Cavapoochon Lula is very happy sharing the sofa or bed with their two cats – when nobody is there.

When they are out the camera shows her cuddled up with the two cats.

Sharing the person’s space

When a person is sitting down with her that’s a different matter.

When at the dog sitter’s or a friend’s house, 20-monty-old Lula has been sitting beside someone on the sofa. She’s had a run in with a couple of other dogs who have come over.

She growls, snarls and leaps on them. She chases them away.

Female dogs

Interestingly this only happens when sharing with another female dog. If the dog stands up for herself, Lula gives in.

The human’s reaction is to say NO and scold her. If this approach worked, she would no longer be doing it.

My reasoning is that she’s not feeling happy about the approach of another animal. Scolding will make her feel even worse. It would be better to get to the source of the problem and make her feel happier about it.

Using praise and food

There are two strategies to try. One is to keep her harness on so they can hold onto her. She can’t then fly at the other dog. As it approaches they can praise and feed her. The other dog can be invited up as they continue to feed Lula.

This over time should make her feel better about another dog or a cat approaching and jumping up to join them and sharing their space.

Letting the other animal up first

The other strategy is to stand up, call her off, sit down again. Then either invite the other animal up first, or call both up together.

When the couple are in their own bed with her and the cats jump up, she snarls and tries to chase them away as they jump up. It would be more difficult to use food.

She is always fine sharing the bed if the cats are already there.

So, before letting her up, they call the cats up first. When the two cats have settled they can now invite Lula up.

The role of over-arousal

Her touchy behaviour is a lot worse when Lula is over-aroused. Basic to it everything is working on reducing her arousal levels. They can do this through brain work, working for her food, using her nose and having mooching ‘choice walks’.

NB. For the sake of the story and for confidentiality also, this isn’t a complete report. If you listen to ‘other people’ or find instructions on the internet or TV that are not tailored to your own dog, you can do more harm than good. Click here for help