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Re: I hope I did the right thing!

Posted by:  Leslie Hemsing
Posted on:  February 24, 2002 at 19:43:50

In Reply to: I hope I did the right thing!
Category:   
Posted by:  Erin
Posted on:  February 20, 2002 at 17:36:21

Question:

: Our family has been looking for a dog since last August. We finally decided on the JRT or the Westie. We just happened to find a JRT first. We had gone to AKC shows and talked with breeders. She came to us at six weeks (before I knew that was a bad thing). She has been great with my three sons (ages 11, 10 & 8). Recently though, she has taken to biting. She's a smart dog and knows biting is bad, as she doesn't do it to me. I have popped her little nose and told her firmly NO bite! I've taught her to sit, actually she taught herself. She always goes potty outside and has from the start, with only an exception or two. I learned this morning watching Animal Planet that I should not pop her nose as it will only make her more aggressive. So instead she gets a time out in a dog proofed closet, it's just empty. Any time she nips or starts growling she goes in time out for three minutes. She does not like it at all so I'm hoping it works. I've got her signed up for basic obedience next month after her last round of puppy shots.

: I suppose I'm just looking for some guidance so I know I'm going about this the right way. We love our little Casey as she has brought us so much joy. I know there are JRT's out there who live happily with a family which includes children!

: Any advice and encouragement would be appreciated.


Response:

Dear Erin,

Time outs are a great way to teach youngsters that biting is an unacceptable behavior. The key is to be both consistent (every time she nips/growls) and quick to act (immediately following the behavior) so she makes the connection. In addition, I suggest you talk to your sons about why Casey is biting/nipping so that they will not get themselves (and her) into situations where she reacts badly. The search engine will help you find multiple posts regarding puppy behavior for those taken too early from their mother and siblings.

If your family is not able to attend Casey's puppy training classes then they should participate in the "homework" sessions. Training is one of the most effective ways to establish pack order so every family member (especially your sons) should be involved. Between the time outs and the training, your "kids" will learn to get along.

Keep up the good work, Erin; I assure you that your efforts will be worth it.

Warm regards,
Leslie