May 2012

Features

Dog Collar Types for Safety and Specialty

What type of collar should your dog wear? It depends on your dog, your personal taste, and your training goals, philosophies, and needs. But from our force-free perspective, there are some types of collars we wholeheartedly endorse, some we support with caution, and some that we regard as unnecessary and risky.

The 2017 Best Dog Harnesses Review

Using a harness for dogs instead of a collar has huge benefits. There are many types of dog harnesses out there, and finding the best adult dog or puppy harness might seem like a daunting task. This Whole Dog Journal review of harnesses does all of the trial and error work of finding a quality harness for you! For dogs who pull on leash, WDJ strongly prefers harnesses over choke chains, prong collars, shock collars, and even flat collars and head halters.

2017 Approved Canned Dog Foods List

Lotus is another company we love. They make only a few foods, but with ingredients they source close to the cannery they built and operate themselves. They invited us to come and watch them make canned food and allowed us to take as many photos as we liked, of anything we saw. We love transparency!

The Complete Puppy Socialization Guide

Socializing is more than just getting your puppy out and about and having him meet lots of people and animals. The way a puppy is socialized is just as important. It is the quality of the exposure that counts (not the quantity!). Your pup doesn’t need to have prolonged or close contact with new things or people. He just needs to have easy, happy experiences. The more relaxed your pup is, the better.

Fulfill Your Dog's Ancestral Calling with Job-Specific Activities

Sports and activities that involve thinking and problem solving, such as tracking, scent work, competitive obedience and rally obedience, are great to try with many of the working breeds. Of course, many of the working breeds are used in the specific activities for which they were developed, such as water rescue (Newfoundlands, Portuguese Water Dogs), drafting and carting (Saint Bernards, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, Leonbergers), and sled pulling (Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes).

The Puppy-Raising Challenge

I’ve been a professional dog trainer for 10 years. I’ve tackled all kinds of behavior issues ranging from mild annoyances, like jumping up, to serious aggression or anxiety problems. I’ve doled out training and management advice to dog-owning families expecting babies (of the human kind), guided adopters in their selection of a puppy or adult dog, and counseled clients on what to do after their shiny new puppy finally arrives. I’ve taught group classes of various themes, including puppy kindergarten – so many puppy classes, I’d heard and seen it all.

From Rescued Dogs to Rescuer Dogs

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation is the brainchild of Wilma Melville. It started when her retirement hobby as a civilian canine search-and-rescue handler took her to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in the wake of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing in 1995. At the time, Melville and her canine partner were one of only 15 canine teams certified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the entire country.

Successful Dog Adoption, Part 2: What To Do at the Shelter

So – you’ve made your list of desired qualities and located a well-regarded shelter, rescue group, or breeder, and are ready to start your search. Perhaps you’ve already identified a prospect on an organization’s website. What now? Go meet some dogs!

Successful Dog Adoption, Part 1: Develop an Adoption Criteria

So, you’re thinking about adopting a dog. Wonderful! Your whole future with your prospective new dog is ahead of you, and all things are possible. Visions of agility, rally, obedience, trick and/or nosework titles may be dancing in your head, or perhaps long, relaxing walks in a nearby park and snuggles in front of the fireplace on cold winter nights. Maybe you’d like to give back to the community with the warm comfort of a therapy dog. Perhaps you’re looking for a pal for your child.

Feeling Alone in Group Training Class

Group training classes are a mixed bag of pros and cons. And I say this as someone who has made a fair amount of my annual income by teaching group training classes. I also attend group classes with my own dog. By design, the “ideal candidate” for a positive-reinforcement group manners class is the generally happy-go-lucky, emotionally stable, food-oriented dog whose worse transgression is maybe a minor lack of impulse control, simply because he hasn’t yet been taught how to do better – that’s why he’s there.

Getting Rid of Fleas in the House

The job of getting rid of fleas in your house or yard really consists of taking on both the adults and all the other flea life stages. One could think of the non-adult phases of the flea as another species of pest, given that each stage has differing life needs and vulnerabilities. Because flea eggs, larvae, and pupae all have the potential for turning into fleas, destroying the insects in the non-adult stages is critical to preventing the population from repeatedly bouncing back into your and your dog’s lives.

Fitness for Aging Dogs

Many clients bring their aging dogs to me for private sessions because they have started having difficulty or reluctance with – or can no longer perform – normal life activities like climbing stairs, getting into the car, or walking on smooth flooring. These problems are often related to muscle atrophy in the hind end. Once the dogs get the all-clear from their veterinarian, we work on fitness exercises designed to rebuild hind-end strength; we increase the difficulty of the exercises slowly over time until more function returns.

Over-the-Counter Flea Medicine for Dogs

Last month, in “Bravecto, Nexgard, or Other: Which Oral Flea Control Should You Use?,” we described the five oral medications that veterinarians may prescribe to stop or prevent a dog’s flea infestation. This month, we’ll describe the four oral medications that kill fleas on dogs and are available to owners as over-the-counter (OTC) products – no prescription necessary. As with last month’s installment in this mini-series on flea-control options, the descriptions of these products should not be taken as a recommendation or endorsement.

Bravecto, Nexgard, or Other: Which Oral Flea Control Should You Use?

For several reasons, veterinarians tend to put the most stock in prescription oral or topical flea medications than any other preventatives. In fact, these are the two most effective solutions for killing fleas – but they aren’t without potential side effects and they should represent only a part of a dog owner’s efforts to control fleas.

Do Electric Shock Collars Harm Dogs?

Do you use an underground electric shock fence to contain your dog? Are you considering having one installed? I hope reading this will change your mind. More and more neighborhoods prohibit or limit the useof fencing, and as this occurs, the use of these non-visible electric shock perimeters has drastically increased. Manufacturers and retailers claim that these products are humane, effective means by which to safely confine dogs without disrupting the aesthetics of neighborhoods.