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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19463
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My Schipperke makes a hacking or huffing sound as if he were

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My Schipperke makes a hacking or huffing sound as if he were trying to dislodge something in his throat. He seems to do this whenever he gets excited, which, for a Schipperke, is very frequently. Soothing him with petting, etc. helps him to stop but it will go on for some time and seems involuntary. He has done this ever since we adopted him, years ago. One vet told us it was normal and not to worry, but we do so, regardless. Your thoughts?
Hi Sir or Madam,
My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
I suspect he has a collapsing trachea if your vet indicated it was relatively normal. Many smaller dogs have this condition. It really isn't "normal" but is something that we see all the time. While it is a condition that can be quite serious, most dogs with this condition tend to live a relatively normal life span without surgery.
Most owners report that stroking the throat during an episode lessens the severity and shortens the episode. I'm pretty sure that this is what your vet was referring to. Now there is surgery that can be performed if it becomes necessary but as I mentioned, it usually doesn't come to that point. You can read about it here:
Dogs also do something called a reverse sneeze which you can read about here:
Now he is getting older and this noise can be a cough as well. Coughs can be associated with heart and lung issues. So while I think it is likely the collapsing trachea, you do need to monitor him and have it checked out further if it seems to be increasing especially since you indicate it seems to happen more with exercise. You can read more on this here:


There are other causes for coughs such as bronchitis, kennel cough and other upper respiratory illnesses and if you would like more information on those, let me know. I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .


If you have questions in the future that you wish me to answer, you may go here and bookmark the page or make it a favorite. It is best to put my name "JANE" in the question as well. Please recommend me to your friends and family members if they have any problems with their dog as well. I would truly appreciate it.

Jane Lefler and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Doug,

I'm just following up on our conversation about George. How is everything going?

Jane Lefler
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Just fine, Jane. The throat massage does seem to help, always has. It was helpful to know the frequency of trachea collapse, and that does indeed seem to be the situation.


Thanks again,


Doug,.I'm glad to hear that things are going well. Let me know if I can help in the future.