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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20224
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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Hi, I have 2 yorkshire terriers one is almost 12 and the other

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Hi, I have 2 yorkshire terriers one is almost 12 and the other is almost 2. The older one, Benji, is very tiny and very shy. The younger one, Samwise, is a lot bigger and very boisterous. I got Samwise as Benji seemed to start taking to other dogs and so it was a companion for him, i tried to get another small (teacup) but i now know that despite what breeders tell you there is no guarantee and he has grown to 4 times as big as Benji. Don't get me wrong he is a lovely dog, a rascal, but a lovely dog and seems to love Benji.
Benji was diagnosed last year with a severe heart mumur and has a collaped trachea that he is under treatment for.
However, I have noticed over the last few days that when they get excited, e.g postman comes, they both bark and Sam has a habit of barging into Benji like an excited child. Benji has collapsed a few times and been unable to get back up, his legs just seem to give way. It is very distressing. His little heart is pounding when i pick him up and he seems very scared. I am at my wits end. I am visiting my vet this afternoon with Benji anyway but I am terrified that i am going to have to give Samwise up to save Benji.
My heart is breaking at the thought of it, I love them both but I cannot see Benji suffer.
Please help and advice me what is causing this.

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My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.
Does Samwise only barrel into Benji when visitors come or people are walking outside the fence?
Has either dog had obedience training?
Are you there when this occurs or are they outside alone?
Are you sure that Samwise is knocking Benji off his feet or could the collapsing trachea becausing the collapse?
Does Benji have other health issues?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Sorry this has taken a few days to reply.


Over the last few days we have noticed that this happens when he gets excited and not due to Sammy barging into him, but yes Sam only knocks into him when people come to the door.

Neither has had obedience training.

I have witnessed this myself and it happened about 3 times yesterday alone but has not happened today.


Benji was diagnosed last year with a severe heart mumur and has a collaped trachea that he is under treatment for, the vet has decided that he is not healthy enough for his yearly vacinations.


Many thanks





Thanks for the additional information. It is very helpful. I'm glad that samwise only seems to knock into Benji when visitor come to the door. That makes it easier to control his behavior. For this issue, I would start training Samwise in obedience. If he is obedience trained you can command him to sit and keep him sitting until you have answered the door or let the visitors in.


One thing that owners forget when training dogs is that when you give a dog a sit or down command, you need a command to let them know they are now free to move around again. Basically they need to be taught a release command. I tend to use GO while others use the word DONE. The following site is helpful for teaching you how to train your 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.


When first teaching hin to sit at the door when visitors come, you can slip the leash under your foot, have him sit and use the leash to keep him in that spot in a sit or down position as you open the door. Initially he will fight it, but soon will realize it doesn't do any good to try and move away and will stay. When he does that reward him preferably with thin hot dog slices. Have visitors reward him as well.


I usually find it is best to train all dogs to do the same thing but concentrate on Samwise as he needs to not bump into XXXXX will at least help lessen the chance of Samwise being responsible for Benji's collapse.


I am sorry to hear that Benji's conditions are serious enough to cause collapse. When a dog "faints" where they fall to the ground usually on their side, stare straight ahead and seem paralyzed can indicate a heart problem.. This is called syncope and can be read about here:


However a dog with a collapsing trachea may have the collapse last long enough that it leads to fainting. Seizures can also cause a dog to collapse as well Given the fact that he does have a heart condition, that is the likely cause for the collapse. About the only thing you can do to help with this is to try and keep him as calm as possible since excitement seems to bring on the collapse.


Training them both to sit and wait at the door may help keep the excitement down as often one dog will rile up the other dog, so if Samwise is relatively calm and sitting at the door, Benji may be less excited and not collapse as often.


I am sorry there really isn't anything else I can recommend to help Benji not get so excited but hopefully your vet is treating the heart issue and training Samwise will help a little as well. Training him will also help him become a better companion to both Benji and you.


I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .

Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20224
Experience: Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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