Dear Aunt Foley: We recently got a four-month-old Havanese puppy from a pet store which is very scared of people, especially my husband. She barks at him and pulls away when anyone on the street stops to pet her. How can I help her become comfortable with new people and situations? - Hanover Hannah.
Dear Hanover Hannah: Lose the husband. Your dog is signaling that this guy cannot be trusted. And what are you encountering strange people on the street for? If you are walking down the street without a dog and a stranger approaches you requesting intimate stroking you call a cop. Why is it different from a dog?
Dear Aunt Foley: My puppy has "accidents" in the same spot in my house. What can I do to prevent her from using the tile hallway as her personal Port-O-Let? - Bill from Billerica.
Dear Bill: Is your dog having accidents or is your toilet in the wrong spot? If he is going to the bathroom in the same place every day then doesn’t that make that spot the bathroom? Put some pads down and be happy your dog only goes to the bathroom in one place.
Dear Aunt Foley: Why is my breed acting against type? Like, they told me he'd be mild and docile — but he totally isn't! What can I do? - Wally
Dear Wally: Oh, so you are one of these “All Yorkies look alike,” people. When you see a pit bull, you think, “Oh, that’s one of the good ones.” You think all Shih Tzus are lazy, all chihuahuas are rapists and murderers, and all chocolate labs are coming to take your food. We are not defined by our breed. We are defined by our individuality. And I have no time for a breedist like you.
Dear Aunt Foley: My three-and-a-half-year-old cocker spaniel barks nonstop when people come over to our house. She recently recovered from autoimmune hemolytic anemia and had since become extremely protective of my husband and me. The dog has never bitten anyone, but with the tone of her bark, I'm afraid she may someday — my worst nightmare. Would it help to socialize her, or is she too old? - Mooning Miriam.
Dear Mooning: First, your dog has been through a major illness. Maybe she doesn’t want visitors. Or, if she does, perhaps it would be nice if they brought the poor dog something in recognition of her recovery. If these people are going just to show up empty handed of course, she is going to bark. And she is protective of her parents because if someone hurt you, then she would be stuck in a foster home with no one to pay all those expensive vet bills. And you don’t like her tone? I would like to hear your tone when someone tries to cut off your Sugar Daddy and doesn’t even bring you a gift.
Dear Aunt Foley: I have a one-year-old female Rottweiler/German shepherd mix who pees when she meets new people. I’ve consulted a veterinarian, and she has given some suggestions — asking people to ignore the puppy when they come in and not using a high-pitched voice to greet her. Unfortunately, none of these ideas have worked. Do you think she’ll grow out of this behavior? - Irritated Iris
Dear Irritated: Well don’t introduce her to new people. Who wants to meet new people? At one point you have just met enough people. Your veterinarian’s suggestions are foolish. What person can ignore a dog? And no high pitched voice? It’s like trying not to let out a yip when your paw is squished. Do you want my opinion? Walk your freaking dog before new people come over. Yeeesh.