The only way to get a photo of Bella was to wait until she was lying down! She is a small seven month-old Staffie who isn’t a bad dog really, but in most respect she is just ‘too much’.
She is particularly ‘too much’ for their other, older Staffie Marvin – age 9. She constantly pesters him to play, she humps his head, she sits on him.
She is also ‘too much’ for the family when she flies around the sofas and launches herself onto people. When the lady is reclining on the sofa watching TV Bella jumps onto her, and when she is told to get off she curls her lip and snaps. She is also ‘too much’ on walks! Despite being quiet a small dog, she pulls like a train.
Bella didn’t have the best start in life, having been separated from her siblings at five weeks of age. Instead of learning how to play nicely and to be gentle with the other puppies, it was up to her new human family and poor Marvin to teach her, and they weren’t giving her what she needed.
Bella also has too much in the way of stimulation. It is like she is being fed rocket fuel. They feel, like many people do, that lots of play and exercise is going to tire her out and make her quiet, but the opposite happens. She has been taken for four mile runs in a field to save them from lead walking. While out in the field she will plague poor Marvin by hanging onto his face and going for him. Apart from anything else, it’s not good for a young dog’s joints to be over-exercised.
I didn’t see Bella at her worst because already for the past few days the lady has been acting upon my telephone advice and she was generally calmer. This evening while I was with them, apart from a bit too much playing with Marvin to the point where they needed to be broken up, she was a good little dog.
This is another case of leadership/parenting needed. Manners and rules need to be established around food, jumping up, excitement before going out and the pestering of Marvin. They need to be consistent, avoid confrontation and be encouraging, use rewards and stick to their guns.