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WHAT IS A DOG?

by Chloe Shaw ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 13, 2021

A dog lover’s warmhearted delight.

In her first book, Shaw reflects on the meaning of canine companionship and how dogs transformed her life.

After the family dog, Booker, died, a grieving Shaw began contemplating not only what her beloved canine did for her, but also the fears that had been her constant companions. The author was an only child, and her mother's Afghan hound, Easy, became her first “Dog-Sister” and helped her navigate the space between loving parents who avoided strong emotions. Later, a Scottie named Agatha 2 became the first canine to get “lodged in my heart.” The pair grew so attached that the author herself was almost indistinguishable from Agatha 2, with relationships to her “humans” that mirrored those her Scottie had with them. Yet Agatha 2 could not save Shaw from the anxiety that gnawed her from within and manifested as “horribly ravaged fingernails” in an otherwise well-groomed adolescence. Her first teenage love, Josh, taught her how to intimately know herself but caused her guilt for spending time away from an aging Agatha 2. Her dog’s death coincided with a cancer diagnosis for Josh’s mother and high school graduation. Shaw decided to break up with Josh, and when she fell in love again, it would be with her future husband and Booker, a dog she realized had united the “Dog, Girl, Woman, Wife, Mother,” only to shatter her with his death. “Just as Booker’s life so exquisitely fused my separate selves,” she writes, “Booker’s death left me splintered all over again.” Forced to confront her anxiety, Shaw came to understand that the only way to remain whole was to “let in the dogs” of her own fears and feelings. This poignant and gracefully written memoir amply embraces the complexities of the human-dog relationship in a uniquely personal way, and it’s also a moving story of self-acceptance.

Pub Date: July 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-21074-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR | NATURE | GENERAL BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

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New York Times Bestseller

by Stephanie Johnson & Brandon Stanton illustrated by Henry Sene Yee ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 12, 2022

A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

A former New York City dancer reflects on her zesty heyday in the 1970s.

Discovered on a Manhattan street in 2020 and introduced on Stanton’s Humans of New York Instagram page, Johnson, then 76, shares her dynamic history as a “fiercely independent” Black burlesque dancer who used the stage name Tanqueray and became a celebrated fixture in midtown adult theaters. “I was the only black girl making white girl money,” she boasts, telling a vibrant story about sex and struggle in a bygone era. Frank and unapologetic, Johnson vividly captures aspects of her former life as a stage seductress shimmying to blues tracks during 18-minute sets or sewing lingerie for plus-sized dancers. Though her work was far from the Broadway shows she dreamed about, it eventually became all about the nightly hustle to simply survive. Her anecdotes are humorous, heartfelt, and supremely captivating, recounted with the passion of a true survivor and the acerbic wit of a weathered, street-wise New Yorker. She shares stories of growing up in an abusive household in Albany in the 1940s, a teenage pregnancy, and prison time for robbery as nonchalantly as she recalls selling rhinestone G-strings to prostitutes to make them sparkle in the headlights of passing cars. Complemented by an array of revealing personal photographs, the narrative alternates between heartfelt nostalgia about the seedier side of Manhattan’s go-go scene and funny quips about her unconventional stage performances. Encounters with a variety of hardworking dancers, drag queens, and pimps, plus an account of the complexities of a first love with a drug-addled hustler, fill out the memoir with personality and candor. With a narrative assist from Stanton, the result is a consistently titillating and often moving story of human struggle as well as an insider glimpse into the days when Times Square was considered the Big Apple’s gloriously unpolished underbelly. The book also includes Yee’s lush watercolor illustrations.

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-27827-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR | ENTERTAINMENT, SPORTS & CELEBRITY | GENERAL BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR

More by Brandon Stanton

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BOOK REVIEW

by Brandon Stanton

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by Brandon Stanton photographed by Brandon Stanton

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by Brandon Stanton ; photographed by Brandon Stanton

LOVE, PAMELA

LOVE, PAMELA

by Pamela Anderson ‧ RELEASE DATE: Jan. 31, 2023

A juicy story with some truly crazy moments, yet Anderson's good heart shines through.

The iconic model tells the story of her eventful life.

According to the acknowledgments, this memoir started as "a fifty-page poem and then grew into hundreds of pages of…more poetry." Readers will be glad that Anderson eventually turned to writing prose, since the well-told anecdotes and memorable character sketches are what make it a page-turner. The poetry (more accurately described as italicized notes-to-self with line breaks) remains strewn liberally through the pages, often summarizing the takeaway or the emotional impact of the events described: "I was / and still am / an exceptionally / easy target. / And, / I'm proud of that ." This way of expressing herself is part of who she is, formed partly by her passion for Anaïs Nin and other writers; she is a serious maven of literature and the arts. The narrative gets off to a good start with Anderson’s nostalgic memories of her childhood in coastal Vancouver, raised by very young, very wild, and not very competent parents. Here and throughout the book, the author displays a remarkable lack of anger. She has faced abuse and mistreatment of many kinds over the decades, but she touches on the most appalling passages lightly—though not so lightly you don't feel the torment of the media attention on the events leading up to her divorce from Tommy Lee. Her trip to the pages of Playboy , which involved an escape from a violent fiance and sneaking across the border, is one of many jaw-dropping stories. In one interesting passage, Julian Assange's mother counsels Anderson to desexualize her image in order to be taken more seriously as an activist. She decided that “it was too late to turn back now”—that sexy is an inalienable part of who she is. Throughout her account of this kooky, messed-up, enviable, and often thrilling life, her humility (her sons "are true miracles, considering the gene pool") never fails her.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2023

ISBN: 9780063226562

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

More About This Book

Book: Tim Allen Exposed Himself to Pamela Anderson

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2022, Comedy, 1h 41m

What to know

Critics Consensus

Dog 's dramatic breed is far from exotic, but solid narrative bones and well-trained work from co-director/star Channing Tatum make for a fetching viewing experience. Read critic reviews

Audience Says

Dog is as heartwarming as you'd hope, but it also tells a sensitive story about the long road to healing after experiencing the horrors of war. Read audience reviews

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Dog   photos.

DOG is a buddy comedy that follows the misadventures of two former Army Rangers paired against their will on the road trip of a lifetime. Army Ranger Briggs (Channing Tatum) and Lulu (a Belgian Malinois dog) buckle into a 1984 Ford Bronco and race down the Pacific Coast in hopes of making it to a fellow soldier's funeral on time. Along the way, they'll drive each other completely crazy, break a small handful of laws, narrowly evade death, and learn to let down their guards in order to have a fighting chance of finding happiness.

Rating: PG-13

Genre: Comedy

Original Language: English

Director: Reid Carolin , Channing Tatum

Producer: Gregory Jacobs , Peter Kiernan , Brett Rodriguez , Channing Tatum

Writer: Reid Carolin , Brett Rodriguez

Release Date (Theaters): Feb 18, 2022  wide

Box Office (Gross USA): $61.8M

Runtime: 1h 41m

Distributor: United Artists Releasing

Production Co: FilmNation Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Gregory Jacobs, Free Association

Sound Mix: Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio: Scope (2.35:1)

Cast & Crew

Channing Tatum

Jackson Briggs

Q'orianka Kilcher

Ethan Suplee

Emmy Raver-Lampman

Nicole LaLiberte

Luke Forbes

Ranger Jones

Ronnie Gene Blevins

Homeless Vet

Aqueela Zoll

Patricia Isaac

Cayden Boyd

Amanda Booth

Trent Buxton

Jamaal Lewis

Mathew Trent Hunnicutt

Reid Carolin

Screenwriter

Gregory Jacobs

Peter Kiernan

Brett Rodriguez

Betsy Danbury

Executive Producer

Newton Thomas Sigel

Cinematographer

Leslie Jones

Film Editor

Thomas Newman

Original Music

Laurence Bennett

Production Design

Macie Vener

Art Director

Set Decoration

Avy Kaufman

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Audience reviews for dog.

The story is entirely unoriginal and the cliches abound, but Dog still manages to entertain.

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If he thought about it, Briggs ( Channing Tatum ) might believe that the injuries from his service as an Army Ranger have taken everything he had and everything he needed. But he does not think about it. Despite his doctor’s warnings that he has some permanent impairment, he's determined to get back into the Rangers. Service gives him structure, purpose, fellowship, and enough adrenaline to not have to think about the many things he doesn't want to think about, including how much more there is still to lose. 

Briggs needs sign-off from an officer to be readmitted to the Rangers, who call themselves “the Army's premier direct-action raid force.” He has been repeatedly turned down. Finally, an officer says he will authorize Briggs’ reinstatement if he will perform one task, delivering an Army dog to the funeral of a veteran who served with Briggs. The dog is Lulu, a sweet-faced Belgian Malinois who performed many brave rescue operations, but who now is so severely traumatized from being in a war zone that no one can go near her. She has sent three people to the emergency room and been deemed un-salvageable. Until the funeral, she is muzzled and on Prozac. After the funeral, she is scheduled to be put down. 

Briggs, who has said he would do anything to get back into the service, does not want to do this. “You’re asking me to take a dog on a plane to Arizona?” The officer responds, “I’m asking you to drive a Ranger to a funeral.” The dog is too unstable to fly; indeed, Briggs is warned not to let her near any person or animal. But if Briggs can deliver Lulu with no mistakes and no trouble, he can get the approval he needs.

Of course, there will be mistakes and there will be trouble on the road from Oregon to Arizona by way of Los Angeles. There will also be connections from the past, both in person and via an extensive, heartfelt, and very detailed notebook kept by Lulu’s Ranger handler. 

Tatum the actor responds exceptionally well to Tatum the co-director (along with co-screenwriter Reid Carolin , both directing a feature for the first time). In his previous films, Tatum has mostly relied on his natural all-American charm, a boy-we’d-like-to-have-next-door combination of confident strength and self-deprecating humor. We have seen him unhappy and under stress but almost always as a character who keeps those feelings hidden. Here we see his range, with more vulnerability than he has shown on screen before. Briggs tries his utmost to hide his struggle from everyone, including himself. But Tatum lets us see it, without consideration for movie star vanity.

Carolin and Tatum play it safe in some other choices, though, with too many sun flares and postcard-pretty shots of the beautiful western countryside and some on-the-nose song selections for the soundtrack. We do not need to hear Kenny Rogers singing “The Gambler” again; when it comes to that song, it is time to fold ‘em. One of the stops on the road trip is in Portland, and the tired jokes about too-twee Portlandia-ness and Briggs’ efforts to adapt in order to get laid wear thin fast. 

What we’re there to see is two wounded warriors, one human, one canine, heal each other, and that works well. There are some surprising detours along the way, with some characters more interesting than the crunchy Portlandians. The always-welcome Jane Adams brings her delicate sensibility to a character who could easily have been caricatured. Interactions with two other vets also benefit from thoughtful performances. 

Both Briggs and Lulu learn that the skills they relied on in the military might need to be un-learned, or at least kept in check. Lulu knocks down a man in a hotel lobby only because he is wearing Middle Eastern robes. Briggs learns that perhaps you don’t enter someone’s property the way you enter enemy territory, even if you think your dog might be there. They also learn that those skills can have some value in a civilian life, as long as Briggs and Lulu learn to think differently about what they are trying to accomplish with them.

“Dog” is uneven in tone and quality but shows promise in the way Tatum and Carolin approach the story with care and heart. It leaves us optimistic for the future ahead for the wounded warriors and for the people who told their story.

Now playing in theaters.

Nell Minow

Nell Minow is the Contributing Editor at RogerEbert.com.

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Film credits.

Dog movie poster

Rated PG-13 for language, thematic elements, drug content and some suggestive material.

101 minutes

Channing Tatum as Briggs

Jane Adams as Tamara

Kevin Nash as Gus

Q'orianka Kilcher as Niki

Amanda Booth as Tiffany

Aqueela Zoll as Callan

  • Channing Tatum
  • Reid Carolin
  • Brett Rodriguez

Cinematographer

  • Newton Thomas Sigel
  • Leslie Jones
  • Thomas Newman

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Reviews 4.4.

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Outstanding breeder

Gina and Megan take exceptional care of their litters. We were very impressed with their dedication and the way they set us up for being successful puppy parents. The information book is packed with details and recommendations. They sent us home with toys, food, a sweater!, leash and harness and an emergency medical kit. WOW! We've worked with 3 other breeders and Robbins Treasures is the best by far. We'd highly recommend them.

Date of experience : February 16, 2024

Stoneridge Ridgeback

Our experience with Maura at Stoneridge Ridgebacks was excellent. Her communication was very prompt with quick turn around. She was extremely helpful through the entire process and made it easy for pick up. Her home was clean but what we loved the most was that her whole gang was there to great us! We have enjoyed our first few weeks with Wrigley and have received lots of compliments on how beautiful he is! He is adjusting well to his new home and we look forward to many many years with him and the rest of our family dogs. Thank you so much!

Date of experience : February 09, 2024

I absolutely recommend this app to…

I absolutely recommend this app to everyone who asks me about my puppy! I wanted to get a cute red Merle toy Aussie without paying crazy prices of Instagram famous breeders. With this app I felt safe choosing a local breeder knowing if something happened I would be insured. I felt safe & supported using this app!

Date of experience : February 01, 2024

A+ puppy and experience

Ashlee was super great to communicate with. She’s very responsive. I can’t say enough good things about the socialization and health of my puppy. I’ve never gotten such a well adjusted little pup. My next one will come from Double A Doxies!

Date of experience : January 01, 2024

We have gotten two pugs from Blackfoot…

We have gotten two pugs from Blackfoot Kennels. We got our little Ninette on jan 4th. They were delivered promptly,with easy access to contact information. They didn't mind answering any questions I had at all. Gave their vet references, and their vet's phone number so we could call them to! Our little pugs were very healthy, feisty and lovable. I can't recommend these folks enough!

