Non-dog folks turn pale at the thought. But responsible dog owners, knowing how important it is to clean up after our dogs, think nothing of reaching down and picking up a fresh, fragrant pile of Fido's feces with our hands. Oh, not our bare hands, of course, but often with nothing more than a couple of millimeters of flimsy plastic between epidermis and excrement. No big deal. Until, that is, one of those handy plastic bags breaks. Intrepid as committed poop-pickers may be, even we will blanche at the thought of . . . well, you can imagine.
Watching the smooth, even gait of a happy dog as it trots or gallops across a field is pure delight. It is obvious that all of the muscles and joints are working in harmony. We don’t often stop to think about the importance of muscles as a dog stands quietly at our side, but the same muscles that act antagonistically to move joints as the dog runs must cooperate to stabilize those same joints and change the limb into a rigid support when standing. It’s really an amazing relationship.
In the last issue, we discussed the importance of effluerage for increasing circulation and preparing muscles for deeper work. Effluerage is often followed by one of several petrissage techniques. Petrissage is another French term that means “to mash or to knead.” Unlike effluerage, the hands do not slide over the tissues. Instead, the tissue is lifted from underlying structures or compressed against them. Also known as “digital circles” or “digital kneading,” this is a very common and useful petrissage technique.
I wanted to commend you for your response to the letter regarding your “bias” (December 1999). I’m glad you said that WDJ is biased toward positive training methods! (I don’t know what kind of training that woman does, but if she needs to force or inflict pain on her animals that is in no way, shape, or form positive and motivational.) I also feel that positive training is the only way to go.
My dog, Bear, has developed extreme cunning in getting out of whatever device I have on him buckle collar, body harness (two different styles), Halti head halter or any combination of these. The only time he was unable to free himself was when the buckle collar was too tight for safety or comfort. Bear's strategy appears to be to face me, pull backwards, and hop around on his back legs until he pops out of his restraint. Even with the belly band of his harness on tight, he managed to wiggle his elbows through it and pull out backwards.
Because we feel deeply that dog training should be pleasurable and effective, and because we have personally witnessed innumerable successful demonstrations of completely pain- and fear-free training, we have taken the position that training tools and methods that inflict pain are inferior (a strong word, we know) to those that do not.
a neighbor's dog came out of the sagebrush in the dark and ran right at us. It was not good. If my husband had lost control of the leash
not to mention financial liability.
Juniper suffered a brush with bloat
In every obedience match, tracking test, field trial, agility event, show ring, athletic competition and puppy kindergarten class, owners and handlers are eager to find whatever strategies, products, and equipment will give their dogs an advantage. One healthy shortcut to the winner’s circle comes from Mother Nature, for with the help of medicinal herbs, dogs can concentrate despite distractions, relax under stress, keep their joints limber, improve their coats, increase their stamina and possibly even improve their sense of smell.
Dogs in the wild don’t need baths. Why do our dogs? Well, they don’t need baths, but if they want to live in our homes, and sometimes even sleep in our beds, they have to look and smell cleaner than dogs normally do. Shampoos can be formulated for general cleaning, or for specific purposes, such as killing fleas or soothing irritated skin. Since there are more effective methods of accomplishing both of these tasks, we’ll focus only on the sudsy substances that do the best job of cleaning your dog’s hair, without irritating his skin, or making him sick.