Golden Labrador Sunny is settling well into his new homeWhat a beautiful boy! Sonny is a three-year-old Golden Labrador who has been in his new home for just three weeks.

When I arrived I was expecting a challenge. Sonny was quite persistent with his jumping up, and I spotted a muzzle on top of his crate by the door.

It soon became very apparent that this was just a friendly and very mellow natured Labrador who had, unwittingly, been taught to jump up. People think that saying Down, looking the dog in the eye and giving him a push will do the trick. But how many dogs are still jumping up after years of this? How would a stable dog tell a puppy that jumping on them wasn’t welcomed? Dogs don’t speak for starters! A dog would tip him off, turn away, look away, and continue to do so until he got the message. I see this happening with my own puppy and dogs. She gets the message!

Looking at Sonny, speaking to him and touching him gives him the very attention he is demanding. He may get down that time, but he has learnt it works for next time.

The muzzle is because the Rescue were worried Sonny may not be good with other dogs and they were playing very safe while they worked with him but there is little evidence of this so far. In his past life he had not been walked nor socialised with other dogs.  He may bark at dogs but it seems this is a mix of not knowing quite what to do, an element of fear, and general young dog excitement. The only actual incident they have had in the three weeks was with an off lead dog who approached Sonny. He may have been sending the wrong signals and Sonny over-reacted. They have friends and neighbours with dogs that Sonny has got on well with from the start.

They will hide the muzzle! Each time they look at it they will be thinking of Sonny attacking dogs. This isn’t an expectation they would want fulfilled, and it’s not a good image to have imprinted in their minds every time they go out.

Apart from the jumping up which also happens when they meet people out on walks, we are dealing with the excessive lead pulling, and have strategies for meeting other dogs.

I feel they are very lucky indeed to have such a wonderful dog from rescue, and Sonny is very lucky indeed having such a wonderful new home.

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