If you have a terrier dog (or any other energetic breed), you know how difficult it can be to turn a dog’s behavior into something more manageable and less destructive. However, it is possible to train and transform your terrier’s bad dog behavior into something more acceptable.
In this blog post, we will follow the story of two rowdy sibling dogs whose very own Colorado Springs in-home dog training saved them from being given up by their forever family. With the help of expert dog trainer and dog behaviorist Laurie Yakish, we will explore the tried and true techniques used to turn these two terriers’ rambunctious behavior into something more manageable and pleasant for everyone.
Kristy And The Jack Russell Terrorist Sisters
Kristy was so excited when she found the perfect match – two Jack Russell Terrier sisters, Thelma and Louise! She had always wanted a puppy, so two was even better. Kristy was determined to make sure her puppies grew up to be well-behaved and socially-adjusted doggies.
Potty training was not easy in the beginning, but luckily Kristy had plenty of patience. She was determined to not let those mischievous puppies slide when it came to potty pads. Thelma and Louise quickly got the gist of it, but Kristy still had to be on a constant look out for any accidents.
But once the puppies got their “potty paws” under control, Kristy could start enjoying all of the fun that comes with having puppies. She took them to puppy/dog socialization classes and to the park to play with other furry friends.
Kristy was always amazed at how fast Thelma and Louise would learn new tricks and how much they enjoyed showing off the things they had learned. Watching the two puppies interact with each other, play, and romp around always brought a smile to her face, and she was so glad she had decided to get them.
Teenage Terror Times Two
Fast forward six months. Kristy and her husband, Frank, were at their wit’s end. Nothing they tried was working. They had expected some issues when the girls hit adolescence, but this was out of control. Everywhere they looked there was chaos – from the blinds pulled down to the carpet tugged at. Every day brought something new, like the nasty notes that were taped to their front door.
Thelma and Louise were like two little Tasmanian devils on a mission – yapping and fighting, rarely ceasing for even a second. Kristy was overwhelmed and exhausted. She had thought a new school year would give them all some relief, but the chaos only intensified.
Frank was finally fed up. He had just gotten back from his business trip and returned home to find the house in a state of disarray. He thought he could talk some sense into the girls, but they seemed immune to his lectures and scolding. He didn’t know what else to do.
Kristy and Frank were completely overwhelmed by the situation and felt utterly powerless. They had no idea how to get the girls to settle down, and it was taking a huge toll on their relationship. They were both desperate to find a solution, but it seemed impossible.
Kristy further explained, “I can’t believe this is happening. Just a few months ago, Thelma and Louise were two cute little puppies, happy and content with each other and with the world. I put so much effort into caring for them, spending time with them, taking them to the dog park, providing them with stimulation and physical activity…you name it. It felt like we had it all figured out.
But now, I’m so frustrated. We just can’t seem to break out of this rut. Thelma and Louise bark and bark and bark all day, they don’t listen to any commands, they act disobedient and destructive, and they just don’t seem happy anymore.
I have no idea why things have taken such a turn for the worse. I’m still providing them with the same amount of care, if not more. I just don’t understand why they’ve become so uncontrollable. Is it boredom because of the cold winter? Is it a lack of mental stimulation or physical activities? I can’t help but feel like I’m failing them, and I’m so stressed out. I just want to figure out what I’m doing wrong and fix it so I can get them back to the way they used to be.”
One of the most notoriously rowdy dog breeds is the Jack Russell Terrier due to their high energy.
But What IS A Mother To Do?!?
Kristy continued. “I just don’t know what to do! It seemed like such a good idea – putting Thelma and Louise in the kennel during the day, with a neighbor coming over to let them out once a day – but it didn’t work out like I thought it would. After just a few days, the neighbor found it nearly impossible to get them back into the kennel, and when I got home from work, Thelma and Louise were wilder and more out of control than ever. I’m at my wit’s end!
When I’m gone, Thelma and Louise have no one to keep an eye on them, and they know it. But I don’t have the time or resources to get a pet sitter or a dog walker. And they can’t stay in the kennel all day, or they’ll get stressed out. I feel so guilty – but I just don’t know what to do.
It’s so frustrating. I just want to find a way to keep them entertained and safe while I’m gone. I want to find a way to make sure they don’t get bored or destructive – without putting more stress on either of us. But I’m running out of ideas and solutions. All I can do is hope I find something that works before it’s too late.”
Super Dog Training To The Rescue!
Kristy also mentioned, “After much research and deliberation, I was so relieved to have finally settled on a dog training option that worked best for Thelma and Louise – private lessons in my home. I felt empowered getting to personalize the training plan to match their specific needs and requirements.
The dog trainer was so helpful and knowledgeable – she had great ideas when it came to helping Thelma and Louise’s behavior. For one thing, she recommended swapping out their dog dishes for puzzle toys filled with their food – this way, they have to use their noses and paws to unlock their treats, which challenges them mentally. We also rotated the toys regularly to help prevent boredom. On days when the weather is bad or I don’t get home from work until late, I also play some fun games with the dogs in the house – fetch and hide and seek, etc. It’s a great way to tire them out physically and mentally.
I’m so grateful to have found a great dog training option that works. Not only that, but Thelma and Louise have already started to show signs of improvement – it’s amazing to see them responding to the training and bonding more with me each day.”
Kristy reported an update with the trainer. Thelma and Louise were making steady progress, and even though their barking was still becoming a nuisance, Kristy and Frank were determined to improve their two dogs behavior. To do this, they continued sessions for further help from their same chosen dog trainer.
The trainer continued by implementing a structured system of rewards and consequences for the dogs’ behavior. If the girls barked when the trainer walked by the front of the house, they got into trouble. Conversely, if when they were quiet, they were rewarded with treats. With continued practice Thelma and Louise learned which behaviors brought consequences and which behaviors got
Once Thelma and Louise had mastered the concept of rewards and consequences, the trainer introduced the concept of booby traps. She showed Kristy how to set alarms near the windows that triggered whenever the dogs jumped up on the window sills. This way, Thelma and Louise would be greeted by a deafening alarm whenever they disturbed the peace and quiet of their neighborhood. The alarms automatically reset themselves, so Kristy was able to leave them in place while she was at work.
With the help of their trainer, Thelma and Louise were able to quickly turn their disruptive behavior into calm and peaceful tranquility. With a little bit of dedication, discipline, and resourcefulness, Kristy and Frank, with their canine companions have achieved harmony in the home.
On The Road Back From Crazy Town
Kristy was determined to give her young terriers, Thelma and Louise, the best possible start in life. She was willing to invest time, training and resources to ensure that their behavior and habits were instilled in a effective and healthy way. After consulting with an experienced trainer, a plan was put into place that would give the pups structure and set them up for success.
Kristy worked hard to create a schedule that would keep Thelma and Louise safe while she was away. During the week, they were crated while she was gone, and a neighbor (with a little individualized training) was enlisted to come by and let them out for breaks during the day. During her days off, Kristy would practice leaving them out of their crates while she did errands, ensuring they had plenty of project toys to occupy them.
By implementing this plan, Kristy is helping Thelma and Louise to become well-adjusted, happy dogs. The changes have already made a positive difference in their behavior and overall demeanor, and as the puppies mature, they will become a joy to have around. There may still be missteps along the way, but with Kristy’s dedication and determination, Thelma and Louise will grow up to be well-behaved members of the family.