My dog, Lenny, is a 2-year-old Shiba Inu. He lives in my father’s house while I am at my mom’s house, and I’m afraid he isn’t getting enough attention.
My mother doesn’t want him in her house because she has a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Trixie who tries to eat my Shiba whenever they are within a 20-foot radius of each other. I really want my mom to let Lenny stay at her house, though.
How can I train Trixie to not hate Lenny?
Also, Lenny jumps and it hurts. He also takes pillows, stuffed animals, socks, underwear or whatever he can find and gnaws it to death. How do I stop him from doing these things?
– Madeline, Staunton, Va.
The training you and your dogs need concerning Trixie’s unwelcoming attitude toward Lenny can only come from working directly with a trainer, because there are certain exercises to do, with certain criteria being met before moving on to the next level, and a trainer needs to evaluate the situation.
Since Trixie’s actually attacking Lenny as you describe, just putting them under the same roof without specific training exercises will increase the stress level in both dogs, which will inevitably worsen the situation, so please contact a trainer or behaviorist who is very experienced with dog-to-dog aggression. You’ll want to find a trainer who uses positive reinforcement and motivational techniques.
A great place to start that search is at the Association of Pet Dog Trainers website. Just click “Find A Trainer” and type your zip code, and a list of professional trainers located near you will display. I always suggest calling at least three to five trainers before deciding who to work with; listen carefully when they’re describing the methods they use.
Now, for Lenny’s other behavior problems: For the jumping, please read about another dog’s jumping habit and my suggestions in “Leapin’ Lab.” And for his chewing up inappropriate items, check out “My Canine Loves Contraband.”
Thank you for your questions, and please keep me posted on your progress.
PHOTO: Kristen Adams