Fox Terrier About Town

Adventures of a Vivaceous Pup in Fancy London

Archive for Puppy Behaviour

The Acrobat Foxy Strikes Again!

Acro-Foxy In Puppy Training

Acro-Foxy In Puppy Training

[Tamara texted this afternoon]
“I just turned around to find Dad asleep in his chair and Dashwood up on his back legs, front legs waving in the air, snout hoovering up the crumbs from the plate on Dad’s knee!”

Maybe rather than a tutu, we should buy Dashwood an eye mask like El Zorro, as he is now onto Thievery Acrobatics… Hummmm…

Black Labradors and Pirouettes in Hyde Park

Acrobatics is fox terrier\'s fun

Acrobatics is fox terrier's fun

[Text from Tamara]
It’s still too hot and there’s a surfeit of bull mastiffs in my life but all else is good and little one grrred his way round the park this morning disdaining the Maltipoo I tried to introduce him to, in favour of running in ever decreasing circles round two huge black Labradors, then spiralling away at such strange angle that the Labs bumped into each other trying to chase him!…. I think we’ll have to get him a tutu – he does a fine pirouette!

Jumping and Barking

Jumping up and barking are both attention seeking behaviours, e.g. when they bark or jump up they get rewarded with attention either by touching or speaking to them.

Puppies are cute and small so people tend to bend down and pat their legs which encourages the puppy to jump up. Teach your puppy that the only way of getting attention is by sitting. This is very important when your puppy meets children. Ask people in the street to ask your puppy to sit before they stroke them.

Remember ignore the bad behaviour and reward the good behaviour.


Playing is fun and exhausting... Downtime is a blessing

Playing is fun and exhausting... Downtime... a blessing

One thing that became obvious from minute one is that little Puppy knows which stuffed animal toys are for cuddling and sleeping with – Blue Teddy Bear, which ones to play with – Australian Kookaburra, and which to shred to pieces and destroy – the semi-real country Rat, the Sniffany’s cushion that Alicia bought him which is a stuffed toy replica of the New York jewellery firm. Kookaburra is a mix of love-play. He either sleeps with it or shreds it and shakes it. The curious thing is that Blue Teddy lives inside the Puppy house. Always. Little pup takes it out sometimes, gives it a spin around the house, and in it goes back to the little house. Blue Teddy was his first cuddly toy and it must smell full of memories.

A puppy is a little child that has feelings for his toys. Don’t you be mistaken that he treats the chewing sticks in the same way that he plays and invents some theatrical antics that resemble hunting scenes when he gets a hold of a “shake and shred” toy. His imagination runs wild and he can spend hours playing, tossing a toy in the air as if it was trying to escape, et cetera.

No wonder he is so exhausted when the evening comes and he just collapses anywhere in the lounge… Kookaburra also knackered next to him…

Sleeping At My Feet, Following Me Around

Find the hidden puppy in my study

Find the hidden puppy in my study

Dashwood is a puppy and hence he sleeps most of the day. He sleeps wherever I am, by my feet. It is because he is also a dog and as a pack animal, in the wild, he would never be on his own. Dogs in a human society need to learn from an early age how to cope with being on their own. This is what dog psychologists call “Separation Anxiety”.

Crates help puppies to learn that being left alone is fine and that someone will return soon. Puppies learn that they cannot follow you everywhere you go when they are left in a crate, and that you come back as if nothing has happened and let them out. You can gradually increase the time your puppy is left in the crate a minute at a time to start with. Remember only to let your puppy out of the crate if they are quiet.

I started leaving Dashwood by himself in our big open plan kitchen when he was about 12 weeks. Little by little he started being used to it. When I came back to the house I made sure I gave him lots of treats to reward him for having been such good puppy, not broken anything or chewed stuff. Giving him treats is also an incentive for him as he associates that when I leave, as soon as I return is “Treat Fest”.

Teething and Chewing

Chewing on a Breitling strap... not a good idea

Chewing on a Breitling strap... not a good idea

Teething can make your puppy’s gums very sore and chewing can help to relive the discomfort. Make sure your puppy has plenty of chew toys. Tug ropes and old tights tied in a knot are a great way to help the baby teeth fall out.

Your puppy will have all their adult teeth through between 6-8 months old. Some smaller breeds can sometimes retain some of their baby teeth and if this does happen they will need to be removed.

If your puppy’s gums are very red and sore you can use baby teething gel.

Good and Bad

Dogs learn by what is good for dogs and what is bad for dogs. If it is good for dogs e.g. they are rewarded, then the likelihood is they will repeat the behaviour next time. If it’s bad for them e.g. they are ignored, then they probably won’t do that behaviour again. What do you think are the good/most important things in your puppy’s life?

Food, which can be broken down, Attention, Playing with dogs, Toys et cetera.

These are the treats, the motivations. Use them wisely.

When Leader Of The Pack Prepares Food, Sub-Leutennant of the Pack Watches Her Back

5.58 am vital mince unwrapping under way

5.58 am vital mince unwrapping under way

I only just noticed that Mr Puppy guards my back when I prepare food.

Is this genes, or the cleverest puppy in the world?

I love my puppy, I love my puppy, I love my puppy

Down and Stay

This is a very important command as it is the basis of your emergency and distance control training as well as teaching your dog to relax when necessary. To begin with practice ‘down’ position, this will then progress into down/stay and distance control. With training, your dog should lie down on the command ‘down’ and remain in that position until you come and release him.

Teaching ‘down’
• Have your dog in the sit position.
• Move your hand (and treat) down between his front paws.
• When he goes down, give him lots of praise and delay the reward for 5-10 seconds and then say ‘ok’. If the front of the body only bends down to the treat, move the treat slowly still on the floor towards him.
• You can then teach him to stay by gradually increasing the time until you give the reward, and then start increasing the distance, only one step at a time.

Remember if he goes to move say the No-Reward-Mark ‘AH-AH’ and put him back into position and start again. This exercise takes a little patience, but as soon as he understands the rest will come very quickly.

A Blank Canvas

Puppies arrive as a blank canvas for learning. They may have learnt a few things with the breeder but this is your chance to teach your puppy all your rules and boundaries in your home. Remember they learn so much quicker at this age. We choose for dogs to live in a human society so it is our responsibility to teach them how to do that. All your rules must be consistent. If you want you dog on your furniture that is fine just make sure they only get on when asked and get off when asked, you MUST always be in control. There must be firm CONSISTENT rules so your dog does not try to push the boundaries because they know they can get away with it.