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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.

Carolyn asks...

This question is about: Barking at people, dogs, animals, birds or where the dog barks for attention or at the slightest noise Destructive chewing that results in destruction of furniture, woodwork etc Digging Hyperactivity Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks Separation Anxiety

We are looking after Maisie on the sunshine coast but in a few weeks time are taking her back home to the Jamberoo NSW area.rnDo you have a trainer down there and what are the costs please.rnrnShe will be going back to a home with several small children and she needs some expert training to prepare her for life there.

Hi Carolyn, the trainer in the Illawarra is Philip Comans. Masie will benefit with training as will the owners who have small children.  Get them all on the right track quickly in Jambaroo, this will help Maisie settle in without stressing. Philip will be able to give you the trainibg costs, email him on him on illawarra@barkbusters,com.au. 

Christina asks...

This question is about: Aggression to a dog or other animal or where the dog is aggressive to the owner or a stranger Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks

Hi There my family and I have just moved into a new place and since we have moved my dads dog my dog an my sisters dog has been showing really bad Aggression and fighting with the other dogs we have just had one dog hurt from it just wondering if there is anything we can do or anyone that can come out to us and help us with our dogs.

Hi Christina, Sounds like the living arrangements may have changed and that is a big thing for dogs.  They do need professional help and if possible - until you can get a professional trainer out-  I would keep the 3 dogs separated.

If you go onto our website and enter your postcode if we have a BB trainer in your area they will give you a call and discuss your options.  If we do not have a trainer then please ask your Vet he may be able to recommend someone for you.  Val

Shell asks...

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

I have only recently adopted this dog and she is excitable and previous owner said she has grabbed their small dog. So i am starting obedience training next month and would like to put a muzzle on her just in case. Can you suggest brand and model please

Hi Shell, if she has issues with other dogs (dog aggression) taking her to obedience class will put her under a lot of stress and she may react adversely with other dogs.. Those classes do not address behavioral issues, (sit,stay,come) and this is a behavioural issue. I strongly suggest that you address that agression first in your home, where she will learn quickly, and in her safe environment. Once you have the control we know you need then try the obedience classes. We use Baskerville Muzzles. Hope this helps..

Carmel asks...

This question is about: Destructive chewing that results in destruction of furniture, woodwork etc Jumping up at visitors or the dog jumps up at people on walks

He is aggressive with other dogs, A trip to the vet is a night mare if there is any other dogs there.. no matter what we do he goes off and I can't stop it. So we don't take him anywhere. But really would love to get him learning to play with other dogs...

Hi Carmel, Dog aggression is a common problem that our trainers deal with on a daily basis. If he should bite or attack another dog you are responsible for all vet and Dr's bills. Council could issue you with a dangerous dog order.  So please do not walk with him for now, if you do he needs to be muzzled when out of your yard.

There are many reason dogs become aggressive, to many to list here. He may have had a bad experience with another dog as a puppy or been bullied in his litter from birth.  This aggression towards other dogs is him getting in first. There needs to be some strong consistent rules in place within is yard area and if an indoors dog, inside your home.  Things like; he should not go through ANY doors or stairs ahead of you. In the dog world the leader leads, in your home, and on walks you must show him that you are his leader. Use what ever word you use to address mistakes, i.e. NO but must be used in deep guttural tones (never using his name) like him getting to the door first. Inside and in your yard , call him back happily and encourage him to follow you as you walk forward, IF he races ahead of you, turn in the other direction, tap top of your leg and call him using a happy voice.  Keep doing this (it may take 2 - 6 minutes) until he starts to walk beside or behind you. Then you will know he is getting that you are now the leader not him. You can also do this on lead in a park or the likes. You also need him to be totally 'focused' on you when on or off lead whenever training with him.  Do not take him on any big walks until you can get this focus, as those walk are stressful for him. Leadership to a dog means 'safety', he needs to know you will supply that by being a strong leader. This type of focus is what you demand from him when on walks.  Do not allow him to even look at another dog, your "NO word should be enough for him to respect you as a leader and know you are in control of all situations.

He should be trained to stay on his rug or bed when indoors and not to answer the door.  Set this scene up. It is your home, your visitors and you must show him its your job to answer the door not his.  If he gets to the door ahead of you, stop, call him back using very happy voice tones and instruct him to stay on his bed.  Walk to the door backwards, keeping an eye on him and IF he moves off his bed/rug take him straight back to the bed. Repeat until he gets that he no longer is allowed to answer the door. Never give him the win Carmel.  It takes 5-6 weeks for a dog to understand that the rules have changed and that his  no longer is the boss. It is always you as the leader in his mind, so consistency and practicing daily is the way it must be.  On lead walk very slowly and make sure does not get ahead of you. Off lead call him to you and he must not leave your side until you give him the command to do so. During this exercise you need his focus to be on you also. Maybe your Vet can recommend a local trainer if there is not a Bark Busters in your area.  Hope this helps.

Helen asks...

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

Three weeks ago we adopted Bowie from the dog's home. He is excellent with me and my partner but when we have visitors he growls and has nipped two recent visitors. What advice can you give us to help with this problem?

Hi Helen. Bowie is being a little protective in his new territory, he now has a new pack, so is feeling unsure of many things. Use the word you use to correct any behaviour  as it is happening (not after) and also if you think he is about to do it also, stop him before it happens. Say it in a deep growling tone, he needs to look at your when you use this word. When he does praise him.  Don't use his name though, thats only to be used for positive things, like come and good boy etc. Don't comfort him at all when he feels anxious. He needs to know you are there to keep him safe by being consistent with your training as 'his' pack leaders. Growing is a warning and is never to be ignored but addressed immediately using your correction word - letting him know it is not acceptable - ever as is  nipping this is a dog putting the visitors into their place. Again never unacceptable.  I strongly suggest that you train Bowie to stay on his mat/rug when he is inside, and not get off it when visitors arrive unless you say so. Also ask your visitors to ignore him until he is settled.   It is your job to greet them not his. Train Bowie indoors to follow you, not lead, he must not go through any doors or stairs/steps ahead of you, so use the door the train him to wait (close it firmly using your correction word) before you open it and once he is waiting patiently you proceed to go through it first then he still  waits until you invite him through. In your yard train him to follow the leader (you) not be the leader, so off lead walk around your yard, anytime Bowie get ahead of you just tap the top of your leg and turn and walk in opposite direction calling him to you happily.  Keep doing this until he finally gets it and walks beside or behind you.  Praise him whenever he is doing as you want. On our website we have lots of helpful ideas in our 'free tips' section, so feel free to go into our barkbusters.com.au  website and view them, they can also be downloaded.  We also have a great book you might be interested in. Hope this helps - do enjoy Bowie with the right direction and education from you Bowie will know he has found his forever home. Val
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