Halloween Horrors – Barking At The Door

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  Fear of Visitors = Barking at the Door Halloween is a fun holiday – for you humans. But from a dog’s perspective, however, it can be a little scary for us. Not only are our humans dressing strangely, but there are strangers at the door or in the house, and according to dog logic, that’s … Continued

When Your Dog’s Itching is Driving You Crazy

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What’s with all the scratching? Is it heat? Summertime can often trigger skin rashes and ear infections in dogs. You may be cleaning your dog’s ears, bathing them, or giving them anti-histamines, yet they continue scratching away. There may be relief for a day or two, but it continues to come back. The foot licking, … Continued

Pretzel Stick Dental Exams

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Dr. Sally Foote DVM Have you ever had a patient you wanted to “flip the lip” for a dental exam, but the patient was anxious about mouth handling? Raising the upper lip, also known as “Flip the lip” can be difficult for pets’ who are wary of handling around the head. These situations are challenging, … Continued

Dog Bites: What To Do When You’re Attacked

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With all of the dog bite attacks that circulate in the news, you may sometimes worry; what if that were you?
As a veterinarian focused on behavior and an avid runner, I’ve dealt with a lot of dogs charging towards me and threatening to bite. In spite of working with aggressive dogs as well as running by off-leash dogs on a daily basis, I have only been bitten—minor bites— a few times over the last 20 years. What’s the secret? The number one secret is to stay calm. The more you scream and try to move the more aroused you’ll make the dog—here are the two scenarios.

Animal Trainers and Behaviorists: Licensing and Certification

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“You should find a good trainer.” How many times have we heard this advice but don’t know exactly who to turn to? When one of my dogs began exhibiting aggressive behavior, many people told me that I should “find” a behaviorist, as if it were a simple, ordinary task and that all I had to do was search. In my quest to find the best behaviorist, I realized that the options were much more nuanced, the licensing/certification organizations much more varied, and the process much more complicated than I had initially thought.

Why Pooches Eat Poop

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You love them, they love you. You’re best friends…but…Why, oh, why do they eat poop?

Leash Walking Tips: Giving Correct Cues for Stopping

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Have you ever been in a new city or location or situation and uncertain of where to go and the person who’s supposed to be guiding you keeps getting you mixed up? It’s this confusing if we don’t provide dogs with proper guidance and direction. Read here for some great insight on giving appropriate cues to dogs when walking and stopping.

Take The Lead, Safely! Leash Walking Skills Every Human Needs to Know

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People frequently ask me why I use hands-free leashes in my dog classes instead of letting owners hold the leash. One main reason is the hands-free leashes allow the clients to easily handle and deliver treats quickly, in rapid succession, and with correct timing. A less obvious but very important reason and my answer: Have you seen what people do with a leash in their hands? I remember attending a seminar early in my career by Patricia McConnell where she showed a video of chimpanzees handling objects. They grabbed, swung, lifted and pulled at these objects. Her point was, primates can’t help but manipulate objects in weird ways.
What type of weird ways do human primates handle leashes?