Westie/Bichon Frise Puppy is over-excited

West Bichon Frise Sally stand by the back doorPuppy's coat looks like fluffy dandelion seedWhat a lovely time I had today! Sally is a five-month-old Bichon Frise/Westie mix, and as her lady owner says, her coat looks like a fluffy dandelion seed head. She is a well-adjusted, independent little dog, with puppy exuberance and sometimes, naturally, pushing her luck!

Sally tends to get over-excited when people come to the house, jumping all over them and perhaps making a puddle, but this isn’t her fault. Because she is so cute everyone makes so much fuss of her in such an exciting way, she is thorougly wound up. It’s hardly fair, because then her lady owner tells her to get down and gives commands and gets cross in an effort to make her behave, which stirs up even more.

In order for a dog to calm down and not jump all over people, the humans need to approach her differently. The more noisy and excitable people are, the more noisy and excitable the dog will be.  People need to give her a break and take no notice of her for a little while to give her time to calm down. Then when they do say hello, not to make it so exciting that it hypes her up again.

Without a single word from me, and with no more than my looking away, turning away, gently tipping her off and giving gentle hand gestures for a while, Sally very soon got the message that she wasn’t to jump all over me, and you could see she was a happy relaxed little dog for it. I could then give her some gentle quality attention.

Sally still sometimes messes and wees in the house. Some puppies simply take longer to get the message than others, and it’s possible that although she knows toileting outside is good, she doesn’t understand that this doesn’t apply to inside as well. She is never scolded, fortunately. I have often found that the more important the messing indoors is to the owner (often due to worry about damage to the flooring), the slower the puppy will be in become completely house trained.

With fewer commands and a casual and calm approach, Sally will be able to work out for herself what she should do and it will take the pressure off her. I am sure the toileting will soon become more reliable with a few new strategies in place.

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

Westie Puppy – Just Being a Typical Puppy

Westie puppyPoppy is four and a half months old – and delightful!

She is a feisty puppy – with the usual mad tearing around sessions puppies have, especially in the evening. She has taken to barking persistently for attention, and like many people their response, telling the dog to be quiet and inevitably getting cross, gives her the attention she wants, and she becomes even more hyped up.

This results in Poppy using her teeth. Unfortunately she left her litter mates too young and never learnt proper bite inhibition. If, from the start, the moment they felt teeth they had given a short high squeal just as another puppy would have done, and turned away and blanked her every single time, she would no longer be nipping. Unfortunately loud ‘uh-uh’ and ‘no’ and scolding merely fires her up.

Not only her barking both for attention but also barking at things she hears and sees outside the window is getting worse. If one dog in a group of dogs barks, usually the rest rush over as backup and start to bark also. When the owner shouts at the dog it has the same effect. The poor puppy is already on protection duty, so the owner’s response is key. Would you shout ‘be quiet’ to a child at the window screaming that a man in a balaclave with a machine gun was walking up the path? No. Would you ignore him and let him deal with it himself? No.

For much of the day Poppy is relaxed and as good as gold. By seeing things from her point of view and reacting accordingly, these behaviour as will be nipped in the bud before they develop further.

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