WholeDog Journal by Nancy Kerns There’s an old joke about if there’s one thing that two dog trainers can agree on, it’s that the third one is doing it wrong. But if you know me at all, you know I hate online squabbles; I don’t participate in digital fights about training methods or tools. That said, I think I’ve found something that very nearly ALL dog trainers agree on, and that I will defend anywhere, anytime, and it’s this: Retractable leashes have no place in dog training. It almost reaches the level of a joke: If you go to a dog park or almost any gathering of dog people and their dogs, the worst-behaved dogs will be the ones on retractable leashes. It’s sort of a chicken or the egg thing: What came first, the poorly behaved dog or the leash that teaches him nothing? I get how convenient it is to be able to walk along with your dog on leash and have your dog stop for a moment to smell something or take a quick pee, and you only have to slow your pace for a moment, rather than stop dead. When he’s through or he hits the [...]
This past week, we've had some terribly windy days. In the wee hours of Monday morning, I woke up to a strong smell of smoke in the air. I stepped outside; the odor was strong but I couldn't hear sirens nor see the glow of a fire anywhere. I turned on my computer, and was immediately able to find news about the source of the smoke: a wildfire had broken out about 10 miles north of my town. Another was burning about 20 miles to the east. My town was safe - but oh my word, there were also enormous fires burning 100 miles away, in the heavily populated areas of Napa and Sonoma Counties. And the wind was still gusting at 50 and 60 miles per hour, spreading burning embers far, wide, and fast. As I type, tens of thousands of people have had to evacuate their homes and businesses, and hundreds of homes and businesses have burned to the ground. Read More
A crate, or, in other words, short-term close confinement, can be used to help dogs teach themselves two very important skills. The first is eliminating only when and where it is appropriate. The second skill is keeping out of trouble - behaving appropriately in the house. Without these two skills, a dog doesn't have much of a chance in this world. A crate is inappropriate for long-term confinement. While some puppies are able to make it through an eight-hour stretch in a crate at night, you should be sleeping nearby and available to take your pup out if he tells you he needs to go. During the day, a puppy should not be asked to stay in a crate longer than two to four hours at a time; an adult dog no more than six to eight hours. Longer than that and you risk forcing Buddy to eliminate in his crate, which is a very bad thing, since it breaks down his instinctive inhibitions against soiling his den. A crate is not a place of punishment. Never force your dog or puppy into a crate in anger. Even if he has earned a time-out through inappropriate behavior, don't yell at [...]
As we head into September, we’re hanging out with the Browns’ Danny Shelton and his very own “dawg pound!” We find out more about #55 and his 4-pack of Furry Sheltons. We’re also talking tailgating with your pooch, raising guide dog pups and how to help your dog survive the back-to-school blues. Pick up your September issue of CLE DOG magazine starting later this week at 200+ locations: PetPeople, PetValu, libraries, eateries, coffee shops, vet offices and dog-friendly locations. Find a location near you HERE.
Dr. Hershman realized that when an ear is not inflamed and not painful but full of debris or tarry exudates from a yeast or bacterial infection, flushing the ear makes sense. "If you don't flush it out but keep applying medication on top of the debris," she says, "you're never going to cure the problem. But I also learned that flushing the ear is an art. You can't simply fill the ear with otic solution and expect it to flow out by itself, taking all the debris with it. Because the dog's ear canal forms a right angle, you just can't get the liquid out unless you suction it gently with a bulb syringe or some kind of tube with a syringe attached." Flushing the ears, says Dr. Hershman, is one of the most important techniques you can learn for keeping your dog's ears healthy. "They don't teach this in veterinary school," she says. "It's something people learn by experience." When should the ears not be flushed? "If they're painful, ulcerated, or bleeding," she says, "or if there's slimy, slippery pus in the ear or a glutenous, yeasty, golden yellow discharge. In any of these cases, flushing is not [...]
Dear Fellow Dog Lover, You want the best for your dog - especially when it comes to his food. You read labels and try to choose the brand and formula that will nourish your furry friend. That's why you'll be as shocked as I was, to discover that dozens of today's top-selling brands - names you thought you could trust, like Beneful, Pedigree, Purina and more - may not contain the wholesome, healthy ingredients you want for your dog. Take Beneful. The package makes it look like manna from heaven with a healthy pup, fresh veggies, and what look like real chunks of meat. Unfortunately, the pictures make the food seem better than it is. The reality is this stuff is AWFUL for your dog. It's full of sugar, artificial colors, and 3 unnamed animal sources. And very little vegetables. Or look at Kibbles 'n Bits Bistro Meals Grilled Chicken Flavor. If only it contained the grilled chicken they show on the bag instead of loads of low-quality ingredients and "animal digest" - the real source of the chicken flavor. Another terrible food is Pedigree Complete Nutrition for Adult Dogs. Made with an inferior, cheap source of protein, it's a wonder it could maintain any [...]
Far be it from us to tell you to put pesticides on your dog. But we've never heard of a single nontoxic preparation that was effective at keeping ticks off all dogs. For some dogs, only the potent pesticides seem to keep ticks away. There are, however, some nontoxic products - both commercially produced and homemade formulas - that work to repel ticks well enough to consider using them as part of a comprehensive Lyme disease prevention program. In 1994, botanist Arthur O. Tucker reviewed the scientific literature on herbs that repel mosquitoes, flies, fleas, ticks, and similar pests. He found that opopanax myrrh (Commiphora erythaea), the myrrh of ancient Egypt, has been shown to repel adults of the African brown ear, deer, black-footed, lone star, and American dog tick. Because opopanax myrrh is not widely sold, Tucker speculated that the more readily available common myrrh (C. myrrha) might have similar properties, but herbalists who experiment with live ticks report that of the herbs said to repel them, including myrrh, rosemary, and California laurel, only rose geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), palmarosa (Cymbagopogon martini motia), which has a similar fragrance, and opopanax myrrh truly repel deer and dog ticks. CJ Puotinen, author [...]