Ask the Dogfather

Ask the Dogfather

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Tom Shelby, who has trained dogs and their owners on Martha’s Vineyard and in New York City, answers readers’ questions about their problematic pooches....

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Tom Shelby, who has trained dogs and their owners on Martha’s Vineyard and in New York City, answers readers’ questions about their problematic pooches....

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Tom Shelby, who has trained dogs and their owners on Martha’s Vineyard and in New York City, answers readers’ questions about their problematic pooches....

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What happens when your pooch is pinned by an aggressive dog?

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Leo the bark, bark, barky dog

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My little Cavalier King Charles thought he was in heaven before he actually got there. He passed with his tail wagging furiously as he was devouring a chocolate bar when he got the sleep shot.

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I think it's great that Pancho wants to protect us, but I'm worried he can't tell the difference between real danger and play. How can I break him of this habit before someone gets seriously hurt?

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Can my 8-year-old Boston Terrier ever be trained to swim? He gets his paws wet, but he looks surprised and offended if a wavelet comes along and smacks him.

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Why couldn't it have been a Maremma (a breed you're unlikely to ever see on the Vineyard) or a Komondor, instead of a Lab. But alas, it was a Lab, and your poodle girl is likely to meet plenty more.

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Lena looks right at me and begins to chew the corner of the coffee table. Or the end of the piano. Also, she managed to bite off a small strip of rushing on the only genuine antique in the house. She has a varied doggy diet, with lots of munchies and the occasional pretend toothbrushing gimmick from Milkbone, so I can't think she lacks fiber.