DOG TRAINING AND BEHAVIOR

dog licking paw

Dear Doctor: Constant paw licking

Q. My 7-year-old terrier licks his paws constantly, as if they are itching. My groomer said it is just a dog’s habit, but I’m wondering if there’s something more going on. It’s pretty incessant. Henry Killings Carson, California Dear Mr. Killings, A. Take your terrier to the veterinarian. Occasional paw licking is plain old dog […]
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When a Dog Doesn’t Get Along with Other Dogs

You hear it all the time: people say their pet is a “people dog” or a “dog dog,” meaning the dog either likes people or other dogs, but not both. Of course, in the best of all possible worlds, your dog is not averse to either species. But a dog can get into a frightful […]
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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,” says the head of the Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic, Stephanie Borns-Weil, DVM. “I was used to thinking of words we say to dogs as ‘commands’ — you tell your dog to […]
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Training dog

Teaching “Down”

Along with “Sit,” “Leave it,” and “Come,” the cue for “Down” is one of the basics you should teach your dog. It means “lie down.” Many people mistakenly use it for “Off,” which is the cue for getting a dog to stop jumping on someone. That only has the potential to confuse a dog. A […]
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Dogs Can “Smell” Heat

Just when you thought dogs’ noses couldn’t get any more incredible — in some cases they can sniff odors at up to a millionth of the concentration we can — it now turns out they can detect heat, too. It helps explain why even a dog with compromised sight or hearing can find prey. They […]
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dog anxiety

Anxiety Runs Higher in Dogs Than You May Have Thought

Staring, aggression toward family members, excessive drinking…. No, we are not talking about your in-laws. We’re talking about people’s dogs, yours included. A study on almost 14,000 pet dogs found that so many suffer from anxiety-induced behaviors and compulsions that it appears the large majority of our pets are afflicted with stress that significantly impacts […]
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When Your Dog Turns On You

It’s hard enough to adopt a dog only to learn that she’s anxious enough to lunge and snap at strangers, or perhaps other dogs....

What Won’t Work When Teaching a Dog “Come”

We’ve all seen it a thousand times — people telling their dog to “Come,” and then saying it louder and louder and with more...

Yup, Your Dog Can “Count”

You know how it seems your dog can tell if you give him three biscuits instead of four, or whether you followed the usual...
dog

Can Dogs Help Prevent Schizophrenia?

Having a dog as a child might reduce the risk for schizophrenia in adulthood by as much as 24 percent, but not for the...

Their Facial Expressions Do More Than Express Emotions. Theyre a Form of...

People show their emotions with facial expressions all the time, even if theyre alone. Its involuntary. Not so dogs. Particular facial expressions they make are intentional and occur only when you make eye contact with them. That is, theyre more than shows of emotion. Theyre forms of communication.

Dear Doctor: The dog has started acting out

I have an 8-year-old male dachshund who is usually good, but in the last 2 weeks he has been shredding everything in sight. He is also defecating on the floor, which he never did before. I work 10 hours a day, but I feed him and take him out to go to the bathroom before I leave. I also give him plenty of hugs and love before I go. Yes, hes spoiled! But still, this behavior is not like him. Im wondering if, since I took some time off recently, this is the problem. I love my dog more than anything else and also need him, as I am almost deaf and he hears for me. Anything you can say to help me would be greatly appreciated. I cant drop him off at doggy day care because he doesnt get along with other dogs.