The Difficult Dog Dilemma

The editor connects two Your Dog readers to help a dog who finds it hard to trust his human family.

When the Barking is Born of Separation Anxiety

Many times barking is not about territoriality or boredom but, rather, is a result of separation anxiety. A dog simply cannot bear for his owners to leave him alone in the house and vocalizes from distress. Unfortunately, separation anxiety is a difficult problem to treat - dogs who suffer from it suffer acutely. And theres often recidivism. Even once its dealt with successfully, theres a tendency to backslide, with a renewal of efforts required. But there are strategies that have been shown to be helpful.

Dear Doctor

Letters to Tufts Veterinarians - The dog is staring too hard; A tumor on the backside

Body Language: Is It a Behavioral Quirk Or Something More Serious?

You're done playing fetch but with a toss of her head and a pointed snap into the air, your dog informs you that you will continue. It's a bit of bossiness that makes you laugh. Teeth clicking is another sign that play has become awfully boisterous, or even aggressive, and that a dog might have gotten carried away with her excitement. …

A Dogs Inner Compass

Wed put it more in the category of human interest than important scientific finding about dogs, but in an unlikely research project, German and Czechoslovakian researchers have discovered what they say is a correlation between how dogs position themselves when doing their business and the Earths magnetic field. That is, they appear to show a preference for aligning their bodies with the north-south axis when relieving themselves. …

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Letters to Tufts Veterinarians - She refuses to go out willingly; Coughing Without any Apparent Cause

The Dog Who Mistook Her Owner For an Enemy

We wanted to show a photo of Gracie the Bassett hound with her new owner, Mike Phillips. But that would have been impossible, reports Mr. Phillipss wife, Beth. Gracie wont go near him. She is terrified of him, Mrs. Phillips says. She stalks him when he is moving around, barking non-stop, but as soon as he comes towards her, she shies away from him and runs. …

Does Your Dogs Tail Wag Right or Left?

The idea of different brain hemispheres controlling different aspects of thinking, and feeling, has been preliminarily observed in dogs, too. A couple of years ago, researchers in Italy published a paper in which they observed the tail-wagging direction of dogs presented with four different tail triggers: their owners, a cat, a dominant dog, or an unfamiliar person.

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Letters to Tufts Veterinarians - The dog dines on squirrels; Can you predict bathroom time?; Dog is uncommonly itchy

Brendons Dog Versus Mine

My neighbor and fellow dog walker Brendon Potter is distressed that I rarely let our little shiba inu, Rosie, off the leash. So am I. She would love nothing more than to run free. But with her high predatory drive and her attention-wandering tendencies, letting her explore unconnected to me tends to turn into a hard-driving chase. By the time I catch up to her once Ive located her, Im usually a sweaty wreck,…

Dear Doctor

Letters to Tufts Veterinarians - My dog scares smaller dogs; Why dog urinates indoors is a mystery; Cure for kidney failure?

Theyre Picking Up More Than You Realize

Its well established that while dogs yawn if theyre tired, youre even more apt to see them yawning when theyre under stress. With yawning, a dog is working to displace the stress, or inner conflict, with a safe, neutral behavior. People do the same thing - not necessarily yawn, but do something to cope with their feeling ill at ease in a situation they cant get out of. …