She has four children, he has two dogs and they are moving in together.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Suzie is on the left and Ben below They are beautiful, friendly dogs but too excitable and not a little unruly!
Both dogs jump all over the sofas and all over people. Ben jumps up at the children and can knock the younger ones over.
The 3-year-old child has to be watched because she wants to hug the dogs and they don’t like it.
What worries their mother most is Suzie’s way of snatching food. She is rightly concerned that if a child is walking around with a biscuit for example, that it could unintentionally be bitten.
When I held a tiny treat in my fist, Suzie was absolutely frantic to get it. It’s like she’s starving hungry. I have seldom seen anything quite like it.
I’m sure there is more to this although a vet has previously said she’s okay.
Although Suzie eats just the same amount as solid Buster, she is extremely thin. They have much more to pick up after her in the garden than from Ben, so food must be passing through her. She is given very little exercise so she shouldn’t really be so skinny. If a change in diet doesn’t work quickly, then another visit to the vet is called for.
Dog walks have become more and more infrequent for various reasons. These two dogs will be a lot more settled with regular exercise and healthy stimulation to compensate for the hours they spend alone during the day.
I showed the couple how to start a walk without the dog charging out of the door and pulling frantically down the passage. Suzie caught on really fast. This is not easy when a walk has become an exciting rarity. The couple will make themselves a do-able schedule of ‘little and often’ for the dogs involving walks and basic training.
The children also have their own things to learn. The youngest needs to be taught not to hug dogs. Safety first, a gate should be between kitchen and sitting room so that dogs and children can be separated either when any food is about or when an adult hasn’t their eye on them.
With work, I’m sure that these lovely dogs will then calm down and learn some self-control. It’s all up to their humans. It’s great that they love the children.
NB. The precise protocols to best use for your own dog may be different to the approach I have worked out for Sasha and Ben, which is why I don’t go into all exact details here of our plan. Finding instructions on the internet or TV that are not tailored to your own dog can do more harm than good, most particularly where children are involved also. One size does not fit all. If you live in my own area I would be very pleased to help with strategies specific to your own dogs (see my Get Help page).