December 2017

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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.

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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!

Download the Full October 2017 Issue PDF

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.

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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.

Download the Full August 2017 Issue PDF

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!

Download the Full July 2017 Issue PDF

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.

Download the Full June 2017 Issue PDF

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.

Download the Full May 2017 Issue PDF

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.

Download the Full April 2017 Issue PDF

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.

Download the Full March 2017 Issue PDF

On February 3, 2017, the FDA announced that Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food had recalled five lots of its canned Hunk of Beef dog food, for a “potential contaminant,” pentobarbital. One dog has died as a result of eating the contaminated food. Evanger’s canned food appeared on WDJ’s “approved canned dog foods” in our October 2016 issue. Evanger’s makes its own canned foods, and is blaming its meat supplier for the problem. Evanger’s dry foods, which appear on our “approved dry dog foods” list in the February 2017 issue, are produced by a contract manufacturer and are not involved in the current recall.

Download the Full February 2017 Issue PDF

We’re not zealots when it comes to nutrition; while we think home-prepared diets are ideal, we understand that not all dog owners are ready, willing, or able to shop for and prepare a homemade diet for their dogs. We’ll help you learn about and find healthful foods for your dog, whether you feed commercial kibble, canned, dehydrated, or frozen diets, or make his food from scratch.

Download the Full January 2017 Issue PDF

Whole Dog Journal’s mission is to provide dog guardians with in-depth information on effective holistic healthcare methods and successful nonviolent training. The methods we discuss will endeavor to do no harm to dogs; we do not advocate perpetrating even minor transgressions in the name of “greater good.” We intend our articles to enable readers to immediately apply training and healthcare techniques to their own dogs with visible and enjoyable success. All topics should contribute to improving the dog’s health and vitality, and deepening the canine/human bond. Above all, we wish to contribute information that will enable consumers to make kind, healthy, and informed decisions about caring for their own dogs.

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A warning growl is a dog’s cry for help. It’s your dog’s way of telling you he can’t tolerate a situation – as if he’s saying, “I can’t handle this, please get me out of here!” Instead of making things worse, heed the warning. Help your dog out of the situation that’s causing him discomfort, and take behavior modification steps to help him become more comfortable with the stressor.

Download the Full November 2016 Issue PDF

Plants were the original pharmacy for humans and animals, and over thousands of years, cultures around the world developed remedies that remain in use today. Herbal teas, tinctures, capsules, poultices, rinses, and massage oils are widely sold. American consumers spent nearly $7 billion on herbal products in 2015, which is $480 million more than we spent on them in 2014, marking the 12th consecutive year of growth. The medicinal herbs industry is thriving.

Download the Full October 2016 Issue PDF

Fed in appropriate amounts, canned food is a very healthy choice for dogs. Its moisture content is far closer to that of so-called evolutionary diets for dogs, the sort of food dogs ate before they came to rely on us to feed them. Good-quality canned foods generally contain far more meat than dry foods; meat, the most natural canine ancestral diet ingredient, often accounts for as much as 95 percent of a good canned food! And meat is incorporated into canned foods in a much less processed form than the meat used in most dry foods. In top-quality canned dog foods, real, fresh meats from named species are the rule, not the exception. That’s awesome!