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Editorial

whole dog journal editor Nancy Kerns

Price of Freedom

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.

Come, Sit, Stay

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.

Crate Reasoning

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.

Become A Dog Trainer

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.

Hiking with Dogs is Balm for the Soul

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.

Don’t Hire Pet Care Blindly

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

Be Prepared

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.

Raised Right

About half of the litter of nine puppies that I have been fostering for my local shelter got altered and adopted this week; the...

Signs of Progress

I got a little whiny in one of my blog posts recently. I was feeling a little depressed by my latest foster project: a mixed-breed mama and her nine teeny puppies. They were surrendered to my local shelter in sad shape: thin, infected with coccidia, and infested with fleas. The mom knows absolutely not one cue, not even sit

Sorry, It’s Personal

One of our newest contributing authors is a veterinarian who practiced emergency medicine for more than nine years. She's been the impetus for our recent rash of articles about various ways to prevent canine health emergencies, and how to behave if you, despite your best efforts, end up dealing with one anyway. (Speaking of rashes – perhaps I should ask Dr. Ashe to write about that?)

Isolation Distress in Dogs All Too Common

I know I've hit a spot that's going to be sensitive for some of WDJ's readers when my copy editor sends an article back to me covered with personal comments mixed in with the grammatical and typographical corrections she's supposed to be making. But in the case of trainer Nancy Tucker's article in this issue, even as she was writing it, the author herself expressed concerns that the piece might be upsetting for some people to read.

Biddable Dogs or Trainable Dogs?

I had an interesting conversation with a trainer friend the other day. She had gone to meet a breeder she had never met before, as a potential buyer of a puppy from a future litter. She told me about a little glitch in their conversation that she couldn't stop thinking about.

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