as published in Malibu 90265 The Local
Sharing my love of dogs with other dog lovers is my inspiration for writing this new column, “Canine Conversations” for The Local. In future issues we will address a holistic and ‘whole-istic’ approach to dogs. Not just one aspect
of the dog, but the whole dog. I want to address everything from vet care to behavior and beyond. I welcome your thoughts and questions as we begin an exciting journey understanding man’s best friend.
The relationship between dog and man began before the dog was ever even a dog, and some will say before man really became “man.” I spoke at UCLA a few years ago about the co-evolution of our species. It is poignantly clear that we as a species would not have developed were it not for dogs and we know clearly that dog would have never developed were it not for early mans selected breeding of certain wolves to develop the modern dog. Some say this history dates back over 100,000 years. Since then the journey has continued to develop both of our species. The AKC currently recognizes over 150 breeds of dogs, but there are plenty more that are not formally recognized.
We have developed dogs into man’s best friend, or perhaps dogs have developed themselves into man’s best friend. In either case, I can’t imagine my life without dogs. I spend much of my time training them, more of my life saving them and they are one thing that gives profound meaning to my life.
Your interaction with your dog is not just about what you feed your dog that makes him/her whole, it’s your entire relationship. I will share with you my position on shelter rescues as well as the benefits of saving a dog from a shelter and where to go locally. There are countless dogs in need of a home at shelters within a short drive of our beautiful city including the Agoura Animal Shelter in Agoura Hills as well as The Ventura Shelter in Camarillo. I hope you will consider adopting a pet at one of these shelters if you are thinking of adding a new best friend to your home. There are many breeds, sizes and so many unique personalities of four-legged friends just waiting for a home.
to a better relationship with your dog
1. Train your dog to listen to you and reward him for doing so.
2. Feed your dog the very best food you can afford, read the labels and think of his health.
3. Make sure your dog gets exercise every day. This includes mental and physical exercise.
4. Give your dog special time every day, even if only a few minutes of loving, grooming or petting. The benefits are equal for you and your dog.
5. Your dog needs regular checkups, so once yearly visit your vet.