Frequently Asked Questions

How do I stop my dog being dominant?

Dominant behaviour can include guarding, biting and jumping.

The first thing is to look at it from your dog's point of view. That’s one of the key aspects of my approach as a dog behaviourist.  Why might your dog be doing what he/she is doing?

Dogs will do things that make them feel better. In order to change what your dog is doing, we need to work out how your dog is feeling when they behave inappropriately. We can then put some steps in place to make your dog feel safer and more confident, reducing those behaviours and replacing them with the behaviour you want to see. 

Does my dog have separation anxiety?

Different dogs show their anxiety in different ways, and to different degrees.  Not all dogs that bark or whine when you leave them are anxious.  The only way to know the extent of their anxiety is to leave a camera running to video their behaviour when you’re not around, or to get professional help to make the assessment. If you think your dog might have separation issues, consider the following: Does your dog:

  • follow you around the house obsessively
  • bite or snap at you, other members of the family, or other dogs or pets in the house
  • bark, whine or be behave destructively when you're not home
  • constantly whine at you for your attention
  • bark at the door bell or people passing by
  • growl or snap at visitors
  • take you for a walk, by pulling on the lead
  • chew the furniture
  • toilet in the house
  • eat the post

This is not an exhaustive list, but if you think that this might be the problem, then please contact me here. I can help you in putting together a structured behaviour modification programme tailored to you and your dog.

How do I stop my dog pulling on a lead?

It is much easier to teach a puppy not to pull on the lead than to teach an older dog that has got into a bad habit.  However, the approach is the same with both - positive reinforcement, rewarding the behaviour you want to see.  With older dogs, the key is to break the habit. Training aids like the ‘gentle leader’ can help to speed up the learning process. 

What can I do about my dog barking at other dogs when on a lead?

The first step is to understand why your dog is barking. What is your dog feeling when he/she barks like that? Once we’ve worked this out we can put together a behaviour modification programme which builds gradually outwards from your dog’s comfort zone. We’d start in the home, learning a new behaviour in an environment with limited stimulation, and slowly apply the new behaviour in more stimulating environments.

If you need support with any of the above, contact me here.

Ainsley Miller DipCABT (COAPE Certified Animal Behaviourist, RQF- Level 6)

Dog Behaviourist and Trainer