Many years ago, when I was relatively new to dog-owning, a friend and neighbor asked if I would take a look at his Irish setter, who was not doing well. The dog was middle-aged and physically very active, but recently had been suspiciously unwilling or unable even to stand up and walk around. The friend loved his dog very much and wanted to know what I thought might be wrong.
I went to his house and there was the dog, curled up on a dog bed, alert and eager to greet me—but he would not stand up. I figured that, as [...]
Bratty barking—what is it? Bratty barking is the term I use for my own dog’s demand barking. When he barks because he wants something, that’s demand barking—he’s demanding what he wants.
Demand barking is different from, say, alert barking—the barking your dog does when he sees someone approaching your home, for example. The postal carrier is on your porch, your dog barks to alert you to that intrusion. A car parks in front of your house, your dog barks. He’s saying: “Alert, alert! Approach imminent! Warning! Warning!” That sort of barking is usually helpful to you, as long as it does [...]
You’ve decided that you are ready for a new pet. You can afford another pet, you’re set up for another pet, you understand the extra time and effort that will be required to integrate a new pet into your household. If you have a roommate, spouse, children, seniors living with you—everyone agrees. You’re even fairly certain that the pet or pets you already have will be at least okay (if not enthusiastic) about a new family member. Now . . . how do you pick the new pet?
If you already have a dog, the worst reason to get another dog is to keep [...]