Winners! 101 Doggy Dilemmas by Tony Cruse

Thanks to all who entered our give-away for:

101 Doggy Dilemmas Cover




a Rafflecopter giveaway


101 Doggy Dilemmas by Tony Cruse Book Review-Give-Away

“Your dog should cause you to smile

at least once a day!”

Dakota makes me smile TONS of times per day and I am sure that your dog(s) do too! We all love our dogs, right? When they are at their best and most obedient and loving, life couldn’t be better, The doggy kisses, the look of love that emanates from their eyes, their cuddly natures. But, like people, sometimes those we love most behave in ways in which we think they have lost their minds . We often stop and wonder:

“Why does my dog do that?”

Today, I am happy to present  a book to you that just might give you some of the answers you are looking for!

101 Doggy Dilemmas Cover

I know, there are tons of articles, blogs and books that answer some of the same questions, but this book is written in a way that will enable you to get your answers without wading through a ton of scientific mumbo-jumbo.

Based on the questions expert dog trainer Tony Cruse has been asked in his hundreds of dog training consultations and on his many radio appearances, this practical book provides a host of answers & advice to help you understand your canine companion better.

When Dakota first became a part of our family in 2007, I had never had any pets other than cats, (other than when my family had a Boxer when I was a little girl. I was so young, that nothing that my parents did to work on her exuberant behavior was absorbed into my undeveloped pea brain). Even as an adult, not being as dog attuned as many of my readers, there were things that Dakota did (and still does), that left me bewildered and baffled.

From Tony Cruse:

“I wanted to create a definitive book about those confusing dog behaviours that was simple, clear-cut and entertaining alongside its value as a reference text, I quickly learned that most owners have hundreds of questions about why their dogs do certain things, so I decided to compile the most common into something I could share with the world.”

“Dogs are much more complex, thoughtful and compassionate creatures than most think, and I really feel that this book showcases the depth of their personalities. I hope it helps owners understand, interact with and ultimately grow closer to their dogs – while giving each animal an opportunity to finally have his or her voice heard!”

101 Doggy Dilemmas is arranged by easy-to-find topics. You will discover the reasons behind many of your dogs behaviors that make you want to tear your hair out. Some of the behaviors that I needed answers to and tips to prevent, (and found!) were:

Why does my dog bark at the postman?

Why does my dog steal shoes? 

Why does my dog pull on the lead?

Why does my dog chase cars?

Why does my dog howl when I’m not there?

(Note about the  howling question above. Dakota does not do this, but there were two other dogs who used to live in our building that did this for HOURS on end. It became extremely annoying and troublesome.)

Why does my dog lick me all the time? This one is a personal fave. A self-professed “cat person”, (ok folks,  I LOVE my dog and other dogs, but I will confess, sometimes they are just too “in my face” for me. It Doesn’t make me love my dog any less, I’m just keeping it real here!) By reading the “why” I learned that:

Our soft skin has a salty taste that our dogs may like. It also usually gets a reaction which maybe as subtle as a laugh. This reaction encourages the licking next time. And so the dog’s routine greeting becomes a happy licking-fest. It is also thought that licking is a pacifying action, often seen when puppies lick their mothers’ mouths. 

This was something I had never known! In reference to this question, and all 100 other questions in 101 Doggy Dilemmas, you will have an explanation, followed by Tony’s “Quick Tips” to help change/re-direct the unwanted behavior. All of the tips are humane, loving and caring.

So what is the solution to the above behavior? You will have to read the book to find out.

A sampling of other  questions that are included:

Why does my dog cower from people trying to pet him?

Why does my dog bark at other dogs?

Why does my dog follow me everywhere? 

The last question I am going to post will be of interest to many readers who blog or need to photograph their dogs for other reasons: Why does my dog not like his photograph taken?  I often read the blogs of many bloggers whom I admire and I marvel at the incredible photos that are consistently taken that show posing dogs, dogs in different scenarios with props, training photos, etc., and I think, “Why does this not work for me?” Well, in reference to myself there are TONS of reasons as to why, but in 101 Doggy Dilemmas, Tony Cruse offered some logical tips that just might change things around! I know many of you already know these tips, but for those who are still baffled about how to get your dog to cooperate during photo sessions, there IS hope!

