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Honey.... My Jack Russell cross 

Honey is 15 months old she has a real problem with the car and socialising. I need to build her confidence with both, but she is not so very food orientated,. How can I build her confidence up in these area's?. She is quite a smart little dog in that she loves to play ball and most of the time she will bring it back. She has a toy box so to speak and will choose a toy and if you swap it she will go find the one she chose. I had an episode where a pup from over the road came over and just wanted to play... I was in the bathroom and could hear Honey screaming I thought she was being killed. when I came out she had poohed and urinated everywhere in the lounge, thank god I have tiles in that area. The pup that came to visit is a Staffy cross and she was excited and just wanted to play!. I really need help !. Regards Lea.

Answered Tuesday 20 October 2015

Hi Lea,

 

 it sounds like Lea is a little bit nervous and possibly anxious. Did she go to puppy preschool when she was young? Do you know what social interactions she had in the imprinting window from 8-12 weeks of age?  This is a really formative time for your puppy and they will associate experiences that they have gained during this time as normal. 

It sounds like she is a great dog at home with you however once you take her out of that "safe" environment, or once others encroach on that safe environment, she is overwhelmed. (I think we can forgive her for screaming when cornered in the bathroom by the staffy however, I think I might even scream if that happened!)

I would strongly recommend that you take her to your local vet and request a behavioural consultation. I assume that she will not particularly like going to the clinic so it might be best to have a home consultation to start with. Your vet will be able to help you formulate a plan for socialising her with both other dogs and other people.  Your vet may suggest enlisting the services of a professional dog trainer or even a veterinary behaviouralist. You will need to begin the socialising slowly so that she does not become overwhelmed and retract within herself. Perhaps just walks out in public early in the morning or late at night before there are too many people or other dogs around. You will gradually need to build up to more confronting situations however this will need to be done over months to years.

Good luck with the training, I am sure you will get there in the end,

regards,

 

 Anthony and James.

Pet Experts

Dr Ant and Dr James

These two best mates share a love of animals and are the stars of Village Vets Australia.

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