February 2012 - The Optimal Dog - The Optimal Dog

Monthly Archives

Pet Obesity — Will Your Dog Die 1.8 Years Too Soon?

This article was written by Chris Redenbach CDBC, CBCC-KA, a certified dog behavior consultant and owner of the Balanced Dog, a canine training service based in Atlanta, Georgia.  To learn more about Coach Chris, please visit our “Contributing Authors” page. Obesity and Heartbreak My mother loved her dog intensely. I gave Eco, a Bouvier des Flandres, to […]

Real (Non-Millanian) Evidence That Exercise Will Improve Your Dog’s Behavior

Perhaps you’ve heard a little Mexican-American fella with a meticulously coiffed goatee and rollerblades tell you that the three fundaments of successfully managing unwanted canine behaviors are “exercise, discipline, and affection — in that order.” Well, if you’re reading this blog, chances are that you’re a bit more skeptical than the average bear.  If you’re […]

Maintaining Balance in Canine Muscular Development — Fast-Twitch, Slow-Twitch, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Speaking generally, your skeletal muscle fibers fall into two broad categories, Type I  and Type II.  Type I fibers commonly are called “slow-twitch,” Type II fibers usually are referred to as “fast-twitch,” and the colloquial monikers are pretty appropriate: the maximum contraction velocity of a slow-twitch fiber is significantly slower than that of a fast-twitch […]

Canine Personality Types — Myth or Reality?

For a doggie-centric lesson on why you shouldn’t always trust advice given by “experts” (be they of the self-appointed or certified variety), try this easy three-step exercise: 1.  Google “canine personality types”; 2.  Record the number of different (and inconsistent) canine personality-type paradigms that are discussed in just the top-three search results; and 3.  Record […]

Interval Training Works For Dogs Too (or Kiss Your “Packed Schedule” Excuses Goodbye)

Early this morning an article appeared in the New York Times, extolling the benefits of high-intensity interval training in light of new scientific findings suggesting that short, high-intensity interval workouts may boost cardiovascular fitness just as effectively as longer, more traditional cardio workouts.  The studies upon which the NYT commentary is based can be found […]

Canine Chocolate Toxicosis — Urban Legend or Legitimate Concern?

It’s Valentine’s Day — another holiday that dogs don’t understand. Of course, they don’t need to possess a fully-developed concept of a holiday in order to feel comfort or excitement when we shower them with love, affection, and gifts.  But if there is someone important in your life whose concept of Valentine’s Day is a bit […]

On The Difference Between “Reasons” and “Excuses”

We prove what we want to prove, and the real difficulty is to know what we want to prove. – Emile Auguste Chartier Is today the first time you’ve thought that your dog would be happier and healthier if she lost some weight? Probably not. If you’ve read this blog before (somewhat unlikely) or if […]