Free Delivery Price Promise
  Guinea Pig
  All Pet
Log On
Pet Information Home  |  Health & Welfare  |  Common Pests  |  Diet  |  Training  |  Grooming  |  Pet Care  |  Veterinary Q&A  |  Behaviour Advice
Free delivery on orders over 39

Online Pet Shop
  My Favourites
  My Previous Purchases
  Featured Dog Promotions
  Featured Cat Promotions
  Clearance up to 75% Off!
  November Offers
  Special Offers
      On Sale Now
      Clearance Sale
  Dog Food
      Dog Food: All
      Dog Food by Type
      Dog Treats & Chews
      Royal Canin
      Hills Dog Food
      James Wellbeloved
      Orijen Dog Food
      Beta Dog Food
      Wafcol Dog
      Purina Pro Plan Dog
      Arden Grange Dog
      Burns Dog Food
      Bakers Complete
      Acana Dog Food
      Barking Heads Dog Food
      Green Dog Food
      Simpsons Premium Dog
      Skinners Dog Food
      Canned Dog Food
      Carnilove Dog Food
      Natures Menu Dog Food
      Other Dog Food Brands
  Dog Products
      Dog Beds
      Dog Bowls & Feeders
      Dog Cages & Crates
      Dog Carriers
      Dog Coats & Clothes
      Dog Collars
      Dog Cooling Products
      Dog Pools
      Dog Flaps
      Dog Grooming
      Dog Harnesses
      Dog Health and Hygiene
          Dog Health Products: All
          Flea and Tick
          Dog Wormers
          Dog Dental
          Joint Care and Mobility
          Dog Supplements
          Eye And Ear
          Stress Relief and Calming
          Coat And Skin
          Dog Hygiene
          Dog Itchy Skin Relief
          Dog Poop Bags & Scoopers
          Door Mats for Muddy Paws
          Other Dog Health
      Dog Kennels
      Dog Leads
      Dog Ramps and Steps
      Dog Safety
      Dog Toys
      Dog Training
      Dog Travel
      Puppy Products
      Pet Gates & Pens
      Dog Gift Ideas
  Cat Food
      Cat Food: All
      Royal Canin Cat Food
      Hypoallergenic Cat Food
      Hills Cat Food
      James Wellbeloved Cat
      Iams Cat Food
      Purina Pro Plan Cat
      Purina One
      Applaws Natural Cat
      Sheba Cat Food
      Orijen Cat
      Cat Treats
      Green Pantry Cat Food
      Purina Gourmet
      Carnilove Cat Food
      Kitten Food
      Other Cat Food Brands
  Cat Products
      Kitten Care
      Cat Bowls & Feeders
      Cat Beds, Blankets & Mats
      Cat Litter Trays
      Cat Litter
      Cat Activity Centres
      Cat Collars & Harnesses
      Cat Toys
      Cat Health
      Cat Flaps
      Cat Grooming
      Cat Hygiene
      Cat Carriers
      Cat Safety
      Catnip and Catnip Toys
      Outdoor Cat Houses
  Rabbit Supplies
      Rabbit Hutches
      Rabbit Food & Treats
      Rabbit Litter & Bedding
          Rabbit Health Products: All
          Rabbit Grooming
          Rabbit Creams & Lotions
          Rabbit Home Hygiene
          Rabbit Supplements & Remedies
          Other Rabbit Health Products
          Rabbit Flea & ParasiteTreatments
      Rabbit Toys
  Hamster Products
      Hamster Food & Treats
      Hamster Litter & Bedding
      Hamster Toys
  Products For Pet Owners
          Air Fresheners
  Other Pet Products
      Christmas Pet Gifts
          Christmas Pet Presents: All
          Christmas Dog Presents
          Christmas Cat Presents
          Christmas Small Animal Presents
          Christmas Dinner
      2018 Pet Calendars
      Guinea Pig Products
      Chicken Supplies
      Wildlife Supplies
      Other Small Furries
      Free Gifts
      Gift Vouchers
      New Pet Products
      Seasonal Pet Products
          Show Essentials
          Cold Weather
          Dark Nights
          Hot Weather
          Wet Weather
  Eukanuba Breeders
  Hills Professional Partners
  Reward Shop
  Pet Insurance

Pet Health
Behaviour Advice from Vanessa Amey

<Back to behaviour advice

Getting our attention

This information is to be used as guidelines only. Decisions made about the future of any pet should be based on a professional assessment and a course of treatment that is personalised for the pet's individual situation.

My poodle is a bruiser

I have a 20 month old standard poodle. He is a lovely dog but appears to have a nasty streak in him. I also have a small jack Russell bitch and a male Chihuahua, I understand about pack behaviour and that Hugo the poodle is stamping his dominance on the pack. The smaller dogs are no threat to him: they are both 8 years old. However he just attacks them for no reason, and takes some pulling off them. It is not food orientated or attention seeking. When Hugo attacks the others I place him in a dog cage whilst I check over the others. To date he has not harmed them but being such a large dog it is only a matter of time and he is getting difficult to control. He has been trained to sit stay wait etc but no matter how much one to one attention I give him or no matter what I try nothing works. I really need some help. I love him to bits but have ms and am finding him difficult.

Hugo does sound as though he has a big problem. Personally, though, I wouldn't say it was dominance. His behaviour could be attributed to several different causes. Hugo may have a health problem, for example low thyroid levels can cause aggression as can pain. Hugo may be feeling scared of your other dogs and to make them move away he aggresses; or it may be his diet isn't quite right for him. A recent study showed links between high protein diets and aggression. For safetys sake I suggest Hugo is seen by his vet for a thorough check up. Once this has been done ask for a referral to a behaviourist for a full assessment. Then hopefully you will be able to modify his behaviour.

