July 2015

How To Prevent Your Dog from Begging For Food

I can’t tell you how many times someone has said to me, “I don’t give my dog ‘people food’ because I don’t want him begging at the table while we’re eating.” If this sounds like you, I’ve got good news for you, and maybe even better news for your dog!   More...

Acknowledging Inappropriate Dog Behavior in Public

Subscribers Only — Responsible service-dog handlers aim to keep their dogs as inconspicuous as possible, and are quick to take corrective action if the dog’s behavior becomes problematic. When they don’t, businesses are legally allowed to ask the handler to remove the dog. While many business owners are afraid to exercise this right, not doing so has created significant problems for the disability community.   More...

Taking Advantage of the Acts?

Subscribers Only — Whether it’s the most common violation of these three Acts (ADA, Fair Housing, and Air Carrier Access) or the one that makes advocates for the disabled the angriest is a matter of debate, but the most talked-about abuse of legislation that protects the rights of disabled people has to do with “fake service dogs.”   More...

Words Matter (but variations on these terms are common)

Subscribers Only — Jeanine Konopelski is a spokesperson for Assistance Dogs International (ADI), a non-profit coalition of more than 100 organizations working together to promote assistance dogs and the benefits they provide to people with disabilities. Konopelski recommends the phrase “assistance dog” as an umbrella term that covers a variety of working dogs who are specially trained to aid people in different ways.   More...

Service Dogs And People With Real Disabilities

For people living with disabilities, a dog can be the key that opens the door to independent living. It’s been estimated that there are more than 500,000 service-dog/handler teams in the United States, and by law, these teams are accorded the right of access to nearly every place that the human handlers can go. Most dog owners love seeing well-trained service dogs enabling their disabled humans to ride public transportation, navigate shopping and workplaces, and enjoy a night out in restaurants and the theater.   More...

Regarding Those Online “Prescription” Letters

Subscribers Only — A “hot button” topic within the service-dog community is the availability of online prescription letters for emotional-support animals. It’s important to remember that an emotional-support animal is required to mitigate a disability. The legal definition of disability is when one or more of a person’s activities of daily life is severely impacted. If you are truly experiencing the impairment of a major life function, it’s reasonable to assume that you’d be under the care of one or more medical professionals, and would not need to turn to the Internet for a letter that purportedly documents your disability.   More...

How to Prevent Heat Stroke in Dogs

Subscribers Only — Dogs find summer’s high temperatures challenging. That’s largely because they don’t sweat. Sure, you’ve read that dogs have sweat glands in their paws, but veterinarians agree that’s not much help. A dog’s primary means of cooling himself is through panting – and our goal is to make this process more efficient.   More...

Short-Nosed Dogs

Subscribers Only — The brachycephalic breeds – such as Pugs, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Bulldogs – are particularly at risk of heat stress, says Eileen Fatcheric, DVM, of Syracuse, New York. “The only way dogs have to thermoregulate their bodies is panting, which is air flow over the respiratory system. These dogs are particularly at risk for heat stress because of the shape and design of the dog’s throat.”   More...

Symptoms of Heat Stress

Subscribers Only — A dog exhibiting any of these symptoms needs immediate veterinary care as brain damage, kidney failure, seizures, and death can occur:   More...

Managing Your New Dog's First Few Days With Your Family

Subscribers Only — Adding a new dog to the family is always a significant event. I recently realized that there is a finite number of new dogs in my and my husband’s future, and it made adopting our latest new one take on even more significance. Plus, as a trainer, I’m under a certain amount of added pressure to “do it right.” People might be watching, and what if I mess it up? So, as we prepared to add an Australian Kelpie from a rescue group to our family, I reviewed the advice I’ve given to other new dog owners over the years, and made sure we applied it to our own situation.   More...

Product Review: Wingaing It

Recently, I found myself with too many dogs who needed exercise, and not enough time to put in the miles that could have worked off all that excess energy. I rooted through the dog-toy baskets in my office, looking for things I could throw for the pack to fetch. I used to have a Chuckit! tennis ball launcher, but some puppy or other chewed up the part that holds the tennis ball, so I threw it away and hadn’t yet replaced it. Then I remembered that I had bought a very similar device that is used for launching small rubber discs for dogs to chase: the Winga.   More...

Fake Out

We have published articles, blog posts (on the WDJ website), and posts on the WDJ Facebook page about service dogs and dogs who serve as emotional-support animals (ESAs) a number of times. In every instance, a number of people have commented that there is a scourge of “fake” service dogs appearing in all sorts of places where non-service animals are not permitted. The alleged phenomenon makes people furious – both on behalf of the genuinely disabled, whose hard-working “real” service dogs are sometimes rudely interrupted by bad behavior from dogs who have no right to be in the same place, and out of a sense of injustice.   More...