April 2018

Letters and Corrections: April 2018

There are many ways to add mental stimulation to a simple game of fetch. For example, we can ask the dog to jump onto a platform and lie down before we throw a disc for him. We can ask him to go through an agility tunnel before catching the ball. The important thing to recognize is when the dog is getting over threshold and stopping the game or reducing its intensity until the dog calms down. If you know the signs of hyperarousal, depicted in the infographic in the original article, then you will be more able to help your dog.   More...

Hemangioma in Dogs

The cause of hemangiomas is idiopathic (unknown). These growths usually donít appear until at least middle age. Thin-skinned, light-colored breeds often experience hemangiomas. Youíll most likely find a hemangioma on the dogís trunk or legs, especially hairless areas like the lower abdomen.   More...

How to Cope With Losing a Dog

Subscribers Only — Itís important to remember that grieving is normal, natural and healthy. Itís okay to cry, scream, yell, get angry, and be depressed and sad, as long as you arenít harming yourself or anyone else. If at any time you feel overwhelmed and unable to cope, or feel that you are ďstuckĒ in one of the stages of grief, you can seek help from pet-loss hotlines, grief counselors, and other health professionals who specialize in helping people through the grief process.   More...

The Marvelous Mutts

Subscribers Only — At a performance by The Marvelous Mutts, as the name suggests, you wonít see any pedigreed dogs, but you will definitely witness focused owners and competitive dogs! Looking at a photographic gallery of The Marvelous Mutts, one could easily be confused with having found the listing for a rescue promoting their mixed-breed adoption candidates. Instead, itís an inspiring model, both for what rescue dogs can do and what highly motivated dog owners can do for shelter and rescue dogs.   More...

How to Teach Your Dog Object Names

Teaching your dog to differentiate between objects is a fun brain game that can be stretched out over days or weeks. He doesnít need to learn it all on the first try! Keep sessions short and fun, making sure your dog gets plenty of reinforcement to keep him interested.   More...

Get Your Dog to Rest After Surgery

Subscribers Only — When our dogs undergo surgery or suffer an injury, they don't understand that remaining calm and inactive while their bodies heal is necessary to a strong recovery. It's up to us, their guardians, to keep our dogs calm, happy, comfortable - and stimulated - through their recovery period, so that they do not over-exert themselves and create another injury.   More...

The Mudbuster

Using the Mudbuster tool to clean Woodyís feet has dramatically cut down the number of towels I go through. Instead of needing a separate towel each time I have to clean all four feet (but especially his front/digging feet), I half-fill the Mudbuster with water and dunk each paw into the device a few time. Then I can use the same towel all day to quickly and simply dry his freshly cleaned feet. To finish, just pour out the muddy water and rinse the Mudbuster in the sink. (It can be run through the dishwasher for a more complete cleaning.)   More...

Dog Paw Cuts and Scrapes: How to Treat a Paw Injury

Your dogís paw pads act much like the soles of sneakers, protecting your dogís foot and cushioning each step. Paw pads are tough, but they can still be cut by sharp objects or worn off if your dog runs hard on rough terrain. What should you do when your dog cuts or tears a pad?   More...

Shaping Your Dog's "Sit"

Subscribers Only — Shaping Ė taking a desired behavior, breaking it into small steps, and reinforcing the steps until you build the final behavior Ė has become a standard dog training tool, especially in the force-free world. Those who are familiar with shaping regard it as invaluable for teaching and refining behaviors. If you donít yet have experience with shaping, try this exercise with your dog. It will help you realize how subtly and precisely you can influence the movement of virtually any part of your dogís body.   More...

The Best Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Foods of 2018

Most of the ingredients in freeze-dried diets are raw and/or very lightly processed. All the freeze-dried raw diets we reviewed are grain-free Ė not because we think grains are inappropriate in these foods; itís the food manufacturers who seem to have decided that raw feeders wonít buy a product that contains any grain. Many people who feed home-prepared or commercial raw diets to their dogs when they are home replace this diet with a freeze-dried raw food when they travel, or when the dog is left with a sitter who doesnít want to deal with a fresh or frozen raw diet.   More...

Biddable Dogs or Trainable Dogs?

I had an interesting conversation with a trainer friend the other day. She had gone to meet a breeder she had never met before, as a potential buyer of a puppy from a future litter. She told me about a little glitch in their conversation that she couldnít stop thinking about.   More...