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Cats Fears & Anxieties Training & Grooming

Conquer Your Cat’s Fear of the Big, Bad Vacuum

Reading Time: 4 minutes When I pull out the vacuum, Mollie disappears. Fortunately, our house is large enough that she has plenty of “safe” places to hide – often the linen closet upstairs or inside a kitchen cabinet. There’s a name for this fear: Zuigerphobia. It’s a specific phobia, which is an irrational, yet excessive fear of a particular […]

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Cats Training & Grooming

From Hiss to Kiss: Helping Feral Kittens Blossom

Reading Time: 5 minutes Tara, the farm manager, discovered them on the edge of the herb farm’s property, under the porch of the shuttered farm store. After feeding the two hungry and scared kittens for a week, Tara was able to grab them. They hissed, scratched, and bit her, but she got them into a carrier and brought them […]

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Birds Training & Grooming

Living With Birds: Building Trust Through Training

Reading Time: 3 minutes After a few days of quiet adjustment, your bird is ready to become a part of your life. Your first interactions with your new bird are extremely important, because they set the tone for the kind of relationship you’ll have for life. You need to assure your new bird that you’re a wonderful, kind, and […]

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Dogs Training & Grooming

How Seizure-Alert Dogs Do Their Job

Reading Time: 4 minutes When Olivia Emenaker decided to train her Basset Hound, Dublin, to alert her before she had a seizure, it was partly because he seemed to already have a talent for it on his own. At the time, she was living with her mother, because her seizures made it unsafe for her to live on her […]

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Dogs Life at Home Training & Grooming

Home Grooming Can Be a Bonding Experience

Reading Time: 3 minutes Whenever I comb my 9-pound Poodle, Peach, she cranes her neck, coos with pleasure, and wiggles her way into my lap to be as close as possible. She doesn’t approve when I try to comb her legs and feet, but having her neck combed when she’s not wearing a collar sends her into rapture. My […]

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Dogs Fears & Anxieties Training & Grooming

Monster Alert! Helping Your Dog Overcome Fear of the Vacuum Cleaner

Reading Time: 3 minutes “The monster must DIE!” At least, that’s what I imagined the Chow mix was thinking as she launched herself at the vacuum cleaner, growling and snapping as if she were taking on a zombie horde. I cued the owner to shut off the machine. “You’re right,” I nodded. “She hates the vacuum cleaner.” Now that […]

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Dogs Training & Grooming

Pandemic Pups Learn About Visitors

Reading Time: 5 minutes Now that vaccination rates are rising, you may be starting to think about having visitors come to your home again. This may be a big surprise for your recently acquired dog. “It’s the classic pandemic puppy story,” says Beth Harpaz. “My husband and I wanted a dog to bring some joy into our boring pandemic […]

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Training & Grooming

Clickerless: How to Train Your Pet Without One

Reading Time: 3 minutes Two seconds into the lesson and I already knew I was going to like this client. She had a treat bag clipped to her waist, loaded with yummy bites. She also had a clicker on a lanyard around her neck and had already been practicing with it. She was eager to begin training her two […]

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Training & Grooming

Use the Environment to Train Your Dog

Reading Time: 3 minutes When I worked as a professional dog trainer, my dog school was called “Oliver and Me.”  Oliver was my dog. But I didn’t just name my school after him because I loved him. He actually helped me train. Doing private training in the suburbs outside of New York City often meant there were no other […]

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Cats Training & Grooming Veterinary Care

Blood Draws: How to Prepare Cats for Them

Reading Time: 3 minutes Once you’ve trained your cat to accept restraint, you can start training for blood draws. Depending on your cat’s age and lifestyle, they may need regular blood draws for wellness or to test for diseases such as FeLV/FIV. Of course, you won’t actually be poking them with needles at home, but by teaching them to […]