owners shop; an area where owners can bathe their dogs (with warm water, cross ties in the raised tubs, shampoo and conditioner on tap, waterproof aprons, cool blow driers, and plenty of towels); an area where visiting veterinarians can provide vaccinations and basic health exams; a climate-controlled, glassed-in area for puppy and dog training classes; and, oh yeah, aisle after aisle after aisle of toys, beds, treats, shampoos, and lots and lots of dog (and cat) food.   More...

Several Methods To Produce Better Behavior From Your Dog

There are several different ways to get your dog to do lots of stuff. You can lure, shape, capture, use imitation, and, yes, you can even coerce and physically manipulate your dog into performing certain behaviors. Coercion was the mainstay of old-fashioned training, and carries with it a high likelihood of unwanted side effects, including fear, aggression, and learned helplessness (shutting down).   More...

Stand-Up Paddleboarding With Your Dog

Subscribers Only — A stand-up paddleboard (SUP) is similar to a surfboard, though one paddles a SUP while standing. As a former avid whitewater kayaker, when I first saw photos of people on SUPs, I thought, “Why in the world would anyone want to do that?” Where was the excitement? The adrenaline?   More...

Neutering Without a Scalpel

Subscribers Only — Sounds odd to say, but I’m accustomed to standing over a fully anesthetized dog holding his testicles in one hand. Until recently, if I did, in fact, have his testicles in one hand, I’d usually have a scalpel in the other, preparing to neuter him. But on a day not long ago, I found myself armed with only a needle and syringe in my other hand, preparing to neuter a dog who was merely sedated.   More...

Five Things To Do If Your Dog Needs Cage Rest

Few things are worse than hearing the vet say those dreaded words: “Cage Rest.” Most often the consequence of an injury or major surgery, it means your dog must be kept under tight restrictions – in a crate, out to relieve herself on leash only, and then back in her crate. Running, jumping, and playing are strictly prohibited; even excessive walking is frowned upon. To make matters worse, this period of restricted activity is sometimes prescribed for as long as four to six weeks. Most of our dogs barely get enough exercise as it is . . . How do you keep a young, active dog under wraps for a whole month or more? Boredom is your biggest enemy. Here are some suggestions to help you through the dark days:   More...

Fact V. Opinion

You may not be aware that WDJ is more than just a printed publication: it’s also available to subscribers in a digital form. (To read it online, subscribers simply register for access. Then they can read current issues before they are available in print, and follow links given in articles to back issues and articles.) The WDJ website also contains a blog, where I (and sometimes, guest bloggers) post more personal stories and topics for discussion. It’s a place where we can discuss more intimate, emotional, moral, spiritual, and even judgemental ideas and opinions relating to our relationships with dogs.   More...