Date of experience : January 04, 2024

I DO NOT RECOMMEND

Hope these puppies are a better breed than mine, I bought from Joy Phillips!!!!! Mine has had numerous issues! I WOULD NOT recommend buying from Joy which is RL Phillips Shitzu’s in Mineola, Texas. My lil guy has had breathing issues, Very sensitive skin with allergies. He has a pigmented eye with allergies. His eye drains, and stinks so bad. He has a underbite (bad) where I had to get 3 teeth pulled. Ear infections, where he has had to go to the Vet 3 times at $250 each visit. I have spent so much money on him, it’s ridiculous. He is/was a BAD BREED. He is a sweetheart but has had way too many issues, for a $1000 Shitzu and I’ve had to put at least that back in him. I DO NOT RECOMMEND BUYING FROM JOY PHILLIPS or R L Phillips Shitzu’s in Mineola Tx.

Date of experience : October 30, 2023

a most exhilarating experience

My wife and I recently used Good Dog to find a dog breeder. We were looking for a West Highland White terrier. We were reluctant to use an online services to find a dog because of no physical contact . Good Dog paired us with a breeder that was excellent and very knowledgeable with her trade,Deana Raymond was a very good communicator . She text us photos at least twice a week of our puppies progress which made our online experience very physical. The photos showed a loving relationship between the breeder and the litter of puppies. We used a transport service that was provided by her to get our puppy from Alabama to Seattle. The nanny Amanda also made photos of the trip and kept us touch all the way. She was very caring. She said that Mac didn't give her any trouble at all during the two flights and was very quiet. Mac arrived in good spirit in excellent heath with shot records up to date and all of his papers in order. Deana called us to make sure Mac arrived safely, and told us that missing the puppy cause her to shad tears on the way home from the airport, Truly a sign of a caring breeder! Working with Good Dog and Deana Raymond made our online purchase very personal and exhilarating five stars for all.

Date of experience : February 17, 2024

I was so lucky to have found Kassandra…Happy Day

I was so lucky to have found Kassandra and her Pomskies!!! I had to have 2 so they could play together. They are so adorable and Kassandra was wonderful with communicating with me until I picked them up.

My family and I are so thankful we came…

My family and I are so thankful we came across the Good Dog website. We spent days researching other various cavachon breeders beforehand and did not get a positive feeling or see positive reviews on other websites. From start to finish, I felt very positive using Good Dog to find our pup. We went through Daniella from Nuni Pups. Our cavachon was well taken care of by this breeder. She kept in touch with us well with updates from when our pup was only a few weeks old until pickup time. Daniella is so friendly and her love for dogs and caring approach is evident. I still keep in touch with her to let her know how our pup is growing and how sweet/calm she is with our family. I would HIGHLY recommend Daniella from Nuni Pups. The whole process was easy and made me feel confident. I am letting others know about my positive experience I had through this breeder and Good Dog website because i feel it is harder to find a reputable breeder these days, especially with so many puppy mills.

Date of experience : January 13, 2024

Very good/amazing experience with Jan…

Very good/amazing experience with Jan as a breeder. She is very accommodating and the puppy I got is well cared of. I highly recommend her. Professional and and very responsive.

Date of experience : February 12, 2024

Very informative

Very informative. My female goes thru this a lot when not pregnant. Thanks for the information. Connie

My poodle is the best…

I got my poodle with Laura Fletcher from Orlando and she was the best. Very attentive to all my questions and delivered the puppy on time at MCO. My puppy is lovely and very well behaved.

Date of experience : January 26, 2024

Fonseca's Poms is a terrible…

Fonseca's Poms is a terrible woman...She lives off dogs because she doesn't work and she wanted to scam me but she couldn't because my lawyer intervened...She sold me a Pomeranian dog that I paid for in two installments and when the payment was ready she told me which was $600 dollars more...the truth is that it made us feel bad on December 23, but since I had proof of the price we agreed upon, it had to be respected!! Please be careful and look for serious and professional breeders. Her name is Sherri Fonseca!! It is advertised as Fonseca's Poms

Date of experience : December 22, 2023

Reply from Good Dog

Hi Rosalia, Thank you for reaching out and bringing this issue to our attention! We see that a member of our Care team reached out to you on January 24th to take the first steps in working through this issue with you. You can feel free to give us a call back at 855-446-6336 or email us anytime at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you so we can help turn your experience into a positive one! Warmly, The Good Dog Team

Luvayorkieandmore: Michele Fuchs

Luvayorkieandmore: Michele Fuchs Michele is such a wonderful Breeder, if you are looking for a Yorkie I highly recommend her! She had quick communication and was super helpful and knowledgeable with any and every question I had throughout the process. Such a positive experience all around with positive communication, she gave me weekly updates on my pup from the beginning. She allowed me to name my pup at the start which was a plus within itself. This allowed my princess to get use to her name before coming home. Michele made sure I went home with essentials for my little girl. I couldn’t be more impressed with my breeder and all that she do to make sure her pups are happy and healthy. I couldn’t recommend her enough!! Thank you Michele for a great experience and a perfect fur baby!

Date of experience : December 13, 2023

Amazing Experience!

Kortney was absolutely fantastic and cooperative during the whole process of getting our little angel Ginger. She was quick with responses and answered every question I had. Little Ginger is so sweet and so precious! As we received Ginger she was loving from the beginning and sweet as could be. Kourtney gave us everything we could’ve imagined from food, potty training, vaccines, to toys. I have never had a puppy so well behaved at 8 months old. Kourtney was so helpful and I am very grateful to have added a new member to our family because of her. I will definitely be in contact to have another furry friend from her again!

Easy and smooth experience

My family and I are absolutely in love with our little Aussiedoodle that we purchased from Holly Nowers with Sugar Doodles. Holly has made every step in the process easy and run smoothly. She was very responsive and answered every question that we had along the way. I can tell that our little boy was very cared for.

Date of experience : January 31, 2024

Great experience working with Dawn’s Pomeranians

This was our first experience working with a breeder and it was great!! Dawn was easy to work with, Great communication and we were able to meet with the puppies a few times before we were able to take them home. She took excellent care of puppies and it was nice to be able to see the pups parents too . All the dogs looked to be well cared for in a nice clean environment.!! I would definitely recommend her to anyone that is looking for a Pomeranian puppy !

I give less than one star if I could

I give less than one star if I could! my experience with Good Dog as a reputable breeder is not good. Apparently my sister had an account they closed there for something that wasn’t even real. Somebody badmouth her and instead of taking anything she had to say into consideration or waiting on proof they just closed an account that was in good standing from the start, the account which was fine because it’s really turned into a Puppy brokerage promoting mills more then good breeders. I had signed up on the site and received an email telling me to try back in December and rambled on about this situation that I knew nothing about and giving very personal information. So thankfully It was her sister, because it was basically slander and could’ve ruined a business. My parents built 40 years ago and was passed on to her and I. I’m not very close with her, I didn’t know anything about what was going on with her program, but it was rather disturbing and very reckless, because of the amount of work that has put been put in to gain the reputation and trust in people, it’s nothing to shrug at as they so neglectfully did here. it’s an expensive business. (When you do it for the benefit of the breed) It cost a lot of money to buy quality dogs and to keep these dogs healthy and feed them the best and give the appropriate supplements and everything else,these people just pretty much could of destroyed her for nothing, and if it isn’t a crime ; it really should be. But after I got back to them and explained, I had my own program and plenty of verifiable references that I am completely different from her. We’re not linked in anyway and it would be very easy to verify that it wasn’t me because they kept emailing me with my sisters name and information what was going on in that situation they’re lucky she didnt get a lawyer.! anyway you would think after informing them that I have nothing to do with that I am my own person. I have great references great everything from previous buyers and the vets that I use and my application just sat for months . They never addressed me back after. And as far as I know, they never addressed my sister back either to apologize for spreading her business out. I let them know that they were addressing me wrong. They were giving personal information on somebody else to me which isn’t cool but I’m pretty sure it’s it’s definitely borderline illegal to give that kind of personal information out to someone you don’t even know who you’re writing and then after being told you still go on with it . Everything happens for a reason! I hate that saying, but ..I guess because I used an up-and-coming service and get 50 referrals a day it’s by far better it’s not a brokerage just a referral service which one time GoodDog was it’s got all the benefits plus more than Good Dog, who has lost its impeccable reputation. It’s lost a good breeder. It’s lost many good breeders and it’s a shame. It was a good platform to start with . They lost their way like most do and got greedy, started forcing people to use their platform to pay or were threatened to be kicked off , they are pushing the legitimate good breeders to the back of the site from verifiable payment program or whatever it is from people who are pumping out puppies without a care of anything but cash, at sheer expense of the animals, well-being, and health, just to make the money !! And that’s a brokerage situation. They don’t deserve the support of the good breeders that work hard and really don’t make very much because they are preserving the breed And there’s a lot of money that goes into it. Not supporting these disgusting people who are just filthy and making money handover fist. and using these poor dogs as commodity. It’s sad. Very very sad.

Date of experience : August 06, 2023

WHAT A GREAT EXPERIENCE !

WHAT A GREAT EXPERIENCE !! We contacted S.L Rottweilers through the Good Dog site and knew we were in good hands. Everything was transparent and followed through. We are over the moon with our new addition to our family and we can't thank S.L Rottweiler ( Sherry ) enough ! 10 STARS

Date of experience : January 28, 2024

We love Monique Flores and her family

We love Monique Flores and her family. We have beautiful dachshund fur babies from them. They are amazing!!!!!

Date of experience : February 11, 2024

The 4 Best Dog DNA Tests of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Your dog's genetic data contains a myriad of insights

what is a dog review

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more .

The Spruce Pets / Suzie Dundas 

A dog DNA test provides an analysis of your dog's unique genetic composition by comparing it to a large and proprietary database, which can differ from test to test. We purchased and tested 12 dog DNA kits, looking for clear instructions, reliable support, timely results, and user-friendly ways to analyze your dog's data. We also noted when DNA tests had extra features, like the ability to network with other dog owners or provide nutritional advice.

Each manufacturer we tested has its own proprietary data it uses for comparing your dog's DNA and deriving breed information, shared traits, and known genetic health markers. While the data can be fascinating, it is necessarily imperfect, since genetic factors don't always match up neatly with human-created dog breed categories. Similarly, any health information from an at-home dog DNA test is derived from statistical correlations between specific recessive or dominant genes, and is at best only advisory.

"The big takeaway with genetic testing for pets is it's more for informational and entertainment purposes," says Jenna Stregowski, a registered veterinary technician and the Pet Health & Behavior Editor for the Daily Paws . Instead of making conclusions about your dog's health based on DNA results, Stregowski instead suggest using them as a guide for questions and concerns at your next veterinary appointment.

After testing, our favorite dog DNA test is the Wisdom Panel Essential Dog DNA Collection Kit, which provided comprehensive results with robust explanatory information, all in just three weeks.

How We Tested

  • What to Look for

Best Overall

Wisdom panel essential dog dna test.

You can opt in or out to an extended network connecting your dog to distant relatives

The database includes information on 350+ breeds, 25+ genetic health conditions, 35+ physical traits

Results were promptly delivered within three week window

Health information included potential drug sensitivities

Collector was more like a bristly brush than a cotton swab, and seemed a little more uncomfortable

Wisdom Panel Essential Dog DNA Collection Kit is an approachable priced test providing insight into a dog’s genetic makeup along with information on traits and health issues commonly encountered by similar breeds. This test is designed to give you a clearer understanding of your dog but it does not provide a diagnosis and should not be used to determine treatment.

Per the instructions that came with the test, we registered on the website and watched a short video demonstrating how to collect the sample from our dog. When setting up an account you are given the option to opt out of having your dog's results made public. The default is to opt-in but the choice is clearly presented. If you do share your results, you'll be able to explore connections to other registered users with dogs who could be relatives of your dog.

We started the sample collection process two hours after our dog had eaten by checking their mouth to make sure it was clear of food that might cloud the results. Our participating dog didn't care for the bristled tool, similar to a mascara wand, that was used to gently swab the inside their mouth but it only lasted 15 seconds. The sample is mailed back to Wisdom Panel in the same box it arrived in. It is clearly labeled with 'do not destroy', but we recommend exercising caution when opening your package to keep the box intact. 

Before the test results arrived, we only had an approximate age for our dog participant from the shelter where they were adopted, and a hunch on the mix of breeds we might find on their family tree. The results were delivered early than anticipated (within three weeks) and detected ten different breeds with a percentage of each breed. 

Through the Wisdom Panel app and website, registered users can explore their results, learning about the history of each related breed along with traits and characteristics that your dog may have inherited, including the shape of their snout, the length of their legs, and potential health risks your dog may be predisposed to developing.

For example, if your dog's genes are a high percentage match with the breed standard of a Chihuahua , then your dog could potentially experience a luxating patella . This does not mean that your dog will experience this condition in their lifetime.

Our dog’s DNA test showed 29 health concerns connected to their breed composition along with in-depth explanations of each and the associated breed. It’s important to remember that the health risks are informational and not cause for alarm. If you do find that your dog is experiencing symptoms, you should discuss it with your veterinarian.

Sample Collection Tool: Bristled wand | Results Delivered: Within three weeks

The Spruce Pets / Cheyann Neades

Best For Health Screening

Embark breed & health dog dna test.

Health screening for 230+ conditions and medical complications, including drug sensitivities

For young dogs, an approximation of their adult weight is provided

35+ physical traits evaluated including coat grooming needs, body size, and tail length

Results provide breed composition as percentages along with detailed information

The results from the health screening are not meant to be used as a diagnosis

Embark's Dog DNA Test, Breed & Health Kit provides a DNA evaluation along with the results of screening for more than 230 potential health-related issues your dog could experience within their lifetime.

