This case study is about Freddie – an 18 month old Male Westie. This dog was barking manically at everything. He would watch out the window and bark at every person and dog passing his house. If someone rang the doorbell he would take off from wherever he was in the house and run barking to the door.
When people came into the house he would then keep barking and run circuits round the room. This little dog got himself into such a state the only time he calmed down and slept was late at night.
The barking had been gradually escalating as Freddie started to mature and the catalyst to get help was when in his frenzy he nipped his owner as she tried to stop him barking at a visitor.
We needed to get Freddie looking at and listening to his owners in order to get him to relax and be less anxious. He would have to learn to respect his owners and do as he was told. I showed the owners how to take control and teach Freddie that it was not his job to be in charge of the home.
We stopped him sitting most of the day on the back of the settee, once he started listening and looking at his owners he learnt to stop barking at the door. He started sleeping in his crate and was put in for a rest morning and afternoon. He was taught to sit on his day bed when the doorbell rang (in the past he didn’t know what to do so went rushing round the room).
The owners started to take charge, they were consistent and taught Freddie how he was expected to behave in these circumstances. As a result Freddie really calmed down, he slept more and also started to become more playful. It was noticeable that he would actually want to play with his owner before he was too preoccupied with minding the house. He also started to eat his food at normal times. Before the changes Freddie would only eat late at night when the house was quiet – not an ideal time for his digestive system!
He was far less anxious because he was being told what to do and knew what was expected of him. He did challenge his owners and they had to remain calm and consistent. After a couple of months he is like a different dog. He still barks a little at the door but it is the odd woof and nothing like the past manic response. He is a far happier and chilled out dog – as are his owners!
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