Safe Dog Food Bowls (and How to Keep Them That Way)

foodbowlsafety_m_26639246.jpg

The easiest type of bowl to keep clean – and, not incidently, also the safest bowl for your dog to eat and drink from – is stainless steel. This material will not leach potentially dangerous chemicals into your dog’s food and water, like some plastics, aluminum, poorly glazed pottery, or old ceramic dishes. Stainless steel and glass bowls are similarly inert, but stainless steel wins in my house, due to its durability on the floor and in the sink.   More...

Nose Work is Great Exercise for Dogs!

sniffitDSC.jpg

When your dog has learned how to search, this makes a great rainy day indoor exercise activity. You can also routinely scatter her meals around the yard so she has to search through the grass to find them; put her on a long line if you don’t have a fence. You can also name her favorite toys and have her find them. You can even have family members and friends hide and have her find them.   More...

Teach Your Dog to Choose Things

youchoose_backcoverDSC.jpg

Our dogs have very little opportunity for choice in their lives in today’s world. We tell them when to eat, when to play, when to potty, when and where to sleep. We expect them to walk politely on leash without exploring the rich and fascinating world around them, and want them to lie quietly on the floor for much of the day. Compare this to the lives dogs used to live, running around the farm, chasing squirrels at will, eating and rolling in deer poop, chewing on sticks, digging in the mud, swimming in the pond, and following the tractor.   More...

Whole Dog Journal's Canned Dog Food Selection Criteria

A whole, named animal protein in one of the first two positions on the ingredients list. “Whole” means no byproducts. “Named” means a specific animal species – chicken, beef, pork, lamb – as opposed to “meat” or “poultry.” Look for products with the highest possible inclusion of top-quality animal proteins; in other words, choose a product with the animal product listed first over a product that listed water (or broth) first and the animal product second.   More...

Best Types of Crates for Dog Training

dreamstime_m_101466439a.jpg

Whole Dog Journal has written a lot in the past about the usefulness of having a comfortable crate your dog calls home. Crates are a convenient way to keep your dog out of harm's way, out of your way, and away from guests when necessary. A crate is regarded as the safest way to transport dogs in the car, and if you ever fly with your dog, you're going to need a crate for that too.   More...

Grabbing Your Dog's Collar: Why and How to Practice

9treatDSC_0711a.jpg

Let’s take a moment to talk about collar grabs. I see a worrisome number of dogs who duck away when their human reaches for their collar. This is not only annoying for the human, it is also dangerous. Imagine what happens in an emergency, when the owner needs to quickly corral the dog to keep her out of danger, and the dog ducks away from the reaching hand and runs off.   More...

Which is the Best Type of Dog Food?

What kind of dog food is best? Is canned food healthier than kibble? Does a homemade dog food diet require as much work as it appears to? Whole Dog Journal developed a very comprehensive pros and cons chart for various dog food options you may be considering. Remember: no one dog food is best for all dogs! Consider your dog's lifestyle and needs and use this chart to help you decide what kind of food your dog should eat.   More...

Train Your Dog to Accept Hugs

17pathug.jpg

The process of teaching a dog to tolerate hugging involves either classical conditioning (giving a puppy a positive association with something she doesn’t already have an opinion of), or classical counter-conditioning (giving a dog a new association with something she already has a negative opinion of). Either way, the process is similar, but it may go slower if you are working to change an existing opinion rather than simply installing one where none previously exists.   More...

The Puppy Socialization Exposure Checklist

dreamstimelarge_69087043.jpg

One of the things I’ve discovered in my puppy classes is that many people assume socialization is simply about getting your dog around lots of people to be petted and plenty of dogs to play with. This can be a piece of the socialization package, but remember that the goal of socialization is to get your pup accustomed to and comfortable with the world around him. Puppies need to be exposed in a pleasant way to the following things.   More...

9 Things To Do if Your Puppy Has Kennel Cough

KENNELCOUGH1.jpg

Kennel cough, or tracheobronchitis, is comparable to the common cold in humans. Nevertheless, it is frightening to many new dog guardians to discover that their puppy or newly rescued dog has contracted the disease. An unrelenting goose-like cough is the hallmark of kennel cough in dogs, but fortunately, most cases are treated successfully at home. To ensure your puppy recovers from kennel cough in a minimal amount of time and without complication, Whole Dog Journal has outlined the necessary steps you, the concerned guardian, need to take.   More...

5 Reasons to Feed Your Dog Raw Honey

Most dogs love the sweet taste of honey. If you feed raw honey, your dog will benefit from the many health properties it contains as well! Raw honey fights allergies and heals wounds, soothes coughs, and eases canine stomachs.   More...

Canine Body Language Danger Signs

DSC_0155.jpg

Dogs almost always give clear signals – though the signs may be subtle – before they bite. A “bite without warning” is truly a rare occurrence. Most of the time the human just wasn’t listening, or didn’t have any education about what the dog was expressing. I have worked with dogs professionally for more than 40 years and, knock wood, experienced only a handful of bites, none of them serious.   More...

Teach Your Dog to Make Eye Contact

16lookatme_treat_near_eye.jpg

If your dog doesn’t already know the value of eye contact with humans, you can easily teach her. This is an operant conditioning/positive reinforcement exercise – your dog learns her behavior can make good stuff happen. When your dog has come to realize the value of eye contact, she will sometimes offer the behavior without being cued. Be sure to reinforce offered eye contact as well as cued eye contact. To help her be comfortable with eye contact from other humans, ask your friends to play the “Watch” game with her as well.   More...

Dog Collars or Harnesses: Which is Better?

You may see a lot more dogs on the street today wearing harnesses rather than having their leashes attached to collars. Are harnesses safer for dogs than collars? Should you abandon the your dog's traditional collar altogether? The fact is, there are many types of collars AND harnesses on the market, and some serve specific purposes. The front-clip harness, for example, is heralded as the best kind of restraint tool for a dog who pulls on the leash during walks. Head halters, on the other hand, should really only be used by professional dog handlers in specialty situations, like in show rings.   More...

5 Essential Dog Training Supplies

You don't need to spend a lot of money on dog training supplies to be prepared to train your dog effectively. For most dogs, a well-fitted harness, comfortable flat-buckle collar, sturdy leash, and some tasty treats are all you will need to teach your dog to love training time! When dogs love their training, they learn behaviors quickly, and the best training never over-complicates things. Save your cash and time on fancy high-tech dog training gear and stick with Whole Dog Journal's 5 positive dog training gear essentials!   More...