Training is best done with a healthy subject on a quality diet. There are many choices as to what to feed your dog, and multiple resources to study about diets. Here's where I buy my dog food. I find Christine to be knowledgeable and to constantly read and study what's going on in the world of pet foods, and she carries a large variety of the best-quality foods.
The English Springer Spaniel is one of my favorite breeds. They are not the perfect breed for everyone, by far, and everyone has a different idea of the perfect breed or mutt. I work closely with English Springer Spaniel Rescue (ESRA) and find them to be a well-organized, high-quality rescue group. You might learn something from the way they manage their rescue and adoption services, even if you don't find a Springer to be the right dog for you. There are many great rescue organizations out there, along with some that are difficult to work with and even some that are of questionable reputation; ESRA is one of the best!
Fred Stawitz and Storymakers are the producers of the Achieving Forever video series, created to help dog rescue groups with behavior development in the foster dogs they love and help. Look for the videos here.
Are you looking to understand your dog’s communications better? Check out Turid Rugaas’ photos of Calming Signals and learn to tell when your dog is concerned about something.
121 simple and easy recipes for all sorts of treats from biscuits to muffins and a bonus section of health conscious biscuits to delight your dog.
The advantage of making your own treats is you can completely control the ingredients. You can eliminate preservatives and tailor the recipes to what your dog likes. Also, if you have a dog with food allergies, you can use substitutes for anything he can’t eat. The recipes in this book can be easily customized to suit your dog.
This fun, interactive quiz book tests how much you know about the breeds of dogs that starred in movies and on TV. People of all ages will have fun seeing if they can identify the type of dog that was Marmaduke or Rin Tin Tin or Air Bud. See how many you get right and learn about other breeds that you might not know even exist!
This is a fun, interactive quiz style book to see how much you know about U.S. Presidents and their dogs. Included are 28 Presidents and 77 different breeds of dogs, some of which you may not know even exist!
Enrichment Puzzles you can make for your dogs and cats too!
Disclaimers for all Enrichment Devices: Supervise your pet the first few times you offer one of these inexpensive homemade enrichment toys. If your pet is likely to consume any inedible parts of any of these enrichment devices, don't use them. Most pets will quickly learn to open the flaps of the box, knock the bottle over, tear open the bag, or open up the cardboard tube to get out the actual edibles inside, but some will swallow things they shouldn't; these pets should get only purchased, hard plastic, difficult-to-destroy enrichment devices, at least until they learn to focus on what's inside the toy rather than the paper or plastic exterior. Reuse packaging items to provide fun for your pets, then use it again before finally recycling or throwing the item away.
Bag o'Fun Enrichment for Your Dog
A homemade Bag o'Fun can provide a problem-solving, stress-reducing puzzle to prevent boredom for a dog. These also work for cats, though we usually make them smaller and use cat treats with maybe a bit of catnip and/or a small toy to spice things up for our feline friends. If your dog or cat eats kibble or dry food, put part of a meal in the bag along with some fun things to keep boredom at bay when you have to leave her at home. Experiment with what works for your pet. Parrots love to get at least part of their meal in a bag so they can forage for their food like they would in the wild!
Making a Fun Tube: Enrichment for Your Dog
Make an inexpensive Fun Tube out of a core from a roll of paper towels or toilet paper to brighten up your dog's day. Stuff paper in the ends or fold the ends down to contain the goodies inside. Cats enjoy these also. If your pets eat kibble or dry food, put part of a meal in the tube along with some treats to keep their minds active while they have fun solving the puzzle! Try this with your parrot, too!
Enrichment Box for Dogs
You can put so many different items in an Enrichment Box! Make sure you remove all tape to prevent tongues from getting stuck on it. Fold the box flaps together to close, and watch the fun when you drop this versatile and cheap enrichment device in front of your dog as you leave the house. Put packaged chew bones, stuffed Kongs, part or all of a meal, Fun Tubes, and more inside. Pets can enjoy enrichment boxes in a crate or confinement area, too.
Enrichment for Dogs or Cats: Filled Bottle o'Fun
Stuffed Kongs are fun, but so are your leftover plastic bottles! Start with a bottle with a wider mouth for some animals, till they get the idea of knocking it over to get out the food. You can serve an entire meal in a bottle to spice up your pet's life if he eats dry food! Progress to a capped bottle with a hole drilled in the cap to let just one piece of food out at a time for animals who have already mastered the open bottle. Wash and dry the bottle before filling and watch your pet learn to use his paws and nose to manipulate the device. Add a Filled Bottle o'Fun to an Enrichment Box or a Bag o'Fun for even trickier puzzles!
Here is a video of a cat playing with a Bottle o'Fun:
First published in 1966 but out of print for decades this historic book has been republished by Storymakers, Inc. and is now available! It includes a slate of historic photographs and a Special Introduction by Dr. Robert E. Bailey, ScD.