January 2016

Best Dog-Related Books: January 2016

Friendly wolves, pet heroes, canine yoga, dogs underwater, puppies shaking - and so much more! Check out Whole Dog Journal's January book recommendations. Last month, we listed just a few of our favorite dog reads. There are so many great books out there, we had to do it again!   More...

Training Your Dog to Learn

Subscribers Only — Operant conditioning and classical conditioning, though mostly applied to human psychology nowadays, are structures that were first developed in observing dog behavior. They are somewhat opposite methods of behavioral modification, however both are effective in training animals (and young children). They work simply to reverse bad habits and teach good ones. Read on to learn the difference, and get your dog obeying all your commands, every time.   More...

The Scooting Dog Decoded

Why is Rover dragging his butt across the carpet? Not just annoying to watch, this behavior is usually indicative of a bigger problem - infected or impacted anal sacs. Also called anal glands, these little pouches are found on several different mammals including dogs and cats, and are not very noticeable when healthy. When they are clogged or infected, however, your dog will MAKE you notice them.   More...

Best Puppy Collars & Harnesses

“Does this collar make me look fat?” This is not a question your dog is likely to ever ask, even if he spends time gazing at himself in the mirror. Style, while important to us humans, is far less important for your dog than function. With all the choices on the market, how’s a puppy owner to know which equipment she should choose? Here are some tips. Products to Consider: …   More...

7 Steps to Leash-Train Your Puppy

Subscribers Only — Did you know that the best way to teach a puppy to walk politely on a leash is to not use a leash? If you think that sounds like an inscrutable Buddhist koan, fear not – you are not alone. It’s far more common to see people either dragging their puppies around, or being dragged around by their puppies, than it is to see a calm, happy puppy trotting along by her owner’s side.   More...

The Deal with Puppy Shots

Subscribers Only — You might be surprised to know that dogs don’t actually need a “series” of shots in order to be immunized against canine diseases. That said, paradoxically, there is a good and compelling reason to follow your veterinarian’s directions for the commonly administered “puppy series” of shots. Here’s why: Puppies are born with immune systems that are not fully functional. In their first weeks, they are protected from disease by antibodies they received from their mothers’ blood.   More...

Puppies in Public: Risk Factors

Subscribers Only — As the proud owner of a new puppy, you are faced with some big decisions in the first few months. Are ALL of those vaccinations necessary? Can my puppy start socializing by mingling at the dog park or on the street? When should I begin training, or hire a dog trainer? What may seem like obvious answers are actually quite complicated and critically important to your puppy's well being.   More...

Your Dog Deserves Roses

Subscribers Only — Coyotes aren’t the only canines that can benefit from the healthy attributes of Rosa species, and in fact, wild roses aren’t the only varieties with healing powers. In fact, all species of rose are useful, including domestic varieties in the garden. The astringent tannins contained in the twigs, bark, and roots of the plant help reduce minor inflammations of the skin and digestive tract, making the herb useful in a broad variety of applications. …   More...

Using Herbs for Dogs

Subscribers Only — Increasing research proves that animals, including domestic dogs and cats, understand what it means to have an ailment, and can in fact self-medicate with remedies found in nature. Ever catch a dog eating grass, and immediately try to stop them? This is mysterious behavior, since we know grass makes dogs vomit 8 out of 10 times. But what if that's the whole point? As savvy pet owners, we ought to utilize more natural remedies for our pets because they are good for them, effective, and on some level, our pets actually seem to know them better than we do.   More...

Best Dog Gear of the Year: 2015

Subscribers Only — See Whole Dog Journal's top dog accessories of 2015. We cover reflective gear for your nocturnal hound, artisan leather collars for the posh pup in your life, indestructible dog toys, biodegradable waste bags, a treat dispenser that does more than your smartphone, paw cream for salty winters, and much more!   More...

Modifying Your Dog's Behavior

Have you ever had the experience of getting incredibly “stuck” with your dog, unable to teach him a certain new behavior? And then an experienced trainer steps up, and has your dog happily performing the behavior again and again within a minute? At that moment, part of you is happy because your dog “got it,” but part of you may be seething, too. What the heck, dog?   More...