When to start puppy training

Q: I am having problems with my Cocker Spaniel, he is four-months-old and will not walk on his lead, he just lies on the ground. Do you think I am training him too soon?

A: No I think you are starting at the correct time, but would recommend that you go to a dog training establishment for some help. Dogs that are dominant will usually pull on the lead when you walk them, by doing this they are leading the pack.

On the other hand a dominant dog will also slow down his pack, and he is doing that by lying on the ground. Carry on walking and don’t allow him to stop the pack. You make the decisions.

Any decent trainer will be able to deal with this in the first lesson, if not then go to another school. 

Q: During the past few months I have taken up part-time work, my beautiful 12-year-old Labrador has been soiling in the house, any idea what is wrong, the vet says he is fine?

A: This is called separation anxiety and this is more apparent in older dogs. Your boy has become too attached to you.

Older dogs when left alone are apt to become stressed and lonely. I really do not know of any treatment for this type of problem, and I would think it pointless to apply any form of behaviour modification. This might well be a good time to bring into the family the second dog, and provided it is a puppy or a young dog it will do your boy a lot of good.

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