Developed in partnership with Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, the analysis Embark provides is designed to empower dog parents with tools to help them navigate potential health conditions and complications, such as drug sensitivities. The results are not a diagnosis but can serve as a conduit for informing conversations with your veterinarian, and when it comes to your dog's well-being, you are their best advocate.

After setting up an account on the website or through the Embark app, the directions for sample collection are clear and easy to follow. The kit comes with everything needed including a soft, spongy swab that you will rub along the inside of your dog's mouth for 30 seconds and a pre-addressed mailer to send your dog's sample to Embark's lab.

The breed composite includes an evaluation of over 35 physical traits, such as body size, tail length, propensity for shedding, and even an approximation of a dog's ability to tolerate altitude, which is very useful if you plan to fly with your dog. If your dog hasn't reached their full size, the results can also give you an estimate of their adult weight.

Our results, delivered on the early side of the two to four weeks window, connected us with potential relatives of our dog, which we found to be entertaining.

Sample Collection Tool: Spongy swab | Results Delivered: Two to four weeks

The Spruce Pets / Jenna Stregowski

Best for Breed Identification

Wisdom panel breed dog dna collection kit.

Screens for the genetic mutation (MDR1) associated with medication sensitivities

Results are promptly delivered

Breed breakdown along with breed composition of three generations provided

Some results only available behind a paywall

Wisdom Panel Breed Discovery Dog DNA Collection Kit provides an evaluation of a dog's genetic mix, makes virtual connections with potential relatives, and screens for a genetic mutation associated with medication sensitives. It's also the least expensive dog DNA test among our top selections.

Like our choice for Best Overall, this dog DNA test is made by Wisdeom Panel and arrives in a box that will be used to mail your dog's sample to the lab. The instructions are easy to follow and a bristled tool is required for a sample collection from a dog's mouth. Our dog participating was unease throughout the 15 seconds required to swab the inside of their mouth, but the ordeal was over quickly.

Our results were delivered on time and easily accessible through the website and app. The analysis included 15 breeds along with an estimated percentage and detailed information about each breed, including physical traits, temperament, and training expectations. The breed composition and lineage of three prior generations were also provided. The genetic mutation known as MDR1 (multidrug resistance 1) was not found in our tester dog, which is helpful to know since it is associated with medication sensitivities, some of which can be potentially fatal if administered.

If you opt-in to have your results made public during registration, potential relatives of your dog will be shown. There are also additional insights pulled from results behind a paywall.

Sample Collection Tool: Bristled wand | Turnaround Time: Two to three weeks

 The Spruce Pets / Suzie Dundas

Best for Purebreds

Embark purebred dog dna test.

Clear instructions from the start with regular updates on status of results until delivery

Results include information on genetic diversity

Over 230 health markers analyzed

The accuracy of some details, such as the color of the coat and build, were a little off

Embark's DNA Test for Purebred Dogs, Health & Ancestry Kit combines genetic testing with health-related data specific to purebred dogs. Whether you are certain of your dog's lineage or not, this test will provide insight into the genetic makeup of your dog, which isn't shared by any other dog, even their siblings. Like our pick for Best Health Screening, Embark's Dog DNA Test, Breed & Health Kit, this test from Embark analyzes more than 230 genetic health risks and more than 35 physical traits.

For our participating purebred dog, we felt that the analysis of their physical traits was less than accurate, but this feature could be entertaining for someone with a purebred puppy. The genetic health risks were both eye-opening and reassuring, but ultimately will be used as points of discussion for preventative care with a veterinarian.

For the health of purebred dogs, information regarding their genetic diversity can be helpful. The results take into account your dog's coefficient of inbreeding or COI, and where is falls in relation to both your dog's breed and all other dog breeds. With purebred dogs, the practice of inbreeding can be used to maintain or emphasize characteristic traits of the breed, but it also leads to low genetic diversity which can lead to health complications .

Keep in mind that genetic data is different from the traditional evaluative methods used to assess a dog's pedigree. While data obtained from a DNA test may be more scientifically accurate than pedigree measures that make determinations based on lineage, ultimately pedigree is determined by registering organizations, like the American Kennel Club .

Sample Collection Tool: Spongey swab | Results Delivered: Two to four weeks

The Spruce Pets / Meredith Luksetich

Our choice for the best overall dog DNA test is Wisdom Panel's Essential Dog DNA Collection Kit . It provides an entertaining and insightful analysis of a dog's genetic composition, including physical traits and potential health-related complications. It's also reasonably priced among DNA tests for dogs. If you have a purebred dog, Embark's DNA Test for Purebred Dogs, Health & Ancestry Kit , can give you beneficial information regarding their genetic diversity.

We researched and purchase 12 DNA tests for dog. Each one was sent to a human eager to learn more about the genetic makeup of their furry companion in their home.

Each participant followed the instructions for their specific test. They recorded their initial impression of what the test involves and then collected the DNA sample from their dog, making note of the experience and any issues encountered.

When their results arrived, each tester made note of the turnaround time and how it compared to their expectations along with their overall impression of the process. As they dove into their dog's results and corresponding analysis, our testers were asked to consider the efficacy of the information they received, whether they found it useful, and if they enjoyed any of the additional features provided.

What to Look for in a Dog DNA Test

Database and accuracy.

There's no universal database for dog breeds that all DNA test results measure up to, and each dog DNA test creator has their own proprietary database and algorithms used to detect and analyze genes found in DNA. If you have the means to test your dog's DNA with tests from different manufacturers, you will most likely receive results with slight variations.

Embark and Wisdom Panel both claim to have a database with over 350 breeds, types, and varieties along with over 35 physical traits. Currently, Wisdom Panel claims its breed results are over 98 percent accurate, and Embark claims its breed connection results are close to 99 percent accurate.

Also, remember that while some cat DNA tests also are suitable for dogs, most are not interchangeable. 

Sample Collection

At-home dog DNA tests provide clear directions and a tool shaped like a cotton swap or mascara wand with soft bristles that will be used to collect your dog's DNA sample. This tool will require you to insert and rub it along the inside of your dog's mouth for several seconds. The instructions and duration vary among brands, but generally, it is best to administer two to three hours after a dog's most recent meal to clear out any remaining food particles.

Turnaround Time

All of the selections on our list deliver results in under four weeks, but there are other testing companies that require a longer duration to deliver results. Your reason for testing and your level of patience will factor into which type of test you should choose.

Breed Standards

The concept of a breed standard was designed for a myriad of reasons, but primarily in part for humans to categorize and organize canines. There's no universal database for dog breeds that all DNA tests refer to. Breed standards for different organizations around the globe, such as the American Kennel Club, tend to favor certain traits and features which are connected to dominant and recessive genes.

Health Results

The health information provided by a dog DNA test is not a diagnosis. If you have concerns about your dog, you should discuss the results with your veterinarian to determine a course of action which could include preventative care.

Yes and no. Based on the genetic information gathered, labeled, and classified, connections can be made between breeds and various traits associated with those breeds.

The science of DNA testing is still evolving. And it's important to remember that any indicators for dog DNA tests have been developed and labeled by humans. For example, the standards that define a specific breed, like a Labrador , were defined by people to help people learn about and understand canines.

You can test a dog's DNA at any age. We recommend waiting until puppies have weaned from their mother for a least a few weeks to avoid the risk of DNA contamination from the milk.

The results depend on the type of kit you ordered and the database of the manufacturer. Results may include information on your dog's genetic makeup including breed composition, inherited traits and characteristics, connection to potential relatives and ancestors, along with genetic health conditions they may be susceptible to developing.

Why Trust The Spruce Pets?

This roundup with updated by  Anna Mejorada , a writer for The Spruce Pets, who shares her home with a pomeranian named Gidget. Before researching and writing about pet products for a living, Mejorada embarked on a self-mandated, ongoing quest to find the optimal items for her dog. She is now delightfully devoted to helping humans discover and select the most favorable products for their pets.

A previous version of this story was written by. Madeleine Burry . Burry is a dog lover, who has written content about pet health and conditions for PetCareRx, as well as writing about pets for AAA’s Via Magazine, and Women’s Health.

Bannasch D, Famula T, Donner J, et al. The effect of inbreeding, body size and morphology on health in dog breeds. Canine Medicine and Genetics. 2021;8(1):12.

Https://www. Wisdompanel. Com/en-us/blog/most-accurate-dog-dna-test. Wisdom Panel™.

How accurate are dog dna tests? Embarkvet.

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DogTV Review: Does It Really Work & Is It Worth It?

Dog Care By Ben Team 8 min read July 11, 2023 19 Comments

DogTV

A while back, we wrote about dogs watching television and mentioned that there was actually a channel designed exclusively for dogs. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at the channel (DogTV), and I’ll share my personal experiences with it too.

You can check out our article about dogs watching TV here , but read on to learn more about DogTV.

DogTV Basics

DogTV was founded in 2009 with the goal of providing interesting and stimulating content for dogs. It was created in conjunction with a variety of veterinarians, trainers, and scientists, who sought to tailor the programming for the eyes, ears, interests, and attention spans of dogs.

DogTV was first launched in a single California market in 2012. The channel proved to be quite popular, and a shelter in Escondido, California reported fantastic results after showing the channel to the dogs in their care. Even dogs that could only hear the programming, but could not see the screen, seemed to find the channel soothing.

Currently, DogTV is available in most US markets through Comcast Xfinity, Direct TV Nationwide and RCN. You can also stream the program over the internet using most common devices.

The terms, conditions, costs, and availability of the channel will vary from one market to the next, so you’ll have to contact your service provider to find out the particulars. However, in my area (Atlanta, GA), with my cable package, it costs about $5 a month. It will set you back about $10 a month to subscribe to the online streaming service.

What’s the Point of DogTV? Do Dogs Even Like Watching Television?

DogTV seeks to do what most other television channels seek to do: Entertain and combat boredom – particularly while your dog is home alone. And, while some dogs appear to be more interested in the channel than others, it does seem to accomplish this goal.

Many dogs seem to like watching TV anyway, and this channel seems to be especially interesting to them. The internet is littered with positive user reviews and videos of dogs watching DogTV intently.

But, DogTV also seeks loftier accomplishments. Entertaining dogs and keeping them occupied while you aren’t home certainly has value, but several of the programming categories included with the channel are designed to accomplish other goals.

There are, for example, programs designed to calm your dog and encourage sleep , while others seek to desensitize your dog to often-upsetting stimuli.

DogTV

Programming Breakdown

When you pull up the channel on your TV or streaming device, you’ll see various categories containing individual programs.

The categories change occasionally, but they usually include the following:

Programming for Dogs

This is the category that contains the channel’s basic dog programming. There are 20 or so different episodes from which you can choose, and each one is about 4 hours in length and broken down into a number of segments.

Each segment features things to catch and keep your dog’s attention. This includes things like dogs playing fetch, performing tricks, wrestling around with other dogs, and going for walks with their humans. These segments take place in a variety of locations, including parks, the beach, and people’s homes.

Most of the episodes feature classical music, jingle-like music or natural sounds (birds, waves, etc.), as well as people saying, “Who’s a good boy?” and similar things at random points during the programs.

  Specials

The Specials category features programs designed to achieve a specific goal, such as to calm your dog or expose her to the sounds of fireworks. There are also a few animated segments, which display things like balls rolling around on a ramp or bubbles bouncing around and popping on the screen.

  About DogTV

About DogTV provides basic information about the channel.

  Dogs A to Z

This category features brief little segments explaining various aspects of dog care and dog-related issues for human viewers.

  DOGSTAR

DOGSTAR features user-submitted videos of dogs doing silly things or watching DogTV. Your dog may like these programs, but they are primarily intended for humans.

  The Adoption Show

A show for humans that introduces you to a variety of dogs in need of a good family. Those who adopt a dog from the show get a sack full of awesome goodies too.

This includes an anxiety-soothing Thudershirt , a Find My Pet GPS dog tracker , an interactive camera you can use to talk to your dog, I and Love You dog food and more.

The Science of DogTV

When you turn on DogTV, you’ll probably notice that the screen looks a little different, as the colors are shifted to suit your dog’s eyes. Dogs have dichromatic, rather than trichromatic vision like we do, so their color perception is based on a blue-to-yellow gradient.

Additionally, the contrast is juiced up a bit, making the images really pop off the screen . You’ll also notice that many of the segments are shot from dog-eye-level, creating a bit of a first-person point of view. Ultimately, this combination of factors helps to make the channel more interesting to dogs than regular TV programming is.

DogTV claims to have developed the channel while consulting more than 60 different studies conducted by universities around the world. Although they don’t specifically cite many of these studies, they do mention a few, including:

  • A 2003 study conducted at Eötvös Loránd University, in Budapest, Hungary, which examined the ability of dogs to understand television images of humans.
  • A 1998 study , published in Animal Behavior , which examined color perception by dogs when viewing TV programming.
  • A 2005 study , published in Animal Welfare , which examined the effects of visual stimulation on dogs in a rescue center.
  • A 2002 study , conducted at Queen’s University Belfast, which examined the influence of auditory stimulus on dogs housed in a rescue shelter.

None of these studies prove that your dog will enjoy watching DogTV, but it is clear that many dogs are interested in the type of visual and auditory stimuli the channel produces.

Personal Experiences With DogTV

I signed up for DogTV about two months ago to see how my dog would react.

My Rottie already loves watching television, so I expected her to be pretty interested in DogTV. Surprisingly, her level of interest surpassed my wildest hopes. She absolutely loves it, and her reaction to the channel is completely different than it is to regular TV.

She immediately plops down in front of the TV when I put the channel on, and then she starts binging like only a  Stranger Things fan could.  She locks her eyes on the screen and follows the action with her head while rolling her ears forward to appreciate the sounds coming from the speakers.

Unlike regular TV, which only keeps her interest for 15 minutes or so, she’ll watch DogTV for at least an hour at a time. She even gets excited whenever I pick up the remote control and ask her if she wants to watch TV.

