By Mark Whitehouse
Monday, 10 August 2009
My otherwise confident and approachable gundog gets erratic around visitors.
The bitch is six months old and when we when we get visitors she barks constantly and wets all over the floor before running off into her basket.
We have tried introducing and socialising her with our visitors but she is not interested. She continues to wet the floor and has to be shut away. Do you have any advice?
MARK WHITEHOUSE SAYS: All these symptoms point towards kennel fatigue.
This is when a gun dog has not been taken outside its known environment and had a chance to socialise with other gun dogs and people.
Shutting the gun dog away will only make things worse and much more stressful.
I would start your young gun dog off with short walks around a car park, where she can familiarise herself with lots of different sights and sounds, traffic and people.
Should you have any problems whilst in these surroundings, give her lots of reassurance and totally calm her down each time.
When she has calmed down give her a small treat and she will associate this as a positive with the unfamiliar surroundings and strangers.
I would repeat this training exercise every day until your dog has totally accepted these surroundings and then move on to a new location and repeat the same exercise.
Your young dog needs to be out and about in different locations and surroundings as often as possible.
In time this will then become the norm.
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