Little Jack is ten years old and lives with Jill who is also ten.
They are both very good little dogs as far as obedience is concerned, but both, Jack in particular, is troubled. Although both dogs have a very good life with a loving and sensible owner, it is possible that something in the past is overshadowing their present life, because their change in behaviour coincided with that particular time.
Jack is unsettled and this is manifesting itself in regularly marking and peeing indoors, in growling when he is made to do something and by compulsively licking himself. There are one or two people he is scared of to the point of aggression.
He looks relaxed on the right, as he was when I took the photo, but one can see his red and sore front due to the obsessive licking.
Jill also is stressed but to a lesser extent. They may be left alone for a long time and bark and cry intermittently throughout the day.
We looked at all the possible causes of stress in the little dogs’ life at the moment – and this includes anything that stirs them up in any way, and the list can be surprisingly long. Here are some of them: being left alone, post coming through the door, scolding, being told off and commands, humans being cross, Jill obsessively licking Jack, Jack persistently licking or humping Jill, Jack chewing and licking himself and being told off, behaviour of visitors and family, going to other houses, vacuum cleaner, excitement before walks or going in the car, discomfort and tension when being walked on lead, agility classes, obsessive ball play, barking itself increases stress, constant jingling of collar tags.
So we are finding ways of reducing stress in every way possible. Being consistent is essential. Using encouragement and reward rather than commands and scolding is also key.
There is the dear little Jack on the left, and lying in their bed with Jill below.