Unfortunately, my dog is a little reactive; so, she occasionally gets riled up and starts barking and lunging at the screen. Because of this overeager response, I can’t allow her to watch it unsupervised. But, because I work from home, this isn’t a big problem.

I am clearly a fan of the channel and will continue subscribing for the foreseeable future. However, it’s not going to completely replace our trips to her favorite Atlanta-area dog parks . She still needs plenty of time to run, jump, and play.

Ultimately, like everything else, DogTV has a few strengths and weaknesses.

What’s Good About DogTV?

It clearly appears to interest most dogs , and it gets their little brains going.

Many of the sounds are actually quite soothing , even to human ears.

There are a variety of programs to appeal to different dogs and accomplish different goals.

It may prove useful for altering your dog’s behavior. For example, it appears to have made my dog a bit less reactive, and numerous owners have reported that it has been useful for treating separation anxiety .

You may find it enjoyable yourself. I have to admit that I catch myself zoning out to the channel with my pup at times. However, I’m pretty smitten with dogs; you may not find it terribly interesting.

What’s Not-So-Good About DogTV?

While there are hours of programs, there is a lot of repetitive content. For example, you’ll see the same dog interacting in the same place with the same people in several different individual programs. This doesn’t appear to bother dogs, but you may find it a bit boring.

The programs designed to calm a dog haven’t worked for my dog — at all.

Personally, I would prefer if they’d have included more content featuring large dogs. You’ll see a bunch of Chihuahuas, corgis, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and a few labs, but I can’t remember ever seeing Rotties, Dobermans, St. Bernards, Great Danes or any other big breeds. This is probably another issue that won’t bother dogs, but may be disappointing to people.

It may stimulate your dog a little more than desired. I’d recommend monitoring your dog carefully for a while before allowing her to watch while unsupervised. You don’t want your pooch to hurt herself or smash your TV.

Do you subscribe to DogTV? We’d love to hear about your impressions of the channel. Does your dog enjoy it or seem unimpressed? Do you think it is worth the cost? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

Like it? Share it!

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what is a dog review

Ben is the managing editor for K9 of Mine and has spent most of his adult life working as a wildlife educator and animal-care professional. Ben’s had the chance to work with hundreds of different species, but his favorite animals have always been dogs. He currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his beautiful wife, their Rottie, and their Pyr.

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19 Comments

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September 13, 2021

Our labrador retriever will be a good test case. He doesn’t even know what a television set is. He doesn’t know that he’s a labrador retriever. That’s the main problem, I think.

What this channel fails to acknowledge is that you can’t expect a 6-month old dog and a 14 year-old dog to find the same programming entertaining. It would seem so humiliating for our middle-aged 6 year-old lab to have to watch two younger dogs chasing after a stuffed animal.

Our dog needs something a little more adult-like. Whatever happened to the McNeil-Lehrer Report?

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September 14, 2021

We share your outrage at the lack of age-specific canine programming, Nelson. It’s utterly ridiculous to expect a senior dog to enjoy the same plot lines and character development (never mind the cinematography) that a young puppy would.

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June 7, 2021

Just ask my 2 Old English Sheepdogs if they like Dog TV. The minute I turn the channel on & they hear the music their eyes are glued to the screen. The creators have enhanced sounds & colors to attract the dogs attention. My welfare cat likes to watch when she spots cats or other things of interest. It is on several times a day & especially when I have to leave them alone. I think it is more comforting than just turning on music. To me it is well worth the money, but it really depends on the breed & the dogs lifestyle. I just hope Dish never cancels this as my dogs would be very disappointed, & how would I ever explain that to the dogs!!!

Thanks for sharing, Susan! You know, I’ve noticed that my doggo instantly recognizes the little intro “jingle” for the channel.

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March 1, 2021

I believe if you’re dog doesn’t suffer from some sort of separation anxiety or reactivity issue, you may not see the huge benefit in this. My dog is fear reactive and like many highly reactive dogs, is over stimulated more by sight than smell. She is mainly stranger reactive which we’ve been improving on with tons of positive based behavioral modification, and a little dog selective. Her leash reactivity is improving, but our biggest struggle has been reacting to dogs on the tv. Lunging and barking every time. If I’m able to praise and treat her quickly before she reacts, we’re able to maintain calm behavior. But if I don’t, that first glimpse sets her over threshold. After that first episode, we’re calm and over it. But i’m hoping DogTV will continue to aid in our training and desensitization and will hopefully carry it’s effects outside of the home as well.

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February 14, 2020

Okay, I’m trying the free trial, and it’s not at all what I expected. The music drowns out any interest my dog would have in the barking and interaction between watching the animals interact with each other. And she is certainly not interested in seeing scenery, hearing people voices, or watching people. A must better alternative for me is already free on youtube, which is Animals Unscripted. These are just little snatches of silly things animals do, without the music, or human voices. I’m going to continue the trial, until it’s over, but so far I have a disapproving rottweiler here. She’s literally bored and not interested at all.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Mary! Be sure to look through a lot of the videos, as they vary pretty significantly. My Rottie likes some and ignores others… 🙂

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December 31, 2019

Tried DogTV on a whim with the free trial to see what it was all about…cut to two years later and we are still paying the $9.99 per month. We have three dogs and the DogTv does seem to help calm them. Our visually acute Mini Schnauzer Mix is the one who actually stares at the screen during many of the segments. We have two Yorkie/Chihuahua/Mini Poodle/+ Mixes, of which the older one (10 yrs), enjoys the relaxing music and nature sounds. She has partial paralysis and doesn’t get around outside much anymore, so I think this helps her feel like she is at least hearing outside noises. I have also used the DogTv phone app to play relaxing segments for her during acupuncture…seems to help. Our youngest dog does not seem to respond as much as the two older ones, but she probably still relaxes with the music. My husband and I even catch ourselves watching DogTv quite a bit. The music and nature scenes are relaxing and we often play a game of where do you think that was filmed? All in all, we find it still worth the money.

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July 9, 2019

I started to subscribe to Dog TV a few months ago and it didn’t seem to affect either of our two dogs.

One of our dogs recently passed and we adopted Bella, a six year old Chihuahua mix. She really enjoys Dog TV and definitely calms down for the Relaxation segments. I DVR them in 1 hour segments to put on when I take short local trips to ease her separation anxiety, of which she has a lot of when I leave the home.

I have seen her rush the tv and bark at it during the Stimulation segment so we don’t watch those segments much as she needs NO stimulation,

I think it is a great value for only $5 a month on DISH network. A great cheap dog sitter.

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June 16, 2019

Hello! Am seeing the show for first time, have been anticipating viewing it on free preview to see if want to subscribe or not. The outdoor scenery is wonderful. The dogs seem more natural there. The ones walking around inside store make the dog look afraid and uncomfortable. The music is Way too loud!!!! Loud sounds scare my dogs, they would better enjoy it if you allowed in just natural sounds, birds, other dogs sounds, etc. I love the concept but am disappointed. I adopted both of my dogs at shelters and they both have separation anxiety. I guess your dogs are Actors, you would have more interesting diversity with Real pups like mine. Lol. Puppy my 8 y/old is sleeping thru this, Callie my 2 y/old beagle mix takes an interest with the water splashing and birds chirping scenes. What a great project you have started. Best Wishes

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June 15, 2019

Got the channel on a free trial. I won’t waste my money on it qs my dog totally ignored it.

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March 31, 2021

Well, in my experience I have noticed that Dog TV has a huge variety of videos, and personally, I know my dog’s personality is active, but I love how the platform makes it very easy to choose the right videos for my dog at the right time. Helpful tip, like any TV you might want to hook your dog in with some of the fetch videos. I know that hooked my dog at first. This problem happens with some dogs which is why I greatly appreciate the wide variety of videos.

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May 24, 2019

My dog has always watched TV but now is addicted to DogTV. He asks for it when the TV is off or on another channel. He loves all the dog sizes- big or small and all the other animals On DogTV too. Even the cartoon like images.

That’s awesome, Shannon. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

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August 27, 2018

Quick reply for anyone wondering whether to subscribe or not. I have 3 Rotties. When DogTV is ON I have 1 that gets so stimulated that she has tried to attack the TV on several occasions, and now that she knows that this is a no no she avoids my room when I have it on. It seems to have a calming effect on my other 2, and I have caught them watching it sometimes. I must say, DogTV makes ME calmer, lots of just calm piano like music. If my TV is off and I’m gaming, I miss it and have to turn it on for ME, ha ha ha – and Oh, yeah, the music IS repetitive, I have noticed that because I have it on all the time and there are times when I think it is getting old…. Not sure if the video portion of it is repetitive because I am only listening to it in the background! One note to potential subscribers – If you want to cancel you MUST call DirectTV, they will not let you cancel it online.

Thanks for the tip about canceling — I didn’t know that!

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August 11, 2018

I subscribe to DogTV and it has helped our pitbull rescue pup a lot with his anxiety. He can’t handle loud voices, metal clanging, or the “F” word. I Love it!

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July 19, 2018

Oh my gosh! This is the best thing ever! My one dog loves it so much and intensely watches it constantly. My other dog does not watch it but reacts to sounds at times. The only thing I would like to see change is the Environmental Episodes. The noises intended to desensitize them are not loud enough at all. I’d like to hear actual fireworks ambulance sirens honking horns lawn mowers etc. I hope this will improve. But I love this channel and am happy I have it. I would not pay more than the $5.00 I pay now but it’s well worth $5.00. It’s great at night to get them calm and ready fir bed too.

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April 27, 2018

Just read your article- spot on! Funny and true. I stumbled upon Dog TV this week while working from home and couldn’t stop laughing watching one of my two boxers staring at the boxer on the screen. I actually found myself getting more work done with the relaxation segment on in the background…is it doing something positive for me, too?! Thanks for the review, Dawn

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Reviewed by: Ivana Crnec, DVM

Farmer’s Dog Food

If you buy something from a link on our site, we may earn a commission. See our advertising disclosure.

What Did We Think of The Farmer’s Dog Food?

  • The Farmer’s Dog is a subscription-based service that makes use of quality ingredients and is available throughout the USA, excluding Alaska and Hawaii.
  • The brand offers four different types of recipes: The Farmer’s Dog Chicken Recipe, The Farmer’s Dog Turkey Recipe, The Farmer’s Dog Beef Recipe, and The Farmer’s Dog Pork Recipe.
  • All of The Farmer’s Dog recipes are made in kitchens that are inspected by the USDA and with premium quality, human-grade ingredients.
  • The Farmer’s Dog offers automatic shipments (ranging from weekly to monthly) and easy pausing of the subscription plan in case customers are away or traveling.

The Farmer's Dog

The Farmer's Dog

  • Human Grade Food
  • Easy to store
  • Affordable options available

Veterinarians.org Rating of The Farmer’s Dog Food: 10 out of 10 Stars

We give the brand 10 out of 10 stars based on our experience with Farmer’s Dog Food. We like several aspects, including human-grade ingredient quality, minimal processing for maximum nutrient density, and overall convenience – pre-portioned and ready-to-serve fresh dog food packages delivered to your doorstep. 

What is The Farmer’s Dog Food?

What is The Farmer’s Dog Food

The Farmer’s Dog Food is basically a service that strives to deliver fresh pet food using balanced and wholesome ingredients. The recipes are not just simple but are guided by science and prepared with love. The company was founded by Brett Podolsky.

The product contains human-grade meat along with fresh veggies brought together in USDA-certified kitchens. This creates recipes that exceed industry standards for dogs (AAFCO). Furthermore, The Farmer’s Dog Food is prepared fresh and retains its nutritional value.

Where is The Farmer’s Dog Food Made?

The Farmers Dog is located in New York, NY, United States.

How is The Farmer’s Dog Food Made?

The Farmer’s Dog Food is backed by years of research on pet nutrition. After consultation with some of the top veterinarians and pet nutritionists in the country, the brand was able to come up with a way to deliver food fresh to your doorstep.

After following the various quality and safety standards that were not usually followed, the company was able to come up with food that was edible by humans and dogs alike. Plus, the food is also nutritionally complete and offers a balanced diet for your dog.

Every ingredient that is used to prepare this dog food is human-grade. Furthermore, they are sourced from reputable food suppliers and local farms qualifying under the USDA standards.

Is The Farmer’s Dog Food Raw? 

No, The Farmer’s Dog Food is not raw – instead, it is fresh and minimally processed, human-grade dog food. 

The ingredients are mixed together in USDA kitchens and gently cooked at low temperatures. After that, they are quick frozen (not deep frozen). Therefore, the brand does not offer raw, but simply fresh dog food. 

Where Can I Buy The Farmer’s Dog Food? 

You can buy The Farmer’s Dog healthy recipes on thefarmersdog.com . At the moment, the food is not available on other eCommerce sites and online retailers. 

Is The Farmer’s Dog Food Good for Dogs?

Yes, The Farmer’s Dog Food is good for dogs. This is because, unlike kibble, this brand offers fresh dog food made using high-quality human-grade ingredients.

The Farmer’s Dog Food does not contain any preservatives that are generally linked to health issues. This food comes packed with nutrients that improve not only your dog’s activity level but also their overall health.

Even if your dog is a picky eater, you can expect them to fall in love with this product. When not in use, you can simply keep it refrigerated for the future.

  • Packages can be customized
  • Human-grade dog food
  • Contains no preservatives or fillers
  • Might occupy excess space in your fridge
  • Could lead to food allergies in some dogs

The Farmer’s Dog Food Reviewed

Overall, The Farmer’s Dog Food brand has been recommended by veterinary nutritionists. The dog food recipes have been created with the intention of providing optimal nutrition and supplements to your dog.

Unlike commercial dog food , which can otherwise lead to digestive issues, The Farmer’s Dog Food does not contain any fillers and is, therefore great for your dog’s digestive health.

Get 50% Off The Farmer’s Dog

What are The Farmer’s Dog Food Formulas?

