You are able to respec in this game, you need to visit a "Skill Mentor" vendor.
Also, I'm not entirely sure if your group realised this or not, if you drag the dogs away from the boss, especially when the boss has a red circle around him, the dogs deal significantly less damage and you can ignore them, so long as they are away from the boss.
Yes, I know I can respecc. But it means paying out credits for the privilege. Not something I am willing to do just so I can make the group I am with viable. It is kind of a pain. What I meant was that I really wish we could easily do it on the fly. I'm not sure why the insistence on making it as inconvenient as possible. I'm guessing this is a hold over from other MMOs? Is it convention? Something that can be easily exploitable? Because I don't really see the reason why it has to be so rigid.
edit: oh and thanks for the tip on those hounds. I did not know that.