Subscriber Archive

Dr. Nichol’s Video – New Baby Dog

October 25, 2021
new puppy

The Nichol family is planning to add a puppy. I’ll share my preparations and training plan. Everybody can win.

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Media – Part 2 – Fear & Protective Aggression

October 25, 2021
catahoula

Who’s to Blame? Fear is often the in-the-moment reason for canine aggression. Adrenalin-driven reactions aren’t always bad; it’s actually a survival mechanism that’s built into all of us. But if it gets out of control it can lead to defensive aggression, injuries, and more fear. As I gathered the history on Kipper, the Catahoula mix, I came to learn that he endured frequent emotional outbursts from his female owner. The whole family was on edge. Mom unloaded often, triggering Kipper to react. This waiting for the other shoe to drop, for humans and other species, causes a problem called anxiety. It’s the worry that something unpleasant may be lurking around the next corner. I treat a lot of anxiety and fear. Mutual caring – empathy – is another emotion that’s shared by dogs and humans. It’s part of the reason so many of us share our homes with pets. It’s…

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Dr. Nichol’s Video – Leash walking a Drag?

October 18, 2021
leash walking

Taking a stroll with your dog isn’t a walk in the park if they jump, lurch, and growl. Some are so wild they chew the leash.

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Media – Snapping at Mom

October 18, 2021
catahoula

Whose Fault? Rehome? Worse? Dogs are man’s and woman’s best friends but there are species differences. They walk on all 4s and they’re a bit hairier but like us, dogs are genetically programmed to look after their comrades. They’re always on duty; it’s our job to set them up for success. Kipper was brought to me because of aggression toward the mother of his human family. He was a 2 year old Catahoula mix, a robust 65#. He was well-loved but he was not well-adjusted. He had lunged and growled and snapped at his female owner in the presence of her 5 year old son – often. Serious changes were needed. Punishment would have no place in his management. I’ve treated thousands of cats and dogs for illnesses and injuries. Their people wanted their pets to feel better. Now, I’m residency trained in disorders of the brains of animals. These…

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Dr. Nichol’s Video – Dog Getting Wiggy Home Alone

October 11, 2021
dogs home alone

You’ve been working from home with your pupster at your feet but it’s time to go back to the office without your loyal companion.

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Media – Kitten Selection

October 11, 2021
Kittens

Choose your Friends Carefully Question: I never had a cat and I decided to have my first one now. I wanna get it in adoption and I know it’s difficult to choose a breed but just in case; is it true that some breeds like Bengal and Siamese have not a good character? I also heard and read that it is much better to have a female than a male. Dr. Nichol: Well, now, let’s not be feline racists. Some of my best friends are Bengals and Siamese. Heck, I’ve been to their houses for dinner and attended their weddings. I won’t tolerate feline sexism either. Two of my best friends are boy cats, darn it. Beyond these lofty platitudes, there are useful generalizations regarding cat breeds. At the risk incurring hisses and growls it’s true that many Bengals are less social with humans and a bit wild. Siamese are…

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Dr. Nichol’s Video – Dog Body Language & Behavior at Animal Humane

October 4, 2021

Dog body language and behavior featuring Fish the Dachshund puppy. What is your dog telling you? Watch Dr. Nichol’s video here.

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Media – Blanket Pacifier

October 4, 2021
dachshund

Holy Moly Question: I have a 4 year old dachshund mix who insists on chewing our blankets to soothe herself for few minutes before she goes to sleep. I have tried giving her toys or chewies but she prefers the blankets. Our blankets are full of holes. Dr. Nichol: I’m glad you haven’t used moth balls. They’ve been recommended (not by veterinarians) as a deterrent for indoor pets and in landscaping to discourage visits from stray cats but the risk of poisoning is just too great. Instead of trying to discourage this behavior let’s understand it and manage it. Many dogs suck and chew throughout their lives because they were weaned too young from their mothers. Others do it, as you suggest, for self-soothing. Your dachshund chews blankets to relax. If you prevented this behavior her cortisol (stress hormone) would increase until she found a different ritual to serve the…

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Media – Unhealthy neighbor relations lead to loss of limb

September 27, 2021
photo of a dog behind a fence

Last in a series A Feud Gone Wrong “Blue’s” backyard was separated from the neighbor’s by your average chain link fence. Some dogs ignore this contrivance but for others it’s a formula for disaster. Think about Blue if your dog engages in through-the-fence displays of aggressive madness, aka fence fighting. If these dogs were actually fencing, I’d be less concerned. Dogs communicate almost continually. They’re genetically programmed to protect territory as well as to connect socially. Fences get in the way and often lead to trouble. The natural response to the approach of another dog is body signaling that conveys their intentions. These greeting rituals require freedom of movement for sizing each other up, along with rear end sniffing for identification. A clear sign of a budding friendship is competitive urinating. Blue and the golden retriever next door had a long history of running the fence, growling, barking, and snapping.…

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