Resources

In my year of concentrated canine study, I’ve read a ton of books and articles about raising and training a happy and healthy dog. This page is more of a reference guide for myself to return to, but I hope it may also be helpful to you and your pooch, especially for those of you who may be adopting a dog for the first time.

My beloved stick
Our dog Pyrrha.

Online Resources

ADVICE AND GUIDES

  • 15 Things to Purchase Before Adopting a Dog. Kristine’s funny, thorough, and honest list about the tools and things one will need when bringing an adopted dog into the home. Definitely writing these down on my shopping list! (Rescuing Insanity)
  • How to Measure Your Dog for a Martingale Collar. I’m a big fan of martingale collars–we use them a lot at the SPCA, owing to our large number of hounds–and they have saved my sanity on many occasions. This is a great video tutorial from the makers of beautiful martingale collars, Classic Hound. (Classic Hound)
  • Don’t Like Your New Dog’s Name? Karen London gives some practical tips on changing your adopted dog’s name. I feel pretty sure that I will want to rename our future dog, and so this is a helpful thing to think about. What about you? Did you change your dog’s name? (The Bark)
  • Nail Clipper Desensitization. A step-by-step process of trying to get an anxious GSD to reduce her fear the dreaded nail clippers. This is one aspect of dog grooming that I am not looking forward to, so I appreciate articles like this one! (Peaceful Dog)
  • Preparing for Your New Pooch. A practical list of guidelines to help one prepare to bring a dog into the home. Even though I’ve read dozens of lists like this one, I always like finding them and comparing notes. (The Inquisitive Canine)
  • Tips for the First 30 Days of Dog Adoption. Practical and accessible advice for that first month with a new dog. This is a list I’ll certainly be returning to. (Petfinder)

BREEDS

  • Dog Breed: Historical Pictures. A wonderful Photobucket account that collects historical photographs and prints of many dog breeds. (Photobucket user Pietoro)
  • Identifying Merle. I grew up with a beautiful tricolor merle Australian shepherd and I’ve always had a fondness for merle coats, especially when they come from conscientious breeders. But I learned a ton from this post and learned that I’ve been incorrectly identifying some dogs as “merle” that really aren’t. Fascinating stuff. (Musings of a Biologist and a Dog Lover)
  • The New Book of the Dog. Robert Leighton’s classic text on dog breeds–one of the first comprehensive guides ever–published on Open Library. So fascinating to look at, and the illustrations are beautiful. (Open Library)

BUDGETING AND FINANCES

  • Considering Pet Ownership? Here’s How Much to Budget. Mint.com is making infographics just for me these days! This was really helpful to see across the board and it’ll be useful as we plan our finances for the future dog. Do you think these numbers are accurate? Do you spend more or less than the average American on your dog? (Mint)
  • How Much Money Should I Spend on My Dog’s Vet Care? And how much is too much? A well-expressed opinion from Lindsey Stordahl about how we navigate the difficult decisions between veterinary care, finances, and our dogs. (That Mutt)
  • The Lifetime Costs of Pets. Here’s a sobering infographic about how much, on average, your pet will cost you over the course of its life. Dogs? Get ready to shell out an estimated $25,620! This is a great thing to show people, perhaps, who underestimate the financial commitment of bringing a dog home. Is it too scary, though? What do you think? (Mint Life Blog)
  • Wrapping Up the 2011 Budgeting Project–Onward to 2012! If you ever wanted a seriously comprehensive glimpse of pet finances, look no further than M.C. and her Bows. This is a really helpful year overview and it’s inspired me to keep track of my own purchases for my future dog. (The House of Two Bows)

DIY

EXERCISE

Rainer lounging at home
Our foster, Rainer.

