Is it shocking to hear the editor of a dog magazine say she doesn't particularly like bully breeds? I could go farther: I'm not a fan of Boxers, Mastiffs, or Bull Terriers. I tend not to enjoy terriers of any kind. Yorkshire Terriers, ack! When I was a young adult, my parents had some that I honestly loathed, and they sort of ruined the breed for me.
One of the most urgent issues facing owners in this country today is the spike in the number of cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), especially in breeds that do not have an inherited higher risk of developing the condition.
Nova’s placement is also a win for WDJ, since she’s a smart, well-behaved dog and her mom’s proximity and training acuity means they can model and demonstrate for articles in the magazine, often, I hope! Working with them has definitely been one of the highlights of putting this issue together.
Kale was a confirmed and completely unrepentant bee-eater. He was also completely untrained; my stay-at-home mom bought him from a backyard breeder not long after I, the youngest child and last one to leave home, left the nest. She needed another young being in the house to take care of - but she sort of forgot that I was the only one in the family who ever trained the family dogs. Kale grew up with zero direction, and like most GSDs, responded to the guidance vacuum by finding odd things to do with his time. Like hunt for bees.
I asked trainer and Whole Dog Journals Training Editor Pat Miller to write about the risks and responsibilities of off-leash dog walks in this issue. Thats because Im a huge fan of hiking with my dogs off-leash, but I recognize that the activity is a huge challenge for many dog owners.
Those who are new to Whole Dog Journal may not be aware that we talk at length about dry dog foods in the February issue each year. I don't know how that tradition got started; all I know is that dog food is all I can think about from before Thanksgiving through the winter holidays. We give this annual coverage a lot of space; the list of recommended foods alone takes many pages! In this issue, I hope that you will learn a lot about the dog food industry as a whole, how the machinations of the pet food market may have affected you and your dogs, and how you can ensure that the food that you buy for your dog is appropriate.
We have run many, many articles about crate training in the past 21 years of publishing WDJ. Though I'm sure at least one of those articles mentioned that an emergency evacuation is one very good reason to make sure your dog is comfortable in a crate, I'm not sure we ever gave it more space than a single sentence in a long article about crating.
The average dog owner doesn't get a dog because they are so excited and eager to study learning theory, compare classical and operant conditioning, and test the relative value of various reinforcement schedules. Few people who get a dog look forward to practicing their leash-handling skills and refining the subtleties of treat delivery timing and placement.
I offer my friends the only remedy that has never failed me: I tell them to go take a hike! But they need to bring their dogs, too and to try to find a place where they can really breathe some fresh air and escape from other people for a while. The absolute ideal is if they have access to a place where they can safely walk with their dogs off-leash, without endangering their own dogs or anyone else's.
In the San Francisco Bay area, part-time pet sitters and dog walkers are now so numerous that they can be seen on literally every block. It's there that I have witnessed dog walkers doing things that horrified me such as talking on their cell phones while walking half a dozen shut-down-looking dogs, each equipped with a shock collar. I recently saw a professional" dog walker park 100 feet from the gate to a dog park
One of the worst moments in my life came about a year and a half ago, when the dam that looms over my town the largest earthen-filled dam in North America, mind you was proclaimed in an emergency broadcast to be in danger of imminent failure. I was 20 miles away, perfectly safe, with my younger dog, Woody. But my husband and my heart dog, Otto, and my son's dog, Cole, were all at my house, just five short miles downstream of the dam, and three blocks from the river channel that would likely be obliterated by the 3.5 million acre-feet of water behind the dam. My mouth went dry and my heart was pounding as I tried to call my husband. Despite the fact this requires pressing only two buttons, with shaking hands it took me over a minute to make the call.
About half of the litter of nine puppies that I have been fostering for my local shelter got altered and adopted this week; the...