Dog Training Questions. Bark Busters Ask the Expert

Have a dog training or behaviour question? Ask the Expert from Bark Busters. Your questions and answer could be posted as the question of the week

Ask the Expert

Ask our dog training experts a question about a dog behavioural issue, dog training problems or dogs in general. We'll give you dog training tips and dog training advice in your quest for a well-behaved dog!

Submit a Question

Subscribe to Wagging Tails

Join our e-mail newsletter to keep up to date with our news & training tips!

Sign up now !

Lifetime Support Guarantee

The Bark Busters worldwide home dog training service guarantee is unique in the industry. It is designed to help owners resolve their dog's behaviour and obedience problems and to provide customers with the satisfaction of ongoing support and peace of mind. Find out more

See below for all questions, or use the fields below to filter questions by behaviour.
Damien asks...
Hi, We moved into a new house around 3 months ago since then our dog Stanley has started whining on occasion at night.This is a new behavior and is something that he has never done until now.  Even as a young pup he would sleep through the night and not cry or whine. We are really struggling to understand why the change and what would now be causing it. We have maintained the same crate and blankets that he is used to, he now sleeps in our laundry, and is always taken out to go to the toilet before he goes to bed (which is around 11:00pm every night). My new home is a single story house where as the previous one was two story - his crate has never been kept in our bedroom. In the previous house Stan's crate was down stairs in the living/dining area while the bedrooms were upstairs. This behavior is not daily but is happening more often. My partner and I are at a complete loss as to why this would now be happening. For our sanity please can you offer some insight.
This Question is about
Bark Busters responded: Hi Damien, when we move house, your dog sees the 'pack' is on the move and this is usually quite a stressful time for dogs.  He is a bit worried.  Do not have him with you all the time when you are home, practice regular separation in the laundry or another room with doors closed, as you are there to address it immediately when the whining starts. When you hear the whining at night use the word you use to correct him in deep tones. Don't use his name.  Never go to Stanley during whining or reassure him its OK, you need to address it from behind a closed door. If you open the door to address it  he wins, that's exactly what he wants. When he stops happily praise him. 
Molly asks...
Hello rnI am having trouble with my dog running of and not coming back when he is called. I have just moved into my partners parents house and they have a lot of property and a lot of place for Iack to explore. Which is not an issue however all he wants to do is go across the main road to the house to play with there dogs who are viscous and I am afraid he will get hit by a car on the road. We have tried treats for when he comes back when he is called. But he still just doesn't listen. We call him back and he is so determined to go he will not listen. And it is hard to know how to punish him for going across there as he doesn't know what he is doing is wrong. He has a dog pen he gets put in when we are at work during the week. I am having so much trouble getting him to stay in the yard and come back when he is called.! he gets so much attention when we are home with him we play with him and everything. Need some advice please!! I am out of ideas
This Question is about
Bark Busters responded: Hi
Molly, you need to place him in his pen when you are home and teach him to
relax in there. Also go into his pen area, the object is going to be to keep
him close to you until you give him a command that he can go, so and every time
he goes to walk away from you, clap your hands firmly once, so a good loud
clap, at the same time using the word you would use when he is naughty. He
should look at you when you do this, so when he stops and turns to look at you,
tell him to come in a normal/happy speaking voice, praise him and tell him he
is a very good boy when he comes. Repeat this until he stays with you or walks
behind you, as you move forward. Once you have this 100% inside the pen, then
you can try the same exercise outside the pen, but he must be on a long lead so
he does not have the option to take off on you. It takes time and patients
but with consistency he will learn to stay close to home. Good luck Regards
Chelsey asks...
My dog hasn't been able to get along with other dogs for awhile now, and I've wanted to buy a puppy for ages. But me and my family are just scared that my dog will hurt or even kill the pup, she has a tendency to attack other dogs but I'm not sure if she would hurt a puppy, but eventually get used to its company! I really really want another dog but I'm not sure. Just wanted to know if there is anything I can do, if we can train my dog Carra to just get along with the puppy and learn to love and live with it. Doesn't need to get along with other dogs, just the puppy. Thank you.
This Question is about
Bark Busters responded: Hello ,
this is possible, but I
strongly recommend some training with your fearful
dog to address her ongoing dog aggressive behaviour by a professional well ¡Æbefore¡Ç
you get a puppy or any other dog. I
would also suggest a male would be a better fit than two females.Interaction between two dogs should be done slowly, through a gate/fence You
also would have to have the same rules for both, no favouring one over the
other. Regards Donna.
Geoffrey asks...
Brother and sister.. when we walk them they back up at all other dogs and at people, sometimes growling.. coming from dogs that small most people have a little laugh. We have had training a few years ago and have purchased the collars
This Question is about
Barking, Pulling, Sibling rivalry
Bark Busters responded: If you have had our training, then I would suggest you just need to take a big step back for a week or two and recommence  the daily program training in your backyard before venturing back out on the street again. It sounds like
your dogs have a bit of fearful behaviour and taking them out onto the street is just making
