October 2018

Dogs vs. Wolves

Subscribers Only — Despite the widespread belief that wild wolf packs exist in a perpetual state of dominance challenges and bids for enhanced status, the collected evidence shows a glaring absence of these rigid types of relationships. There are few reports of wolves seeking higher positions in their pack, fighting over leadership, or physically dominating other wolves through aggression or alpha rolls.   More...

Barkaholics Not-Very-Anonymous

Subscribers Only — The trouble with having a dog who barks for a variety of reasons is that there isn’t one easy answer for getting her to stop. People often see barking as a single problem; just last week I was asked by several students in my class, “How do I stop my dog from barking?” I couldn’t give a simple answer. The solution to barking problems depends on understanding several factors.   More...

The Best Winter Dog Jackets: 2018

I tested the winter dog jackets for warmth, water resistance, and the ability to put them on and take them off a dog easily. I also looked for comfort – the fit and fabric that best allowed ease of movement for active dogs. Most of the products I reviewed are pricey. Admittedly, I wasn’t looking for a bargain. If you’re out with your dog in a seriously cold winter climate, you need serious gear.   More...

Lyme Disease in Dogs

There are three “states” of Lyme disease in dogs: acute, subacute, and chronic. Symptoms generally do not appear until after a two- to five-month incubation period, and can take even longer. Affected dogs may first shows signs of any of the three states, and may progress to others depending on the severity of infection, the dog’s immune system, and treatment.   More...

Fighting Through The Fence

Subscribers Only — Fence aggression – barking, lunging, and fence-fighting – is an all-too-common canine behavior. It can also be a very difficult behavior to live with. A dog who is left for long periods of time (especially) in an enclosed yard can easily become frustrated and aroused by dogs being walked past her space and her inability to interact with those dogs. That frustration often turns into aggression, and the aggression can become very serious. Dogs can even be grieviously injured or even killed if they are able to grab another dog (or part of a dog) through a fence.   More...

Don’t Hire Pet Care Blindly

In the San Francisco Bay area, part-time pet sitters and dog walkers are now so numerous that they can be seen on literally every block. It’s there that I have witnessed dog walkers doing things that horrified me – such as talking on their cell phones while walking half a dozen shut-down-looking dogs, each equipped with a shock collar. I recently saw a “professional” dog walker park 100 feet from the gate to a dog park, open the back of her truck, allowing 10 or more dogs to jump out of the truck and run, loose, to the dog park gate (where they were greeted by a wound-up mob of other dogs; the ensuing fracas was broken up with yells and squirt bottles by several dog walkers).   More...