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 »

Safety at Your Fingertips

Spotting illness. Aside from things you can see, smell, or hear (rashes, discharge, wheezing, etc.) look out for loss of appetite, disorientation, lethargy, persistent scratching, coughing, or head shaking. All should prompt a trip to the vet. Danger-free driving. Use a car crate or harness. Don’t roll windows so far down that your dog can… Read more »

The Labrador Retriever

Stomach on legs, expert swimmer and counter surfer, famously trainable—the Lab is a dog of many distinctions. The well-socialized Lab is bouncy outdoors, gentle when cuddling on the couch, and can put her paw to anything from tracking to agility, from competitive obedience to police and therapy work. The Lab is the most popular breed… Read more »

Dog First Aid & CPR

Prompt and informed first aid saves lives—for dogs as well as humans. Losing a dog to an asthma attack or a common type of poisoning is all the more tragic in cases where CPR skills or knowledge of first aid could have kept the dog alive until his owners reached a veterinarian. And not just… Read more »

Autism Service Dogs

Also called autism assistance or autism alert dogs, these are dogs that live alongside children or adults with autism. (In contrast to autism therapy dogs, who visit treatment and residential centers.) Of course, children and adults with autism are individuals and not all benefit from a service dog. But for those who respond well, it… Read more »

Cultivating Dog-Smart Kids

For half a century, the Lassie stereotype has endured in American hearts and minds. The ideal dog is noble, has the vocabulary of a college student, and near-telepathic understanding of what’s expected of him. It makes for lovely storytelling, but the imprint left on generations by Lassie and similar fictions, from Dorothy’s Toto to Disney’s… Read more »

Did You Know: These Doggie Facts?

With their swiveling ears, dogs can locate the source of a sound in 0.06 seconds. Dogs have far fewer taste buds than humans, but the 200 million scent receptors in their nasal folds (compared to our 5 million) nevertheless make some of them very finicky eaters. The hair on a dog’s muzzle, eyes, and jaws… Read more »