View Full Version : Help!! My girls have turned into devils !!

26th April 2010, 11:35 PM
Will try and keep this as short as poss but could do with some help and advice as i got quite upset today about it.

We have started to have a few problems with our four girls,mainly the three older girls but the 18wk old pup is copying their bad behaviour.

Here is a brief description of whats happening.

At mealtimes its pandemonium, as soon as you go into the kitchen and go near their food bag they all just go nuts barking and jumping up this continues whilst preparing and putting down the food, absolutely chaotic with three of them at it and the puppy copying them.I feel that this has started because the puppy has 3 meals so at dinnertime the 3 older girls were having a treat whilst puppy was having dinner and now they obviously expect one everytime.
At walk times you only have to go upstairs to put your hoodie/jacket on and they are barking and just generally going mad,this gets even worse when you get the harnesses and leads out of the cupboard downstairs then its a 10 minutes of chaos whilst you try to get them all ready to go out.
i'm starting to feel like we cant 'enjoy' our lovely back garden as 2 of the older girls just fly off the handle at any little noise,other dogs barking,people talking,knocks or noises.I am really concious of the neighbours although we live in a detached house.
i'm the idiot who decided to fall of a horse and break her back so i'm finding these niggles difficult with myself being poorly.
Its all started to get really bad in the past few wks.I hope you all dont think im a bad mum to my girls as i'm not,do you think its because they know i'm poorly?? and that im not so much on the ball?? taking advantage of me?


27th April 2010, 12:49 AM
First, don't panic. These are pretty basic problem areas -- and the solution is the no free lunch approach. Right now, going ahead and feeding the dogs despite the pandemonium, and taking them for a walk despite the babble, the dogs get rewarded for exactly the behaviour you do not want.

You need to train each, individually, to sit and wait quietly, before either the food bowl reaches the ground, or the lead goes on. This is tedious I know, but is one of the challenges of multiple dog households. You are also witnessing a common difficulty in multi-dog homes -- two is a very different proposition than three or more dogs. Adding a third to two can greatly change the group dynamic and you do start to get these group reactions which can be difficult to manage. If the dogs didn't have a trained routine before, then they have nothing to base expected behaviour on now (though they have been better behaved before, they were it seems from your description just being calmer -- not knowing how they were expected to behave, if you see the difference :) ). Hence you need to start from scratch so each knows an expected routine.

That means separating them out (again, trainers will say that each dog needs individual training before another is added, and individual attention, time and training each day to maintain good behaviour -- another of the group household challenges!).

I doubt any of this is because they think you are easier to get around at the moment. It is just that they don;t have a trained basis to start from, and your new pup is young and probably, lacks training. The others will respond to that -- barking is fun, from their perspective! Also, three work themselves into far more excitement than two -- little kids do exactly the same.

This post might help:


I'd also highly suggest the book 'Feeling Outnumbered (http://www.amazon.com/Feeling-Outnumbered-Manage-Multi-Dog-Household/dp/1891767062/ref=pd_cp_b_1)' by Patricia McConnell

Good luck!

27th April 2010, 01:20 AM
Thanks Karlin,will definately look at the book reccommendation.

The thing is, we have had the pup since the beggining of feb and had no problems at all,funny you should mention the 'barking is fun' as all four of them just wind each other up.With me being poorly we have got them into a routine of being fed by my partner before he goes to work,feeding puppy at dinnertime,then all having tea then straight out for a walk after that,the problems strangely have started since we introduced the routine:confused:,maybe its because they know when things are going to happen and start getting excited and wound up??

Is there anything that i can start with immediately to be a little more pro-active??
Would putting the leads and things back in the cupboard when they 'start' help??
And not putting the bowls down until we have calm???

heather r
27th April 2010, 03:42 PM
Can't offer advice to more than two dogs but we don't put our dogs' dishes down until each is in a sitting position. Then we put dishes down and say free dog. Our trainer said to not use okay since that comment is used so often in other circumstances.

If one dog doesn't sit, I wait her out until she does sit. Also, if you used crate training and still have crates , you could feed pup in there so others don't expect food.

Heather R

27th April 2010, 04:23 PM
thanks heather,

yes Mischa has an x pen in our living room which is where she gets fed,its just that i get followed and harrassed by the other three aswell in stereo!!

This mornings breakfast time went a lot better as when the chaos started i just simply stopped preparing meals and walked into the living room completely ignoring them and only went back into the kitchen when calm had been restored.

my mum is coming down tonight to help me walk them and when she gets them ready for walks we have no problems :o so im going to watch their reaction with her.

27th April 2010, 09:15 PM
I'm getting used to a new addition too, now having a pair. Barney at eight is quite well trained but forgets sometimes around food as this is his first love lol
I've started as I mean to go on with getting them to sit in the hall while I prepare meals, if they move I don't start getting food ready until they're sat again...lots of praise at the right time. And lots of patience on my part!!

Barney is quite calm when we get ready for walks so I just make sure I'm calm and quiet while I get their leads on. I know if you have excitable dogs you're supposed to put leads away and sit quietly til the dogs are calm then start again - again patience needed but they get the idea in the end.

With walking if Cassie pulls I stop until she relaxes, then I get her attention and off we go again, I think the not getting anywhere for pulling will work sometime soon as she's not so bad most of the time. Actually for fourteen and a half weeks she's doing pretty well. The last bit of the walk is her worst pulling bit so takes the longest....I stay calm and wait til she does the same and then we walk. Poor Barney gets a bit bored though !! Today was great Cassie hardly pulled to get home at all bless her...

Best of luck with your three...x

27th April 2010, 09:54 PM
My FOUR cavs teresa :lol: !!!
Three girls who are 3 and a half and a 18wk old puppy.:eek:

Me and my mum have taken all four out for a lovely walk tonight with minimal fuss getting them ready.We did exactly as you describe.....when exited we just put the harnesses down and sat quietly ignoring the girls' carry on and after a couple of times they sure were getting the message.They are such good girls out on their walks we have no pulling or anything.

I think it's my partner who has caused this excitable fuss (as he has been doing a lot more due to my broken back)so i blame him......... so that will soon be sorted out..............his bags are already packed.............:rah::rah::rah:ha ha !!