Old Trainer

Old Trainer

What command should I work on next for my dog?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: After months of work I finally made progress with Devo, my 2-year old (approx.) Black Lab on sit-stay-come. I thought it was impossible, but he’s actually starting to mind. At least most of the time. What command should I work on next?

Old Trainer

Have dog, will travel — without the crate

DEAR OLD TRAINER: I have not had a dog the last 20 years or so, but I just adopted a mixed breed named Laker. You advise taking dogs to the dog park, but I’ve never been to one and I’m not sure how to proceed. What training does Laker need before I take him?

Old Trainer

You can teach your dogs almost anything

DEAR OLD TRAINER: Your advice on how to teach “left” and “right” really worked. I was skeptical if Keely, my Springer, and Spec, my Brittany, could figure it out, but they learned it in two days and it was easy. What else can I teach them?

Old Trainer

Helping scratch your dog’s itch

DEAR OLD TRAINER: Rufus, a Golden mix, and Sam, a Poodle/Schnauzer mix, are scratching worse than ever this year. We just put flea liquid on them a week ago and it seems like it makes them scratch even more. Any idea on what could be causing that and is there a way to stop it?

Old Trainer

Dogs aren’t as simple to figure out as you might think

DEAR OLD TRAINER: Max, my 10-month old English Sheep Dog, loves to play at the dog park and has a favorite dog he plays with. They roll over and over, take off in a wild run, then come back and start rolling again. A lady said, “Max is a submissive dog.” She said if a dog rolls over on its back that shows it’s submissive. What does that mean?

Old Trainer

How to derail your dog’s train of thought

DEAR OLD TRAINER: We wrote you last spring about Yip, our 18-month old Lab. He was impossible on the leash until I followed your advice about making him sit and look at me every time he went wild. Now, when he acts up, I make him sit and he behaves perfectly. What I don’t understand is why. Would you please explain why the training process works so well?

Old Trainer

Dog’s submissive urination issues can be fixed

DEAR OLD TRAINER: Sadie, a 1-year-old mixed breed – the vet says golden and Aussie probably – showed up at our door last fall. She is so sweet we adopted her and we love her. The problem is she urinates when any human approaches her. If I leave for any reason she does it when I return. What causes this problem and how do we deal with it?

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?

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