Adolescent German Shepherd Knight is a challenge. He is now nearly nine months old, wilful and strong. His owners do all they know to give him a good life – they walk him, feed him and love him. Unfortunately, living the life of a much-loved family pet just isn’t enough. Read more…
It’s still a common belief that the right way to handle growling is to show their the dog who’s boss – a throwback to methods of years ago. They are worried because their loved Frenchie Hugo is unsettled and has gone off his food. He has recently started to growl Read more…
Rango suddenly charges Rango lies where he can watch the doorway. When the children enter the room, he springs to his feet and charges at them, barking. He then uses his mouth with multiple ‘nibbles’. Fortunately no teeth (yet). It is the same when a child gets up from the Read more…
Buddy’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…)
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.
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…)
I’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…)
Jasper is a large Springer Spaniel, seven years of age.
His coat is dull and matted and he has big knots behind under his ears, almost as big as the ears themselves.
A grooming nightmare
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.
Can they keep him?
They had decided to take Merlin back to the rescue, but then decided to try for a bit longer. The gentleman called me.
They have had Rottie mix Merlin for about ten days. Before fetching him from the rescue the gentleman had visited him eight times. He wanted to get it right.
They had told him Merlin had shown aggression in the past and that they wouldn’t let him near other dogs. They said he was hand-sensitive around his head.
He had been in the kennels for six months, with just a week out with people who then sent him back.
Despite this, the family felt they would like to take him on and to work with him. Can they keep him? (more…)
A week ago, their new rescue dog began to bully their other dog. Six-year-old Cookie is a cute and somewhat nervous, anxious little terrier. Rudi, a Wirehaired Terrier, joined them six weeks ago. It began with the calmer and more confident Rudi eyeballing Cookie. Next, one of the young daughters Read more…