Vacuum cleaners can be very scary for dogs, but you can help them get past their fear.

Fear of Inanimate Things

We have good news for you. If your dog is afraid of something — the vacuum cleaner, slippery floors, car rides — you do...

Is “Bad Dog!” Ever the Right Thing to Say?

We often hear people use the phrase “Bad Dog!” when their pet is doing something they don’t want him to do. We think the...

Dear Doctor: Lip Licking

Q. I’ve noticed my dog licks his lips whenever a stranger walks nearby. Is there a connection, or is it just a coincidence? Bunky Le...
Well, maybe one slipper at a time.

Bring Me My Slippers

How is it that some people are able to train their dogs to perform complicated tricks, like rolling over and playing dead — or fetching someone’s slippers from another room or even another floor of the house? They do it by using a process that animal behaviorists call shaping, which leads a dog through gradual […]
The science on whether a lower-protein diet will curb aggression has been mixed.

Less Protein to Reduce Aggressive Behavior?

At the level of folklore, it makes sense to think that a diet relatively low in protein would help inhibit aggressive tendencies in a dog. After all, throughout history protein has been the nutrient associated with red-blooded men who use aggression to hunt and then dine on protein-rich animal food to keep up their strength […]
Wait, did she say Harry or Larry?

They Can’t Distinguish Between Words That Sounds Alike

If you use “Down” to get your dog to lie on the floor and “Done” for telling your pet that no more treats are coming or that a game is over, he may mix up the cues and not know what you’re asking him to do. That’s because dogs can’t tell words apart if they […]
Training dog

Is it a Command or a Cue?

”When I first became a veterinarian, I didn’t really pay attention to what word I was using to describe training dogs and other animals,”...
It’s important to teach them to go from nipping to just mouthing.

Will the Teething and Nipping Ever End?

A puppy’s adult teeth generally start to come in when she reaches the age of 3 months. It hurts; the new teeth have to...

How Your Personality Impacts Your Dog

Extroverts have better results than introverts when they work with an animal behaviorist to help their dogs get over various fears, according to new...

What Won’t Work When Teaching “Come”

Renowned veterinary behaviorist Nicholas Dodman, BVMS, once said that when asked what is the one thing most people would like their dog to be...
Tug of war doesn’t have to be off limits, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to teach your dog how to play it.

To Play Tug of War or Not to Play?

Time was that animal behaviorists said not to play tug of war with a dog because it could make him too aggressive. The thinking...

Dear Doctor: Play-fighting or just plain fighting?

Q. Sometimes my dog interacts with another dog in a way that seems kind of frightening. They growl and will even bite each other,...