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Havers Dog Behaviour Blog

My dog behaviour blog is all about dogs and owners I have helped and dog related items in the news.

Litter sisters causing commotion

Two Springer spaniels crossed with a poodle is always going to create an interesting litter and having two sisters is a definite challenge and these two were certainly proving interesting for their owners.

The biggest issue was the barking and they barked at everything, the slightest noise, the smallest of movement, anything outside made them react. They get very excited when visitors come to the house!

But that was only the beginning, wait till the ironing board came out! Yes you did read that correctly, the ironing board! You have never heard noise like it! It is a perfectly ordinary ironing board yet their reaction would convince you it is the bringer of doom!

Then add to the list the poor old vacuum cleaner, that is clearly something to be very concerned about as they have a real barking session at that as well!

If people walk their dogs past the perimeter fence of their garden, they race up and down barking at the top of their voices.

Their have been complaints from the neighbours about the noise so the pressure is on to resolve the situation.

Why do dogs bark?

Because we give barking attention. Because we ignore or don’t spot non verbal communication. Only domestic dogs bark, wild dogs don’t.

Do domestic dogs want to bark? Not excessively, if they have told you there is something to deal with, they would like you to deal with it. If you don’t they will feel they have to and they will be forced to shout

it is difficult not to respond verbally to barking, it is very difficult not to respond verbally to barking without using the dogs name and your dog knows this which is why they make so much noise as they know you always respond.

When did you last respond when your dog wasn’t barking?

When did you last praise your dog for doing nothing?

When did you choose not to wind your dog up?

When did you choose not to play with your dog because they might not enjoy it as much as you do?

When did you last consider your dogs needs as much as yours?

Wonder why your dog might not be as well behaved as you would like?

Food for thought, this is a photograph of the litter sisters after an hour and a half home visit with me:

Springer spaniels cross poodle

Springer spaniels cross poodle

There was a marked improvement in their behaviour throughout the visit as we guided them to the behaviours we wanted and they responded very well indeed to the point the ironing board and the vacuum came out and there was no barking.

Improvements are easy to create but much more difficult to maintain because that requires consistency on your part. If you are prepared to work, you will succeed in having a much better behaved dog than you currently do but it is all up to you.