DEAR OLD TRAINER: I saw on TV that stealing dogs is up 50 percent. My husband says he has never heard of a dog being stolen in our town, but an increase that big worries me. We love both our Shelties and it would kill me to lose them. Is it true that dog theft is a common occurrence?
Dogs glean more information from sniffing than a human can learn about another human in a week of conversation. With one sniff, a dog can determine health, age, sex, mood, attitude, diet, and a dozen other useful bits of information.
DEAR OLD TRAINER: My 2-year-old boxer, Annie, obeys all her commands except when we walk on the park trails. She is strong and pulls on the leash all the time. I switched to an expandable leash like you recommend, but she still tires me out. I am about to give up and quit walking her. What can I do?
Old dogs learn faster – and remember longer – than young dogs because their brains are more developed and used to learning. The only limitation is they have less energy to apply to learning as they age.
No one knows why dogs love to travel, but they do. One of the pleasant surprises when you pull into rest stops is how many people, including long distance truck drivers, travel with dogs. The dogs know their business, too.
DEAR OLD TRAINER: I am finishing my sophomore year in high school and love dogs. We have three that I feed and exercise. I am interested in a job being a trainer or dog walker or something where I can be around dogs and maybe make some money too. Can someone my age do that?
Keeping a dog from jumping the fence isn’t easy. Although there is equipment that can be used to help with this, nothing beats investing the time and energy in just training a dog to stay away from the fence. But with lots of patience and a consistent approach, you can get the job done.
D ear Old Trainer: We need help with our miniature pinschers. Lil Bit is 2, Blackie 1, and Buttons 7 months. They bark at anyone who walks by. We tell them no, but they continue. We take them out for walks, they do the same. They escape out the door and won’t come back until they want to. Please help!
All dog owners should evaluate the food they are currently using and determine if they can improve their dogs’ nutrition. Good kibble costs more, sometimes twice as much, as low quality. But, because it contains more nutrition, you feed lower volume. Add the fact that your dogs are healthier so you have lower vet bills and it is a bargain.
It’s always a good idea for a vet take a look at any dog when it changesits eating pattern but the fact Queenie still wolfs down treats tells me she’s healthy and is just playing games with you. Old dogs spend a lot of time thinking, and it sounds like Queenie thought up a new way to have fun with you. All dogs play tricks on their human and she has a big laugh every time she plays this one. That’s why her tail is wagging.
You break the habit the way you break any bad habit, by preparation and training. Interrupt the thought process the instant it starts to form in the dog’s mind and replace it with the habit of obeying orders from the leader of the pack.
Going the a ski resort for a vacation? Don’t worry about bringing the little dog along. If your dog is small, it likely won’t weigh enough to sink into a snow drift anyway. Besides, all dogs love to play in the snow, so take them out in and have a good time.
D ear Old Trainer: A neighbor said she heard of a phone app that somehow tracks lost dogs. Our 2-year-old dachshund, Mimi, is part of our family and we want to take every precaution to keep her safe. If it exists we want to get it.
Dear Old Trainer: Mitzi, my 4-year-old pug, and Jake, my 6-year-old golden, both seem to dream on a regular basis. They kick their legs and yip and flick their ears. Do dogs dream? And, if so, is it possible for dogs to have nightmares? Should I wake them up when they are kicking and barking?
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