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Question of the Week

This is the latest question of the week. Each week we answer one of the submitted questions and publish it here.

Natasha asks...

This question is about: Hyperactivity Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks

Vali has a tendency to be quite 'mouthy' with us and anyone visiting, putting her mouth on peoples hands but not biting. As her teeth are really sharp, sometimes this can cause pain but I think it is unintentional on her part. She also jumps up to lick faces. Please, what can I do to stop this from happening.rnAny advice is greatly appreciated!!rnMany thanks rnTash

Hi Natasha - there are many reason why dogs do what they do.  Try freezing your hand  ( they follow movement as play time) and using a mist spray in her face using the word you use when correcting her.  Never use her name to address unacepotable behaviour though.

Stephanie asks...

This question is about: Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Separation Anxiety

My Husband and I are newly married and bought our first dog about 3 months ago. I have established myself as the 'alpha human' and have taken the time to teach Biscuit various commands. Generally he is a very well behaved puppy and we have no real issues with him. The issue arises when he is left alone. We have a crate in the lounge which is always open for him to go in and out as he pleases so he isn't scared of the crate. However we lock him in there when we are not around (he is very used to this and also was also crate trained for toilet training). Biscuit gets himself into such a state when he knows he is about to be put in there and his little heart races!! I arrive home after only a few hours to find a destroyed bed and a wet face and paws. I have tried giving him treats for when he gets put in there but he is not interested in these at all. I recently had a complaint from a neighbour stating he was barking non-stop while I away and they are getting very tired of this.rnI should also mention that he is literally my shadow and follows me everywhere, even when my husband is home. I fear I have caused this issue as I love this little guy to bits!rnI look forward to any advicernSteph

Hi Stephanie,  Biscuit is experiencing severe separation anxiety when left alone by the sounds of your email. Place his food in there at meal times leaving the door open and turn his crate into something positive again.  Also close the door when you are home and address all barking or anxiety with the word you would use (other than his name) when he is  showing stressful signs.   Don't condone that behaviour by reassuring him this give him the complete opposite message i.e. oh I got a treat so I must be doing ok... 

 Also suggest separation periods between him and you when you are home - place the crate with Biscuit inside other rooms so he gets used to you being home but not always him being in 'your' space. Do not make a fuss when you leave or return, ignore his excited behaviour - I know this can be hard - but this displays good leadership for dogs. Call him to you for a pat after a few minutes, never move towards him.  All good leadership in your dogs mind.  To a dog leadership is safety so you need to make him feel you are providing that leadership.  Please feel free to contact your local trainer on our free call 0800 167 710 for more information or assistance with your training . With over 1 million dogs trained over 27 years we can help you.

Madison asks...

This question is about: Toileting

Hi okay so I'm currently training my pup, but the other night she pooped on my bed. I cleaned it up and everything but since she pooped on it should I let her back on the bed? I don't want her to think that's okay. But also it's only because she's so little she has been sleeping with me

Hi Madison,

Dogs should have their own bed or crate to sleep in - it can be beside your bed, but her own sleeping place will help. She should not be allowed to jump onto your bed unless invited - you need to make the decision for her not let her make them.  Follow you (as the leader) she should never be in front of you but beside or behind in the house and in the yard. You go through all doors and gates first, she needs to be trained to wait at these until you invite her through.. Training is the best way to get all of our non physical system thoroughly explained  and shown to you in person. Call our 0800 167 710 for your local trainer. 

Janine asks...

This question is about: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Pulling on the Lead Sibling Rivalry - aggression or fighting between dogs in the same household Separation Anxiety Toileting Other

We have three small dogs,.. Teddy, Panda, and Gizmo. Panda was first in the house, but Teddy (male) is the eldest at 10.5 years, and is the same breed and a rescue. Gizmo is the youngest but second to join the family and is a male chihuahua papillon cross. rnrnAll three get on well, and do everything together. When given treats its always Panda first, then the boys.rnrnBut Panda is extremely needy, but won't come for a cuddle but will want you to go to her,... She seems to have extreme anxiety, and barks at every noise she hears or thinks she hears. She also has a major ball obsession. As you as you wake of sit down she wants to play ball, and crys if it goes under the coach. rnrnI work from home, and if my client wants to use the bathroom I have to told her away or else she'll attack, and she looks crazed, and has nipped a client previously.rnrnWhat would you suggest for my needy/anxious/obsessive/barking dog? rnThe two boys love cuddles, and Panda sulks if they get attention. Even if we try to cuddle her first. We need some help!

Hi Janine, although it is extremely hard to diagnose without seeing the situation in person this sounds like a case of separation anxiety and Panda is the top dog of your other 2 dogs.  She is attention seeking and getting her way -  i.e. bringing the ball to you to play when she sits down - this is not play, it is training you to do what she wants when she wants. You need to ignore any attention seeking behaviour.  Place her outside or in the laundry when you are home, (that way you are there to address her whining/crying by using the word you usually do when she is behaving in this unacceptable way using deep tones and walk away).  Do not let her out or go outside to her to try and calm her down, if you do that, she wins. Again she is training you. Remove the ball for the time being until you feel she is settling down. When you have more than one dog it is important that each dog does spend time alone, so they learn relax.  Treat all three dogs the same, no favourites. You also get the chance to address any separation issues they may have. Make sure you get in and out of all doorways first. A dog should never be ahead of you indoors or going through a gate, going to the front door etc.  Teach them to stay on their rug/bed when you answer the door.  The front door needs to be made a no go zone for all dogs. They are your visitors therefore you must always answer the door and teach visitors to always ignore  the dogs, as you must do also  when you  first get home after an outing. Practice with her first, then the other dogs, always one at a time; until they follow you not walk or race ahead of you.  In the dog world the leader always leads, that needs to be you from now on not her. She is protecting  you (her pack)  from your clients, she needs to see you as the top dog. Hope this helps.

Conny asks...

This question is about: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Other

Hi Our Molly recently started growling. It is especially bad in the morning were she also shivers. Now we are not doing anything to her... the first time it happened I was just petting her on the head normally and I thought she is a bit grumpy because it is early and cold ;) so I backed off. She then followed me around wanting me to pet her. During the day the behaviour is non existant. In the evening sometimes but not as bad as the morning. She never curls her lip and sometimes the growl oozes into a moan and sigh. So it is difficult for me to interpret it. If this is not selected as question of the week I am more than happy to book a session with our local Bark Buster.Cheers Conny

Hi Conny, I would say you will need help so this does not escalate any further, but you could try a couple of things in the meantime, .Head towards a door opening and make sure you always go through first, if she goes ahead of you, stop clap and use the word you use for when she is naughty, then call her to you happily, don”Ēt pat her, but just say in happy tones what a good girl she is, repeat this for every door. Also just stop petting her for a little bit,  just tell her she is a good girl and refrain from petting and see if this helps the growling. Growling is a warning so it does need addressing asap to give you peace of mind. Regards Donna.

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