Monday, July 21, 2014

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: It’s not always a picnic, buster

From page A10 | May 10, 2013 |

President Obama, like him or not, takes education seriously. And there’s little mystery surrounding how that came to be. According to the president, “Five days a week (my mother) came into my room at four in the morning, force-fed me breakfast and proceeded to teach me my English lessons for three hours before I left for school and she went to work.” In response to her son’s grumbling, his mother simply said, “This is no picnic for me, either, buster.”

Educating your dog isn’t always a picnic, either, but it’s worth it. No, he’ll never be president of the United States. But, among other perks, you’ll have a cleaner house, a longer-lasting wardrobe and a happier significant other — the value of none of which should be underestimated.

Consider the following letters from unhappy souls whose dogs did not receive a rigorous education:

Roxie, my 14-month-old longhaired miniature dachshund, refuses to be potty trained. Although she goes outside and receives praise, she often just decides to pee or poop in the house. She knows she has done wrong, as she will go hide under a bed, but we can’t seem to break her of this bad habit. Also, she is a barker and has not been taught to “come.”

Read between the lines: Roxie didn’t refuse; she wasn’t taught. At this point, there is more than a year’s worth of urine in that house. Toy dogs should not be exempt from housebreaking. When it comes to bodily waste, a little goes a long way.

Here’s my issue: Nena, my 5-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer, chews up my girlfriend’s clothes. We have taken measures to ensure that all bedroom and bathroom doors are closed to prevent her from locating any clothes to destroy, but should we ever forget, she seizes the opportunity and rips what clothes she finds to shreds.

She particularly likes pajamas and underwear. This would be mildly amusing if the clothes weren’t expensive. My girlfriend is extremely frustrated with the dog and, consequently, with me.

I’m sure she is frustrated. Not only has her boyfriend not taught his dog boundaries, but apparently they’re all living in a house that contains no bureaus, dressers or closets with doors.

We just got our puppy, Deuce, last week. He is an 8-week-old miniature dachshund, and he hates my husband. He bites hands and toes a lot, but especially my husband’s. My husband is having a hard time connecting with Deuce and has almost given up on him. What can I advise my husband or myself to do differently in dealing with this biting and/or aggression issue?

At 8 weeks old, there’s hope for Deuce — assuming the husband can put in more than a solid week’s effort. They got their puppy last week, and hubby’s ready to throw in the towel?

People don’t do their homework. They bring a dog home and have no idea what to do next. Then one day the dog violates their internalized standards for acceptable behavior, and it’s all his fault.

He runs out the door! He chews up the furniture! He urinates inside! He licks my face!

An 82-year-old woman recently called me and said she just got a 6-month-old Great Pyrenees. The pup’s weight is equal to the woman’s age, and she has a problem with his licking her face. She reprimands him, saying, “You better trust me. I’m your mother.”

I asked her what the Pyrenees had to say to that.

“He licked my face.”

Sounds about right.


Dog trainer Matthew “Uncle Matty” Margolis is co-author of 18 books about dogs, a behaviorist, a popular radio and television guest, and host of the PBS series “WOOF! It’s a Dog’s Life!” Read all of Uncle Matty’s columns at, and visit him at Send your questions to or by mail to Uncle Matty at P.O. Box 3300, Diamond Springs 95619.

Copyright 2013 Creators Syndicate Inc.



Matthew Margolis



Highway 50 collision fatal

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

IRS unveils Taxpayer Bill of Rights

By News Release | From Page: B1

EDH community unites to patch up historic barn

By Mike Roberts | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Stay connected through sheriff

By El Dorado County Sheriff's Office | From Page: B1

Bird tests positive for West Nile

By Ross Branch | From Page: A1

P’ville hires Camino superintendent

By News Release | From Page: B1

Heard over the back fence: Public swim times announced

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

County gets partial refund on promotional event

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A3

Jeepers expo Wednesday in Georgetown

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A3

Help SWR with squirrel babies

By Sierra Wildlife Rescue | From Page: A9



The rural life: Save the day: Neuter and spay

By Jennifer Forsberg Meyer | From Page: A4

Different place, different priorities

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

California rambling: Giving cities a pass

By John Poimiroo | From Page: A4 | Gallery



Ready for Hillary?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments


By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Diamond Springs Firefighters Union is corrupt

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

100+ years and thanks

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

A thank you note

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Prada belongs in Berkeley

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5



Sports Scene: July 20, 2014

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6

Roundup: July 20, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Season over for Post 119

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Valley View Sports Park

By Julie Samrick | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Under the Scoreboard: July 20, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Schedule: July 21-26

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Becker slips by in wild KWS finish

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A6

Sophia Barden wins strut title

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A7



How to safely help a horse

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Railroad Museum offers a fun ‘History Happy Hour’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B4

As we were: Money for home repairs

By Ken Deibert | From Page: B4

Volunteer kitchen help needed in EDH

By Health and Human Services Agency | From Page: B10

Marshall Medical Center to host day of fitness and fun

By Marshall Medical | From Page: B10

Kids parade for free admission to the fair

By Amador County Fair | From Page: B10



Crime Log: July 6-8

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2



Betty Ellene Hock

By Contributor | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

Douglas J. Beam

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Jerry Grant Young Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Kathryn Noreen Nolan

By Contributor | From Page: A2


Real Estate



Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

American Profile Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Tuesday, July 22, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Monday, July 21, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8


By Contributor | From Page: A8

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8