By Marc Morrone
Tribune Content Agency
Q: We own an eight-year-old, male Pug, Digger, who is smart, lovable, and extremely calm. My brother-in-law always loved Digger and bought a male Pug from a breeder. Needless to say, this pup is the total opposite of Digger. Blackie is like the Energizer Bunny in that he just never stops moving. He has been recently neutered, which has not changed him too much. I know there are certain breeds that are known for their energy (Jack Russel Terrier’s) but on the other hand, are there breeds that are known for being calm? - Frank Williams, Baltimore, MD
A: Well there is no right or wrong answer to a question like this one. Yes, each breed of dog does have certain talents; however what you are asking is a bit different.
A Jack Russel Terrier has been bred over generations to look at situations in its environment and figure things out for itself. People that bred and kept these dogs used them to patrol farms and destroy vermin; they were independent contractors so to speak.
However what you are describing here is different. All breeds of dogs as puppies have a natural desire to learn about their environment. So the only way to satisfy this curiosity is to explore it by sniffing, tasting and touching whatever part of it’s environment that it does not understand.
As the dog matures, then all his questions are gradually answered through trial and error. Just like humans there are some dogs that have more curiosity than others and those with less curiosity learn all they need to at a younger age. It really is not fair to compare two dogs in this issue.
Neutering or spaying a dog only removes testosterone and estrogen from the dog’s body and though lowers their desire to mate, it does not eliminate all levels of curiosity. This is all a matter of growing up and learning and he should not be judged for it.
Q: My Chihuahua and cat get along very well. In fact it seems they spend too much of their time together as they love to share their meals. We do our best to prevent this from happening by feeding the cat up on the kitchen counter. However when we try to feed the dog separately by locking the cat out of the room the dog gets very upset. The vet examined them just last week and says both animals are fine and not to worry about it but we do anyway. - Randy Levy, Orlando, FL
A: I think this sounds pretty cute actually. So many of the questions I get are about pets not getting along! Realistically speaking if a cat was just fed dog food or vice versa then there would be an issue here, but I think that the cat is just politely partaking of the dog’s meal so that there are no hurt feelings.
The fact that you say the cat gets to eat as much of its own food up on the counter away from the dog means that he is getting all the nutrition that he needs. So as your vet said-do not worry here and just enjoy watching the friendship between these two species.
Marc Morrone has kept every kind of animal as a pet possible for the last half century and is happy to share his knowledge of pet keeping with those in need of it. Although he cannot answer every question individually, he will publish those of general interest. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org; please include your name, city and state.
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Printed in the April 2 - April 15, 2017 edition.