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Question
Posted by: Barbara | 2011/11/02

Chewing off wiskers

Hallo, I have 4 wonderful pets (2 jack russel x fox terriers 2.5 years and 2 cats 6 &  8 years). My problem is the female jack russel keeps on trimming the male dog and male cats wiskers. How can I make her stop. The female cat " slaps"  her when she comes close so she still has her long wiskers.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi Barbara, the only way really to stop this is two part:-
1. Start to supply additional stimulation and sistraction for the dog by way of varied chew toys, made even more appatizing with a bit of biltong or peanute butter smeared in and increase daily walks. This will give her something else to think of.
2. When she starts this, and it is important to stop as early as possible, shout the loudest 'no' you can muster. As she stops, call her and praise. You are now praising for the behaviour you do want i.e. stopping the behaviour. Unfortunately as humans we do have a tendancy to tell our dogs to stop doing something but we dont tell them what we do want and it is impossible to tell a dog to do nothing!
3. If the above does not work, then go to her quickly, take her by the collar and without talking or interacting, put her in the bathroom for only 30 seconds. Then open the door as is nothing has happened and immediately (if possible) take her back to the location that caused the behaviour. If she starts again, repeat. She will soon get the message - this is a form of negative punishment, we are taking away from the dog that which it wants the most, and it is very effective. One point however, the only time the 30 second time period is increased is if the dog is scratching on the door, barking or whining. In that case, do not open the door until the SECOND the behaviour stops. Good luck and do let me know how you go, thanks S

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Our users say:
Posted by: Dog Behaviour Expert | 2011/11/03

Hi Barbara, the only way really to stop this is two part:-
1. Start to supply additional stimulation and sistraction for the dog by way of varied chew toys, made even more appatizing with a bit of biltong or peanute butter smeared in and increase daily walks. This will give her something else to think of.
2. When she starts this, and it is important to stop as early as possible, shout the loudest 'no' you can muster. As she stops, call her and praise. You are now praising for the behaviour you do want i.e. stopping the behaviour. Unfortunately as humans we do have a tendancy to tell our dogs to stop doing something but we dont tell them what we do want and it is impossible to tell a dog to do nothing!
3. If the above does not work, then go to her quickly, take her by the collar and without talking or interacting, put her in the bathroom for only 30 seconds. Then open the door as is nothing has happened and immediately (if possible) take her back to the location that caused the behaviour. If she starts again, repeat. She will soon get the message - this is a form of negative punishment, we are taking away from the dog that which it wants the most, and it is very effective. One point however, the only time the 30 second time period is increased is if the dog is scratching on the door, barking or whining. In that case, do not open the door until the SECOND the behaviour stops. Good luck and do let me know how you go, thanks S

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