I love to write but I’m not a fast writer; I’m one of those folks who self-edits relentlessly as I go along, rather than just get the ideas out and polish later. So I’m often in awe of writers who seem to effortlessly and prolifically produce thoughtful/thought-provoking, well-organized, articulate blog posts that show up in my feeds or inbox. For my own post this time, I thought I’d share some of the bloggers that most inspire me, interest me, or get my brain cells working overtime with their provocative ideas. So, in no special order, here goes…
My Favorite Training and Behavior Blogs
NOTES FROM A DOG WALKER — Jessica Dolce describes herself as “just a stubborn, high drive, well-meaning mutt,” but I’d give her a whole lot more credit than that. I started following her last July when I saw one of her posts on Facebook (“How I Failed as a Rescuer: Lessons From a Sanctuary”) and responded to it myself…along with hundreds of other readers, most of whom, but not all, applauded and supported her words. That post did create a lot of controversy as well and I had to figure out how to stop getting others’ comments sent to me automatically as they were truly clogging up by email! Nonetheless, I’ve continued to thoroughly enjoy Jessica’s posts and truly admire her knowledge, wit, and creativity. (She’s also the person who started the DINOS™ , or Dogs In Need of Space, movement, which addresses the issue of dogs who aren’t comfortable meeting other canines out in public.)
THE OTHER END OF THE LEASH – Written by noted behaviorist and author Patricia McConnell, this blog is very high on my list of recommendations. I love the down-to-earth but incredibly interesting way that Trisha helps her readers increase their understanding and appreciation for canine behavior, body language, and all kinds of dog-related issues. She’s not afraid to acknowledge her own challenges and frustrations with the dogs in her life, and takes the time to respond to many of the comments left on her blog – so you know she’s really reading and thinking about them. Make sure you peruse the rest of her website as well; you’ll no doubt find much helpful information and resources.
DR. SOPHIA YIN’S ANIMAL BEHAVIOR AND MEDICINE BLOG – Sophia Yin ranks up there with Trisha McConnell among my personal heroes in the dog training world. She is both a veterinarian and animal behaviorist so combines extensive experience in both arenas in her work. Her blog may be a bit on the “heavy” side for the average dog owner, but provides a wealth of great knowledge for those working in the field or those wanting to expand their personal knowledge and training skills. Dr. Yin’s videos are especially well done and fascinating to watch. Sign up for her email newsletter to keep up with her work.
MY SMART PUPPY — A fun and highly informative blog from trainer and writer Sarah Wilson. Short, to-the-point, and valuable posts on puppy (and adult dog) behavior, training tips, and additional links. DVGRR has included Sarah’s book by the same name (co-written with Brian Kilcommons) on our list of recommended reading for puppy adopters. In addition, Sarah and Brian’s book on choosing the right breed for your lifestyle, Paws to Consider, is one of my absolute, all-time favorite dog books. I’ve loaned my copy to many people and every one of them has thanked me profusely.
CANIS BONUS — I’ve just started following this blog recently but really like the content. Very diverse and well-written. Don’t be put off by the fact that blogger Laure-Anne Viselé writes from The Netherlands as her work is extremely relevant to U.S. based dogs and dog owners. One of the things I like about her blog is the page she created to advise readers of her philosophical position on various, sometimes controversial, issues in the dog world. If you share her viewpoints, you’ll find the blog very affirming. If you don’t, she may win you over anyway!
VICTORIA STILLWELL POSITIVELY — I’m not a big fan of dog training shows on TV, but I do have high regard for Victoria Stillwell’s approach and training style. I think she’s done a good job of helping to bring positive, rewards-based training into viewers’ living rooms and hopefully she counterbalances some of the ideas and techniques espoused by other, more force-based (in my opinion) celebrity dog trainers. Take a look at the blog, the website, and her show, if you aren’t familiar with it.
WILDE ABOUT DOGS – Lots of good stuff here from noted author and trainer Nicole Wilde. I really like Nicole’s book on separation anxiety as well. It’s called Don’t Leave Me: Step-by-Step Help for Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety and is a very comprehensive guide for dealing with this very frustrating behavior problem.
FEARFUL DOGS BLOG – Our Project Home Life Manager/Assistant Kennel Manager Heather Hatt first led me to an appreciation for the writing of Debbie Jacobs, a specialist in the area of fearful and undersocialized dogs. Heather and Kennel Manager Dennis Stauffer recently met Debbie at a conference where they were co-presenters on programs to assist fearful dogs. One of Debbie’s recent blog posts highlighted our Project Home Life program – a great boost to the visibility of this important DVGRR initiative! (Read the comments to see Debbie’s description of Heather after meeting her as “innovative and compassionate” – very true!)
My Favorite Health Care Blogs
THE PREVENTIVE VET – OK, let’s move over to the health care side of dog-related blogs. I love this blog and website written by veterinarian Jason Nicholas, whose primary focus is helping dog owners keep their canine companions safe with easy-to-follow preventive measures. His tag line: “Protect your pets. Protect your pocketbook.” Who can argue with that? From the website, you can purchase and download a very comprehensive Whole Home Pet Proofing Guide, with lots of great safety tips. Dr. Nicholas has also written two books on pet safety – one for dogs and one for cats – that will be published in the near future.
SPEAKING FOR SPOT – If you are looking for timely, succinct, highly relevant posts on canine health, look no further than this blog by Dr. Nancy Kay. I have the utmost respect for Dr. Kay after reading both of her books (Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health) and following her blog posts. She’s really in tune with what dog owners need as far as understanding the myriad of canine health conditions and communicating effectively with veterinary professionals. (Note: Should you purchase Speaking for Spot from Dr. Kay’s website, be sure to list DVGRR as your nonprofit organization of choice to receive a portion of the proceeds. We are a participating member of the Speaking for Spot Gives Back program.)
DOLITTLER BLOG – I first came across Dr. Patty Khuly when she was blogging for a site called Fully Vetted a few years ago. I found her posts highly enjoyable and quite witty, not to mention informative about many health and health-related topics. This is her own site, and well worth taking a look at. She’s a real multi-tasker so don’t read her bio unless you want to feel seriously inadequate!
Just for Fun
NITPICKER’S NOOK — These last two have nothing to do with dogs, but I count them among my favorites anyway so thought I’d share. Nitpicker’s Nook is for grammar freaks, wordsmiths, and anyone who loves language and communication. Yes, I fall into all those categories! Seriously, this site also has great articles on workplace etiquette, getting along effectively with coworkers, and lots of other great resource info applicable to everyone who wants to succeed in their chosen profession.
MADE JUST RIGHT BY EARTH BALANCE – this food-oriented blog (people food, not dog food!) is published by Earth Balance, a company that makes healthy, plant-based alternatives to some popular dairy foods like milk, butter, and mayonnaise. I signed up to follow it as I like and use their products, but I didn’t expect to get so many yummy sounding recipes sent to me almost daily! Very tempting! For anyone who wants to improve their health and the environment, who eats (or would like to eat) a vegetarian or vegan diet, and who loves to cook (the last one is where I fall short, I’m afraid), check it out and enjoy!
If you find a blog you like, be sure to subscribe or add it to your feeds so you will be updated when a new post is published. Also, please add to my list by sending along your favorite blogs as well — I would love to hear what they are.
Alli and I wish everyone a very happy holiday season filled with lots of doggie kisses and Golden fur!