Little Dogs, Big Barkers

This has been a week for small dogs needing help, including two miniature daschunds.  Digby was an unusual brindled colour. I was called out because he barks at passers by, he barks at the letter box, he barks at cars and animals on TV. He goes into a panic. He also barked at me. He cries and barks when he is left alone. He also persistently toilets in the house.

It is five days later and I have just spoken to them. No toileting in the house since I saw them. They are following the plan and working consistently on the barking in a kind and fair way.

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This picture is of Bailey, the dUnusually quiet for Miniature Daschund Baileyaschund I visited this evening. His problems are very similar to those of Digby, though his barking is more excessive. Like Digby, his barking is all through fear. He gets very excited and when he is stressed he compulsively licks himself. Initially he was barking continuously at me as I sat on the sofa, but soon we had a quiet evening  – unusually quiet for Bailey – after I showed Bailey’s lady owner how to relieve him of his fearful barking at me.  Bailey was then relaxed until I stood up to go.  He was rather suspicious about having my camera pointed at him for a photo before I left!

I can help you, too, with these problems or any other that you may be having with your dog.
 

Big Baby

Today I had a treat.

I went to see a fifteen week old Dogue de Bordeax called Porter. He is a very big puppy and he’s going to grow into a huge dog! His owners want to make sure that they start off the right way, so that he grows up to be a well-mannered friendly dog who, though will bark if he hears something, won’t assume the role of guard duty or be a threat in any way.  He is also going to learn to walk nicely on a loose lead.Dogue de Bordeaux, a very large puppy

At just fifteen weeks old he is already a little wary of people coming up too close to him and he may bark at them. We are working to make sure he grows up to be confident and self-controlled. It is so tempting to play exciting and rough games with a puppy like this, but tug games not done properly encourage mouthing, grabbing and biting, and chase games encourage a puppy to run away or even to get scared if cornered – and this invites aggression.

He is unusually lazy for a puppy, he is house trained already, he doesn’t jump up and he doesn’t chew much – apart from socks – when they have feet in them!

I can help you, too, with these problems or any other that you may be having with your dog.
 

Tail-Chasing Stressed Jack Russell

Tiny Jack RussellIt was hard to take a photo of Tiny because he never remained still for long enough in the entire three hours I was there today. The little Jack Russell is one of the most stressed little dogs I have seen. He has a tail chasing ritual that is more or less continuous over long periods of time. He can only be distracted with other obsessive things like ball chasing. He pants and he barks.

You can see from his picture the tension on his face and around his eyes, and his panting tongue. If he were a human in this state, he would be getting help. Tiny now is.

He is a well loved little dog who lives with another terrier. Unfortunately his manic behaviour has an effect on her too. The dogs are seldom walked, due to both Tiny’s anxiety and the other little dog’s fear and aggression towards other dogs. A lovely park just nearby is impossible because of the number of off-lead dogs that run up to them. Now the two dogs will work towards going for very short walks again, in a way that is kept within their comfort zones.

Little Tiny will be learning how to calm down. His owners will be doing all they can to help him avoid obvious triggers for stress, and to take as much pressure of him as possible by giving him the calm type of leadership that he needs.

I can help you, too, with these problems or any other that you may be having with your dog.
 

Two Dogs Called Bracken

Japanese Akita now lives the good life

Bracken

This week I visited two dogs called Bracken. Both were gorgeous and they were completely different. The first was a beautiful Japanese Akita. He did not have a good start in life.  As a puppy his first family lost interest in him and he was shut outside in the garden by himself for hours on end until they got rid of him. He then went to live with a man who was unwell, and ended up shut in the bathroom day and night. He is now in his third home living with a lovely couple who are determined to give him a good life. Unsurprisingly he has separation anxiety (barking and howling when left alone in home) and due to lack of contact with other dogs, he is fearful and aggressive to dogs when on a walk . In addition to this, children worry him. Bracken will now be learning that his humans are there to look after him and not visa versa, that if they go away they will always come back, and that as leaders they make all the important decisions.

