After 23 years of editing this publication, there are some topics I could speak knowledgeably about for hours to any random crowd of dog owners. Crate-training, house-training, heartworm disease, nail-trimming, vaccination – these topics are throughly in my wheelhouse, and when I read the articles on these topics that are submitted by my expert contributors, I rarely learn facts that are brand new to me (though they will be super useful to people with less dog-owning experience).
But I am also happy to report that, pretty much every month, at least one (and usually more) of the articles that are submitted to me contains completely novel information and time/money/heartache-saving advice I’ve never read elsewhere.
The first article appearing in the July 2021 issue is one such piece. In the process of researching advice for people who had been bitten by someone else’s dog, author Lisa Rodier not only answered the question of what dog-bite victims should do, but also what most dog owners should do to protect themselves in case their dogs should bite someone. A lifelong dog owner, I never knew there was such a thing as dog-bite liability insurance or that I should confirm whether my homeowner’s insurance would adequately protect me if one of my dogs bit someone (as unlikely as I hope that would be!).
It may not be easy to discover this information. When, to take this advice myself, I asked our insurance agent these questions, he referred me to our carrier’s underwriting department – he couldn’t tell me whether we were covered if one of our dogs bit someone! It took some time to reach a human in the underwriting department – and then more time to thoroughly convince that person that neither of my dogs had bitten anyone, that I was just trying to get information! – before I was able to ascertain that, yes, our umbrella policy would protect us if one of our dogs bit someone. Sheesh!
But it’s our goal to bring value and an effective and uniquely dog-friendly approach to all of our articles, even those that discuss topics that you may be very familiar with yourself. Take, for example, the article by trainer Kathy Callahan, discussing whether it’s a good idea to allow your new puppy to sleep in bed with you. Search that topic online and you will find a wealth of articles saying, “Don’t do it! Crate that puppy! Close your ears to the crying and stiffen your resolve!” But that’s outdated advice. Today’s educated trainers like Callahan understand that such a rigid recommendation is as likely to trigger a young puppy’s separation anxiety as it is to work out without any further drama. Count on WDJ to bring you an effective, modern look at perennial problems.