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 […]

Dear Doctor: Dog keeps raising paw outside

Q. My dog often lifts one of her front paws and kind of tucks it up under her when she sniffs something outside that she finds interesting. What is that about? Pip Lindstrom Edina, Minnesota Dear Mr. Lindstrom, A. It’s a dog thing and nothing to worry about. Animal behaviorists say it’s an aspect of […]

Common Training Mistakes

We’ve all seen it: Someone tells their off-leash dog to “come,” the dog doesn’t come, and the person keeps repeating the cue, getting angrier and angrier each time. Still, the dog doesn’t comply. Why should he? By saying the word over and over to no effect, the person is giving the dog the clearest message […]

Uptick in Dogs Biting Children

The day the U.S. went on COVID lockdown back in March 2020, Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic head Stephanie Borns-Weil, DVM, left Massachusetts for California to care for her parents, both of whom are in their 80s and had just been hospitalized with the virus. “A couple of weeks into my stay there,” she says, “I […]

Dear Doctor: Baby on the way

Q. We have a 5-year-old miniature schnauzer who is used to receiving a lot of attention from us. But as we are now expecting our first child, we’re soon not going to have the amount of time or energy to devote to Khloe that she is used to. Any tips for making her feel less […]

Dear Doctor: Dog acts aggressively to other dogs on leash

Q. I know that dogs can become more aggressive when on leash because they’re not in control of their own movements; they might feel threatened when forced into situations during which they have to come face-to-face with other dogs because their natural inclination might be to approach another dog more cautiously — perhaps from the […]

He’s Not Doing It Out Of Spite

You’ve been gone all day, and your dog trashes the house — or defecates on the rug when you know he can hold it in for the number of hours you were away. He’s doing it to let you know he’s displeased that you left him alone, right? Wrong. “People tell me all the time […]

Why Dogs Howl

Answer this question. A dog howls to say: A) I’m over here. B) Eureka, I found something good! C) Stay back! D) Gee, that...