Old cat lying in sun

Can Old Cats & Young Puppies Mix? Question: We have a 15 year old cat who is well, happy and calm. In September we will receive a Golden-Doodle puppy from a family member. How can we introduce a good sized, bouncy puppy to our lovable old girl? Dr. Nichol: This could be a tall order…

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aggressive corgi

Teach, Don’t Punish Question: My 2 year old female Corgi will fight any dogs or people that get too close. While she’ll let me pet her, she will not get on my lap. She will get on my husband’s lap, nuzzle his hand, and sleep (with one eye open) but if he tries to hand…

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video dogs who bite

It’s so upsetting getting bitten by a dog you love. Should you punish? What happens when the trust is lost? Maybe another home would be better – or not? Don’t make a final decision until you understand the facts. I’ll share some strategies.  

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cat fight

Mutual Disdain Likely to Fester & Explode Question: Apparently this cat found us. She is part of Community Cat Program here in El Paso. She is not feral; she is more of a stray and very social with humans. She’s around 5. We are trying to acclimate her to an indoor environment. Our older cat…

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canine aggression video

A great friendship can go bad. Aggression between family dogs is common. And the person in-charge doing their best to break it up and make it work can make it worse and get hurt. We can help most of these angry dogs but not with reprimands and punishment.

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calico cat

Social Distancing is Best Question: My mother-in-law is living in nursing home/hospice. We are seeing her Miss Pearl twice a day for feeding and social time. We would love to move Pearl across the dirt road to our home. She loves our pair of Goldies, but loathes our calico with ululating passion. We are considering…

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leash aggression

Out-of-control lunging, barking, and growling! OMG! You’re doing your best to control the mayhem but nothing changes. And besides, punishment is no fun for anybody. Dogs need to do something else instead – like working for their leader. They can change. And we can make it fun.

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aggression on leash video

A dog who obeys fast and reliably can overcome the urge to lunge and bark and lose its mind on leash walks. What if your dog automatically looked to you – instead of reacting aggressively to people and other dogs? Let’s get you both educated.

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dog on leash

The leash walk – you’re only way of getting the heck out of the house – can be maddening and maybe even unsafe. Just seeing another creature causes your dog to growl and lurch, risking a human face plant. Jerk the leash and yell? There’s no future in it. You’re miserable, your dog is stressed,…

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standard poodles

Why must a Dog Act-Out? Question: I walk my 2 year old standard poodle on a trail. He’s a great dog. When he’s on a leash he often rears up and barks at dogs we meet who are on- leash too. I need to keep the leash on (he gets free runs at the dog…

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leopards hissing and fighting

Amusements, Separation before Reconciliation Question: I have two cats that aren’t getting along. One is my husband’s and the other one is mine. We moved in together 7 months ago and they still can’t be together. We keep them separated and have been only successful a couple of times in the same room for a…

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cat in a box

Good cats can go bad when petted. Yell at him? Hose him? Just give up on sharing affection with a kitty you love? Much better – find out why a sweet cat would do such a thing and manage the cause. It may not be behavioral – or it might.

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black cat in a bed

Manage – Don’t Suffer or Punish Question: I have a little cat of horrors. He is a 4 year old black American Short hair and when he is hungry he will attack my feet and hands. I am a diabetic and he leaves long lasting wounds that take forever to heal. None of my other…

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Our pets bring us so much joy when they’re active and playful. When these characters are at peace, I am too. But if they have pain or if they struggle with anxiety when home alone something needs to be done to help them feel better. We now have what it takes – and we can…

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photo of cats fighting

Can New Cat Succeed? Question: I have 2 other cats and since I’ve brought the new guy home it is a divided household. My 2 established cats are terrified of this guy or just don’t like him. They hide and don’t come out. They hiss and growl. I have to lock up the new cat…

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Does your cat hate kids? Can you turn that around – safely? You can teach your kids how to stay safe and how to set a cat up for success. Should they approach quietly or wait for the kitty to come to them? I’ll share the do’s and don’ts.

