Old Trainer

Old Trainer

Will my dog sink in the snow?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: We are going to Tahoe for Christmas. My dog is Mitzi and is short. I can’t remember what kind she is, but she is short. I am afraid Mitzi will sink in the snow and I can’t find her. My dad said to ask you if Mitzi will be OK. I don’t want to go if Mitzi will sink. I am 10 and might not be able to find her.

Old Trainer

Keeping your dogs in shape

DEAR OLD TRAINER: Rebar is a year-old border collie/blue heeler mix. I just started him on Frisbee. I’ve been told Frisbee is hard on them because of the high jumping and landing. Is Rebar too young for Frisbee? My last dog was the same mix and he caught a Frisbee and lived to be 19?

Old Trainer

Trust your dog’s instincts

DEAR OLD TRAINER: I work late, so I walk Layla, my Belgian shepherd, at midnight in a nearby park. We don’t usually see anyone and, if we do, Layla ignores them, but the other night a guy was walking toward us and Layla got between me and the guy and gave a long, mean growl with the hair on her back standing up and her fangs showing. I apologized, then scolded Layla, but she just kept snarling at the guy until he left. How do I train her not to growl?

Old Trainer

Dogs know what they want, and that’s OK

DEAR OLD TRAINER: I was glad to see your advice it is natural for a dog to growl at the vet when being examined. Maggie, my 2-year old Heeler/English Sheep dog mix, is a loving dog, but she refuses to make up with anyone but me. She is the smartest and best trained dog I have ever had, but she growls and raises her hackles when visitors try to pet her. Should I try to train her to be friendly to people?

Old Trainer

Training smart dogs likely won’t be too hard

DEAR OLD TRAINER: A Blue Heeler mix showed up at my flower farm one day and adopted me. She stays with me in the fields when customers come by to pick up orders and feels she has to protect me. She nipped at one man’s heel. She also herds the cats up each morning. I am 68 and have never been a dog lover, but this dog has stolen my heart. What can I do to stop her from herding the cats and nipping the customers?

Old Trainer

Trust a dog’s instincts in rating people

DEAR OLD TRAINER: We have a 9-month old German Shepherd mix named Willie. Last week I took him to the vet and he growled and showed his teeth when the vet started to examine him. I put a muzzle on him, but after the exam the vet said, “That dog has a mean streak. I advise putting him down.” We’ve only had Willie three months, but I have really bonded with him and hate the idea of putting him down. What is your advice?

Old Trainer

3 simple exercises to retrain a herding dog

DEAR OLD TRAINER: Rip, my 18-month old Aussie, is the perfect dog, but sometimes I’m shocked at what he does. Yesterday I was playing ball with him and my neighbor came over to watch. With no warning Rip ran over and grabbed his pants cuff, just above his heel, and started barking and pulling on the pants with all his might. Why did he do that?

Old Trainer

Should dogs’ thick fur be cut to ward off summer suffering?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: We got Beau, our 3-year old Husky, when we lived in Jackson Hole. We now live in Kansas City and it is scorching in the summers. Some people tell us to have Beau shaved to help him endure the heat, and some tell us never cut a Husky’s coat because the thick coat protects him from the heat. Which is right?

Old Trainer

Two tricks to help cool off ‘hot spots’ on your dog

DEAR OLD TRAINER: You said not long ago you found a way to cure red spots on your dogs. I need the details because Max, my mixed breed (might be Maltese and Shih Tzu), has them all the time. They are blood red, about the size of a pea, and they drive him crazy. My vet calls them “hot spots” and it costs $70 every time he treats one. What was your solution?

Old Trainer

Reading a dog’s body language

DEAR OLD TRAINER: In a column you talked about how it is an advantage in training to read your dog’s body language, but you didn’t explain how to do it. Why is it useful, what do I watch for, and can I see it in my Maltese puppy?

Old Trainer

Pouting is a clever dog trick

DEAR OLD TRAINER: Your column on getting an old dog to eat was perfect timing. Bax, our 9-year old Malamute, suddenly started ignoring his food and it never crossed my mind he might be pouting because he was jealous. He loves Liz, our 3-year old Lab, but I guess he decided she was getting too much of the spotlight. As soon as we started giving him special attention he started eating again.

Old Trainer

Old dogs don’t learn new eating habits

DEAR OLD TRAINER: My Sheltie, Rita, is 12. She always gobbled her food down, and wanted more and always ate faster than our two young dogs, but lately she eats less and less. We tried hamburger and every other treat we could think of, but she just doesn’t eat like she once did. What should we do?

Old Trainer

Fighting fleas with natural products

DEAR OLD TRAINER: We applied a liquid flea and tick product to Crash, our 3-year-old Boxer, and the next day he was scratching and rolling on the carpet and the grass all day. We bathed him twice to get the product off and took him swimming and he finally calmed down. Clearly the flea liquid caused it so we haven’t used it again. Are flea products you apply to the skin of a dog safe?

Old Trainer

Jack Haskins: Good dogs don’t always have to be friendly

DEAR OLD TRAINER: Kong, my 3-year old standard poodle, learned his basic training with ease. He is the smartest and most loving of my four dogs, and the best trained, but he refuses to make up with anyone but me. He is not aggressive to others as long as they leave him alone, but if they reach out to pet him he growls and shows his teeth. I’m afraid he will bite someone. How do I train him to be friendly to people?

Old Trainer

Jack Haskins: Stopping your dogs from barking at mail carrier

DEAR OLD TRAINER: We have two dogs, Cora, a 4-year old Lab mix, and Sam, a 2-year old Weimaraner mix. Since we moved to a new house they bark at the mailman and won’t stop. Their tails are wagging and after the mailman passes they go back to sleep as if nothing happened. Is this a problem? If so, how do I stop it?

Old Trainer

Jack Haskins: The fastest ways to train your dog

DEAR OLD TRAINER: I followed your advice on training Ace, my 3-year-old Jack Russell terrier, and Sadie, my 2-year-old Shar Pei mix. They had never obeyed an order in their lives and now they will sit, stay, and come. Problem is, it took me months to train them. Is there a way to teach them without spending so much time on it?


Ousted Los Banos trustees Duffy, Jones allege Brown Act violation 0:23

Ousted Los Banos trustees Duffy, Jones allege Brown Act violation

Los Banos officials count down lighting of 2016 Christmas Tree 0:21

Los Banos officials count down lighting of 2016 Christmas Tree

Merced residents light up neighborhood with annual Christmas display 1:44

Merced residents light up neighborhood with annual Christmas display

Video shows burglary suspect at Buchach High 0:31

Video shows burglary suspect at Buchach High