Dear Trainer,
I have a 4 year old Jack Russell mix. He’s a great dog except that he tries to run out the door every time it opens. How do I stop him from trying to escape? Thank you.
– submitted by Anonymous

Answered by Jeannie Oakley, ABC & APDT Certified Dog Trainer at Paw It Forward Dog Training: The simple answer is prevention. Creating a no access rule simply means not allowing the dog access to the door. If the dog has no access to doors, he simply cannot escape.

Think of what works best for your home. Some management tools become a crate, tether/leash, blocking off access to that particular room, adding a baby gate or ex-pen at the entrance to the door. That is the simple way of prevention. If the dog is super overstimulated and the door opening becomes a trigger for unwanted behavior (barking, lunging, etc), then he has an acceleration problem. To help with other issues besides the bolting, feel free to give us a call at 518-522-5668 so we can further help you with your training needs. Thanks for your question and have a great holiday season..

Dear Trainer,
I own a 2 year old pitbull mix and just adopted a 5 mos old pitbull mix puppy. The get along great! It seems all they want to do is play, constantly. They are crated when I am at work and during the night. Other than crating them, do you have any suggestions on how I control the amount of time they rough house and play? Is there a proper amount of time? Any tips would be appreciated! –
submitted by Glen

Answered by Jeannie Oakley, ABC & APDT Certified Dog Trainer at Paw It Forward Dog Training: The first step is management. Kudos for sleeping them in crates and preventing unwanted behaviors when you aren’t home. The crates can also be utilized when you ARE home. If the dogs are settled in the crate when the humans aren’t around and have a case of the crazies in the crate when the human is home, the issue is not the crate, it is the relationship between human and dog.

You want to create dogs that do not vibrate and high levels of stimulation in the home. If the home is always over stimulating (play, toys, attention, baby talk, etc), your dog must find a way to release that charge from that stimulation. This begins to manifest as behaviors such as anxiety, zoomies, over social behavior with humans, owner addiction, destruction and aggression. All aggression stems from over stimulation. The simple answer is management. Let them play outdoors and when they are indoors, separate them until you can create dogs that can remain settled when things change in the environment. It is only “human thought” that they “must” play. Rough play, especially in the home is what creates problem behaviors.

To create calmer dogs that can be off leash in the home without vibrating at high levels of acceleration, our Strong Core training program will help with that. Feel free to give us a call at 518-522-5668, we’d be happy to help you. Happy holidays….

Dear Animal Control,
If I see a dog running loose in my neighborhood, should I just leave the dog alone and let it find its way back home on its own or should I take it in?
-Submitted by Anonymous

Answered by Darla Gullotta, DCO for the Towns of Duanesburg, Princetown & Glenville and for the Villages of Delanson and Scotia: For your own safety, it is not advisable for good samaritans to approach any unknown dog.

Dogs running at large (loose dog running in the neighborhood) are not only a violation of most local ordinances, but they pose a danger to themselves and the public at large, so it’s indeed important to notify the appropriate authority of what you’ve seen.

When calling, please indicate:

  • time you saw the dog
  • location of the dog and direction he was headed
  • breed of dog
  • color
  • whether or not the dog wearing a collar
  • indicate any strange behavior, illness or injury that you may have noticed
  • offer a callback telephone# if additional information is needed

Each municipality (city, town village, etc.) has a Dog Control Officer (DCO) assigned to assist residents with these types of concerns. If you’re not sure who your DCO is, feel free to call 911, the dispatch operator should be able to assist you as well.

Oftentimes, the wayward dog will find its way home and by the time the officer arrives, the dog will be nowhere in sight. The officer will then determine whether or not to keep searching, based on the circumstances.

I’ll be honest though, as a DCO in a rural area, I (quietly) appreciate residents who are able to secure a dog until my arrival. I understand that they’ve accepted a great risk in collecting and holding a dog until I am able to collect him. Many DCOs across the state are part time, like me, and not available to immediately respond.

Anytime a situation arises where you need help ASAP, call 911 for assistance.

Additional Helpful Tips:
Keep the local authorities contact info handy
Keep the 24-hour emergency veterinarian contact information handy
Keep a spare slip lead and water bowl handy
Use your best judgment and always trust your instincts
Sharing photos and info re: a found dog on social media is often helpful

Dear Animal Control,
There is a dog that lives on my street that is tied out all the time. I never see anyone pay attention to it, walk it or feed/water it. It barks all the time and looks very sad. It does have a dog house but I don’t see any blankets or straw. I also can’t see any bowls for food or water but they might be there hidden. I don’t want any problems with my neighbors retaliating on me for reporting them. What should I do?
– submitted by Anonymous

Answered by Gina Kline, ACO for the City of Amsterdam, ABC Certified Dog Trainer and Certified Vet Assitant: Unfortunately not everyone treats their dogs the way we would. NYS requires dogs have water and appropriate shelter for their breed and the climate. They are not required to leave food out all the time.

Check to see what your cities barking ordinance is. I would then attempt to make the neighbor aware of the barking. Sometimes people don’t know and you going over and knocking is much more neighborly than the police or animal control doing it. If you think the parties aren’t friendly people then I would contact the authorities. I also recommend you keep a log of the barking start and stop time so that if you do sign a complaint you can show a history of the barking.

To ask the trainers or ACOs a question, please submit an email to