Ask Valli, Certified Dog Trainer, of ‘Oh My Dog’


T18-17-PET-Oh My DogI want to thank my readers for your recent responses. Here is an additional comment about “Dogs and Newborns:” Please DO NOT place your dog in a crib with your newborn, and that goes for puppies too.

Bringing a puppy into the house at the same time as your newborn is a bad idea. Simplify by using suggestions from my last article (“How Do Dogs and Newborns Get Along?,” TOLUCAN TIMES Mar. 6),  and add to that by taking a blanket, rubbing it on your baby and letting your dog smell it. This is a very “old school” way to handle dog-baby introductions but is another important step.

Question: There are so many grooming/daycare studios around. How in the world do I figure out where to go with my dog?

Answer: The optimum is to ask someone you meet on the street with a well-groomed dog for a referral. If you see a studio that appeals to you or if a neighbor recommends one, do what parents do for child daycare or pre-school… drop by and see what’s going on.

I have been in two separate grooming studios where dogs were being mishandled and yelled at. Of course I reported what I had experienced to the owners. It’s important to the well-being of your dog to know who is touching them and how.

Doggie daycare is very similar. A drop-in visit is good, and don’t let their flashy flat-screen TVs influence you. Pay attention to how many dogs they have in the room your dog will be in; what are they doing; how are the workers behaving; will they let you hang around for a while and look through their windows at the dogs, etc.? Ask questions and then you may gain comfort over time.

Need tips or hints, feel free to contact me directly: 818-785-0377, or by email:

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