Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Terror Terrier Tallly

I have a question about my Terror Terrier Tally.
Tally loves to go everywhere with me, but she gets terribly annoying. On walks she barks at other dogs, but I just make her sit calmly next to me till the dog passes and then she's all good so that's not a issue, but at the park if she sees another dog having off-leash fun she goes berserk, she wants to go join them in their game of fetch or whatever they're doing. I try distracting her with training and hikes in the trees but she always tries to escape and chase that dog just cause she isn't allowed to join their play.  Whenever she plays with a dog they have fun and stuff unless the dog is better than her at something.  How can I get her too play nicely and not be such a sore loser? I hate her being on leash while everyone's dogs are playing and chasing each other.

 So, here's my first question: Does she ever become aggressive during these barking episodes?  Has she ever tried to bite you or another dog over a toy?  If the answer is no, then take a deep breath.  She just needs a little guidance.

It sounds like Tally is a typical Terrier.  She has tons of energy, lots of mental stamina, and she has no idea what to do with herself.  So, let's first look at training.

She may know the meaning of the word heel (or whatever command you use), or sit, or down, but just because she understands what you're saying doesn't mean she understands she's supposed to listen all the time.  That means it's time to up her training.  Start to SLOWLY desensitize her to distractions.  If she can be around a calm dog, reward her for being good, then go a baby step up.  Work with her with a slightly less calm dog.  Note that I did not say a hyper dog.  I just meant one who wags its tail a little more.  From there, try to work with an even less calm dog (and so forth and so forth) until you work your way up to a dog who's actually hyper.  Then, start to change the scenery. 

When you change the scenery, you may need to go back a step with your distraction.  That's OK.  It's perfectly normal.  Just take your time and keep working.

In addition to all that, you can also look at some options for corrections.  Corrections vary from dog to dog.  For some, it may just be a firm, "Ah ah!" while for others you may need something a little stronger (look for a post on corrections coming soon).

Lastly, as always, exercise, exercise, exercise.  Walks, runs, bike rides, hikes, games of fetch, swims.  Tally will need all that and more to unwind a little.  If you think she's getting enough exercise, up it anyway.  I can almost guarantee you she still has plenty of energy left.

If you really take the time to work on all that, you'll find that Tally will no longer be a Terror.  She'll just be a simple Terrier.

Oh, and one last note.  A lot of people stress out over their dog barking in the dog park.  I wouldn't.  Sometimes dogs just need that opportunity to be a dog.  The real problem with dog parks is that they're generally full of a bunch of overly-wound-up dogs, and that can cause some problems.  If you're worried about her barking within the dog park, you may not want to take her until you can easily redirect her.


  1. I have a question (unrelated to this post, sorry!) We have two dogs, Molly a 3 year old female pitt/red heeler mix and, Ruger a year and half old male Rottweiler. They get along swimmingly, love each other yadda yadda yadda. When we leave the house we can leave Molly out and she does fine around the house, we had been able to leave Ruger out for a month or two until he went on a destructive rampage whose casualties were my Nook, an iPod, a book, a picture frame among others. So unfortunately he is back in the crate when we leave the house.

    When we first got Ruger we "crate trained" him. I use "" because I know we could have done a much better job of it but he was happy to go in his crate (that we kept getting larger as he got larger) but about 4 months ago he outgrew the largest airport/carrier crate they made so we had to go to a larger metal collapsible crate. He is TERRIFIED of it, we put him in with treats, we've tried putting his food in there but he won't eat it (days on end), we've tried covering it more like a "den" but he brings the blanket in between the slats and starts chewing on it, we've never put him in there as a punishment (same as his old crates) and whenever we had put him in any of his crates we always put a bone for him to chew on as well as a treat. It's reached the point we are having to full on carry him in the larger metal crate (and at 100lbs it's not easy). What else can we do?

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  3. I forgot to post a long time ago, I'm Tally's owner, thanks for the tips I'll have to try them out, thankfully I have a few friends with dogs that can help me train Tally :)