tony knights top 5 dog behavioural questions

As a regular on our Facebook page, Tony Knight, has been answering your questions on dog behaviour for well over a year. The participation from the entire community has been stellar, and you have collectively helped each other tackle some very difficult issues regarding dog behaviour.

We have had a look through the archives where Tony has handpicked the best 5 questions from his Facebook Q & A.

The questions cover a wide scope of various dog behavioural issues, which will enable you to apply these methods with your dog.

Question #1

Hi Tony, we have a big possum problem in my area. My Jack Russell Terrier cross Dingo is inside at night but as soon as she hears the possum on the roof in the trees, it's on! Every night between 3 and 3 30 am. The barking will continue for about 30 mins . Help I'm missing sleep! - Tracey King

Tony says...

Hi Tracey, this may sound crazy but the first thing to do is (albeit sleepily) thank your dog for barking. It is alerting you to a potential problem. If it carries on then get up and have a look. The idea here is to let her see you assess the situation so do not look at her. If she continues after that then without a fuss put her somewhere on her own so she sees that she risks losing the pack if she does not stop. Check out this short film to see what I mean:

Dog Listening Solution to Barking Dogs

No need for shouting, sprays, shock collars or other gadgets that cause pain. Here is a quick, easy and positive way to deal with dogs that bark at "danger" with Dog Listener Tony Knight. Foster dog G...

Question #2

Hello Tony. My 2 year old American Staffordshire Terrier pulls on the leash while walking, particularly to get to new smells. She digs her heels in and refuses to move from the scent. Any advice? Thank you - Sydney Vaughn

Tony says...

Hi Sydney, this is a classic case of a dog making the decisions, we need to change her mind. If she starts to pull, stop and change direction (no jerking). Every time she pulls, change direction again (which is a decision taken by you!). Keep doing that until you feel she is relaxing and more responsive. This actually might need working on before you get outside so check that you are in control of the walk from the word go (or walk - some people daren't say this in front of their dogs - that is step 1).

Question #3

Hi Tony, what's the best way to stop my 1 year old dog digging. We walk her twice a day, have tried pepper, vinegar but nothing works - Sharon de Baize

Tony says...

Hi Sharon, dogs dig for many reasons - making a den, finding cooler/warmer earth, hiding/finding food etc. It's in their nature. If you can't supervise your dog (if she digs then without a word put her somewhere on her own to show her this behaviour loses the pack) then create barriers so she can't get where you don't want her to be or get a load of concrete. Only give her a Time Out if you actually catch her doing it. The consequence must be immediate or she won't know what it is for.

Question #4

My male, de-sexed beagle growls and snaps if anyone goes near him when he's asleep on his cushion. What is the best way for me to react to his behaviour and hopefully train him out of it? He is almost 4 years old - Casey Holt

Tony says...

Hi Casey, have you ever heard the expression "let sleeping dogs lie"? Over 95% of dog bites occur because people invade a dog's personal space without permission. Their natural way of telling someone off is to growl and snap if necessary. Respect this nature and if you want to fuss him, call him to you. Train people to get this right!

Question #5

We have a foster puppy with us at the moment, she is a 8 week old kelpie who has only just been separated from her sister. At night we crate her, and she cries and barks constantly. Is there something we should be doing to settle her and make the transition easier? - Dog Adventures

Tony says...

Hi, this initial separation from the litter can be stressful for a pup, and we recommend that so the pup is not too traumatised by the sudden lack of litter mates that someone spends a couple of nights sleeping with her in the same room. For example, a night or two on the couch is no hardship so the crate does not have to be in the bedroom. This is only a short term measure until you feel that she is better settled in.
Have a question of your own? Then tune in on the first Tuesday of every month and ask the man himself, from 8.30 to 9.30 p.m.
Posted by My Pet Warehouse