Pet of the Week – Luna (Cattle Dog Mix)

Hi, I’m Luna! I am a 2 year old female cattle dog mix, ID # A062927! All about fun, and on my marks, set, go, get it’s my jam, zoomies are my art, and while my leash and hands-on skills need honing, a good walk is what I call adventure! Fiery as I am, in the presence of treats, my drive can quickly become arrogant in an obnoxious and biting way. Surely some behavioral training in the near future with a focus on good manners around food will solve my craziness. Naturally, my potential will soar with a loving family that has patience, understands my race, enriches me, and is willing to invest in my education. Is that you? Located in Santa Monica at 1640 9th Street, adoptions at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter are by appointment only by calling (310) 458-8595, Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


For dog owners, encountering a time when your dog’s inappropriate behavior demands your attention is a reality. But there are ways to deal with it that are helpful rather than harmful.

Recent studies have proven that dog behavior is an evolving science and the most effective way to deal with it is to take a positive approach without fear or force. Dominance and aversive methods will not prevent dogs from behaving inappropriately, but rather can cause lasting emotional effects that negatively impact their behavior. A positive approach offers another way to handle a dog’s behavior humanely and gives dogs the opportunity to react because they are motivated rather than out of fear of being punished.

The key to dealing with inappropriate behaviors in dogs is to prevent them rather than treating them when they occur.

First, find out what is rewarding for your dog to keep him motivated to listen to you. Determine their proper gear for their dog’s walk and home so you can guide them rather than command and correct them.

Basic obedience teaches necessary practical skills like look, sit, stay, drop and come. Coupled with training in behavior, routine, boundaries and manners, they cultivate a loving and trusting relationship with you and your dog. This gives your dog a positive understanding of the expectations for his behavior in a given situation, and that appropriate behavior is a rewarding experience.

Regular enrichment that includes physical exertion, mental stimulation, problem-solving activities, and socialization creates balance in their lives and encourages dogs to use their coping mechanisms to stay better adjusted when encountering experiences. which may cause them to react inappropriately.

Dog training is a lifelong process! Inevitably, there will be times when your dog misbehaves. In these cases, the tools you and your dog have and your relationship will allow you to manage it without resorting to negative methods.

If your dog is constantly struggling with behavioral issues, always consult a qualified canine behavioral professional for expert advice on resolving your dog’s issues.

Pet of the Week is provided by Carmen Molinari, a longtime volunteer at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter and founder and CEO of Love At First Sit®, a dog care and training company in Santa Monica. Learn more about her, pet tips and Love At First Sit® services at