Name Game

Following the recent release of Puppy’s First Steps – The Whole-Dog Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, Well Behaved Puppy, I have turned my attentions to my next project, a new book for the owners of adult dogs.

While the puppy book helps guide owners from birth to 1 year of age, the next book will take owners from age 1 through the adult years, up to and including old age. The first draft is all but complete and publication is slated for Spring 2008.

But there’s a problem. Neither the publisher, Houghton-Mifflin of Boston, nor I can come up with a suitable title and that’s where I would like some help from readers. But first, I should tell you something about the book.

Basically, it addresses the fundamentals of dog ownership necessary to ensure that the dog has a happy, well-balanced life and knows his or her place in the home. I address the benefits of exercise and explain how and why it is so necessary; the fact and fiction of the effects of diet on behavior; the art of clear communication; how owners can become (and should become) a dog’s true leaders; the assuagement of fear; the provision of a dog-friendly environment; and occupational therapy for lifestyle enhancement.

I also offer some troubleshooting advice to help owners address problems like aggression, fears and phobias, and compulsive disorders, and there is a detailed chapter on medical causes of behavior problems as well as one on herbal and medical treatments.

Finally, there is an addendum about how to select and integrate an adopted dog into your home. This potpourri of advice is what I advise owners in our clinic as a solid foundation for specific behavior modification therapy. I believe that correcting fundamentals, such as exercise, diet, and clear communication, is as important to a dog’s well being as the three R’s are to a school child’s education. Proper leadership, a non-confrontational approach to training, proper control and lifestyle enhancement for dogs are themes running through the book.

I originally came up with a running title of What Every Good Dog Owner Should Know. Then the publisher came up with the title of A Dog is for Life but really we’re still scratching our heads for a good title.

Is there anyone out there who can help with a good idea for a title? I promise that I will send the person whose title is chosen a signed copy of the book on release and will mention them by name if they want the acknowledgement. If you have a good idea, please help. Send your suggestions to me at my email: [email protected]. I hope to hear from you and thank you in advance.

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