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.

Iguana for breakfast?

By drjeffnichol | January 2, 2023 | Comments Off on Iguana for breakfast?

This tropical creature on the island of St. John camped out in the almond tree next to our bed & breakfast porch while we ate – breakfast. It gathered it’s meal of almonds, starting its day WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF COFFEE!!! Never one to offer unsolicited advise I accepted our differences.

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Grazing on the Fly

By drjeffnichol | January 2, 2023 | Comments Off on Grazing on the Fly
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Peacocks on St. John island are somewhat leery of people, well, those of us with a pulse anyway. Folks in this gorgeous Caribbean land of manana bury their departed above ground. None of the colorful wild creatures think this is unusual.

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Barking & Instigating Mayhem

By drjeffnichol | November 28, 2022 | Comments Off on Barking & Instigating Mayhem
Barking and instigating thumbnail

OMG! Yell, swat, yell some more? Samantha, a sweet basset hound, was the highest-ranking dog in her home but she was not a stable leader. Her pushy, overbearing behavior toward her subordinates was caused by her anxiety not some desire to drive her people crazy. She often lost her impulse control and lashed out aggressively at her canine housemates. Safe antianxiety medication reduced this hound dog’s anxiety, her impulsiveness, and her aggression. Applying frosted window film to the lower portions of the front windows (available at home improvement stores) helped a lot by preventing Samantha and the other dogs from…

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Go Ahead – Challenge that Puppy

By drjeffnichol | November 7, 2022 | Comments Off on Go Ahead – Challenge that Puppy
river crossing

Are there any helicopter pet parents out there? Well, of course there are. There is such a thing as healthy stress. Moderate risk is essential to confidence building. And so, at age10 months, Mick Nichol, shouldering his backpack, was faced with a stream crossing. With the encouragement of his family, all of us ready to step in and rescue the situation if necessary, our boy mustered his courage and made it across. We repeated the same crossing the next day. Mick is happily building his backcountry skills.

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Bones are Normal for Canine Scavengers

By drjeffnichol | October 31, 2022 | Comments Off on Bones are Normal for Canine Scavengers
Bone in Pecos

It was rainy in the Pecos Wilderness for Mick’s first hike wearing his backpack. While carrying my water and snacks, he found bones from a deer’s front leg. Under good supervision we let the little guy be a dog, scavenging for his survival. It wasn’t long before he dropped the bone for more sniffing and investigating the natural world. Nature is beautiful, even when it’s wet.

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A Predictor of an Excellent Walk

By drjeffnichol | October 24, 2022 | Comments Off on A Predictor of an Excellent Walk
leash walk video

Mick is learning to earn the privilege of a walk. He wants to wear his new Gentle Leader head halter because he knows he’ll have a good time. He’s not quite ready to walk long distances with it. He’s still getting used to the feel of it on his face but he doesn’t have to think about it much because he’s busy working to earn reinforcers. We want him to forget it’s there. One step at a time.

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Better, Funner Leash Walks

By drjeffnichol | October 17, 2022 | Comments Off on Better, Funner Leash Walks
head halter training

Head halter training – Start slow and positive Lurching, jumping, growling, barking – are we having fun yet? Ah, no. A head halter, like this Gentle Leader, makes it easy to derail a dog’s attention on people and other dogs so you can have a more peaceful walk. First, that wild child needs to learn that only good things happen when he wears this contraption. Here is the first baby step.

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Learning Dog Tricks – The Light Dawns

By drjeffnichol | October 10, 2022 | Comments Off on Learning Dog Tricks – The Light Dawns
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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 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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Teaching Fun Dog Tricks

By drjeffnichol | October 3, 2022 | Comments Off on Teaching Fun Dog Tricks
Night night 1 thumbnail

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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