Hello Dogs Today,
I read your magazine regularly and would like some help with my Border Terrier, please. She is two years old and is a lovely companion.
The problem is when she is out on the lead for walks. She barks furiously at every dog she sees. Off lead on local pasture land she plays happily with other dogs and has good recall although, just recently she was playing with another cross-breed terrier and it developed into a fight and I don’t know which dog started it. Also, my dog started humping the other dog and I have never seen her do this before.
When walking her on lead I try to distract her when I see another dog approaching. I ask her to look at me and offer her a treat and keep doing this until the other dog has got a good way past us. This is working if I see the other dog before mine spots it and also if the other dog does not pass too close to us, otherwise I have no chance of distracting mine and thus we have the furious barking and black looks from everyone around us including the other dog’s owner. Sometimes the other dog’s owner will laugh and say they understand.
It is really hard work walking her out now. I have had Border Terriers before but not had this kind of behaviour to contend with. My husband often used to walk our dogs, too, but he passed away. I have got this Border after he passed and so I have brought her up on my own. I have been told by other dog owners and a vet that she is protecting me.
Please can you advise me because she is wearing me out and I am not as young as I was? If I had known what I know now I would maybe have got an older rescue dog but I thought, having had Borders before, I knew what I was getting and with rescues I maybe wouldn’t be too sure of their temperament and adaptability. I like that all my Borders have been bomb-proof and fearless but this one has gone a step too far for me.
Libby Coles, by email