Terrier Lyssa is adapting to her new lifeLyssa is a very little Terrier with very big ears! She is just eleven months old, not much more than a puppy really.

She previously lived with an old man in a flat, and rarely went out. She slept with him on his bed and toileted on a puppy pad in the corridor  – and it’s clear she was punished if she did it anywhere else.

In the past ten days Lyssa’s life has completely changed. She was in Wood Green for a couple of days and quickly adopted by a couple with two children. From what must have been a quiet life, the sole companion of an elderly man, she now lives in an active, noisy household. I think she is adapting amazingly well, with a few teething problems.

One is the toileting indoors. She likes to toilet when nobody is watching, as though she is expecting punishment. Her new people may stay outside with her for an hour, but while they are watching she won’t go – and as soon as she comes in she will go somewhere in the house, out of sight.  On the occasion they do see her ‘go’ outside, they understandably lavish her with praise and fuss. This must be very confusing for her – after all, it is a natural function. I see the way forward here as to simply accept there will be some accidents in the house whilst keeping her in an area with washable floors, making sure she has plenty of access to outside, taking her out but leaving her to get on it with it, and just be thankful she’s not a Great Dane!

Because she is likely to be scared of retribution, she is probably therefore holding her wee and poo, so as soon as she is at all stressed like when they go out, go to bed or somebody comes, she just goes on the floor. She can’t help it.

Lyssa is also having problems being alone at night for the first time in her life.

Providing her with kind and consistent leadership, not overdoing the petting, keeping comings and goings casual and for the children to try to back off a little, will I’m sure do the trick.

The other problem which they need to deal with is her behaviour on lead, and we will need to start from scratch just as if she were a puppy.

I can help you, too, with these problems or any other that you may be having with your dog.