Old Trainer

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?

Old Trainer

Does my dog really have dandruff?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: Your advice on training my Maltese pair, Dot and Max, worked out well. They have their basic training down and rarely forget. You mentioned in a column last year how you and your dogs practice every day. Are you teaching them new things every day? Do you recommend training every day?

Old Trainer

Is adopting a rescue pet a mistake?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: I’m so excited because I’m getting a dog. I agree with you about adopting rescue dogs, and I’ve found several I like, but a guy at work says if you adopt a rescue dog you just adopt someone’s mistake.

Old Trainer

Should I get my girlfriend a dog for Valentine’s Day?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: I want to give my girlfriend Lisa a dog for Valentine’s Day. I work as a firefighter so I’m gone for a week at a time and a dog could keep her company. She hasn’t talked about dogs so I don’t know whether to get her a big one or a little one. What do you think?

Old Trainer

Avoiding web scams and teaching your dogs not to beg for food

DEAR OLD TRAINER: I have three dogs, two Lab mixes and a Doberman, all males. They follow orders and behave like angels except for one thing—they beg and beg while I am eating. I feed them first, then when I sit down to eat they stare at me like they are starved and sometimes add a pitiful whine. Is there any way to stop it?

Old Trainer

Keeping Huskies warm in the winter

DEAR OLD TRAINER: We rented a house at Park City, Utah for the winter. Maddy, our 4-year old Husky/German Shepherd mix has never been in cold weather, but she begs to stay out at night. We put her out just before bedtime at home and she comes in after five minutes, but when we make her come in up here she stands at the door wanting right back out. The other night she howled outside, but when I opened the door she just wagged her tail and pawed at the snow. Can Maddy handle the weather here?

Old Trainer

Teaching your dog to jump through hoops

DEAR OLD TRAINER: My sister Madison and I saw a guy at the park and he held out his arm and his dog jumped over it and then he held his arms in a circle and his dog jumped through it. We have Lucy a Jack Russell dog and want to teach her to jump like that except we don’t know if little dogs can do it and we don’t know how to teach it.

Old Trainer

Do dog owners live longer?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: My husband and I saw a story that said people who own dogs live longer. At first, we thought it had to be a joke, but we have had dogs all our lives and we are 79 and 75 and both healthy. Do you know if this story is true?

Old Trainer

Here are the three things you need to be a good dog trainer

DEAR OLD TRAINER: My dad just got me a dog named Miko. She is a Belgian and is 6 years old. She is big and tough but is nice and loves me and I love her. My dad said I have to take care of her and I feed her and walk her and she is my dog. I want to train her but I am not a grownup. Can girls be trainers?

Old Trainer

Which words are best for obedience training?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: I taught our Afghan, Rico, the hold command and he learned it right away, but it seems more natural to me if I say “freeze” instead of hold. I switched and Rico responds just as fast. Is there some training reason I have to use hold?

Old Trainer

Can dogs smell rattlesnakes?

DEAR OLD TRAINER: We have a 2-year old Bernese Mountain Dog named Henry. We just moved to San Pedro and there are some beautiful parks near us where dogs can go off-leash, but there are signs warning to beware of rattlesnakes. What can I do to keep Henry safe? Can dogs smell snakes and do they automatically know they are dangerous and try to avoid them?

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?

Here’s how this father learned that his son was killed in prison

It took three days for California prison officials to tell Takis Kalatzakis that his son had been beaten and strangled to death by his cellmate at Salinas Valley State Prison. He found out through a telegram, dropped at his house in San Jose.