Training ideas:

Crate Training: Crate training is typically used with younger dogs, to keep them from having accidents in the house. The puppy is put into a crate at night, and his/her natural instinct is to avoid soiling their sleeping areas. This worked wonders with my dog (for privacy reasons we'll call him Joey) who grew very attached to his crate. Later, once the dog is trained to regard the entire house as his home and not his bathroom, the crate is removed and the dog will sleep anywhere you let him, probably finding a location (logical or not) in which they feel secure and comfortable. Joey enjoys squooshing all 70 pounds of lithe muscle onto the third step on our staircase, much to the annoyance of nighttime ascenders.

Consistent exercise: My mother is an marathon runner. My father used to be. And I frequently attempt to run the 1-mile loop in our neighborhood but typically end up winded and discouraged. Myself not withstanding, cross-country runs in our family's blood, Joey included. His stamina, health, and general attitude tend to fluctuate with how much he has been running recently. Friends will often remark: "Hey, I saw your dog running with some lady today. Is that your mom?" Hard to believe, but it's true: my friends know my puppy better than my parents. That's also an indicator of how much Joey loves his runs. He isn't the brightest bulb in the box, but whenever my mom pulls on her blue cross-country sneakers, Joey will follow her around like... well, like a puppy.



The quintessential Marley and Me, by John Grogan

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls (Bring tissues!)

Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo (Not dogs, but go figure)

Note: has an excellent list of Great "Dog" Books, and all of the above (my favorites) happen to be on it. Copy and paste this link into your URL bar: