August 2016

Advocate for Your Dog

To advocate means to support or promote the interests of another. As a trainer, Iím always encouraging my clients to be advocates for their dogs. To me, this means putting the physical and emotional well-being of your dog before your own needs. This includes protecting your dog from injury, from other dogs, and from other people. It also means that you may need to speak up for your dog in a variety of situations; after all, your dog canít speak for herself! Also, being your dogís advocate builds trust between you and your dog. I want my dog to trust that I will only put her into situations that she can comfortably handle.   More...

Your Dog's Physical Characteristics (And Why They Matter)

Subscribers Only — No matter what the breed, the sheer soundness of a dog Ė the strength and balance of her overall anatomy, and how that translates kinetically in the dogís ability to move from Point A to Point B Ė is a huge consideration, whether the dog is trotting around a show ring or jogging around your town accompanying you in your quest for 12,000 steps. Soundness is not just an abstract concept for breeders like me; itís an absolute goal! We want nothing more than to produce dogs who can be active throughout a lifetime without injury Ė and look great (and feel good) doing it.   More...

Qualified Professionals for Dog Aggression Modification

Subscribers Only — Mild aggression cases might involve a dog who growls and might even ďair-snap,Ē but who hasnít made contact with a person, or whose teeth touched a person but did not break the skin. For mild aggression cases, Iíd consider professionals with one of the following credentials (and of course, experience and interest in aggression cases): CBCC-KA, JDA, KPA, PMCT, PPG, or VBC.   More...

Fear Aggression in Dogs

Subscribers Only — Fear-related aggression most frequently appears between the ages of eight to 18 months, as a young dog reaches maturity. This may be because increased boldness tends to come with maturity. But itís also likely because, over time, aggressive responses are reinforced; the scary stimulus (most often a human, when weíre talking about aggression issues) backs off. Initially, a fearful pup generally tries to hide from scary humans by moving away, perhaps crawling under a chair.   More...

The Best Dog Treat Bags You Can Buy

Subscribers Only — Years ago, a new acquaintance asked me about the bag I wore on a belt around my waist. She saw me taking dog treats out of the bag and feeding them, one after another after another, to my then-young dog, Otto. I was in the process of teaching Otto to ignore squirrels in trees, pigeons in the street, and cats on the edge of the riverside trail we walked each day, and the tactic required a lot of treats. My new friend wanted to know if I always wore the bag; surely, since Otto seemed so well-behaved to her, I didnít need to have it with me all the time? Ah, yes, but would Otto be so well behaved if I had no treats? At that point in time, so early in our relationship Ė no!   More...

Reduce Your Dog's Cancer Risks

Veterinary oncologists say that cancers in humans and in dogs are incredibly similar, in terms of growth and prognosis. Thatís good news for both species, as research of human or canine cancer may yield insight about and new treatments for this deadly disease. In addition, many of the tactics that reduce the incidence of cancer in humans, veterinary oncologists say, can be used by pet owners to reduce the chances that their dogs will develop the disease. Here are four things you can do to help prevent cancer in your dog.   More...

Letting Go of the Dogs We Love

My sister and her husband have three dogs. Once upon a time, they had three senior dogs at once, and that was a sad time, watching all three decline in mental and physical function, and then dealing with their deaths fairly close together. Today, their dogsí ages are staggered a bit more, with a three-year-old Jack Russell-mix, a four- or five-year-old Chihuahua-mix (one of my former fosters, actually), and then Bo, a fuzzy gray terrier-mix, about 30 pounds, who is about 15 or 16 years old.   More...