Let us look at the Farmer’s dog recipes that are offered by this niche brand/food company.

  • The Farmer’s Dog Chicken Recipe : This is the most popular choice among dogs
  • The Farmer’s Dog Turkey Recipe : This recipe is perfect for your dog’s tastebuds
  • The Farmer’s Dog Beef Recipe : This is the all classic version of fresh dog food
  • The Farmer’s Dog Pork Recipe : This is an age-old recipe

The Farmer’s Dog Food Summary:

Farmer’s Dog pet food is manufactured fresh in facilities that meet the USDA standards for human food. In addition to the quality ingredients listed in their pet food, you can also get customized service through the Farmer’s Dog website based on your dog’s needs.

You just need to go on their website and fill out a form that asks you the various details about your pet. It will ask you various things, such as your pet’s body type, age, health, and eating habits. This will help them create the perfect food for your pet.

The product does not use any form of preservative, natural or otherwise. Additionally, it also does not use flavoring agents such as chicken powder and is true to what they write on its food label.

What’s in a The Farmer’s Subscription Box?

Inside every subscription box, you will receive two weeks’ worth of fresh-frozen food packed with dry ice in a recyclable cardboard box. Inside the box is another recyclable container that contains the packaged meals. You get the food already pre-portioned, along with the instructions stating how much you need to feed your dog.

Wha are The Farmer’s Dog Food Pros?

What are the farmer’s dog food cons, what are the farmer’s dog food reviews.

Based on our research, this is one of the most popular brands in the homemade dog food market today. It is perfect for dogs of all life stages thanks to its soft texture and innovative nutrient blend. These Farmer’s Dog meals are sure to be a hit with your dog – we highly recommend them. 

How does The Farmer’s Dog Food Work?

The Farmer’s Dog makes recipes that are exceptionally simple. They are made using USDA proteins that are mixed with natural produce. Additionally, it also contains the necessary vitamins and minerals. Each recipe is formulated by nutritionists and is balanced according to AAFCO guidelines. Additionally, every recipe can be consumed by humans owing to its purity.

The sign-up process is easy on this website.

You will be required to fill in details about your pet. These include breed, weight, age, activity level, and health issues that they might have.

You will then get a choice between turkey, beef, pork, and chicken, out of which you can choose three for the first shipment.

1

What Ingredients are in Farmer’s Dog Food?

Every ingredient that is used in the Farmer’s Dog Food is sourced locally from the USA. It contains whole foods and can be used with a topper. Whether it is a large dog or a small dog, you can surely be satisfied with this dog food delivery service.

The Farmer’s Dog Chicken Recipe

Ingredient Analysis

  • USDA Chicken: A lean and premium-quality source of protein for dogs. 
  • Brussels Sprouts: A superfood loaded with cancer-fighting glucosinolates and vitamin C. 
  • USDA Chicken Liver: Very rich source of vitamins and minerals. 
  • Bok Choy: Contains high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants. 
  • Broccoli: Loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy levels of plant-based protein. 
  • Fish Oil: Rich in omega fatty acids that support skin & coat health and boost the immune system. 
  • TFD Nutritional Blend: Supplement that rounds up the nutritional profile of the recipe. 

Nutrient Analysis

  • Great Sources: Chicken, chicken liver, broccoli  
  • Not-so-Great Sources: None 
  • Great Sources: Fish oil 
  • Great Sources: Brussels sprouts, bok choy, broccoli 

The Farmer’s Dog Turkey Recipe

Ingredient Analysis 

  • USDA Turkey: A lean and premium-quality source of animal-based protein. 
  • Chickpea: An excellent plant-based protein source. 
  • Carrots: Loaded with vitamin A and other health-boosting micronutrients. 
  • Broccoli: Rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy levels of plant-based protein. 
  • Parsnip: Excellent source of calcium, iron, and vitamin C. 
  • Spinach: Superfood that contains antioxidants, iron, and other micronutrients. 
  • Great Sources: Turkey, turkey liver, chickpea, broccoli 
  • Sources: Chickpea, carrots, broccoli, parsnip, spinach 

The Farmer’s Dog Beef Recipe

  • USDA Beef: Premium quality source of animal-based protein for dogs. 
  • Sweet Potato: Easily digestible carbohydrate source, rich in healthy dietary fiber. 
  • Lentils: A plant-based source of protein. 
  • USDA Beef Liver: Excellent source of vitamins and minerals. 
  • Sunflower Seeds: Contain omega-fatty acids, healthy fats, and other micronutrients. 
  • Kale: A superfood rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. 
  • Great Sources: Beef, beef liver, lentils 
  • Great Sources: Fish oil, sunflower seeds 
  • Great Sources: Sweet potatoes, lentils, carrots, kale

The Farmer’s Dog Pork Recipe

  • USDA Pork: Excellent source of animal-based protein and healthy fats. 
  • Green Beans: Rich in vitamins from the B-complex, magnesium, iron, and potassium. 
  • Cauliflower: Cruciferous vegetable rich in health-boosting micronutrients. 
  • USDA Pork Liver: Excellent source of vitamins and minerals. 
  • Great Sources: Pork, pork liver 
  • Great Sources: Fish oil, pork 
  • Great Sources: Sweet potatoes, green beans, cauliflower 

Has The Farmer’s Dog Food Been Recalled?

No! The Farmer’s Dog maintains a clean record when it comes to food production. Therefore, it has never had any recalls or any other issues, thanks to the rigorous safety standards that are followed in its kitchens. Additionally, they source ingredients only from trusted suppliers making sure that the production is safe.

What is the AAFCO Rating for The Farmer’s Dog Food? 

According to the AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards, The Farmer’s Dog Food is 100% complete and balanced.

Each recipe meets the AAFCO’s criteria as it is formulated by board-certified veterinary nutritionists. Plus, all ingredients are sourced from suppliers that meet USDA standards. 

How much is Farmer’s Dog a Week?

Farmer’s Dog food costs around $23/week to $40/week for a 15lb dog, depending on your subscription package. Dog owners can also expect a discount on their first box and their first order.

What Type of Dog is The Farmer’s Dog Food Best For?

The Farmer’s Dog Food is good for dogs of all breeds and ages. Being free from artificial additives & cheap fillers and rich in natural, easily digestible ingredients, the recipes are excellent for dogs with sensitive stomachs. 

The food is also convenient for owners as it comes in pre-portioned and ready-to-serve packages. 

Is The Farmer’s Dog Food Worth it?

Is The Farmer’s Dog Food Worth it

Yes, absolutely! Farmer’s Dog food can make your busy life a lot more convenient thanks to its hygienic environment, convenient packaging, and timely service.

You can forget your pet’s food problems as they fall in love with mealtime once again.

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How Much Should I Feed My Puppy? A Complete Puppy Feeding Guide With Chart

Puppy eating

The decisions you make about your puppy’s nutrition will affect his growth, development and even his behavior.

Feeding your puppy a high-quality , complete and balanced puppy food helps set him up for a long and healthy life as an adult dog. This raises a lot of questions for first-time (and even veteran) puppy owners, though.

How much should you feed your puppy and when? When should you stop feeding puppy food?

Get answers to these questions and more in our complete puppy feeding guide below. Our experts answer your questions and offer advice to help set you and your puppy up for success.

What to Feed a Puppy

When it comes to feeding puppies, there are a lot of factors to consider. Overall nutrition, breed size and the type of food all play a role. Here’s what you need to know:

Puppy Nutrition

Puppies need puppy food. Feeding puppies a complete and balanced puppy food ensures they get the proper nutrition to develop and grow into healthy adult dogs.

Puppy foods are formulated with a balance of nutrients to help puppies grow up healthy and happy. Look for formulas rich in high-quality proteins to support their growing bodies. Fat and carbohydrates supply the energy active and playful puppies need, while calcium supports developing teeth and bones and DHA helps support healthy brain and vision development.

Feeding Puppies Large & Small

Not only do puppies need puppy food, but certain breed sizes can benefit from size-specific formulas.

If you have a large breed puppy, he may benefit from a large breed-specific puppy formula . Small breeds can also benefit from small breed-specific puppy formulas . Regardless of breed size, the food should be complete and balanced for growing puppies.

The difference in formulas comes down to the unique needs of large and small breeds. Large dogs have a higher risk of developing joint problems, so a large breed puppy food should include proper levels of nutrients to support their healthy growth and development.

Small breeds may prefer smaller kibble so they can more easily chew their food, which helps ensure they get all the nutrients they need.

According to Purina Nutritionist, Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS, “Small breed-specific dog food is important due to their increased metabolism. This results in a nutrient-dense, high-energy formula which adults and puppies need to support a healthy lifestyle.”

Dry vs. Wet Puppy Food

Although dry kibble is a popular choice, it’s not the only option. As you walk the dog food aisles, you may see both dry and wet puppy food s.

This can make it harder to decide what to feed your puppy. Fortunately, as long as both the wet and dry formulas are complete and balanced for growing puppies, you can feed either one to your pup with confidence.

You and your puppy may have a preference when it comes to dry versus wet. Feeding a combination of the two is also an option.

According to Purina Nutritionist, Allison Millican, PhD, “If you’re feeding your puppy a combination of wet and dry food, it is extremely important to ensure the total caloric value does not fall short or exceed their daily energy requirement. Use the calories reported on the package to understand how much wet food will replace the dry and vice versa. This allows you to calculate the amount of each product needed to meet your puppy’s nutritional requirements.”

“For example,” Millican explains, “one thirteen-ounce can of wet puppy food may contain four hundred and seventy-five kilocalories and replace approximately one cup of a dry puppy formula with a similar value of kilocalories per cup. In this scenario, you could substitute a thirteen-ounce can of wet food for one cup of the daily dry food recommendation.

“Remember puppies will grow at various rates and body condition may change rapidly,” she says. “As a result, it is extremely important to monitor your puppy’s body condition and adjust calorie intake as needed to prevent over- or underfeeding your puppy,” Millican continues.

The brand websites and your veterinarian are great resources and can help you develop a feeding plan specifically for your puppy’s needs.

How Much to Feed a Puppy

Now you know what to feed your puppy, but just how much food does he need each day? Because puppies grow at such fast rates, they need to start eating a complete and balanced puppy food as soon as they’re weaned, usually between six and eight weeks.

The amount of food your puppy needs depends on how much he’ll weigh at maturity. A Labrador Retriever will weigh more at maturity than a Russell Terrier , for example. So, the larger dog requires more food as a puppy.

The chart below can help you determine how much dry food to feed your puppy. You should also review the specific feeding instructions on the back of his puppy food and consult with your veterinarian.

Puppy Feeding Chart

*These are generic recommendations only.  Please check the package for product specific feeding recommendations. **Nestlé Purina Research indicates that avoiding overfeeding of puppies may help their development. Maintaining ideal body condition is key to encouraging proper growth in all puppies, especially large breeds. The indicated amounts are only a guideline. If your puppy becomes overweight, a reduction of your puppy’s daily food intake may be appropriate. As puppies near adulthood, their calorie needs may drop, and your puppy may begin leaving some food in the bowl. Don't misinterpret this as an indication of dislike for the food. Instead, begin offering less so your puppy doesn't overeat and stays in ideal body condition. You may wish to consult your veterinarian about a weight control program.

Our puppy feeding chart is a starting point to help you determine how much dry kibble to feed your puppy. Consult the puppy food package for more specific feeding instructions or talk with your veterinarian.

When to Feed a Puppy

Once you know the daily feeding amount, you need to create a puppy feeding schedule . Take the total amount of food your puppy needs each day and divide that into two to three smaller meals. Give those smaller amounts to him at regular intervals each day.

An easy puppy feeding schedule to follow is to feed him when you eat—at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Remember to feed him early in the evenings so he has time to digest his food before bedtime. This can help prevent accidents inside. Consistency is key. Feeding puppies at consistent times each day helps them get used to the routine.

When to Stop Feeding Puppy Food

Eventually, you’ll need to stop feeding puppy food and switch him to a complete and balanced adult dog food.

This transition is dictated by breed size, just as the amount to feed a puppy depends on his breed. Larger breeds may take longer to reach full maturity, so he may need puppy food for up to two years.

In general, however, expect to make the transition to adult dog food between one and two years of age.

Talk with your veterinarian to determine the right time to make the switch and for tips on making the change easy on your pup.

What About Puppy Treats?

How can you resist rewarding your puppy with some tasty treats? In fact, treats make an effective training tool

It’s important to keep the 90/10 rule in mind, whether you’re rewarding your puppy for good behavior or just want him to feel loved. Of his daily calories, 90 percent should come from his complete and balanced puppy food. The other 10 percent can come from treats .

Following the 90/10 rule can help prevent weight gain and other health problems in adulthood.

Those puppy eyes are hard to resist, but remember, you’re building—and training—a dog. Don’t give in to feeding him human food when he begs. Not only are some human foods toxic to dogs , but you’re rewarding undesirable behaviors, which will be harder to break later.

By referencing the puppy feeding chart above and following the 90/10 rule, you can set your pup up for a long, healthy and happy life with you. Explore all our puppy food options to find a tasty formula he’ll love.

For more tips on puppy nutrition, behavior and more from our experts , visit our Pet Expertise page .

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‘God forbid that a dog should die’: when Goodreads reviews go bad

From cancelled books to ‘review bombing’, it might seem as though the website can make or break a career. But how influential is it really?

S omething dramatic happens on a social media platform every day. On Goodreads, the anachro­nistically designed website for logging, rating (out of five) and reviewing books, the dramas are more amusing, and they occasionally even draw attention from areas beyond the site’s supposedly book-loving users. The most recent featured Cait Corrain, the fantasy author who set up an elaborate network of fake accounts to post positive reviews of her own forthcoming book as well as negative reviews of authors she felt were her competitors. When citizen journalists uncovered her plot in December 2023, her book was cancelled, and she lost her agent and a future book deal.

