Old Trainer

Old Trainer

Agility training for your dogs - it’s not just for TV contests

DEAR OLD TRAINER: I saw agility dogs on TV and I think Junior, my 3-year old mixed breed is a natural. He’s always bouncing around and climbing on things. My concern is the cost and how long it takes. How much is the equipment and cost of a trainer? How do you know if a dog has what it takes? Do you train your dogs for agility contests?

Old Trainer

Did we make a mistake adopting a dog?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: My husband and I are retired and we both have health problems that keep us from being active as we would like. We enjoy reading your columns about how much love you get from your dogs and want it in our lives.

Old Trainer

Distance running and dog costumes. Having fun with your pets

DEAR OLD TRAINER: My kids wanted to dress Boris and Katy, our Basset Hounds, in antlers and red sweaters with bells for the local kid’s Christmas parade. I told them okay and the dogs didn’t seem to mind, or even notice it for that matter, but it bothered me a little. What’s your opinion on costumes or human clothes on dogs?

Old Trainer

How to keep your dogs out in the cold

DEAR OLD TRAINER: My husband and I enjoyed your article about dogs and cold weather but we have a question. Nico, our 2-year old Akita, stayed inside all summer, but wants to stay outside since it got cold. She always went in and out with our two older dogs, but she changed when winter arrived and insists on staying out, even at night. Is her igloo doghouse warm enough for the cold weather we get? What do you advise?

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.

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?

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?

Old Trainer

How to know if your dog wants to learn new tricks

DEAR OLD TRAINER: I am struck by your comment you teach tricks only to the dogs who tell you they want to learn them. I have four dogs and I notice Lacy, my 2-year old Corgi, is very alert and watches me a lot more than the other three. How do I know if she wants to learn tricks?

Old Trainer

How to introduce your new dog to your old dog

DEAR OLD TRAINER: You convinced us. Bella, our 6-year old mix (lab and anyone’s guess) acts so sad when we leave we are going to add a second dog. Bella is a little cranky and territorial. What’s the best way to introduce the second dog?

Old Trainer

Don’t leave your dog in a car this summer

DEAR OLD TRAINER: Betsy, our 5-year old Beagle/Schnauzer mix looks heartbroken when we leave the house. We work long hours and I feel bad leaving her alone that long. We are thinking of getting a second dog to keep her company. Will that keep her from being lonely?

Old Trainer

What’s the best way to get rid of fleas?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: Our Shar Pei, Dax, is 9 months old so we didn’t have to worry about fleas last year, but we have already found several on him this year, so we need a flea preventive product. Shar Peis are prone to skin problems so we want to choose the best and safest one. Our vet has at least half a dozen different brands and it appears there are a dozen more on the internet. What do you recommend and how did you decide which one was best?

Old Trainer

Make it part of the game

DEAR OLD TRAINER: My 5-year old Doberman, Tony, obeys all commands except one—when he brings a stick he moves his head just enough to make sure I can’t get it. When I do grasp it, he wants to play tug of war instead of let it go. What do you do when one of your pack does that?

The Mueller investigation into possible Russia - Trump campaign connection so far

Robert Mueller is special counsel for the Department of Justice. He oversees the investigation into Russia's possible connections to the 2016 election and Trump campaign.