How to Enrich Your Dog's Life

Lena-balk-Jh7mx7fMXzE-unsplash"Canine enrichment" is a phrase dog behaviorists use to define specific ways for how to make a dog's life happy and healthy. In a recent article for The Bark, animal behaviorist and dog trainer Karen London discusses tips which she discovered in the book, Canine Enrichment for the Real World: Making It a Part of Your Dog’s Daily Life by Allie Bender and Emily Strong. London highlights the following important points about enrichment:

  • "Ideal enrichment varies by individual as well as by breed"
  • "Providing choices to a dog is a great form of enrichment"
  • "Physical exercise affects the brain, mood, digestion, memory, appetite" and more
  • "Safety and security are critical elements of enrichment"
  • "Mental stimulation is an important part of enrichment"
  • "Let them be dogs!"

The article is worth reading -- and the book is a must if you want to really enrich your dog's life!

Photo by Lena Balk on Unsplash

AHS Opens Thrift Store - Asheville, Feb. 1

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Asheville Humane Society announces the opening of their new Thrift Store on Saturday, February 1.

The Thrift Store is located at Asheville Humane's Community Center (1425 Patton Avenue). Make a left at the light onto Dearview Road and then left into the parking lot. Stop by between 9  AM and 5PM to shop for a good cause - all proceeds benefit the animals of Buncombe County!

They have a variety of items for the whole family, including furniture, housewares, clothing, books, jewelry, pet supplies and more! You can also donate your unwanted items to help animals in need! 

Store Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 am-5 pm

Donation Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am-4 pm 

Visit for more information on items they do/don't accept. 

Follow on Instagram: @avlhumanethrift

Follow on Facebook: Asheville Humane Thrift Store

"Meet Your Dog" Book Signing - Asheville, June 13

Kim Brophey, a local dog behaviorist/owner of The Dog Door in Asheville with a national reputation, will be appearing at Malaprops Bookstore, 55 Haywood Street in Asheville, on Wednesday, June 13 at 6 PM. She will be discussing her new book, Meet Your Dog, which has received rave reviews. A presentation will be followed by a book signing.

Using cutting-edge research, Brophey has developed a groundbreaking system called L.E.G.S. that allows owners to identify what their dog is struggling with, why, and how they can fix it. Brophey's approach is unlike anything that has been published before and will give dog owners a new understanding of what motivates and affects their dog's behavior. Brophey's innovative technique rethinks the way we categorize dogs, and distills information from over twenty scientific disciplines into four comprehensive elements: learning, environment, genetics, and self. With revolutionary tips for specific dog breeds, her book will change the life of every dog owner and lead to happier human-canine relationships. Asheville Humane Society is the first humane society in the country to be adopting the L.E.G.S. approach.

Her book is available at Malaprops, or through Amazon by clicking on the book cover above.


New Dog Book by Local Behaviorist Launches - Asheville, April 14

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On Saturday, April 14 from 3 to 5 PM, Kim Brophey will be reading from and signing copies of her new book, Meet Your Dog, at the Asheville Mall Barnes and Noble on South Tunnel Road in Asheville.

Business owner and dog behavior expert Brophey just released this revolutionary new book that will change the way people view dog behavior. Kim is a nationally-recognized, certified animal behaviorist with her own dog behavior business, The Dog Door in Asheville.

In her book Meet Your Dog: The Game-Changing Guide to Understanding Your Dog’s Behavior she reveals her comprehensive framework known as L.E.G.S (Learning, Environment, Genetics, Self) which explains the four aspects of a dog’s behavior. The knowledge in this book can dramatically change how we view and relate to dogs, with the aim of keeping misunderstood dogs out of shelters and in happy homes. Asheville Humane Society will be instituting the L.E.G.S. system this Spring -- the first humane society in the nation to do so.

No dogs allowed at this event, please!


