Scottie News readers seek help, tips

Sherine left a comment about her pup’s foot biting, a problem we’ve tackled before:

I have a 7-month old female Scottie called Eshta. She is very loving and playful but she has not outgrown the habit of biting feet. I have tried everything, including the squirt bottle but it is not getting better. She will obey me when I use a stern voice but guests do not have a hope in hell. It is no longer cute as her teeth hurt and the more a guest will shout at her the more excited she gets and the more she snaps and wants to bite. I know this is playful aggression but it is a real nuisance with guests, especially as we tend to have stay-over guests who need to be able to control her without me being around. Any advice? I adore Eshta. She has learned to sit, stay, come and she even rings the bell when she needs to go out. But I cannot teach her to ‘leave it’ (our feet, that is). I worry that this will only get worse.

Caitlin also left a comment a while back:

My male scottish terrier is almost 3 years old. He won’t stop attacking our cats and dogs outside of our home. He is a loving dog to all humans, but small dogs or cats he looks at like toys. Do you know any methods I could use to stop the attacking? I do not have the money for training right now, so I have to do it myself.

Scottie News replied:

Hmm, can you provide some more details? How long has he lived with the other pets? Has he always been like this? What do you mean by attack? how do the other animals respond?

Caitlin responded:

He has lived with one other dog for the whole 3 years. We have had 4 cats, and he is constantly trying to fight with them. If the cat didnt get away and we didnt stop him, I believe he would have killed the cat. He tries to bite them and shake them, as if it is a rodent. He has been like this since he turned one years old. The other animals are so afraid of him and they try to get away.

He is honestly a sweetheart. The most loving dog I could ask for. This is why I am so confused, because he is on attack mode with the other animals.

Susan wrote last weekend about her dog, Gus:

Could you post a request for a little prayer for my oldest scottie Gus. We had to rush him to the hospital this morning. We thought he had a stroke. He was screaming in pain and couldn’t walk. They gave him pain killers and muscle relaxers and still couldn’t get him out of pain enough to do an x ray by this afternoon. My vet is keeping for the weekend for observation. They think a disc in his neck may be pressing on a nerve. He was playing like a pup last night with Barkley and Maizie, his much younger housemates. His sister Gracie misses him terribly!

Thankfully, he was doing better this week. Let’s all hope he continues to make progress:

He’s doing better! He still walks in circles, but the pain is not as bad. There is a light a the end of the tunnel.

Please, everyone, feel free to contribute your thoughts and best wishes.

13 thoughts on “Scottie News readers seek help, tips

  1. The biting the feet issue: Have you tried spraying shoes with bitter apple? That works great. Also, we trained my Scottie “off”. We use that for food she’s not supposed to eat (that has fallen), bad objects on a walk (cigarette butts or poo), and it works with feet, too! Easy to train to “off”! I never sprayed my Scottie with a squirt bottle, because I just wouldn’t spray my children with a squirt bottle to teach them! Teaching a dig to think is far better than teaching a dog to react, in my opinion.

    The ‘attacking’ Scottie: I think maybe more socialization and training is possibly in order. The only way to get a dog to present good behaviors is to teach them through it. Getting in between the dogs prior to an incident can be one way to teach through this.

  2. We have a 14 week old male scottie that has joined our home. McKeever is a loving,wonderful dog and he idolizes our two year old female. One problem which has arisen as a result of his teething is his preference for chewing on the VERY expensive legs of my dining room table. We did finaly come up with a solution. I bought a rather potent bottle of hot sauce and smeared it on the legs. He took one lick, screwed up his face and has not touched them again. We have a MORE than ample supply of chewable toys scatterd all over the house and he seems happy to be directed towards those instead. Thank goodness his adult teeth are starting to grow in!

  3. You need to train with the leash on. That will serve as the correction using a choke collar. When the dog gives bad response, jerk and release the collar, saying command as you do this. Leave it, etc. In addition while doing this with the leash, have someone shake an empty soda can with pennies in it. You must do this once along with the leash correction . With the lease you can confirm who’s the boss…. You.

