Teaching Three Terriers to Listen and Behave Better

By: David Codr

Published Date: May 27, 2014

Lucy Max and RoxyAllow me to introduce Lucy, Max and Roxy (from left to right), a pack of Silky Terriers who live in Lincoln Ne.

Roxy was recently added to the pack and because she is a puppy, things got a little crazy after she arrived. Their owner contacted me to help restore balance to the pack.

When I arrived for the session, all three dogs were excited to meet me, but not in an out of control way. But as soon as we all sat down to discuss the situation, I could see that their owner hadn’t established the proper rules, limits and boundaries amongst the dogs.

Whenever you have multiple dogs living together, its imperative that the human is a consistent leader. If the dog’s dont see or perceive the humans as being in an authority position, they can often engage in unwanted activities and behaviors. Additionally the opportunity for control or dominant issues to arise is much higher.

I suggested a few new rules that will help the dogs see a distinction between themselves and the humans in the home. Requiring the dog to sit before getting to come in our go outside is a minor thing for the human, but it helps put the dog into a more respectful and obedient frame of mind.

Next I went over a leadership exercise that will help Roxy learn to focus and give her the opportunity to develop self control. Roxy picked up on the exercise right away. After the first repetition, one of their owners turned to the other and said “I can’t believe it.” I always love hearing that from clients.

Dogs live in the now, so once we add some rules, structure and improve communication, behavior improvement and changes can happen almost instantly.

After reaping the exercise a few more times, I walked their owners through it themselves. I suggested that they practice the exercise with all three dogs daily for the next week or two. By working on it daily and gradually increasing the level of difficulty, we can help all the dogs learn to stay calm, control themselves and stop reacting without thinking.

By the end of the session, the dogs were walking around in a much calmer manner and were considerably more responsive to commands and corrections from their owners. With a little time and practice, these new manners and habits will become permanent.

 

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