New Cockerpoo Puppy. Merlot’s Journey. Puppy Parenting

New Cockerpoo puppy, Merlot, is just eight weeks old. A tiny bundle of fluff, not much larger than a guinea pig.

When I arrived yesterday evening he had only been in his new home for two hours.

He had not enjoyed the car journey and was sleepy.

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Control – Carrot or Stick?

GSD lying down

Murphy

Update on two dogs I saw some weeks ago.

After a run of German Shepherds who are very reactive to anyone coming into their home, it was great to go to a Shepherd who welcomed me immediately.  Murphy and Mastiff-type Bailey are well socialised, well-trained and gentle with their children.

Carrot – or stick?

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Bully behaviour. New Dog is Finding her Feet

A week ago, their new rescue dog began to bully their other dog.

Cookie

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 was fussing both dogs and suddenly Rudi went for Cookie.

The next occasion was triggered by someone dropping and smashing a food bowl. Things then came to a head with a fight over a bone.

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Screaming and Barking, They Pull Down the Road

Maggie screaming on walks

Mollie and Maggie

Being pulled down the road by two little dogs, one screaming and one barking in sympathy, is no joke.

Mollie and her sibling sister Maggie are absolutely adorable little Miniature Schnauzers, six months of age.

They have very few of the usual puppy problems that I go to. They don’t nip, they ask to go outside to toilet and they sleep peacefully when left alone at home – which isn’t ever for very long.

Although there can be disadvantages in bringing up siblings, a big plus is that they always have a playmate. They have a great outlet for their energy.

Maggie and Mollie have their own funny little ways! At night, when going out for the last time, they now go out separately. Unsurprisingly,  if taken together they start to play and won’t come in!

The first dog to be left indoors cries and, though the other one comes in willingly, the second one out then won’t come back in! This is the same whichever order they go out in.

The couple can manage the ‘coming in’ while they work on good recall by using a Flexilead in the garden (the only good use for one of those).

Crying when parted is at the heart of what we will be dealing with. The couple will work on treating the two little girls as individuals so they can be happy to be apart for short periods of time.

Happy to be parted for short periods is key.

This is particularly necessary for walking them.

Little Maggie is screaming as soon as she’s out of the door, pulling madly as she goes. She’s barking and screaming at any dog or person she sees and Mollie, who is generally a lot more confident, then joins in the noise.

The lady and gentleman want enjoyable walks, not being pulled down the road by screaming, barking puppies! The pups are now six months old and things won’t improve unless done differently.

Walks for now should be with one dog at a time only. Treating them as individuals will also help to avoid any trouble between the two girls when they mature. Already Mollie is a bit controlling of Maggie and tends to redirect onto her when they are aroused by something like a person coming to the door. She may also object if Maggie is being fussed.

The couple are prepared to take this slowly, one tiny step at a time.

They will shut Mollie in the sitting room with a stuffed Kong for a few minutes, whilst working in the kitchen, bit by bit, at getting Maggie to love her harness (both dogs are wary of the harnesses being put on).

Then they will swap the dogs around, working on Mollie in the kitchen whilst Maggie has a Kong in the sitting room. The more times they can do this in a day the faster the dogs will get used to it. They will stick to working with the dogs in the same order so they know exactly what to expect and that they will get their turn.

Next the lead will be added to the harness. The kitchen dog will be walked around the kitchen on a loose lead using the technique demonstrated by me.bristowmandm2

Bit by bit they can work towards walking out of the back door and into the garden with a quiet puppy. The dog with the Kong alone in the sitting room should be more settled by now. No crying, whining or screaming.

If Maggie starts screaming in the garden they will bring her straight back in. While she is walking nicely, they will feed her.

When ready, the little dog will be taken in and out of the garden gate – Mollie will get to this stage well before Maggie I’m sure.

They can then stand still just outside the gate for a few minutes while each puppy can smell, hear and watch the outside world. Then come back in again. Any screaming will result in turning around straight away.

When this stage is achieved, the next step is to start walking further away from the house.

Will Maggie start screaming?

If she does, they need to take things back a step or two with her and take it even more gradually.

Getting to this stage where the dogs can be walked separately and quietly just outside the house, on loose leads one at a time, is a major milestone.

We will then work out what to do next in order to take things forward so that eventually both little dogs can enjoy a quiet walk down the road together on loose leads.

Fortunately they have a nice garden and get plenty of exercise. For outings, the couple may try popping them in the car, taking them somewhere open and letting them free on long lines. Any screaming and this will be abandoned.

NB. For the sake of the story and for confidentiality also, this isn’t a complete ‘report’ with every detail, but I choose an angle with maybe a bit of poetic licence. The precise protocols to best use for your own dog may be different to the approach I have worked out for Maggie and Mollie. Finding instructions on the internet or TV that are not tailored to your own dog can do more harm than good as the case needs to be assessed correctly. One size does not fit all so accurate assessment is important. If you live in my own area I would be very pleased to help with strategies specific to your own dog (see my Help page)

Black Cocker Spaniel heaven! I met my Pickle’s brother.

What’s better than one black Cocker Spaniel? Two black Cocker Spaniels? Hmm – I don’t know!

black Cocker Spaniel

Pickle

I am very partial to lively working Cockers, having one myself. My own Pickle is aptly named and has been an adventure from the start, keeping both myself and my other dogs on our toes!

I adore him.

Pickle is now nine years old and showing little sign of slowing down.

The lady and her daughter have a lovely black Cocker Spaniel, seven years of age, called Otis.

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He grabs clothes. Jumps up, tugs, shakes and tears them.

Monty and his shadow

Monty is an absolutely delightful, much-loved Cockerpoo pup, six months old. His coat is unusually soft.

The problem with Monty is he grabs clothes and damages them. After several months, it’s undoubtedly a well-rehearsed, learned behaviour.

They react to the jumping up by telling him Get Down and No, and pushing him. At the same time he may grab the person’s top. The man’s t-shirt had holes in it. (I had been warned and came wearing tough clothes). Continue reading…

Separation panic. Isolation distress. Separation anxiety

Noah suffers from separation panic whenever he’s left without human company.  He’s most distressed when his young lady owner’s mother leaves him.

The whole family suffer too. Their two happy Standard Poodles are no substitute for human company.

Frenchie suffers separation panic when leftNoah howls.

Not only does it distress the family, it upsets the neighbour. Continue reading…

Practise a different way of reacting. (Practice makes better, if not perfect).

They have had two-year-old Springer Spaniel Ben for one week now.  He is a beauty; polite and friendly.

I sensed that some of his quietness is due to being a bit careful and still finding his feet. Ben may well be a bit different when he has properly settled in.

He could become more confident which may well work in their favour where his explosion into barking and lunging when getting too close to another dog is concerned. Continue reading…

Blind German Shepherd. Unable to read other dogs.

Blind German sShepherdToday I met a blind dog, a wonderful thirteen-month-old German Shepherd called Bear. He lives with Stan, an equally lovely young Golden Retriever.

Both dogs are a real tribute to their owners. It was lovely to be greeted so happily and politely by both dogs.

Blind Bear occasionally but increasingly feels threatened by certain other dogs on walks. If this weren’t the case they wouldn’t need me at all.

Being blind, Bear feels more vulnerable

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Alarm Barking. They Worry he May Bite

Barney barks with alarm at any sound he hears that could mean someone is approaching the house. It can be a car or footsteps on the gravel.

If outside in the garden, he barks with alarm as someone he doesn’t know approaches the gate. As deliveries or the postman let themselves into the garden, he may sound more fierce.

They are worried he may one day bite.

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