The One Risk Factor for Canine Compulsive Behavior You Can 
Do Something About

Chasing his own tail to the point of sheer exhaustion, licking his ankles and feet until he strips off his skin, continuously snapping at imaginary flies, biting his own flank nonstop…these are among the compulsive behaviors that end up afflicting dogs. Such behaviors, equivalent to obsessive compulsive disorder in people, make the animals miserable, unable […]

When Your Dog Becomes an Overzealous Nanny

You’re walking your new baby in the carriage with the dog alongside, and a neighbor sees you and comes over to have a peek. Your dog gives a low growl, and you think it’s adorable that she seems to want to protect your young child, so you laugh lightheartedly while petting her. Unfortunately, it is […]

You May Be Using Aversive Training Techniques Without Knowing It

You know never to hit your dog and would never intentionally do anything to harm her. You know, too, that the best way to teach her not to do something is to redirect her attention by showing her what to do and rewarding her for getting it right. Still, you may be engaging in a […]

Funny, You Don’t Act Like a Golden Retriever

You adopt a golden retriever because you know that breed gets along well with people, but as she grows into adulthood you find that she’s just not that much of a social animal. Some would even say she’s a bit aloof. What happened? Nothing. It’s just that, according to a new study involving more than […]

Short Takes: September 2022

Brush Your Short-Haired Dog, Too Even short-haired breeds like beagles and boxers require regular brushing, not just Afghans and collies. Why? Brushing doesn’t just make a dog look good. It distributes protective oils from a dog’s skin throughout her coat, removes dirt, helps keep her skin free of irritants, and, in general, helps the hair […]

What Your Dog Feels When You Pet Another Dog

More than 50 years ago the father of the Attachment Theory, John Bowlby, observed that “in most young children the mere sight of [their] mother holding another baby in her arms is enough to elicit strong attachment behavior.” Such behavior, documented in research on children as young as 6 months old, includes trying to get […]

May I Pet You?

While we accept that cats don’t want to be petted by everyone and have to be approached respectfully, it’s easy to forget that dogs don’t want attention from everyone, either — probably because they’re generally so people-oriented. But they, too, have their moods and preferences. After all, even if you’re friendly and outgoing, it doesn’t […]

Poolside Safety Precautions

When it’s summertime and the weather is hot, many dogs, like their human families, enjoy splashing around in a pool, lake, or at the beach. But they absolutely should not take a dip unless under your watchful eye. Contrary to popular belief, doggie paddling doesn’t come naturally to all canines. Some dogs can’t even swim. […]

My Male Dog Humps Other Male Dogs. What Is That About?

You may recall seeing in the news several months ago that a couple relinquished their dog to a shelter when he humped another male dog because they did not want a gay pet. The dog now lives a good life after having been adopted by a same-sex couple. But it raises the question: Are dogs […]

Could Your Dog Have ADHD?

Your dog can’t seem to focus too long on much of anything, with the exception of vocalizing 24/7, veering off course to chase bicyclists or joggers, or greeting guests with repeated full-body high-fives in rhythm with your command to “Leave it!” If you’re thinking he might have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a neurodevelopmental condition […]

Should You Teach Your Dog to “Go Potty” on Cue?

Travis, a 12-year-old Chihuahua, is unhappy being outside in inclement weather. “He does not like rain or snow or cold temperatures,” says the head of the Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic, Stephanie Borns-Weil, DVM, who happens to be his “mom.” “Poor fellow,” the doctor comments. “He was meant for a warm climate.” That’s why Dr. Borns-Weil […]

Don’t Pet the Service Dog

Why do people with service dogs ask people to stop petting their animals, even if they’re just sitting still and the dog isn’t working at the moment? It’s because service dogs are always working, even when they’re just lying at their person’s feet. Consider that some of them can sense when their human companion is […]