A juicy, postmodern story of self-sabotage, or a sad one about the intersection of the internet and mental health. Regardless, its stakes are relatively low: publicly harassing one’s colleagues is a sackable offence anyway, and it’s hard to find someone who really cares about the vicissitudes of the young adult literature world who isn’t part of the subculture. I’m not; I’m a professional critic, and an author of a literary novel. I’m a snob. I care about my book, and the authors I feel are my competitors. And while Goodreads has been around since 2007, its significance to the broader literary world remains steadfastly confusing. Does it sell books? Does it make and break careers? The flashy, funny stories that have emerged about the site over the last several years have done exactly what its proprietors surely want: make it seem like Goodreads is important. But is it?

W e understand the major social media platforms well by now: X (Twitter) can ruin your career, Facebook is responsible for the death of truth itself, TikTok is for teenagers, and Instagram is Instagram. Maybe because of the site’s notoriously janky user experience, or because the audience for books is perceived to be dwindling and threatened, Goodreads seems innocent, so it’s a surprise when its users behave erratically. But while the platform operates as a social media site, where users “connect”, bicker and develop parasocial relationships as they try to game the system, Goodreads is also a consumer reports platform. In 2013, Amazon bought the site for $150m (£118m) from the husband-and-wife duo who started it. The change didn’t do much for the interface, but it did make the site’s potential soft power slightly more powerful: on Goodreads, you can very easily find a link to buy the book you’re looking at, and you can also link your Goodreads profile to your Kindle, the company’s proprietary e-reader. A book’s performance on Amazon is the single most important factor in whether it will sell; at the time of the Goodreads acquisition, the American Authors Guild warned that “Amazon’s control of online bookselling approaches the insurmountable”. On some level, then, Goodreads uses a facade of community and wholesome book-loving to sell stuff.

It accomplishes this not in spite of the wholesome veneer but because of it: buying a book is not the same as buying another kind of good or service. (Is it?) The desire to balance the unquantifiable joys of art and culture with the need to make the most of one’s limited resources remains the implicit justification of most writing published on culture, from consumer reports platforms such as Amazon to outlets for professional criticism. For the pure, innocent consumer, just looking for a good read for her limited summer vacation, this presents a problem: how to determine what’s best to buy. The options are overwhelming. If professional critics are also professionally biased – look at me, an elitist with my own bottom line – another solution is to turn to the people: honest book lovers who have nothing to gain or lose from writing a review.

On Goodreads, this dynamic creates a tension between any individual author (seen to be a public figure, able to get an agent and book deal and thus objectively privileged) hawking her wares to democratically righteous readers (unagented, and only in public through the force of history that has made us all kind of public, not because they chose it). Goodreads users see themselves as performing a kind of public service by offering their opinions on books they read, because these opinions eventually accumulate to become a collective assessment that may help other righteous readers make tough decisions about how they’ll spend their time and money.

For the well-reviewed author, this is a fine setup. For the author who may not benefit from a wide general readership, it’s a psychological thriller. A common refrain warning anxious authors away from obsessively checking their stats and developing paranoid fantasies is that “Goodreads is for readers, not for writers”. There is some wisdom in this: writers are also discouraged from reading reviews of their work and searching their own names on X. But while Goodreads advertises many ways for authors to engage with their readers directly and promote themselves, the only way to do so without running afoul of the site’s capricious reviewers is to be chipper, conciliatory and overall nice. And it would be difficult, if not impossible, to use Goodreads as an author without at least glancing at reviews.

In the weeks before her first book, a young adult novel called No One Else Can Have You, “about a girl with PTSD teaming up with a veteran to fight crime”, was published in 2014, Kathleen Hale was a self-described wreck. Her daily visits to Goodreads “tallied somewhere between ‘slightly-more-than-is-attractive-to-admit-here’ and ‘infinity’”. Then, one day, what she most feared came to pass: Hale received a one-star review by a Goodreads reviewer named Blythe Harris that called her book “one of the worst books I’ve read this year”.

goodreads inside copy

Such reviews, on their own, need not be too upsetting. Some random person doesn’t like your book? Fine. They don’t like it because of a misinterpretation that has wormed its way into their field of vision? Oh well. We’ve all been that random person, disliking things, not paying enough attention to form a nuanced opinion on them. What’s more disturbing is the fanning out, paranoid diagram style, of the implications of that random person’s dislike appearing in public. “Other commenters joined in to say they’d been thinking of reading my book, but now wouldn’t,” Hale wrote of the review in an essay called Am I Being Catfished? “Or they’d liked it, but could see where Blythe was coming from, and would reduce their ratings.”

Hale devised an energy-intensive plan for seeking the justice she felt her book deserved, which she recounted years later in her 2019 book, Kathleen Hale Is a Crazy Stalker. Somewhat predictably, that book was excoriated by Goodreads reviewers, many of whom explicitly refused to read it.

Whether the mob forms organically or is strategically promoted, this tactic has come to be known as “review bombing”, and in the years since, it has led to actual extortion and blackmail scams against authors, with anonymous groups sending intimidating emails along the lines of the missive one self-published author received in 2021: “EITHER YOU TAKE CARE OF OUR NEEDS AND REQUIREMENTS WITH YOUR WALLET OR WE’LL RUIN YOUR AUTHOR CAREER.” A few hours later, one-star reviews started appearing on her books’ pages. “It was quite threatening,” she told Time magazine.

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As a group, Goodreads reviewers can seem as if they are making demands of authors, even if they’re not literally blackmailing them. “You are brave,” a friend told me when I said I was writing about the site. The first demand Goodreads reviewers make is that you do not question, criticise or acknowledge Goodreads except to promote yourself pleasantly there. If you do not follow this rule, you will at best be accused of bitter motives – narcissism, obtuseness, a misguided desire for vengeance – and at worst vulnerable to retaliation. My willingness to write about the site, I told her, was less about bravery than pragmatism, because my first novel is already quite unpopular on Goodreads, with a sub-three-star rating, which is bad, even considering the popular argument that women writing literary fiction about women tend to generate a lower star rating. (Someone wrote a blog post about this, but there isn’t really data on it.) I feel I have little to lose by writing about it. Whatever professional consequences I may face for being unpopular on Goodreads, I have already more or less faced. While I’m not ruling out personal consequences – psychological tolls being taken, disturbing threats being sent – I’m sure it’ll be fine in the end. (Or not!)

Lauren Oyler.

The second demand Goodreads reviewers make is about the books themselves. The point of an average star-rating system – for anything, but especially works of art and literature – is to make a statement about value. And the values that help a book succeed on Goodreads are specific. The issues my debut novel has, for my Goodreads reviewers, are many: the big one is that it was marketed as if it was going to have a lot of plot, in a sort of woman-goes-on-a quest-to-solve-a-romantic-mystery way (got you), but others include the stench of Brooklyn, a “snarky” narrator that reviewers think is me, and the use of big words. (I was especially called out for using the word “antipodeans” to refer to Australian tourists.) My friend’s book has too many jokes. “God forbid that a dog should die accidentally,” one top Goodreads reviewer, Elyse Walters, told me while describing themes unpopular with Goodreads users during an interview in 2022. “They will not read the book.” She also mentioned a squeamishness around sex.

A veteran book club member in her early 70s based in California, Walters joined Goodreads a few months after the site launched in 2007, but she didn’t get serious about it until a surgery left her confined to bed for nearly a year. On her iPad she had all the books she could possibly want, and people all around the world to discuss them with. She became pretty good at it. But as her status rose, she began to feel the site had lost some of its magic. The pressure to answer all the messages she received, from authors and publishers and other entities hoping she’d check out their books, was stressing her out, and she wanted to be able to dedicate time to her reviews, which are long and can take, she says, one or two hours if she really loves the book. Like all Goodreads reviewers (officially), she has never been paid for a review, though she receives many free books from publishers, and she has been invited to the Goodreads offices to test some new technology for the app (to do what sounds to me like yet more work for free). She did the reviewing because she really enjoyed it. When I called her in 2023 to catch up, she told me she’d stopped using Goodreads for now. “I don’t even write well,” she told me, a little perplexed. “I just love to share. And I love people.”

But not all people love people back. As Walters became more well known on the site, people began to gossip about her; her offline friends thought it sounded a little catty, like high school, and I agree. “I guess I’m not guarded,” she said. “I shared that there was a time my husband and I had community warm-water soaks in our pool on Friday nights, and we did them clothing optional.” Soon enough, someone was going around telling people, “Oh, you should be friends with her, she has orgies,” Walters said. It got back to her. She emphasised that she did not host orgies. “But even if I did, wow,” she said. “How would that interfere with your lives?”

The habitual internet commenter wants to believe that he can interfere with other people’s lives, that he has the power to affect something more than a mood. (He also wants to affect your mood.) It follows that he feels affronted when someone is hosting weekly clothing-optional warm-water soaks in her pool: Doesn’t the clothing-optional warm-water soak host care what he thinks about it? Shouldn’t she be ashamed ? Because hasn’t she invited his opinion, brought this on herself, by telling him, everyone, about it?

Evidence suggests, however, that Goodreads reviewers are no match for the kind of author whose power they see themselves checking. Hale’s status on the site has recovered: her most recent book, a true crime work called Slenderman: Online Obsession, Mental Illness, and the Violent Crime of Two Midwestern Girls, was published in 2022, and it has a Goodreads rating of 3.95 stars. In 2021, the author Lauren Hough published an essay collection called Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing and soon offended Goodreads for calling users who’d left her book four-star reviews, rather than five, “assholes”. A review-bombing campaign led to Leaving’s star rating dipping quite low. But the book still made it to the New York Times bestseller list, and its star rating has since risen to an acceptable 3.37.

Unrepentant, the next year Hough got in trouble defending a friend, Sandra Newman, whose book had a premise that was condemned as transphobic by Goodreads users who hadn’t read it. The LGBTQ organisation Lambda Literary revoked Hough’s nomination for its annual prizes, on the grounds that she had used “her substantial platform … to harmfully engage with readers and critics”. The lesson: do not snap at humble commenters, who have it worse than you. This isn’t quite true, but it reflects a misapprehension about power in the attention economy: if you make something that can be publicised, you are seen to be like a famous person, with the material advantages of a pop star and the job security of a politician.

Publishing industry professionals seem to agree that Goodreads is “important” or, as one book editor told Time magazine in 2021, a “necessary evil”, but all this felt somewhat contained within the site’s forum ethos until 2023. Shortly after Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the truly famous bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, announced the publication of her forthcoming novel The Snow Forest , more than 50 Goodreads users, many of whom were Ukrainian, review bombed the book’s brand new Goodreads page because the novel seemed to “romanticise” Russia while the country continued its war against Ukraine. That the novel was set in Russia in the 1930s and, according to its synopsis, concerned a family attempting to resist the Soviet regime, didn’t seem to matter. Shortly after the Goodreads campaign began, Gilbert announced that the concerns of her Ukrainian readers had led her to pull the book from its publication schedule indefinitely.

The literary world was scandalised: Gilbert’s decision seemed a portentous overreaction. The questionable relevance of Goodreads had seemed like something you could find irritating but ultimately laugh at; that it could so quickly move a very famous author to cancel a book entirely seemed a bad sign for books that might deal with even more fraught themes. How could a publisher, to say nothing of an author, cave to pressures from amateur reviewers who hadn’t even read a book and who almost certainly wouldn’t have purchased it anyway? What consequences could publishers and authors seriously be afraid of? And why doesn’t Goodreads prevent this kind of thing?

The answer to the last question is easy: it doesn’t benefit their bottom line. But Goodreads is not the mafia, or even the best or only way to publicise a new book. While its users have clearly interfered with the lives of the people they’re reviewing, the effects they’ve had are more ambiguous than “AUTHOR CAREER RUINED”. Their reviews are powerful only if enough of the right people believe they are. The uncomfortable open question for the publishing industry is who the right people are. Put another way: I am a writer, yes. But am I not also a reader?

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I ate at Portillo's, one of the most famous hot-dog chains in the US. I get why Midwesterners love it so much.

  • Portillo's is a famous Chicago-based chain that serves hot dogs, Italian beef, and shakes. 
  • The chain's origins trace back to the 1960s, and today, it's known for its over-the-top interiors.
  • I love the Chicago dog and the classic beef sandwich, and I think the portions are large.

Insider Today

Dick Portillo opened his hot-dog cart, The Dog House, just outside of Chicago in 1963

Today, his chain lives on as Portillo's, which has 60 locations across the US offering delicious hot dogs and other Midwest favorites.

I visited my local branch to order some of the most popular dishes and show everyone what all the hype is about.

Portillo’s takes old-timey decor to a whole new level.

what is a dog review

Portillo's creates a dine-in experience that takes patrons back to the 1960s, complete with a soundtrack of swinging jazz beats and classic rock tunes.

Each location has unique wall art, memorabilia, and statues of old-school pop-culture icons throughout the dining room .

My local spot has everything from stained-glass windows to Uncle Sam posters.

The chopped salad is a meal all by itself, but I ordered it as an appetizer.

what is a dog review

The hearty salad included chicken, bacon, pasta, and plenty of gorgonzola cheese on top of chopped veggies.

The portion size was large, which makes it a great appetizer for a smaller entrée or a main dish in and of itself.

I also appreciated the nice crunch from the fresh veggies and the generous chicken-to-lettuce ratio.

Portillo’s cheese fries are an indulgent side order.

what is a dog review

I probably didn't need to add crinkle-cut cheese fries to my already large order, but they brought me back to my childhood.

The nacho-style cheese sauce is great for dipping or pouring over the fries. It kind of reminded me of eating prepackaged nachos at a baseball game on a chilly night — in the best way.

Like the salad, Portillo's didn't skimp on the portions with its fries.

You can’t beat a good Chicago dog, and Portillo’s makes one of the best.

what is a dog review

The classic Chicago-style hot dog is the crown jewel of Portillo's menu.

