An independent little dog that loves being fussedHow adorable is this? Little Patsy, age about 6, is a very small Jack Russell.  Her owners of one year got her from the pound. They said they wanted a Jack Russell but weren’t allowed to see the dogs. Patsy was thrust into their arms and that was that! She was skin and bones and in a terrible condition, and most of her rotten teeth had to be removed.

It is thought that Patsy had been left behind by travellers which could explain her behaviour. She is extremely good with children and, an independent little dog who loves being fussed but isn’t in the least demanding. One can imagine her living outside, running free with a gang of excitable, barking terriers. She has had at least one litter of puppies.[divider type=”white”]

Wonderful little dog

Mostly when people tell me their dogs are ‘perfect at home’ I can uncover some things that could be changed for the better, but in Patsy’s case, apart from the barking at everything, there really is nothing. She is wonderful. For some of the time she lay on my lap. She has this cute way of communicating when on the floor by doing a ‘play bow’ and creeping forward.

Patsy, however, gets very hyped up before walks and on leaving the house it is constant barking and vocalising all down the road.  She barks if the gentleman stops to say hello to someone. She is ready to react to anything and everything.

Her owners spend may weekends away caravanning, where Patsy has to be tied out, and she is constantly barking at everything and anything.

I had a call from them in the evening and already, by using a few new tactics, they were making progress with the barking. The primary tactic is to work at general calmness. No walks should be embarked upon until she is calm. This requires patience![divider type=”white”]

A different approach to her barking at everything

The ‘Be Quiet’ approach to barking may temporarily halt it, and it may make the humans feel better, but it does nothing for the long term barking problem. Dogs need to be taught that being quiet is good. Being quiet brings results that are rewarding. If they bark in alarm it should be taken seriously. It’s a survival mechanism.

If our child were to scream ‘Help! There’s a man with a machine gun coming down the path and we are all going to die!’, would we command him to be quiet, or perhaps ignore him altogether? No. As parents we would deal with it appropriately.