New Book Focuses on Disaster Preparedness for Pet Owners

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 3.25.24 PMWhether the wind blows, the ground shakes, the flames rise or snow and water fall from the skies, you must be prepared for your pet’s sake!” says Denise Fleck aka The Pet Safety Crusader™. “Disasters aren’t always on a regional scale. Power could go out on just your street or in only your building.  A tree could fall on your roof or a water pipe could break in your home alone.  Even without your neighbors being affected, your household of two-legged, four-legged, feathered, finned or scaled family members could be in distress.”

In her just released 9th book, “The Pet Safety Crusader’s My Pet & Me Guide to Disaster PAWparedness,” Fleck, who has personally instructed more than 12,000 humans in animal life-saving skills and millions more on national TV segments, lays out the steps your pets need you to know to be READY, REACT and then RECOVER.  “Training, supplies, a positive mental attitude and a plan can make all the difference,” she says.  In addition to preparedness tips for humans and their animal companions, the author provides templates for your family's emergency plan, what to have on hand and skills to possess, suggestions for specific disasters ranging from earthquakes, hurricanes and chemical disasters to tsunamis, power outages and civil unrest. The book concludes with a comprehensive manual covering basic first-aid – should the worst happen – for those who walk on two-legs, four paws or hooves, fly, swim or crawl.

Order the book below:

Take a Hike with Your Dog!

PoochPathsjpgWith warmer weather coming, it's a perfect time to take a hike with your dog. That's why you might like to have a copy of Carolina Mountain Dog's eBook, “POOCH PATHS.” This handy eBook offers descriptions, links, directions, and even insider tips for more than thirty dog walks and hikes in the local area. You’ll find useful information about Asheville greenways, Bent Creek Forest trails, Blue Ridge Parkway trails, DuPont State Forest, Pisgah National Forest, and much more.
POOCH PATHS is available to you as a Carolina Mountain Dog reader for just 99 cents!

Read a free sample, and then purchase and download POOCH PATHS in any eBook format, including a PDF, here:
You're sure to find POOCH PATHS of value. Order your copy today!

Gift Ideas for Local Dog Lovers

Still stymied about what to buy that dog lover? Carolina Mountain Dog just might have a solution!

Check out these gift ideas:

Screen Shot 2016-12-05 at 11.41.21 AMPooch Paths: Dog Walks and Hikes in Asheville and Beyond

This handy eBook offers descriptions, links, directions, and even insider tips for more than thirty dog walks and hikes. You’ll find useful information about Asheville greenways, Bent Creek Forest trails, Blue Ridge Parkway trails, DuPont State Forest, Pisgah National Forest, and much more. Just 99 cents!

Screen Shot 2016-12-05 at 11.40.41 AMThe Carolina Mountain Dog Coffee Mug

This handsome mug with the beautiful Carolina Mountain Dog masthead is perfect for hot coffee, tea, and cocoa. You can get the regular size or extra large mug, plus other official merchandise, at the Carolina Mountain Dog store.

ID-100134009Every Dog Book Under the Sun!

For a great selection of dog books that you can order directly from Amazon, simply visit the Carolina Mountain Dog bookstore. Image: Master Isolated Images,


New Dog Books

Dominik QN-unsplash.comThe popularity of dogs themselves tracks closely with the popularity of books about them. Just check out Carolina Mountain Dog's bookstore and you'll see how many dog books are available. 

Thankfully, Judith Newman, writing for The New York Times, selected a few recent strong additions that are definitely worthy of your consideration. Simply click on the link for each to learn more or purchase the book directly from Amazon.

Modern Dog Parenting

by Sarah Hodgson, St. Martin's Griffin

Hodgson typecasts dogs in a positive way, such as "Party Animal" or "Overthinker." Newman says "Hodgson argues persuasively that in all kinds of training situations, rewards work far better than punishment."

Pets on the Couch

by Nicholas H. Dodman, Atria

Newman writes that Dodman "presents fascinating case studies that suggest animals suffer from some of the same mental disorders we do — and can and should be treated with similar medications."

