Staff Princess is a great family petPrincess came from Wood Green Animal Shelter two months ago and is a wonderful dog. She is friendly and stable with no apparent hang-ups at all.

The problem I was called out for was her persistent jumping up. There are three children in the family, aged between 6 and 11, and the youngest could easily be knocked over. The children are very good and try to turn away, but they may wave their arms in the air. Naturally they will get excited. Their grandfather, whose dog Princess is, will be grabbing her and scolding her. She also jumps on the adults who tell her ‘down’ and push her off, but they also, at other times, pet her while her feet are off the floor. Very confusing for Princess.

What Princess is learning is that jumping up gives her high-value attention – under her own control, especially when people have just come in. She may get down initially when told and pushed, but she has learnt it is a sure-fire way to get attention next time! Telling her to get down, pushing her and especially looking her in the eye is, to the dog, a mix of saying ‘come up’ and ‘go away’. Very confusing!

Not surprisingly due to lack of experience and training and her enthusiastic personality, Princess is a big puller on lead and now they use a head halter which she hates. This really isn’t necessary if they go back to the beginning, and teach her to walk beside them through choice, one step at a time.

These problems should soon iron themselves out with consistency and a bit of effort – and she will be the model family pet!

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