Episode 80 of DogCast Radio is now available. The first interview is with dog aggression expert, Susie Aga. It's always great to talk to Susie, as she has such wonderful insight into canine thinking and behaviour. In this episode she is giving advice in response to a listener's problem. Katarina Anthony is having problems with her German Shepherd, Bismakr, who is constantly vying with one of his companions, a Great Dane/Shepherd mix, for the position of top dog.
It sounds like Katarina is doing many of the right things to keep the peace, but Susie has lots of suggestions for further action. She talks about how to arrange feeding more than one dog to avoid sparking off a problem. She also talks about how to spot which of your dogs is the higher ranking one. Susie herself lives six rescue dogs, and has experience in managing unwelcome behaviours.
You can also hear Susie in Episode 52 talking about the causes of dog aggression, and how you can avoid it. There are many different types of aggression, and Susie has some great tips for bringing up a puppy in a way to minimise this behaviour. One of the best things you can do is socialise your dog to as many different situations as possible. Susie suggests letting him encounter different surfaces to walk on - for example sand, which is probably going to be different from anything else he has encountered. She also says that one of the ultimate things a dog can encounter is a balloon, because nothing else behaves like that.
It's a New Year when many of us make a new start, giving up some things, taking up others. According to research done in the UK, many dog owners are changing their dog's diet too. Apparently we're not only swapping bones for broccoli, but we're also choosing to give our dogs vitamin supplements.
I have been giving Buddy, my black Lab, cod liver oil supplement for about three or four months now. It took a while but I can really see a difference in his coat now. Other people are noticing too, and he gets lots of comments about how his coat is smooth and shiny. It also seems to have helped cut out his dandruff, which showed up very strongly against his black fur. Hopefully the oil should also help keep his joints in good working order too.
The fiction feature in this episode is written by Kate Coldham, from our DogCast Radio News team. It's read by the other half of the news team (and Kate's "other half" too) Nick Coldham. It's called Be Careful What You Wish For. Kate and Nick also have the first news of 2009.