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he was adopted by a perfect family."

Enjoying Your New Dog as The Seasons Turn to Spring

Spring is here and so is shedding season! Suddenly, every carpet in the house is woven with dog hair. Otto has what can be best described as a “combination coat” (I just made that up). Much of his outer coat is made up of long, stiff, straight hair – resembling that from a German Shepherd, or maybe a Labrador – that seems to wriggle into the carpet pattern itself. My vacuum is helpless in the face of this hair. Admittedly, it’s not a great vacuum, so cleaning the few carpets we have has turned into aerobic exercise. Quite some time ago, Black & Decker sent me a new DustBuster (handheld power vacuum) to try. This one is the “Retriever Pet Series Cyclonic Action,” and it plugs in; it’s powerful, unlike wimpy cordless models I’ve owned in my past. Used with its “turbo brush” (spinning rubber bristles) attachment, it’s fantastic at getting pet hair off our couch. But with an approximately three-inch intake, it’s not useful for cleaning entire carpets. My sister Pam has been telling me I absolutely have to get the same vacuum she recently bought: A Dyson “Animal.” She has three small white dogs and swears that she had enough hair to make another, larger dog out of the stuff that the new vacuum cleaned up on its inaugural tour through her house. “I had forgotten what a dark color my couches actually were!” she reported, incredulous. “And my rugs are beautiful!”

Selecting Your Next Dog or Puppy

Thinking of getting a new dog? Chances are you're inundated with well-intentioned advice from every friend, family member, and canine professional you know about where to go and who to avoid in your quest to find your next canine pal. You may also feel the added burden of finding the right dog - one who will be as close to perfect as caninely possible. It's an awesome challenge. Many years ago, I was living on my own for the first time, and missed having a dog in my life. I went on a Collie search, and soon answered an ad in the paper for Marty's Pride, a tri-color Rough Collie whose owner had gone off to college. Marty was near canine-perfect: the first dog I showed in AKC obedience competition (he earned his Companion Dog title in three trials with scores of 194.5, 196, and 197), and the first dog I ever owned who died of old age. He was also the last dog I deliberately went looking to adopt. Since then my selections have been much more serendipitous. My husband and I tend to adopt the dogs who find us, or we trip over them at the shelter and bring them home. I realize that we're the exception, not the rule. Most people make more deliberate decisions than we do about the kind of dog they want, and where to find him - or her. Those decisions, although deliberate, are not always wise. I'm constantly amazed by the number of clients in my behavior consultation practice who thought they were making well-educated, well-researched decisions about the acquisition of their new four-legged family member, and ended up with something vastly different from what they expected. So how do you make an educated, responsible decision about selecting your next dog?

Bike Riding With Your Dog

page 24, for contact information for the makers of these products, including this one, the K9 Bike Jogger (formerly known as WalkyDog).

Jogging With Your Dog Improves Overall Fitness and Health

There are several words that will instantly rouse our three Rhodesian Ridgebacks from even the deepest of sleeps. “Breakfast,” “cookie,” “dinner,” and “out” all result in Aero, Opus, and Amber running enthusiastically toward the kitchen for food or toward the door to be let out in the yard. But there is one magic word that far exceeds the impact of all others: RUN. Saying the “r” word in the Sarubin household results in sheer pandemonium with three big brown dogs frantically campaigning themselves to be “the chosen one” that day. Forget actually saying a word about going running! These dogs know the difference between [IMGCAP(1)]running shorts and regular shorts, running tights and pantyhose, or running shoes and hiking boots. Simply putting on a headband sends them into a frenzy. My running partners for 14 of my 18 years of running have been dogs. In my experience, dogs are, by far, the best running partners. They will run any distance, anywhere at any time, and are always happy about running. They never complain about the weather, let me choose the route, allow me to set the pace and distance, and motivate me to run on an almost-daily basis – more than any human running partner ever could. If you own an athletic dog and are a runner already, or are considering beginning a running program, you have the best of all running partners already living with you.

What’s Wrong With No-Kill Animal Shelters?