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She can Work to Earn Question: I adopted my lab mix at age 3 months. She has been dominant, aggressive, independent, and a bully from the beginning. She is now 3 years old and has had two obedience classes, but with no success. She attacked and bullied the other dogs in the class. She pulls…

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Dangerous to Each Other & People Question: My 2 dogs have been together for 2.5 years. The female has always be passive before the male, however in the last month she has become extremely aggressive, taking his food, even growling when he attempts to get close to us. The male is now showing up with…

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Snuggle Bunnies? Predators? If they’re close to losing impulse control they might actually communicate. Hissing, growling, spitting, ears back, pupils dilated – Cats in this mindset need space. Keep all interactions slow and gentle.

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aggressive cat

Are We Having Fun Yet? Question: I have indoor cats. One of the black cats (Toby) has gotten aggressive with the others and he started to spray about 6 months ago. I have never had this happen before so I am not sure what to do or where to go. I have used Nature’s Miracle…

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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,…

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Prevent It; Don’t Punish It Question: I have a 3 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He has been getting aggressive towards my other two dogs, Malteses, about his food. He won’t let the 2 year old near it and attacks him, causing a fight. We have punished him. I don’t know how to stop…

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hissing cat

Indoor Cats Freaked-Out by Visitor Question: I have 2 cats, 10 months old. We have recently let them go outside. A few days ago another cat showed up in our garden. I took my cats inside as I was afraid they were going to fight. They kept hissing at each other through the window. When…

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pit bull eating

Avoid Innate Competition Question: I have a 55# pit mix, Molly, with food guarding. I have pet gates set up for feeding to avoid conflict but recently the gate got left open. Molly walked over to my 10 pound dog to eat her food, the little dog growled and Molly attacked. I was able to…

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You’re invited to my Facebook Live event called Holiday Worries for Jangled Pets. I’ll share valuable methods for keeping pets peaceful and avoiding hazards on Wednesday, December 19 at 6 PM MDT. You’ll have lots of time to ask me questions. Go to facebook.com/drjeffnichol   JP would scratch and bite his person anytime she tried…

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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.…

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Fear can be Learned just Once Question: New Mexico Animal Friends has a spayed female foster cat, Twyla, a young tortoiseshell shorthair, who has become difficult at adoption clinics. We think she may have had a bad experience. She snarls and swats at people and acts as if she is “guarding” her cage. At the…

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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 he was a sweetheart but he could bite – hard. His history included violent reactions when his person brushed him.

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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…

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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 he was a sweetheart but he could bite – hard. His history included violent reactions when his person brushed him.

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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…

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Act Early & Be Careful Question: I have 2 dogs that have been together for 2.5 years.  The female has always be passive before the male, however in the last month she has become extremely aggressive, taking his food, even growling when he attempts to get close to us.  The male is now showing up…

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Heroic Family Cat Derailed a Tragedy Question: I keep seeing this video everywhere and hearing lots of theories about the dog’s behavior. The dog is completely unprovoked, but it also doesn’t seem like he/she sneaks up on the child as I would expect a wolf to sneak up on prey. Is the dog curious and…

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Give Dog her own Bed; Avoid Punishment Question: Usually at night my 8-month young mini pinscher sleeps in my brother’s bed and if someone passes by the room she jumps off the bed and barks, if you enter the room, situation is getting worse and if you try to calm her she can even bite…

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Forget Punishment; Guests mean Good Things Happen Question: We have an 8 month old mix breed dog who is timid but aggressive. We have had her since she was 8 weeks old. There are 3 other dogs. When people enter the house her hackles go up and she barks, all the time backing up. She…

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Few things are more unnerving than dogs you love trying to hurt each other. These attacks may seem to happen out of the blue but there are important reasons for aggression between family dogs. These potentially dangerous struggles do not “work themselves out.” Without appropriate management they will worsen. Reprimands and punishments can only only…

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Violence, fear, and physical injury are without question, the most difficult challenges you and your dog could ever face. This is very hard for us emotional creatures. We bring dogs into our lives because they share so many feelings with us. But when it goes wrong, it goes horribly wrong. Aggression is the most important…

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