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Answering Your Questions About Dog Behaviour

Answering Your Questions About Dog Behaviour

My pet is having problem communicating with me. She is 2 years old German Shepard. She is not hearing what I am saying. Also she don’t like children and most black people. She used to bark and tried to bite them. She never bit anyone but I am very afraid. What can I do for this? How can I change her? Please help me. I like her very much. bye from Roxona

Your German Shepard appears to have been talking to you about her boundaries, likes and dislikes, but you have not heard her. No longer put her in situations where she will be in close contact with children and black people! She has told you she will bite and scare them. That’s a BIG liability in these days of litigation! You don’t need to go to court about her behavior or have her ordered put down because of her biting someone. Talk to a dog trainer and follow his/her advise! If you are unable to contain her then give her away before she does harm.

It’s a tough situation. Follow through! Love, Laura

I have a 4 month old teacup poodle, that I got about 2 months ago. From the first night we brought him home, he barked and barked and barked. We had him in our room in his bed but I understand, it was his first night. Now, I have heard that this barking wears off which it has and has now been replaced by whining at 4 a.m. We have now learned to tire him out more at night so that he goes to sleep tired which has worked. My question however is that he was peeing and pooing on his potty pad all the time and now he’s soiling the floor. We have since tried taking him outside but he never wants to go to the washroom outside. Also, I find him to be very attached to me. I could be on the couch with him and get up to go to the bathroom and he starts barking and whimpering until I come back. My husband could be right there beside him but it makes no difference. I have signed him up for puppy classes beginning in April and am hoping it will help, however, do you think he might have separation anxiety? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Vicky

You have a very small baby. Your expectations of him are those of an adult teacup poodle. Relax and don’t overwhelm yourself or him with these unrealistic expectations of what you “think” his behavior should be. He needs to be at least 6 months old before you start with a dog trainer and then it will only be about leash training and not the big behavioral commands. Dog trainers often tell me, “It’s not the dog that isn’t getting the commands. It’s the owners mis-cues, unrealistic demands, and inconsistent reinforcement of commands and rewards. That’s what ruins a dog.”

Just relax and give him a chance to develop. You would not expect a human baby (under a year old) to talk and read, walk and go without diapers, know their numbers and alphabet, etc. until they are developmentally ready. Right? Just be easy with your pup and give him a chance to develop before you create expectations that are age appropriate.

He is a BABY. Give him time and give yourself a chance to love him as he is. If you can’t handle his growing-up period them maybe you should consider taking him back to his breeder and getting an older dog so you can better predict what he is capable of. You will really mess him up if you continue with these unrealistic ideas of how he “should” be behaving.

Relax and be easy with him, or take him back and get a dog better suited to your expectations and life style. Love, Laura

We have a two and half year old dog named Madison, who is part Chow, Lab and Husky. We feel that she has a few personalities the chow being the scary one, she has bitten me, twice. I want to know if she is happy, or what I can do to change things that might make her happy, we really love her and she is otherewise as good as gold, but we are a little afraid of her. If you can advise us, we would appreciate it. Margaret

Madison has crossed the line! Now she is the dominate in the house and ALL are the submissives. Find a trainer that does “Doggy Boot Camp” or seriously; think about putting her down. She’s a loaded gun and a liability to you, your family, and ANYONE who gets in her way, scares her, or she wants to dominate. The Chow and Husky mix with the Lab, a recipe for disaster. The lab is a dog who hates to be dominated and has so much energy and the intelligence to out think most people. The Chow is a fear biter. The Husky is not too far removed from the wolf. Just the fact that you ask what you can do to make things happy tells me she is totally in charge of the house.

Euthanasia may be your only release from the fear in your home. Talk it over with your vet and a trainer that will tell you the truth. Love, Laura

I have a two year old patterdale terrier, Oscar, who we got from a rescue home. He is generally a lovely dog but will attempt to bite random people with no warning or apparent reason and there seems to be no way of telling who he’s going to be friendly to and who he’s not. I would love to be able to ask him what the problem is and help him overcome it. Allison

I have the distinct feeling that this is the reason he got to the recsue home. Oscar doesn’t trust people, especially children. They are unpredictable. When he thinks they might hurt him, he makes the first strike.

The best way to help him over come this habit is to make sure you are protecting his potential victims from his misplaced distrust. Invest in a wire muzzle! Make sure he has it on anywhere he might meet new people or be in contact with people he has shown aggression to. Yes, I’m talking about in your home if you have visitors over as well as when you walk him. This will do two things for him. One; It will allow him to relax because he won’t be punished for striking out. Two; People will not come up to him and place themselves in a position to be the recipient of this misplaced aggression. Otherwise you will HAVE to put him in a room where he will be left alone for the guest’s visit. Over time, with the muzzle he will learn that people aren’t out to hurt him. If you just keep him shut up then he will not learn a new behavior.

You don’t want to deal with a legal suit or put Oscar in a place where his emotions will take over and get everyone in trouble. Much Luck, Laura

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