May issue

May issue
May issue

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Man's best friend

Dear Dogs Today 

I have been unwell for two months now, and it’s having a strange effect on my three-year-old bearded collie.

She used to go everywhere with my husband, and they loved going out for a long walk at lunchtime each day. She followed him loyally when out walking, and at home she would sit right next to him.

Since I have been unwell, she won’t go out with my husband at all. I don’t know what has changed her behaviour, and I’m hoping that when I feel better she will return to her normal behaviour.

Thank you for any tips you can give me.

Vera, via email

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

A bumpy ride

Dear Dogs Today 

I have a four-month-old collie puppy who has a problem with cars. If she knows she is being taken to the car I struggle to get her out the front door, and I eventually have to pick her up and put her in the car. She then goes to the furthest point away she can in the car and lays down and doesn’t move again until the car stops. Her car journeys are normally to go for a lovely walk or flyball competition so they don’t have a negative outcome.

When out walking her it’s clear to see that she has a fear of cars. She either tries to get away from them to the point that I've had to put in her in a harness to stop her from slipping her collar, or she chases them. I’m not sure if playing with her near my car with a tennis ball or giving her treats and getting her closer to the car (but not actually moving the car) would work. I have had dogs all my life but this little girl is the first with this problem. We travel in the car quite a lot and I would like to help her to be happier with it.

Sue, via email 

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Do seasons make dogs grumpy?

My springador girl was due to be spayed in February but the day before the op she came into her first season. Since the season she seems to either snap at or run away from dogs she doesn't know. She's also started barking at people. I'm just so worried she might bite someone. Before her season she was never like this. 

We would suggest Leigh gets a vet check to rule out any other health issues as it does sound a very sudden change, and that she gets some help urgently from a good positive dog trainer or behaviourist who can see the behaviour in situ and work with Leigh at changing the behaviour and that using something like a basket muzzle in public until this is sorted would be sensible...

But could we discuss the question - can just having one season ever change a previously happy friendly dog into a snappy, barky reactive one?