Kyra Ensbey and her dog Chilli from Bright Bessy dog training.
Kyra Ensbey and her dog Chilli from Bright Bessy dog training. Rachel Vercoe

Dealing with a protective dog

Kyra Ensbey from Bright Bessy Dog Training answers your questions about how to train or deal with problems you're facing with your dog.

Question: We have a four year old, well socialised, happy rescue mini foxie.

After my partner had knee surgery he became extremely protective, especially when my partner has food or with the grandchildren who the dog adores when on his own.

He has been with us four years, this started 18 months ago.

What is best way to deal with it?

Answer: Firstly, your dog endured a major change in its life when your partner went away to have knee surgery, a change in dynamics.

A dog's reaction to change manifests itself in unexpected ways.

This experience may have made your dog anxious that your partner will leave again.

I'm assuming your foxie sat near or on your partner while they were recuperating and probably followed them around, not letting them out of sight.

They may also have eaten at the same time, the foxie getting fed some of your partners food.

The above situation would have made the foxie feel it needed to be in charge but in doing so it is making some bad decisions.

Start by teaching your dog to station on and out of the way on a mat or bed in the living area of the house

When the grandchildren are there or when food is involved, the dog is to station on it's place.

Your dog should also sit on the station instead of sitting in their humans personal space.

The foxie should be asked to sit and wait while you go through doors and gates and should not be allowed in the kitchen.

When a visitor arrives, you answer the door, not the dog.

Also remember that your dogs lead is your best mate, it allows you to have more control over the dog when you need it.

Ensure you always reward your dog for calm behaviour, please train your dog gently and don't expect a change overnight.

There are many other recommendations I would put in this dog's training plan but this will give you a good start.

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