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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.

Meagan asks...

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

Hi there, Our Basset hound is the most loving, gentle and calm dog around us and our other Basset. However, around strangers and other dogs he is not! When he sees another dog he barks like crazy. When a stranger comes up to him or tries to pat him he also barks and growls and has lunged once but never bitten. He is not aggressive, just seems scared and anxious.

Hi Meagan.Your Basset has taken on the role of Top Dog and is protecting you.  Please remember that not all dogs like being approached by either other dogs or strangers.  If you did not know someone and they came up and tried to give you a hug, you would react also. All he can do is bark, growl.or lunge to try and protect you.  Dogs need a strong pack leader, which must be the humans, so you can make them feel safe no matter where you are. If you provide that pack safety for them then they will know everything is alright in their world and settle down.  . Use the word you use (never his name though ) when he does something you are not happy with.  If you watch him closely his body language will tell you he is not happy, so address and correct him before he reacts. When he growls this is a warning, and any growling, no matter at what, should never be accepted by an owner. Make sure you enter and exit all doors and gates before your dog. Make him wait and then invite him in our out.  If you have stairs, place him on loose lead and take one step at a time, he must walk beside you never get to the top or bottom of stairs/steps ahead of you.   The leader leads, in the dog world  so this should  never be a dog in our human world. Walk around your yard and whenever he gets ahead of you turn and walk the other way, taping the top of your leg and calling him happily to follow you.Keep doing this exercise until he starts to walk beside or behind you, thus respecting you as the leader not him. Do this with both dogs, always train each dog separately.  They both need you to be top dog and provide that safety aspect they both need.  Do this on a 6 foot lead in the park also, he needs to know you are leader in all areas. Never comfort him (i.e. saying things like "its OK"  or"don't be silly"   when he misbehaves, this  only reinforces to him he is doing the righ thing. Hope this helps. 

Tammarra asks...

This question is about: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Digging Hyperactivity

Hi,rnrnI am looking around at different obedience schools for my 13 week old amstaff puppy. rnrnWe got him at 8 weeks old and he has been good at learning the basics like sit, stay, wait and knows his dinner time and bed time. rnWe take him for regular walks every night when we get home from work and on our days off he gets 2 to 3 walks a day.rnrnWe have a problem the last 4 weeks with his biting. It's getting out of control and no amount of toys, vinegar spray, time out is helping him if anything it is making his bites more aggressive. rnHe has also picked up a bad digging habit in the last week. rnrnI would appreciate an email of prices of how much it will to train my puppy as I don't want to get rid of him.rnrnThank you.

Hi Tammarra, Puppies are so cute  but they do come with lots of naughty behaviour at time. Please do not use vinegar spray, to address naughty behaviour as it stings. Just imagine if someone used it on you, I think you might become aggressive to .  Just use plain water - nothing else.  Dogs are dogs and do not understand time out - they look at that very differently than us humans - that is something we use with kiddies and this will never work with dogs. We cover everything in our in home puppy lessons, how to communicate effectively so he understands what you do and do not want, along  the correct way to walk, so the dog learns never to pull ahead, along with important door/gate control, toileting, mouthing, jumping, recall and help you put some rules in place so his behaviour issues do not escalate or eventuate. Peter is your wonderful local trainer,  and can quickly get you on the right path. 

Nathan asks...

This question is about: Other

Over the past few months, my 11 month old staffy has started eating the poo of my 14 year old staffy. We have tried altering her diet and slightly increasing her meal sizes, and also using a repellent on some poos in the yard, but she still eats it. Any advice would be great.

Hi Nathan, it could be diet related, deopending what you are feeding your dogs. If you think about it, in the wild all your dogs would eat would be totally raw and natural, i.e. dead animals, grasses, root veggies etc. and nothing at all processed.  So perhaps do some research into natural diet for dogs , Ian Billinghurst has great books on this raw diet subject, and then you can make your own informed decision. We do know after training over 1 million dogs ++ around the world that a natural diet plays a huge part on dog behaviours, definitely for the better. Hope this helps..

Kara asks...

This question is about: Puppy Management

Please contact via email. Hi there my puppy is getting really bad at biting and even saying no ,yelping or just pushing him away it revs him up even more giving him toys to chew he still try's and bites us and get even more stronger that it's hard to even get him off he becomes a little feral and barks when I say no at him for biting then keeps going what should me and my partner do as he does it to her as well and his not getting better his getting worse with it when we been consitant with no time outs . Should we get someone to help us with this or is there something else we can try as we think we have done almost everything to tell him he can't bite I understand his still young but we have been at it for 2 weeks now and haven't seen change just as his getting bigger his getting worse .

Hi Kara

Like children all puppies need to be educated right from wrong - so the earlier you start training him the better dog you will have to enjoy for many years to come.  Our early in home puppy education program puts many preventative measures in place including biting, jumping,  toileting, door & gate control, lead work, recall,  and much much more. Puppies love any hand movement,  its game on in their eyes, so pushing him away is making it worse and not a good thing to continue doing. This is getting physical in the dogs mind,  and could lead to someone getting biten down the track when he sees a hand moving towards him. We can teach you how to use your voice to control unwanted behaviour. So yes, getting one on one help with your local trainer will be very rewarding for both you and your puppy plus you will get our Lifetime Support Guarantee so will have help on hand any time you need it with your trainer.  Free Call 1800 067 710 and leave your details and your local trainer will get in touch with you. 

Sylvia asks...

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

My dog seems to bark more at night than day especially when someone is walking by or at nothing at all. She seems ok when I am at work, no barking. She has been desexed and gets walked everyday, I would appreciate your advice, I have also not given her any dried food, most of her food is cooked, thanks Sylvia.

Hi Sylvia,

It could be your dog being territorial with the people walking past or when she is hearing noises of other animal,i,e,  possums, dog barking, sirens or cats etc. Any number of possibilities that come out at night.  Perhaps a band-aid measure could be confining her at night to the laundry.  If there is a BB trainer in your area ring our free call number 1800 067 710  as we do deal with this scenario frequently. 

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