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.