I ordered mine "all the way," which meant mustard, relish, celery salt, onions, tomatoes, a kosher pickle spear , sport peppers, and a poppy-seed bun.

Even though it's advertised as a handheld, I have a hard time keeping this dog together long enough to eat the whole thing. But that hardly distracts from the great taste.

If you're sensitive to heat, be aware that the sport peppers have a kick to them.

The Italian-beef sandwich comes “wet,” with spiced gravy and giardiniera.

what is a dog review

The beef sandwich is another fan-favorite item at Portillo's. The classic dish has been made famous by TV shows like "The Bear," but the chain has been serving the old-school sandwich for years.

If you've never had an Italian-beef sandwich, I recommend trying it "wet," meaning the whole sandwich is dipped in gravy.

The giardiniera topping is a nice edition if you enjoy a bit of spice, but you can also ask for it without. I personally enjoy the tanginess and crunch the Italian relish adds to the beef.

The sandwich is easily big enough to split between two people, but I downed mine easily. This is by far one of Portillo's best menu items.

I had to order the famous chocolate-cake shake.

what is a dog review

The chocolate-cake shake is exactly what it sounds like: A slice of Portillo's famous chocolate cake mixed into a milkshake.

The texture is unlike any other shake I've tried. The cake is grainy and makes it extremely thick. It was difficult to drink through a straw, so I ended up attacking the treat with a spoon.

Above all, the popular menu item tastes great — how could cake and ice cream ever be bad?

Portillo's is a beloved Chicago chain, for good reason.

what is a dog review

Portillo's is a nostalgic, quirky chain with tasty Chicago classics and generous portions.

There's a reason Midwesterners flock here. But luckily, for the rest of the US, the chain has expanded to Arizona, California, Florida, Texas, and Wisconsin.

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2024 Mazda CX-5 Turbo Signature: Will It Dog?

I don’t know if I agree with other reviewers who have called this a “poorer person’s Porsche Macan,” but it is still a nice little SUV.

Mazda Reviews photo

andrewpcollins

andrewatlarge

The 2024 Mazda CX-5 has effectively been around, with a few refreshes, since 2017. It’s perennially praised as one of the better-driving and prettier small SUVs on the road. I concur that it still looks good. It’s also dog-friendly but not exactly dog-optimized.

I have to admit I’m not quite as enamored with this car’s driving dynamics as my industry colleagues seem to be. My old buddy Travis Okuski went so far as to say “If you need the room of a crossover but still want something that can feel sporty, the CX-5 is the best one to drive this side of the Porsche Macan.”

<em>Andrew P. Collins</em>

This Mazda provides a decent driving experience, and yeah, the paddle shifters let you squeeze some essence of sportiness out of it when you get a back road to yourself. But I can’t say this was a car I itched to fire up as it sat in my driveway. Still, as daily transport with good comfort and great design? It’s totally solid.

Featured Dogs

Mazda Reviews photo

Bramble's appearing solo this week. She's becoming more of a diva every day — she's even on YouTube now .

Mazda Reviews photo

Interior Materials and Layout

The CX-5 has a completely traditional cockpit and interior configuration. Bench seat in the back, two buckets up front, center-console shifter in the middle with clear and simple controls between driver and passenger.

This brings me to another disagreement I have with other reviews I’ve seen, calling the CX-5 interior “dated.” I think it’s great! Mazda’s got a classy small screen up top for Apple CarPlay and infotainment, but all your key controls (climate, volume, drive modes) are easily within reach at all times as nicely shaped physical buttons.

<em>Andrew P. Collins</em>

There are some tracts of glossy black plastic, but most of the materials have a much warmer and more elegant look to them. The Nappa leather on the Signature model I tested has a soft yet robust feel to it. The center console didn’t seem easily scratched by paws or claws.

Touch surfaces, on the Signature at least, are all pretty darn nice if slightly light-feeling. But this model’s almost $10,000 more than the base CX-5, so make sure you scrutinize the cabin carefully and make your own judgments if you’re test-driving a lower spec.

Speaking of which—this Turbo Signature model is the top of the range, and pretty spendy listing just over $40,000. You do get the trappings of a real luxury car for your money—legitimately nice seats, heated front and rear seats, cooled front seats, high-quality leather, and clean and quick infotainment. I think the main value proposition here is that you get that luxe essence without, in theory, the running cost of something from a brand like BMW or Mercedes. Personally, I would rather buy something like a used last-gen X3 and pay a little more for parts and service. But I understand the appeal of this car.

Mazda Reviews photo

In the back, you can fold the rear seats down to make a large cargo area or keep them in place and still have decent storage space behind the second row.

Climbing In and Out

The CX-5’s rear doors open wide, making plenty of space for even large animals to get in and out. However, the back seats are also pretty high off the ground. You’ll need a somewhat athletic pet to jump themselves in or out of this thing. Same goes for the cargo area.

<em>Andrew P. Collins</em>

Bramble here, with months of agility training, powerful hind legs, and the spryness of youth, was hopping in and out of the side doors no problem. But even she had to get a bit of a run-up to hop into the hatch. There’s not an abundance of space in the rear footwells, but smaller dogs might be able to hop up that way before getting to the back seat.

Driving With the Dog

Bramble generally behaved herself in the back seat of the CX-5, and the rear windows rolled down plenty low enough for her to get her snout out for low-speed sniffs. However, she did avail herself of the center console, using it as a stepping stool to sneak up on me a few times when she wasn’t belted.

<em>Andrew P. Collins</em>

A restraining harness, as you should really put your pooch in while underway, basically solved the problem. But since the car’s relatively short and the center console is somewhat low (while the back seats are high), you might find your pet wanting to climb into the front seat more often than you’d like.

The slight bucketing of the rear bench seat (there’s a little bit of bolstering for left and right rear passengers) does help encourage dogs to stay put—at least that’s what I observed with ours. Once we got moving and she was able to settle, the back seat seemed to be treating her well.

This straightforward climate control console was a welcome reprieve from some of the convoluted screen-based systems I've dealt with lately. <em>Andrew P. Collins</em>

Driving in General

With 320 lb-ft of torque, the CX-5 is not slow. But it does like to have a little momentum to really start feeling sporty. Keep the revs around the middle of the tach with the paddle shifters and you sense some of that zoom-zoom energy Mazda built its brand on. But when you’re driving the car normally, don’t expect to feel personality oozing through the steering wheel.

The CX-5 Signature has Mazda’s “Mi-Drive” mode-selector, which lets you cycle between Normal, Sport, and Off-Road. Sport seemed to effectively drop a gear and shift slightly later. Off-road … kind of felt the same. It seems to just allow for a little more power application in slippery scenarios.

Mazda Reviews photo

Meanwhile, Mazda’s owner's manual defines Sport mode: “This mode enhances vehicle responsiveness when the accelerator pedal is depressed. This provides additional quick acceleration which may be needed to safely make maneuvers such as lane changes, merging onto freeways, or passing other vehicles.” And off-road mode: “This mode helps prevent drive-wheel spinning during off-road driving and improves driving performance. And this mode also assists in freeing tires that are stuck. Use this mode to drive the vehicle on slippery roads such as muddy, sandy, or deep-snowy roads.” 

The paddle shifters are what you really want to leverage for fun driving. The transmission is reasonably reactive to inputs and rewards smooth, deliberate action. Don’t try to flick the thing around; drive cleanly and keep the turbo spinning with the engine at a moderately high rpm for best results.

Mazda Reviews photo

But I don’t think quickness is a critical feature for a crossover to be good to drive. The CX-5 is responsive, comfortable, and nice-looking … that’s really all you need to have a nice driving experience in this class of car.

I remain unconvinced that this is a poorer person’s Porsche Macan, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a nice little get-around car. The interior design stood out to me more than the driving dynamics; part of me wondered if other reviewers have internalized the sleek aesthetic in the cockpit as a feeling of driver engagement.

Mazda has been doing great interiors for years now and that trend continues with this car. The CX-5’s dash and controls don’t all feel quite as robust as what I’ve touched in late-model Hondas and Toyotas, but they are a little prettier. It’s still clear that Mazda takes interior design seriously and yeah, the felt headliner might not be the nicest thing ever but the vents and inserts and whole front-area layout are all very nice to look at.

Pack Hauling—Multiple Dogs On Board

We didn’t get enough time with the whole pack for pictures, but two big dogs easily occupied the back seat. It starts to get pretty cramped after that, though. And if you’re trying to put four people and luggage and an animal in this car, you’re going to have to pack really light or hope you’ve got a sub-50-pound pooch.

Carrying Kennels

Unfortunately, the CX-5’s cargo area is not big enough for a medium-sized kennel without dropping half of the rear seats. If you like to put your dog in an enclosed carrier while you drive, you’ll be down to just three human passengers. A large kennel would consume almost all of this car’s cargo space.

Mazda Reviews photo

Mazda CX-5 Turbo Dog-Friendliness Verdict

The 2024 Mazda CX-5 is a nice little car, and certainly dog-compatible, but I would not call it dog-optimized. If you have a small to medium-sized pet, you’ll be absolutely fine. Even a single large dog, if you only have one or no kids, would work too. But if you’re trying to move four humans and one or more animals around, the CX-5 will start to feel pretty small.

This vehicle’s cabin isn’t cramped per se, it’s just that it’s kind of short (nose to tail) while being tall (floor to roof) and so the square inches of cargo space don’t all translate to pooch-occupiable areas.

<a href="https://www.thedrive.com/category/will-it-dog" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Click here</a> to paw through our whole catalog of dog car reviews.

Featured Dog Car Gear and Travel Accessories

  • Harness: Säker Ascension Extended ($99.95 at sakercanine.com )
  • Leash: Säker Sentiero 2.0 ($33.95 at sakercanine.com )
  • Seat Cover: Dickie’s Repreve ($29.88 at Walmart )
  • Portable Kennel: Enventur Travel Kennel (starts at $425.00 at Diggs.pet )

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what is a dog review

Dukes of Hazzard’s John Schneider called a racist for likening Beyonce country album to a urinating dog

Famed Bo Duke actor John Schneider took the brunt of the “Beyhive” after his comparison involving a dog in a park was deemed “racist and hateful.”

(Video: OANN)

Fans of Beyoncé appeared hellbent on making their “Queen Bey” a country music sensation no matter who they had to destroy in the process. Wednesday, Schneider became the latest roadblock on that path when he joined One America News Networks Alison Steinberg to talk about “lefties” writ large.

In the wake of the R&B, pop and hip hop artist announcing her foray into a new genre, the “Dukes of Hazzard” actor’s interview on “In Focus” was asked for comment on crossovers.

“There’s a lot more crossover music and acts like Shania Twain and Carrie Underwood, just to name a few,” said Steinberg as she noted the shifting sound of country music over the years the same week that an Oklahoma radio station took heat for not readily playing Beyoncé’s newest single “Texas Hold ‘Em.”

“I want your thoughts on this because I feel like the lefties in the entertainment industry just won’t leave any area alone, right? They just have to seize control over every aspect, don’t they?” she asked her guest.

To that, Schneider replied, “They’ve got to make their mark, just like a dog in a dog walk park. You know, every dog has to mark every tree, right? So that’s what’s going on here.”

The actor also suggested, “People coming into Country music…they seem to think that it’s easy, or it’s simple or somehow it’s not as sophisticated as the music that they sing otherwise.”

Instead of taking the comments from the entertainer, who has also written and performed country music since the 80s, at face value, fans of Beyoncé gave Schneider the same cancel culture treatment they had given KYKC after it hadn’t immediately acquiesced to requests to play the new single.

“Comparing @Beyonce to a dog is racist and hateful. As a country fan, I welcome her and let’s see what she has. John Schneider is another low life white supremacist,” wrote one supporter as others asserted the black community held creative ownership over country music.

“This isn’t a racist dog whistle, it’s a freakin’ foghorn!” contended another.

Comparing @Beyonce to a dog is racist and hateful. As a country fan, I welcome her and let’s see what she has. John Schneider is another low life white supremacist #Beyonce — Phil Woitaszewski (@philnevergiveup) February 17, 2024
This isn’t a racist dog whistle, it’s a freakin’ foghorn! — What Did Joe Biden Do Today? (@blankgenradio) February 15, 2024
Blatantly racist! — Trumptard Hunter (@TrumpSuxxs) February 15, 2024
Country music was created by black folks. — ᖘ (@_pinkrantz) February 15, 2024
John Schneider is about to meet the #BeyHive . I do not wish him luck. — Malcolm P. Johnson (@admiralmpj) February 15, 2024

Despite the assault on Schneider, some recognized the inanity of the “everything is racist” crowd as it was readily apparent by successful artists in the genre that skin color had nothing to do with the argument when names like Darius Rucker and Kane Brown were dropped.

As it happened, after KYKC had initially said they hadn’t added Beyoncé’s new song to their setlist because it hadn’t topped the charts yet, an updated statement from their owners to the Daily Mail claimed they couldn’t air it because it hadn’t been distributed to them yet.

“Finally after many calls and emails we finally got the song and added it to not only our country station, KYKC, but it’s also on our Top 40 station KXFC, and our classic hits station, KADA-FM,” said South Central Oklahoma Radio Enterprise.

In what appeared to be a direct response to allegations of racism from Beyoncé supporters and other internet trolls, Schneider shared a decades-old duet with Ray Charles performing “Georgia On My Mind,” with the comment, “Next question…”

Georgia On My Mind by Ray Charles & John Schneider Next question… https://t.co/DEKiVnOONm via @YouTube — John Schneider (@John_Schneider) February 15, 2024

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Home > Dog Breed Reviews > Rottweiler

Rottweilers: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Rottweiler temperament, personality, training, behavior, pros and cons, advice, and information, by Michele Welton , Dog Trainer, Behavioral Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Rottweiler dog breed

The AKC Standard describes the Rottweiler as "a calm, confident, and courageous dog with a self-assured aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships."

