December 2018

Whole Dog Journal 2018 Editorial Index

Significant life events can create fear in an otherwise confident adult dog, even one who is genetically sound and well-socialized. These events may have the biggest impact during puppyhood and adolescence, but can also cause fear later in life. A car accident can cause a previously car-loving dog to become fearful of cars. A single significant attack by another dog can turn canine-loving hound into one who is fearful and defensively aggressive toward other dogs. And inappropriate actions by other humans toward your dog can convince her that people should be feared.   More...

How to Keep Dogs Off Furniture - If You Want To

There's a method to keeping your dogs off the furniture if you don't want them there. I personally love a dog on my lap or under my arm when I’m sitting on the sofa. Not only do I enjoy the cuddling, I also get cold easily and love the warmth of dog bodies next to me. In our home, we keep the furniture covered with blankets for easy removal when company comes (dog hair begone!) and both dogs are taught to get off and/or stay off when asked to do so.   More...

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Dog Owners

Subscribers Only — Much of the old-fashioned dog training we were exposed to growing up focused on waiting for the dog to make a mistake and then harshly correcting him. While most of us simply accepted this as “how you train a dog,” we were missing the bigger picture. This method never taught the dog what he was supposed to do in that situation the next time.   More...

MRSA in Therapy Dogs: Preventing Transmission in Hospitals

The patients who interacted closely with the dogs were six times more likely to become MRSA carriers than those who did not interact closely. But when the dogs were decolonized, the close-interaction group’s risk for becoming MRSA carriers was no different from the group of patients who did not interact closely with the dogs.   More...

Are Dogs More Fearful Than They Used to Be?

Subscribers Only — Many of us trainers also have been called upon to help owners with extremely undersocialized and fearful dogs imported from elsewhere, such as the Chinese and Korean meat-market dogs and “street dogs” brought here from Puerto Rico, Mexico, and elsewhere. Whatever the reason for the seeming increase in the population of fearful dogs, good behavior professionals will do their best to help these dogs (and their humans) have a better quality of life – and there definitely are things that can help.   More...

Bloat: The Mother of All Canine Emergencies

Subscribers Only — Bloat is the nontechnical term for gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), a condition in which the stomach rotates around itself to become twisted. The stomach can twist halfway (a 180-degree torsion), all the way leading to a 360-degree torsion, or anywhere in between. Once twisted, the stomach becomes stuck, and fluid and gas cannot exit. A dog cannot vomit, as the entrance to the stomach (the cardia) is obstructed, and nothing can leave the stomach via the intestines, because the exit (pylorus) is also blocked.   More...

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.   More...