The Press - GLOBE



She got Oprah's pooch barking up right tree-and Streisand's, too

When Tinseltown titans like Oprah Winfrey and Barbra Streisand can't get their precious pooches to obey, they call in trainer Shelby Marlo to show their problem pets who's top dog.

The stars hound Marlo for her services because the author of the fascinating just-released book The New Art of Dog Training uses equal measures of love and discipline.

Oprah's problem was too much of one and not enough of the other. Even though she's one of the most powerful women in Hollywood, she couldn't get her cocker spaniel Solomon to listen to her, the trainer reveals in her book.

She quickly realized the problem was that the dog didn't view Oprah as his boss. She suggested taking away one of Solomon's favorite privileges-sleeping in Oprah's bed. The talk-show queen thought Marlo was barking up the wrong tree, but after she kicked Solomon out of bed, he wised up. "If you want your dog to listen to you," notes Marlo, "make sure he understands you're the leader."

Housebreaking was the problem for songbird Streisand's itty-bitty bichon frise Sammy. He did his business indoors instead of outside until the canine coach suggested strictly scheduling his food and water intake so the doggy didn't have to wait too long to go out. "Sammy is a beautiful illustration," says Marlo, "of how order can be made out of chaos." Courtney Thorne-Smith of Melrose Place had a similar pet peeve with her basenji. Whenever the actress walked out the door, her dog would soil the floor. Marlo advised confining the dog in a crate whenever she left. Sure enough, the animal got over its separation anxiety.

Actress Ally Sheedy's happy home was going to the dogs because her three pooches constantly bickered-even though she tried to treat them all equally and fed them at the same time. Big mistake! Marlo says that dogs crave a pecking order. When Ally started feeding her spaniel Buddy first, the fighting died down.

Singer Melissa Etheridge and her lesbian lover Julie Cypher brought Marlo in to help teach their dogs Bingo and Angel to be gentle around their kids when they decided to start a family.

The solution? Marlo gave Bingo and Angel treats when children were around. Soon, the pups associated kids with something good and behaved appropriately. Now they're a big, happy family with the couple's two youngsters, Bailey, 2, and Becket, 5 months.

Laura Dern star of Jurassic Park, didn't know what to do with her 10-week-old Labrador mix Buddy Love. He wouldn't stop grabbing at skirts, pant legs or shoelaces. Marlo quickly tamed the teething terror by cradling the dog and holding his muzzle whenever he tried to nip at people's clothes.

"Shelby Marlo's the best," declares singer Dionne Warwick, who has a pooch named Rio.

-April 1999-2005