Deaf cat doesn't hear glass breaking

I hope you will be able to give me some advice, as there is not a lot of information available on how to handle a deaf cat. I have a 3-year old white cat with odd-coloured eyes, named Simon, who has been deaf since birth. I adopted him from a stray cat rescue shelter when he was about 9 weeks old, knowing he was deaf. I also had a 6-month old black/white cat, named Sebastian, now 3 1/2 yrs old. They get along very well, almost as if they were littermates.

There were problems of course as Simon grew up. The most difficult thing was to find a way to discipline him for doing 'cat things' like scratching the furniture, or jumping where he is not allowed. I read on a website how someone taught their cat hand signals, and I was successful in doing this with Simon - he is very intelligent! I have 3 hand signals for him - "No" is a forefinger shaken right in front of his eyes, never ever hitting. He recognizes 'the finger' from a distance and most times will reluctantly stop what he's doing. "Come" is getting his attention by stomping the floor or flicking the lights and then rubbing my forefinger and thumb together when I have his attention - works every time. "Down" is the same forefinger pointing at him then down to the floor - usually after a few gestures like this he listens.

I don't know if you have come across many deaf cats in your career, but I've noticed that he has developed some strange habits I've not seen in any other cats I've ever lived with. First, he is more aggressive than any cat I've had. He is very demanding of affection, which he gets, and will often steal the best places to sleep from my other cat, who gives way. The most annoying and possibly destructive habit he has is to knock things off the kitchen table, counter or the coffee table in the living room (his latest trick). Sometimes he does this in play, looking straight at me and probably enjoying my reaction! But lately, he's taken to doing this to get attention - particularly in the very early morning about 2 hrs before the cats' breakfast time, to try and get me out of bed to feed him. I try to ignore the clunks of books, remote controls, pens and pencils, and ruffles of papers falling on the floor as he gets in full 'knocking down mode'. Along with this, he howls the most disconsolate meows like he is the loneliest cat in the world - this is much more difficult to ignore. As a rule, I do not get out of bed (give in) unless I hear a crash/tinkle which means he's broken something and I'd better clean it up before he hurts himself. He's broken a couple of things over the past year, but usually he sticks to books, pens, papers and the remote controls from the tv/stereo.

I really have no idea how to help him break this habit, as if I get out of bed intending discipline him, he runs to see me, leaving the scene of the crime, meowing so happily that I'm up it seems redundant then to give him 'the finger' - would he even understand? It's like I'm giving in to his trick, and he'll only try it again knowing it was successful. When I don't get out of bed, he continues knocking things off until there is nothing left - I believe I can only make the house so cat proof. Also, I'm concerned if I leave nothing on the coffee table for him to knock down, he'll resort to items on the bookcase which are breakable. Please help! I love my cat dearly and would never consider giving him away - I need to work this out somehow so I can get a full night's sleep knowing I won't hear that dreaded crash/tinkle, and Simon either waits for the 6am feeding time or plays a much quieter game!

Simon sounds like a very clever cat who knows exactly want he wants. You obviously have a good relationship with him and hopefully my solution will be well within his capabilities. Initially you will have many broken nights sleep, but if you can persevere you will be able to get a good nights sleep in a few weeks time.

First, you are going to need some equipment, in particular a side lamp and a timerswitch. Timer switches are often sold as burglar deterrents. Your aim is to teach Simon that the light coming on means you will appear. Once he has made this association you can start adjusting the times the light comes on. For this to be effective you cannot use the lamp at any other time or it will confuse things for Simon. Set the timer on the lamp to come on a couple of minutes before the time he usually starts his attention seeking behaviour. You will need to get up at the same time as the lamp coming on. Go tho the room, let Simon see you but do not acknowledge him. Turn off the lamp and return to bed.

Over the weeks delay the time the lamp comes on. Progress slowly, just a few minutes every 2/3 days. If at any time he miaows you are going too fast for him. Set the timer back to come on at a time when he didn't miaow or cause havoc. Stay with this time for a few days then trying moving forward again.

Over the weeks you will reach a point in time where the lamp comes on at the time you want to get up and Simon should have relearnt his waking pattern. It is quite common for cats to wake in the early hours of the morning, as this is when they are programmed to be out searching for food. You could try leaving dry food down for him to graze as he likes or buy an automatic feeder that can be set to open for him at a time before he starts attention seeking. This method is hard work but can be very effective, so it is worth following for the long term result.

With regard to his attention seeking during the day you will have to ignore him completely, no eye contact or touching. That is the most effective way to extinguish a behaviour. Simon will try harder to get a response from you as it has worked for him in the past. But as long as you continue to ignore him he will realise eventually that his efforts are pointless and change his behaviour as a consequence.

Subscribe to receive special offers

Or Log on here
To be notified of exclusive offers
Follow Us On:
Follow PetPlanet on Twitter
Pet Food Brands
Royal Canin Pet Food
Royal Canin Dog Royal Canin Cat
Hill's Pet Food
Hill's Dog Hill's Cat
James Wellbeloved
James Wellbeloved Dog James Wellbeloved Cat
Orijen Dog Orijen Cat
Purina Pro Plan
Purina Pro Plan Dog Purina Pro Plan Cat
Arden Grange
Arden Grange
Click here for more pet food brands ...

The UKs favourite online pet shop

  • Guaranteed Cheapest
  • Express & Free Delivery
  • Widest Range
  • Secure Shopping
  • Great customer service
  • Honest product reviews
  • Acceptance Mark
    About Us | Contact Us | Cookie Policy | Popular Searches | WEEE | Dog Breeds | Cat Breeds | Small Animal Breeds | Store Offers | Affiliates | Pet Supplies | Pet Food
    Copyright Ltd. 2017