The best in health, wellness, and positive training from America’s leading dog experts


woman holding nail clippers near dog

How to Train Your Dog to Accept Husbandry Chores

I put my hands on my dogs at least a few dozen times a day. It might be to attach or untangle a leash, look into ears, check teeth, brush or trim fur in various places, put on a Thundershirt, apply flea and tick preventative, or just to feel the soft silky warmth of dog under my hand. We humans are a tactile species, and with our handy opposable thumbs, we're always doing something to manipulate our canine companions and their body parts.
dirty dog paws

Wiping Muddy Feet: Teach Your Dog to Accept Having Their Feet Cleaned

For all classical conditioning procedures, do multiple repetitions of each step, feeding your dog a high-value treat (I like to use bits of fresh roasted or canned chicken) after each repetition. Only move to the next step when your dog becomes clearly happy at the previous step; this lets you know he's made the association between the procedure and the high-value treat.

10 Steps to Healthy Skin and a Silky Coat for Your Dog

All dog lovers appreciate seeing a healthy, happy dog, running in the sun with a glistening coat. And it's great to hear, Wow! Your dog's coat is so soft and shiny. How do you do it?" It's wonderful if you are one of the lucky owners whose dog inspires this sort of spontaneous compliment

Tips and Techniques for Bathing your Dog

Giving your dog a bath is sort of like mixing a cocktail, or hitting a golf ball: It seems deceptively straightforward, but you need a lot of background knowledge to really master it. From what kind of shampoo to use to how frequently your dog should be sudsing up, there are all kinds of technical questions to consider before grabbing that spray hose and going to town. But there are also deeper issues at play: Nothing quite lays bare the state of your relationship with your dog like trying to negotiate that slippery expanse of porcelain together. Here are some tips for smooth sailing, at bathtime and beyond.

Be a Hair-O

One man’s trash is another man’s ecological disaster recovery tactic. Local hair salons and pet grooming centers are saving hair and fur clippings to help with the cleanup of the British Petroleum oil spill that’s been polluting the Gulf Coast since April.

Train Your Dog to Behave During Grooming

Two months ago, I read a news story about a dog owner in Minnesota who had shared her home and her life with her 10-year-old Great Pyrenees for eight years. On December 30, 2008, the dog attacked his owner as she was trying to trim his nails, sending her to the hospital for multiple bite wounds to her arms. The news report on the incident stated, “[The dog owner] was able to reach another room and closed the door, keeping the dog out.” The owner in this sad story was treated and released from the hospital the same day. The dog is now dead – euthanized at the veterinary hospital for safety reasons, at the owner’s request.Nail-trimming should not be a matter of life and death. Nor should any other routine grooming procedure. If a dog objects strongly to any sort of physical contact or restraint that may occur in the process of ordinary care, a smart, responsible owner needs to take immediate steps to overcome his objections in a positive, nonaversive manner. Fortunately, this process (described in detail below) is not difficult (or dangerous!) to do – but it does take a serious commitment of time.

The Importance of Dog Grooming and Canine Skin Care

The primary function of the dog's hair is as a protective and insulating coating. But if the eyes are the gateway or the window to the soul, the skin and hair are both gateway and window to the embodiment of an animal's inner health and well-being. Shiny hair, that is, a hair coat that exudes a healthy and lustrous sheen, is an indicator of overall health of the animal.

Letters: 02/06

but I felt it necessary to respond to these articles.

Denise Bruhn
via e-mail

I don't usually feel defensive when I read critical letters

Best Dog Grooming Tools for Shedding

The last time we reviewed dog hair removing tools, I missed out. I bought the products, photographed them, and sent them off to Pat Miller, our training editor and regular product reviewer. I ended up with only one tool, a duplicate that I ordered accidentally. Well, the Millers needed them more than me, I suppose; at the time, Pat and her husband owned four dogs and two cats. I had only one dog and one cat. But I wear black a lot, and my dog had a lot of white in his coat.

Dog Bathing Products Reviewed

Not very many dog owners look forward to bathing their dogs, and most dogs are even less enthusiastic about the ritual than their owners. However, having the right equipment can make the task less burdensome for human and canine participants alike. There are a number of accessories on the market that claim to make your bathing chore less onerous. These include tools to help you get your dog wet, tools to get her dry, and tools to hold her in place while you do all the stuff in-between.

How to Make Dog Grooming Enjoyable

When Emma, a German Shepherd mix with magnificent, mule deer ears, jumps out of the car after being driven home from a particularly hard run on the trails or mucky outing at the beach, she immediately trots into the bathroom and waits for her bath. During her soaping and rinsing, her owner sings and tells her stories. Cheeky squirrels are given a run for their money by fleet, wily dogs. Cats are put firmly in their place by commanding, resourceful dogs, and humans are rescued from various perils by brave and sagacious dogs (all the dogs bear a striking resemblance to Emma, of course).

Latest Blog

How Often Do You Walk Your Dog?

Failing to take your dog on walks can be detrimental to your dog’s physical and emotional well being.