Jumping up and teeth

Whippet Cocker mixLucy is the most endearing little dog. She is a seven month old Whippet/Cocker Spaniel mix, with a whippet body and cocker spaniel ears – and bounce! With this breed combination one would not expect her to be slow and placid! Mix this with two young children and you have a recipe for EXCITEMENT.

Lucy does many of the things most young dogs do – but to excess. Jumping up, flying about, nipping and whining if shut out. Nothing new really! I have personal experience from my own working cocker spaniel Pickle, now 11 months old, of a young dog fired with rocket fuel.  Everything he does is at double speed – he can’t even spare the time to stay still long enough to toilet so does it on the run. With Pickle I knew what to do from day one and he learnt that jumping up never got him any attention. If he jumped on people we would turn away or simply stand up to tip him off. No eye contact, no touching and no words. If he jumped at a table he would be patiently, quietly, gently and consistently removed by his collar or harness. If he became over-excited he would be calmly put in his crate for a short ‘time-out’ break to calm down.  Consistency is the key.

Pickle never did use his teeth though. This will be because he was with at least one other sibling until eleven weeks of age and puppies learn from one another. Lucy unfortunately left her litter at six weeks old and her new family didn’t realise how important it was to teach the tiny puppy not to use her teeth – but in a way the other puppies would – with a short squeal and walking or turning away. Lucy thinks the children’s reaction to her nipping is play. Shouting OUCH is meaningless to a puppy. Pushing her away is a game and an invitation to nip hands and arms. Tapping her on the nose is an invitation to a rough game or a bite.

This is a superb little dog. We will take things a bit at a time. Firstly curb the jumping and nipping, and basic lead work in the garden and near to home without children or buggy. They will do their best to avoid unecessary excitement. Until she is a bit calmer nothing more can be done. The slightest bit off attention hypes her up.

We can then look at teaching a few basics like sit, down and stay, and taking the walking a bit further afield.

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

Bouncy Chocolate Labrador

Chocolate Labrador Barney is sitting still for a momentHaving lost my own Chocolate Labrador Marmite to heart disease last month at the age of just six, it was a special treat to meet Barney yesterday.

Barney is fifteen months old and extremely energetic. It takes him a long time to settle down when his owners come home and it takes even longer for him to quieten down when anyone comes to their house.  He is very persistent with his jumping up and the jumping all over people continues even when they sit down. All efforts to control this with commands and physical restraint have made no difference. He even pulls towards people in the street in order to jump all over them.

Lovely Barney needs to learn some self control!

He is given two long walks a day, but when he gets home he needs to unwind. This to me is a fair indication that the long walks are not doing their job of making him more relaxed – but over-stimulating him instead. Needless to say, walks are a stressful pulling contest!

Barney has so many good points and he is a teenager after all. He is very happy when left alone, he is superb in the car, I don’t think he would know how to be aggressive and he loves other dogs even if he’s a bit overwhelming with them.

So, self-control will start with his owners giving him some firm rules and boundaries, in a kind and fair way, so that he learns that good behaviour works and that unwanted behaviour doesn’t. At the end of the day he should be a wonderful dog that can be taken anywhere.

If you live in my area and have a dog that needs to learn some self control, why not give me a call?

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

 

Comical Boxers

Comical BoxersBoxers Ollie and Tess are real characters. Their dobs of black on white give them a comical expression, Ollie in particular.  Brother and sister, they were rescued together a couple of years ago. Tess is a much calmer character, more confident, while Ollie is more reactive, more attention seeking and inclined to bark and jump up.

Their owners are keen walkers who would love to enjoy walking with their dogs, but they are becoming increasingly unhappy about Ollie’s behaviour on walks. Where Tess is friendly towards dogs and people, Ollie is very defensive. He will bark, lunge, and if he can get to another dog he will jump on it and make a lot of threatening noise. He’s not yet actually done any damage. He also has a habit, when another dog is nearby, of lying down and refusing to budge until the dog is nearly on top of him – and then he will lunge. He is a heavy dog. A Gentle Leader head collar is used, but that does not give the control and Ollie’s face just isn’t really the right shape for it.

So, once again, it’s a question of a dog being uncomfortable, stressed, defensive and scared around other dogs. Like with most of the other dogs I go to, the owners have done what most people traditionally think is the right thing to do. It’s what some of the TV programmes say. To hold on tightly and to keep going. To correct with the lead. If this hasn’t worked for a couple of years, if things are actually getting worse, then something different needs to be done.  There is a quote I read somewhere, ‘if you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you’ve always gotten’.

A dog that is hyped up from the start of the walk, who is uncomfortable due to tight lead on a collar or head collar and whose owner is tense, isn’t going to be in any right state of mind to encounter another dog. So, what would a wise and kind leader do in the circumstances?

If you live within my area, would you like me to help you too?

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

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.