Norfolk Terrier Charlie does what he wantsCharlie is an adorable fluffy 7-month old Norfolk Terrier. He lives with an elderly thirteen-year-old golden Labrador who patiently tolerates his playfulness.

His family have two problems with Charlie which prompted them to call me out: peeing indoors and refusing to come when called. He is now hitting adolescence and is showing his independence, and both these problems are getting worse.

The peeing indoors is nothing to do with needing to go to the toilet I’m sure. You can tell he is making a point by where he does it and when he does it.  He pees when he is shut in the kitchen area and the rest of the family are somewhere else in the house. He doesn’t like to be left behind – understandably. He never does it when they are all out. What he can’t realise is that the only reason he doesn’t join the family in the sitting room is because they are so worried he will toilet in there!

I was nearly ready to go and we had worked on showing Charlie that jumping up wasn’t the way to get attention, doing on-lead ‘follow my lead’ around the garden and generally resisting jumping to his tune, and, right before our eyes, he peed on the floor. Just a little – not emptying his bladder. The lady’s reaction was to exclaim and leap forward. I quickly stopped her because that is exactly what he wanted – a reaction! Bingo!

They have a large garden with fencing that contains the Labrador, but little Charlie can find gaps! He has started to go off and do his own thing when let out, refusing to come back until he is ready. He may chase cows and horses, and he hunts for rabbits. For a dog to have reliable recall two things are necessary – he must be taught that coming when called is worthwhile and that if he doesn’t, there is a consequence (and I don’t mean punishment). Secondly, his owners need to work on being relevant in general or else Charlie will understandably feel their wishes are less important than what he would rather be doing.

If Charlie already gets all the attention he wants upon demand for free, what does he gain by coming when they want him to?

He is a cracking little dog and will grow up to be a trustworthy adult I’m sure – with a little bit of work.

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