FOOD AND DIET

HEALTH

  • 7 Ways to Make Your Pet’s Visit to the Veterinarian Easier. Simple and helpful tips to reduce the stress of a vet visit. (Paw Nation)
  • Are Too Many Vaccinations Bad for Adult Dogs? A thoughtful and informative discussion about the controversy over vaccinating our dogs. This is something I’ve been thinking about lately, too, and it was nice to read such a balanced and fair article on the topic. (That Mutt)
  • Can the Bulldog Be Saved? As with many of you, I was very pleased to see this comprehensive article published last week in the New York Times Magazine. I’ve already shared some of my thoughts on why I feel that breeding bulldogs is unethical and inhumane, but this article really takes it to the next level. (New York Times Magazine)
  • Cancer Part 4: Hemangiosarcoma. This series of sobering posts about canine cancer has been eye-opening. My attention was caught by this one in particular, because my research of the GSD has indicated that hemangiosarcoma is an unfortunately common cancer among the breed. It sounds dreadful. But it’s good to know the facts. (Borderblog)
  • Causes of Death Vary by Breed. This shouldn’t be too surprising to anyone who’s read about the dangerous genetics of purebred dogs, but it is an interesting and helpful study to be aware of. (The Bark)
  • Dog Vaccinations: What Not to Do. Jana Rade’s opinions on vaccinating your dog. What do you think? I know it’s a touchy issue and it seems that it’s often a divided war between veterinarians and dog owners. I confess that I’m not really sure about many of these issues; I feel like I have a lot of research to do. (That Mutt)
  • How to Properly Care for Your Dog’s Teeth. Canine dental hygiene is usually pretty terrible, and, from my experience, it’s an easy thing to forget to take care of–and not exactly fun when you do. This is a thorough article, however, that reminds us all of why it’s very important to care for our dog’s pearly whites. (The Whole Dog Journal)
  • One in Four Dogs Will Develop Cancer. A sobering look at the rates and incidences of cancer among dogs today. This report also lists the most common types of cancers that dogs will develop. (The Bark)
  • Top 10 Most Frequently Reported Poison Dangers for Dogs in 2011. A good list to review and be aware of. (Pet Poison Helpline)
  • Treating Skin Disease at Home. A helpful overview of home remedies for your dog’s various skin problems. (Dog Lover’s Digest)
  • Recognizing the Signs of Bloat (Video). Another serious topic, but one that people with big, deep-chested dogs are always aware of. I’ve also read about this being a quick and terrible killer of GSDs, and so this video and the corresponding facts were very helpful. (The Bark)
  • Why You Should NOT Shave Your Dog for the Summer. Finally! Some intelligent input on this widespread practice. I met an Aussie in the park the other day who was very unfortunate-looking: her owners had shaved her for the summer. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that they hadn’t helped their dog and they’d ruined her coat. (It’s the Dogs’ Life)

HUMOR

  • 10 Awesome Screenshots from One Dog Food Commercial. Totally hilarious. (Best Week Ever)
  • His Face Every Time I Catch a Fish. This is… so good. This man’s hound makes the exact same expression of curious bewilderment whenever there is a fish in the boat. (Full Pelt)
  • What Dogs Want. This might be one of the best things I’ve seen on the Internet. Cartoonist Lisa Hanawalt shows us what dogs really want: To chase pigeons with hot dogs in their beaks. A tennis ball bride. A house made of old fish. (The Hairpin)

PRODUCT REVIEWS

TRAINING THEORY

  • Anger and Anger Management. The great Patricia McConnell reflects on whether dogs can get angry. Fascinating! (The Other End of the Leash)
  • A Canine Stress Dictionary. A list of common signs and symptoms that may indicate that your dog is totally stressed out. (Whole Dog Journal)
  • De-bunking the “Alpha Dog” Theory. Pat Miller, a positive trainer I respect, reflects on why this theory of the “alpha dog” needs to fall by the wayside. This is something I definitely wish all dog owners knew today. It always surprises me how widespread this theory is–even at the shelter. Seasoned volunteers and sometimes staff members use “alpha dog” language to talk about “problem” dogs and I often wish I had enough credibility to speak up about it. (The Hydrant)
  • Lure and Clicker Training to Teach Sit: Advantages and Disadvantages. Patricia McConnell discusses the pros and cons of using either a lure or a clicker to teach a dog how to sit. She also wonders if anyone is a combination trainer, perhaps using a mix of both techniques? (The Other End of the Leash)

TRAINING TIPS

Watching bugs
Our foster, Laszlo.

My Favorite Dog Books
(Click on a title to be taken to my review.)

Last updated: 8 May 2012

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2 thoughts on “Resources

  1. Wow! I love your resources for first time (and longtime) dog parents.

    I wrote a page on the difference between big and little dogs social skills and body language awareness. A big chunk of fear and dog to dog tension can be reduced when dog parents know and plan ahead. Let me know if you want to read, “Dangerous Moments for Dogs.”

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