Airedale is now adolescentHenry is now a handsome five-month-old, and they have come a long way in some respects since I saw him at ten weeks, but in others there has been a lack of consistency and I was disappointed in the lack of progress with his main problem – the mouthing. When I arrived one family member was playing with his fist, encouraging Henry to use his mouth. The knock-on to this is that they can neither wipe his feet when he comes in from outside nor brush him without a fight as he tries to grab hands, towel and brush.

The other associated problem to do with lack of mouth control is when Henry takes a treat reward, he snatches and that is painful. I showed them how to get him to take food politely and briefly repeated the kind of ‘dance’ I did originally to teach him manners. The mouthing issue may be taken more seriously this time, now that he’s growing rather big!

Walking isn’t being done according to the plan either. It’s a challenge when different people are involved who weren’t in it from the beginning. See Henry with his smart new harness in the photo? With a longish lead fastened to the hook on the front he can learn to walk nicely; currently the lead is being held short and tight, the lead is on his collar and Henry is being constantly pulled back. One person who walks him has been been used to old-fashioned ‘control’ methods rather than reward-based and may be a bit resistent to what I teach. I hope after my demonstration with Henry that he can see the difference.

I shall follow them up shortly to make sure all is going to plan. In everything consistency is key, and each family member needs to be following the plan so they all drink from the same water bowl so to speak.