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Dog Gear of the Year: 2003

Why is it that most of us dog owners love buying dog-related stuff? I’ve never examined the impulse, but I’ve certainly given in to it. A novel new toy for my dogs to run and play with, a leash that feels just right in the hand, a spill-proof water bowl . . . I never know what I’ll find (and immediately want) in the aisles of my local pet supply store, on line, or in the latest catalog deposited in my mailbox.

Canine Book Review by Nancy Kerns

DogWise, WDJ’s favorite catalog of dog-related books, recently published a fantastic new book by WDJ Training Editor Pat Miller. Positive Perspectives: Love Your Dog, Train Your Dog includes a fair amount of information that first appeared in Miller’s articles for WDJ and other publications on dog training and care, updated and reworked for this volume, as well as original material on modifying canine behavior.

Playing With Your Dog Increases Socialization and Relationships

Different dogs have different play styles. If I tried to play patty-paws with our Australian Kelpie, she would slink away in horror. Her idea of a rousing good time is to help me bring the horses in for their evening grain. Our Cattle Dog mix, Tucker, would rather fetch a stick or a tennis ball, or go jump in the neighbor's pond. Our Scottish Terrier's response to the paws activity would be a bored Whatever . . . " but he'd be delighted to engage in a game of "Let's roust critters out of the drainage pipe!" "

Some Great Leash-Walking Products

The best leash-walking products are effective in helping the owner train the dog not to pull (that is, they provide a large enough window of opportunity for the owner to successfully train the desired walking behavior), minimally aversive to the dog, easy to use, well-made, and affordable. (We put price last, since most owners of leash-pulling dogs would pay almost anything for a product that really helps them!)

Whole Dog Journal Reviews Some “New and Exciting” Dog Toys

I have some good news to report and some bad news. First, the good news: Happy Dog Toys is really on to something. Their products are highly appealing to playful people, so much so that they can’t wait to go try them out with their dogs. The bad news? None of the three interactive toys I tested performed quite as well as their packaging suggested.

Taking Your Dog to The Beach

Oh the joy of romping on a sandy beach! Splashing in the surf! Wind blowing in your hair, the smell of seaweed and wet sand and the cry of gulls! You and your best friend together regardless of weather.Sounds romantic and it can be. Most dogs love the beach. If your pup is one of them, you certainly want to give him the opportunity. Besides, you can have a lot of fun, too.

The Best Life Jackets for Dogs

When someone first mentioned doggie life jackets to me, I'll admit, I giggled. Dogs can swim just fine, for goodness sake. But then I started thinking about it. Actually, I've known some awful canine swimmers. F.B., my sister's Hound-mix, was one of those dogs. When I was a teenager, I used to take F.B. and my dog (F.B.'s son) to the Yuba River.

Camping with Dogs

That night, I learned that hiking and camping were two distinctly different activities for this young dog. The biggest problem arose when he decided that my little tent was something to be avoided at any cost. Leaving him alone outside of the tent was not a safe option, and it was too cold and damp for me to sleep outside with him. I set to work convincing him that our tent really was an okay place to be. After what felt like hours of coaxing, he finally joined me inside the tent. Throughout what remained of the night, he woke me up by growling at every little nighttime noise.

Keeping Dog Training Fun for You and Your Dog

Training works best when it’s enjoyable for you and your dog. Here are training games you can play alone with your dog, or with a group of fun-loving dog friends. While basic good manners and other more complex lessons are undeniably an important part of training, the most successful dog/owner teams are those who have cultivated their relationships with each other while they learn the ins and outs of “Sit,” Down,” “Stay,” and all the other things a dog needs to know.

New Dog Do’s and Don’ts

How you prepare for your new dog’s arrival and how you pass the first few weeks together may well determine whether your relationship works out.

Owning Super-Sized Dogs

I think of a “big” dog as one whose normal weight exceeds the 100-pound mark. In addition to the above-mentioned breeds, this includes many of the Mastiff-type dogs, the Great Pyrenees, Scottish Deerhound, some (but not all) Rottweilers, and more. The only requirement for membership in this club is size. Everything about them is big, from their appetites (and by-products thereof) to the crates, collars, and other training equipment that they use, as well as the toys that they play with.

Choosing the Correct Sized Dog is Key

There are two kinds of dog people in this world: small dog people, and dog people who haven't yet met and fallen in love with the right small dog. I used to be a big dog person. I once owned a St. Bernard, and dreamed of owning an Irish Wolfhound. "Give me a big dog, a thumpin' dog," I used to say, referring to a dog who could withstand heavy patting. All my life, I looked disdainfully down on yappy little foo-foo dogs and the wimpy people who owned them.

Latest Blog

Aggression at Dog Parks

We’ve all got stories about terrible things that we’ve seen or heard about that happened at a dog park. I would argue that there are just as many potentially aggressive humans at these parks as there are dogs who exhibit aggressive behavior.