Imagine a world where no dog is ever euthanized for being homeless. Where there are more homes than dogs, and lists of potential adopters are maintained at every possible dog-adoption-source, with families and individuals anxiously awaiting the next available canine. Where every dog is treasured, and the thought of rehoming" one of these wonderful

What You Should Know About Animal Shelters

Say the words animal shelter" to 10 different people and you're likely to get 10 different reactions - from a warm

Whole Dog Journal’s Picks for Dog Gear of The Year

Whole Dog Journal reviews a useful tick-removal tool, Premier’s Spill-Less Smart Bowl, Squeaker Kong, an awesome owners’ guide to veterinary care, and a rubber stick. Tick-removal tools are in constant use in our homes, because we spend a lot of time with our dogs in the woods. At last! An accurate, thorough canine health book by a vet who promotes the best of conventional veterinary medicine and is aware of its shortfalls, too. Dr. Nancy Kay, a veterinarian who practices in Sonoma County, California, explains the basics of responsible healthcare and what dog owners should know. Premier’s Spill-Less Smart Bowl isn’t spill-proof, but this product doesn’t need to be wrestled apart – it’s just one piece.

Training Your Newly Adopted Dog

I have had a number of dogs over the years, but Otto is actually the very first dog that I’ve gotten as a co-owner. A former boyfriend paid the $40 or $50 that a Bodega, California, sheep rancher wanted for my heart/soul dog, Rupert, way back in 1989, but the puppy was a birthday present for me; Rupe was always my dog. He stuck close by my side through the breakup of that relationship and the next few, too. When Brian (the man who later became my husband) came on the scene, he and Rupert formed a bond, but still, Rupe was mine. Later, a summer of dog-sitting my sister Sue’s long-haired Chihuahua, Mokie, turned into a several-year stay. Mokie has since gone on to live with my sister Pam, who won’t ever give him up; Brian was more than happy when I did so. He tolerated Mokie, but never fully embraced the idea of a yappy little house-dog, no matter how smart and cute. So, while Brian and I have shared a home since 1996, we have never truly shared full ownership of a dog, like we do now. I selected Otto from a shelter, but Brian was the one who gave the signal that it was time for us to get a dog. When Brian and I got married, I kept my own last name, but Brian wanted to be sure that Otto took his surname, and even made sure the dog’s full name (“Otto Maddock”) was engraved on his ID tag. And Brian has been a real champ about sharing dog-care duties with me.

Building a Healthy Relationship With Your Dog

Like most positive dog trainers, I constantly remind my students that, whether they are conscious of it or not, they are training their dogs every moment they spend together. Whatever you choose to reinforce -- even when you’re not in a formal training session -- will affect your dog’s future behavior. The things that your dog does that you frequently reinforce are likely to increase, so it makes sense to reinforce him as frequently as you can for the behaviors that you enjoy. Here’s an interesting and powerful side-effect of frequent positive reinforcement: This practice can not only influence your dog’s behavior in a way that you like, but also improve your relationship in a sort of positive feedback loop. When a dog (or anyone!) is rewarded, it makes him feel good – about himself and the person giving the reward. And when your dog feels good about you, it tends to make him want to be with you more, and it motivates him try to earn even more reinforcements. Said simply, frequent positive reinforcements strengthen the relationship between you and your dog.

Acquiring a New Dog or Puppy

So, we have a new dog! I’m soooo happy! And while it’s been really time-consuming to properly integrate a new dog into our household, it’s also been incredibly rewarding, interesting . . . and inspiring! Inspiring to have a fresh opportunity to experience many of the things we talk about in WDJ – with a sense of urgency and immediacy I haven’t had for quite some time! Just in our first few days I was thinking hard about things like potty training, how to deal with dogs who are not food-motivated, finding a good vet, vaccination, parasite control (fleas, ticks, heartworm), introducing dogs to cats, barking, leash manners, the best food, itchy skin, digging (as you’ll see on page 18), no-slip collars, dogs who are uncomfortable indoors, quiet clickers, and much more.

Adopting a New Dog

You've adopted a new adult dog into your family. Congratulations! As you search for information to help you help your new furry family member adjust to this difficult transition in his life (change is hard!), you may discover that there are lots of resources for new puppy owners, but for new adult-dog owners, not so much. Where do you begin? We've compiled a list of suggestions to help make life with your new dog easier for all concerned. His first few weeks with you set the tone for your lifelong relationship. If you follow these time-tested protocols, you're more likely to experience smooth sailing - or at least smoother sailing - with your recycled Rover, who may arrive at your door with some baggage from his prior life experiences. We hope you've made wise plans and decisions before your new canine pal sets paws through your door for the first time. But even if he's already camped out on your sofa, it's not too late to play catch-up with many of the suggestions that follow.

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