Lucky Dog Lessons

by Brandon McMillan, HarperOne

 "Concentrating on rescues and 'problem' animals, McMillan’s methods are muscular (as befits the hunky heartthrob of dog training) and labor-intensive, and come with the caveat that constant reinforcement is key," says Newman.

Dog Medicine

by Julie Barton, Penguin

Not so much a dog book as a book about how dogs help us, this is the story of a woman with depression who was saved by a golden retriever. Newman writes, "It’s a harrowing story told with gentleness and wit."

Image: Dominik QN,


New "Pooch Paths" eBook Features Asheville Area Dog Hikes

PoochPathsjpgCarolina Mountain Dog has published "POOCH PATHS," a new eBook. This handy guide offers descriptions, links, directions, and even insider tips for more than thirty dog walks and hikes in Asheville and beyond. You’ll find useful information about Asheville greenways, Bent Creek Forest trails, Blue Ridge Parkway trails, DuPont State Forest, Pisgah National Forest, and much more.

To ensure every dog owner can gain access to this valuable eBook, it's available for a mere 99 cents!

The eBook is now available in all eBook formats, including PDF, here:

We hope you find “POOCH PATHS” of use. If you like it, please post a good review so others know about it, too!

New POOCH PATHS eBook Features Dog Walks and Hikes

PoochPathsjpgCarolina Mountain Dog is excited to let you know that we've just published a new eBook called POOCH PATHS. This handy eBook offers descriptions, links, directions, and even insider tips for more than thirty dog walks and hikes in Asheville and beyond. You’ll find useful information about Asheville greenways, Bent Creek Forest trails, Blue Ridge Parkway trails, DuPont State Forest, Pisgah National Forest, and much more.

To ensure every dog owner can gain access to this valuable eBook, we’re making it available for a mere 99 cents!

The eBook is now available at the Amazon Kindle store here:

It is also available in all other eBook formats, including PDF, here:

POOCH PATHS will soon be available through other major online booksellers as well.

We hope you find “POOCH PATHS” of use. If you like it, please post a good review so others know about it, too!

New Kids' Coloring Book Celebrates Rescue Dogs

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 1.32.25 PMCooper: A Rescue Dog's Tale, a new coloring and activity book for kids, has been published by Helping Tales Publishers with the support of John Paul Pet, a leading grooming and hygiene product line dedicated to pets. Cooper’s heartwarming true story aims to help children better understand pet rescue. Ten percent of all books sold will benefit rescue organizations and shelters across the country.

Gina Dial, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for John Paul Pet, sought to rescue Cooper – a 1½ -year-old Australian Shepherd – and she used her Facebook network to do so. After seeing what the power of social media could do to assist needy pets, she inspired John Paul Pet to create the John Paul Pet PALS program to help “Passionate Animal Lovers” leverage their social media networks on Facebook. The state-by-state PALS Facebook pages encourage users to “Join and Share” their stories of lost and found pets, as well as pets in need of a forever home.

Cooper is now the official spokesdog of the PALS program, and the last page of his book features a colorable tutorial about the program and its new campaign, “You Join – You Share – We Give.” For every “join” to the PALS Facebook page, John Paul Pet will make a $1 donation to the Morris Animal Foundation (up to $5,000).

You can purchase the book directly from Amazon below.

Best-selling Author Speaks in Asheville, Feb. 17

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 11.54.58 AMCarl Safina, PBS host and best-selling author of the book, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel, will speak in Asheville on Wednesday, February 17 at 6 PM. The event, starting at 5:30 PM for snacks and followed by Safina's talk, will be held at the Lenoir-Rhyne University/Asheville Chamber of Commerce building at 36 Montford Avenue.

Safina's book will be available that evening, as well as at Malaprop's Bookstore, and the author will do a book signing following his talk. This is a ticketed event ($20) and tickets should be purchased in advance. You can purchase tickets here.

If you cannot attend, learn more about Beyond Words and consider purchasing the book directly from Amazon below.

Last Minute Doggie and Dog Lover Gifts!

