Q: Is an 18-week-old puppy too young to start obedience training? I have a black lab pup that seems very bright, and I would like to start her on her training. Every class that I have contacted says to wait until she is 6 months old. Is there something else that I can do?
A: You can start to train your pup at any age as long as you keep the tasks very simple, use one-word commands and realize that a young puppy has a very short attention span and will lose interest in any type of training after about 15 or 20 minutes. If you start off by teaching her name and basic commands, such as come , stay , and no , you will be ahead of the game when she enters obedience classes. Be patient, use a gentle voice and keep it simple.
Q: I recently took my two children, 6- and 8-year-old boys, to our doctor because they had some bald, red spots on their skin. The doctor said it was ringworm and, during his background check on the boys, asked if we had any pets. We have two cats, both females, which go in and out of doors. We were told to have our cats checked, since they were probably the source of the skin infection of our boys. Our vet checked the cats with ultraviolet light and found no ringworm. Where could the boys have gotten ringworm? Is there another way to check the cats? If they do have ringworm, do we have to get rid of the cats? The boys are being treated and are doing well. What do you suggest?