If you think having a new baby is hard work, try having a puppy.
It’s easy to fall for those big doe eyes and that cute waggy tail, but truth is, my jackapoo Luna is out of control.
In this first article, Rugby animal behaviour expert Sophie Peacock shares how she can help my unruly dog.
She said: “Lucie Green came to me for help with her little terrier cross called Luna after she was having trouble training her. Luna was biting her ankles, mouthing quite hard, jumping up at visitors, running out of the front door and had trouble getting Luna to listen to Lucie in general.
“We looked to find what motivates Luna and with some training techniques that I showed her, Luna will become much more manageable, trainable and easier to live with.
“The main points we discussed were: what are rewards, marking behaviours and timing, reinforcement for behaviours that we want to see from our dogs, luring into position (eg sit, down) by adding cue words.
“Lucie will then practice short training bursts of 5 - 10 minutes throughout the day. This can be while she is making coffee, just before watching the TV or dedicated times to do training practice. These will be done throughout the house initially, then in the garden and for now, adding small distractions when behaviours have been put on cue.
“We also discussed a few enrichment ideas to help with mental stimulation, this is just as important as physical stimulation to keep Luna from getting too bored and wanting to do unwanted behaviours like chewing household items or mouthing people.
“Follow Luna’s story on the Lowhills Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lowhillssanctuaryandbehaviour/ or you can drop me a message on the page.”