malteseRiley (on the left) and Maddie are two absolutely beautiful little Maltese Terriers. They are both about seven years old.

They are adored by their lady owner – her ‘babies’.

Riley started marking all over the house a short while ago.

I believe that it’s no coincidence that Riley’s marking started and one or two other behaviours deteriorated since the lady was at home for the month. There can be a lot of pressure put upon the dogs in a way, with humans on their case with touching and attention and mixed messages.  Maddie is a more laid back individual and not so affected.

Many people who adore their dogs do things in the name of love that I would myself see as quite unkind, and some of the things I advocate may seem unkind to them.

To scold or shout at a dog, even put his nose in it, for toileting or marking in the house seems to me not kind at all. To constantly touch and cuddle a dog also seems to me to be unkind, but owners usually see it otherwise. Leaving a dog to decide when and what he eats, even sharing their own food, I believe is not fair to a dog. People usually see it otherwise and the lady says she would feel dreadful if she didn’t leave food around all the time for them to graze on, and herself eat without letting the dogs have some.

People who dote on their dogs also feel it is OK to shout at their dogs when they bark at sounds outside, where I think it’s a lot kinder to help them out.  They feel their dog should be at the door jumping and barking at people when they come in. I feel this is not kind. The dog should be somewhere else and saved from the stress.

People usually feel it’s kind to comfort and fuss a dog when it’s fearful of something like fireworks. I believe it reinforces the fear and actually makes things worse – so isn’t kind at all.

Adorable little lap dogs are, inside, dogs after all. A little bit of being treated like dogs can lift huge burdens from them. I am sure when Riley no longer feels that the decision making is his responsibility, when he has a few boundaries and rules,  that he will stop marking.

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