The Tragedy of Wolf Dogs

back yard dug up

  This is Bits. He is a hybrid wolfdog. Or maybe some coyote, no one knows. He is drop-dead gorgeous and is flat out terrified of strangers. He has been living with Jayne and Mike Belskey at the Grey Wolf Central Wisconsin Rescue¬† for two years now, having been rescued by them as a panicked, huddled, terrified mess from a shelter. It made me happier than I can say that after two hours after I arrived in the house he relaxed enough to lie down only a few feet away from me, albeit with a table between us. Maybe it was because I did lots of look aways, yawned a lot, avoided eye contact and kept my voice down. Maybe not, but I hereby admit to being thrilled to be in the same room with him, and was absolutely overwhelmed by his beauty. And heartbroken, because wolfdogs should break Read More

Confrontational Techniques Elicit Aggression

scarlet tanager 5-13

Remember the movie Groundhog Day, in which Bill Murray wakes up every morning to repeat the same day, over and over? That is a bit of what it feels like to write about the value of benevolence in dog training, and the problems associated with aggressive, confrontational techniques. And yet, I just can't stop, because there is still a flood of advice about using force and confrontation to correct a dog for ..... (fill in the blanks).... because 1) misbehavior is a sign your dog is attempting to dominate you and 2) you can only counter it by using force. Sigh. Those of us arguing that we should be teaching our dogs, rather than forcing and threatening them, have an excellent study by Veterinary Behaviorists to support our perspective. Meghan Herron, DVM, DACVB, Frances Shofer, DVM and Read More

Mounting By Any Other Name…

nellie window

A long, long time ago I had an intact male Border Collie (my first BC ever, Drift), who appeared to be failing his job as a stud dog. Although his escort, the lovely Tib, could not have been more clear that she was ready to be bred, Drift couldn't seem to get the job done. Tib would prance around Drift all shiny-eyed, literally throw her rump in his face and flag her tail so far over to the side that I wondered if it might break off. Drift behaved as though he got the message loud and clear, and would enthusiastically mount Tib from behind. But then he would make one or two thrusts, and his entire body would appear to deflate (not to mention his equipment) while he slumped off to the side. Tib would respond by again throwing her rump at his head and flagging (the clarity of a female dog's Read More

International Shipping!

camel sisters and W

Yippee! After months of hard work (no kidding), Katie finally convinced our website that it could handle shipping to North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. We partnered it with a big discount on packages of books and/or DVDs for folks who would like to begin a "library." We've had lots of inquiries from folks in Canada, the UK and Australia especially, so we're sooooo happy to be able to accommodate! You can get more information on the website. Meanwhile, here's a photo of Willie moving up on "The Camel Sisters" from earlier this year. As soon as I post this we're going out to work sheep some more. Oh boy.   Read More

And the Winner Is!

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As many of you know, we asked for photographs of dogs to grace the cover of our new booklet on welcoming an adopted dog into your home. Karen London and I are working hard on the text right now (too short?! no, too long!? rinse and repeat . . . ) but I can tell you that the official title is Love Has No Age Limit and after looking at over 700 photographs (wow!) we have settled on the photograph you see below. So here he is: A dog named Theo, who like many of the dogs whose photos were submitted, came with an amazing story. He was found running loose along a highway in New Jersey, and sat in a shelter for 3 months before Kimberly Wang of Eardog Productions in New York found his picture on Petfinder. Kimberly spent three hours with him at the shelter, and was entranced by his eagerness to Read More