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Thread: Where to Start? Lots of Advise Needed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Brisbane
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    Default Where to Start? Lots of Advise Needed

    Well, not to sure where to start. I am new at using a forum and also a new dog owner. Our family has the most gorgeous little Bichon Frise. She is 7 months old and we have had her since she was 10 weeks old. We have had a few issues with her training. I will start with the most important. Seperation anxiety. I understand small lap dogs and I work from home so I do get why she is like she is but am needing advise on her branching out to also be just as happy with the other members of the family. She constantly follows me around the house, even if she is asleep she wakes up and follows me. She will not go outside by herself to go to the toilet so that is making the toilet training a bit difficult if I have to nick out for a bit (although she is getting better, but she is still going inside to do her business a little too often). She will NOT go for a walk with anyone except me, even if I am there she wont walk with anyone unless I am holding the lead. Poor kids are devistated that she wont go with them. If I am outside cleaning the car she will bark full on and fret for me, even if the family are inside with her, they have tried to distract her and sit/play with her but she ignores them. Apparently she isnt to bad when I am not at home, hubby does shift work but she snuggles up to the cat, not him. She is not always super clingy, If I am at home she loves the attention from the others but still follows me if I leave the room. If I have a shower I have to shut her out from the bathroom and she will have a little sook and lay at the door. If I sleep in she will scratch at the bedroom door and the rest of the family may as well be invisible to her. Sorry to drag this on but not sure what else we can do? thanks in advance

  2. #2

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    Hello and welcome again,
    May i ask Who feeds her?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Brisbane
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    Default

    Hi again, we all feed her. The only thing that I do that no one else does is bath her. Only reason is she hates her bath and try to escape and scratches. The kids help and poor the shampoo and help scrub her etc but besides that we all chip in and take turns in feeding, brushing cleaning up the mess etc etc

  4. #4

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    Welcome

    Gosh you've got yourself a little shadow there havn't you!
    I was going to ask who fed her as well but Socks beat me . So who does her training/gives treats etc ? May I ask if you work ? I ask because I wonder if you the only one home during school hours .
    GageDesign Pet Photography
    Site still in construction so will post link when it's finished.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
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    12,596

    Default

    We had an Australian terrier who was very attached to my Mum who never fed her - always somebody else's job, but Mum was home the most and didn't tease her like the rest of us did occasionally.

    Separation anxiety cures... My puppy had separation anxiety - still does to an extent - she goes bunta if I leave her shut away from me but she can still see me or hear me. But she's getting better. Basically I don't go back and comfort her at all.

    And 7 months old is about the equivalent doggy teenage time - so they can be quite contrary and difficult. Mine is improving as she gets older and more accustomed to my routines.

    When she was very little I had a big cage inside the house that I'd shut her in when I went out. Eventually she regarded this cage as a safe place, and would sleep calmly for as long as I was out. She still won't touch any food while I am out. She aslo regards my car as her personal safe place so she's fine in there (car in shade, windows open a bit) when I'm shopping or playing sport or at a friends place for dinner and she's been too naughty to stay with me. I wouldn't do this in summer however - she has to stay at home in a/c house.

    I can't tie her up because she goes nuts and chews through the tie rope. But I think she will eventually learn not to do this.

    "It's me or the dog" show and a number of others - suggested doing what ever action triggers the anxiety - over and over again - like 30 times or more and praising and treating the dog when ever she acts calmly or how you want her to act and never comforting her or touching her or looking at her, if she acts how you don't want her to act.

    Like if you go for a walk with the kids and the dog, find a park I guess, give a kid the lead and walk a little apart, and return a second later, and repeat lots (30x or more). As soon as dog seems less upset by being apart - lots of praise and reward, and then gradually try to increase the time or the distance (but not both at once), repeat lots. Toss treats at the dog (if she won't take them from the kids) when she does the right thing (calm quiet behaviour), and then return with lots of praise.

    Maybe you can find a dog obedience school, go with your kids but get them to do the class with the dog, hopefully the instructors will be able to help. You may have to hide during the class so the dog will pay attention to the available member of its personal pack.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Brisbane
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    Thanks for the advise guys. Yes I am home most of the time as I work from home, but do go out a bit. She doesnt seem to be too bad when I am not at home at all, its when I am at home. Every afternoon I pick the kids up from school and she comes along and we play in the oval for about an hour. The kids try to take her on the other side of the oval (mainly for the exercise) but to do this they have to pick her up and as soon as she gets put down she bolts back to me. A girlfriend comes along with her dog, same age but different breed, hoping she might be encouraged by the other dog but it doesn't work.

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