Some Rottweilers are serious dogs, while others are happy-go-lucky clowns. But in general, the Rottweiler tends to respond quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in his environment, like strange sights and sounds.

This muscular dog needs some space and exercise: brisk daily walks, interactive romping sessions, and regular opportunities to stretch out and run. Mental exercise is even more important and appreciated. Mental exercise includes advanced obedience classes, agility classes, or even Schutzhund classes if your Rottie is from German Schutzhund lines. Schutzhund is a dog sport that combines protection, obedience, and tracking.

Rottweilers must be thoroughly socialized at an early age so that their territorial instincts are controlled rather than indiscriminate.

They can be aggressive with other dogs of the same sex. And while many Rottweilers live peacefully with the family cat, other individuals are predatory toward cats.

Most Rottweilers are inclined toward dominance and will test for position in the family pecking order. But they will respect an assertive owner who knows how to lead a strong-minded dog.

Overall, the Rottweiler is a splendid, capable companion in the right hands. But without ongoing companionship, socialization, obedience training, and supervision, he is "too much dog" for many households.

If you want a dog who...

  • Is large, stocky, and muscular
  • Is easy to groom
  • Is generally calm and confident
  • Is very loyal to his family
  • Makes an intimidating-looking deterrent

A Rottweiler may be right for you.

If you don't want to deal with...

  • An extremely careful search to avoid over-aggressive or unstable lines
  • A heavy dog who wants to sit on your feet, lie on your lap, and lean his weight against your leg
  • Rowdiness and exuberant jumping when young
  • Destructiveness when bored or not exercised enough
  • Providing enough socialization so that protectiveness doesn't become aggression
  • Potential aggression toward other animals
  • Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
  • Potential drooling (individuals with massive heads and loose lips)
  • Gassiness (flatulence)
  • Legal liabilities (public perception, future breed bans, insurance problems, increased chance of lawsuits)
  • A multitude of serious health problems and a shortish lifespan

A Rottweiler may not be right for you.

Keep in mind that the inheritance of temperament   is less predictable than the inheritance of physical   traits such as size or shedding. Temperament and behavior are also shaped by raising and training.

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More traits and characteristics of Rottweilers

If I was considering a Rottweiler, I would be most concerned about...

With Rottweilers more than most other breeds, you must know what you want long before you start calling or visiting breeders. You need to ask the right questions. Otherwise you might end up with a Rottweiler that isn't at all what you were looking for – and possibly an individual who is too much for you to handle.

To make your search even more challenging, some idiot breeders are breeding Rottweilers to be dangerously sharp. "Sharp" dogs aren't protective – they're unstable, which makes them more likely to attack an innocent person or another animal. There are also Rottweilers who are skittish or nervous – another form of instability that makes them potentially dangerous.

Get your Rottweiler involved in agility (obstacle course), or advanced obedience, or schutzhund, a German protection-dog sport. Play fetch games. Take them hiking. They must have physical outlets for their energy, and mental outlets for their intelligent minds.

  • Potential animal aggression. Most Rottweilers are good with other pets in their own family. But some show predatory behavior toward cats, and many Rottweilers are aggressive toward other dogs of the same sex. Starting at an early age, you need to correct the very first sign of aggression; if you let an incident slide by, another will occur and another, until the bad habit is firmly ensconced.
  • Legal liabilities. Rottweilers may be targeted for "banning" in certain areas, or refusal of homeowner insurance policies. In this day and age, the legal liabilities of owning any breed that looks intimidating and has a history as a guard dog should be considered. People are quicker to sue if such a dog does anything even remotely questionable.
  • Serious health problems. Many Rottweilers live to 12 or 13 years old. But many others die early, at age 6 or 7, to crippling joint diseases, bone cancer, heart disease, bloat, or epilepsy. Read more about Rottweiler Health.
  • Gassiness (flatulence) that can send you running for cover. Commercial diets make flatulence worse by including fibrous or hard-to-digest ingredients. Rottweilers who are fed a heavily meat-based diet have much less trouble with gassiness.
  • Socialization requirements. Some Rottweilers are chunky cuddlebugs who are polite toward everyone. But most Rottweilers have at least some protective instincts toward strangers. They need extensive exposure to friendly people so they learn to recognize the normal behaviors of "good guys." Then they can recognize the difference when someone really does act abnormally. Without careful socialization , a Rottweiler may be suspicious of everyone and show unwarranted aggression.

Since you need to minimize their exercise, young Rottweilers can be rambunctious. They will romp with uncoordinated gawkiness all over your house. You need to substitute extra quantities of companionship and supervision at this time. Otherwise, left alone, young Rottweilers become bored and destructive, and their powerful jaws can destroy your living room.

In other words, you must teach your Rottweiler to respect you. A dog who respects you will do what you say and will stop what he's doing when you tell him "No." Follow my free online training programs .

  • Shedding. For such a shorthaired dog, Rottweilers shed more than you might think – on the high side of average.

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Vision Pro Review: Apple’s First Headset Lacks Polish and Purpose

Billed as the future of computing, the $3,500 goggles can’t replace a laptop for work. At times, wearing them also made our columnist feel nauseated.

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By Brian X. Chen

Brian X. Chen, the personal tech columnist for The New York Times, has worn more than a dozen tech headsets over 12 years.

About 17 years ago, Steve Jobs took the stage at a San Francisco convention center and said he was introducing three products: an iPod, a phone and an internet browser.

“These are not three separate devices,” he said. “This is one device, and we are calling it iPhone.”

At $500, the first iPhone was relatively expensive, but I was eager to dump my mediocre Motorola flip phone and splurge. There were flaws — including sluggish cellular internet speeds. But the iPhone delivered on its promises.

Over the last week, I’ve had a very different experience with a new first-generation product from Apple: the Vision Pro , a virtual reality headset that resembles a pair of ski goggles . The $3,500 wearable computer, which was released Friday, uses cameras so you can see the outside world while juggling apps and videos.

Apple calls it a “spatial computer” that blends together the physical and digital worlds for people to work, watch movies and play games.

Apple declined to provide an early review unit to The New York Times, so I bought a Vision Pro on Friday. ( It costs much more than $3,500 with the add-ons that many people will want, including a $200 carrying case, $180 AirPods and $150 prescription lens inserts.) After using the headset for about five days, I’m unconvinced that people will get much value from it.

The device feels less polished than past first-generation Apple products I’ve used. It’s not better for doing work than a computer, and the games I’ve tried so far aren’t fun, which makes it difficult to recommend. An important feature — the ability to place video calls with a humanlike digital avatar that resembles the wearer — terrified children during a family FaceTime call.

what is a dog review

The headset is superb at delivering on one of its promises: playing video, including high-definition movies and your own recordings in 3-D that let you immerse yourself in past memories, which is both eerie and cool.

In the last decade, companies like Meta, HTC and Sony have struggled mightily to sell headsets to mainstream consumers because their products were cumbersome to wear, their apps were limited and they looked uncool.

The Vision Pro has a superior user interface, better picture quality, more apps and higher computing power than other headsets. But it’s slightly heavier than Meta’s cheaper Quest headsets , and it plugs into an external battery pack that lasts only two hours.

The ski-goggle aesthetic of the Apple product looks better than the bulky plastic headset visors of the past. But the videos posted by early adopters walking around outside with the headset — men I call Vision Bros — confirm that people still look ridiculous wearing tech goggles, even when they are designed by Apple.

A Better Interface

The Vision Pro is miles ahead of other headsets I’ve tested in making an immersive 3-D interface simple for users to control with their eyes and hands. I let four colleagues wear the headset in the office and watched all of them learn to use it in seconds.

That’s because it’s familiar to anyone who owns an iPhone or a similar smartphone. You’ll see a grid of app icons. Looking at an app is equivalent to hovering over it with a mouse cursor; to click on it, you tap your thumb and index finger together, making a quick pinch. The pinch gesture can also be used to move around and expand windows.

The Vision Pro includes a knob called the Digital Crown. Turning it counterclockwise lets you see the real world in the background while keeping digital windows of your apps in the foreground. Turning it clockwise hides the real world with an opaque background.

I preferred to see into physical reality most of the time, but I still felt isolated. The headset cuts off part of your periphery, creating a binoculars-like effect. I confess that it was hard at times to remember to walk my dogs because I didn’t see them or hear their whining, and in another session, I tripped over a stool. An Apple spokeswoman referred to the Vision Pro’s safety guidelines, which advise users to clear away obstacles .

Getting Work Done

what is a dog review

When using the headset for work, you can surround yourself with multiple floating apps — your spreadsheet can be in the center, a notes app to your right and a browser to your left, for example. It’s the 3-D version of juggling windows on a computer screen. As neat as that sounds, pinching floating screens doesn’t make working more efficient because you need to keep twisting your head to see them.

I could tolerate juggling a notes app, a browser and the Microsoft Word app for no longer than 15 minutes before feeling nauseated.

The least joyful part of the Vision Pro is typing with its floating keyboard, which requires poking one key at a time. I had planned to write this review with the headset before realizing I wouldn’t make my deadline.

There’s an option to connect a physical keyboard, but at that point I’d rather use a laptop that doesn’t add weight to my face.

The Vision Pro can also work with Mac computers, where you can mirror the screen into the headset as a virtual window that can be expanded to look like a large display. In my tests, there was a consistent lag — each keystroke took a fraction of a second to register virtually, and the mouse cursor moved sluggishly. I also instinctively wanted to control the Mac with pinches, even though it’s not set up to work that way, which was frustrating.

Video player loading

Next I tried the headset in the kitchen, loading a pizza recipe in the web browser while I grabbed and measured ingredients. Moving around while looking through the camera, I became nauseated again and had to remove the headset. The Vision Pro is most comfortable to use while seated. Apple advises people to take breaks to reduce motion sickness.

Video calling is now an essential part of office life, and here the Vision Pro is especially inferior to a laptop with a camera. The headset uses its cameras to snap photos of your face that are stitched into a 3-D avatar called a Persona, which Apple has labeled a “beta” feature because it is unfinished.

Personas are so cringe that people will be embarrassed to use these in a work call. The Vision Pro produced an unflattering portrait of me with no cheekbones and blurred ears. In a FaceTime call with my in-laws, they said the blur conjured 1980s studio portrait vibes.

One of my nieces, a 3-year-old, turned around and walked away at the sight of virtual Uncle Brian. The other, a 7-year-old, hid behind her father, whispering in his ear, “He looks fake.”

Are We Entertained?

what is a dog review

Video is where the Vision Pro shines. When streaming movies through apps like Disney+ and Max, you can pinch the corner of a video and drag it to expand it into a jumbo high-resolution TV; some movies, like “Avengers: Endgame” and “Avatar 2,” can be viewed in 3-D. The picture looks much brighter and clearer than the quality in Meta’s Quest products. Audio quality on the Apple headset is excellent, but the speakers are loud, so you’ll need AirPods if you want to use them in public spaces.

The headset’s two-hour battery life is not long enough to last through most feature-length movies, but in my experience, this turned out to be moot because I couldn’t watch movies for more than 20 to 30 minutes before needing to rest my neck and eyes from the heavy headset.

(A caveat: The Netflix and YouTube apps are not available on the Vision Pro, but their websites work OK for streaming content.)

I prefer watching movies on my flat-screen TV because it can be shared, but there are scenarios where a headset would be useful as a personal television, like in a small apartment or on a plane, or on the couch when someone else is watching a TV show that you’d like to tune out from.

Videos shot on an iPhone 15 Pro camera or with the Vision Pro’s cameras can be viewed in 3-D on the headset, a feature called spatial videos. While watching a video of my dogs eating snacks at home, I could reach out and pretend to pet them. The videos looked grainy but were delightful.

Not many games have been made for the headset yet. I tried some new Vision Pro games such as Blackbox, which involves moving around a 3-D environment to pop bubbles and solve puzzles. It looked nice, but after the novelty wore off, my interest fizzled out. It’s tough to recommend the Vision Pro for virtual-reality gaming when Meta’s $250 Quest 2 and $500 Quest 3 headsets have a deeper library of games .

Bottom Line

Brian X. Chen uses the Vision Pro.

The Vision Pro is the start of something — of what, exactly, I’m not sure.

But the point of a product review is to evaluate the here and now. In its current state, the Vision Pro is an impressive but incomplete first-generation product with problems and big trade-offs. Other than being a fancy personal TV, it lacks purpose.

Most striking to me about the Vision Pro is, for such an expensive computer, how difficult it is to share the headset with others. There’s a guest mode, but there’s no ability to create profiles for different family members to load their own apps and videos.

So it’s a computer for people to use alone, arriving at a time when we are seeking to reconnect after years of masked solitude. That may be the Vision Pro’s biggest blind spot.

An earlier version of this article misstated the price of prescription lens inserts. They start at $150, not $100.

How we handle corrections

Brian X. Chen is the lead consumer technology writer for The Times. He reviews products and writes Tech Fix , a column about the social implications of the tech we use. More about Brian X. Chen

Tech Fix: Solving Your Tech Problems

Brian x. chen, our lead consumer technology writer, looks at the societal implications of the tech we use..

Apple’s Vision Pro: The new headset  teaches a valuable lesson about the cost of tech products: The upsells and add-ons will get you .  

Cut Down Your Screen Time:  Worried about smartphone addiction? Here’s how to cut down on your screen time , and here’s how to quit your smartphone entirely .

A New Age of Surveillance:  Meta’s $300 smart glasses can inconspicuously take photos and record videos. They also offer a glimpse into a future with less privacy and more distraction .

Green and Blue Bubbles: Apple announced that it would improve the technology used to send texts between iPhone and Android users. But the bubble culture war is far from over .

Google’s Pixel 8:  The smartphone lets you use A.I. to add or remove elements from your images. It’s not clear we really need this .

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