Last week we shared one dog owner’s experience with training her adorable new puppy, Bailey. This week she joins us again to share some of her challenges in training this spunky terrier, and what they’ve both learned.

What is Bailey’s most unusual training quirk? How are you handling it?

Bailey repeatedly has a quirky problem with barking at things. By things I mean if there is something new in the neighborhood or inside the house, she immediately begins to bark uncontrollably at it. The only way I have found to get her to stop barking is to take her to the object and show it to her, let her sniff it, and then the barking stops. I have talked with other terrier owners who have explained the same scenario with their dogs. I hope that as she grows into an adult dog, this will stop. I think she is still getting more aware of her environment and what is in it. We also had a unique situation when Bailey became afraid of the dark – outside only. Her trainer guessed that Bailey must have heard or seen a raccoon or fox at night which scared her. The trainer suggested that I go outside with her at night and talk her through her fear. I felt rather silly but I took her on night walks and said, “good Bailey” or “Brave Bailey” to assure her that night time was okay. When letting her outside in the backyard now, I turn on the outside light and the seems to alleviate any of her fears or scare away any critters.

What is the next step in training for Bailey?

Bailey has learned most of the basic commands like come, off, no, sit, lay down, and eat. Bailey is beginning intermediate training classes where she will learn more fun activities, in my opinion, such as play dead, agility courses, and other tricks to entertain people. Because Bailey learns quickly, I am considering training her to be a therapy dog. She is very social – loves people and dogs. If we could share her love with others in hospitals or kids who need a reading buddy, that would be a wonderful opportunity. We will see how she progresses. Therapy dogs must be at least one year old and Bailey is currently six months. Right now I am looking forward to learning more techniques that will keep both of us on our toes.Thank you Linda for sharing your training experiences with Bailey! They’ve already given me a few ideas of what I can do with Kelly. And good luck- I’m sure Bailey will make a wonderful therapy dog.