The Dog Blog


Great Expectations

A few years ago, I brought an adolescent dog home from the shelter. You know the type – part beagleshepherdspaniellabrador. A robin stalking, trail sniffing animal who liked to herd birds and paddle water out of her bowl as fast as I could put it in. She was a four-legged piece of imperfection with soulful eyes and poetic ears, and while furtively stealing my socks out of the laundry basket, she also stole my heart.


Socialization…’Till I’m Blue in the Face

In the middle of a conversation with a daycare client the other day, I was interrupted with, “…I know, I know. Socialization, socialization, socialization.” The client rolled her eyes as she said this, and we both laughed. She’s heard my mantra many times and she knows I’m passionate about it.


Beach Dogdom II: A pleasant surprise

It has been a while since I’ve reported on the dogs of Costa Rica and it’s because I couldn’t bear to sit at the computer while in such a gorgeous place.   Instead, I spent my days enjoying the atmosphere and trying to savor every detail, making notes on a hotel message pad in order to remember as much as possible about my brief stay.


Help, We’ve Created a Monster!

“We need to you come over right away! Missy is trying to bite us!” The elderly woman’s voice was tight with distress on the other end of the telephone line. This was a totally unexpected call, because Missy was the friendliest, most submissive Golden Retriever you could ever meet; the type who came up to greet you with her rear end wiggling and tucked in, head sideways and licking the air, all aglow at the prospect of getting some attention and petting from everyone around her.


Protein Requirements in Senior Dogs - You Might be Surprised

As a dog trainer, enthusiast and dog-mom, I try to keep up on the latest developments in canine behavior and health. In fact, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to researching the latest findings. So imagine my surprise when I learned that what I and so many others had believed about older dogs needing less protein in their diets is untrue.


Saving Ollie - Part 4 in a series about a shelter dog with severe behavior problems

Click to read Part 1
We know what sort of person Ollie will need to create a good home for him. He needs an experienced dog-owner committed both to safely managing his environment and to working on his behavior. We’re not, however, so sure what environment would be best for him.


Help, My Puppy Is Attacking Me!

The woman on the other end of the telephone line was nearly in tears as she explained the terrible time she was having with her dog.  He was “attacking” her, she said, and wouldn’t let her put him outside.  She couldn’t get him out of the back seat of the car if she took him for a ride, her clothes were ripped and she had bite marks and bruises on her hands and arms.  He was also “attacking” her three –year- old daughter, and she was worried for her child’s safety.   Imagine my surprise when she then told me we were di


Those Who Play Together, Stay Together

My dog did not come with an owner’s manual and I suspect that yours didn’t either. It’s lamentable, since most of us would probably find it helpful to have instructions on how to operate a canine in four-paw drive. How do you make it go? Does it have more than one speed? Most important, how on earth do you make it stop?!


What Do YOU Want From Your Dog?

What Do YOU Want From Your Dog?

I have five dogs in my home. Not one of them knows what “heel” means. Not one of them does agility, fly-ball or competition obedience. They all sit on the couch, occasionally chase one of my four cats and dig huge holes in the yard.

So, are my dogs trained? Well, yes. They are trained to live with me in my house under my rules and to pay attention to me when in public.


Release the Hounds!

When I was growing up, I was very afraid of dogs. I wasn’t allowed to have pets, but I had lots of friends who had dogs and there were lots of dogs in my neighborhood. The dogs were never in the house. I remember being told that we couldn’t pet the dog because he would bite, and that was as common as being told we couldn’t have ice cream before dinner.



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