I give 101 Doggy Dilemmas a resounding 4-paws and 2-human hands raised high with a few barks thrown in for good measure!




Visit the official website for 101 Doggy Dilemmas

GIVE-AWAY!!!!  TWO OF MY READERS WHO ARE 18 AND OVER AND WHO RESIDE ANYWHERE IN THE USA AND EUROPE!  will each win a copy of 101 Doggy Dilemmas!! (An approx $12 value).  Entering is easy-peasy!!! Just enter on the rafflecopter below and be sure to complete the MANDATORY requirement! Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway








Tony is full-time dog trainer who also advises on a variety of canine behaviours. He writes for various magazines and appears frequently on a number of radio stations. He writes in a simple and clear style which appeals to pet dog owners in these busy times. Visit Tony’s website here.


In full disclosure: I was not compensated for this review/give-away. I was sent a copy of 101 Doggy Dilemmas in exchange for my always honest review.





Raising Dogs With Common Sense by Angela Thompson Roberts

When Dakota first joined our family in October of 2007, while being ecstatic about having my life-long dream of having a Shetland Sheepdog finally coming true, I was at a loss as to how to be a good and responsible dog owner.

Why? I had a cat for 18 years prior to Dakota’s arrival, and the only other dog I lived with was when I was a child, (and that was only from ages 2 to approx age 7).

I wish I had Raising Dogs With Common Sense by Angela Thompson Roberts at that most confusing time. When I first read the title I thought, “hmmm…can I help Dakota to HAVE common sense?” but that isn’t what the book is about AT ALL. It’s about helping and guiding dog owners who, whether they are adding their first dog to their family or 20th, make better decisions and choices  to help them “raise healthy, low-maintenance pets while saving time, money and worry.” The information in this book applies to ALL dog breeds!



Author Roberts dedicates this book to her first bulldog, “Odis”. She raised him from age 6 weeks onward. He led to a “20-year hobby of raising dogs.”

I love that Angela states: “I am not a veterinarian, nor do I possess a vet-tech degree; however, I do consider myself to be an expert in raising dogs the right way.” My “common sense” approach includes providing the best nutrition possible, following simple guidelines, spending a few minutes per day to reinforce basic training, and knowing how to handle emergencies.”

Angela focuses heavily on how to avoid illnesses and injuries. She also advises you to establish a good relationship with a vet who exhibits compassion, and is willing to respond to your telephone call in the event of an emergency, REGARDLESS OF THE HOUR.

In Raising Dogs with Common Sense you will learn things such as:

  • How to socialize your dog
  • What your first purchases should be (accessories, etc.)
  • How to handle chewing and biting
  • How to select your Veterinarian
  • General Healthcare
  • and much, much more!

Some Suggestions that I loved were:

  • Purchasing a waterproof mattress cover if your new pup/dog sleeps in the same bed with you
  • Warning that ANYTHING that is small enough to be swallowed should be kept away from the dog/pup. “If it can be swallowed, but it’s not FOOD, it can result in exploratory surgery, because it doesn’t digest.”


Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

  • Keep a bottle of Peroxide and Mineral Oil in your home-read the book to find out why!

And more!

Written in a straight forward and often humorous manner, Raising Dogs with Common Sense is one of a number of handy reference books that you will want to add to your doggy tool box!




I was not compensated for this review. I was asked by the author if I would review her book. I was sent a copy by the author in exchange for my honest review.





Cardinal Pet Care’s New Training FYI E-Newsletter Delves into Canine Behavior

Cardinal Pet Care’s new Training FYI e-newsletter offers great insights into canine behavior and information on new products designed to make training a dog easier and more fun for both the dog and the owner/trainer.  Each bi-monthly e-newsletter will feature news for trainers and interesting articles that provide a fascinating glimpse into subjects such as how dogs read human faces and why some breeds of dogs may live longer than others.

Trainers and those interested in training can opt-in to receive the free bi-monthly e-newsletter via email by clicking here.  Sign up is secure; Cardinal Pet Care will not sell any email addresses and subscribers can opt-out at any time.

