An Easy Pill to Swallow: Training Dogs to Take Pills the Easy Way

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series An Easy Pill to Swallow
from "How To Live With A Calculating Cat"

from “How To Live With A Calculating Cat”

There’s a fabulous cartoon series on how to get a cat to swallow a pill, in which the feckless humans tried to plead with the cat,  ratchet the defiant jaws open, disguise the pill in delicious food, etc., all without success.* I have to give the dogs pills occasionally, and I’m far too lazy to want to go through a hassle each time — nor can I count on always having a food product gooey and smelly enough to disguise the offensive pill.

So I’ve taught the dogs to take pills plain, on cue.

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Bitework doesn’t reduce bite inhibition — how annoying!

Have you ever tried to train against a taboo?

There are some who oppose all forms of trained protection sport and protection work, citing variously that the training is inherently abusive (it’s not), or that the dogs dislike it (obviously untrue!).  Occasionally a protester will suggest that biting a person in a sleeve or suit must of course reduce a dog’s bite inhibition, making it more likely that the dog will mouth or bite a person not in protective gear.

I’ve argued logically against this before, but now I have empirical proof — I can’t even pay my dogs to bite!

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Preparing Your Dog for Veterinary Visits

I learned a few days ago that Spica, my lovable-but-not-too-bright younger Doberman, has damaged her ACL. This isn’t really a surprise; Spica is a career runner who chases squirrels up and down the fenceline and spins in circles barking at them for about six hours each day, so her legs are under constant strain. In addition to the dog’s confinement and treatment (and her owner’s possible loss of sanity, living with a dog who isn’t allowed to run for six weeks!), this injury means that we’re likely to be seeing more of our veterinarian than usual.

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