My cross bred terrier gets jealous when I’m given attention from human members of my family (wife and children), growling at them if they get too close to me. How can I teach him not to behave like this?
There’s rarely a simple answer or a quick fix to this type of serious issue. You urgently need to engage a qualified behaviourist to look into this in detail, spending time discussing the precise circumstances of each incident, so that the cause of the aggression can be pinpointed, and remedial behavioural interventions put into place. In the meantime, get the dog to wear a muzzle when in any situation where humans may be at risk. A growl is often a warning that a dog may bite, and this should never be ignored.
I have two cats: a large Maine Coon, Matty, and a petite Balinese, Bella. The two cats seem to get on well, except that Matty sometimes lies on top of Bella in their bed. He’s so big that only her head protrudes and I worry that he might smother her. She snoozes on, seemingly unaffected. Should I shoo him away?
Cats often sleep contentedly in places and positions that seem awkward and uncomfortable to humans. If Bella was distressed or uncomfortable, she’d wake up and wriggle away from Matty. It’s a good sign when cats in the same household like each other enough to sleep together: it’s far more common for cohabiting cats to be enemies. Cat fights are the most likely cause of cats injuring each other. I have never heard of cats harming one another when sleeping together.
Small animal vets discussing big issues
The world’s biggest pet-only vet congress takes place next weekend in Birmingham. As well as updating vets on the latest science and health care developments, the BSAVA Congress will feature debates on topical animal issues, including tackling the puppy trade, the impact of Brexit on the veterinary profession and the government’s plans to modernising the licensing and inspection of pet shops and boarding premises.
Lovely Lara is a 9 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier who loves people. Contact Dogs Trust Ilfracombe on 0300 303 0292.