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My Pet World: A trainer thinks dogs need 'consequences' to learn

Pets / My Pet World /

Dear Cathy,

I recently have spent time with a dog trainer on a social level. In these settings, the trainer has commented about her dog training methods that don't seem compatible with your column or my own experience.

This trainer boards and trains dogs at her facility. She appears to be successful and gets dogs regularly. However, she ...Read more

My Pet World: Tips for bringing out the best in a skittish cat

Pets / My Pet World /

Dear Cathy,

I am a first-time adopter of a six-year-old shelter cat. I've raised dogs all my life, but after my beloved Westie passed away a few years ago, I missed having a pet. Due to my age, I felt a senior cat would require less maintenance and make a nice companion.

I have had Tucker for several months now, and he is still quite skittish ...Read more

My Pet World: Choose compassion -- Opt for alternatives to declawing your feline friend

Pets / My Pet World /

Dear Cathy,

My 22-year-old cat died in December. I adopted a 14-month-old kitten from our local shelter. I signed a "No declaw" agreement, but this kitten is crazy in love with clawing me.

Why and what should I do? I don't want to live out much more time with big bleeding scratches almost everywhere on my body. Thank you for your comments ...Read more

My Pet World: Helping a skittish dog go for a walk – and safety during the solar eclipse

Pets / My Pet World /

Dear Cathy,

My five-year-old female golden retriever is afraid to go for walks. She will walk with me within the confines of my development, but as soon as I head out toward a main road, she stops and won't budge.

She has always been a bit skittish and afraid of little things. She also refuses if someone other than me tries to take her for a ...Read more

My Pet World: Addressing canine boredom and destructive behavior

Pets / My Pet World /

Dear Cathy,

I live with my sister Renee, who has a 12-year-old male Shih Tzu named Blair. He was used for breeding (not in a puppy mill), and Renee rescued him. Blair was very well trained when he came to us. He is extremely smart and sweet.

Renee likes to use her laptop a lot, and every time she starts using it, Blair gets upset and starts ...Read more

My Pet World: Look for indestructible toys and beds during your dog’s teething phase

Pets / My Pet World /

Dear Cathy,

We adopted our now 10-month-old pit mix from a shelter in Texas when she was four months old. She is the sweetest girl, incredibly smart, but with a lot of energy. Someone is almost always home, so she's rarely crated during the day and has a large, gated area of the house to roam freely. Additionally, she's walked multiple times a ...Read more

My Pet World: A little training can help a dog reluctant to poop in his yard

Pets / My Pet World /

Dear Cathy,

Last year we rescued an approximately two-year-old puppy that had not been adequately socialized. Fortunately, he was totally house trained. Our vet suggested we do a DNA test to determine possible breed history so that we could identify any potential breed related illnesses.

It turns out he is 100% miniature schnauzer. After a ...Read more

My Pet World: Are citronella collars safe and effective to prevent dogs from barking?

Pets / My Pet World /

Dear Cathy, Are citronella dog collars safe for dogs to prevent barking? Though we understand he is doing his job, our dog's barking with delivery drivers, letter carriers, and even someone walking near our home has become excessive.

— Grace, North Massapequa, New York

Dear Grace,

Citronella collars deter dogs from barking by emitting a ...Read more

My Pet World: Readers chime in with challenges to common pet practices and phrases

Pets / My Pet World /

Dear Cathy,

I was appalled to read that you support spaying puppies as young as three months old to avoid accidental litters. That is not a good reason. Early spaying can hinder a female dog's healthy development. Preventing unwanted litters can be achieved by keeping intact female dogs away from intact males.

I live with a large-dog breeder ...Read more

My Pet World: Practical tips for managing cats that suddenly bite

Pets / My Pet World /

Dear Cathy,

I am owned by an adorable five-year-old reverse tuxedo cat named Jasmine. When I adopted her at age three, the shelter warned me she liked to nibble hands. This was never objectionable because she is a small cat with a little mouth, and the nibbling did not damage my hand.

About six months ago, though, her bite acquired more force,...Read more

My Pet World: Helping a timid pup gain confidence about his world

Pets / My Pet World /

Dear Cathy,

My adult granddaughter has an eight-month-old Toy Australian Shepherd. She got the dog when he was three months old. The dog is friendly toward family members but will not allow strangers to go near him.

He will back away if I put my hand out to pet him and then run away. He won't go anywhere near me, and it's as if he is ...Read more

My Pet World: Managing a noise-sensitive dog requires the right combination of things that create calm

Pets / My Pet World /

Dear Cathy,

I have a beautiful three-year-old white Havanese named Penny. This past July 4th, she became spooked by fireworks and has been an extremely frightened dog ever since. At the slightest noise, she scurries under the bed and remains there for several hours. It can be as simple as my son dropping the soap in the shower or a loud noise ...Read more

My Pet World: Does a dog exhibit 'jealousy' when a wife and husband hug?

Pets / My Pet World /

Dear Cathy,

We've got an amazingly bright six-year-old female lab named Duchess. When my wife comes home from work, Duchess stands between us, hugs me, and seems to push my wife away.

She doesn't put her paws like that on anyone else. She hardly ever barks at us but often does during this moment. She exhibits no aggression. Do you think ...Read more

My Pet World: Dog needs specialized training to overcome aggressive reactions to people

Pets / My Pet World /

Dear Cathy,

I visited my son and daughter-in-law over the holidays. They have an eight-year-old rescued German Shepherd (GSD) mix that I had never met. In the past, she attacked a neighbor's dog, ripping its ear. When I met her, she gave me a fierce stare and growled. My daughter-in-law petted her and said, "It's all right, it's all right."

I ...Read more

My Pet World: My dog tries to bite me when I pick him up. Is that normal?

Pets / My Pet World /

Dear Cathy,

I have a 15-year-old dog who’s generally in great shape for his age. People think he’s a puppy at the dog park. In the morning, he is affectionate and an aggressive cuddler. At bedtime, because of his age, I lift him onto my bed, where he sleeps every night.

My problem is, he snaps when I lift him. The snapping has gotten ...Read more

My Pet World: How to train and build confidence with a clingy dog?

Pets / My Pet World /

Dear Cathy,

Recently I adopted a seven-year-old yellow lab who led quite a precarious life. When his original owner died, he remained with the body for three days. He was placed at the animal shelter, and I responded to an ad for adoption.

He jumped into my car. He is a great dog, but is incredibly needy. He follows me wherever I go, from room...Read more

My Pet World: My dog is being a 'picky' eater. What do I do?

Pets / My Pet World /

Dear Cathy,

My Havanese will not eat the chicken breasts I give him. I have tried about every kind of dog food. One time he will eat; the next day he won't. The vet says don’t worry; he can go weeks without eating. I guess he is just picky. He is always begging for my food. If I give him chicken in his bowl, he doesn't want it. What should I ...Read more

 

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