Angry and frustrated. Maybe scared. Battling BOAS

easily becomes angryBuddy’s angry behaviour has escalated in the last few weeks.

The ten-month-old French Bulldog snorts and gasps. His common Frenchie breathing problem (Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome – BOAS) must make normal life a constant struggle.

If he were an adolescent human struggling to breathe, Buddy could well have a very short fuse, ready to hit out, angry at the smallest thing. (more…)

Female hormones to blame? One Dachshund goes for the other.

Could female hormones be to blame?

I had just arrived. Without warning, Bella came through the door and attacked Poppy. Fortunately she was wearing a harness and with very fast reflexes the lady lifted her off the floor and onto the chair.

Are female hormones to blame?

Bella

I thought I had carefully choreographed my arrival. Knowing Bella’s aggression towards older miniature Dachshund Poppy had been escalating over the past few days, I was to settle in the room with Poppy – they would have her on lead. Then, also on lead, Bella was to join us.

Unfortunately it happened too quickly and the two dogs met in the doorway and Bella exploded. (more…)

Dominance fallout – aggression, fear or both.

dominance not workingI’m starting Johnny’s story with a little rant on dominance from my soap box.

As a force-free, modern trainer/behaviourist I don’t need to dominate a dog to get compliance.

I won’t say that dominance – being very firm and overpowering – doesn’t work. It can and it does. Sometimes.

In the old days I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know better and that is what I did until I learnt how inefficient it was. I have been there. I know what I’m talking about. Being kind and allowing the dog choices does not mean being permissive. I apply rules also. I don’t use force.

Many people still believe that being what they erroneously think is ‘being the Alpha’ is the right way to train and control their dog. It’s not helped by certain TV trainers who make a lot of money using old-fashioned techniques that look like quick fixes.

Unsuitable for ‘Alphadom’

Few dog owners psychologically would make effective ‘Alphas’ anyway. (more…)

Redirecting Onto His Brother

Redirecting onto Lincoln is how Lucas deals with arousal.

Lucas and Lincoln. Calm.

When someone new comes to the door, the two Dalmatians are shut away behind a gate and will be barking loudly as the person enters the house.

Lincoln is barking with excitement. Lucas’ excitement quickly spills over into redirecting onto poor Lincoln, attacking him.

I witnessed this for myself.

Fortunately Lincoln is very easygoing and has not retaliated – yet.

They settled quickly and were both fine when let out to greet me.

Things weren’t so good a few days ago when someone they didn’t know came to the house. While the dogs were still barking she put her hand over the gate. A mistake.

Bite!

(more…)