Whole Dog Journal: Who We Are



Whole Dog Journal‘s mission is to provide dog guardians with in-depth information on both traditional and holistic healthcare methods, healthy dog feeding habits, 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.

For 20 years, Whole Dog Journal has upheld its reputation as a leader in dog companionship, training and care information. We take our mission statement seriously, and we’ve gained a lot of respect for that over the years, bringing us more and more new readers every month!

Now we’d like to share with our readers both new and old three aspects of the dog guardianship world you will NOT find in Whole Dog Journal, and explanations for each. They are:

1. Dominance-based training techniques

2. Advocacy of keeping dogs unvaccinated

3. Judgement of the type or grade of dog food you buy

1. Whole Dog Journal is all about positive training techniques. That means you will never find an article suggesting you should physically subdue your dog by rolling them over and holding them down, or pushing their face into a mess they made. It means we are against the use of electric fences and choke collars as training or restraint tools. It even means we don’t want you to shout at your dog when he counter-surfs! We are here to explain how you can train your dog with methods that make sense to you and to him – effective methods that will build his trust and confidence in you as his benevolent, fair leader. In short, we won’t suggest any training techniques that are unsafe for you or your dog.

2. Surprisingly to us, many of our readers are confused when they see that our approach to dog health and care is not a strictly holistic one. Don’t get us wrong: we think holistic treatments like herbal remedies, chiropractic care and acupuncture are incredible ways to supplement a dog’s recovery from certain ailments and injuries. But Whole Dog Journal will simply never discount the importance of vaccinating your dog for serious diseases.

We neither promote the practice of vaccinating all dogs with the same cookie-cutter vaccination protocol, nor vaccinating all dogs for all diseases every three years – but we strongly believe that all dogs should be vaccinated for the core diseases, titer-tested to make sure they developed protective antibodies, and then re-vaccinated infrequently – if ever – again. (The rabies vaccine requires a different discussion, since it’s the only vaccination required by law. Skirting the law by skipping rabies vaccinations can have serious repercussions if the dog ever bites or is bitten.) We endorse integrative care – the most effective, evidence-based treatments with the fewest documented side effects.

3. 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. At Whole Dog Journal, we understand how diverse dog owners’ economic means, access to food variety, and dogs’ diet needs are. We are more concerned with giving you the tools to discern and select a dog food that meets your requirements rather than just tell you which companies make the best dog foods.

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  1. What is your policy on outside contributors? I’d love to write for you freelance. I have in mind an interview with a Service Dog Trainer local to me in Utah County, Utah, named Molli Baker of Molli Dogs Training (you can check out her Facebook profile). I’ve only worked with her a couple of times because I don’t have a service dog and she is so busy she no longer takes on regular pet dog clients, but I trust her opinion and recommendations above anyone else I know personally (yes, she’s positive only!).
    I’m a long-time subscriber, and reader before that, though I confess I haven’t always gotten to each issue. Lately I’ve been making up for lost time as I try to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. Your archives are a gold mine!
    I’m also a former editor at Bloomberg News and elsewhere. I haven’t done any freelance writing in years, but am gearing up to get started again.