them worse. Do some training at home, inside and outside -  off lead first. In the yard maybe play a little fetch if they
will, also maybe place them in the car and take them to a quieter place and do
some training there. Make sure neither dog goes in or out of any doors/gates first.If you have had training from us and took on Lifetime Support Guarantee, then you can also contact your local trainer, for advice on what to do.  If you recommence the daily programming your dogs will quickly come back into line (train them separately) You may even ask for  them to come back out and get you back on the
right track if you are still having issues.
Kirsten asks...
We have recently moved in with my Mum & her 2 dogs (both female). Our 2 male dogs,Hugo & Polo, Hugo is usually the aggressor, have taken to fighting each other. Hugo will attack in the morning when greeting Polo & will often become aggressive out of the blue. Hugo is 4 & Polo is 7 & has always been the more dominant but now things are out of control & we are never quite sure what's going to happen next!
This Question is about
Bark Busters responded: Hello Kirsten.
This is a very serious and stressful situation for both you, your mum
and all 4 dogs. Please do not keep them together until you seek professional
training help. We see all too frequently some very serious injuries with
sibling rivalry cases. It takes 100% commitment from the owners to resolve this
issue. When a dog changes environments things
can and do change instantly for them. Your
mum also has female dogs, so this comes into play also. Your
two dogs have probably started fighting due to your move. There
could be other males or even female in the area, it could even of been a previous
dog in yard. It could
be jealousy, it could be over a toy or even over food, then there is the human
element. There are so many variables to this behaviour issue one on one help is
strongly advised to get things back on track asap for you and your mum. If your dog/s or your mums dog/s  have
not all been desexed, this could also be an issue. Regards Donna.
Chris asks...
our dog very rarely barked now when she is playing with our daughters new puppy she doesn't stop!she is very excited and won't respond to any commands when playing .we can interrupt play but seems a shame when they are enjoying play and she is teaching the puppy boundaries ,its very loud and irritating can you help please?
This Question is about
Bark Busters responded: Hi, yes this would be very
irritating for sure, I would use the word you use for when she is being naughty
and add a clap at the same time, every time she barks. At first she will stop playing
but you can initiate the play again and if she barks clap and use word, until
she still plays but does not bark, it will take time for her to learn but she will get
the message. Eventually you will just be able to use the word and she will stop
barking and keep playing Regards Donna.
Bruce asks...
Missy barks and jumps at animals when they appear on TV. She is very territorial and feel they are in her space as she ignores them in the street. She does not normally bark incessitively. How do you stop her barking at the TV?
This Question is about
Aggression, Barking, Jumping up, Puppy management, Sibling rivalry
Bark Busters responded: Hi Bruce, you could try using a
squirty bottle with water in it and with it on full stream, squirt your dog in
the bottom and at the same time, use the word you use for when she is naughty,
when she stops and looks at you, bend down and in a happy tone call her to you,
if she goes back to TV, repeat until she stops and all you need to use is the
word and or clap and the word to stop her reaching the TV, your aim is for her
not to run to the TV Regards Donna.
Jessica asks...
I have an older maltese x poodle (M) 16 years of age who keeps nipping at my puppy, Finn.
This Question is about
Bark Busters responded: Hi Jessica, this is a normal
behaviour.  I would be recommending that  you separate them as Finn is too much for your 16 year old
dog to cope with. You need to stop the pup annoying the older dog, so some training needs to
be put in place. If you cannot do this, then you need to keep them separated. Think of your boy as a 116 year old person, they would not cope with the pup
jumping all over them. This could also escalate into something more serious (injury)  if not addressed. Regards Donna.
Laurie asks...
Why, when taken for a walk she wants to growl & bark at other dogs whether they are behind fences or on a lead with other people, she knows where they are before she get there & pulls very hard, otherwise she is a very gentle dog. She goes to a dog park & I don't have any trouble there, it only when she is on a lead.
This Question is about
Bark Busters responded: Hello, she does this because she is very gentle and soft natured.
When on the lead she is a little worried for her safety, in this I mean
because dogs only have two defences, flight or fight, so because she cannot
flight, as you have her on lead, then she needs to fight. She just needs you to
show her some pack leader skills, i.e. let her know not to behave that way , so
she knows that you will look after her, thus making her feel safe within her
pack. With consistency she will stop doing behaving this way. It is a behaviour
we deal with daily with great results. Regards Donna
Katie asks...
Why does my dog only bark at me when I am home alone (not when my fiance) is home to get inside? The only time Buffy barks is when I am home and she is not inside with me
This Question is about
Bark Busters responded: I would say it is because Buffy does not see you as a pack leader, so if
you just make some rules she will be a lot better.One suggestion is for you to walk over to the clothes line and then walk
back towards your back door, every time Buffy gets ahead of you, stop, clap
your hands together once, say the word baaaad in a deep guttural tone and then
ask her to "come" back to you using high happy tones as
encouragement. Keep doing this until you can walk to the back door and Buffy
walks behind or beside you, never in front. When she barks, do not go outside
to her; clap your hands and use the baaad word and she should stop barking and
look at you, praise. Hope this helps. Regards Donna