Anne answers reader’s random questions

Have a question for our local pet columnist, Ann Hendrickson? Submit your questions to possibly be answered in our weekly feature, “Ask The Trainer”.

Question 1 
This is my first go at being a dog owner. I have always been a kitty-cat lover. I have a 3 year old male cat and I purchased a 10 week old pomerainium last week. I am letting them get used to each other on their own. I am making sure kitty-cat still has his special time to try to avoid as much sibling rivalry as possible. It seems to be working. 

The kitty has never been mean to puppy, he used to avoid him. Now he loves to sit just out of reach and watch puppy. Kitty is used to having his food available to him any time he wants it. I am feeding puppy on a schedule, like all the experts say to do. I am saying no to puppy when he goes to kitty’s food, this stops him in his tracks. I am conflicted though. Should I move the food so it is not a tease to puppy? If I do, will this increase the possibility of kitty rebelling and start destructive behavior and not liking puppy? Is it meaner to say no to puppy or to move kitty’s food. Kitty’s food has been in the same place since he has been kitten. 

Annie J 

Anne’s answer 
Move the cat’s food. 

Question 2 
My parents have a miniature pinscher aprox. 4 years old. He is the sweetest dog ever until he gets into trash or something he shouldn’t be doing and then he will try to bite you when you try to take it away. How do you get him to stop biting? 


Anne’s Answer
This behavior is called “resource guarding” and it is very common in dogs. Remember, dogs evolved from wild animals. In the wild, the dogs who said “oh no, you go a head and take that last bone” did not survive to produce off spring. Therefore, resource guarding is pretty hard wired in many dogs. 

Because there is a high risk of making the problem worse and having a human get bit, it is best to hire a professional trainer to come out to your parent’s home and coach the humans through the training/management process. Be sure to check the trainer’s credentials and experience. It is also a good idea to ask for and check references. Anyone can say they are a dog trainer so the burden of finding a good one is on the consumer. If you don’t check, you could hire some who presents themselves and knowledgeable but is really giving you bad advice. 

Question 3
Why is that many dogs owners and non dog owners perceive certain breeds as “problem Breeds” when they don’t even know the back ground on the breeds? 


Anne’s answer 
Maybe they do know. Dogs are bred for various things (guarding, hunting, herding, fighting etc.) depending on someone’s perception, these things may or may not be a problem. 

Question 4 
I want to train my dog not to run out of the yard at all. So I want to reprimand him for leaving the yard; but he comes, when I tell him to come, so I want to reward him! 
How do I handle this? 


Anne’s answer 
Buy a fence. 

Boundary training is ineffective and it only takes one training mistake for your dog to get hit by a car and killed. If you don’t like the aesthetics of a fence look into an electronic pet containment system (although be forewarned, these can come with their own set of problems). Or, if the dog is a small breed perhaps you can put up a low fence and hide it behind a shrubbery. 

Question 5 
7 month old toy poodle likes to pee on the floor AFTER he comes in from outside……..Why ? 

Anne’s answer 
He’s probably eager to get back inside with you. Either wait outside with him until he goes, or take him on a walk so he can mark the neighborhood. Wait until he is empty before coming home. 

Question 6 
Are there any resources available for training a disabled dog? My mom has adopted a 6 month-old miniature dachshund who is blind and deaf. He has been to the vet and is perfect in every other respect. Any suggestions you have would be really appreciated; he is a little darling. Thanks. 


Anne’s Answer 
I found a website called They would probably be a good place to start. The Golden Valley Humane Society has experience training disabled animals as well. Further, ( has many dog training books. That is very kind of your mother to take in a disabled dog! Good karma to her! 

About the Author:
Anne Hendrickson is a dog trainer and owner of Downtown Dogs Daycare and Boarding. Her passion is helping pets and their people get the best from each other and giving everyone the best quality of life possible. She is a mom to two fur and one human baby.

For more information on Downtown Dogs Minneapolis call (612) 374-DOGS or E-mail:

The information and views presented in this article are not necessarily the views of WCCO-TV or CBS.  This article is provided by a third party to expand the information available to visitors of WCCO.COM.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE