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Pawsitive Training for Better Dogs

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Disclaimer: The material provided by Bailey on this web site is designed for educational and entertainment purposes only. The information presented is provided with the understanding that Bailey is not engaged in rendering medical or professional behavioral services. Such information should not be used as a substitute for behavioral advice provided by a qualified canine behavior therapist.

Please remember that Bailey's advice, comments, or opinions are solely Bailey's, and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff here at Pawsitive Training for Better Dogs.

Pawsitive Training for Better Dogs is not responsible for actions taken based on the advice provided herein.

New Person In the House

Dear Bailey,

I've had my Rat Terrier, Kachina, since she was a month old (she's now a year and 1/2). She's my baby, and I love her dearly. Besides me, the only other people she's really been around are my mom and her boyfriend. Recently, my boyfriend moved in with us. Kachina never had a chance to meet my boyfriend before he moved in.

One day when I wasn't home, Kachina urinated on the floor. My boyfriend reacted by rubbing her nose in it. When my boyfriend told me what he did, I vehemently told him that you're not supposed to do that. He hasn't since.

Since this incident, Kachina seems very uncomfortable around my boyfriend. I work during the day, so she's with him until I get home. However, Kachina won't even come inside if he's there and I'm not. I don't want her outside all day because right now it's very cold.

I know their "incident" probably set the whole transitioning process back quite a bit, but I don't know what to do. I don't want her to be miserable all day when I'm not there. Is there anything I can do to make this easier on her and help her adjust quicker? Please help!



Bailey's Reply:

Dear Trish,

You are going to need 100% of your boyfriend's cooperation if you want to reestablish Kachina's and his relationship. If you can't get that, then ditch the boyfriend- keep Kachina and find someone who will be more in touch with little Kachina's sensitive ways!

However, if you find that your boyfriend is more than willing to do anything to make things better for Kachina, good! Your boyfriend must participate in All Things Good in Kachina's life.

“You are going to need 100% of your boyfriend's cooperation if you want to reestablish Kachina's and his relationship.”

If Kachina is on a dry kibble diet, have him feed Kachina her meals by hand. If she won't go to his hand, then have him toss the kibble to her one by one until she makes closer and closer approaches.

Have your boyfriend offer her treats during the day where she is comfortable. If she is by her doggie door, have him leave some small cheese cubes and pieces of warm chicken breast in a Kong or marrow bone. If she won't go near it when the boyfriend is around, then he needs to increase his distance from the treats. Once she is more comfortable, she will take the treats.

Over time, Kachina will be more relaxed around your boyfriend, and more willing to spend time with him. The goal is to teach Kachina that your boyfriend is GREAT because he gives her great things.

Speaking of great things, I'm gonna go get my human to give me a belly rub!



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