Bracken

The second Bracken I went to help is a ‘Red’ Labrador, and only seven months old – almost the same age to the day as my Cocker Spaniel puppy, Pickle.  Bracken is becoming a teenager and has started to bully his lady owner. He had always been a bit of a nipper and grabber. The fact he left his litter early did not help, because his siblings would have taught him that if he hurt them they would squeal and stop playing. It is difficult to imagine how upsetting it must be to be scared of your own young dog, the puppy you have fed, walked and loved.  Some dogs more than others need positive leadership and direction, and Bracken is one of them. With my own puppy Pickle I started off the right way by not spoiling him and by giving him fair rules and boundaries in terms that he understands right from the beginning.

Three days have gone by and I have just had a phone call from Bracken’s lady owner. He hasn’t jumped on her, barked at her or bullied her since I went! She says he is a thousand times better, and this is because they now know what to do. Bracken is calmer. It must be a relief for him too not to be in control.

I can help you, too, with these problems or any other that you may be having with your dog.

Jack Who Can Open Doors

Handsome Black Labrador, JackI have just been to see another Jack, a two-year-old labrador was a rescue dog from Ireland. His owner told me before we met. He is a lovely dog. Just one big problem – he is uncontrollable when we meet other dogs – I try to walk him where ever I can to avoid other dogs, and it takes the enjoyment out of walking him.  He has pulled me so much that he has hurt my back. I would love to be able to walk with Jack and enjoy it

Jack pulls, lunges and barks at other dogs. Walk is uncomfortable, scary and stressful for both Jack and his lady owner. He is yanked back. He rushes at cats, dogs and squirrels.  When he sees other dogs he bites and grabs the lead.

So now I have shown Jack’s owner how to start the walk with a calm dog, and what to do to get Jack to trust her to look after him, how to get him to walk beside her just like there was no lead on at all, and to take no notice of other dogs.  It will take a while, but she will get there I know.

It is hard to give Jack boundaries, because Jack can open doors! He is a  kind and gentle dog with the six-year-old granddaughter, and enjoys her company.

I can help you, too, with these problems or any other that you may be having with your dog.
 

Jack, Stressed Jack Russell X

PainJackI went to see Jack, a Jack Russell/Staffie cross,  four days ago. He lives with Amelia who is three years old. He is only fourteen months old himself, but is scared when Amelia approaches him. He does not want to be touched, pulled about or played with. He is stressed little dog.  About five weeks ago everything got worse. Weeing indoors increased. Because it was Christmas, more people were about. Dad shouted at Jack.  He is now weeing everywhere – the kitchen flooded in mornng. He wees on his bedding, he wees on his toys. His owner is at her wits end.

Dear little Jack was so stressed that he bites himself, circles, licks himself until he is raw and constantly yawns.

I had this email four days later:  “I still can’t get over the difference in him, he’s not done any wees inside the house, he’s only jumping on us occasionally. It was really great meeting you the other day, I just wish I’d got in touch with you soon, that way things would never have gone as far as they had”. I did tell her to expect good days and bad days while all the work was being done on his stress levels. I am sure with an owner like his, Jack will come through this to live a happy life.
I can help you, too, with these problems or any other that you may be having with your dog.
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Chocolate Labrador and Shiny Floors

scared of walking on shiny floorsI visited Cocoa, a Chocolate Labrador age four years old. She does a lot of jumping up and is quite stressed and anxious. One particular problem is that she is scared of walking over shiny floors, and her owners have a house with large areas of wood and tile. Poor Cocoa will suddenly stop and freeze. If she is very desperate to move she goes backwards. Interestingly, this happens randomly and not in the same place, in different rooms and in different houses. Cocoa’s owners will now be working on giving Cocoa confidence in them and in herself, in reducing her stress levels in general, teaching her some self-control and various strategies to help her overcome her fear of shiny surfaces.

I can help you, too, with these problems or any other that you may be having with your dog. me.