March 2018

Letters and Corrections

It seems that every year when we compile our “Approved Dry Dog Foods” list in the February issue that we accidentally leave a company that we admire off the list. Well, this year we somehow left off two: Annamaet and Zignature. We regret the omission. We have included information about both companies’ offerings below. We have inserted this into the online version of the approved foods list so you can see where these companies’ foods fit into the complete list, which was presented this year in descending order by the average price per pound of the companies’ foods.   More...

Are You Allergic to Your Dog?

Subscribers Only — Those of us who struggle with allergies of any type can thank our immune system for its tendency to over-react to certain perfectly harmless things in the environment. In the case of an allergic reaction to dogs, the body is reacting to harmless proteins in the dog’s urine, saliva, or dander.   More...

Adolescent Dogs: 6 Facts To Know

It’s true that a dog's adolescent period involves a ton of changes to the dog’s biological, physical, and psychological makeup. By extension, his behavior is affected. It’s also true that there are times when this transformation is accompanied by some challenging moments. But rest assured it’s not all doom and gloom! For every challenging feature of canine adolescence, there is an equally awesome element that makes this a very special time.   More...

Training an Over-Aroused Dog

Subscribers Only — It’s true that dogs like Australian Shepherds, a breed commonly referred to as “high drive” and thought of as “needing to work,” enjoy hard exercise. But while I believe that every dog benefits from having a job, I think less work is better for these especially smart, active, and sensitive individuals, particularly in their first three years. In my opinion, it’s far more valuable to teach dogs like this to settle themselves, instead of trying to physically exhaust them. And forget about employing the “forced settle” method – an oxymoron that leaves the dog no choice in the matter and often exacerbates the dog’s so-called hyperactivity.   More...

Dogs and Children: How to Keep Them Both Safe

Subscribers Only — Fortunately, there are many things we can do to improve the odds for safe child-dog interactions, beginning with the dog herself. Ideally, every dog should be well socialized with babies and children from puppyhood. Many young adults adopt a pup at a time when children are, if anything, a distant prospect, without seeming to realize that kids could easily arrive within the 10 to 15 years of their dog’s lifespan. Even if there will never be children in the dog’s immediate family, chances are she will encounter small humans at some point in her life. By convincing her very early on that children are wonderful, you greatly reduce the risk that she will ever feel compelled to bite one.   More...

5 Steps to Safely Pull A Tick Off Your Dog

It’s hard to say which is worse: running your hand over your dog and brushing against an attached tick, or seeing a tick skitter across your dog’s face. Either way, the unwelcome arachnid must go. What should you do?   More...

Clicker Training 101

If you use a clicker as your marker, you would create this association initially by clicking the clicker and then immediately feeding the dog a treat. You repeat this a number of times – click, treat; click, treat; click, treat – until your dog’s eyes light up when she hears the click and she looks for the treat. We sometimes refer to this process as “charging” the clicker; we’ve given the click significance, and the dog understands that the click means a reward is coming.   More...

Health Insurance for Dogs in 2018

Deductibles range from $50 to $1,000, with possible custom amounts available (you may have to call and talk with an agent). We were impressed with Embrace’s Healthy Pet Deductible strategy, which reduces your deductible by $50 each year you don’t have a claim. When you do have a claim, the deductible resets to the original amount.   More...

Greetings, Friends

When we are out in public, I am pretty confident in Woody’s ability to pass as a well-trained, well-behaved dog. But when I was driving with him toward meeting a dog trainer whom I respect but have never met, I found myself feeling anxious. I should probably warn her about Woody’s predilection for walking through people’s legs, I thought; it’s a tad alarming when he dives between someone’s thighs, even though he’s always wagging his whole body when he does this. Short people and kids sometimes get lifted off the ground for a moment; it’s his special way of saying hi!   More...