Shared Blog Post – Just a Whisper: The Early Signs of Fear in Dog Body Language, Eileen Anderson,

< Updated 24OCT22 >

In this blog post from October 20, 2022, Eileen Anderson of and co-author of  Puppy Socialization – What It Is and How to Do It discusses a recent walk with her 18-month-old dog Lewis. She describes his first encounter with a new object, a trailer parked in front of the house next door. Eileen also includes photos that illustrate the very subtle body language, whispers as she describes them, that Lewis expressed that indicate his wariness towards the trailer.

I believe it is essential for everyone with a dog to be very familiar with its body language. This is even more important if the dog is not socialized or expresses fear and anxiety. It is not uncommon for rescue dogs to have little or no socialization and to be fearful in new situations. When we react to the whispers before the shouting (growling, barking, lunging) starts, we have saved our dog from unnecessary trauma, which should ALWAYS be our goal.

Read Eileen’s blog post at


Shared Blog Post – You Have to Stop! Interrupting Unwelcome Puppy Play Toward an Older Dog from

< Updated 21APR22 >

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Puppies can often be relentless when getting an older dog to play. While your senior dog may enjoy an opportunity to wrestle and play chase games with a puppy, odds are they will reach a point when they have had enough. Unfortunately, not all older dogs successfully tell the pup when to stop and, sadly, allow themselves to become miserable punching bags. In this blog post from Eileen Anderson, co-author of the fantastic book Puppy Socialization, she discusses how to deal with a pup harassing your older dog. –

Book Reviews – Knowledge to Enrich the Life of You and Your Dog – The Best Dog Books of 2021

< A version of this article was published in the December 2021 issue of Downeast Dog News>

< Updated 15NOV21 >

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It’s the holiday season and a time when we often think about giving gifts to others. The greatest gift my parents gave me was a love of reading and a thirst for knowledge. It was a gift given out of love, knowing that it had the potential to benefit not only me but those around me. I believe it was the greatest gift I have ever received. It has nurtured my life-long love of learning, a character trait essential for any professional. What we have learned about dogs and cats in the last 30 years is amazing, and if you haven’t been keeping up, you are out of date as much of what we thought we knew has been proven incomplete or wrong.

As you may know, I often write about my favorite dog book of the year in December. This year I am highlighting two books whose content can help enrich the lives of you and your dog.

Puppy Socialization: What It Is and How to Do It by Marge Rogers and Eileen Anderson contains knowledge essential to anyone who works with puppies, has a puppy, or is contemplating getting a puppy. It is available as a paperback or in multiple e-book formats.  It is available as a paperback or in multiple e-book formats.

The concept of puppy socialization was extensively researched at Maine’s own Jackson Laboratory for 20 years, culminating in the publication of Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog by Scott and Fuller in 1965. Yet, 47 years later, too many in the dog world still do not understand the essential basics of puppy socialization. For example, it has a specific endpoint (12 to 16 weeks of age), it is as important as vaccinations, it doesn’t happen by accident but requires careful planning, it involves meeting more than the neighbors and their dog, it means creating a positive association with new things, requires you to advocate for what is best for your puppy, and is essential for normal social development.

As a canine behavior consultant, I assist people with dogs with deep-seated anxiety and often anti-social behavior that is likely the result of inappropriate or inadequate socialization during the critical period. This debilitating mental illness might have been prevented had the person caring for the dog understood puppy socialization. Reading and following the precepts in Puppy Socialization: What It Is and How to Do It might prevent you from ever needing the services of a canine behavior consultant or veterinary behaviorist.

Rogers and Anderson’s book will teach those who read it what they need to know to socialize their puppy, thus helping them have a great life together. In addition to the easy-to-read text and beautiful photographs, the book includes links to over 50 online videos. Note, it is easiest to access those videos and other online resources from one of the e-book editions.

I am so impressed by Puppy Socialization: What It Is and How to Do It that I am: 1) making it required reading for all Green Acres Kennel Shop staff, 2) incorporating it into the curriculum for my online Puppy Headstart class, 3) will be including copies for all students in that class starting January 1st, and 4) will be gifting the book to several veterinary colleagues so that they may share it with their staff after reading it themselves.

Feeding Dogs. Dry or Raw? The Science Behind The Debate by Conor Brady, PhD. will hopefully end the debate over how to feed our dogs for optimum health. Dr. Brady spent 10-years examining what the scientific literature tells us about canine nutrition answering such questions as: is the dog a carnivore or omnivore, what are the problems with feeding kibble, why are so many people pro-kibble and anti-fresh food despite evidence to the contrary, and how to feed a dog a species-appropriate diet for optimal health. In addition, you will find a comprehensive reference list to the peer-reviewed scientific research supporting the author’s conclusions at the end of each section.

Available as a hardcover book or four e-books, Brady’s Feeding Dogs is worth every penny for those who understand that proper nutrition is the foundation of physical, mental, and emotional health. In my opinion, Feeding Dogs should be required reading for every student of veterinary medicine and recommended to every pet parent interested in optimal nutrition.

If you want to learn more about Feeding Dogs and Dr. Brady before reading the book, I encourage you to listen to this 40-minute interview at

No matter which winter holidays you celebrate, I wish you and your pet happy holidays and a great 2022.