Cardinal is a solar powered company “Devoted to Pets, People and the Planet.”  In addition to providing pets with the highest quality health care, food and treats, Cardinal is proud to be currently reducing its carbon footprint by over 28 tons a month. Cardinal’s solar-powered corporate offices, warehouses and manufacturing facilities are located in Azusa, CA.

For more information, visit the Cardinal Pet Care website at or call 1-800-433-7387.

Book Review: “Finally Home” By Elizabeth Parker

Hi Everyone!  It’s Dakota’s “Mom” and today I am taking over his blog to tell you about a wonderful book that I read over the weekend.  The  book is “Finally Home” By Elizabeth Parker.

From “Finally Home”

“There is a time in everyone’s life when they have been emotionally inspired or amazed by something that was completely unexpected. Sometimes it is so touching, that they want to share their experience with the world and tell their story. 
This particular story is about a precious heart along with a free-spirited little boy who owns that heart. This little boy has expressive brown eyes, a beautiful smile, and golden-brown coat that he never takes off. He also has a huge pinkish-brown nose and four very fast legs. His name is Buddy. He answers to that…when he wants to.”

Do any of you have a “free-spirited” dog? A dog who has a mind of its own, who will obey your commands when HE feels like it, who is high-energy and a fur-bundle of mischief? Who even in his “adult” years still exhibits behavior that normally is reserved for puppies?  Do you have a dog that will eat ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that isn’t fastened to the ground, table, chair or wherever? Do you have a dog that defies all traditional “textbook” training methods?

If you said “yes” to any one of the above questions then you will relate to “Buddy” the free-spirited Golden Retriever who was  the inspiration behind Elizabeth Parker’s “Finally Home.”

When I began reading “Finally Home” I was instantly reminded of Marley (from the book and movie, Marley & Me.  Marley, however was a Labrador Retriever)

“Goldens” are known for their “well-behaved and friendly temperament”.  Buddy, well-behaved? No. Friendly, definitely.

I am a Mom of a “free-spirited” dog, the namesake of this blog, Dakota. While reading “Finally Home” I found myself nodding my head in recognition. When we first acquired Dakota there were times, as was the case with Buddy, that I literally thought he was insane. I thought I would never get him to understand the concept of going outside to pee, I thought we would never break his eating wood addiction, his thievery (we have yet to conquer that but it HAS gotten better), his neurotic barking (well, that also still continues!), and his obeying commands when HE feels like it! (Ummm…that continues as well!) In spite of or BECAUSE of all of his idiosyncracies I adore him, he is a loving and sensitive dog and I wouldn’t have him any other way.


As is the case with people, there are dogs whose behavior was shaped by their environment (being given rewards for “bad” behavior instead of reinforcing good behavior, being so dreadfully emotionally neglected that they will do anything to be noticed.)  In some cases the behavior is a result of environmental shaping, in other instances it is just a case of   the gene pool, or how the cards were dealt. In other words, often there isn’t a whole heck of  a lot you can do to change the dog but you can love it, nurture it, find “creative” training methods and simply accept the dog for who he is.

Love and acceptance go a long way in changing unwanted behavior.

When Buddy was adopted by Elizabeth and her (now) husband Michael, they became Buddy’s fourth home. As you read  this love-filled, engrossing and in many cases  laugh-out-loud funny story that will also touch your soul, you will find that when Elizabeth and Michael adopted Buddy, through their understanding,  love, attention, devotion and a host of other positive reinforcement methods,  Buddy did indeed learn what it is like to be “Finally Home”.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  For the first time in any book review that I have done, I am omitting this section. Why? I don’t want to reveal anything about what is coming in Elizabeth’s next book that I will be reviewing:  “Buddy’s Book.”  I will be sure to include an “About The Author” description at that time. If you absolutely cannot wait until December 5th for me to include that, click here

In the meantime, from Elizabeth: “although Buddy found a family that loves him beyond belief, not all dogs are lucky enough to get that chance.  If just one person will stop and think about the welfare of a dog after reading my book, then it was all worth it.”

To buy “Finally Home” click here “

*A portion of the proceeds from the sales of this book will be donated to an animal rescue group.*