The Norman Transcript

December 12, 2013

Terrier needs self-control training


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Dear Dr. Fox: We have two wonderful, loving little silky terriers. They are exactly one year apart — ages 2 and 3 this week. We purchased them from the same breeder, but they do not share the same parents.

The 3-year-old is very laid-back, shy around people and is generally the perfect pet. The younger dog is an acquired taste: She is very hyper and recently has become aggressive to anyone coming too close to my husband or me. She is a major jumper, as well; from a standing position on the floor, she can jump bar height. She is also a chewer.

Because of all of this, we have put an invisible fence both inside and out. We now have her confined to one room while inside. She is the alpha dog of the two and can be a bully to our other dog.

We love her very much despite all this, and she is very affectionate to both of us.

The major problem is submissive urinating. We thought she would outgrow this like our older dog, but this is not the case, even two years later. She is perfectly housebroken and was very easy to train. This is not just occasional but happens several times a day.

Any suggestions you could offer would be greatly appreciated.

— E.B., Naples, Fla.

Dear E.B.: Your younger terrier is acting like a terrier and should not be confined to one room.

You should consult with a behavior therapist to enable you to better communicate and control this dog who must learn self-control. Another term is “internal inhibition.”

Check my website, DrFoxVet.com, and my book, “Dog Body, Dog Mind,” for details about the procedure called “cradling” — gentle restraint that can help dogs develop internal inhibition. This can be challenging, and consultation with an animal behavior therapist may be your best solution.

As for the submissive urination, you may be confusing this (since it is a frequent event) with urinary incontinence. This often develops in dogs after spaying, and periodic hormone replacement medication with DES (diethylstilbestrol) can often solve the problem.

Dear Dr. Fox: My cat, Andy, who I got in April, has AIDS. He has vomited a few times. He eats well, both canned and dry food. I feed him four or five times a day. The problem is that he won’t drink water, so I mix his canned food with water.

I worry about him not drinking water or milk. There is always a cup of water by his food bowls. I’m afraid he will develop a kidney problem. We have had cats for more than 40 years. My last one had kidney failure, but he always drank a lot of water. Please help me find a way to get Andy to drink.

I don’t know what kind of life he had before I got him. Once, he tried to drink from the bathroom sink. The next time, he fell off and never tried again.

— B.L.N., West Springfield, Mass.

Dear B.L.N.: Some cats are not good drinkers of water, and this can create problems, especially when they eat little or no canned, raw or home-prepared moist food.

Mash up and stew some canned clams or cooked chicken wings for a few minutes. Cool, strain and offer this flavored, watery gravy for your cat to drink. Offer a few tablespoons daily, and store the rest in the fridge. You also may want to soak some of the dry food in this gravy to increase your cat’s water intake.

Send all mail to animaldocfox@gmail.com or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. Visit Dr. Fox’s website at DrFoxVet.com.

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