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The Pet Doctor, Your Pet Health Matters on PetLifeRadio.comBernadine D. Cruz, DVM, host of The Pet Doctor

Bernadine D. Cruz, DVM

Why Isnít My Dog More Like Lassie?

Dr. Debra Horwitz on Pet Life Radio........

..Dr. Debra Horwitz .............................


Does this sound familiar?  'I would like to take my dog for a walk but it tries to attack every person and dog we meet.  He has pulled me off my feet. I just don’t understand.  He is so good at home,'  'Why is my dog jealous of my new baby?  Initially everything was OK but now it tries to snap and run away whenever the baby approaches…do I have to give my dog away?'  'My neighbors have reported me to the authorities because my dog whines and barks whenever I leave…Should I get another dog to keep her company?'

These are the types of questions I get from frustrated and concerned dog parents.  Why can’t their dogs be more like Lassie? Is the dog being belligerent, stubborn, mean or is it just stupid? Could the human be at fault?  Dr. Debra Horwitz and some of her board certified veterinary behaviorist colleagues have just released a marvelous book for all cynophilists (dog lovers), Decoding Your Dog.  Better understanding what is going on between your dog’s ears can keep your pet out of the dog house.

Questions or comments? Email Dr.Cruz at:


Located in St. Louis, Dr. Debra has been an animal behavior specialist for over twenty five years.

Dr. Debra Horwitz received her DVM from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and is currently its president. Dr. Horwitz has had a referral practice for behavioral problems in companion animals since 1982 and presently her behavioral practice is located in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Horwitz has also taught third year veterinary students and seen clinical cases at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. She serves as a behavioral consultant for the Veterinary Information Network, a teaching and clinical resource for veterinarians. She is an editor and contributor to the BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Behavioural Medicine published in July 2002 and she is the behavior section editor for the The 5-Minute Veterinary Consult: Canine and Feline, Third Edition, and Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Canine and Feline, Fourth Edition and co-author of the Lifelearn Behavior Client Handouts.

Her newest book, Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Consult Clinical Companion: Canine and Feline Behavior co-authored with Jacqui Neilson will be published in June 2007. In addition she is the veterinary resource for Nestle Purina PetCare Purina ONE Ask the Vet and Kitten Chow Mentor program.

A frequent lecturer she has spoken at the North American Veterinary Conference, the American Animal Hospital Association annual meeting, the American Veterinary Medical Association Annual Convention, the Western Veterinary Conference and many other local and state veterinary meetings. In 1999 she was chosen "Technician Speaker of the Year" at the North American Veterinary Conference and Dr. Horwitz was the 1999 AAHA Friskies PetCare award recipient for excellence in companion animal behavior.

Her articles on companion animal behavior have appeared in JAVMA, Veterinary Forum, NAVC Clinicians Brief, Breeders Forum, Purina Today’s Breeder, Compendium publications as well as other publications including books for pet owners on behavior. She serves on the Advisory Board of Veterinary Forum magazine and is a member of the AVMA committee on the Human Animal Bond. She appears locally and nationally on both radio and television as well as in local print publications and lectures.

Dr. Debra is also one of the Purina® Cat Chow® Mentors – an advisor on – who answers your pet behavior questions.


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