Canine Hydrotherapy

We humans have been “taking the waters” for our health for thousands of years, and over the last decade, more dogs have been getting their paws wet for the same reason. Canine hydrotherapy (also called aqua or swim therapy) is essentially warm-water swimming and/or massage for curative purposes—and it’s very effective. Many veterinarians recommend hydrotherapy… Read more »

A Dog’s World View

How often have you found yourself thinking your dog is sad because he gazes at you with mournful eyes? That a sigh signals boredom? We’re prone to anthropomorphizing animals. It’s hard not to, because our ability to imagine what a dog might want is limited by our knowledge of a dog’s experience of the world.… Read more »

Did You Know: Why Dogs Lick Their Wounds?

Common practice. All dogs instinctively want to lick their wounds. The reflex was a sound one—once. Healing saliva. The idea that canine saliva contains healing properties is widely held; it appeared in the myths of some ancient societies such as Mesopotamia. Is it fact or fiction? Well, it’s somewhat factual. Dog saliva is slightly bactericidal… Read more »

Tots & Tail-Waggers

To a dog, a baby is a very strange creature—tiny, roly-poly, emitting coos and gurgles, and kicking and grasping at everything. What’s more, a baby is an attention magnet and a routine changer. Once baby arrives, life as Fido knew it is never again the same. Some dogs take this in their stride; others struggle… Read more »

Home Safety Checklist

Unsafe chewables. Don’t let your dog chew on things like leashes, rope, or garden hose, which can cause intestinal obstruction. Chemicals. Keep all household toxins (bleaches, detergents, disinfectants) well out of reach of your dog—also insecticides, human medications, pool chemicals, paint thinner, and automotive products like antifreeze and radiator fluid. Don’t use chemical cleaning liquids… Read more »

Golden Retreiver

Few dogs appear on more ‘best of’ lists than the Golden Retriever. The second-most popular breed in the U.S. ranks fourth in Dr. Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs, boasts the first ever dog to surf with special-needs kids (Ricochet), and holds the world record for most tennis balls in a dog’s mouth: five, all… Read more »

Why Groom?

Even if you make regular trips to the groomer, there are good reasons to also groom your dog at home. A dog with a clean, healthy coat feels better in herself, and brushing and bathing your dog promotes skin health and gives you quality time together. Nothing says, I love you, Daisy, like a good… Read more »

Conservation Dogs

Among the many important jobs held by dogs today, conservation work is a small but crucial niche. Conservation dogs are trained to find wildlife and plant samples using modified search & rescue and narcotic techniques. The perfect dog for the job is high energy with a compulsive play drive and toy focus—the more, the better.… Read more »

Knowing Your Dog Inside Out

Many mutt owners have played the guessing game at one time or another. Where did that short, curled-up tail on an otherwise shepherd-like dog come from? Or those gangly legs on a Beagle mix? The wide bully-breed smile on a wirehaired Terrier? Feathering on a Boxer? Well, for a decade now, it has been possible… Read more »

Play It Safe

It can’t be said often enough: Toys are great. As training rewards, for dog-dog play, for dog-human play—and yes, as mental stimulation when Fido is home alone. Dogs left in a moonscape environment get bored and idle minds often turn to mischief. Toys can make all the difference. However, not all toys are created equal,… Read more »

The Five Rules of Recall

In a perfect world, dogs would come every time we call. They would reason—with the human logic we so often ascribe them—that obedience is in their long-term interest. They would respect our parental authority or respond out of sheer devotion. Well, dogs may be family members who love us dearly, but they are not people.… Read more »

Common Mistakes When Modifying Behavior, Part 2

Here it is: the follow-up to our first behavior modification installment, not-so-originally titled “Common Mistakes When Modifying Behavior, Part 1”. In the first part, we discussed the difference between consequence (how something works) and association (emotional response), how behavior should be treated as information, and how important is to keep your dog below threshold when… Read more »