Christmas is almost upon us -- so if you haven't quite finished shopping for the dogs and dog lovers in your life, consider these last minute gift ideas.

The Total Dog Manual: Meet, Train, and Care for Your New Best Friend
The definitive resource for dog owners! The Total Dog Manual has everything from how to choose and understand your pet as well as appropriate training methods and environments, to selecting the right food, toys, and care for your new family member.  From understanding a dog's anatomy and those deep-down doggie instincts to training methods and grooming tips - the experts have provided you with everything you need understand your furry friend. Purchase directly from Amazon below.

Good Owners, Great Dogs
The only American to study and work with the renowned Barbara Woodhouse, this book's author Brian Kilcommons solves all those "bad dog" problems that drive owners crazy-and shows you how to raise a puppy into a happy, perfectly behaved dog. The trick is to understand how dogs think, read their body language, and, with the secrets Kilcommons shares in this book, be "fun, fair, and firm." A dog-training guide that gives you immediate results even with an adult dog, this manual trains you, as it gives owners everything they need and everything dogs need to become... Good Owners, Great Dogs. Purchase directly from Amazon below.

Also, check out the extensive selection of dog books at the Carolina Mountain Dog Bookstore.

Carolina Mountain Dog Coffee Mug
This quality mug is unique because it carries the full-color masthead of Carolina Mountain Dog, complete with mountain sunset and a picture of Chester, our mascot! Order your mug -- or your choice of other cool merchandise from the Carolina Mountain Dog store. Carolina_mountain_dog_mug


Select Doggie Items
A wide variety of quality gifts especially for the furry love of your life are available from Amazon, Entirely Pets, and Only Natural Pet. Check out all of the products from these three outstanding retailers by simply clicking on their ads to the right. Your purchase from each of these retailers supports Carolina Mountain Dog.

Brand New Bookstore

We're pleased to announce that Carolina Mountain Dog has a brand new bookstore. Now you can search for any book about dogs, dog care, and dog training right from this blog. The bookstore features a collection of books for dog lovers available through our relationship with You'll find all the dog books you want -- plus you'll have the convenience of shopping with Amazon!

Just click on the Bookstore link at the top of the page to go to the bookstore.

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Recommended Reading: Pet First Aid for Kids

Pet First AidChildren can become involved in caring for their pets in many ways -- and one of them is learning about techniques to keep them healthy and safe.

That's why animal care iInstructor Denise Fleck collaborated with Rescue Critters® on their new book, Pet First Aid for Kids. "By instilling in the younger generation a passion for animals, it is my hope they will inspire their parents to learn along with them," says Fleck.

The book outlines basic steps, along with detailed photographs, and materials needed BEFORE you get your pet to the veterinarian -- how to handle choking, what to do for a bee sting, how to administer rescue breathing and CPR. "With an emphasis on safety first, it is a quick reference to teach kids, age 8 and older, what to do should their dog or cat need help," explains co-Author Sandrina Lee. "Hopefully it will bring families together learning to care for their four-legged members."

"I learned a lot from reading this book and now know what to do in an emergency with my pets and also how to keep them safe at home," says 7th grader Lyndsey Scoper, while 9th grader Alexis Yannuzzi explains, "It's stressful worrying about your pets. I have 3 dogs and a cat, but I no longer have to worry. I recommend that pet owners of all ages keep this book on hand. I know I will!"

Veterinarian Harriet Howe comments, "I found Pet First Aid for Kids accurate and easy to follow. It’s a great book for kids and young adults…I know I would have found it intriguing at that age," and that is just what the authors are hoping all readers will discover as well since pets too are part of the family and sometimes need a helping hand.

Pet First Aid for Kids is available at Amazon along with other select sites and retail stores.

Unique Book Celebrates SC Dogs and Writers

ScreenHunter_01 Nov. 29 15.46Literary Dogs & Their South Carolina Writers is an unusual book, published just in time for the holidays. It contains stories about the dogs of 25 of South Carolina's renowned writers, including Dorothea Benton Frank, Mary Alice Monroe, and Ron Rash.

