Friday, 14 December 2018
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ASK DOG LADY: Set boundaries for possessive pup

Dear Dog Lady,

I adopted a rescue dog in June 2017. She turned 2 years old this October. Whenever I stand or sit near my husband, she growls. She also rides daily with my husband in his car and stays downstairs with him at night until he comes to bed. I realize she’s possessive, but how do we stop the growling? It doesn’t bother her at all when we are in bed together.

Odd Woman Out

A: A veterinarian once told Dog Lady a story about a dog growling at a husband whenever hubby tried to get into bed. The vet claimed to have resolved the problem with food. Indeed, many dog problems can be cured with a heady dose of chicken.

Still, it’s very important to give your dog boundaries. Providing her a sleeping area of her own and making her stay there should send the message that you, your bed and your husband belong to you — not her. 

Dear Dog Lady, 

I have a 3-year-old Airedale terrier that is full of life. He has acted like a puppy his whole life. He is very friendly, but gets too excited sometimes and still jumps on people. I have tried taking him out of the room, having people ignore him and shaking something loud when he is about to jump. Even when people have been over regularly, he still gets too excited. Do you have any suggestions to help with his problem? 


A: I hate to break this to you, but the Airedale’s problem isn’t the dog’s problem, it’s your problem. You must be assiduous about training your terrier. Instead, it sounds as if you tried a little of this, such as shaking the can, and a little of something else, such as taking the dog out of the room. You haven’t been absolutely consistent about training your dog. A concerted campaign to change annoying dog behavior takes weeks and months, not days. So get with one scheme.

A good place to start is by giving positive reinforcement to your pet for not jumping. Command your dog to sit and reward him with a tasty, high-level treat (cooked chicken or freeze-dried liver chunks, for example) for mission accomplished. Do this again and again and again. Oh, and again. And again. Get the picture?

Dear Dog Lady,

My male dog itches all the time. We give him Benadryl. He paces from room to room and will not lay down. He also stares at the ceiling a lot. What can we do to help him feel better?


A: Your question shows you are concerned about your dog and seek a solution. Dog Lady, however, believes you are barking up the wrong tree. This is a question for your veterinarian because it concerns your pet’s health. You have a vet, don’t you? Every dog owner should have a trusted medical professional to turn to when a dog’s physical problems are overwhelmingly obvious — like your dog’s situation.

Profuse itching can be caused by allergies, skin problems or infestations. A doctor needs to diagnose the problem. Also, a medical professional should supervise and prescribe the Benadryl. Please take care of your pet. 

Monica Collins offers advice on pets, life and love. Ask a question or make a comment at



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