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Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Time-Out: Everybody Gets a Break

By drjeffnichol | March 4, 2019 | Comments Off on Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Time-Out: Everybody Gets a Break
dog on leash

Dogs need Good Manners Some dogs follow their person’s lead and happily go along with just about anything. Others struggle to do the right thing, needing a bit more hands-on management. A lot of them are anxious or afraid but many are just not clear on the concept. They don’t get it. A reliable structure, along with generous doses of kindness, is in order for confused canine rule breakers. Something that all dogs understand, right out of the box, is communication. They watch us often and miss little of our body signaling. But if they get really excited, agitated, or…

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Dr. Nichol’s Blog – We Speak – Dogs Watch

By drjeffnichol | February 11, 2019 | Comments Off on Dr. Nichol’s Blog – We Speak – Dogs Watch
dog listening to commands

They’re good listeners too Why do dogs follow commands like sit and stay if they don’t understand English? When we speak are they processing the words we’re saying or the tone we’re using? The answer to these questions from a middle schooler with a science project is that pet dogs can learn to recognize our words, how we say them, and a whole lot more. Dogs are our best friends and snuggle bunnies but they are not little people in furry suits. They are members of a different species who don’t miss anything. They respond to our words, our tone…

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Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Dogs Who Threaten Visitors

By drjeffnichol | January 14, 2019 | Comments Off on Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Dogs Who Threaten Visitors
aggressive dog

The doorbell rings and your dog attacks the door. Then it’s WWE action as you struggle to get the door open without a takedown of your unsuspecting visitor. Or maybe you have a dog who watches from a distance, with her ears back and her tail low, as you invite your guest inside. All seems well while everybody is sitting but then they stand and head for the door and it’s game on. Small dogs in particular can become instant ankle biters. Beyond dangerous, reactive behaviors like these are emotionally draining. You too can get hurt just by trying to…

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Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Mouthy, Nippy, Chewy – Part 3

By drjeffnichol | January 7, 2019 | Comments Off on Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Mouthy, Nippy, Chewy – Part 3
puppy

Fufu’s sharp teeth and nails had scratched and scraped his people enough times that they were reluctant to handle the little guy. It was painful for them. They needed the step-by-step of getting their wild child under control but first we had to set him up for success. Treatment of behavior disorders can be a mixed bag. With the tough cases the best science sometimes brings only moderate improvement. Young Fufu’s jumping, mouthing, and nipping was a serious problem but he had a shot at making a real turnaround; he was still a kid and his people were committed. Melissa…

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Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Mouthy, Nippy, Chewy – Part 2

By drjeffnichol | December 17, 2018 | Comments Off on Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Mouthy, Nippy, Chewy – Part 2
puppy

Fufu, the assertive and overconfident baby dog, arrived woefully unprepared for life in his new home. He was just 7 weeks old when he confused his new pet parents, Melissa and Jeremy, with 4 legged fuzzy playmates. He started nipping and rough-housing and treating them like his buds on day one. Showing a lack of proper respect for his leaders was a serious mistake on his part but, gee, he just didn’t know any better. A bit more home-schooling in the fine art of social graces with humans would have made a difference. In an ideal world Fufu would have…

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Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Mouthy, Nippy, Chewy

By drjeffnichol | December 10, 2018 | Comments Off on Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Mouthy, Nippy, Chewy
puppy

Facebook Live Do your pets crack under holiday pressure? You can ask me anything or just listen in during my Facebook Live event, called “Pet Angst: Naughty or Nice?” at 6 PM on Wednesday, December 19. Go to Facebook.com/drjeffnichol. Invite your friends. Together we’ll reach peace on earth. Taking a puppy into your life is a little like adopting a toddler. They’re fun and smiley a lot of the time but then they nip and mouth your hands and chew up your stuff. I know these things; I’ve raised children and dogs. You have to take action. You’re the boss.…

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Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Greeting Pee

By drjeffnichol | November 12, 2018 | Comments Off on Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Greeting Pee
scared puppy

Do you have a great dog who is everything you’ve ever wanted in man’s or woman’s best friend – except for one really annoying problem? Some dogs wag when greeting their people, others may jump around and bark but your dog flops on her side and dribbles, and I don’t mean with a basketball. It can get worse – much worse. A submissive peer with a furry tail quickly creates modern splatter art by flinging yellow droplets onto the walls, your shoes, legs, and if you’re leaning over to pet the kid, maybe even on your face. Are we having…

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Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Cars, Cats, & Furry Suits

By drjeffnichol | October 29, 2018 | Comments Off on Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Cars, Cats, & Furry Suits
Petting cat head

Do you know anybody whose adult life could have been easier and a whole lot happier if they’d been treated better as a child? Not only do I know people like that, I’m one of them. In my work I’m fortunate to meet pets and humans with broken and battered pasts. We are not alone. Esther was a 70 year old single lady when she brought her shiny new 5 month old kitten JP to see me. Actually, I sort of made that up. This little guy was plenty good looking but his emotional state was rather tattered. Prior to…

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Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Fear and Anxiety

By drjeffnichol | October 2, 2018 | Comments Off on Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Fear and Anxiety

I was just 8 years old when I made my first trip to the animal hospital with my new puppy. I felt inspired by the doctor who examined him. He was kind to me and my new dog. I was fascinated with his work and I was taken with his professionalism. I was hooked. Practicing veterinary medicine is all I’ve ever wanted to do. That childhood dog meant a lot to me but a couple of years later my parents got fed up with his indoor urine mistakes and he was taken to the shelter. Kindness had no place in…

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Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Cat Bites when Petted

By drjeffnichol | September 11, 2018 | Comments Off on Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Cat Bites when Petted
cat bites when petted

Lily had just finished putting away her groceries when she walked past Omar, her 2 year old Ragdoll cat. This good lady relied on her fuzzy house mate for more than she might readily admit. They lived alone together in a normal house on a normal street. She seldom went out; Omar never did. As Lily headed toward the bedroom she glanced at her cat as a way of getting a read on his mood. She loved Omar but he could be impetuous. At times his postures and demeanor signaled his discontent with an outdoor scent or sound. There was…

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