Pets

Old Trainer

Is there something wrong with my dog?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: Suzy, my 2-year old St Bernard/Huskie mix is a gentle giant who is full of energy and plays all day, but always eats her dinner lying down. She stands up bouncing around while she waits for me to make it, then lies down to eat it. I never had a dog do that before. Is there something wrong with her?

Old Trainer

How I train my dogs

DEAR OLD TRAINER: I just discovered your column and the tips convinced me to try and train our 10-month old Boxer, Katy. Is it possible for you to lay out your overall training program beginning with step one when you first get a dog and start your training routine?

Old Trainer

Should I be worried my dog won’t eat her dog food?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: I am worried about Misty, my 6-year old Maltese. She has always been a good eater, but now she sniffs at her food and then ignores it. She will eat anything I’m eating, but not her own food. I like to feed her what I’m eating, but she is my only companion so I want what’s best for her. What should I do?

Old Trainer

Which bones should I let my dog chew?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: What is your opinion of Nyla-Bones? Lily, my 3-year old English Sheepdog, has one she loves. My vet told me as long as she doesn't break off chunks, it's OK but she does throw up tiny pieces of it. Is there a type of safe Nyla Bone? If I take it away she constantly looks for it.

Pets

New life for an old dog

She had been all black in her youth, but now at the age of 14 she is showing some gray around her muzzle. She used to jump and romp and play. Now she walks sedately across the yard, a faint weakness in her hindquarters. But always, Bella has class. Always, the gentle tail wag to let you know that she’s listening, she’s here.

Old Trainer

Train your dog or your dog trains you

DEAR OLD TRAINER: A couple of months ago you sent me information on how to train Fletch, my 1-year old hound/spaniel mix, to stop jumping on people and to sit. I was amazed how easy it was. He doesn’t jump now and sits on command, but if we leave a shoe on the floor he grabs it, is through the dog door in a flash, and into the yard. I chase him, but he won’t bring it back. What’s your advice?

Pets

Meeting a Border Collie called ‘Dunkin’

The afternoon was humming along as I made my way from one exam room to the next. Behind Door No. 1 was a kitten with a snotty nose. Behind Door No. 2 was a tiny parrot with a broken leg. And behind Door No. 3 there was Dunkin.

Old Trainer

Why does my dog keep bringing small animals?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: We live in the country with several acres and a spring fed pond. Sadie, our Lab/Poodle mix, has suddenly started spending all her time at the pond hunting. She’ll come when called, but goes right back to the pond. Every day she brings us frogs, mice, moles, whatever she can find. For the first five years we had her, she stayed with us but now it’s hunting all day. What should we do?

Old Trainer

Seeking summer haircuts and avoiding potential pet scams

DEAR OLD TRAINER: My sister just got taken on a terrible swindle. She bought a dog called a Maltipoo at a pet store for $1,500 and the store offered to finance the purchase over 24 months. It turned out to be a lease, not a purchase, and with interest the cost has now more than doubled and my sister was told if she quits paying they will take the dog back. What can she do?

Old Trainer

Teaching your dog not to jump up on you

DEAR OLD TRAINER: My wife and I just adopted Cruz, a 1-year old Spaniel/Weimaraner mix. We love him already, but he jumps on us ever time he gets excited and he is big. Is it common for dogs to do this and how do we train him not to?

Old Trainer

How to train your dog to go for a walk

DEAR OLD TRAINER: Flash, my 3-year Bouvier, really improved when I took your advice and got serious about training. He is good at “sit” and “stay” and only barks now when someone approaches our house. His one problem is on our walks. He gets so excited he pulls like a sled dog and ignores me. Can I train him to calm down?

Why your dog (or cat) might fail the #SnootChallenge

If you're one of the hundreds of people not able to get your pet to rest his or her snout in the circle of your hands, you're not alone. We asked some pet behavior experts why some pet owners are having greater success than others.