Bringing out the best in a cat or dog is a hands-on task. Seeing it in a video is often better than reading it. My goal with these videos is to make behavior management easier to understand and implement.

A dog with a Job is Never Bored

By drjeffnichol | December 4, 2023 | Comments Off on A dog with a Job is Never Bored

Mick and his doggy daddy (ah, that’s me) practice our Rally skills twice a day for about 5 minutes each time. You can tell that he loves to earn treats and praise. Then we play “kick ball.” I kick the ball for him to catch mid-air, with a great flourish (Mick’s flourish, not mine.) Rally is an AKC sport similar to obedience but more fun for the dog – person team. We’re entered in our first competition this weekend. Anybody can attend but only the dogs and their people ever show up.

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Sandhill Cranes of New Mexico

By drjeffnichol | November 27, 2023 | Comments Off on Sandhill Cranes of New Mexico
sandhill cranes

These splendid birds arrive every fall in our beautiful state. Many folks drive to Bosque del Apache to get a glimpse but we can enjoy these almost prehistoric creatures up close at the Rio Grande Nature Center in Albuquerque’s North valley. If you listen carefully you will hear my family chatting on our Thanksgiving hike. Sorry about that. Crane-speak is more interesting.

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Learning Dog Tricks – the Light Dawns

By drjeffnichol | November 20, 2023 | Comments Off on Learning Dog Tricks – the Light Dawns
the light dawns

Mick and I have practiced his new trick, “Night, night.” He’s watching me intently because he’s ready. Even though he gets it, mostly, I help him do it right. He earns the treat at the end and gets praise and, most important, physical contact as he rolls onto his back. He wins throughout the whole event. He’ll do it faster and better with more practice. We have good fun together.

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Tag team at Kindergarten

By drjeffnichol | November 13, 2023 | Comments Off on Tag team at Kindergarten
puppy kindergarten video

Puppy kindergarten teaches healthy play during the sensitive period of socialization. Mick and his BFF (Welsh corgi) wrestle with wild abandon. A fun loving pug considers joining the fun and then says, “Ah, no. I’ll find a kinder, gentler smack down.” For all the juvenile canine fisticuffs and trash talking no one ever gets hurt. They’re all delighted to have another go next week.

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The Springs Less Traveled

By drjeffnichol | November 6, 2023 | Comments Off on The Springs Less Traveled
dripping springs

The South rim of the Grand Canyon is a wonderful 70° in early November. It’s a really dry place. We dropped 1180 feet as we hiked 3.5 miles to this splendid dripping spring. It’s a shady spot at the end of a rather arduous and sometimes narrow trail. Climbing back out is a little harder but the Grand Canyon is worth it. Start early, pack a lunch, and lug a couple of liters of water. I love this place but I had to leave my good dog Mick Jagger home this time. No dogs are allowed in National Parks. That’s…

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Circus dog? Robot dog? AI dog?

By drjeffnichol | October 30, 2023 | Comments Off on Circus dog? Robot dog? AI dog?
rally training

Mike is demonstrating Rally skills with “Bree”, his Pomeranian. At Sandia Dog Obedience Club in Albuquerque, Mike and Rene are instructors in the dog sport called Rally. It’s like obedience but more fun. My Border collie “Mick” and I like it because we’re learning to work as a team. We’re having such a good time we plan to compete. Mick wants to be just like Bree.

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A Happy Dog Works

By drjeffnichol | October 23, 2023 | Comments Off on A Happy Dog Works
dog working

My Border collie “Mick” loves to work for me because he always earns interactions and sometimes food. Dogs aren’t in the mindset of pleasing a master; they look to us for access to essential resources like food and behavioral cues. They are programmed to earn their survival but it doesn’t have to be all business. Mick and his leader (that’s me) have good fun honing our Rally skills. Next week I’ll share a video titled “Circus dog? Robot dog? AI dog?” so you can see how it’s done by a couple of pros.

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Anxious Dog? Visitor Aggression? Focus!

By drjeffnichol | October 16, 2023 | Comments Off on Anxious Dog? Visitor Aggression? Focus!
Lick mat

Fear and anxiety are miserable emotions. Whether a threat is real or imagined a freaked-out dog wants drive off a scary monster – who might retaliate. But if he could stay occupied… You know that if he eyeballs another alien invader (anyone other than you) he could lose control all over again. You need to keep him working. Put your hungry dog in the bedroom with a food toy prior to your friends arriving. After everybody was seated and settled try bringing your nervous Nellie out on-leash to find – a “lick mat” smeared with whatever she can’t resist. Dogs…

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Turtle Dip

By drjeffnichol | October 9, 2023 | Comments Off on Turtle Dip
box turtle

This Western box turtle paddled by us yesterday at the Bachechi Open Space. They’ll eat from a menu that may include earthworms, grasshoppers, beetles, slugs, fruits, or plants, depending on the season. If you want a box turtle for a pet be sure to get educated first. They’ll need to hibernate for the winter soon, necessitating the right “substrate” – that’s the stuff they burrow in. The Rio Grande Turtle and Tortoise club loves to teach folks how to give these gentle creatures good homes. But they are wild animals who belong in the wild. Don’t try to catch one…

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My Cat Defecates While Running Away from My Other Cat

By drjeffnichol | September 25, 2023 | Comments Off on My Cat Defecates While Running Away from My Other Cat

A cat parent is concerned about her cat who is fearful of using the litter box.  

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