Miniature Dachshund flies at feet. Attacks and bites shoes.

bites feetThe eighteen-month-old Miniature Dachshund flies at people’s feet and bites their shoes.

Little Sugar is extremely jumpy.

He seems also to be on constant protection duty – seemingly guarding both himself and the lady and gentleman too.

This is scary for the tiny dog, so it’s a mixture of emotions.

Imagine being so small and being approached by a tall, looming human with feet almost as big as yourself!

It’s little wonder he attacks and bites shoes.

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The little Frenchie is no trouble at all, until…..

No trouble at allYesterday I met a nearly trouble-free dog. Usually dogs that have a problem in one area have other issues across the board. Not Lady.

Lady is a French Bulldog and she has lived with the young couple for just four weeks.

Four years old, she’s had at least one litter of puppies and two homes, the first with a breeder. She is so little trouble that it’s hard to understand why her second home gave her up.

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Romanian rescue pup. Scared Beginning of a journey.

They fetched their Romanian rescue pup, Toby, four days ago from a temporary foster. He’s seven months old.

Romanian rescue hides

Seven hours hiding behind a bush

A couple of weeks previously he’d been transported on the long journey across Europe from Romania in the back of a van.

The Romanian rescue organisation had picked up Toby’s mother and siblings from the streets when he was two weeks old. Both the original rescue and the subsequent foster had looked after multiple dogs.

Now, probably for the first time in his life, he’s an only dog. Continue reading…

Go Away barking works. Now a learned behaviour

‘Go Away’, they barked. Four of the last five dogs I have been to are scared of people they don’t know well.

Bouncer, a Havenese, is generally anxious. He doesn’t like people approaching him. He barks Go Away.

Dudley is a Cavachon who barks Go Away madly when people come into his house, particularly if they try to touch him. He has snapped at a couple of children

Oreo barked quite fiercely at me for a short while. Go Away! He may go to nip people on walks who walk past too closely. He has bitten the post lady. Oreo is a Westie/Shitzu/Bichon mix.

Bronson barked Go Away on and off for a couple of hours

Today a visited gorgeous little Manchester Terrier called Bronson. Bronson barked at me on and off all the time I was there. Continue reading…

Changed from Happy and Confident to Nervous and Jumpy.

Woody has changed.

If I had gone to see him about three months ago, the Cockerpoo, then about 8 months old, would have been very friendly and happy to see me. In fact, I would not have been needed at all.

Behaviour changed from confident to fearfulInstead, when the man opened the door to let me in, Woody continued barking at me. He was obviously very scared – and brave.

Beside him was their adorable new 8-week-old puppy Fred who wasn’t fazed at all.

Puppy Fred is how Woody used to be. They come from the same breeder with the same father. Woody was a carefree, happy puppy. He loved everyone.

Then everything changed.

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Lack of Confidence. Fear of People, No Touching or Eye Contact.

It’s not surprising that two-year-old Moose suffers from lack of confidence around people. Considering his background as a puppy born on the streets of Romania, he’s doing great. They didn’t have him until he was sixteen weeks old.

No socialisation will have taken place during the crucial early weeks and what encounters he did have with people were very likely scary ones and now hard-wired into his brain. Continue reading…

Emotional Barking. Window Barking. Barking on Walks

I have just been to two lovely little dogs, a Westie and a Miniature Pinscher.

Both bark in a frenzy when someone knocks on the door. Westie Jock barks non-stop when out on a walk.

I group barking roughly into four types – one when the dog simply wants something, another when the dog has been trained to ‘speak’.  Then there is barking in play. The fourth and most common type of barking that I go to help reduce is what you could call ’emotional barking’.

Barking – a symptom not the problem

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Dog Scared of the New Puppy. Growled. Defensive. Hid.

scared of the new puppyPoor little Lhasa Apso Max is scared of the new puppy. He is a great little dog with a wonderful temperament, but for four years he has been a much-loved Only Dog.

Things have already come a long way in the couple of days since they brought Frenchie puppy Brie home. Max’ first reaction was to growl in a defensive manner. He then ran away and hid. His family had assumed he would love her because generally he’s very happy with other dogs.

Scared of the new puppy.

She is tiny and adorable but Max doesn’t think so. Continue reading…

Scared Dog. Jumpy. Nervous. Walks are a Nightmare for Her.

Scared dogBelle was found with her siblings, at just a few weeks old, by the roadside. From the beginning,, in her loving home, the Whippet mix was a scared and nervous puppy – in total contrast to their two Labradors.

When someone comes into the house the scared dog will leap onto the lady’s lap for reassurance.

Belle is now three years old and the behaviours her fear generates are hard for her family to deal with. She is extremely jumpy and scared of many everyday household things.

It’s easy to get cross with too much barking when one seems powerless to stop it.

Emotions behind the behaviour

The main message for helping Belle is for them to consider the emotions that cause her behaviours and deal with them instead of trying to stop the actions themselves. It can help to translate it into human terms. For instance, they wouldn’t scold a child who was crying due to fear. They would address the fear itself. Continue reading…