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
(  )

Puppy Essentials 101- Body Language & Socialization –

Essential Handouts On Body Language, and Canine and Human Behavior from Dr. Sophia YinPuppy –

Socialization and Habituation –

How Can I Tell When My Dog Is Anxious or Fearful? –

Especially for New Puppy Parents

Alone Training

Which Companies Are Behind Your Pet’s Food?  –

What I Feed My Dog and Why I Feed What I Do –

Pet Food Myths & Facts – No. 1, MYTH – Only a Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionist is qualified to formulate pet food

Pet Nutrition Facts – Do You Want Optimal Nutrition, Low Cost, or Convenience? You CANNOT Have It All

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( )

Podcast – Especially for New Puppy Parents – Part 1

Podcast – Especially for New Puppy Parents – Part 2

Podcast – Especially for New Puppy Parents – Part 3

Don Hanson and Dr. Dave Cloutier on Puppy Socialization and Vaccination

Podcast – What We Feed Our Pets and Why, with – Don Hanson, Kate Dutra, and Linda Case

Podcasts-Two Conversations with Animal Nutritionist Dr. Richard Patton

Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( ) in Bangor, Maine, where he has been helping people with their pets since 1995. He is also the founder of, an online educational resource for people with dogs and cats. Don is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC), and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). He is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG). Don is committed to PPG’s Guiding Principles and the Pain-Free, Force-Free, and Fear-Free training, management, and care of all pets. He serves on the PPG Steering Committee and Advocacy Committee and is the Chair of The Shock-Free Coalition ( ). Don produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show, that airs on Z62 Retro Radio WZON (AM620) and WKIT 103.3-HD3 streamed at every Saturday at 9 AM. Podcasts of the show are available at, the Apple Podcast app, and Don’s blog:  The opinions in this post are those of Don Hanson.

©28NOV21, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Shared Blog Post – Does a Wagging Tail Mean a Happy Dog?

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Many people are under the misconception that if a dog is wagging its tail that it is happy and therefore safe to approach. The fact is, a dog may also wag their tail when aroused, when preparing to attack, when anxious, and while hunting prey.

To learn more about dogs and their tails, read this blog post from author and dog trainer Eileen Anderson at her blog eileenanddogs

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog

( )

Introduction to Canine Communication –

Handouts to Download

Body Language of Fear in Dogs Dr. Sophia Yin

Signs of Anxiety and Fear – Dr. Marty Becker


On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals, Turid Rugaas, Dogwise Publishing, 2006

Podcast – Health and Wellness – Eileen Anderson Remember Me? – Loving and Caring for a Dog with Canine Cognitive Dysfunction

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Kate and Don talk with author Eileen Anderson about her book Remember Me – Loving and Caring for a Dog with Canine Cognitive Dysfunction. Like the author, Don and Kate have both lived with older dogs that developed cognitive dysfunction or what is often generically referred to as doggie dementia. No matter how old your dog is, we encourage you to tune into this show, so you are better prepared to recognize signs that your older dog needs some help.

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To Learn More

Website – AND

©11JUN17, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Book Review – Remember Me? Loving and Caring for a Dog with Canine Cognitive Dysfunction by Eileen Anderson

I would recommend that anyone with an older dog read this book. Thanks to modern veterinary medicine our dogs are living longer, and that means that they are more susceptible to age-related disorders like arthritis and dementia. In the past 21 years, I have lived with six dogs that lived into their teens. Three of them, fifty percent, experienced varying levels of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, or what some call “doggie dementia.” I have friends and colleagues that have had dogs that also experienced this disorder. As the owner of a boarding kennel and daycare, I can say, anecdotally, that the incidence of doggie dementia seems to be increasing. That is why I recommend that you read this book.

Author Eileen Anderson starts by sharing the story of her Rat Terrier Cricket and how dementia affected both of their lives. She discusses the symptoms of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, the importance of getting a veterinary diagnosis, and various treatment options. Anderson also explains how to manage your dog’s environment and daily routines to minimize stress for the dog and you. I like that she emphasizes that caring for a dog with this disorder will impact your life and can be a bit of an emotional roller coaster.  Anderson stresses the importance of taking good care of yourself if you want to be able to do the best for your dog.

The author’s guidelines on how to help your dog face specific challenges such as drinking, eating, elimination, hygiene, sleeping and basic movement are all very helpful. I love that she has discussed the importance of mental enrichment to help keep your dog’s mind engaged. Mental stimulation is something that I recommended with a young dog, long before you need to worry about dementia, but I find often overlooked until it is too late. If you are not already providing your dog with frequent mental stimulus, talk to a reward-based trainer and ask how they can help.

Anderson discusses medications and supplements that can be helpful in managing Canine Cognitive Dysfunction. The one area where I differ with her is on the topic of nutrition. I would recommend any pet owner work with a holistic veterinarian to develop a diet made of fresh whole foods, rather than feeding highly processed food from a bag. Nutrition is the foundation of good mental, physical, and emotional health and that starts with fresh food, whether we are a person or a pet.

At the end of the book, there are recommendations on techniques you can use for objectively assessing your dog’s quality of life and on factors to consider when making that difficult decision about euthanasia.

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog (

Assessing Pets’ Welfare Using Brambell’s Five Freedoms


Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show (

Podcast – The Special Needs of Senior Pets with Dr. Mark Hanks from Kindred Spirits Veterinary Clinic

Web Sites

The website companion to Remember Me?

Grief Resources

Argus Institute Counseling and Support Services (Colorado State University)

Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement

Lightning Strike Pet Loss Support


©8-Mar-17, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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