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Category Archives: Straight From the Dog’s Mouth

Coming When Called and Making Sure Your Dog Does

March 23, 2015

Coming When Called and Making Sure Your Dog Does

My dog loves to play off-leash in our neighborhood park. I’m becoming more and more reluctant to let him go leash-less as he’ll ignore my calls and sometimes it takes forever for him to come. Who knows how long I’ll have to spend calling and waiting. I get annoyed. He doesn’t understand. We’re both frustrated. The main thing is his safety. My happy off-leash dog wanders far and wide, out of my sight most times. I’m afraid he’ll run into the street and get hit by a car. Or someone might dognap him. Please help. Owner of a Wandering Woofer Dear Wandering, Sounds like your inquisitive canine has a bad case of “selective hearing.” My mom, a certified professional dog … Continue reading »


Why Has My Older Dog’s Behavior Changed?

January 6, 2013

Dear Inquisitive Canine, I’ve had my dog for about 11 years. We’ve been best friends ever since I can remember, but for the last year she’s been acting very strange. She used to love when I pet her and snuggled up to her, but now she growls and snaps at me. I use to play a little rough with her all the time and she used to nibble at me lightly like puppies do, but as of recent she will bite me very hard and that scares me. She also doesn’t listen to me when I call to her, she acts as if she can’t even hear me. I feel as though she respects everyone except me, and that really … Continue reading »


Managing Leashed Dog While Off-Leash Dogs Want to Visit

November 18, 2012

Managing Leashed Dog While Off-Leash Dogs Want to Visit

Dear Inquisitive Canine, How do I handle the situation when I am walking my boxer on her leash and we are confronted by an off leash dog or two? It happens a lot in my neighborhood and my former street dog (she was rescued from a neglectful life of living on the streets of East Dallas) goes crazy and barks and lunges at the dogs. I have worked with her so she no longer lunges at dogs behind fences but she continues to go crazy at the off leash roamers. Ellen G. Dear Ellen, Thank you for writing in! We appreciate questions such as these, since there are many in your walking shoes experiencing the same situation. The following are … Continue reading »


Building Trust with Your New Bashful Bow-wow

August 5, 2012

Building Trust with Your New Bashful Bow-wow

Dear Inquisitive Canine,  Our new Shih Tzu puppy hides from us, only coming out when no one is around. She also lowers her head when we pet her. I know it takes time, but I’ve heard some dogs will start interacting with their new environment after 1-3 days, and tomorrow will be her third day here. I just want her to be a happy puppy. What should I do and how should I do it? Renee T. Dear Renee, Poncho here! My certified dog trainer mom thought it best if I take this one. First off, allow me to say “atta girl!” for being inquisitive, aware of your situation and taking the time to ask questions about your new puppy. … Continue reading »


Puppy Thinks Sibling Cat is a Squeaky Toy

May 20, 2012

Puppy Thinks Sibling Cat is a Squeaky Toy

Dear Poncho, My name is Greta. I’m a 7-month-old German Shepherd who is absolutely fascinated by my kitty siblings. I can’t seem to leave them alone. I’ve been told they are beloved family members, but part of me thinks they would make really interesting windup squeaky toys. I keep attempting to figure out how to get them to squeak, which totally freaks out my humans. Since I’d like to remain part of the family, do you have any suggestions on how I can control this behavior? Greta Dear Miss. Greta, Congratulations! Admitting you have a problem is the first step toward gaining control. I commend you for being able to get this far, especially when the behavior you speak of … Continue reading »


Training Tips for Teaching Your Dog Not to Speak

April 23, 2012

Dear Poncho, My dog barks enthusiastically, very loudly, over and over. He does it at many different times, including the morning when I’m taking him outside, when I come home from being away, or when we arrive home together from a car ride. He barks in the car, out of the car, and everywhere between! I don’t know how to stop him. I tell him “No,” but then he usually barks at least two to four more times! Do you have any suggestions? Tj’s owner Dear inquisitive canine parent of TJ, Your dog barks, you give him attention by saying “no”, he barks again. Hmm, sounds to me you’ve done a great job at teaching him to “speak” – nice work! I … Continue reading »


How to Get Your Dog to Answer Your Call

March 4, 2012

Dear Inquisitive Canine, I like to take my dog to the park to let him play off-leash. However, I’m finding it more difficult because when it’s time to go back home, it takes me too long to get him to come back to me. I never know how long the whole ordeal will take. In addition, he sometimes runs off so far that I can’t see him. Or, he ends up shimmying under a fence and is off exploring somewhere. I’m afraid he will run onto the street and get hit by a car. Can you help? Owner of a wandering woofer Dear Wandering, Sounds like your dog is a proficient explorer of the great outdoors. Although we’re sure that … Continue reading »


House Training Tips for Dog Who is One Potty Girl

February 14, 2012

Dear Poncho, Could you tell me why my 13-year-old lab, who has never had an accident in my house, will sometimes discreetly pee in my parents’ house when she’s there? Help! Cheers! Deena Dear Miss Deena, Been there myself. And I must say, when you aren’t given a heads-up on the rules, then you just go with the flow. Unfortunately, in this case the flow is on your parents’ living room floor. Bummer. Allow me to give you the help you’re asking for. Here are the four tenets of my Mutt Model: Know Your Animal! Unless we’ve been taught otherwise, we dogs eliminate when we feel the need, no matter where or when. And, similar to you humans, we have … Continue reading »


Dog Training Basics to Prevent Fido From Being Left Out of the Group

February 1, 2012

Dear Poncho, Help! We’ve had family staying with us all weekend, and our dog, Wiley, has had a hard time behaving. At the family’s request, when we go outside, we have to put him inside, in his crate. That’s because if we let him out when we go out to play, he jumps on and nips at us, the extended family, neighbors, the gardener and anyone else stopping by for a visit. When we are inside, Wiley must be sent outside in the yard. Wiley is part of our family, and I want him to blend in and be able to play with us. When we try to ignore him by turning away, he jumps on our backs and also … Continue reading »


Resolve to Help Keep Dogs in Homes and out of Shelters

January 9, 2012

Dear Inquisitive Dog Parents, The new year is officially here. For many, this means creating lists of resolutions with intentions of modifying one’s behavior. In honor of this tradition, my sidekick, Poncho, and I have decided to join in, talking about resolutions to help dogs stay in their homes and out of animal shelters. We encourage you to team up with us and add the dogs of your community — whether your own or someone else’s — to your list of personal achievements. Solutions Start with Preparation According to a study conducted by the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy on Reasons for Relinquishment of Companion Animals in U.S. Animal Shelters, the top reasons dogs are sent to … Continue reading »