  4. Regarding Eshta, the 7-month old puppy’s foot biting, we had the same experienxw with our little Zoe. But she meant it entirely as play and she loved having the upper hand with her super sharp little teeth. We never got mad at her and laughed when she did it. She eventually grew out of it. It is their idea of play and if you don’t enjoy it then you can just redirect her to another kind of activity when she wants to bite your feet.

  5. My three yr old scottie girl, Sugar, has started eating my carpet in the living room down to the wood floor! I found her last night ripping a huge hole & fussed at her and put her in time out ! Any suggestions why she may be acting out like this? Two other occasions were not as bad !

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  7. I’ve had multiple Scotties since 1998. They are the most lovable – and most stubborn – dogs ever. I’ve only had one that I could let off a leash, but she was an incredible dog. The most potent correction has been to gently hold them by the snout, make them look you in the eye and tell them “no.”. They all learn quickly. They are smart and definitely want you to be happy with them, but their family strong will can trip them up. Forcing the eye contact hurts their feelings for a minute, but they really start paying attention.

  8. Someone please help. I have two brother Scotties that are 16 months old. I got McTavish first and then 5 days later went back for his brother McKeltie. Tav is 25 lbs and Keltie is 28 lbs and I feel that Tav is the alpha dog since he was in the home first. I wanted them to have a playmate. All was well until recent. They normally play a little rough up on back legs kinda like bears. No one has been bitten or hurt. They have started to really fight now, a few times I have actually had to pick one up so that they stop. I then crate them both. I have a large puppy pen that I used when the were babies. I now have this in my kitchen so that its easier to put one inside when I take the other outside.Even with the gate up they growl and snarl at each other. I’m afraid the longer I keep them apart the worse it will be to try and get them back together. Please help. They get alot of outside time to try and burn off the endless energy that they have. They have their own crates and food dishes. I feed them separately so that they don’t fight over food. When they were 7 months old I enrolled them in Basic Puppy Training 101 at my local pet store. They sit, speak and come when called. I am having them neutered at the end of this month. I was told that this would help some but am very worried that I may have to let one go. This is heartbreaking to even think about. Any suggestions would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you

    1. Hi. I think these dogs are young enough to get a handle on this, but I think you should do something right away. Take them for a leash walk together. Make sure they walk side by side, and that one does not get in front of the other. It would probably be helpful for one person to walk each dog. This will put them on an equal basis. I think some professional training would also be warranted, however, please do not take them to your local pet store. You need to enroll them somewhere that deals with only training! I do think neutering will help, but I really think you need to get control of the issue now. YOU need to get in CONTROL. You are getting it all wrong. You are the ALPHA! Please , please get some help so these dogs can enjoy each other and you can enjoy both of them! I don’t think separating them will help at all. It does not solve the problem. You are thinking like a human and not as a dog, and you need help to do that. Their world of interaction is totally different than ours, and you need help to understand their world. They are creatures of habit , and you must create new habits for these dogs. Please by vigilant and patient, because this has been going on longer than it should have. I have had many Scotties, and have had 2 Scotties together for many years as well. Please trust me and do the right thing.

    2. Hi Catherine. Please don’t break these brothers up. They are doing what is instinctual, and they need to re-learn some long-time behaviors. The most important thing is to remember that changing some of your own behaviors will probably help the situation along the most. Most importantly, you need an animal behaviorist. Someone that can come to your home is even more beneficial, because they can point out things or make observations that are invaluable. These puppies can re-learn how to behave together. Please give it your ALL! Once. Family member, always a family member, and they an learn to be best friends. A good start would be to read, review and practice from the excerpt here:

      Definitely find someone to help you with this professionally. Good luck to you and your babies! Keep us posted.

  9. Some dogs are meant to be in one-dog families, and this may be the case in your situation. I would suggest you find another home for one of your dog’s, perhaps a friend or family in your town, and then you will only be a phone call away….you can meet for playdates, or in your local dog park.

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