Obedience Training Needed to Solve Behavior Problem

Article excerpt

Dear Dog Talk: Our dog, a 7-month-old Labrador poodle mix, has been growling and biting us when there is no reason for an attack. We've been reading and following your "Puppy Preschool" book, but she is still showing this aggressive behavior.

Can you please advise us as to how we should handle this?

Dear Growing Problem: Your puppy has a behavioral problem that is going to get worse if you don't deal with it immediately. Unfortunately, advice from a book or a newspaper column is not what you need. You need to hire a professional trainer/obedience instructor to help you train your dog.

Pick up the phone book and go to the Yellow Pages. Call every veterinarian within an hour of where you live. Ask the veterinary offices who they recommend for training. See whether a name with a good reputation keeps coming up. If not, choose the trainer with the best recommendation. Don't base your decision on who is the cheapest or closest to your house. Try to find a truly reputable trainer who trains dog through a canine point of view.

Although obedience training, socialization and physical exercises are the answer to almost all behavioral problems, it sounds as though guidance from a professional is needed with your young dog's aggression. Kick the new year off right by dealing with this problem.

Dear Dog Talk: I could use some help with our almost-3-year-old black Labrador retriever, Bella.

Bella is a wonderful dog and is very good in our house with people and other dogs. She walks well on a leash, etc. However, the problem is that we cannot let her out of the house without her being tied. She will play in the yard for about five minutes, and then she looks at us like "See ya," and then she's gone. Bella circles our neighborhood and ignores our calls to "come." She does return home but on her own terms. …