Generally, I plan a mix of articles in every issue: training, healthcare, and nutrition. I also try to offer a mix of articles geared toward people with decades of canine experience and those that are more helpful to individuals who may be enjoying their first relationships with dogs.
I try to make sure that the introductory information I offer is not too basic for the experts in our audience, but I also have a clandestine intent: I hope that you experienced pack leaders will share this information with the relative pups you know.
Now, if you read the fine print in this magazine, you know that its a violation of WDJs copyright to actually copy and distribute our content. (Sorry! Since we dont sell ads, we rely on subscription and back issue orders to pay the printer, so to speak.) However, Ive got nothing against your loaning a copy to a friend or relative who is considering getting a dog, or having trouble with a dog. (I do suggest that you write yourself a note to remember to whom you loaned that issue, because chances are, you might need it again in the future!)
Pointing your dog-loving friends in the direction of dog-friendly training methods and beneficial healthcare approaches does their dogs and them a huge favor. I wish someone had opened my eyes about commercial dog food, overvaccination, pesticide use, and the fallout of force-based training methods when my 12-year-old Border Collie was a puppy. I often wonder how different his physical and mental health status would be if I had done everything that I know about now with him then.
I even wonder if I would have gotten a Border Collie if I knew then what I know now. As much as I love my dog, Im not sure I will choose one of the energetic, often eccentric dogs again. I lucked out with Rupert as far as his energy level goes; hes happy when he gets out to run or play Frisbee with me, but hes also very content in his role as my under-desk dog. However, his idiosyncratic household and social behavior has been, at times, so unpredictable and offbeat, that I have, at times, wished I had a more normal dog. Twelve years ago I didnt know that normalcy is not one of the Border Collies strongest suits!
Anyway, two of the articles in this issue, I think, are must-reads for newcomers to the world of dogs. I predict that Pat Millers article on finding the exact kind of dog you want (When Only a Purebred Will Do) and CJ Puotinens article on adding a holistic practitioner to your dogs healthcare team (Coordinating Care) will prevent many people from making common mistakes with their dogs and maybe even save some dogs lives. Pass these articles on, will you?
-by Nancy Kerns