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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19759
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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We adopted a small terrier mix four months ago. Teddy is

Customer Question

We adopted a small terrier mix four months ago. Teddy is adorable, very smart, housebroken, and very affectionate. We do have concerns about his behavior in several areas.
1. He urinates on the comforter at the bottom of our bed when we're gone, not always, but I think he gets mad when we both leave him during the day.
2. He barks at me when I come home and let him out. It's as if he's scolding me for leaving him. He runs around the yard barking at me.
3. He's extremely protective of my husband and me and jumps at us threateningly if we try to hug each other. We have a 4 year old granddaughter, and he does this to her if she tries to sit on my lap. He nips, not a serious bite, but I worry about it!
Thanks for your help. In general, I think he needs to know we are in charge and the alpha dogs in the house, not him!! :) Laurel
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.
What are you cleaning the urination up with?
How long after you come back home does he bark at you for?
What kind of commands does he know?
Have you been doing any obedience training with him at all?
Is he neutered?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
1. I wash the comforter in the washing machine. It is lightweight, so it fits fine and cleans up thoroughly, I think!
2. He stops barking fairly quickly. I try to turn my back to him. He doesn't keep barking too long. He just does it long enough to make the neighbors' dogs bark! He runs circles around me barking. It isn't awful, but I've never had a barking dog.
3. He knows commands about going out, getting his toys, but when I try to get him to sit, he partially lies down. He also jumps up on us a lot, and I try to sternly say, "down", but he isn't very quick to listen.
4. I don't think we have been consistent with obedience training because we just rescued him from a humane society, and he is too cute for his own good! I know we need to be consistent and firm for everyone's sake!
5. Yes, he is neutered.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the additional information. It is helpful.
The comforter needs to be cleaned with an enzymatic pet odor remover. Cleaners that fool our noses do not fool a dog's nose, so it has to be an enzymatic cleaner. They make several. You can put it in the machine but I recommend using more than the recommended amount and let it soak since it has been washed and dried before.
If any smell remains, it will actually draw the dog back to the area to eliminate again. Removing the odor usually stops the behavior. The other issues can be corrected with obedience training. Dogs growl and nip to reprimand the people for something they are doing that the dog doesn't like. You are correct that the dog thinks he is the boss as only the boss is supposed to reprimand others. So regaining that position with obedience training solves that issue.
The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
Don't let him on the furniture either for right now unless he obeys a command. One thing people often forget is to teach a release command so the dog knows when he can move after a sit or down command is given. Be sure to train for that command as well. He likely was never taught a release command so now he obeys the command and immediately stops since he used to get the treat for the initial sit and not for an extended sit.
You can also train a dog to quiet. As crazy as it seems, you may want to teach the speak command and then the quiet command. It seems easier to teach the quiet command after your dog has learned the speak command. The following site explains teaching speak and quiet commands.
the neighbors dogs will still bark though and your dog's barking is just his way of telling you he is happy you are home and inviting you to play with him. Throwing a ball or other item for him to fetch will stop the barking as his mouth will be otherwise engaged.
Also, involve your granddaughter in training as well. This will help the dog see her as the boss too.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi Laurel,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.


I'm following up to find out how things are going and to see if my answer was helpful to you. If it was, please take this opportunity to rate me positively.