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Last month, we described some basic screening tests that veterinarians use to check for early signs of illness. The test results of senior dogs, in particular, are more likely to possess abnormalities, ranging from subtle and easily explained irregularities to complex abnormalities that require further work-up. So what happens when the screening test shows a problem? Let’s explore the next-step diagnostics.
We’re asking you to consider the social nature of the dog, just for a moment. His forbears chose to be our companions thousands of years ago, and when given an opportunity to choose, it’s his strong preference to be with us almost all of the time. Please just think about this if your dog shows signs of being distressed by being home alone, or, especially, if you are planning to bring a puppy home soon. And then consider whether any of Tucker’s suggested remedies might be available to you.
There are food-industry experts who feel strongly that HPP is a very safe technology, and others who worry that it may alter foods on a molecular level. We feel fine about HPP; we’ve been to HPP plants and observed the products before, during, and after treatment and have confidence that they are not harmed or made unsafe to feed. On the other hand, we respect the right of owners to feed raw foods that have not undergone a kill step – as long as they are informed about the risks to which they are subjecting themselves and their dogs.
There are now clicker trainers in practically every community in the United States. If you’re looking to give it a try and want some help, seek one out. There are also many books and websites that can guide you in your clicker training journey. Ready, set…click!
There are divergent views of this trend within the pet food industry. Long-time industry observers grimly point out that the supply of “ethical” ingredients is incredibly limited, and that using this sort of ingredient in pet food is profligate and perhaps even unconscionable with starving people in the world. In contrast, cheerleaders for the industry promote any trend that sells more pet food – and the enthusiasm for ethically sourced ingredients is strong and growing.
If you are confident that your dog is a good dog park candidate, ask some trusted, knowledgeable friends and your favorite canine professionals if they agree. If so, first visit parks in your area without your dog to check out the facilities and culture. Make several trips at various times so you get a real feel for the park and its users. If you like what you see after multiple visits, then you are ready to take your dog for playtime in the park.
The problem is, many dog owners have little understanding of animal behavior or training, poor animal behavior-observation skills, and bad timing. When you put a tool that works by causing pain in their hands, the result is often poor. Those who consistently hurt sensitive dogs or inadvertently punish dogs when they are doing the right thing are likely to produce dogs who resent and/or fear their handlers and/or walking on leash.
It’s great for our dogs that there are so many good foods on the market today. But the wide range of options makes the task of selecting foods a bit more challenging. It may be a nice problem to have, but for owners who don’t know where to start, it is a problem!
From the first issue, one of WDJ’s missions has been to bring you “in-depth information about effective holistic healthcare methods.” However, the word “holistic” is subjective, and it’s frequently used to mean very different things.
Foxtails, the bane of a California dog’s existence, prompted Woody’s first, second, and third trips to the vet this year. His insurance hasn’t quite paid for itself so far, but if he has just one more veterinary visit for an injury or illness this year, it likely will be a draw.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of you that life with dogs is highly emotional. Our canine companions can make us laugh hard and cry hard, sometimes on the same day! But I, for one, wouldn’t trade my time with them, even the difficult ones, for anything else in the world. I’ve learned so much from working with them – and there is always more to learn. This month, I’m taking Training Editor Pat Miller’s article on “demand behaviors” to heart in order to deal with a budding problem with Woody’s newfound attention-seeking behavior. I feel just like any other dog-training student as I fail, again and again, to ignore his repeated efforts to engage me; he’s just so cute!
There is no single style of recovery collar that fits all dogs and protects all wounds. Every dog is different in shape, flexibility, and emotional response to a recovery collar. The products reviewed here are sturdy, made of tough, flexible materials, reusable, and easily cleaned; all of them will store flat and some you can trim to size. Some will work better than others for certain dogs.
In classical counter-conditioning, the goal is to try to transfer the positive feelings the dog has for high-value treats (or toy play) onto the trigger (in this case, the presence of other dogs), thus creating a new association in the dog’s mind. For example, when you know at what distance your dog can see other dogs, but still feel safe enough to not react, be prepared to feed a steady stream of treats the entire time the trigger (another dog) is within eyesight. As soon as the dog is out of sight, the treats stop.
Puppies do go through fear periods – developmental phases when the world is just a little more overwhelming. If your pup seems suddenly scared of more things than he was previously, take a step back from socialization and provide him with comfort, fun things to do, and gentle experiences. Fear periods often pass in one to two weeks.
Many other force-free trainers also embraced the new design as a huge improvement over head halters, which were clearly aversive to many dogs. In contrast, most dogs seem to accept the front-clip harness instantly, with only a very small population who seem to find the harness aversive. In my experience, most dogs who object to the harness are sensitive to touch and/or handling, and it’s the process of putting the harness on, rather than wearing the harness, that they object to.