The book is unique for another reason: The writers, some of whom are best-selling authors, wrote the stories for free, and a portion of the book's royalties will benefit a South Carolina animal charity.

Literary Dogs & The South Carolina Writers, published by Hub City Press, is available in bookstores or through Barnes & Noble right here. And just in case you were wondering, the book has been endorsed by Spartanburg, SC celebrity dog Chaser, who knows over 1,000 words and is considered by some to be "the world's smartest dog."

A Holiday Gift for You!

Best of CMDog coverCarolina Mountain Dog would like to thank all of our loyal readers with a free gift this holiday season. 

We've put together "The Best of Carolina Mountain Dog," a compilation of more than 100 blog posts with all links included. This publication is packed with information from more than two years of Carolina Mountain Dog, the most popular dog blog in the Carolina mountains, all in one convenient eBook.

To get your free copy, simply go to and download the eBook in the format of your choice. Tell your friends about "The Best of Carolina Mountain Dog" too. Enjoy it with our compliments and best wishes for Christmas, Hanukkah, and the New Year!

New! Dog Lovers Bookstore

BooksJust in time for holiday shopping, Carolina Mountain Dog is pleased to announce our new Dog Lovers Bookstore!

We've selected some fine books especially for dog lovers and made them available in one convenient place. Just click on any title in the store and get more information about the book, or you can purchase it online at a great price, thanks to our association with Barnes & Noble.

Take a look right here and see what's in store for you. You'll also find a link to the bookstore in the navigation at the top of this page.

Win a Free Copy of the Asheville Doggie Guide!

Adg2e Carolina Mountain Dog is celebrating its second year anniversary -- two years of publishing what to do, where to go, and information for dog lovers who live in or near the Carolina mountains. Not only that, August 26 is National Dog Day!

In honor of our birthday and National Dog Day, we're running a contest and it's easy to win. Simply tell us 3 things you would like to see us cover in the next year. What do you need to know? Where do you want to go? What information would you like to see?

Just submit 3 things you would like to see covered in Carolina Mountain Dog. Submit your entry using the Comments link below this blog post.

One winner will be chosen on the basis of originality. The winner will get a free printed copy of the second edition of the Asheville Doggie Guide. The guide has hundreds of listings for everything for dogs in Buncombe and Henderson Counties, plus a "best of Carolina Mountain Dog" section. It's a $15 value, yours free if you win!

Contest closes Sunday, September 4, so submit your 3 ideas today!

Blackout the Dog Featured in New Thriller, "Water's Edge"

WatersEdge cover Of course you love dogs -- but if you also love a good story with a dog as the hero, Water's Edge is a new book you might enjoy. An extra bonus: It takes place in Asheville.

Water's Edge features Blackout, a 3-year old female black mixed breed dog -- some lab, some shepherd, and who knows what else. She's jet black with a few white highlights. She was adopted from a shelter by David Samuels, an environmental consultant from Boston, who named her Blackout after a blackout that occurred around the time he adopted her.

David taught Blackout to sniff out chemicals and other substances. She became so good at it that David began to use Blackout as his "secret weapon" in helping to uncover pollutants and even track them to their source. As a result, Blackout became something of a local celebrity.

David has relocated to Asheville to retire, but he gets a strange call from his former employer. Apparently, someone is polluting the French Broad River with benzene. Knowing that Blackout's special skill could help, David reluctantly agrees to get involved.

David and Blackout get caught up in a chain of events that’s more sinister than anyone can imagine. In fact, river pollution is just the beginning of this wild ride. Ultimately, Blackout plays a key role in uncovering the plot -- and David finds out that “retirement” is more than he bargained for!

Water’s Edge is an environmental thriller with plenty of twists and turns. This novel marks the beginning of a new series with two unlikely heroes, Blackout the dog and his baby boomer owner.

Water's Edge is available as an eBook for just $2.99. Get a free sample at the Amazon Kindle store, on the iPad and nook, or at . You can also follow Blackout the dog's blog.