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Should Dogs Being Given Medication for Behavioral Problems?

While visiting the human doctor recently for a yearly checkup, a conversation ensued about dogs that led to the topic of giving a dog medication for behavioral problems. The doctor explained that her dog continually had behavioral issues: He was nervous, scared, and in her words, “not trainable” from one supposed trainer after another. She reported that anti-anxiety and … [Read more...]

Nine Ways to Prevent Dog Bites

Think your dog won't bite? Think again. The Center for Disease Control estimates that about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year.  Half of those numbers belong to kids. Staggering, isn't it? It’s summer time, more dogs are outside, and more people are interacting with dogs as it’s the social time of year.  This week is National Dog Bite Awareness Week, and the effort … [Read more...]

My Dog Hates the Vet

Working in the human medical field for a number of years behind the scenes, I became familiar with a phenomenon known as “white coat syndrome.” Also known as white coat hypertension, this is a phenomenon in which patients exhibit elevated blood pressure in a clinical setting. So basically you go to the doctor’s for an appointment—perhaps a routine physical—but you get … [Read more...]

How to Stop a Dog Who Pees for Revenge

My dog pees in the house for revenge because he is alone all day. He pees for revenge. My dog pees in the house to get even with me for going out without him. He pees for revenge. Which of the above statements are true? Here’s a photo of a dog waiting to go outside so you can think for a minute and then scroll past the photo for the answer. The answer is BOTH … [Read more...]

The Dangers of Sleeping With Dogs

Is it dangerous for dogs to sleep with us? Every now and again this debate rears its canine head, and we've seen it floating around our blogosphere travels lately. So let's open up the great dog sleeping with human debate, shall we? The danger of sleeping with dogs in our household are but one: That we wake up chilly at 3 am because Dexter has all the covers. Let sleeping … [Read more...]

How to Act in Public With A Dog

As I prepare to embark on a whirlwind early weekend of dog-themed activities and get togethers in New York City, it is with great expectations that I know the majority of folks I will encounter know how to treat, handle, and respect their dog. Now and again though, somewhere along life's highways and biways, I encounter less than customary human manners in dealing with dogs.   … [Read more...]

Can Dogs Really Understand Human Speak?

Do dogs really understand what we say or is it wishful thinking on our part, as their human guardians, in hoping they can translate from English to Dog?  These are the things that keep me awake at night: Can dogs really understand human speak or do they just sort of-kind of following intonations and hand signals? My last Cocker Spaniel knew over 150 words and we even tested … [Read more...]

Should a Dog Live Outside?

Dear Carol, “Do you know whether or not shelters will adopt to owners who want an "outdoor only" pet? I'm trying to get a dog for my boys, but my husband doesn't want it in the house at all. Help!!” Dear ‘Help!:’ “No most shelters won't do that and they shouldn't. Since dogs are such highly social family members, he or she would be so much happier and healthier in the house … [Read more...]

To spank or not to spank a dog: Never

While out walking my dog recently I witnessed a man chasing his dog down the street. Ever the “I’ll help, be right there” person that I am, my random act of kindness was quickly thwarted by a slap. The dog apparently got loose while on a walk and his owner was chasing after him. As he scooped the little guy up (a shih tzu mix perhaps), he smacked the dog on the butt and … [Read more...]

Playing with dogs: It's puppy Prozac

A wrestling session with my dog on Earth Day gave me a clearer focus.  Did you ever consider the lessons learned in playing with a dog? Call me a writer and over thinker (many have); there's something to be learned about living  in the moments of frolic with a canine family member. Social media connects us in many ways, but dogs unite us in others. When's the last time you met … [Read more...]