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.

Teaching Fun Dog Tricks

By drjeffnichol | October 3, 2022 | Comments Off on Teaching Fun Dog Tricks
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Dogs’ brains are built for fun with their people. You can make it easy for them to work-to-earn treats, praise, and most important – physical contact. When I show Mick the treat, he’s ready to learn how to give me what I want. So I move the treat so he can follow it as I tell him, “Mick, Night, Night!” Since he doesn’t yet know what I want, I show him. He gets the food, petting, and praise even though I helped him make it happen. Check out Mick’s next video, Learning Dog Tricks – the Light Dawns

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Out-of-Control in the Veterinary Clinic

By drjeffnichol | September 5, 2022 | Comments Off on Out-of-Control in the Veterinary Clinic
fearful dog

This poor dog is a nervous wreck, scanning back and forth, waiting for the proverbial shoe to fall. Will a homicidal (canine-icidal) maniac blast onto the scene? Will I, the benevolent veterinarian, inflict violence on her? She has no reason to fret but anxiety is not logical. It’s an unfounded worry about what might be lurking around the next corner. If this dog panics when handled she might get defensive and, in her frantic attempts to escape, she may even try to bite. Restraint would only scare her more. An as-needed antianxiety gel, called Sileo, can be administered between her…

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Dog Fights at Home

By drjeffnichol | August 29, 2022 | Comments Off on Dog Fights at Home
dogs fighting

It is so unsettling, in some cases tragic, when family dogs fight. It’s the most common problem seen by veterinary behavior specialists, with loads of research to support our treatments. Some do well but despite our best efforts others fail to improve. You need to recognize the early indicators of trouble. One of the dogs in this video wants to play. The other would like to engage but then gets agitated. Notice the hair standing up over the pit bull’s shoulders (piloerection). He threatens the brown dog but does not bite. That muzzle is not a good solution. If it…

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Petting Cat – Ouch!

By drjeffnichol | August 22, 2022 | Comments Off on Petting Cat – Ouch!

Grooming or petting a cat can be dangerous. Watch for dilated pupils and rippling skin. Physical problems can underlie serious aggression.

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Barking Too Much? Tunnel of Fun

By drjeffnichol | August 15, 2022 | Comments Off on Barking Too Much? Tunnel of Fun

Jumping, nipping, barking – Don’t yell. Don’t punish. A tired dog really is a happy dog. You can have a blast with your dog while s/he does all the running around. Agility is fast work for a dog while its person walks short distances. You and your pupster can do it in your yard. Group classes are good fun and the equipment is cheap. This tunnel, from, cost $72. Mick runs back and forth for fun. He also earns treats and toys. Best of all, he’s a calmer, quieter young hellion.

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Apprehensive hawk – only a kid

By drjeffnichol | August 8, 2022 | Comments Off on Apprehensive hawk – only a kid

This fledgling hawk looks big enough to fly solo and catch rodents on the run but she’s still just a youngster. Mom was nearby, communicating freely. We think words of encouragement. We encountered this refreshing wildlife in Albuquerque’s Open Space. Nobody seemed concerned about Mick Nichol, the silly Border collie puppy.

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Storm Phobia

By drjeffnichol | August 1, 2022 | Comments Off on Storm Phobia
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Close the window blinds during storms. If possible keep your dog in an interior room with less outside sound White, pink, or brown noise (downloadable from the Internet) can be played at the start of the earliest indicators that a storm is approaching. There is scientific evidence behind the value of these frequencies. Only trial-and-error will determine which, if any, of these will help your dog. Through a Dog’s Ear is specially designed music that you can play when a storm is predicted. Research has supported this method. You will be able to manage your dog effectively if you…

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BARKING! Anxiety & Frustration

By drjeffnichol | July 25, 2022 | Comments Off on BARKING! Anxiety & Frustration

Dogs Need a Job – Gainful Employment Confucius said, “A man (woman) who enjoys what they do never works a day in their life.” Our dogs can have that life. They naturally work to survive, an activity they appear to enjoy. Food-dispensing toys and puzzles are not prey and they’re not really rotting carcasses found in the wild but they require manipulation so bits of sustenance can be extracted. Check out Lulu here. This girl had a history of separation anxiety. Other dogs, like the Nichol family Border collie, Mick, need work to stay occupied. The downside for him is…

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Come when Called – on the Move

By drjeffnichol | July 18, 2022 | Comments Off on Come when Called – on the Move
come when called

Our dogs should always come when called, whether they’re sitting and looking at us or when they’re heading off in another direction. Don’t get frustrated when ignored; train in baby steps that your pupster can understand. Mick has gotten pretty good at the recall command – when he’s already paying attention. But when he’s way from home, well, other priorities can get in the way. That isn’t OK but let’s not lose our patience. While allowing him to forge ahead on-leash he knows he can sniff and investigate at his leisure. But when I say, “Mick, Come!” I can enforce…

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Leash Walks – Wild & Out-of-Control?

By drjeffnichol | July 11, 2022 | Comments Off on Leash Walks – Wild & Out-of-Control?

There are so many things to see and sniff outside the home territory. It’s more than just natural for dogs to investigate everything; reading the bulletin boards and posting messages is essential to who they are. But for part of a leash walk they can work for us. They can earn reinforcers, like treats, just for doing the right thing – like watching their leader. Another essential component canine behavior is to check with the leader for opportunities to earn resources like food. As Carolyn walks with Mick next to her, she hands him a tid bit every now and…

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