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Almost always a Failure; Uncover & Treat the Cause Instead Last week, on this very page, I advised the owner of a barking dog to conduct a trial of daily exercise. She had considered an electric shock collar because she was desperate. Canine verbal communication is actually normal. Dogs are a highly social species, after all. But some are truly verbose. Canine windbags, like their human counterparts, can be tiresome. Context is important. An active dog, confined to a yard […]

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Question: I have a Pyrenees/Anatolian shepherd who is 1 year old. He barks constantly. If nothing is out there to bark at, he barks at birds and such. My husband is considering an electric bark collar. I know it is in his breed to bark, but are there any other suggestions before the collar? Dr. Nichol- Why in the world is your husband considering an electric bark collar? Isn’t it the dog who’s barking? You need to act fast. The […]

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Cruel & Unnecessary? Almost Every Time Question: My heart broke when my neighbor told me she had her cat declawed.  She said there were “complications” and she didn’t realize how much suffering this procedure involved.  If she knew the reality, the severing of ligaments and tendons, but mostly the pain, she never would have had her cat declawed. Dr. Nichol: You make an important point about this procedure. Nowadays it is almost always unnecessary. First I’ll explain the unnecessary, then […]

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Get Serious about Pet Proofing Do you know what xylitol is? If you’re a dog owner it’s time you did. Here is the story of a family that understood the risks of this sugar substitute, did their best to pet-proof their house, but their dog “Zoe” outfoxed them anyway. “We were gone for less than two hours. During that time Zoe went into our closet and got a sealed plastic container of Spry gum (containing xylitol) that was on a […]

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