Dr. Ben Willcocks

Pet Expert

    bad puppy  

    hi, i need help i have an 9th month old beagle puppy his name is marely . I have try everything he just destory everything he has destory the garden,pot plants,smashed two ceramic pots,a kennel,three hoses ,spa cover,fly screen on a window and now the cord to the spa and it doesnt work now .'ve try everything i could think of by putting chili,curry powder,putting a spary on the garden to make him stop crewing and digging .even use lemon juice mixed with water to spray on everything and to stop him from barking ,we cant even put washing on the line anymore ,i cant think of anything else to do he so naughty and he isnt getting better ,we take him for walks everyday sometimes two times a day so he isnt bored and we even own property at mudgee we take him there once a month for a weekend sometimes a week so he can run around because we have a small backyard but still he destorys everything ,i really dont know how to stop him from destory everything .what can i do ? thanks rashana


    Why do dogs like rolling in poo? Is it possible to train them not to?

    Rescue puppy terrified of lead and being picked up 

    Dear Dr Willcocks, I hope this email finds you well! We recently adopted a now 14-week old labrador x kelpie. He is a gorgeous boy but is also incredibly shy. It has taken him a few weeks to get comfortable just with his new home and with us. he has come along in leaps and bounds and now loves to play chasings, tug-of-war and sit on the couch for a cuddle. However one thing that has not changed is his hatred both of the lead and of being picked up. He is also quite shy around new people, although loves other dogs. This obviously makes it difficult for us to take him anywhere or really start to socialise him. Do you have any suggestions for us? Thanks so much, Amanda


    Hi, my dog max is a English staffy, 11 months old, and he suffers from really bad anxiety every time we leave him alone. We have had to leave him inside our house when we are out because he howls, cries, barks and goes crazy when we are not here. We take him to work everyday with us, so he is 90% with my husband or myself most of the time, but the 10% that hes on his own he just cant handle it. We are not sure what to do and how to relax him while we are away. We have tried to keep him in our lock up backyard but he always seems to get out of there too. Can you help?

    Scared of the ride-on mower 

    We have a large kelpie x that we bought as a puppy from pet rescue. He is well trained and well cared for. We live on 5 acres with three active sons in Sydney's northwest. Our dog, Roger, now 2 years old has become very frightened of the ride-on mower and will shake and run away desperately when it is on. He will happily run around with the boys on their motorbikes and isn't scared of the push mower, blower, whipper snipper or chainsaw. Please help as we now tie him down or he will jump the huge fences and run into the bush which can be dangerous. Thank you!

    Office dog 

    Can you recommend a breed of dog that would be a good office pet? We have about 80 staff and are looking for a dog that would be happy to be in this environment. He/she would be walked daily, taken home each night and weekends/ holidays. Thanks

    Spoodle puppy is biting 

    Hi Dr Ben I recently contacted you about our new puppy Chewy. I am pleased to say she is getting on well with the other dogs now and Lucky has learnt to let her know when he has had enough. However, we have now got another problem which I have not had to deal with before with any of our pups. Chewy is biting us quite badly in certain circumstances. We had to give her ear drops after a recent vet visit and this was very distressing for her and she started growling and biting us then. We had to find another way of getting the drops in. If we pick her up when she is comfortable (eg on her bed the couch or my son's bed) she will growl and bite. Last night, I removed her collar to lengthen it (she was fine) but when I tried to put it back on, she bit me quite badly and did the same to my son. We have got her to play gently and encourage her when she is good. She gets a treat for good behaviour. We say "no" for bad behaviour and ignore her or move away. If she bites hard, we have lightly nipped her scruff or held her head down with a strong "no". However, when she is growling and/or biting this seems to just make her worse. Today I used a spray bottle and "no" which seemed to do the trick. Is there anything you can suggest for us? She now doesn't have her collar on and we are both a bit wary of picking her up! This has really upset and distressed my son because she is otherwise a gorgeous girl. Can you recommend a behaviourist in Melbourne at all or are there things we can try at home? I have read the articles you have suggested in other answers, but they don't seem to quite fit our problem. Thank you so much for assisting us again! Kind regards Jane

    Cat with litter box issues 

    I have a senior cat (12 yrs) and he is litter box trained and has been since a kitten. But sometimes he does a poo on the floor anywhere around the house. At first I thought it might be the litter box being too smelly, or perhaps he was constipated, or he doesn't like the type of litter? But he does it off and on at random times. I also have another male cat and they share the same tray. I wash and clean out the tray weekly and scoop out the poo daily. I am currently using recycled paper cat litter and have previously used clay litter. Both my cats have plenty of fresh water and they eat Royal Canin Senior Consult Stage 1 dry food only. If you have any suggestions that I can try, it would be greatly appreciated!

    Obsessive behaviour  

    My ragdoll x Birman cat is 3 yo in September. We've had her since she was a kitten and she is well loved and shares our house with myself 3 younger teenagers 2 boys and a girl, a 3 math old male kitten and an outside female 7 mth old dog. She is desexed. Problem is her obsession with inside doors being open. She has been an inside cat for most of her life and is a lot more settled since we got our kitten for company. But she insists on all doors including the shower door being opened. She will stand on her back feet and scrape the shower door glass to open it or until it annoys us so much we open it. We leave it open now, but the annoying thing is the toilet door. She doesn't care unless someone goes to the toilet, and if we don't properly shut the door she opens it by pushing at it until it is fully open. If she can't open it she'll sit outside the door and meow until we are finished. If she gets in, she'll then just walk off but will repeat the behaviour if we again shut the door. Since we got our kitten she has also begun sitting on our knees when we are on the toilet and then fusses or refuses to budge when we try to get off the toilet. She mainly does this with me which I think is laying claim to her human mum since we got our kitten to keep her company. We love her dearly and give equal attention but max is very extrovert and demanding which I think has caused crystals behaviour. It is only a problem when we have guests as we just put it down to part of her personality. We don't encourage this behaviour but all attempts to train her out of it have failed. I tried the water squirter idea but being part ragdoll she loved the water and treated it as a game. Can you advise us on a solution. My vet said she's being an equivalent to a human rebellious teen but couldn't offer a solution.

    sulphur crested cockatoo 

    hi i have a sulphur crested cockatoo which was found wandering on the road i fixed his loose poo now he will only eat cruched up sunflower kernels and weighs 620gms and he is thin he is putting no weight on and only eats at night have you got any suggestions on how to make him put weight on

Ben Willcocks believes you can never learn too much about your pet.

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