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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20174
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My Patterdale Terrier is, in the main, very obedient except

Customer Question

My Patterdale Terrier is, in the main, very obedient except when someone comes to visit. He will not leave them alone, biting their clothes, jumping up to their faces and making the most horrendous noises ranging from howling to full scale barking. Please help
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year 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. how old is your boy?Is he neutered?Does he act this way away from the home?What obedience training has he had?Are they leaning over him or are they sitting when he jumps at their faces?What have you tried so far?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi again, I was hoping to get some responses back to my request for additional information. However, I don't want you waiting too long for an answer either. Usually in situations like this, the dog while relatively obedience when things are normal, they donot listen at all when there are distractions or when they just plain don't want to listen. This can be corrected though, it just takes some training. Even though he is relatively obedient, he needs formal obedience training and daily practice sessions to establish you as the boss and leader. As th boss and leader, when you give a command, he is not only expected to listen but to do so immediately. 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. Once you have him obeying instantly without distractions, then take him to a formal class or outside in places wehre there are people such as parks, etc and work with him in that environment. Once he is listening to commands consistently in those situations, then have people start coming into the house and ordering him to sit and stay until visitors are seated and then bring him into the room but have him sit in a corner and not interact with the visitors. Over time you can have them give them orders and have them reward him for obeying thus having him see them as ones able to order him and have him see them as good things and not some one that needs to be chased away. Dogs do not not like people to lean over them so be sure visitors do not attempt to lean over him to pet him. I would discourage those type of interaction until he is more socialized around people. Now you could also bet a muzzle and a bark collar. A muzzle should be a basket style muzzle that prevents buting but still has room to allow the dog to stick his tongue out to drink and to breath normally. Bark collars are very effective at stopping barking and some are citronella spray bark collars which some consider more humane than shock collars. They are not as effective, but still tend to work. It is best to try as many techniques as you can at one time. So definitely do obedience training as that is a must and work with him using the muzzle and bark collar. You might also teach a quiet command. As crazy as this sounds you may wish to teach the pup the speak command and then the quiet command. It seems easier to teach the quiet command after the dog has learned the speak command. The following site explains teaching speak and quiet commands. I hope this information is helpful to you. 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 . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When out for his walk he totally ignores both people and other dogs, this behaviour is just when visitors come to the house.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the additional information. That points to it being more of a territorial issue where he believes the house is his territory and they are interlopers. If you become the boss through obedience training then it is your choice who comes and goes. Until he is trained, keep the leash on him and slip it under your foot when answering the door and keep him in that position until visitors are seated. You can even have the visitors give him a small treat so he starts seeing people in his territory as a good thing and not a bad thing. When he is not barking, and trying to nip them and is sitting relaxed, then reward him with calm praise and treats. I recommend hot dog slivers as they coat your hand and keep the dog's attention on you rather than the visitors. It will take some time as training always does, but it is effective.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Just a quick follow up to see how things are going and to see if you found my suggestions helpful.