March 2019

Price of Freedom

I asked trainer and Whole Dog Journal’s Training Editor Pat Miller to write about the risks and responsibilities of off-leash dog walks in this issue. That’s because I’m a huge fan of hiking with my dogs off-leash, but I recognize that the activity is a huge challenge for many dog owners.   More...

Reporting Dogs' Adverse Reactions is Your Duty

Subscribers Only — It seems that is rare for a week to go by that we don’t hear about – or even experience – yet another pet illness or reaction to animal food, drugs, vaccines, or pesticides. At times, Whole Dog Journal’s articles and blog posts will include the advice to “report any adverse events.” And it’s excellent advice – so here’s when, how, and why you should report these events.   More...

Comfort Your Dog

Subscribers Only — There is absolutely no evidence, not one bit, suggesting that providing comfort and security to a distressed dog causes the dog’s anxiety or fear to increase. Why then, does this myth persist among dog owners and even with some trainers? Why are owners still advised to ignore their dog when he is distressed or anxious or fearful, as if providing any attention to the dog will reinforce those emotions?   More...

A Proactive Approach

Subscribers Only — There’s a significant difference between professional dog trainers and many dog owners: Owners tend to react to things the dog has done that they don’t like; in their minds, this reaction is what might be called “training.” In contrast, trainers set up situations so that their canine pupils don’t have any opportunities to practice undesired behaviors, and actively teach dogs how rewarding it is to perform desirable alternative behaviors, instead.   More...

Distemper in Dogs

The clinical signs of distemper in dogs occur in stages and in three main body systems: the upper respiratory tract, the gastrointestinal tract, and the central nervous system. Initially, a dog may show signs consistent with upper respiratory disease: coughing, sneezing, high fever, lethargy, and nasal and eye discharge.   More...

Can I See Your Dog’s ID?

Subscribers Only — It is wise to make sure your dog is always wearing identification, with up-to-date contact information! Ideally, your dog’s tags have enough information that anyone who might find your dog could contact you directly, 24/7, in the event that she darts out, gets lost on a hike, etc. There are many options for you to employ!   More...

How to Train Your Dog for Off-Leash Walks

Taking a dog for a walk or hike off-leash must be done appropriately and legally in order to prevent any number of risks to the dog, other dogs, or humans who may encounter the off-leash dog, as well as livestock or wildlife in the area. Off-leash dogs may run off and get lost, run onto roads and cause serious accidents, cause hikers to fall and bicyclists to crash, and chase or even kill other animals.   More...

Torn Cruciate Ligaments in Dogs

A cranial cruciate ligament injury in a young, healthy dog is typically an athletic injury. In older dogs, it is usually an injury of chronic wear and tear. This explains why it’s so common for a dog who has damaged the CrCL on one side to then tear it on the other side. When you take one back leg out of commission, the work load shifts to the other, increasing the strain on the ligaments of the “good” leg.   More...