Sometimes it feels as if everybody else has their dog perfectly under control and well trained, and you are the only one in the park with a troublesome dog. Or perhaps you have stopped inviting visitors to your home because you are afraid of your dog's reaction, or are struggling to contain a case of undesirable behaviour in the home around food, beds or the kids. Fear not, you are not alone, you are not the first and you will certainly not be the last person to struggle with some of these issues. A few examples of common problems are described here, but by no means is this an exhaustive list. Help is at hand whatever your problem, just give us a call and book a consultation!
Pulling on the lead is an extremely common problem and can make dog walks uncomfortable, damaging to your back or even frightening if you have a strong dog. Give us a call to help put you back in charge of the situation and to learn to banish pulling on the lead. Try not to be persuaded into buying a hundred different harnesses and collars that promise to work miracles, but just break the bank instead.
Having a reactive dog that lunges at other dogs is frightening, it can be embarrassing and completely unnecessary when you understand how to handle the situation and how to react when it occurs. This will take time and effort to sort out, but is well worth it to avoid gaining an unwanted reputation or having to always walk with a muzzle on your dog. In the meantime always try to reassure your dog that you are there for them and will protect them.
Resource guarding in the home is particularly common when your puppy starts to push his weight around, or if you have adopted a rescue dog. Your dog might be guarding his food bowl, or toys, or perhaps his bed. He may growl and bare his teeth when the kids come near, or even insist on getting between you and your partner on the sofa every time you want a cuddle. There are procedures to follow to readjust the status of family members and reassure your dog that there is nothing to guard. Try to always use a "hands come to give, not to take away" approach, so your dog learns that your approach means something better is going to happen!
Toilet training is crucial to get right. Nobody wants to come home to a mess, or to have to worry about what the dog is up to every time he or she is out of your sight. Toileting on command is a high level skill, but extremely useful if you travel with your dog. Always use detergents that will eliminate the smell of urine or faeces to avoid tempting your dog to repeat the action.
Recall is an essential tool for a dog owner. Your dog should come back, without question, the moment that you recall them. This could be asking them to come away from playing with another dog, eating something they have found on the pavement, or away from a busy road. This is a tool that is worth investing the time to train properly and thoroughly and is a life-long skill for your dog. We have long lines that we can use during training to help.
Separation anxiety can be traumatic for both you and your pet. Do not fear, it can be managed and over time your dog will become much more comfortable with being left alone in the house or the car. Having lost two sofas, an oven and many skirting boards to the issue, we know the frustration and concern it causes. It will take time, and improvements come in tiny steps, but it is definitely worth an investment of time and effort.
There are many other issues that King's K9 can help you and your dog with, just ask us.