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A Dog in the Office? Why Not?

 By Peter Goldenthal, Ph.D., ABPP
About fifteen years ago, I began bringing Shira, my Portugese Water Dog, to the office, mostly so that she wouldn't be home alone all day. It soon became clear that she was exquisitely aware of the most subtle changes in the emotional temperature of the office. When patients were clam, she lay quietly next to me. When they were upset, she lay by them or licked their hands. And when there was a high degree of unexpressed conflict between spouses or partners, she paced. I thought I had stumbled on something unique until I remembered seeing photos of Freud's Chow, Jofi, and reading about how Freud would refer to Jofi in his interpretations. I am not aware of Freud referring to Jofi as a therapy dog or writing about animal assisted therapy. It seems clear, however, that he was ahead of his time in this as in other things. Read More 

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Help for dogs who are afraid of thunderstorms

One common question from dog owners is this: What Can I do About my dog's fear of thunder?

Fear of loud noises probably developed eons ago for a very good reason:extremely loud noises are often accompanied by dangerous events. There are two things to do when your dog cowers or shakes during a  Read More 

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What is Your Child So Worried About? (and what can you do about it)

High School students are anxious about college. Middle School students are anxious about the approach of high school. Both groups are anxious about relationships. Everybody knows that. But what do first and second graders have to be anxious about?

Quite a lot, as it turns out. When you talk seriously with children between five  Read More 

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How to Listen and Whisper to Your Dog part 4

People who are about to purchase or adopt a puppy or adult dog are first of all looking for a dog who has a strong desire to connect with people in general and with one or two special people in particular. Some dogs like everybody  Read More 

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How to Whisper and Listen to Your Dog Part 3

The path to understanding your dog lies in large part in noticing the little things that most people miss.

The fictional and famous Victorian detective Sherlock Holmes loved to talk about his methods. And he loved to chastise his friend Watson for seeing but not  Read More 

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How to Whisper and Listen to Your Dog part 2

To really understand your dog and to become your dog’s best friend , it’s very important not to make the assumption that dogs are all alike.

Making assumptions, especially assumptions about the causes of behavior leads to bad consequences. When I adopted Sasha  Read More 

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How to Whisper and Listen to Your Dog Part 1

As I was leaving my monthly dog trainers’ meeting, I had the sudden realization that training dogs to behave better is far too limited a goal. Your dog can do better than that. You and your dog can do better than that. You may be  Read More 

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You, Your Dog, Your Attachment Style, and Your Healing

Each of us has his or her way of forming attachments to other people. This “attachment pattern” develops during infancy and early childhood and persists throughout life. Although you can’t do very much to change your attachment pattern, sometimes called an “attachment style,” you  Read More 

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These Dogs Changed a Life

Jake told me how his dogs Lucy and Alice, both Chihuahua mix rescue dogs, have changed his life. “I didn’t even realize that I had as much of an anxiety problem before I had dogs. Lucy softened me up so much and I didn’ Read More 

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Finding Your Special Canine Companion

Much of what happens between person and dog seems magical. Someone loses a dog, visits a shelter, and as if by chance, comes home with the perfect canine companion. Many people say, as if channeling the wand maker in Harry Potter, “the person doesn’t choose the dog, the dog chooses the person.”

This  Read More 

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