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Duncan Defies the Odds

Duncan Defies the Odds
Duncan Defies the Odds

Next time your dog urinates in the house

– AGAIN! –

Think DogTread & FitPAWS Equipment.

Think EXERCISE for Behavior Modification!

Wow, Who knew?

Exercise Brings New & Desired Behavior!


  Meet DuncanLet’s meet Duncan:

Duncan is a 7 year ever young, ever ready Boston Terror. Yes that’s not a typo. He stops to nap a few minutes and then goes full speed ahead. He is loving, plays forever with the tennis balls, kongs and any stuffed animal. He carries his little bed all around the house, climbs in and covers himself with a little towel. Boston Terriers, although small dogs (Duncan is 20lb) think they are large dogs. Duncan loves to hike for hours in the mountains.

Does your Dog have Separation Anxiety?

Duncan had some stressful times during his younger life. And he became very attached to his person, who had to travel frequently. Most of you reading this know that Boston Terriers have a thing about attachment and separation anxiety. So any time Duncan was left alone, he would go into the closet and urinate on some shirt sleeves. Lots of them. He would urinate on the bed frame leg. And the couch leg. Always a new place. Always in stealth. At first the family thought several dogs were urinating. But Duncan was exposed as the culprit.

 What are other Signs of Separation Anxiety?

Dogs may chew up stuffed toys or shoes or worse, the couch or even a wall or door. Excessive crying or barking can occur. Luckily Duncan never added those lovely habits to his repertoire. Some dogs develop gastrointestinal issues when their favorite person is not around. Duncan would vomit if his stress levels became too high.

Although incidence of separation anxiety is documented to be around 20% in our dogs, there are many additional cases that are not reported.

 Start with a thorough Veterinary Examination:

Duncan has excellent full blood panel results, dentals when needed, no heart issues (common in this breed), no cataracts or other eye problems (common in this breed) and no areas of pain or restriction of movement.

 Current Veterinary Treatment for Separation Anxiety:

Many dogs pine for their owner if left alone. The standard therapy includes behavior modification through desensitization and counter conditioning adding in medications during the early phases of treatment.

 Medical Treatments?

Medications are available and often useful for dogs suffering from separation anxiety. Two medications, antidepressants Clomicalm® and Prozac® are approved in the USA for treatment of separation anxiety in dogs.

Duncan takes Pepcid twice daily, which eliminates his vomiting. He is not on any other medications.


Duncan does the FitPAWS Double Discs

Duncan does the Double Discs

Changes in Routine

You may have heard about changes we should make in the routine for a dog with separation anxiety. Here are a few: ignore the dog when we come home. Ignore the dog when we leave. Keep the dog off the bed. Keep the dog out of the bedroom. Only pet the dog if the dog works for us. Keep the dog on a leash attached to you. Take dog out on lease to urinate and praise after. Crate the dog. There are many more.

Do I agree with all of these? Yes. Yes. But what if they just aren’t going to happen? And don’t happen. What if the family cannot or will not make these changes? And the dog continues to urinate in the house!

 Why not create a program tailored to meet the needs of the family and the dog?  So here is the program I recommended:

  • Duncan must wear “Man Pants” at all times. Dog Diapers with a liner pad. These had Harley flames!
  • The owner must initiate an exercise program with a twist.


Meet Duncan DogTread Blog

Behavior Modification through Exercise

When we think of exercising our dogs, many think of daily walks and turn outs in an area to eliminate. Most dogs need much much more exercise than that. When creating a treatment program for dogs with separation anxiety, I prescribe specific exercise routines that challenge a dog’s mind and body as well as changing some home routines.


Workout of the Week: “Do the Duncan” Program with FitPAWS & DogTread:


Duncan works out on DogTread

Duncan works out on DogTread

Warm Up: Walk x 5 min then Trot x 10 min on DogTread Treadmill

 Main Set: “Do the Duncan” circuit:

Sit to Stands on the Donut x 5

Individual Leg Lifts on Double Discs x 5

Repeat x 3

Dr Kerry Fisher with Duncan on FitPAWS donut

Duncan Donuts

Sit, Down and Stay on K9FITbed x 5

Equipment: DogTread Treadmill, FitPAWS Donut and Giant Disc, K9FITbone

 Cool Down: Walk on DogTread Treadmill x 10 minutes

 *As always, encouraging good form enhances return to function. Move through each position slowly.


Duncan learns to stay on K9FITbed
Duncan learns to stay on K9FITbed

Duncan Defies the Odds!

Did Duncan stop peeing in the house? Yes. It’s now been 4 months. After 7 years. Duncan’s program changes around every few weeks. No More Man Pants!!! Awesome outcome!






Dr-Kerry_FisherAbout the Author: Kerry Fisher, DVM, CCRP ~ your Canine Fitness Expert. Throughout her career as a veterinarian, Dr. Fisher has focused on “Pre-hab and Rehab” for animals, pioneering therapeutic & conditioning exercises with FitPAWS Equipment. She owns Canine Rehab ~ Canine Fitness Unleashed!, a Colorado based Canine Gym with Injury Prevention and Canine Rehabilitation services. She has a passion for and experience with Sports Medicine for sporting, search & rescue, performance, working and hunting dogs. Dr. Kerry also has unique concepts for working with senior canine fitness, weight management, pain management, and behavior modification through exercise. She provides educational hands-on seminars and workshops worldwide. Do you want to take your dog’s fitness to another level? Let’s Get in Touch for a Fitness Assessment and Coaching for your dog. Dr. Kerry uses the DogTread Treadmill-Gait4Dog integrated software system for early Lameness Detection and monitoring the progress your dog is making during the course of rehabilitation. Injury prevention is key! Dr. Fisher is an athlete herself, enjoying endurance triathlons, mountain biking, bicycle touring, backpacking and telemark skiing. She biked, camped and toured 4,000 miles across the Northern Tier of the USA with her yellow Labrador, Mr. Mitchell. 2015 brings some challenging events to her plate: Ironman Arizona (140.6 mile event) and Leadville 100 mountain bike race (103 mile race at 10,000 feet+ elevation). As founder of Grit Gals, Kerry blogs to share her training tactics for these intense races. Human Fitness and Canine Fitness intertwined – to help you and your dogs reach your goals.

6 responses to “Duncan Defies the Odds”

  1. Slimdoggy says:

    What a great result. Exercise has so many benefits. I bet Duncan is happy to be out of those diapers!

  2. emma says:

    What a great success story! That would be awful peeing around the house like that!

  3. Hi Y’all!

    Oh how wonderful that Duncan can be happy with his life. Every dog deserves such loving humans!

    Y’all come on by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  4. Awesome advice! So many dogs with “behavioral issues” suffer from a lack of physical AND mental exercise, and get nothing BUT love from their owners. It’s amazing what some structure & discipline regarding daily exercise can & will achieve!

  5. What a great success story! Go Duncan!

  6. That is a great story. I agree training and exercise can solve a world of behavioral problems.